4 – A Parliament of Owls

Moderator: Pattertwigs Pal

4 – A Parliament of Owls

Postby Pattertwigs Pal » May 15, 2017 2:59 am

1. Lewis writes: “It is a very funny thing that the sleepier you are, the longer you take about getting to bed.” Is this your experience?

2. After Glimfeather arrived at the window, Jill “remembered the Lion’s voice and face.” Why does Lewis specify it was Aslan’s “voice and face” in particular that she had forgotten?

3. As Jill climbs on Glimeather’s back, she thinks “I wonder how Scrubb liked his ride!” Why is Jill once again preoccupied with Scrubb experiencing new things first?

4. At the Parliment of Owls, when Scrubb says “But surely [Caspian would] let us go when he knew who I was and who sent me,” Jill puts in “Sent both of us.” Why does Jill feel the need to add this?

5. “The children began to see that the Narnians all felt about Trumpkin as people feel at school about some crusty teacher, whom everyone is a little afraid of and everyone makes fun of and nobody really dislikes.” Do you know any teachers like this?

6. How do the Narnians know that Caspian has never forgotten his voyage if he never talks about it?

7. “As long as the life was in [Rilian’s mother] she seemed to be trying hard to tell him something. But she could not speak clearly and, whatever her message was, she died without delivering it.” What do you think her message was?

8. Why do you think Drinian suspected the woman was evil?

9. If you were Drinian, would you have told Caspian about the woman?

10. “I have lost my queen and my son: shall I lose my friend also?” This heartbreaking flashback with Caspian and Drinian is not essential to the narrative; it could easily be removed. Why do you think Lewis chose to include it?

11. Discuss how this chapter should be adapted. (ex. what do you most want to see, what problems do you see, etc.)
Image
Silver Chair Reading Group
NW sister to Movie Aristotle & daughter of the King
User avatar
Pattertwigs Pal
Moderator
Cookie Queen of NarniaWeb
 
Posts: 4900
Joined: May 16, 2009
Location: U.S.A.
Gender: Female

Re: 4 – A Parliament of Owls

Postby waggawerewolf27 » May 16, 2017 7:09 pm

1. Lewis writes: “It is a very funny thing that the sleepier you are, the longer you take about getting to bed.” Is this your experience?

Oh yes! Especially if the previous night has been sleepless. (-|

2. After Glimfeather arrived at the window, Jill “remembered the Lion’s voice and face.” Why does Lewis specify it was Aslan’s “voice and face” in particular that she had forgotten?

It was Glimfeather who reminded Jill about what she and Eustace were to do. And up to Glimfeather's arrival Jill had been so carried away with the feasting and story-telling she'd nearly forgotten, not only about why she was there, but more importantly, about her time with Aslan's voice and face.

3. As Jill climbs on Glimeather’s back, she thinks “I wonder how Scrubb liked his ride!” Why is Jill once again preoccupied with Scrubb experiencing new things first?

I wonder if Jill had any real interaction with any of the boys at Experiment House before meeting Eustace. Yes, she has been bullied, by children with whom Eustace has been associated, and yes, she knew that Eustace had had a reputation amongst the school students in general before the previous term, even if she had had no experience of being targetted herself by his pre VDT activities. But bullies don't have to be all boys, do they? And it seems like their schoolyard activities are when both girls and boys are at their worst, and least supervised. It may well have been the first time she ever interacted on anything like equal terms with anyone there, let alone Eustace, himself.

Eustace, she knew, was scared of the edge of the cliff. Jill didn't blame herself, initially, for what happened, denying she bore any responsibility, until the Lion forced her to own up that she was showing off. From the grumpy reaction she got from Eustace when she tried to get him to recognise an old friend, he probably didn't enjoy his trip to Narnia on Aslan's breath as much as she did, so naturally she would wonder how he would feel about this particular flight he took with Glimfeather before she did, even though at least both children would know what it is all about this second time. It doesn't all have to be about competition, even though Jill comes across as someone constantly measuring herself against other people's expectations.

