why do people hate narnia?

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why do people hate narnia?

Postby princesslucy28 » Feb 10, 2012 2:25 am

i was talking to some of my friends. and i was saying how much i love narnia. they repiled "ewwww how can you like that junk". i cant belive that people hate narnia. do you know why?
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Re: why do people hate narnia?

Postby Lion's Emblem » Feb 10, 2012 10:29 pm

Everyone has their own tastes.

Too bad for your friends though, they're missing out on something great (perhaps you can inspire them? :) ).
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Re: why do people hate narnia?

Postby juzuma loves lucy » Feb 11, 2012 12:16 am

Maybe perhaps it's because the books are old and full of battle scenes. My sisters liked Narnia until the films made them think it's terrible.
Lucy:Do you remember who really defeated the White Witch?
Peter: Yes.
Susan:No.
Lucy:Do you both believe in Narnia?
Narnians, Caspian and Edmund:We believe.
Susan and Peter:Shut up.
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Re: why do people hate narnia?

Postby Louloudi the Centaur » Feb 11, 2012 9:35 am

First of all, it is most definitely opinion that matters here. Some people like certain things, some people don't.

Second, the series is 61 years old. Anything considered from when our parents and grandparents were children is often considered "boring" and "uncool".

When your friends acted with disgust about how Narnia was "gross", were you talking about the books or movies? I can see why some people would not like the movies at all, but this section of the forum is not appropriate for the films. For the books, I guess because the plot is rather straightforward, and modern readers want to have 20 subplots and 50 some characters to develop. Besides, Lewis used very little detail to describe the appearances of things, and the readers would have to use their imagination to vision the story. (Gasp!)

Well, maybe your friends were just judging a book by its cover. Maybe you should convince them to at least try reading a chapter or so?
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Re: why do people hate narnia?

Postby waggawerewolf27 » Feb 11, 2012 2:57 pm

Yes you are right that it is a matter of opinion. Maybe also what values and beliefs people have as well. But it might also be a matter of at what age people start reading the Narnia books at all, and under what circumstances. I was astounded that books and stories I had adored at the age of 8 or younger were on my children's high school class reading lists, which might suggest that English literature education could have been dumbed down since the 1950's.

C.S.Lewis did point out in the dedication to LWW that children who love fairy tales (in primary school for me) can feel they have grown out of them by the time they are older (enough for high school?). He also pointed out that what is worth reading when younger can also be worth reading when older.

Louloudi the Centaur wrote:Second, the series is 61 years old. Anything considered from when our parents and grandparents were children is often considered "boring" and "uncool".


That is a fair point, though even the first book, LWW, didn't come out until 1952, so it isn't quite 61 years yet. :D Besides, C.S.Lewis wrote the Narnia tales, specifically for children, in the immediate post WW2 era, still a traumatic time which has had considerable repercussions until this day. Much has been questioned, examined and changed since then, from styles of writing for children, attitudes to what is acceptable and what isn't and at what age, and what is still valued and what isn't. It hasn't helped that the Narnia tales are overtly Christian tales, which annoys those who dislike Christianity, who feel the Narnia books are too pro-British and who disagree with C.S.Lewis over how suitable fantasy might be for children.

The style of language used in the Narnia tales, especially in dialogue and in expressions used by the boys, definitely reflects British boarding school upper class pre WW2 literary usage, and even by 1963, people would be made fun of if they really did talk like that. Also, since 1963, there has been a movement to insist on children's writing which is more realistic.

Other than that I don't see what anyone would find 'gross' about the books. Or the films for that matter, whose fidelity to the books and C.S.Lewis' 'lion-delivered sermons' annoyed at least one reviewer. The only 'gross' Narnia tale I have ever seen was 'The problem of Susan', written by Neil Gaiman, and not C.S.Lewis, himself.
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Re: why do people hate narnia?

Postby Varnafinde » Feb 12, 2012 9:55 am

waggawerewolf27 wrote:The style of language used in the Narnia tales, especially in dialogue and in expressions used by the boys, definitely reflects British boarding school upper class pre WW2 literary usage, and even by 1963, people would be made fun of if they really did talk like that.


Pre WW2 literary usage indeed. Some of it reflects usage from Edith Nesbit's books, which were some of Lewis' favorite fantasy books, and were written when he was a child. As he didn't have children of his own, and wasn't around children much in his daily life (as a University professor), such books would be among his primary sources for how children speak.

Sometimes he would get advice from his friends about expressions to avoid, but I guess he could have done with even more such advice.
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Re: why do people hate narnia?

