The great C.S. Lewis Reread

“Too Old because that Narnia”: Belief, Fandom, and also the finish of Wonder

Matt Mikalatos


Not too long ago, my eldest daughter chose it to be time because that my youngest daughter to sign up with her in one of her favorite fandoms: Jurassic Park. Towards the end of the movie, mine youngest obtained deeply agitated and asked, “Does that hurt the acbetterworld2016.orgs as soon as those dinosaurs bite them?” No, us explained, those are simply special effects. Robots and also computer generated drawings. “Well,” she asked, “Does the hurt once the robots bite them?” all of us older folks had a good laugh around that. She to be so young and also full the wonder, and the civilization was complete of life dinosaurs and strange things.

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At the finish of Prince Caspian, Peter announces that he will not be returning to Narnia, and also neither will Susan, due to the fact that Aslan has told them they are too old. As a kid this uncomfortable me, because I concerned that i wouldn’t find a portal come Narnia before I age out. Together an adult, this had gained all wrapped up in a selection of questions about what specifically Lewis means by this declaration, and also especially just how it connects to that big question the is lurking the end in former of united state in this series: What precisely happened come Susan Pevensie that she wasn’t invited into Narnia because that the critical Battle?

Now, we understand that there’s no a hard-and-fast period limit for Narnia. (Skip this paragraph if you’re analysis along and haven’t read all the Chronicles yet… part major spoilers here.) In Prince Caspian Peter and also Susan are different ages (14 and 13). In Dawn Treader we’ll check out that Edmund and also Lucy are told they likewise are acquiring too old because that Narnia—Edmund’s 12 and also Lucy’s only 10 at the time. And also in their final Narnian adventure, Eustace and also Jill are 16. In one more weird quirk that Narnia, the royal Pevensie household all flourished up as soon as in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, and Aslan didn’t kick them out due to the fact that they were as well old at that time. In fact, we watch Susan, Edmund, and also Lucy in Narnia throughout this time period in The Horse and also His Boy, when they are 26, 24, and 22… a strange and sad reality when us realize that Edmund and also Lucy will certainly die on earth when they are 19 and also 17.

I’m walking to suggest in this write-up that what Lewis is gaining at in Prince Caspian isn’t so lot Peter and Susan’s age in regards to the number of years they’ve lived, however rather the means they process information and, many specifically, the nature of their belief in Narnia and Aslan. Together we’ve reminded oneself in each short article for Caspian, Lewis told united state that this novel is around the resbetterworld2016.orgation the true religious beliefs after it has been corrupted. Yes a major theme exploring the battle between belief and also skepticism running through this book, an additional duality in the narrative.

Lewis offers us a significant clue, a key, the he’s driving in ~ something an ext than age beforehand in the book. Caspian is talking with his uncle, King Miraz, and also telling that all around the sbetterworld2016.orgies he has actually heard about Narnia’s golden Age. In those days there were talking animals and Naiads and also Dryads and Dwarfs and also Fauns and so on. Miraz sternly replies the this is nonsense “for babies.” the repeats that. “Only fit because that babies, do you hear?” climate he tells him, “You’re getting too old for that kind of stuff. At your period you should be reasoning of battles and adventures, no fairy tales.”

Miraz grills among his noblemen, mr Glozelle, ~ above this topic, too. “Does her Lordship think those old wives’ fables about Peter and also Edmund and the rest?” Glozelle replies, “I think my eyes, your Majesty.” as we relocate through the book we watch that skepticism and even pragmatism is consistently shown as other that prevents our heroes from achieving their goals, and also can even end up being truly dangerous… as once the enemies of Aslan imply resurrecting the White Witch. And, together was implied in a ahead article, the re-establishment the the old religion seems to be centered about the inquiry of belief in Aslan and the re-awakening that magic.

Throughout the novel we see tiny glimpses of Peter and Susan’s “old age” together they emphasis on practical things or also suggest rational options to miracle problems. Keep in mind that also when they first begin to it is in pulled into Narnia, Peter’s an initial thought is that Susan is grabbing him (it’s Edmund who declares this is plainly magic in ~ work… he recognizes the feeling of it). As soon as Lucy asks Peter if they might have possibly returned come Narnia Peter claims they can be anywhere, i beg your pardon is a funny point to say after gift magically whisked far from a train station. Susan fairly wisely and in a grown-up method suggests they have to make certain how plenty of sandwiches they have for lunch. Lucy frequently sees Susan together the big sister that can’t assist but it is in the annoying second mother.

The most crucial scenes ~ above this design template center roughly Lucy seeing Aslan when no one rather does. She do the efforts to convince the others to come through her and follow Aslan.

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Susan asks, “Where did girlfriend think you experienced him?”

“Don’t talk like a grown-up,” Lucy says. She no think she experienced him, she in reality did watch him. Notice that, “like a grown-up,” Susan is connecting her simple disbelief. She doesn’t view Aslan, for this reason of food her baby sister must have actually seen other else. Lucy is mistaken, and elder Susan will certainly decide how precisely Lucy misunderstood.