Summary of Chapter Two: What Lucy Found There
Lucy politely addresses the Faun, but he doesn’t hear her. He is busy picking up his packages that he dropped in the surprise of meeting her. He says good evening and then asks if she is “a Daughter of Eve”? (p. 11) She does not know what he means and says her name is Lucy. He wants to know if she is human, and she says yes. His name is Tumnus, and he asks how she came to Narnia.
Lucy wants to know what Narnia is, and he replies it is the land between the lamp-post and Cair Paravel on the sea. She replies that she got in through the wardrobe in the spare room. Mr. Tumnus thinks “Spare Oom” is the name of her country, and War Drobe, the city. He invites her to tea; there will be a roaring fire and food. She agrees.
They walk arm in arm to a valley where he has a cave of reddish stone, a carpet, table and chairs by a fireplace, a bookcase, and a lovely tea with boiled eggs and sardines and toast and a cake. After eating, he tells her about the midnight dances with the Nymphs from the wells and Dryads from the trees. When he takes out his flute and plays, Lucy wants to dance and cry at the same time. Finally she mentions she needs to go. She has spent hours with him. He implies that it is too late for her to leave now. She becomes alarmed, and then he begins to weep.
The Faun sobs and Lucy gives him her handkerchief. He says he is a bad Faun because he is a kidnapper for the White Witch, the one who makes Narnia always winter. He has orders to detain any Daughter of Eve or Son of Adam he may see. He was going to inform on Lucy. She begs him not to, but he is afraid he will be turned into a stone statue by the Witch’s wand.
The Faun lets her go home because he had not known a human friend before. He says he will take her back, but it is dangerous. The wood is full of the Witch’s spies. Tumnus asks to keep Lucy’s handkerchief and she agrees, as she goes back through the wardrobe and into the room of the Professor’s house.
Commentary on Chapter Two: What Lucy Found There
Lewis anthropomorphizes or makes all the animals and creatures of Narnia human-like, with little English homes in caves, complete with tea and books with humorous titles, such as The Life and Letters of Silenus and Is Man a Myth? The animals do not eat wild food but cooked fish, potatoes, and cakes, and bread and butter. They speak and are quite civilized. The narrator makes it clear that animals in Narnia are intelligent and friendly to humans, while animals on earth are dull by comparison.
Tumnus tells Lucy briefly what life in the forest was like before the Hundred-Year Winter imposed by the White Witch. Nymphs or female spirits of places, and Dryads, female tree spirits, danced with the Fauns. There were hunts for the White Stag who gives wishes, and treasure hunting with wild Red Dwarfs. Silenus on his donkey, the man of the forest who tutored Bacchus, would visit them. Silenus was carried on a donkey because he was always drunk. When Bacchus himself came to Narnia, “the streams would run with wine instead of water and the whole forest would give itself up to jollification for weeks on end” (p. 16).
The “strange little flute” (p. 16) that Tumnus plays is a pan pipe, usually made of several bamboo tubes or hollow reeds tied together. This is the sort of musical instrument Pan, Greek god of the forest, played upon. Pan looks like Mr. Tumnus, with the bottom half like a goat and the upper half like a man with horns on his head. Like Pan’s music, Tumnus’s is powerful and has many moods, charming Lucy into forgetting the time.
Mr. Tumnus is a Faun with a conscience and finds that even though he is “in the pay of the White Witch” (p. 19), he cannot betray Lucy now that he has befriended her. He introduces the idea that those who do not obey the Witch are turned to stone by her wand. They will remain statues, according to prophecy, until the four thrones at Cair Paravel are filled. Lucy immediately understands the politics of Narnia, ruled by the Witch as its illegal Queen, but her brother Edmund, because of his perverse nature, will not understand when he visits.