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Thursday, July 11, 2019

The problem of Susan

An intelligent and surprisingly sensible take on a character from Narnia:
How do you solve a problem like Susan Pevensie?

Oh, Susan.  The most maligned and misinterpreted of Pevensies.  And, incidentally, my favorite character.  Let’s talk a moment about these misinterpretations, particularly the ones that have absorbed themselves into the popular consciousness despite how many times I yell about them on Twitter.

In a Time Magazine interview, J.K. Rowling described her debt to C.S. Lewis.

“I found myself thinking about the wardrobe route to Narnia when Harry is told he has to hurl himself at the barrier in King’s Cross Station—it dissolves and he’s on Platform Nine and Three-Quarters, and there’s the train to Hogwarts.”

However, she points out that there were aspects of the Narnian chronicles that bothered her.  She also points out that Susan Pevensie

“…is lost to Narnia because she becomes interested in lipstick. She’s become irreligious basically because she found sex. I have a real problem with that.”

On that note, Philip Pullman penned an angry Guardian article where he claimed that for Lewis, a girl’s achieving sexual maturity was

“so dreadful and so redolent of sin that he had to send her to Hell.”
It's so unsurprising that Pullman proves to be as hapless a reader as he is a writer.

Labels:

78 Comments:

Blogger JG July 11, 2019 1:38 PM  

I suppose I'll have to read Narnia to see what all the fuss is about. It was on my list anyway (it's a very long list).

Blogger Ominous Cowherd July 11, 2019 1:44 PM  

I thought Lewis' point was that children could adventure and grow in Narnia, but as adults they had responsibilities in their own world.

Blogger freddie_mac July 11, 2019 1:59 PM  

@2 Ominous Cowherd
I thought Lewis' point was that children could adventure and grow in Narnia, but as adults they had responsibilities in their own world.

Yep, that was my interpretation -- Narnia was lost to her because she grew up.

Blogger CM July 11, 2019 2:01 PM  

I always thought of her trying to be wise in her eyes.

She wasn't a foreign concept to me. I had many friends who tried to be older than they were. They thought playing with dolls was silly but that pontificating on personal grooming was not.

It's true that those girls were sexually active earlier, but that seems secondary to the real issue which was that Susan thought being grown up conferred some sort of status that she desired and that acting grown up would give her that status.

She's the world calling our faith foolish fairy tales and myths made for children. But the wisdom of faith is counted foolish in the eyes of the world and we are called to child-like faith.

I do kinda think she removed herself from God's grace, but not because of sex (what silliness), but because she valued the World's approval over God's.
I just thought she was worldly.

Blogger Bucephalus July 11, 2019 2:03 PM  

God laughs at human wisdom.

Blogger wreckage July 11, 2019 2:08 PM  

Pullman's a twat.

Blogger Don't Call Me Len July 11, 2019 2:15 PM  

Both sides are putting too much intellectual gloss on what is a simple "modern" problem: Susan isn't the kick-ass heroine who wins every fight and solves every problem for the slow, stupid men, so she's a "problem", but since they're still a little leery of putting it in such raw terms, they come up with a "sexist about sex" angle. Never mind it's them equating "lipstick and nylons" with sex and sex alone, it's Lewis who's to blame!

An ironic stance for Rowling, since Hermoine was for the most part the real hero of HP, but she wasn't willing to make her the protagonist.

Blogger Jack Amok July 11, 2019 2:17 PM  

“…is lost to Narnia because she becomes interested in lipstick. She’s become irreligious basically because she found sex. I have a real problem with that.”

How can someone possibly be an author of a "coming of age" story and so totally misunderstand one of the most common - and true-life - plot elements of a coming of age story?

Blogger sammibandit July 11, 2019 2:21 PM  

Pullman obviously knows a little too much about high level (state) actors hurting kids for me and many others to be comfortable with.

