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Re: [mythsoc] Susan (was Mythcon)

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  • David Bratman
    ... I wrote that Susan has trivialized herself, and I hope you don t think I was thereby trivializing her problems. I meant that her problems took the form
    Message 1 of 22 , Jun 18, 2013
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      Grace Monk wrote:

      >And vanity is a serious and very destructive
      >state of being or sin or what have you. It can
      >be deadly even. And the willful ejection of
      >divine revelation is a pretty serious failure
      >of love and a symbol of pride run horribly
      >amuck. Susan's problems aren't small,
      >although the signs of them seem to be rather
      >trivialized by many readers...

      I wrote that "Susan has trivialized herself," and I hope you don't think I was thereby trivializing her problems. I meant that her problems took the form of her elevating the trivial and ignoring the important in her life.

      Her sins at this point are small, but you are correct that her potential problems are great. As Screwtape says, in luring the human soul to the devil's lair, "Murder is no better than cards if cards will do the trick." Susan's vanity, if not subsequently cured, will do that trick, and that is a fundamental belief of Lewis's that those who wish to excuse her follies ignore, since it's not a position that has much place in a worldview without a devil in it.
    • Kelly Brown
      Agreed. Besides, she s a teenager. She s lost perspective, as many teenagers do. ForĀ  most kids theĀ  lipstick an nylons thing is just a phase, but I do
      Message 2 of 22 , Jun 20, 2013
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        Agreed. Besides, she's a teenager. She's lost perspective, as many teenagers do. For  most kids the  "lipstick an nylons" thing is just a phase, but I do understand what you're saying.

        From: David Bratman <dbratman@...>
        To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Tuesday, June 18, 2013 4:12 PM
        Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Re: Writers at Mythcon

        Linda DeMars wrote:

        >That sounds much more likely Susan going
        >to Hell for liking "lipstick and nylons"
        >-- and does anyone remember that Lewis
        >did not say that, Jill did.

        Jill didn't say it either. Here's what Jill said:

        "Oh Susan! she's interested in nothing now-a-days except nylons and lipstick and invitations. She always was a jolly sight too keen on being grown-up."

        Do you see one word there about "going to Hell"?

        Nor is really about lipstick and nylons in themselves. Susan is being accused of trivializing herself with trying to be "grown-up" (the opposite of _really_ growing up, as Polly immediately explains) and has thereby, as Peter and Eustace have previously stated, lost Narnia.

        Susan's tragedy is that she's lost Narnia. She's not going to Hell thereby. Narnia is not Heaven. The lack of it is not Hell. And Susan may still have a chance to redeem herself.

        >It is amazing how often those who should
        >know better wil insist that words and
        >ideas put into a character's head or mouth
        >are actually the beliefs of the author.

        Yes, it is. And it's also regrettable when the words and ideas of a character actually are those of the author, but readers willfully misread them. Lewis once compared readers to sheep: they'll always go through the wrong gate if you let them.

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