rosgross at bigpond.net.au
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
>> about vegetarianism and coeducation in _Voyage of the Dawntreader_ is a
>> good example.
> 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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