Narnia re-read. The Last Battle Chapter thirteen. How the Dwarfs refused to be taken in.

Synopsis: Tirian and the seven friends of Narnia explore their surroundings. They try to communicate with the dwarfs.

I’m coming to this chapter still annoyed by the Susan situation (see previous post). I’m hoping it will cheer me up.

All the fruit I’ve ever eaten has been mentally compared to the wonderful fruits described – or rather not described – here, and the toffee tree fruits of MN.

I think, although I can’t be sure, that this is point at which I worked out what had really happened to Jill, Eustace and the others. I really didn’t like the idea. The more I think about it the stranger it is. I know that, logically, if you truly believe in an wonderful afterlife which exceeds anything we’ve ever experienced in this world, death shouldn’t be something to fear. But it’s such an odd way for a children’s book to conclude. And many (most?) readers would not feel such a certainty about life after death.

Of course Edmund is the sort of person who ‘knows about railways’.

As a child I had absolutely no idea what a ‘hack at rugger’ involved. I’d always imagined that the Pevensies were still at school at this point, but Susan and Peter wouldn’t have been. I wonder what they were doing. Did they have jobs?

The stable door reminds me of the door made with three pieces of wood in PC. Tirian describes it as a ‘great marvel’, which is exactly the phrase used in LWW when the Pevensies discover the lamppost. In both cases, it is noted that the strange, incongruous items look like they have simply ‘grown’ into place.

The idea of something larger on the inside than the outside would, I imagine, remind most modern readers of the Tardis.

Lucy’s talk about the stable in our world shows that the religious parallels cannot be ignored now. There is a definite, specific link between the way Narnia works and Christianity. As a child, this was uncomfortable for me. I wanted Narnia to be separate from our world, a total escape. Also, I believed in Narnia and Aslan much more, and loved them much more,  than I did anything I’d so far discovered in our world. I couldn’t see the link between Aslan and the stuff vicars talked about in Church.

Eustace’s poor manners serve to explain the story for the reader. Just as in HHB, when Aravis tells her story, a listener is chided for interruption.

Lucy was always kind and keen to help others, and we see that this is unchanged. We also see that she still has a very close relationship with Aslan.

The aside with the dwarfs is, I know, making a point about belief, and faith, and cycnicism. But it leaves me wondering where the dwarfs end up. What eventually becomes of them? Does their situation change when the other living creatures all leave the land of Narnia? Would Tirian be able to kill them in this place? Are they already dead? Do they just sit there forever? Will they, like the lost souls in Lewis’ The Great Divorce, have a chance at redemption?

And then Aslan appears, and it is becoming clearer and clearer who/what he is.

When I eat my way through the food of the Chronicles, I confess that I’m not looking forward to eating ‘tongue’. It’s not top of my list of delicacies to try. I much prefer the thought of Mr Tumnus’ sugar-topped cake.






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