4. At the Parliament of Owls, when Scrubb says “But surely [Caspian would] let us go when he knew who I was and who sent me,” Jill puts in “Sent both of us.” Why does Jill feel the need to add this?

When I re-read this bit it was "surely he'd let us go (italic book emphasis, not mine), when he knew who I was and who sent me". No wonder Jill would feel the need to add "Sent both of us", since if Jill was to go with Eustace, then both were sent. Aslan explained to Jill that she and Eustace would not have called to Aslan if Aslan hadn't also been calling to them. And it was Jill who had to learn about the signs.

5. “The children began to see that the Narnians all felt about Trumpkin as people feel at school about some crusty teacher, whom everyone is a little afraid of and everyone makes fun of and nobody really dislikes.” Do you know any teachers like this?

I suppose so but didn't really think about it much for many years. There were teachers I liked, and, believe it or not, some who seemed to like me. And there were others I didn't like much, like the one who sent me to be caned. But when that headmaster forgot to cane me, in my comment in Behind the gym, I didn't know much about how other students at that boarding school felt about the headmaster, being only 8 at the time. He still was expected to cane students, if they misbehaved at school, after all.

You see, that school I was at, did take both boys and girls, even though initially it, too, had been planned for boys only. But boys and girls only met in class, on the borders of the playground, in other sorts of neutral territory (like behind the gym) or on the way back to our very separated school accommodation, on either side of the main Assembly Hall. Even in morning assembly we sat on separate sides of the hall, where we were regaled, among other things, by a litany of misdeeds of mainly the boys, including those in my class. O:-)

It makes me think also that at Experiment House, Jill must have been an only child, just like Eustace, another reason for her being at a disadvantage when there was no brother or sister to look out for her, or even to look up to her.

6. How do the Narnians know that Caspian has never forgotten his voyage if he never talks about it?

By the fact Lord Drinian remained friends with Caspian for years afterwards, by wistful looks eastward, and by his willingness to seek out Aslan in Terebinthia, which can only be reached by ship. Maybe Caspian X wants to go further..... /:). Maybe he might even want to find Ramandu's Island, where he met his murdered Queen the first time?

If we ask how do the Narnians know that Caspian has never forgotten his voyage, if he never talks about it, how do the Narnians know how he felt about his wife being killed? Or his son going missing? Is it more that he is so generally sad that he can't bear to say anything more about that voyage any more?

7. “As long as the life was in [Rilian’s mother] she seemed to be trying hard to tell him something. But she could not speak clearly and, whatever her message was, she died without delivering it.” What do you think her message was?

A warning of some sort, I think. And I also think her inability to talk suggests what sort of poison the snake used to kill her. A paralysing sort of poison, so that she couldn't speak clearly, something that also stops her ability to breathe easy. It also confirms that the snake wants to conceal any future intentions, and that biting the Queen might not have been as random as it at first might seem.

Though I think it may be discussed elsewhere in the forum, why did the snake want to kill Rilian's mother? And why isn't she named, either in VDT or in SC? Isn't she also "She who must remain nameless"?

8. Why do you think Drinian suspected the woman was evil?

Meeting stray women in the woods has always been suspicious, especially since it was in the same glade where the Queen held the picnic and where she died. And when Jill said something about the snake and the woman being the same thing, I'd tend to agree. But why does Jill not remember herself saying this, later on in SC?

Drinian, who is in a good position to know who was who, would have a fair idea of who all the dryads of Narnia were, and how straightforwardly uncomplicated sorts they were, and if he couldn't put a name to her, then that is suspicious in itself. I'd expect he'd also know who were the humans about the place as well. So who is the woman, or if she really is a woman?

There is also a tendency to suspect beautiful women who merely come out of the woodwork. Think of all the mythical women that lurked in woodlands besides fountains - Melusine, Morgan Le Fay, the Hansel and Gretel witch - any others? Oh yes, that definitely non-mythical but alleged descendant of Melusine - Elizabeth Woodville, who became the wife of Edward IV and the mother of not only the Princes in the Tower, but also Elizabeth of York, who married Henry VII, after the Battle of Bosworth, and therefore became the ancestress of all future UK monarchs.

