How do we understand the allegorical elements in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe?
A quote from Colin Duriez’ book Tolkien and C. S. Lewis: The Gift of Friendship to start this discussion off:
“One of Tolkien’s central criticisms of Lewis’s Narnian stories was that they were too allegorical, too literally representative of Christian doctrine. Though Lewis did insert many pointers to what he calls ‘secondary meanings’ in Narnia, his intention was not to write allegory. He saw the Narnian stories as arising out of what he called a ‘supposal’—his ‘supposal’ was a world of talking animals—that set the frame of the stories. He explained this in a letter shortly before he died: ‘The Narnian series is not exactly allegory. I’m not saying “let us represent in terms of Mächen [fairy tale] the actual story of this world.” Rather “supposing the Narnian world, let us guess what form the activities in the [scheme of things] a Creator, Redeemer or Judge might take there.” This, you see, overlaps with allegory but is not quite the same.’”