Perelandra

by

C. S. Lewis

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The Fixed Land Symbol Analysis

The Fixed Land Symbol Icon

On Perelandra, all the landmasses are islands, with the exception of a mountainous continent known as the Fixed Land, which Maleldil has forbidden the King and Queen to sleep or dwell on. Thus, throughout the story, the Fixed Land symbolizes the law of Maleldil. Weston (or the satanic being that inhabits his body) tries to erode the Green Lady’s trust in Maleldil by attacking the seeming illogic of this specific law (and hence all his commands, and the character of Maleldil himself). Ultimately, the Lady resists the temptation to disobey Maleldil’s command, realizing that she only desired to live on the Fixed Land because it was fixed—its stationery nature suggesting the desire to secure one’s own future rather than trusting in the waves Maleldil sends, each as it comes.

The Fixed Land Quotes in Perelandra

The Perelandra quotes below all refer to the symbol of The Fixed Land. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Exploration, Wonder, and God’s Plan Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Scribner edition of Perelandra published in 2003.
Chapter 8 Quotes

"I have said already that we are forbidden to dwell on the Fixed Land. Why do you not either talk of something else or stop talking?”

"Because this forbidding is such a strange one,” said [Weston’s] voice. "And so unlike the ways of Maleldil in my world. And He has not forbidden you to think about dwelling on the Fixed Land. […] [I]n our world we do it all the time. We put words together to mean things that have never happened and places that never were: beautiful words, well put together. And then tell them to one another. We call it stories or poetry. […] It is for mirth and wonder and wisdom.”

"What is the wisdom in it?"

"Because the world is made up not only of what is but of what might be. Maleldil knows both and wants us to know both.”

Related Symbols: The Fixed Land
Page Number: 89
Explanation and Analysis:
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The Fixed Land Symbol Timeline in Perelandra

The timeline below shows where the symbol The Fixed Land appears in Perelandra. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 6
Exploration, Wonder, and God’s Plan Theme Icon
Innocence and Incorruption Theme Icon
...He longs to explore it. The next day, he and the Green Lady discuss the Fixed Land . The Lady is shocked to hear that on Earth, all the lands are fixed.... (full context)
Exploration, Wonder, and God’s Plan Theme Icon
Fear, Adventure, and Will Theme Icon
Innocence and Incorruption Theme Icon
...from her purpose: she is searching for the King. She proposes that they visit the Fixed Land in search of him and summons the silver fishes to carry them there. Ransom copies... (full context)
Innocence and Incorruption Theme Icon
They reach the Fixed Land , and Ransom is delighted to find it similar to the terrestrial world he knows,... (full context)
Chapter 7
Temptation and the Nature of Evil Theme Icon
...into the ocean. Then, lonely, discouraged, and confused, he settles down for the night. The Fixed Land , which seemed at first like a paradise, now seems nothing but forbidding. (full context)
Chapter 8
Fear, Adventure, and Will Theme Icon
Temptation and the Nature of Evil Theme Icon
...over the course of the morning and wonders if he could have possibly left the Fixed Land behind. At last, when he wades into the ocean to cool himself, one of the... (full context)
Fear, Adventure, and Will Theme Icon
Innocence and Incorruption Theme Icon
Temptation and the Nature of Evil Theme Icon
...and the Green Lady. The Green Lady is perplexed that Weston keeps talking about the Fixed Land —she’s already told him that it’s off-limits. But Weston points out that this is a... (full context)
Chapter 9
Fear, Adventure, and Will Theme Icon
Innocence and Incorruption Theme Icon
...don’t exist. Rather, she resists the particular story he’s telling her—one about living on the Fixed Land . The Lady says that a story about living on the Fixed Land cannot, at... (full context)
Fear, Adventure, and Will Theme Icon
Temptation and the Nature of Evil Theme Icon
Weston’s body continues arguing that this particular command—not to live on the Fixed Island —is an exception. After all, the Lady cannot see any obvious goodness in the command.... (full context)
Chapter 17
Exploration, Wonder, and God’s Plan Theme Icon
Innocence and Incorruption Theme Icon
Temptation and the Nature of Evil Theme Icon
...speaks, saying that now she understands why they were never permitted to live on the Fixed Land . The only reason she ever desired to live there was because she wished to... (full context)
Exploration, Wonder, and God’s Plan Theme Icon
The King, Tor, proclaims that the Fixed Land will become a place dedicated to the splendor of Maleldil. He and the Queen, Tinidril,... (full context)