Also, some people are superstitious about green or seem to have a thing about linking green with poison. Odd, when we are always told to eat our greens. :-$

9. If you were Drinian, would you have told Caspian about the woman?

I'm not sure. The general tenor of ethics Narnia-style is not to be a tale-bearer, and Eustace, in particular, got a bad reputation for his sneaking around eavesdropping on others etc when we first met him in VDT. And if Drinian had "peached on" Rilian, mightn't that revelation have done more harm than good? Would Drinian have lost whatever influence he ever had with Rilian and something worse might have happened? But then, how much worse could matters have gone than Caspian losing, not only his wife, but also his son and heir?

The trouble is, that Drinian only had the one chance to decide one way or another, and by the next day, Rilian was gone. For good, it would seem.

10. “I have lost my queen and my son: shall I lose my friend also?” This heartbreaking flashback with Caspian and Drinian is not essential to the narrative; it could easily be removed. Why do you think Lewis chose to include it?

I daresay that this flashback could be easily removed, but it would take a lot away from the relationship that Caspian had long enjoyed with Drinian, the captain of the Dawn Treader, who had never intentionally tried to harm Caspian, and was himself heartbroken that his failure to tell Caspian of what Rilian had been doing up to his going missing. That excerpt is a character moment for both Drinian and Caspian. Since by the time Jill and Eustace arrived, Drinian had long been dead, there is no other way of telling whether Caspian murdered his friend for not keeping closer watch on Rilian, or whether he didn't.

11. Discuss how this chapter should be adapted. (ex. what do you most want to see, what problems do you see, etc.)

I want to see the lot of it, but, unfortunately, the Owls' Parliament is being held "in camera", and in the depths of the night. Which doesn't make for good viewing. Then there is the flashback which in the BBC TV edition, was pictorial and kind of fuzzy. Can the owls' relating of the events leading up to Rilian's disappearance be covered by dialogue alone? So that at least the owl that is speaking gets highlighted?
Timeo Danaos dona ferentes - I fear the Greeks bringing gifts. Aeneid - Virgil. Laocoon's opinion of the Trojan Horse
User avatar
waggawerewolf27
NarniaWeb Zealot
 
Posts: 6142
Joined: Sep 25, 2009
Location: Oz
Gender: Female

Re: 4 – A Parliament of Owls

Postby The Rose-Tree Dryad » May 19, 2017 2:36 pm

1. Lewis writes: “It is a very funny thing that the sleepier you are, the longer you take about getting to bed.” Is this your experience?

Oh yes. And usually by the time I actually get to bed, I've become wide awake again. :P

2. After Glimfeather arrived at the window, Jill “remembered the Lion’s voice and face.” Why does Lewis specify it was Aslan’s “voice and face” in particular that she had forgotten?

Because they were the things about Aslan that made the most impression on her... how he looked at her, and how he spoke to her. (Such an incredible difference from any of the so-called authority figures she has known in her life before that meeting.)

3. As Jill climbs on Glimeather’s back, she thinks “I wonder how Scrubb liked his ride!” Why is Jill once again preoccupied with Scrubb experiencing new things first?

When I read this, I actually think that it's more of a nod towards Eustace's presumable fear of heights. Jill's got a good head for heights and even she thought the prospective flight seemed pretty unpleasant. It seems reasonable for her to suppose that Eustace would have liked it less.

4. At the Parliment of Owls, when Scrubb says “But surely [Caspian would] let us go when he knew who I was and who sent me,” Jill puts in “Sent both of us.” Why does Jill feel the need to add this?

She's being a bit childish but I can understand where she's coming from. Eustace seems to be taking control of the situation since he knows quite a bit more about Narnia than she does, and perhaps by extension ownership of the mission. Jill probably likes the idea of being on an important mission (it's self-esteem building stuff) and doesn't want him to hog the glory. I think it's also possible that she views Eustace as putting on airs after they arrive in Narnia, when in reality, the literal Narnian air is bringing back the strength that he won on his adventures sailing to the end of the world, as Lewis mentions in the next chapter.