Blogger Amy July 11, 2019 2:24 PM  

Susan was always grasping at a world she didn’t understand. Being a grown up meant finally coming into her own...in her mind, and in a superficial way. She chose to follow what she knew, from The World, as being fulfilled. Narnia closed to her because she followed what Grown Up meant, not what maturity was

Blogger Nate Winchester July 11, 2019 2:44 PM  

May disagree with him on a lot of stuff, but Andrew Rilstone did the best rebuttal to this "problem of susan" I've seen.
http://www.andrewrilstone.com/2005/11/lipstick-on-my-scholar.html?m=1

Blogger Pax_Romana July 11, 2019 2:45 PM  

In a collection of his letters to Children, Lewis wrote,

"The books don't tell us what happened to Susan. She is left alive in this world at the end, having by then turned into a rather silly, conceited young woman. But there's plenty of time for her to mend and perhaps she will get to Aslan's country in the end... in her own way."

However, I think that he was of the opinion that she had damned herself, and that he didn't want to crush a kid's spirits.

Blogger xevious2030 July 11, 2019 2:50 PM  

Ominous Cowherd and freddie_mac had the same take as I. Course, The last time I read them I was pretty young.

Upon reflection, seems to relate to Matthew 8:1-5. Narnia both not being like and being like the kingdom of heaven, concerning entry and the battle, both in heaven (1/3 of the Stars) and on Earth (the cross). Off the cuff. And at a very basic level of Matthew.

Blogger Skyler the Weird July 11, 2019 2:51 PM  

I always perceived that Susan had grown up to reject the spiritual and to grasp the Turkish Delight of this World. The fact that she was not on the train in the Last Battle gives some hope she may yet repent.

Blogger Stg58/Animal Mother July 11, 2019 3:03 PM  

I always saw Susan as a simple allegory or parable of the Kingdom of God, and Jesus' attention and care for children.

Mark 10:14-15 KJVS
But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. [15] Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.

Blogger Stickwick Stapers July 11, 2019 3:04 PM  

"When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up."

So much of my interactions with atheists comes down to the fact that they oh so maturely rejected God and religion at the age of 14. "Grow up," they say to Christians, as they remain petrified in their teenage philosophy.

Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

Blogger Zaklog the Great July 11, 2019 3:05 PM  

It was an interesting post. I think the author’s take makes sense. I can’t help but be slightly soured on the whole thing, though, by her invocation of feminism at the end. Yeesh, why bring that poison into a perfectly reasonable discussion?

Blogger Mr. Naron July 11, 2019 3:08 PM  

Susan's problem was her constant obsession with maturity, and an oversimplified, distorted version of maturity. She was a cliche for a long time. That girl who in middle school wanted to date and talk about clothes and relationships instead of using her imagination or talking about dreams. These days, however, she's almost an anachronism since it's fashionable for girls to go in for nerd culture. So, were it not for Lewis's use of Susan to illustrate a spiritual point, the SJW types would probably despise Susan as too hetero-normative.

Blogger Daniel July 11, 2019 3:18 PM  

Philip Pullman:

"You shouldn't read. Especially books. they will make you far too interesting and attractive, which isn't fair to those who don't read."

Blogger artensoll July 11, 2019 3:21 PM  

@17 "Yeesh, why bring that poison into a perfectly reasonable discussion?"

She has Logos, she just doesn't know it yet. Hope for her, there is.

Blogger Matt Robison July 11, 2019 3:24 PM  

Yeah, those takes sounds like they came from people who lack some basic reading comprehension.

I found this post about the "problem of Susan" helpful, from a theological standpoint. https://dougwils.com/books-and-culture/the-salvation-of-susan-pevensie.html

Closer to Lewis' intention, I think.

Blogger Daniel July 11, 2019 3:24 PM  

There's no need to guess at Pullman's level of illiteracy. He's more than happy to tell you:

"I’m not very keen on Tolkien. I saw the first of the Lord of the Rings movies, and I thought it was impressive, but I wasn’t sufficiently interested in the story. I read it, of course, when I was a teenager, and I’ve tried to read it since, but unsuccessfully, because it doesn’t seem to me similar enough to real life. Maybe that’s a silly thing to say about a fantasy, but the most successful fantasies, in my view, are those where some aspect of real life is dealt with, is examined or talked about or looked at. My favorite example here, as far as The Lord of the Rings is concerned, is to look at Wagner’s Ring, the four operas that make up his Ring Cycle. Now there you do get lots of real human life, principally in the field of sexuality and love. There ain’t none of that in The Lord of the Rings, it just doesn’t happen. And for a book of that length to leave out that entire aspect of human life, to me seems like cheating, seems like being chicken. He didn’t want to look at it, so he ran away, didn’t face it."

