Thursday, December 30, 2004

The Problem of Susan

"Sir," said Tirian, when he had greeted all these. "If I have read the chronicle aright, there should be another. Has not your Majesty two sisters? Where is Queen Susan?"

"My sister Susan," answered Peter shortly and gravely, "is no longer a friend of Narnia."

"Yes," said Eustace, "and whenever you've tried to get her to come and talk about Narnia or do anything about Narnia, she says, `What wonderful memories you have! Fancy your still thinking about all those funny games we used to play when we were children.'"

"Oh Susan!" said Jill. "She's interested in nothing nowadays except nylons and lipstick and invitations. She always was a jolly sight too keen on being grown-up."

"Grown-up, indeed," said the Lady Polly. "I wish she would grow up. She wasted all her school time wanting to be the age she is now, and she'll waste all the rest of her life trying to stay that age. Her whole idea is to race on to the silliest time of one's life as quick as she can and then stop there as long as she can."

"Well, don't let's talk about that now," said Peter. "Look! Here are lovely fruit-trees. Let us taste them."

~C.S. Lewis, The Last Battle, Chapter Twelve (1956)


Link of the day: A darker ignorance: C. S. Lewis and the nature of the fall - Critical Essay by Mary Bowman

7 Comment(s):

At Thu Dec 30, 09:20:00 PM EST, Blogger Joelle said...

Is that picture one of your photoshopping?

Peter cracks me up in this, "Look! Here are lovely fruit-trees. Let us taste them."

At Thu Dec 30, 10:38:00 PM EST, Blogger Arevanye said...

Yes, I photoshopped. Couldn't think of anything else appropriate to put there, unless it were a picture of fruit trees, lol.

"Yeah, enough talk about Susan and her soul, let's eat."

BTW, I know that article I linked to is really long, but it's a good one, if you have time to take it all in.

At Fri Dec 31, 12:42:00 AM EST, Blogger Bob said...

I remember reading this as a very young child and being shocked. I don't know that I had encountered something like this before. I had expected an entirely happy ending where everything worked out for our heroes. And it didn't. It really made me think. Still does, as a matter of fact. And I love what Polly says.

"Her whole idea is to race on to the silliest time of one's life as quick as she can and then stop there as long as she can."

At Fri Dec 31, 01:13:00 AM EST, Blogger Arevanye said...

Yes, how many people do we know who are like that? For that matter how many of us went through that stage ourselves?

Did you think Susan was "damned to hell"? Someone posted that on TORn the other day and it surprised me because I guess I always felt that someday Susan would come back to her beliefs in Narnia. Although it still seems hard to think she was left behind when all her family had died in the railway accident. I wonder if Lewis really meant to have such a loose end there?

At Fri Dec 09, 06:50:00 AM EST, Blogger Arevanye said...

Since so many people seem to Google "The Problem of Susan",and end up here, I thought I'd provide a link to an excellent essay on this topic:

The Problem of Susan

At Tue Apr 25, 10:38:00 PM EDT, Blogger msspurlock said...

My take is that you can be young and "foolish" or old and "foolish." The trick is that what people call foolish is really to have the faith of a child, simple and uncomplicated by the false, temporary lives we lead. I think the fact that Aslan forgives the one decent Calmorene means there's hope for Susan, and Lewis whether consciously or not, may have intended this. Maybe when she gets old enough to be young again, she'll realize how empty her life is by comparison to that of the "real" Narnia.

At Tue May 20, 08:07:00 PM EDT, Blogger Susan said...

"Once a king or queen in Narnia, always a king or queen in Narnia"


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