6. How do the Narnians know that Caspian has never forgotten his voyage if he never talks about it?

A lot can be inferred from longing looks out at the sea!

7. “As long as the life was in [Rilian’s mother] she seemed to be trying hard to tell him something. But she could not speak clearly and, whatever her message was, she died without delivering it.” What do you think her message was?

I think she must have known something about the snake. Of course she could have been trying to share a last message with a loved one, but you can say "I love you" with a look and a touch, and the queen's struggle to speak seems to indicate the need to give a warning rather than comforting parting words. This leads me to ask, however: why would Ramandu's Daughter know something about the snake that no one else in Narnia does? Is this something she learned about on account of who her father was? (Ramandu knew a lot about Coriakin that he would not tell his visitors, for instance.) This has recently been leading me to wonder if the LotGK is possibly in a similar position as Coriakin—a fallen being sent to govern a fledgling people as punishment (in her case, the gnomes), except instead of fulfilling her duty like Coriakin, she went rogue. The gnomes don't seem nearly as primitive as the Dufflepuds do, though.)

And one other thought that is coming to my mind as I re-read this chapter... why did the woman wait a whole month after the queen's death before approaching Rilian? Was the snake unable to take on human form until then, or was she merely waiting until the right stage of Rilian's grieving process? Either scenario seems probable.

8. Why do you think Drinian suspected the woman was evil?

This has always really puzzled me, because nobody else has this reaction to the LotGK. Yes, Puddleglum is doing his usual worst-first thinking when he meets her, but he doesn't think she's evil. My present guess is that Drinian was able to see through her facade because she was, at that moment, directing all of her magical charms and wiles to Rilian alone.

9. If you were Drinian, would you have told Caspian about the woman?

I think I would have told Caspian, but it would have been difficult and my comfort level in doing so would depend on how much the king trusted my counsel. "Rilian's meeting a woman in the woods and I have a really bad feeling about her"... it doesn't sound that compelling on the face of it and certainly seems like you could be violating Rilian's trust. So I wouldn't have liked doing it and I would have wondered whether or not the King would think I wasn't just overreacting, but I wouldn't have been worried about being a tale-bearer. This is not blabbing about two sweethearts trysting in the woods. The woman is acting weird—her wordless beckoning is almost spectral, she vanished into thin air, and the effect she is having on Rilian is disturbing. There's clearly something strange going on.

10. “I have lost my queen and my son: shall I lose my friend also?” This heartbreaking flashback with Caspian and Drinian is not essential to the narrative; it could easily be removed. Why do you think Lewis chose to include it?

From a logical standpoint, it kind of needed to happen. Someone had to accompany Rilian or else no one in Narnia would know that part of the story, and that same person had to then refrain from acting in a way that would have prevented Rilian's disappearance. That character's choice to not take action then needed to have repercussions.

From an emotional standpoint, however: it is heartbreaking, but at the same time it is also heartening. If you remove that part of the narrative, the ending is something like "and the King was very sad because his queen was dead and his son disappeared." With this ending, however, not only do you get a much more dramatic last act to the story, there is also some comfort in knowing that Caspian still had a close friend despite his incredible grief, and that the evil plans of the LotGK weren't so complete that a friendship was destroyed and another life was lost.
—The Rose-Tree Dryad, a.k.a. Rose @};-
Image
NW sister to Melian_Maia, lover of narnia, Elanor and juzuma loves lucy + NW twin to MissRosario
User avatar
The Rose-Tree Dryad
Moderator
 
Posts: 3656
Joined: Aug 21, 2010
Location: A secret garden
Gender: Female

Re: 4 – A Parliament of Owls

Postby Hwinning » May 30, 2017 6:28 pm

3. As Jill climbs on Glimeather’s back, she thinks “I wonder how Scrubb liked his ride!” Why is Jill once again preoccupied with Scrubb experiencing new things first?

In my opinion, Jill's character arc is all about confidence/that kind of thing. Right now, Jill is has low self-esteem. She is constantly comparing herself to everyone (mostly Eustace in this story because they are both apples) because she's insecure of her worth and value.