Blogger swiftfoxmark2 July 11, 2019 3:38 PM  

During the "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader", Peter was studying with Professor Kirke while Susan was traveling around Europe with her parents. More than likely, this is where her belief in fairy tales was destroyed. She was isolated from the rest of her family who experienced it and old enough to start dating (and the dating culture did start up in the late 1940s among teenagers).

Essentially, she was the seed who grew up among the weeds and was choked by the cares of the world. Her parents should have focused on getting her married off, instead they allowed her to fall into sin.

Blogger Skyler the Weird July 11, 2019 3:45 PM  

Pullman probably loves the George Rape Rape Martin saga as it is nothing but Sex, Intoxicants, Gluttony, Violence, and Dishonor.

Blogger Ingot9455 July 11, 2019 3:45 PM  

Peter is older than Susan, likely by a year, and yet he hadn't forgotten Narnia nor considered it a game.

Peter's exact age at death is a little flexible. He had a period of intensive study with Professor Kirke that is mentioned to get ready for his exams - probably his A-Levels pre-University qualifications which take 2 years.

So Peter is probably in his early 20s at college. Susan, if she didn't take A- levels, would have been a young woman in the prime of her beauty in the social scene for 3-4 years or so.

Blogger Ingot9455 July 11, 2019 3:48 PM  

Pullman's willful ignorance is intentionally Satanic.

How could you miss Arwen, Galadriel, and Eowyn?

Blogger Bellomy July 11, 2019 3:52 PM  

I wrote an article on this that was published by the Sci Phi Journal a few years ago. The trouble more than anything else is that both Rowling and Pullman lie in their description of what happens.

Blogger Bellomy July 11, 2019 3:54 PM  

I mean we're all talking here about what the "real issue" with Susan is, which is great except we're told explicitly by Lewis.

Blogger Daniel July 11, 2019 4:05 PM  

How could you miss Arwen, Galadriel, and Eowyn?

By not understanding it when he was a teenage perv, and not actually reading it as an adult.

I will give him credit though. I've never seen anyone direct at Tolkien the "Tits or GTFO" critique before.

Blogger Starboard July 11, 2019 4:09 PM  

“Grownup, 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.”

The problem of Susan is that she has latched onto social value as worth. Very silly indeed, but in the end she is very much alive and still has time to come back to Christ. Even a deathbed return is possible, but how sad to look back at the years wasted on self and frivolity that could have been spent with Aslan.

Blogger Steve July 11, 2019 4:18 PM  

How can someone possibly be an author of a "coming of age" story and so totally misunderstand one of the most common - and true-life - plot elements of a coming of age story?

By an unamazing coincidence, Harry Potter's most ardent fans are arrestedly developed pyjama boys and emotionally retarded women who protest that they don't know how to adult (as if that was cute rather than repellent).

A quick eugooglizing confirms that after Harry Potter left Hogwarts boarding school he joined the Ministry of Magic.

So HP isn't really a coming of age story at all, it's about permanent escape into fantasy.

Harry leaves the dreary, workaday real world for a life of childish magical capers and never comes back.

It's significant that Hogwarts and the Ministry are both institutions, i.e. rigidly hierarchical organisations that reward rules-followers and studyspergs rather than risk-taking or originality. Weak men and women find this idea comforting.

Unlike Harry Dresden, Potter doesn't dirty his hands trying to make a living in the private sector. Unlike Harry Flashman, he doesn't leave boarding school behind for a life of manly misadventures and questionable sexploits. Unlike Luke Skywalker, he never really grows up, he simply grows into an older version of the bespectacled nerd he was in the first movie.

Blogger xevious2030 July 11, 2019 4:21 PM  

Bellomy, just read the short letter to the fan. Considering starboard. Sounds like a prodigal son sort of story, if she found her way back.

Blogger Arthur Isaac July 11, 2019 4:22 PM  

She didn't appear in "The Last Battle" because she lost her way (the other grown children did including Lucy). This fits with the parable of the seed, specifically the seed that fell among the thorns. Susan got choked out by the cares of this world. The pursuit of worldly things. Lewis pointing this out is going to draw the ire of the worldly. Self identification on the part of Pullman.

