Digory Kirke Heroic Characteristics Analysis

November 8, 2021 by Essay Writer

In 1955 C. S. Lewis wrote and published The Magician’s Nephew, a high fantasy adventure story set in early 20th century England, a prequel to the other stories in The Chronicles of Narnia. In the story, Digory Kirke, a young boy, travels to a strange world to save his friend, Polly Plummer, whom Digory’s uncle sent in order to experiment with his magic. Digory rings a bell, not cognizant to the fact that his actions will cause the awakening of Jadis, an evil witch, who follows the two back to England. In order to remove Jadis from his own world, Digory tricks her and sends her into a new world, endangering it. He then travels into the depths of the new world, Narnia, to help save it. All agree that every hero displays courage, selflessness, humility, patience, and care but a reader wonders whether or not Digory achieves these qualities. Because he displays the characteristics of a hero, Digory’s actions necessitate the readers to consider Digory Kirke a hero; the three main virtues of the five including courage, selflessness, and care.

Digory displays courage throughout the story. After Polly vanishes from England and into the new world, Digory takes a teleportation ring too, even though Uncle Andrew can not ensure his safety. Later in the story, when Digory struggles with getting Jadis out of his world, he grabs onto her leg. Jadis, a seven foot tall, powerful and strong as an olympic weightlifter woman, possesses the power to crush Digory with one kick. Also, without knowing what to expect from the dangerous new world, Digory agrees to help the prodigious creator of the world, Aslan, and adventure into the depths of the world. “‘You must get me the seed from which that tree is to grow.’ ‘Yes, sir,’ said Digory. He didn’t know how it was to be done, but he now felt quite sure now that he would be able to do it” (Lewis, 1955, p. 142-143).

Digory displays selflessness throughout the story. After dragging Jadis back into London, there exists a chance of Digory responding in a similar way to Polly, who says, “that’s all up to your uncle now” (Lewis, 1955, p. 73). Instead, Digory tries to help his uncle with this feat. At the garden where the fruit Aslan requested resides, Digory displays selflessness again, by not eating the fruit after Jadis misleads him with thought of power and wealth. Finally, Digory threw the apple away, even after Aslan told him it wields the power to heal his ill mother. “‘Throw the apple towards the river bank where the ground is soft.’ Digory did what he was told, everyone had grown so quiet that you could hear the soft thump where it fell into the mud” (Lewis, 1955, p. 166-167).

Digory displays care throughout the story. During her brief period spent in London, Jadis hurts many people. One of these people happens to be aunt Letty, an elderly woman whom Digory wastes no time aiding after Jadis throws her across the room. Once several of the characters first enter Narnia, uncle Andrew proposes they abandon them to escape from Jadis, but Digory refuses out of care for the others so if they wish to return home, they have a means of doing so. Finally, Digory Kirke presents extreme care to his mother, in a cherubic scene, by bringing her the apple that possesses the power of health, and removes her from her deathbed.‘Oh, darling, how lovely,’ said Digory’s mother. ‘You will eat it, won’t you? Please,” said Digory. ‘I don’t know what the Doctor would say,’ she answered. ‘But really-I almost feel as if I could.’ He peeled it and cut it up and gave it to her piece by piece. And no sooner had she finished it then she smiled and her head sank back on the pillow and she was asleep: a real, natural, gentle sleep, without any of those nasty drugs, which was, as Digory knew, the thing in the whole world that she wanted most (Lewis, 1955, p. 181).

Digory Kirke’s complex personality reveals C. S. Lewis’s competence in writing, which includes the characters acting in ways that reflect the thought and actions of a real human. Digory exudes the feeling of a hero in disguise, due to his investment in the characteristics of courage, selflessness, and care. In conclusion, inspecting Digory Kirke’s actions cause readers to believe him a hero and will change that person’s perception of the characters and the story as a whole, and to converse with other readers well requires a proper perspective on this character.

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