Postby waggawerewolf27 » Feb 15, 2012 3:21 am

Varnafinde wrote:As he didn't have children of his own, and wasn't around children much in his daily life (as a University professor), such books would be among his primary sources for how children speak


He did meet some children. They included a god-daughter, Lucy Barfield, possibly Tolkien's four children, some evacuees C.S.Lewis hosted during the War and others, including Doug Gresham and his brother. In any case, pre WW2 literary usage also includes W.E.Johns' Biggles books, boarding school fare plus Enid Blyton's novels. The style of talking was also used in the 1955 film The Dam Busters as well as other later 1960's WW2 films like 633 Squadron, Battle of Britain in 1969, or the 1957 film Bridge on the River Kwai. That is why placing the current films in the timeframe of WW2, its own time and place, was definitely a good idea.

After C.S.Lewis died, we had the Civil Rights movement, Women's lib and much else. The conduct of WW2, even by the victors, plus the ensuing Cold War, was bound to change people's ideas, cause much questioning and the repercussions which led from both events also prompted much discussion. By the 1980's so many films had been produced and so many comic TV shows had been broadcast, for example shows like 'Allo, 'Allo, in which British air pilots were figures of fun, that Peter & Edmund's style of speaking in LWW & PC does seem a bit strange.
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Re: why do people hate narnia?

Postby Lilygloves » Feb 18, 2012 9:38 pm

Besides the whole "matter of taste" thing, I think it has a lot to do with the new generation. most of the teenagers nowadays do not appreciate art or literature or culture. I don't mean to say that if you like Narnia you are more "cultured" or "refined" than those who don't, I mostly mean that Narnia fans appreciate the books even though they are old and some of the language may be confusing and most teenagers don't take the time to appreciate that sort of thing. I know that if I wasn't such a fan of Narnia I wouldn't have such a desire to read classic books, especially books by C.S. Lewis, which can be difficult because of the language and depth of the topic. Most of my friends don't have anything that makes them interested in more cultural things, so they don't appreciate the same things I do, especially Narnia. (I hope I don't sound stuck up here, that's not my intention.)
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Re: why do people hate narnia?

Postby D-T » Feb 27, 2012 6:12 pm

My Friend hates Narnia, I was shocked, nearly fainted. (okay just kidding about the fainted part. :p ) when I asked her why, she said she didn't like the last book. but then she wouldn't talk about it anymore, and I didn't push her. but I have a theroy, maybe susan was her favorate character, and when she turned against narina, she hated it. she's kinda funny that way... but some people just have different tastes. some people don't like the way it's written, some people don't like the characters. ect.
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Re: why do people hate narnia?

Postby waggawerewolf27 » Mar 05, 2012 3:36 am

D-T, I have to admit that Last Battle is my least favourite Narnia book. It is too sad, too disastrous, though it has some great moments. I am sure that the apocalyptic scenes of Narnia's destruction are too awesome for any filmmaker, certainly right now, and the vision of Narnia's afterlife is almost too hard to imagine. For those who read the book right up until the last page, it is clear that those others who died in the train accident who weren't Narnia participants, like presumably, Mr & Mrs Pevensie, also went to a linked heaven where they could be reunited with their loved ones, their loved places etc.

When I first read this book, about 1958 or 1959, the Civil Rights movement in America was something which was not well known, though later on, in my teens it appeared on the evening news. Despite the horrors of Nazism, the lessons and implications of WW2 still had not been fully digested even by the Allies. Even after C.S.Lewis died in 1963, terms like sexism and racism were not in general use. Nor did I ever connect these terms to any of the Narnia books, even Last Battle, until Philip Pullman chose to point this out post 2001, especially when LWW was filmed in 2005, and his own Golden Compass was fillmed the year afterwards. And I still think he is wrong and anachronistic to denounce C.S.Lewis and Narnia.

Lilygloves wrote:Besides the whole "matter of taste" thing, I think it has a lot to do with the new generation. most of the teenagers nowadays do not appreciate art or literature or culture.


I think it is more a case of teenagers today not knowing what life was like during WW2 and afterwards, not really understanding why we had to have Civil Rights movements in the first place, and not realising that there has been, since the 2000's, when Phillip Pullman's own writings became better-known, a concerted anti-Christian campaign to discredit C.S.Lewis, in particular, so that fantasy writers can boost up their own non-Christian work. That is my opinion - feel free to disagree. :D

D-T wrote:I have a theroy, maybe susan was her favorate character, and when she turned against narina, she hated it.


You could be right, especially if she didn't read the book properly, and wasn't old enough to analyse what went on in it, and to analyse Susan's character throughout the Chronicles, which I agree is not really the business of this particular thread. I did note earlier at the beginning of this post, that in LB, the Earthly people who went to any sort of heaven, apart from the Seven Friends of Narnia, included Mr & Mrs Pevensie, on their way to Bristol, who, along with unnamed others, had actually died in the train wreck. As Aslan said in the book, there was a real train wreck: in fact C.S.Lewis referenced it from a very real one, to explain how seven people who were conspiring to get to Narnia would manage it, even though two were on the station platform and the other five were in a compartment in the train.