Blogger JohnofAustria July 11, 2019 4:27 PM  

Wow, Lewis predicted the modern carousel riding woman.

Blogger Alex Sorensen July 11, 2019 4:29 PM  

Oh right, that's what happens to Susan... I remember now. Oh my, Lewis was incredibly wise. When the time for children comes I'll get these books for them.

Blogger JohnofAustria July 11, 2019 4:33 PM  

Yes, but Narnia is always still real, and they were specifically promised they could return to it (and the pure childlike faith and wonder) if they lived right. Which Susan had not, at the time of the Last Battle. She actively cast it aside to focus on the parts of the world that held the least meaning.

Blogger JohnofAustria July 11, 2019 4:35 PM  

Very well put. She discarded faith for worldly things.

Blogger James Jones July 11, 2019 4:36 PM  

Great read.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash July 11, 2019 4:39 PM  

Maybe that’s a silly thing to say about a fantasy, but the most successful fantasies, in my view, are those where some aspect of real life is dealt with, is examined or talked about or looked at.

Tolkein's entire work is bound up in the problem of evil. That's real at a level that sex and romantic love can't even aspire to.

Pullman is an idiot.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash July 11, 2019 4:42 PM  

Susan couldn't go back because she doesn't want to go back. This is really really simple. She's grown worldly and doesn't want any part of what she perceives as childish things. She's become, in the context of the story, a practical atheist. The lipstick is not a sin, it's a sign of her identity.

Why do Lefties have to be so stupid?

Blogger Lauri Stark July 11, 2019 4:56 PM  

@Daniel

to me seems like cheating, seems like being chicken. He didn’t want to look at it, so he ran away, didn’t face it

Yeah, sure it seems like it to that smart boy. It's pretty outrageous that a well-fed atheist is accusing Tolkien of cowardice; accusing a man who rose from the trenches of WW1 to write the most beautiful story of the 20th century, if not all time. Pullman and his ilk are nothing but posers.

Blogger Sherlock July 11, 2019 4:59 PM  

No. Peter couldn't return either, but he did show up as the High King at the end. This is about Lewis's theology, a bit. He believed one could lose salvation, according to my reading of Mere Christianity and the Screwtape Letters.

Blogger Vaughan Williams July 11, 2019 5:01 PM  

The ending of Idoru by William Gibson has something similar happen, where the girls club of anime fans find they accomplished their mission but they don't care anymore; they've grown up.

Blogger Ranger July 11, 2019 5:07 PM  

There is also an intrinsic element of dishonesty about Lucy, far more serious than sex or lipstick. She knows what has happened, she has lived amazing things, and she refuses to acknowledge them for fear of ridicule from others who know nothing about it.

Blogger doctrev July 11, 2019 5:09 PM  

They promised her beauty and wealth, and she accepted. And she found out much too late that beauty fades and wealth loses its luster. I'm sure she could find her way back, in time, but it wouldn't as easy or rewarding as just taking that first offer.

The fact Rowling, Pullman, and Gaiman all fail to understand is probably an indication Susan herself will fail to understand. You can say the lion and the witch would make a deal, as Gaiman does, but that goes against the series and common sense. The others don't even rise to that bargain-bin level thinking.

Blogger JaimeInTexas July 11, 2019 5:18 PM  

Susan was just like the girls in my High School - interested in older boys.
Susan did not want the conflicts that Narnia entailed. She chose the comfortable.

Blogger Zaklog the Great July 11, 2019 5:32 PM  

@22 Pullman is a pathetic little perv who genuinely can't comprehend you can tell a good story without having sex in it. Geez, that's just sad.

Blogger Blaidd July 11, 2019 5:33 PM  

@Steve

More importantly, Harry Potter was burned multiple times by the Ministry, had personal interactions with the low quality of the average people who work there, and still ran straight back to them like a battered wife. He also chose to send his children to the school where he almost died 6 times because the teachers are apparently required to be negligent. A normal person with those experiences should have at least mild contempt for the whole power structure, but more likely raging hate. The moral of Harry Potter: trust in authority, even when you know they're untrustworthy and are actively trying to get you killed.

