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Someone Tried To Nail Me on Growing Up with Narnia ... · More on Susan

Narnia - Why Susan Deserved Better
Trope Anatomy | 29 Sept. 2021

4:30 You are taking a Calvinistic approach to why they died.

How about an Arminian one?

Given God doesn't want to damn Susan, given the one thing which may change her around before it is too late is the huge loss of all from which her dissipation was a light hearted bouncing, He decreed that they die so she could be saved, but also that they die in a state of grace and get to Heaven.

Hence the train accident.

Now, you also seem to imagine that if she had been a friend of Narnia, she would have been killed in the train wreck. Not so, on this scenario. God could have chosen another means of saving all the eight if she had remained faithful. They could have been accepted into heaven in another way, from this world, at different times, instead. So, no, Susan not getting to heaven then and there definitely does not mean that she cannot go to heaven. It just means she didn't get to heaven in that batch.

Have you read Die letzte am Schaffott on which they based Dialogue with the Carmelites?

At the end, there is a nun who doesn't get martyred. But that doesn't mean, she never gets to heaven, it means she didn't get to heaven with the 16 Carmelite martyrs (true historic event).

The one not martyred is not the one walking away from martyrdom first .... (the absence of one nun is not — yet ? — part of my true knowledge of the event, it could be a fictional thing for dramatic effect).

4:48 While apostasy is a possibility, reaching heaven from our world generally requires a belief not in Narnia, but in a different truth.

Also, that she wasn't there is actually commented on by Polly and Jill. And Peter.

But not by Aslan ... there is no indication that her disbelief in Narnia is a final thing.

Or even a genuine thing, rather than an act she put up for some reason.

Note, the one person who does not comment on Susan is Lucy. Maybe Lucy had been locked up in a mental hospital, if not on Susan's absolute initiative, at least with her collaboration. Maybe Susan's unbelief (which was anyway not like the unbelief of a Christian now, but more like the unbelief of an apostle, if that had occurred) had put Lucy at risk, so Lucy's only chance of dying without too much bitterness, of dying in a state of grace, was dying young. And, obviously not by suicide.

So, the train accident, and all seven dying together, was partly arranged for Susan's conversion, partly to protect Lucy from apostasising from charity, should this hypothesis hold.

5:07 If she had gone along with her idea directly, instead of asking Professor Kirke, Susan would have done very great harm to Lucy.

"We know isn't evil" ... like we know lots of Nazis weren't evil, they were just doing what they had been pushed to believe was the best for everyone involved.

There are ways of being evil without being evil.

And being self blinded about sth you know extremely well seems a very good candidate for a gateway drug to that state.

I think that's one reason why a chronicle about Susan in England after the Train Crash would have to be a much darker story than children's stories are.

6:49 Edmund was already heir to Adam's sin.

Adam was not coerced.

10:24 My hypothesis is, she was not just threatened with not fitting in.

She was concerned about mental illness (as a possibility for Lucy) in her first appearance. Eustace, before his conversion was peevish about the exact same subject, and had obviously made a limerick about it. Had he sent Susan one before she tried to read it to Edmund and Lucy? Did that scare Susan?

In other words, I don't think it was as simple as make believe trying to fit in (which by the way was a tactic Kirke had recommended), that could be done without play acting before herself of other friends of Narnia.

It can very well have been about clearly remembering all of it and being genuinely (though mistakenly) worried about going mad. THEN a shrink comes in and recommends her to play act before all, even her friends and siblings.

Do you recall the trade of their father?

"It's worse than what Father says about living at the mercy of the telephone."

One of the professions doing that is a veterinarian, another one is a house doctor. 24 h / 24 h. Also true for clergy of some, but if the dad had been Anglican ... well OK, some Anglicans were already so modernist that their children might have needed a visit to Narnia to prepare for learning to know Jesus better than what their dad could provide .... (like the Justin Welby type).

Both extremely modernist clergy and med professions would be very sensitive about mental health issues, and so, Susan's visible (not necessarily deep) apostasy could have started with some paranoia about her mental health (the one paranoia mental health professionals often encourage, as it gives them more jobs).

If this was the case, there is an obvious collateral damage this could do — to Lucy. Susan had been unfair to Lucy in LWW, and in PC. What if there was a last time too?

