Narnia comments, including spoilers

Margaret E Parks meparks at mtholyoke.edu
Sun Sep 17 19:36:03 EDT 2000


Chris said:

I agree that what happens to Susan is painful - probably because we all
have
people in our lives who have walked the same paths with us and shared our
passions. It hurts when they don't want to know anymore.


me (and this is based on reading the books YEARS ago, so if I make
mistakes, sorry):
That's certainly true, but that's not exactly why it bothered me so
much.  It's because it was presented as inevitable: she was only allowed
in Narnia a few times, for one thing.  For another, she didn't
REMEMBER.  She should have been allowed that much at least.  I hate books
where, at the end, characters don't get to remember what happened.  It
sort of negates the whole purpose--maybe not as much in the Narnia books
as in others, but still, I hate it.  I didn't like it that she had no
choices, no control.  She grew up, and so she became practical about
things like fantasy kingdoms and silly about the things one might expect
girls to be silly about.  If I remember correctly, this wasn't what
happened to Peter; didn't he remember Narnia?  I guess what really
bothered me about Susan is that I felt trapped by what happened to
her, like I was going to be forced into growing up and becoming sensible
and not believe in wonderful fantastic things.  I think it's because of
having read this book so early (my parents read Narnia to me when I was
five, as bedtime stories.  I loved it), but I've always hated the sweeping
generalizations people make about children and fantasy--how children are
so open and beautiful to life, and adults are closed off.  I think that's
one of the reasons that I like Chris van Allsburg's The Polar Express so
much--the boy, even as an adult, remembers.  And it's why I cry every time
I hear Puff the Magic Dragon.  And I think it might be why I still like
some childish things a lot--I have to prove to myself that I haven't grown
up and closed off.

By the way, since I've thought of it, thanks to all of you who sent me
advice on UK colleges.  You've helped a lot.  :^)

lizzie

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