ROSLYN rosgross at
Fri Dec 17 22:27:44 EST 2004

>> Yes, I think it's his unease about women and his distrust of change that
>> irritate me most about him as well, and the way he mocks certain ideas as
>> if they were inherently stupid, unable to see that this was merely his
>> subjective reaction rather than anything objective. The way he is 
>> scathing
>> about vegetarianism and coeducation in _Voyage of the Dawntreader_  is a
>> good example.

Jadwiga replied:

> Well, actually it's The Silver Chair

It's both, really. You're right that coeducation (and 'modern' ideas about 
education) comes up in _The Silver Chair_ (I'd forgotten that--thanks!) but 
it's in _The Voyage of the Dawntreader_ that the other stuff comes up. On 
page one he writes: "They [Eustace Clarence Scrubb's parents] were 
vegetarians, non-smokers and teetotallers and wore a special kind of 
underclothes. In their house there was very little furniture and very few 
clothes on beds and the windows were always open."

>where it's clear he's mocking the
> philosophies, not just the people embracing them. (And to be fair, there
> seem to have been an awful lot of 'quite queer people' embracing that
> sort of thing with a missionary fervor in those days, so even the nicest
> writers of that period have little sympathy for that sort of thing.

I don't know much about that time in history but I'm sure you're right about 
this. You might be right that he's mocking the philosophies more than the 
people. I guess what I was getting at was the certainty and one-sidedness of 
his viewpoint in this area, his unwillingness to admit the possibility of 
any subjectivity or relativism here...but then again, perhaps that's a 
bi-product of his times as well. I also find him very *funny* in that 
passage above, which makes me laugh rather than just roll my eyes with 
exasperation at his one-sidedness.

And as I said, it doesn't change the fact that I love the Narnian books, and 
have a fondness for Lewis himself, bigot that he could sometimes be 
(especially in relation to women).


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