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Bigger inside than outside

It’s – it’s a magic wardrobe. There’s a wood inside it,
and it’s snowing, and there’s a Faun and a Witch
and it’s called Narnia; come and see.
( The Lion Ch. 3 , p. 120)

Lucy’s summary of the mystery introduces us to the image that will recur at the end of the stories: we go through a door into a reality that is bigger than the one we have left behind; the world opens out, it shows itself to be ‘bigger on the inside than the out side’. As the final catastrophe overwhelms Narnia, the stable where Shift the ape has hidden the false Aslan – Puzzle the donkey, wearing his tattered lion skin – becomes unexpectedly just such a door into the depths. At first it appears that it is a doorway into torment and death: the demonic god of Calormen lives there, and will devour everything that steps through the door. But suddenly, when King Tirian has entered, it is transformed: the heroes of the other stories (minus Susan, as we have seen) advance to meet him, and Tirian realizes that he is indeed in a different realm. ‘The Stable seen from within and the Stable seen from without are two different places,’ he says; and Lucy adds that ‘In our world too, a Stable once had something inside it that was bigger than our whole world’ (Last Battle Ch. 13, p. 744) – an unusually (though not quite uniquely) direct reference to the Christian story...

Publisher: SPCK - view more
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