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Should Susan be excluded from 'The Last Battle'?

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Re: Should Susan be excluded from 'The Last Battle'?

Postby waggawerewolf27 » Mar 30, 2017 10:24 pm

Anhun wrote:The Pevensies are nowhere in the Silver Chair either. Eustace makes a passing reference to "my cousins" one time. That's as close as they come. HHB is the only opportunity that audiences have prior to LB to get to know any of the Pevensies

Not as much as you think they should have been, to be sure. The Pevensies may be no more than a memory in Silver Chair, but they were most likely at the party at the end of that book, when Jill wore her Narnian Costume. Parties are often held for homecomings as well as for other reasons, and the other three Pevensies would have lapped it all up and enjoyed Jill's gesture as they were introduced to her. But if Susan was there, it would have been so typical of her to behave like a wet blanket, acting as if she was "grown up", especially if she expected to be the centre of attention and also had other fish to fry in her life.

Besides, more than one comment I've seen drew a strong connection between The Queen of Underland's rather long speech to Eustace and friends in the eponymous chapter, and Eustace's comment about Susan in LB:

LOTGK wrote:And look how you can put nothing into your make-believe world without copying from the real world, this world of mine, which is the only world. But even you children are too old for such play.... Put away these childish tricks. I have work for you all in the real world.....

Eustace said in LB:
"...whenever you've tried to get her to come and talk about Narnia or do anything about Narnia, she says, 'What wonderful memories you have! Fancy your still thinking about all those funny games we used to play as children' ".

LB is all about work. Work to satisfy the Calormenes and a fictitious deity called Tashlan. In HHB we learn that the Calormenes regarded the Narnians as idle and unprofitable, whilst Queen Susan's looks mattered not at all, despite what she might have thought.

Education is a process, which relies on memory and experience of what we and other people do and how we interact as much as it is about training for careers and qualifications, gained by how well we remember and apply of what teachers try to tell us and illustrate to us. This is a strong theme of both LB and SC. It is just as true of HHB, PC, MN and even VDT.

Aravis and Shasta are in LB, in the "real Narnia" of memory and children's literature. It is likely Queen Susan's denial of her Rabadash experience, and her agreement with both Calormene attitudes and LOTGK which also bundles them together in LB, and which ties her to what she now thinks is the "real world" of adulthood, socialising and "romance". That is why Aunt Polly cannot accept Susan's interpretation of adulthood. Because all of life, while we are alive, is about our memories, our experiences, what we do, how we play and interact with each other, what ethics we adopt and how we grow up by processing all of these in what we understand to be "our world".

I've no problem if Queen Susan is left out of LB altogether, but a nasty look and comment from the homecoming Real world girl, the centre of that party at the end of SC, perhaps showing off to her family about her American adventures, might well enhance that story as well, or more so than in LB.
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