Blogger Warunicorn July 11, 2019 5:44 PM  

“…is lost to Narnia because she becomes interested in lipstick. She’s become irreligious basically because she found sex. I have a real problem with that.”

What in the actual foxtrot?

I've read some doozies from Rowling, but that takes the cake.

Blogger Gregory the Great July 11, 2019 5:45 PM  

I read one or two of Pullman's books 20 years ago. As far as I remember the protagonists had little animals sitting on their shoulders who sort of represented something halfway between a soul and a "positive demon", a bit like a "daemon" or "guiding spirit" of Greek mythology. At the end of the book the children were threatened by a weird machine that was able to separate the demon or soul from the human - probably any satanist's wet dream.

Blogger RCR_Chris July 11, 2019 5:45 PM  

I always suspected that Susan "wasn't a friend of Narnia" anymore because she rejected her faith and essentially became a worldly atheist, which also seemed to go along with Polly's wish that Susan would just grow up.

No wonder Pullman would have a cow.

Blogger Meng Greenleaf July 11, 2019 5:59 PM  

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was the first story read to me (that I can remember). Ms Titus was my 2nd Grade teacher and she read to us every morning for the entire school year. We'd all push the desks aside and pull pillows and cushions out and lay on the floor listening to her memorized. Then we'd all run outside and play Narnia on the playground. The only books I recall having read prior were the Dick and Jane series in Grade 1. Anyway, this book changed my life and ignited a love of reading that I carried with me into Grade 3 (reading a book called Bible Stories. Great stuff :) and on into life.

Blogger Ingot9455 July 11, 2019 6:08 PM  

@29 True. Rosie is the 'bountiful' type and Sam's the one as ends up with her and an estate full of kids.

Blogger Cataline Sergius July 11, 2019 6:15 PM  

Steve wrote:How can someone possibly be an author of a "coming of age" story and so totally misunderstand one of the most common - and true-life - plot elements of a coming of age story?

By an unamazing coincidence, Harry Potter's most ardent fans are arrestedly developed pyjama boys and emotionally retarded women who protest that they don't know how to adult (as if that was cute rather than repellent).


Reminds me of comedian I recently saw.

I'm a Ravenclaw!"

No! You're an adult, Sarah! You're letter is not coming.

Blogger Beardy Bear July 11, 2019 6:21 PM  

RCR_Chris wrote:I always suspected that Susan "wasn't a friend of Narnia" anymore because she rejected her faith and essentially became a worldly atheist, which also seemed to go along with Polly's wish that Susan would just grow up.

No wonder Pullman would have a cow.


This was my impression also. Aslan became a silly story of childish imagination. They're even trying to take Christ out of Susan rejecting Christ, but substituting Him for sex. How repulsive.

Blogger tublecane July 11, 2019 6:27 PM  

Pullman is literally Satanic, in that he advocates war against heaven in the event that the Christian God exists. More aptly, he is a devotee of William Blake, that sex weirdo whose Marriage of Heaven and Hell Lewis rent assunder with his Great Divorce.

Might I suggest that Susan blooming into womanhood made her an unfit subject for children's fantasy? If Lewis wanted to write Alice Adams, it would be a whole other thing.

Blogger tublecane July 11, 2019 6:38 PM  

@22- Realism means incest, apparently. Because the Ring operas are full to the brim with that.

People who like Wagner apart from the music are interested in the sex parts maybe, but moreso the psychological aspect and the way he treats mythology. Maybe a few enjoy his poetry. The stories as presented aren't much. They rely heavily on background knowledge and emotion as elicited by music.

If you were a competent dramatist you'd never tell the story the way Wagner does. Which is oddly misshapen because of the order in which he wrote it. Also, he has a nack for picking the oddest scenes to show and leaves out a mountain of important material. Which sounds odd for something that takes 17 hours to perform.

Blogger tublecane July 11, 2019 6:46 PM  

@49- People who say that sort of thing must intentionally forget about the institution of marriage and the Biblical command: be fruitful and multiply. Sex to them is, I don't know. Tingly feelings at the club and/or hardcore pornography?