11:46 I don't consider that as "talking trash" if that was objectively her behaviour.

You do not have a British or American accent, may I presume that you come from (or your parents came from) a culture somewhere East or South?

In that case, you would be more restrictive about what you say about your family.

Well, first off, Susan talked trash to Professor Kirke, a stranger with whom they were staying, about Lucy. Real trash, as in a baseless misjudgement on her part. Not unexplainable, especially not if her dad was a doctor or highly modernist clergyman, but still baseless.

Second, this shows the English culture actually has less restrictions about how you can talk about your family to strangers than your culture has.

Third, they were in Heaven, and also in Narnia, the latter being definitely a place in which they did not expect to see their sister or friend. She could not get hurt by what they said to Tirian.

Fourth, how do we know what happened in Narnia? Books 1 to 6, Professor Kirke will do fine. I posit, he's the "I" of:

"You might have supposed they would have thought of their danger. They didn't. I don't think anyone could have in their position. For now they saw something not only behind the wave but behind the sun. They could not have seen even the sun if their eyes had not been strengthened by the water of the Last Sea."

And of:

"Lucy could only say, "It would break your heart." "Why," said I, "was it so sad?" "Sad!! No," said Lucy."

But for book 7, this is out. The one option for last chronicler of last chronicle is Susan. She began that mission, and also began her conversion, at experiencing the family (not Lucy!) "talking trash of her" while they were in Heaven or somewhere between death and actual entry into Heaven.

They were meant to say that, so that she could convert.

11:59 I think Eustace gets lots less empathy in having to be undragoned by a lion claw in VDD, than Susan gets, if her conversion begins after the words of Polly, Jill, Peter and also Eustace (who apparently doesn't realise his limerick triggered her change for the worse) ...

12:17 No, it doesn't.

CSL was basically counting on someone else taking up the pen, and on someone else seeing what he was up to.

Gaiman pretended to see what Susan was up to, and it makes no sense. If fitting in and invitations and lipsticks were all she cared about, why would a rauncher, more sexualised and more pagan mysticism (like, say, young Jadis or uncle Andrew's godmother doing their first tries at magic) be what she landed with? Makes no sense.

Whether she was genuinely shallow, or she pretended to be shallow as a partly amulet against mental illness (more feared than to be feared, these days), partly a social masque, she was not likely to either forget Narnia, nor reinterpret it in a pagan way.

In other words, Gaiman shows lots more empathy with accusations like those of John Todd, than with the Susan of CSL.

Everyone is treating it like a weakness of hers, whether they think she'll get over it or not, and Lucy, a person she had wronged in the past and was likely to have wronged this time again, didn't speak up.

12:38 Well, that part of Neil Gaiman was arguably true.

AFTER her family got killed. What about before? Depends on what she earned, right, or even partly still on what her relatives earned. Father had a liberal profession at the call of a telephone, uncle and aunt were quirky in a way that poor Brits usually weren't ... ergo, she could afford nylons and lipsticks up to when the train wreck changed her heart about those.

13:42 I think I need to acknowledge my idea for identification in a nearby school came from Neil Gaiman ... though I rejected it.

In my story, they were still lying in the open, and groups of people could interact apart from officials telling those who approached to do identification correctly.

Still morning, and the school nearby was not yet cleared of carcasses from a hunt (I think I may have been thinking more of Swedish elk hunts than of the hunting going on in England ...)

14:45 It's precisely Lucy who, in a scene not included in LB, but in my fan fic, does ask that.

If it was so obvious to both you and me, it could be obvious also to other people involved in fan fiction, and therefore to CSL that it would be obvious..

15:18 If I ever finish my fan fiction, or you ever finish yours, and either is at any time published, had CSL stated that, he'd have ruined the surprise for readers of you or me or anyone better than Neil Gaiman ...

16:13 We do not all of us make our material existence depend on success with people who would despise one if they really knew one. At least not knowingly.

16:50 What are your views about Theodicy in this world?

17:08 Unless he made it a priority to leave that part to whoever was going to take up the pen for her!

In so far as CSL has any kind of self portrait involved here, he's actually referring to his youth at "Cherbourg" where a certain charming teacher showed up "joie de vivre" as incompatible with faith. Which is obviously false, and one kind of needs some shallowness to believe that.

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