Melissa Proffitt Melissa at
Sat Dec 18 13:00:57 EST 2004

On Sat, 18 Dec 2004 14:27:44 +1100, ROSLYN wrote:

>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."

My understanding is that he was referring to a particular group, not the
idea of vegetarianism and teetotalling in particular.  But I no longer
remember which group it was.  The person who told me about it said that in
Lewis's time it would have been more obvious that he was poking fun at this
extremist group.

(The 'special kind of underclothes' had me thinking it was Mormons for a
long time.  :)  But it wasn't.)

>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.

If it's true that he was mocking the people, then he's actually making fun
of *their* certainty and one-sided viewpoints.  Both groups are presented as
not only being certain that they're Right to the exclusion of all other
perspectives, but as being in a position of power to enforce their beliefs
(although Eustace is really the only one who suffers from his parents'

Still, I think it's a good thing that you saw past the *idea* to the
*people* involved.  However far-fetched a philosophy is, the people who
subscribe to it aren't all complete nutters.

Melissa Proffitt

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