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Arsheesh

NiceMice2023
(@nicemice2023)
NarniaWeb Regular

I thought I’d make a topic about Shasta’s adopted father. I looked him up online yesterday to see what most pages had to say about him, but there’s hardly any out there. The wiki’s article itself says that nothing is known about him after Shasta fled. So I thought I’d make a thread to talk about his character.

Obviously he was hardly a decent person, since it mentions him sometimes beating Shasta as well as being open to sell him. Still, the fact that he took Shasta (Cor) in as an infant makes me wonder if he was an entirely bad person. I dunno, what do you think?

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Topic starter Posted : August 19, 2023 7:00 pm
Crunchy-P
(@queencrunchytheweeb)
NarniaWeb Regular

I believed that in the first few years of Shasta's life Arsheesh never was cruel to him but after Shasta became the age where he could do work for him, Arsheesh revealed his true colors, becoming more demanding and cruel. Like it said in the book he even went as far to box Shasta's ears. 

"Have a Narnian Day!" (ナルニアの日を過ごしましょう!)

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Posted : August 20, 2023 12:45 am
Courtenay liked
NiceMice2023
(@nicemice2023)
NarniaWeb Regular

Huh still only one post here.

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Topic starter Posted : February 22, 2024 3:10 am
coracle
(@coracle)
NarniaWeb's Auntie Moderator

@nicemice2023 it's a topic that needs thought, not just reading the book!

I think he's a very ordinary working man of Calormen, with morals based on what he can get for himself and get away with. He is outwardly subservient to the ruling Tarkhans, but would like to be rich himself. 

As Bree's former owner states, any expense and effort in caring for the foundling baby was repaid in all the work the child did for him.  

The morals and attitudes that Shasta displays reflect how he was brought up: he does what he must and gets away with what he can. But at least Shasta knows he ought to love his father, and he knows stealing is wrong. 

What else about Shasta shows us aspects of Arsheesh?

There, shining in the sunrise, larger than they had seen him before, shaking his mane (for it had apparently grown again) stood Aslan himself.
"...when a willing victim who had committed no treachery was killed in a traitor's stead, the Table would crack and Death itself would start working backwards."

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Posted : February 22, 2024 12:33 pm
waggawerewolf27
(@waggawerewolf27)
Member Hospitality Committee

Perhaps, Shasta's initial hope that in wealthier surroundings, being sold for a slave might be actually an improvement in his humdrum existence with Arsheesh, where everything, whether labour or food, has its price?

Yes, Arsheesh did rescue Shasta when he needn't have done so. But it is also a truism that skin tones largely depend on how one's skin processes available sunshine in different parts of the world. In hot Calormen, where fair skin is seen as a novelty, Arsheesh would see it worth his while to make the best use of an opportunity, where novelty could bring a better price.  

Now, Bree's description of Anradin, his owner, would certainly put Shasta wise. The bargaining between Arsheesh and Anradin was certainly interesting, when both men were what could be called "wheeler dealers". 

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Posted : February 22, 2024 7:56 pm
NiceMice2023
(@nicemice2023)
NarniaWeb Regular

Interesting thoughts! Glad to see the topic getting more attention, I was worried maybe it was a bit of a pointless discussion I’d created.

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Topic starter Posted : February 22, 2024 8:30 pm
waggawerewolf27
(@waggawerewolf27)
Member Hospitality Committee

I suspect the point of Narnia, even for its native inhabitants, is to make readers think, & to reassess their values. Who better to drive such a discussion than a character like Arsheesh, who knows the cost of everything and the value of nothing? Do you really think that Arsheesh would have rescued Shasta, if he had been any other sort of Calomene waif? At the very least, in the rescue Arsheesh describes to Anradin, he could hope for a handsome reward, when the circumstances of Shasta being found in a boat with a dead knight, suggests that the baby might have been actually someone of value to someone. 

But when no such wealthy claimant turned up, after how many years, Arsheesh might feel well justified into putting this child to any use that he could find, in his daily chores. But then, Anradin turns up.... Hmmm  What do you make of the situation?

This post was modified 2 months ago by waggawerewolf27
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Posted : February 22, 2024 10:53 pm
Courtenay and coracle liked
Col Klink
(@col-klink)
NarniaWeb Junkie
Posted by: @nicemice2023

Glad to see the topic getting more attention, I was worried maybe it was a bit of a pointless discussion I’d created.

I'd like to encourage you not to stress too much about stuff like that. Some of your topics are going to get a lot of replies. Others won't. That's just the nature of the beast. Just keeping starting the ones that you think are interesting. 

Personally, I don't have anything to say about this topic because, well, I consider Arsheesh a generic, throwaway villain, not a character with a lot of depth. But there are probably a number of fans who do find him an intriguing figure. If those fans haven't contributed to this thread yet, that's probably just because they're not here on Narniaweb. That's their fault, not yours. Tongue Wink I'm sure they're out there and if they ever read this topic, they'll appreciate you starting it.

FWIW, I believe the reason Arsheesh didn't leave Shasta to die was because he could use the free labor, not because of any particular scraps of decency. 

For better or worse-for who knows what may unfold from a chrysalis?-hope was left behind.
-The God Beneath the Sea by Leon Garfield & Edward Blishen check out my new blog!

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Posted : February 23, 2024 11:12 am
Courtenay and coracle liked
waggawerewolf27
(@waggawerewolf27)
Member Hospitality Committee

@Col Klink: well, I consider Arsheesh a generic, throwaway villain, not a character with a lot of depth.

Yes, Arsheesh is a minor character, but so is Anradin, the bloke who offers to buy Shasta. But when reading the news one gets plenty of real-life examples of where Arsheesh might be coming from. Whilst I agree that Arsheesh was only after the labour, there isn't much labour even a small pre-school child can deliver without being taught first. Arsheesh might be poor and illiterate, himself, but he knows money when he sees it, and does his best to acquire more of it. What about his leisure activities with his cronies, with Shasta serving them all? Is that how word got out to Anradin, about this mysterious fair-skinned boy? 

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Posted : February 23, 2024 5:21 pm
Courtenay and coracle liked
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