Wednesday, January 05, 2005

A Terrible Choice

"I know what errand you have come on," continued the Witch. "For it was I who was close beside you in the woods last night and heard all your counsels. You have plucked fruit in the garden yonder. You have it in your pocket now. And you are going to carry it back, untasted, to the Lion; for him to eat, for him to use. You simpleton! Do you know what that fruit is? I will tell you. It is the apple of youth, the apple of life. I know, for I have tasted it; and I feel already such changes in myself that I know I shall never grow old or die. Eat it, Boy, eat it; and you and I will both live forever and be king and queen of this whole world - or of your world, if we decide to go back there."

"No thanks," said Digory, "I don't know that I care much about living on and on after everyone I know is dead. I'd rather live an ordinary time and die and go to Heaven."

"But what about this Mother of yours whom you pretend to love so?"

"What's she got to do with it?" said Digory.

"Do you not see, Fool, that one bite of that apple would heal her? You have it in your pocket. We are here by ourselves and the Lion is far away. Use your Magic and go back to your own world. A minute later you can be at your Mother's bedside, giving her the fruit. Five minutes later you will see the colour coming back to her face. She will tell you the pain is gone. Soon she will tell you she feels stronger. Then she will fall asleep - think of that; hours of sweet natural sleep, without pain, without drugs. Next day everyone will be saying how wonderfully she has recovered. Soon she will be quite well again. All will be well again. Your home will be happy again. You will be like other boys."

"Oh!" gasped Digory as if he had been hurt, and put his hand to his head. For he now knew that the most terrible choice lay before him.
~C.S. Lewis, The Magician's Nephew, Chapter 13 (1955)

2 Comment(s):

At Thu Jan 06, 01:35:00 AM EST, Blogger Bob said...

I have always liked the part where Digory came to a decision. When Jadis tried to turn Digory against Polly, Digory realised that the rest of her advice must be evil as well, even if it did seem fair to him.

At Thu Jan 06, 06:19:00 AM EST, Blogger Arevanye said...

Yup! She really tipped her hand there and gave herself away.

This part of the story with Digory so wanting to heal his mother, but having to be obedient to Aslan is so heartwrenching! And all the more so when you think of Lewis writing this and thinking all the while of himself as Digory and his own mother dying of cancer.


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