I don't know why people get so upset about where Susan got to and why she wasn't in the train accident. C.S.Lewis did explain in one of his Letters to Children (1957), that by the time of Last Battle, she had become vain and silly, but still had plenty of time to change her point of view, and might get to heaven in her own time and in her own way.

Whenever I have read LB before 2005, I usually felt Susan must have got married and was off somewhere with her husband, who, I hoped, was a better choice than Rabadash. I wondered if Eustace or Peter hadn't mentioned Rabadash, to spur her retort to Eustace and to cause Peter's reply to Tirian. ;) Besides, I think what Jill, Polly and Peter says does suggest that Susan had become a perfect Bridezilla, embarrassed by childhood memories, including previous forays into romance, fussing about invitations (to what, I wondered?) and maybe commenting about dress sense not to Susan's standards.

Besides, how else did Jill and Polly meet Susan, except socially, at something like a wedding, a party or an engagement, when they weren't related to her, and not involved with Narnia discussions? Susan wasn't on the train, she hadn't attended the meeting where they saw Tirian, and was definitely elsewhere when the train accident happened. That is why Peter said on p.128 in my edition of Last Battle: "Susan is no longer a friend of Narnia". She had merely 'grown up' and moved on, like those who were too big for fairy tales. Also, Eustace said (p.128) that whenever they tried to discuss their Narnian advntures with her, Susan would say: "What wonderful memories you have! Fancy your still thinking about those funny games we used to play when we were children".

How strangely like the sorts of things the Lady of the Green Kirtle kept saying to Jill and Eustace, after she found out they had released Rilian from the Silver Chair! Only instead of work and more work, without jokes, sun or sky, Susan had embraced a world dominated by invitations, or keeping up appearances, eg by wearing lipstick correctly and ensuring that nylons were not laddered or less than straight.

Also, stockings, not nylon ones, had been mentioned before in the series. Lewis, who notoriously disliked uncomfortably restrictive high-maintenance clothes, and who had mentioned horrible stockings in PC, where they were used to make Gwendolen and her classmates conform to Miraz's Telmarine version of Narnia, wasn't necessarily referring to the sorts of things that outrage so many of his critics. Would anyone today wear nylon stockings with lines down the back of the wearers' calves?

Recently, in a book called A home of my own, I came across these two ads from the 1940's and 1950's for lipstick and nylons:

1. Susan's lipstick Image
2. Susan's nylons. Image

Please note that female conformity to the then standards of dress and lifestyle is what is really being pushed in these ads, one of which actually mentions that girls could only be civilians. And when Polly goes on to say that she wished that Susan really would grow up, and that she had wasted her schooling to get to the age she was, it is very possible that Susan was one of those really intelligent girls who was 'no good at schoolwork', because she wasn't prepared to work hard at school, having listened to grown-up opinions of her and what she should expect in life.

I don't think that it is sexist for C.S.Lewis to disparage this common attitude of that time, that girls didn't really need an education because they were only going to get married. I think it was just the sort of widespread attitude which would have appalled him as an educator, himself, especially as he made Polly the speaker. These very remarks were made to me, on more than one occasion, but I persevered nonetheless, thanks to C.S.Lewis, and I am glad I did.

An author called Neil Gaiman wrote a story which referenced 'what happened to Susan', called The problem of Susan (2004 in Fragile things, written by Neil Gaiman). This adult tale, wherein Susan allegedly became a professor and when she died, was reading her obituary which contained everyone she had known and forgotten about, also had Susan saying that someone had to survive to sort out the aftermath of the train wreck.

However, C.S.Lewis' Susan, who in VDT was 'no good at schoolwork', and who Polly said had wasted her time at school, would have then found it difficult indeed to become a Professor, getting the qualifications, experience and creditability she would need to be recognised as one. Though, Neil Gaiman's Susan did mentions there was never enough money after the train wreck for indulgence in nylons and lipstick more than was needed to conform to that society. And if not married, she would have needed to get a job without her having qualifications of any sort before she could finance further studies.

I expect that 'whatever happened to Susan' and how she would get to heaven in her own way at the right time and place would be anyone's guess. :) You could probably write your own version of what might have happened. Remember that if still alive she would be a good 15 or more years older than I am (64). And I disagree that her 'fate' or lack of it, is any reason to dislike the Narnia books as a whole.
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Re: why do people hate narnia?