7. “As long as the life was in [Rilian’s mother] she seemed to be trying hard to tell him something. But she could not speak clearly and, whatever her message was, she died without delivering it.” What do you think her message was?

In my copy of SC, I can still see my 9-yr-old self's handwriting next to that passage "SHE IS EVIL".
So yes, I think that his mother was trying to warn Rilian that the beautiful lady and the snake were one and the same.

11. Discuss how this chapter should be adapted. (ex. what do you most want to see, what problems do you see, etc.)

~Creating realistic owls that can talk and carry humans will be very challenging.
~But, I want the owls to be a little bit ridiculous because that's how I read the scene in my head. And, it will create that oh-so-wonderful feeling of hopelessness in Eustace and Jill's hearts. The "essence" of despair so to speak.
~Maybe Jill will write down the signs and then lose the paper in the wind on her flight without her knowledge. That would be a good visual way of "forgetting" the signs. Then, there would be no ink or paper from the Marshes and beyond so she couldn't just write on something after she realizes she had forgotten it.
User avatar
Hwinning
NarniaWeb Newbie
 
Posts: 9
Joined: May 30, 2017

Re: 4 – A Parliament of Owls

Postby Anhun » May 31, 2017 4:28 pm

1. Never. I'm not terribly strict about my bed time routine. If I'm that tired, I just crash.

8. Some people just have a "bad vibe." Maybe Drinian was better than Rilian at reading vibes. Of course, her behavior was also a bit suspicious: appearing, beckoning and then disappearing.

9. If I was Drinian, I would definitely have told Caspian about the green lady, but I might not have felt that it was such an urgent matter that I had to tell him right away. A young man falling in love with the wrong woman doesn't usually end in abduction.

11. I wouldn't spend a lot of time on this chapter to be honest. I might start out the movie with Caspian's wedding, and then cover their marriage, her death, and Rilian's disappearance while the credits are rolling. The owls won't have to go into too much detail that way.

Edit: 7. That's a really interesting idea, Hwinning. I never thought that the Green Lady might have appeared to the queen in human form and then left as a snake. I thought that she was a snake the whole time, and that the Queen was trying to say "I love you" or something of that nature.
User avatar
Anhun
NarniaWeb Nut
 
Posts: 477
Joined: Dec 29, 2010
Location: P3R-233

Re: 4 – A Parliament of Owls

Postby Ryadian » Jun 22, 2017 2:19 pm

1. Lewis writes: “It is a very funny thing that the sleepier you are, the longer you take about getting to bed.” Is this your experience?
Fully admitting that I do not have the best bedtime habits, yes, this is pretty true for me. ;)) Once I'm really tired, it feels like too much of an effort to go though the whole routine. It's much easier to just, say, stay up later and read funny things on the Internet. ;))

2. After Glimfeather arrived at the window, Jill “remembered the Lion’s voice and face.” Why does Lewis specify it was Aslan’s “voice and face” in particular that she had forgotten?
Because they both terrified her, and were, in large part, her motivation for following his instructions. I'm not sure Jill would have found it so easy to forget about her mission for as long as she did if his stern expression was still prevalent in her mind. In order to put the task aside, she basically had to forget what it was like to face him.

4. At the Parliment of Owls, when Scrubb says “But surely [Caspian would] let us go when he knew who I was and who sent me,” Jill puts in “Sent both of us.” Why does Jill feel the need to add this?
I think she feels left out - or cut out - by the way Eustace said that. I don't think that was Eustace's intent at all - I suspect he was caught up in the moment and didn't even think about it - but given the tension between them ever since was happened at the cliff, I can see Jill believing that Eustace meant to exclude her when he said that.

6. How do the Narnians know that Caspian has never forgotten his voyage if he never talks about it?
I've always imagined that Caspian could often be caught staring out east-facing windows at dawn or dusk, lost in thought; or, perhaps he was a bit over-eager to take any voyages that were made available to him. Also, surely the voyage to the world's end was discussed, especially since that's where Rilian's mother came from; his behavior when the subject was raised could say quite a bit, even if he never actually said anything.

