Next time I’m worried about spoiling The Last Battle on my blog for anyone who may not have read it, I’ll just remember that C.S. Lewis spoiled it in a fanmail reply nearly two years before it came out.
//cool. I just got into a debate with someone tonight about Susan.
Did you kicketh some toches, young padawan?
//My stance on Susan’s “problem” was that her not being called back to Narnia in The Last Battle was neither unfair nor a pointed remark by Lewis of disapproval against either her, or things like “nylons and lipstick.” My stance was that it was a lesson aimed at anything that would ultimately never satisfy a person, and also against the silly sensibilities of our world. Apparently I am a loner in this camp? Please, great scholar, enlighten me!
"great scholar" = not me,
however I’d love you to clarify “silly sensibilities”
(other than that A+, gold star)
Exactly. Anything. The problem wasn’t that she was into lipsticks and nylons and invitations, but that she was deliberately focusing on them to block out the greater business of living. That they happen to be teenager things, feminine things, are merely a reflection of the person she is and of her station in life. Peter could have done the same with rugby and skirt-chasing. Heck, Edmund did it with candy.
But another thing: the Pevensies were sent away from Narnia after a certain amount of visits each because they had things to do, missions to accomplish in the real world. Those missions ended when their train crashed. Has it ever occurred to anyone that Susan’s time may simply not be up? That she has things to do, people to save from the very world that sucked her up, things to fix and change and create before she reaches Aslan’s country? Her survival wasn’t a punishment for forgetting Narnia; it was a reprieve.
In commenting on nwclerk’s excellent piece about Susan Pevensie, I noted that Edmund sees only the bad in her when he comments that she is “trying to act like Mother”. But it would have been more accurate, perhaps, to say that he sees only the bad in her attempt, for the attempt is not bad in itself.
Susan’s effort to take on the motherly role in The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe is actually very touching. She and her siblings have been sent away from their parents and from the bombing and are now trying to cope with (in ascending order of fearfulness) loneliness, uncertainty, the apparent madness of their youngest girl, the undeniable meanness of their youngest boy, a magical land in wrapped in peril and eternal winter, a betrayal from one of their number, a manifestation of Satan and—perhaps most terrifying of all—God. In lion form.
She and Peter take on the parental roles throughout, worrying about Lucy, refusing to give up on Edmund, proving themselves—and eventually becoming—the adults that circumstance forces them to be. But Susan is just a little girl. When we first meet her, she’s only twelve. And her attempt to become the mother that her siblings so desperately need is not good in and of itself. It has a good side and a bad side. The good side we’ve already seen, but the bad side lies merely in this: she doesn’t know how to be an adult, because she has not grown naturally, as she will later on Narnian time, and takes less mature qualities she has seen in adults before as signs of maturity. She believes that becoming an adult means becoming at once more flinty and more fearful: doubting, hesitant, determined to sever herself from the childhood that still hangs about her, even when she’s in a world where—more so than in our world, even—childhood is a part of adulthood. (Good heavens, Susan, don’t you see? That magic horn you’re depending on is a present from Santa. If you want to care for children, start by taking care of the child you are.)
It’s a manifestation of something C.S. Lewis kept strong in his mind, perhaps more than any other Christian thinker—something he depicted most clearly in The Great Divorce, when a mother in Purgatory, bent on dragging her son down from Heaven to be with her, is admonished by her brother for regarding the maternal instinct as an end in itself:
“What right have you to say things like that about Mother-love? It is the highest and holiest feeling in human nature.”
“Pam, Pam—no natural feelings are high or low, holy or unholy, in themselves. They are all holy when God’s hand is on the rein. They all go bad when they set up on their own and make themselves into false gods.”
Childhood = good, adulthood = good, as long as adulthood is not about abandoning Narnia, but about becoming its Queen.
This will be relevant in about 5 minutes okay.
This is always relevant.
allieinarden said: You want a question? YOU WANT A QUESTION? All right, Susan Pevensie. Go.
First let us establish the sequence in which I will address Susan as Lewis wrote her. Lewis of course developed Susan as he developed the series, and it is in the order in which he wrote the series I will operate from.
SO I asked this question because I knew nwclerk would give a memorable answer and she didn’t disappoint. In fact, she went through the entire series to find specific examples of the consistency in Susan’s character which I would never have thought about. Above and beyond the call of duty. I feel like I should be baking her a pie or something.
She even pointed out something that knocked me dead, which is that after Susan’s very first line in the book, Edmund’s response is “Trying to talk like Mother.” Of course, he’s a bitter little creep at that point, but he’s a not-yet-addled-by-Turkish-Delight-and-therefore-rather-obnoxiously-shrewd bitter little creep. He’s like Kay in The Snow Queen with the shard of evil glass in his eye, looking into someone’s character and seeing only the bad.
4,235 words of awesomeness!!!
nwclerk is writing a Susan Pevensie apologia because I asked her what she thought of the situation and it’s at 3,770 words so far and I can’t wait to read it yaaaaaay
bryxhearsxmusic said: One of my friends has been telling me to watch Gravity Falls for like 6 months now and I still haven't. I want some motivation. Please give me three good reasons why I should watch this show.
- Adorable relationship between siblings who actually like each other will make you feel happy inside.
- Irreverent humor combined with genuinely suspenseful plotline.
- Characters are all well-thought-out, individual and interesting.
And in case you’re still not convinced, here’s a fourth reason:
4. The new season is premiering on Friday so you won’t have to wait a whole year for it like we all did.
One time my friend and I were messaging each other about Narnia and how much we’d admired Peter and I pointed out that we could babysit the Pevensies now, and she just sat there staring at the floor in horror while her roommate laughed at her.
support group for ppl who used to be the same age as their favourite character but then got older