Postby DawnTreader07 » Mar 27, 2012 12:01 pm

waggawerewolf27 wrote:It hasn't helped that the Narnia tales are overtly Christian tales, which annoys those who dislike Christianity, who feel the Narnia books are too pro-British and who disagree with C.S.Lewis over how suitable fantasy might be for children.


This is the most common angle I have heard from those who dislike the book series. Because they disagree with the Christian themes (which is, of course, totally their decision), they can't seem to bring themselves to just enjoy the story. Which is a shame, because it is a great story!
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Re: why do people hate narnia?

Postby aragorn2 » Jun 04, 2012 1:26 pm

I would think it's because this modern generation in general doesn't look to books for entertainment much anymore, and they mainly geared toward younger audiences (Yes they have great themes, but even Lewis mean't for the primary audience to be children). Which in my opinion is a rather dumb reason to dislike something. I think any story that is well written enough to enchant children should still be enjoyable in later life.


I think this quote really sums it up

When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty, I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up." — C.S. Lewis
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Re: why do people hate narnia?

Postby Hermitess of Narnia » Jun 29, 2012 12:50 pm

^Good quote, Aragorn 2.

Some people think enjoying a story with talking animals in it is uncivilized and should only be allowed for children.
Also, some people only like stories set in our world about topics like school.

I disagree, of course. I think stories set in other worlds and with things such as talking animals help encourage creative thinking and are fun!
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Re: why do people hate narnia?

Postby Lilygloves » Jun 29, 2012 12:54 pm

I think it is safe to assume that most of the people on NarniaWeb are not children (i.e. in elementary school) because many of the posts are based on deep meaning of the books and you have to be quite internet-savvy to function on NarniaWeb. This is an excellent example of my definition of The Chronicles of Narnia: children's books written for adults. C.S. Lewis wrote well-written and interesting stories that children enjoy. However, many teenagers and adults still enjoy them because of the deep meanings of the books. Many people have said that they enjoy Narnia because every time they read it, they learn something new. I personally learn a lot about Christianity through the books and people's comments on the spirituality of the books. Most of the time I learn things from other people about Narnia's spirituality that I never would have thought of.
That being said, the majority of people who are not huge Narnia fans do not recognize the merit of the series. They automatically assume that they are for children-which they are, but can clearly be enjoyed by adults. Non Narnia fans do not really understand the depth of the stories and themes, or that the stories have much depth at all. I believe that this is the main issue. For example, Lord of the Rings is not written as much for children, therefore older people are more willing to read them and watch the movies. On the other hand, people automatically relate Narnia to children's fairy tales and cannot understand how the books apply to adults. I believe the books are written more for adults than children. (Although this may be because children were much more advanced intellectually during the 40s and education is not as stressed nowadays).
And of course, if a person does not enjoy fantasy at all, they will not enjoy Narnia very much. It's nothing against Narnia, it's just not their style. If my friends enjoy fantasy, I try to get them to read Narnia. But if a friend isn't into fantasy, I don't try to force them to like Narnia. It's nothing personal against Narnia. The important thing is to not get upset just because someone has a different opinion.
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Re: why do people hate narnia?

Postby 7chronicles » Jul 08, 2012 12:01 am

I seriously don't understand how anyone could hate Narnia! :-o
But I also know people have very different opinions and tastes about different things. ;)
I've heard some people thought The Lord of the Rings was boring! :-o =;
But for me I could watch, hours and hours of it and never be bored! :D
I don't think its about hating Narnia, I think it's about each persons opinions. :)
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Re: why do people hate narnia?

Postby Narnian_Badger » Jul 09, 2012 7:27 pm

Well... It's not the plot--there are numerous books that have less engaging plot twists and yet still sell millions, and while the age of the books might have something to do with it, I doubt it affects it much--the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys series are just as old, yet still have plenty of fans. And Narnia does too, for that matter. As for the people that don't like it... yes, age is a factor, but I'd say the biggest issue is the character's ages.

Think of today's most popular book series for teens/preteens, and to some extent, younger kids--Harry Potter, Twilight, and The Hunger Games. Think of popular TV shows--iCarly, Good Luck Charlie, My Little Pony: FiM. All of these stories feature main characters that are at least 15 (...eventually, in a couple cases). Most people prefer stories about teenagers now. Teens and young adults like them, because it's their age group and any younger would be 'uncool', and preteens, because teens are... well, 'cool', in their eyes.

The Chronicles, however, has protagonists that are 8-12. Such age groups aren't unheard of in current literature, but they're a lot rarer.

Also, as much as I hate to say it, the Chronicles lose fans because none of them have strong romances. Romance, even as a subplot, will pull in more rabid fans than any other genre. Because Narnia doesn't have that pull factor, some kids (mainly girls) might find them boring.

Obviously, in the end, it all boils down to opinion. ;)
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