7. “As long as the life was in [Rilian’s mother] she seemed to be trying hard to tell him something. But she could not speak clearly and, whatever her message was, she died without delivering it.” What do you think her message was?After reading through the thread: Basically what Rosie said, though she said it better. :P

I've always wondered about this. Perhaps she was just trying to give him the kind of last words a mother would want to give to her son, though it seems strange that she would try so hard just to say such things as "I love you" when she's clearly having difficulty.
SHOW SPOILER "The rest of the book"
I know the children and owls have already speculated on this, but - of course, as we find out later, the serpent is indeed the woman who whisked Rilian away from Narnia, so I suppose it's possible that Rilian's mother somehow knew that it was more than just a snake. Perhaps being a star's daughter gave her some kind of intuition about it, or she somehow recognized her? The Witch was clearly in serpent form when she poisoned the Queen, and I don't understand why she would have been in woman form before then to allow the queen to see the transformation.


8. Why do you think Drinian suspected the woman was evil?
I think the fact that she didn't say a word but that Rilian was still utterly spellbound by her (possibly literally, though who can say for sure?). I mean, yes, I know she was beautiful, but this wasn't even the first time Rilian had seen her - he'd been coming out here for days. It's rather unnerving that she had that kind of power over him with nothing more than appearance and a gesture, and there was no evidence that the two of them had ever actually spoken. Plus, there's the fact that she disappears, and Drinian does not know how. I think Drinian lives in a world where evil magic is always a lingering possibility.

9. If you were Drinian, would you have told Caspian about the woman?
Well, it's easy to say so in hindsight. One thing that makes the decision easier is that Rilian didn't seem to be keeping any kind of secrets about it, nor did he swear Drinian to secrecy. But I guess it also depends on whether or not I would've agreed with Drinian's assessment that she was evil. If she just seemed strange and I couldn't put my finger on why... I'm not sure I would've said anything. Perhaps as time went on, but Drinian only had the one night to say anything.
Also, I wonder if Drinian wasn't thinking back to the first time he met Caspian's future wife. They all thought she might be an evil witch, and the fact that she was so beautiful only made that determination harder. Of course, it turned out that she was not. Perhaps Drinian didn't want to jump to such conclusions here.


10. “I have lost my queen and my son: shall I lose my friend also?” This heartbreaking flashback with Caspian and Drinian is not essential to the narrative; it could easily be removed. Why do you think Lewis chose to include it?From a character perspective, this story would have been incomplete without this scene. I think the audience would easily agree with Drinian that Rilian's disappearance is his fault for not saying anything, and if it was never addressed, it might become unforgivable in our minds. The fact that we see a penitent Drinian, and see Caspian forgive him for it, I think is crucial for keeping our sympathy with both characters - especially for readers who are not familiar with either of them from previous incarnations.

11. Discuss how this chapter should be adapted. (ex. what do you most want to see, what problems do you see, etc.)
The only comment I really have is that, if they are going to provide visuals for the story of Rilian's disappearance, I don't want them to do it the way the BBC did, just because that gave the impression to me that the owls somehow conjured up visuals for the children to watch, and... I'm not as big a fan of that idea. If the children were basically to imagine the scene, I'd be a bit happier with that.
SHOW SPOILER "Later in the book"
There is, of course, the question of whether or not they want to reveal what Rilian and the Lady look like this soon, or if it going to be kept a secret. I'm undecided on this at the moment, though I think one way to avoid it would be to have the children imagine the scene, and their imagination takes on a certain animated quality that makes it clear that they are not seeing what literally happened. If the filmmakers could pull it off, I like the idea of Jill and Eustace having completely different images of the various characters, to further emphasize that neither of them actually knows what they look like.
Image
N-Web sis of stardf, _Rillian_, & jerenda
Proud to be Sirya the Madcap Siren
User avatar
Ryadian
Moderator
 
Posts: 11351
Joined: Jun 10, 2004
Location: Minnesota, US
Gender: Female


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest