Forum

Share:
Notifications
Clear all

The Healing Of Harms

Page 3 / 4
Courtenay
(@courtenay)
NarniaWeb Fanatic Hospitality Committee
Posted by: @aslanthelion

I totally get that. I just wish it didn’t come at the price of Aslan getting hurt, since it’s not something I can just forget. 

I'd still be interested to know — if you don't mind being asked — why it is that "Aslan getting hurt" moves you so viscerally. As mentioned before, it's something Aslan actually asks for; in fact, when Eustace hesitates — naturally not wanting to hurt Aslan — Aslan tells him he must do it. And while Aslan presumably feels pain at that moment (though he apparently doesn't when hit by the iron bar in MN), there's no evidence that he suffers for a lengthy time, let alone sustains a permanent injury. We're not told that any more blood kept flowing from his paw, or that he was left limping afterwards.

Also, regardless of how much the thorn may have hurt him at that moment, the pain clearly doesn't override his love for Caspian and his desire to restore Caspian to life. Isn't that a pretty common heroic theme in stories and in real life, that a good character or person willingly suffers pain in order to help, or even save the life of, someone whom that character loves? Is "getting hurt" such a disturbing thing when it's done unselfishly, of one's own free will, and out of love?

And on top of that — I know you've made clear you're not approaching this from a religious background, but — you do fully realise, I assume, that Aslan is meant to represent someone in this world who suffered far worse torment than one brief stabbing with a thorn, and who did so out of love for all humankind? I'm not arguing over whether or not you should believe in that as true; that's up to you. But that is the whole background to what Lewis is doing with this scene, and to miss that really would be to miss the point.

"Now you are a lioness," said Aslan. "And now all Narnia will be renewed."
(Prince Caspian)

ReplyQuote
Posted : August 23, 2023 5:06 pm
AslanTheLion
(@aslanthelion)
NarniaWeb Regular
Posted by: @courtenay
Posted by: @aslanthelion

I totally get that. I just wish it didn’t come at the price of Aslan getting hurt, since it’s not something I can just forget. 

I'd still be interested to know — if you don't mind being asked — why it is that "Aslan getting hurt" moves you so viscerally. As mentioned before, it's something Aslan actually asks for; in fact, when Eustace hesitates — naturally not wanting to hurt Aslan — Aslan tells him he must do it. And while Aslan presumably feels pain at that moment (though he apparently doesn't when hit by the iron bar in MN), there's no evidence that he suffers for a lengthy time, let alone sustains a permanent injury. We're not told that any more blood kept flowing from his paw, or that he was left limping afterwards.

Also, regardless of how much the thorn may have hurt him at that moment, the pain clearly doesn't override his love for Caspian and his desire to restore Caspian to life. Isn't that a pretty common heroic theme in stories and in real life, that a good character or person willingly suffers pain in order to help, or even save the life of, someone whom that character loves? Is "getting hurt" such a disturbing thing when it's done unselfishly, of one's own free will, and out of love?

And on top of that — I know you've made clear you're not approaching this from a religious background, but — you do fully realise, I assume, that Aslan is meant to represent someone in this world who suffered far worse torment than one brief stabbing with a thorn, and who did so out of love for all humankind? I'm not arguing over whether or not you should believe in that as true; that's up to you. But that is the whole background to what Lewis is doing with this scene, and to miss that really would be to miss the point.

To answer your first sentence…it really so strange or wrong to be upset about your favorite character being hurt, even if it’s their own choice? I don’t mind being asked, I just am a little surprised at your question since I thought it would be the way most people would react to their favorite characters getting hurt.

This post was modified 10 months ago by AslanTheLion
ReplyQuote
Topic starter Posted : September 14, 2023 9:25 pm
Courtenay
(@courtenay)
NarniaWeb Fanatic Hospitality Committee
Posted by: @aslanthelion

To answer your first sentence…it really so strange or wrong to be upset about your favorite character being hurt, even if it’s their own choice? I don’t mind being asked, I just am a little surprised at your question since I thought it would be the way most people would react to their favorite characters getting hurt.

Well, I didn't mean to suggest it was "wrong", and I'm sorry if that's how it came across. As I said in another discussion here recently, we all have our own individual responses to a story that moves us, and there's no "right" or "wrong" about that.

What I meant was, I was simply surprised at the intensity of your reaction (going by what you've shared) to this instance of Aslan "getting hurt", when in the context of the story, Aslan chooses (in fact, virtually demands) the injury; there's no evidence that the wound gives him any long-term pain or disability; and the reason behind it is to bring another character back to life. Those to me are the mitigating factors — meaning that sure, it's not enjoyable to think of him being hurt, but clearly Aslan himself isn't overly burdened by it and it's something he willingly does for a higher purpose. If someone hurt him against his will, for no good reason, and he was left permanently maimed somehow, I know I'd find that far more upsetting. He's my favourite character as well!