One does not lose religion because sex. If the lipstick led to babies, well, that would be part of the plan.

Blogger sammibandit July 11, 2019 7:23 PM  

@Gregory the Great

Sounds like you read The Golden Compass. That procedure enacted on the kids is what Pullman called intercision and is a clunky metaphor for anal sex abuse. It destroys the relationship between the child and their daemon/soul, allowing the baddies which I think were "The Counci" to collect "dust", which if memory serves is God's grace.

@tublecane

I'm not familiar with Wagner's work but am familiar with the Ring Cycle and some other cyclical national mythologies. Come to think of it, I've only met LARPers who are into it and not actual Germans. I grew up around oodles of German music but never Wagner.

@Meng_Greenleaf

What a wonderful thing. Great way to start the day and very smart pedagogy. Gets the pupils listening and relaxed.

Aside
My grade 2 teacher didn't like me because my uncle dumped her in high school. She got mad at me when I called a God's Eye a God's Eye and not a Dream Catcher as we were erroneously instructed. Dream catchers aren't made of yarn but sinew and you weave them differently. Anyway.
/Aside

If only more teachers took in loco parentis more seriously like Ms. Titus we might not have so many problems. Very white pilled story for you to share with us. A treat to read.

Blogger Fargoth July 11, 2019 7:23 PM  

The 9 3/4 thing popped into my head recently....my God these people are sick. Dole out the bare minimum unit of truth and spin people right back around.

Blogger Starboard July 11, 2019 7:58 PM  

“I found myself thinking about the wardrobe route to Narnia when Harry is told he has to hurl himself at the barrier in King’s Cross Station—it dissolves and he’s on Platform Nine and Three-Quarters, and there’s the train to Hogwarts.”

The wardrobe and platform 9 3/4 couldn't be more different. In the first, the children accidentally enter a magical world. In the second, children are required to run headlong into a brick wall trusting that it is an illusion.

Blogger Glaivester July 11, 2019 9:06 PM  

In the second, children are required to run headlong into a brick wall trusting that it is an illusion.

That reminds me of The Men Who Stare At Goats.

Blogger xevious2030 July 11, 2019 9:41 PM  

"People who like Wagner apart from the music"

People don't really get the music anyway. The styles have changed multiple times since WW II (and had changed before). But the recordings, from before Hitler became involved, when he would have been young, the sets, they were simpler, cleaner, more storytelling than big anything. The voices, intelligible to the novice. What is now was not.

Blogger Ford Prefect July 11, 2019 9:57 PM  

@35: don't wait for children, get a copy now. I reread the whole septet every year or two (LoTR likewise). Time well spent (far better than anything I have encountered on the idiot box).

Blogger plishman July 11, 2019 9:57 PM  

Luke 13:6-9 - The unfruitful is nurtured and given longer to see if it will bear fruit.
John 15:2 - The fruitful branch is pruned so that the fruit will increase.

Blogger plishman July 11, 2019 10:33 PM  

Susan as a representation of Mary Magdalene, one of the two women who discovered the empty tomb? (represented by Aslan's resurrection).

MM has long been conflated with Mary of Bethany, and with the sinful woman of Luke 7:36-50.

Lewis likely depicted Susan in the way he did to align as closely as possible with the Gospel.

Not because he hated women.

Blogger furor kek tonicus ( all aboard the Askren hype train ) July 11, 2019 11:43 PM  

On that note, Philip Pullman penned an angry Guardian article where he claimed that for Lewis, a girl’s achieving sexual maturity was

“so dreadful and so redolent of sin that he had to send her to Hell.”



isn't Pullman the freak who wrote about a ~10 year old girl having sex in his book and being his heroine?

if so, you should consider very carefully exactly WHAT he considers to be the age of "sexual maturity" for young women.

and, so far as "sex" being what sends you to Hell, we need only consult the basic text:
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans+3&version=KJV
"9 What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin;
10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
...
20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
...
23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;"

Blogger OvergrownHobbit July 12, 2019 1:42 AM  

Even dyed-in-the-wool Jewish feminists see through Mr. Pullman.

https://wrongquestions.blogspot.com/2005/07/his-dark-materials-by-philip-pullman.html

Darn shame. The Panzer-Bjorn were awesome.

Meanwhile,to take the taste of petty little weasel's ugly lies out of your mind, here is what really happened to Queen Susan the Gentle.

https://honorh.livejournal.com/226358.html?view=6911798#t6911798


Blogger Terrific July 12, 2019 2:34 AM  

Don't get me started talking about Lewis! Everything Lewis wrote has touched me and moved me and caused me to be a better, fuller person. Not least of which is the Narnia Chronicles. I discovered them when I was a junior in high school and I read all seven every year for the next ten years without even intending to. I just enjoyed them.

One thing I enjoyed most about them was they presented a world that NEVER fell. The original inhabitants never violated any of God's command and so I used Narnia to help me imagine what society in a non-immortal world might be like. Yes, you had good and bad people. But no one was bad because of any kind of "original sin" or "sinful nature". They became bad via bad choices, unbelief, envy, anger, and bitterness.

Blogger Paul M July 12, 2019 4:15 AM  

> [Susan Pevensie]…is lost to Narnia because she becomes interested in lipstick. She’s become irreligious basically because she found sex.

Yes, that is what C.S. Lewis was saying; and yes, he was right.

Blogger Killua July 12, 2019 5:21 AM  

Those were some great books. Fantastic author.

Blogger Cataline Sergius July 12, 2019 7:20 AM  

Paul M wrote:> [Susan Pevensie]…is lost to Narnia because she becomes interested in lipstick. She’s become irreligious basically because she found sex.

Yes, that is what C.S. Lewis was saying; and yes, he was right.


I disagree.

Susan was an avatar for Lewis' pride. A sin he struggled with all his life.

“When I was ten, I read fairytales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty, I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.” -- C.S. Lewis

Blogger Cataline Sergius July 12, 2019 7:54 AM  

I actually tried writting a story about Susan's salvation. It was awful because I am no C.S. Lewis but the premise was okay.

It centered around the fact that Susan was deeply affected by the LOSS OF HER ENTIRE FAMILY.

Nobody seems to remember that about her.

She lost everyone all at once. They had wanted her to be there with them and she had pridefully refused the call. Susan's survivor's guilt must have been crippling.

My POV character was an American granddaughter being sent to stay with her Grandmum Susan for the first time and hating it because "everything in England is old small and wet." And her Grandmother is so dour, severe, indeed, Old Susan is nearly Spartan and had been so for nearly as long as anyone could remember.

Susan had made a fortune as a painter but you wouldn't know it from her lifestyle.

Anyway granddaughter is exploring the attic where Susan keeps her private collection which are all of fantasy-scapes. Many featuring a young and surprisingly beautiful grandmum earing a crown along with three others wearing crowns, two men and a woman. And over and over again, the image of beautiful golden lion.

Then the lion looks at her.

Like I said, I'm no Lewis and I was too young to know it. Again, the sin of pride.

Blogger James G. July 12, 2019 8:28 AM  

@OvergrownHobbit:

Many thanks for that link.

I think my allergies are acting up, as my eyes seem to be watering.

That was a beautiful story.

Blogger Beardy Bear July 12, 2019 8:54 AM  

@Starboard That, and one is created from the tree of life, and the other by wizardry.

Blogger szook July 12, 2019 10:06 AM  

@73....it is not pride so much as desire. You wanted to know what happened to Susan. (I did too and tried something similar). Dr. Clive never got back around to it. One day we may find that he finishes that story in the great here after, and then we'll know.

Blogger 5stonegames July 12, 2019 1:43 PM  

I typically don't comment here but Pullman not only hates Christianity but is more ignorant of it than the young people who were the typical readers of the series.

Susan become of the world instead of just being in it, exactly opposite what the Bible commands and as such lost her way, the difficult and narrow way being Narnia and Aslan

That said my fannon alluded to as possible by lewis is that Susan eventually found her way again in her life on Earth and made her way back the the real country.

Also I would not encourage anyone but an adult to read to read Pullman's Subtle Knife series. It's entertaining but subtly, dare I say diabolically well written enough to weaken the faith of a young person

Blogger plishman July 13, 2019 12:32 PM  

On the loop not in the loop.

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