Tuesday, May 31, 2005

I Do Not Mean For You to Fight

"Susan, Eve's Daughter," said Father Christmas. "These are for you," and he handed her a bow and a quiver full of arrows and a little ivory horn. "You must use the bow only in great need," he said, "for I do not mean you to fight in the battle. It does not easily miss. And when you put this horn to your lips; and blow it, then, wherever you are, I think help of some kind will come to you."

Last of all he said, "Lucy, Eve's Daughter," and Lucy came forward. He gave her a little bottle of what looked like glass (but people said afterwards that it was made of diamond) and a small dagger. "In this bottle," he said, "there is cordial made of the juice of one of the fireflowers that grow in the mountains of the sun. If you or any of your friends is hurt, a few drops of this restore them. And the dagger is to defend yourse at great need. For you also are not to be in battle."

"Why, sir?" said Lucy. "I think - I don't know but I think I could be brave enough."

"That is not the point," he said. "But battles are ugly when women fight."
~C.S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, (1950)


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On this day:

1951 C.S. Lewis asks Roger Lancelyn Green to be the person to write his biography.

3 Comment(s):

At Tue May 31, 05:00:00 PM EST, Blogger MrKimi said...

...which always raises the questions 'are they really less ugly when only men fight?' Lewis was in battles and I have never been, but I am pretty sure they are always ugly.

I don't recall if Susan uses the bow, but I am sure Lucy doesn't use the dagger. She does use the cordial.

I'm looking forward to seeing this hardware in the movie. I am sure they have made an excellent job of it.

 
At Tue May 31, 08:22:00 PM EST, Blogger Arevanye said...

I agree, MrKimi--battles are ugly regardless of who fights in them. However, Lewis's battles are somewhat "sanitized", in that there's not much mention of gore and guts, and they are over pretty quickly.

I think Jill fights a bit with her bow and arrow in The Last Battle.

Did you notice how Susan has her arrow nocked improperly in the above picture? If she lets it fly like that, she'll be stripping off all the fletching along the one side.

 
At Wed Jun 01, 07:14:00 AM EST, Blogger MrKimi said...

No, I did not notice the nocking, but think I see what you mean on a second look.

I am mostly ignorant of archery. But one thing I found out recently that was pointed out by an archer is that men and women's arms are made differently. Women's forearms have a twist that men's don't, presumably to make them splay slightly and avoid knocking the extra curve in the hips. I gather it means the arm is slightly weaker for drawing a bow.

I've been keeping close company with Kimi for over 25 years and I never noticed that one...

 

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