But again, as I was saying, everyone reacts in their own way to a good piece of writing, and no-one's response is "wrong", just different. (Unless perhaps one is totally misinterpreting the scene and reading something into it that isn't there — like, for example, how some critics have claimed that Susan in The Last Battle was "sent to hell", which the book doesn't say at all.) So I was simply curious to know more about why this particular scene has such a profound effect for you, that's all — again, if you don't mind me asking.

"Now you are a lioness," said Aslan. "And now all Narnia will be renewed."
(Prince Caspian)

ReplyQuote
Posted : September 15, 2023 7:04 am
Col Klink
(@col-klink)
NarniaWeb Junkie
Posted by: @aslanthelion

To answer your first sentence…it really so strange or wrong to be upset about your favorite character being hurt, even if it’s their own choice?

Well, I think seeing our favorite characters suffer is kind of what we want from drama. It makes it exciting. Readers are kind of sadistic that way. LOL Think of it as like Puddleglum burning his foot to free everyone from the Lady of the Green Kirtle's enchantment. You haven't mentioned that that disturbs you in the same way. You're right that Aslan's suffering in that scene, the physical part anyway, isn't strictly necessary for the story as is Puddleglum's. But I do think it makes it more interesting and a similar dramatic principle may be at work. 

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!

ReplyQuote
Posted : September 15, 2023 12:18 pm
AslanTheLion
(@aslanthelion)
NarniaWeb Regular
Posted by: @col-klink
Posted by: @aslanthelion

To answer your first sentence…it really so strange or wrong to be upset about your favorite character being hurt, even if it’s their own choice?

Well, I think seeing our favorite characters suffer is kind of what we want from drama. It makes it exciting. Readers are kind of sadistic that way. LOL

 

I think it’s partly because seeing our favorite characters suffer makes us really sympathize with them, and respect and admire them even more when they come through it okay.

Think of it as like Puddleglum burning his foot to free everyone from the Lady of the Green Kirtle's enchantment. You haven't mentioned that that disturbs you in the same way. You're right that Aslan's suffering in that scene, the physical part anyway, isn't strictly necessary for the story as is Puddleglum's. But I do think it makes it more interesting and a similar dramatic principle may be at work. 

Puddleglum isn’t one of my favorite characters, though.

 

ReplyQuote
Topic starter Posted : September 15, 2023 4:21 pm
Col Klink
(@col-klink)
NarniaWeb Junkie
Posted by: @aslanthelion

Puddleglum isn’t one of my favorite characters, though.

I'd be happy to give an example with another of your favorites if you'll list them. 

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!

ReplyQuote
Posted : September 15, 2023 4:36 pm
AslanTheLion
(@aslanthelion)
NarniaWeb Regular
Posted by: @col-klink
Posted by: @aslanthelion

Puddleglum isn’t one of my favorite characters, though.

I'd be happy to give an example with another of your favorites if you'll list them. 

I can’t really think of any others who I like as much as Aslan.

ReplyQuote
Topic starter Posted : September 15, 2023 5:26 pm
AslanTheLion
(@aslanthelion)
NarniaWeb Regular
Posted by: @courtenay
Posted by: @aslanthelion

To answer your first sentence…it really so strange or wrong to be upset about your favorite character being hurt, even if it’s their own choice? I don’t mind being asked, I just am a little surprised at your question since I thought it would be the way most people would react to their favorite characters getting hurt.

Well, I didn't mean to suggest it was "wrong", and I'm sorry if that's how it came across. As I said in another discussion here recently, we all have our own individual responses to a story that moves us, and there's no "right" or "wrong" about that.

What I meant was, I was simply surprised at the intensity of your reaction (going by what you've shared) to this instance of Aslan "getting hurt", when in the context of the story, Aslan chooses (in fact, virtually demands) the injury; there's no evidence that the wound gives him any long-term pain or disability; and the reason behind it is to bring another character back to life. Those to me are the mitigating factors — meaning that sure, it's not enjoyable to think of him being hurt, but clearly Aslan himself isn't overly burdened by it and it's something he willingly does for a higher purpose. If someone hurt him against his will, for no good reason, and he was left permanently maimed somehow, I know I'd find that far more upsetting. He's my favourite character as well!

But again, as I was saying, everyone reacts in their own way to a good piece of writing, and no-one's response is "wrong", just different. (Unless perhaps one is totally misinterpreting the scene and reading something into it that isn't there — like, for example, how some critics have claimed that Susan in The Last Battle was "sent to hell", which the book doesn't say at all.) So I was simply curious to know more about why this particular scene has such a profound effect for you, that's all — again, if you don't mind me asking.

I think a big part of it is how Lewis describes the thorn itself. That really didn’t sit well with me.

ReplyQuote
Topic starter Posted : September 15, 2023 5:29 pm
Courtenay
(@courtenay)
NarniaWeb Fanatic Hospitality Committee
Posted by: @aslanthelion

I think a big part of it is how Lewis describes the thorn itself. That really didn’t sit well with me.

