Monday, April 17, 2006

Blog 4 - Human Grown Ups in "The Silver Chair"

The first encounter with a grown up human is Prince Rilian. While he seems to be a valiant knight, despite his enchantment by the evil Lady, it is more apparent that C.S. Lewis questions the abilities of this grown human man in Narnia. Puddleglum, Jill, Eustace, Aslan, and the rest of the animals in this story have something peculiar or extraordinary about them. In their travels Puddleglum, Jill, and Eustace each do something of note. Prince Rilian, however, does what is expected. There is no surprise in his action or his words. When his father dies he weeps and then he “rule[s] Narnia well and the land was happy in his days…” (Lewis 663). My estimation is that Lewis does this to maintain the thrilling aspect of the story for young readers. Having a grown up human do something spectacular would take away the allure of Narnia, where children are of importance on the same field as animals and creatures, both having something different that reality to offer the young reader.

Perhaps Lewis is suggesting that only in death can human grown ups be as exciting as children and creatures of fantasy. We see that only in death can a grown up human behave differently. Caspian, after his death, goes with Jill and Eustace to their world for only five minutes of their time. Aslan notes, referring to Caspian’s desire to visit their world, that “You cannot want wrong things any more, now that you have died” (662). This is the fantasy that is allowed to grown up humans in The Silver Chair. Setting Experiment House right, by means of toying with those in Jill and Eustace’s world, brings a playful light to a noble King of Narnia.

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