Fair enough — "a foot long and sharp as a rapier" is rather dramatic and perhaps seems a bit excessive for what's needed in that scene. As has been discussed here, it's most likely intended to make readers think of the crown of thorns on Jesus' head at the crucifixion, and/or of the nails that fastened him to the cross, but neither the thorns or the nails would have been "a foot long" in real life. (Nails used in Roman crucifixions were probably 5-6 inches long — I just looked that up.) But obviously that was how Lewis decided to write that part, and I don't know if he ever had any readers ask him about it. He regularly responded to letters from children (and adults!) asking him about things in the Chronicles, and often his explanations are very interesting and helpful. There's a lovely compilation, C.S. Lewis Letters to Children, which I have, but there aren't any among them where he refers to this particular incident. So unfortunately I don't think we have any further info from Lewis himself about why he wrote that scene as he did.

"Now you are a lioness," said Aslan. "And now all Narnia will be renewed."
(Prince Caspian)

ReplyQuote
Posted : September 16, 2023 4:03 am
AslanTheLion
(@aslanthelion)
NarniaWeb Regular
Posted by: @courtenay
Posted by: @aslanthelion

I think a big part of it is how Lewis describes the thorn itself. That really didn’t sit well with me.

Fair enough — "a foot long and sharp as a rapier" is rather dramatic and perhaps seems a bit excessive for what's needed in that scene. As has been discussed here, it's most likely intended to make readers think of the crown of thorns on Jesus' head at the crucifixion, and/or of the nails that fastened him to the cross, but neither the thorns or the nails would have been "a foot long" in real life. (Nails used in Roman crucifixions were probably 5-6 inches long — I just looked that up.) But obviously that was how Lewis decided to write that part, and I don't know if he ever had any readers ask him about it. He regularly responded to letters from children (and adults!) asking him about things in the Chronicles, and often his explanations are very interesting and helpful. There's a lovely compilation, C.S. Lewis Letters to Children, which I have, but there aren't any among them where he refers to this particular incident. So unfortunately I don't think we have any further info from Lewis himself about why he wrote that scene as he did.

That sounds like a cool book, though. I’m sure there’s a lot of other interesting info in it.

ReplyQuote
Topic starter Posted : September 16, 2023 5:08 am
Courtenay liked
Courtenay
(@courtenay)
NarniaWeb Fanatic Hospitality Committee

@aslanthelion There is, including a lot of great advice for young writers — plenty of Lewis's fans sent him samples of their own stories that they'd written and he gave them tips for improvement! And he was always happy to answer any questions they had about the Narnia books and to encourage them to write and illustrate their own stories, just as he did from childhood.

"Now you are a lioness," said Aslan. "And now all Narnia will be renewed."
(Prince Caspian)

ReplyQuote
Posted : September 16, 2023 5:12 am
Cobalt Jade
(@cobalt-jade)
NarniaWeb Nut

I had always assumed the thorn was so large and sharp because it had to be -- Aslan was a very large and very tough lion. Nothing smaller than that would have worked.

ReplyQuote
Posted : September 19, 2023 6:12 pm
AslanTheLion
(@aslanthelion)
NarniaWeb Regular
Posted by: @cobalt-jade

I had always assumed the thorn was so large and sharp because it had to be -- Aslan was a very large and very tough lion. Nothing smaller than that would have worked.

Oh. I guess I hadn’t thought about that. I kind of assumed that a lion’s paw isn’t very tough since it’s quite soft, from what I can tell. But maybe it’s sort of like Puddleglum’s feet, which as we see in the scene where he burns them, can be injured, but not to the same degree that a human’s foot would be if it was burned. That

ReplyQuote
Topic starter Posted : September 25, 2023 11:38 pm
AslanTheLion
(@aslanthelion)
NarniaWeb Regular
Posted by: @jasmine_tarkheena

I think it's also helpful that even Aslan has feelings-

And all three stood and wept. Even the Lion wept: great Lion-tears, each tear more precious than the Earth would be if it was a single solid diamond.

What the heck is that supposed to mean??? Also, Aslan crying doesn’t make sense exactly. I mean, it seems out of character. The only other time we see Aslan cry is in TMN, and that’s to make a point that he empathizes with Digory in that scene. Here, he doesn’t need to show it. 

ReplyQuote
Topic starter Posted : March 22, 2024 3:17 am
AslanTheLion
(@aslanthelion)
NarniaWeb Regular
Posted by: @jasmine_tarkheena

I think it's also helpful that even Aslan has feelings-

And all three stood and wept. Even the Lion wept: great Lion-tears, each tear more precious than the Earth would be if it was a single solid diamond.

What the heck is that supposed to mean??? Also, Aslan crying doesn’t make sense exactly. I mean, it seems out of character. The only other time we see Aslan cry is in TMN, and that’s to make a point that he empathizes with Digory in that scene. Here, he doesn’t need to show it. 

ReplyQuote
Topic starter Posted : March 22, 2024 3:17 am
Page 3 / 4
Share: