Chapter 17 The Hunting of the White Stag

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Chapter 17 The Hunting of the White Stag

Postby Pattertwigs Pal » Nov 25, 2013 5:10 pm

1. What does it tell us about Lucy that she needed to basically be told twice by Aslan to go and help the wounded? Do you think this is an important piece of character development for Lucy? Why or Why not?

2. Do you agree with Susan or Lucy about if Edmund should be told about what Aslan did for him?

3. After Edmund was healed, Lucy noticed that looked better than he had since first went to "that horrid school" and "He had become his real old self again and could look you in the face." Why do you think Lewis points out this apparent difference in Edmund? What do you think caused this transformation?

4. What was your favorite / least favorite part of this chapter?
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Re: Chapter 17 The Hunting of the White Stag

Postby ValiantArcher » Mar 16, 2014 4:04 pm

1. I'm not quite sure; perhaps that she is a bit selfish in that she wants to make sure that Edmund is well before she goes and helps anyone else. I think the chastening by Aslan and that she accepted it is important in that she is open to and does take his correction. e.g. She's human, but that's not entirely a bad thing.

2. I would tend to agree with Lucy; it was awful, but Edmund should know what Aslan had done for him. I can't remember; do they ever resolve if Edmund was eventually told?

3. I think it shows that Edmund was not just healed from his physical wound but that he's whole again, in a way. I'd guess that it was partly the cordial but also partly his rescue from the Witch and his talk with Aslan and the repentance there.
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Re: Chapter 17 The Hunting of the White Stag

Postby You Will Find Me Bigger » Mar 18, 2014 4:12 pm

I was always under the impression that Edmund did eventually know.

Edmund in Voyage of the Dawn Treader wrote: You were only an ass, but I was a traitor. ...[Aslan] saved me and saved Narnia.


I suppose he could mean that just in the sense that Aslan bargained with the Witch for Edmund's life, but I understood it to mean that by then he knew the whole story. And somehow I can't imagine that Susan and Lucy would keep what they saw to themselves forever.
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Re: Chapter 17 The Hunting of the White Stag

Postby ValiantArcher » Apr 01, 2014 9:02 pm

Thank you for clarifying that and providing proof, Willow! :) No, I don't believe that Susan and Lucy would keep it to themselves, either. Edmund really did need to know what Aslan had done to save him, not just that he'd saved him.
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Re: Chapter 17 The Hunting of the White Stag

Postby Pattertwigs Pal » Jul 01, 2014 4:45 pm

1. What does it tell us about Lucy that she needed to basically be told twice by Aslan to go and help the wounded? Do you think this is an important piece of character development for Lucy? Why or Why not?
She is human and thus flawed. she cares a lot about Edmund. Yes, I do; without it she would seem too perfect.
2. Do you agree with Susan or Lucy about if Edmund should be told about what Aslan did for him?
Lucy. there is not doubt that it would be hard for him, but he does need to be told. One, it would be hard for him not to find out. The crack in the stone table will be noticed. The comment of Aslan's would have been overheard. (Must more people die for Edmund (or something like that)).
Lucy says the knife was the one that the witch used to kill Aslan. Edmund must have know because he didn't seem puzzled by her statement.

3. After Edmund was healed, Lucy noticed that looked better than he had since first went to "that horrid school" and "He had become his real old self again and could look you in the face." Why do you think Lewis points out this apparent difference in Edmund? What do you think caused this transformation?
Partly to criticize the schools of the time. It is also important to know Edmund is cured. I think it is a combination of things - it started when he realized he was wrong, the talk with Aslan of course was critical. I imagine destroying the witch's wand helped as well. The cordial might be able to restore people to the way they were before.
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Re: Chapter 17 The Hunting of the White Stag

Postby Nellie of Narnia » Jul 31, 2014 4:42 pm

Those are interesting points in the posts above regarding question #2. Good for you, Willow, for mentioning that quote by Edmund from VDT. Based on what Edmund said here, the reader can be sure that he did know at least the truth that Aslan had saved both him and Narnia, whether or not he knew how he did it.

And good observations by you, too, Twig's, about the things Edmund would have been wondering about or puzzled by had he not been told what Aslan did. Especially the comment by Aslan along the lines of: "Must more people die for Edmund?". I had never thought of the fact that Edmund probably overheard this, because, if I'm remembering correctly, this was spoken by Aslan to Lucy just after she revived Ed with the healing cordial, so he was right there. (Unless he was still in such a wounded state that he wasn't able to hear and understand this line by Aslan, and Aslan knew this.)

But the other things you pointed out, Twig's, (including the spoiler from VDT), definitely indicate that Edmund knew what had been done by Aslan. Either that or Lewis just included these parts in the books without thinking about their implications on this matter.

However, apart from these other indicators from LWW and VDT that Edmund did know, from just looking at the part alone (in LWW) where Susan and Lucy are talking about whether Edmund should be told, it seems that to say that:
1. He didn't know/wasn't told (at least not right away, but maybe never).
2. He shouldn't know/be told.

Having already explored point #1 above in this post so far, (whether Edmund was told what Aslan did for him and Narnia), I would like to say a few things about point #2 (whether he should be told).

I agree with Lucy's opinion that he should be told. Yes, it would be very hard for him to hear this, but I think it's important for him to know all the same. After all, the sacrificial death of Aslan is the entire reason that Edmund's life wasn't subject to the Witch, and it's also the reason why Narnia wasn't destroyed altogether after Edmund's act of treachery in LWW! Not to mention that (to my knowledge) Lewis meant the death and resurrection of Aslan to be a picture of what Jesus Christ did for mankind in giving his own life 2000 years ago, and that death and resurrection of Jesus is the whole crux of the Christian faith! So it's pretty important! ;)) And of course, if Edmund is told about Aslan's death, he could easily conclude for himself (although it might be told to him how it happened) that Aslan came back to life, since he met the Lion many a time after LWW took place.

I also agree with what some of you have said, that after experiencing the horrible death and the joyous resurrection of Aslan, it is almost unthinkable to see Susan and Lucy keeping all this to themselves forever, and to not tell Peter and Edmund.
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Re: Chapter 17 The Hunting of the White Stag

Postby waggawerewolf27 » Aug 03, 2014 5:49 am

1. What does it tell us about Lucy that she needed to basically be told twice by Aslan to go and help the wounded? Do you think this is an important piece of character development for Lucy? Why or Why not?

I agree with the rest of you about Lucy, and that it is an important piece of character development for her. I liked what Pattertwig's Pal said about how it made Lucy look more human and less a two dimensional Little Miss Perfect. This is something that would be an all too normal human reaction to be concerned for our nearest and dearest, forgetting that there are others without loving relatives hovering over them who need help just as much as he does, especially now that he was on the path to recovery.

2. Do you agree with Susan or Lucy about if Edmund should be told about what Aslan did for him?

I think we have to agree with Lucy, for Edmund's own sake. Even in VDT, when Edmund first met Ramandu's Daughter he was still concerned with his adventure in LWW, when he said he couldn't help believing her, but that might also happen with a witch. But Susan's reaction I think is very telling. She doesn't want to discuss with Edmund what Aslan did for him. Somehow or other, even at that point of the Chronicles there are things she can't face, and that is one of them. Now I am so much older, I keep wondering if her reaction at this stage presages what we learn about her in LB.

3. After Edmund was healed, Lucy noticed that looked better than he had since first went to "that horrid school" and "He had become his real old self again and could look you in the face." Why do you think Lewis points out this apparent difference in Edmund? What do you think caused this transformation?

I think when we first met Edmund, he felt alienated by his experiences at school and resentful of his siblings, Lucy in particular, who he saw as a baby getting the attention. His experiences with the White Witch had been an enormous shock to him. I doubt he realised the enormity of what he had done in going to her. Yes, the talk he had with Aslan did change his life, and Lucy's cordial restored him to what he should be.

Being able to look people in the face is, in British culture, a sign of a clear conscience and of honesty. So the implication here is that previously, before Aslan's little chat with him, that he had a bad conscience and that he had been hiding stuff.
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Re: Chapter 17 The Hunting of the White Stag

Postby Ryadian » Sep 15, 2014 7:39 pm

1. What does it tell us about Lucy that she needed to basically be told twice by Aslan to go and help the wounded? Do you think this is an important piece of character development for Lucy? Why or Why not?
I agree that, from a storytelling perspective, this is an important moment to establish that Lucy is neither perfect nor does she always trust Aslan--it's very important for her character development in that regard. From an in-story perspective, though, I think part of the reason she was so hesitant was because this was the third time, in about four days days, that she'd almost lost Edmund. (She lost him to the Witch when he left the Beaver's house, she nearly lost him when the Witch demanded his blood, and now he was about to die on the battlefield.) I can see how it would be hard to leave her brother without being absolutely sure that the magic cordial, which she has never used before, would work.

2. Do you agree with Susan or Lucy about if Edmund should be told about what Aslan did for him?
I'm not firmly in one camp or the other, but personally, I think the girls should leave it up to Aslan. After all, he's the one who chose to sacrifice himself for Edmund, and now that he's back, he's free to either share that with him or not. In fact, perhaps Aslan has already told him this--after all, we're never told what he said to Edmund that morning when he was rescued. Perhaps Aslan explained what was going to happen (all of it), and that's why Edmund was so calm even with the Witch demanding his blood. It seems unlike Aslan to tell them everything like that, but... you never know.

I do agree with all of you that Edmund eventually found out. I find it hard to believe that he never asked Aslan, Susan, or Lucy about why he was spared, especially since (as we know) he is known for his sense of justice, and I feel like not knowing would nag at him for the rest of his life. And besides, you all have already provided examples from the books which would indicate that he found out somehow. ;)


waggawerewolf27 wrote:But Susan's reaction I think is very telling. She doesn't want to discuss with Edmund what Aslan did for him. Somehow or other, even at that point of the Chronicles there are things she can't face, and that is one of them.

That's a really interesting thought; there are a couple of other points in the story which would lead me to think the same thing (such as she's the one, other than Edmund, who wants to go home after finding out about Mr. Tumnus). I think it might also be an indication of what she would be like as a Queen--being gentle, she didn't want to tell Edmund something so terrible, even if it was behind them. (In the same way, Lucy was braver, believing that telling Edmund the truth was worth risking the consequences.)

3. After Edmund was healed, Lucy noticed that looked better than he had since first went to "that horrid school" and "He had become his real old self again and could look you in the face." Why do you think Lewis points out this apparent difference in Edmund? What do you think caused this transformation?
I agree with Twigs that this was probably, in part, a jab/critique of schools at the time, as well as the idea of firmly establishing that Edmund is whole again, in body and spirit. Also, I think it might partly explain why Edmund was so different from the others--why was he so much more spiteful than any of his siblings, even before he ever met the Witch? This might be an indirect, partial explanation of that.

4. What was your favorite / least favorite part of this chapter?
One thing I really like is that Edmund was the one who ended up taking out the Witch's greatest weapon--her wand. After all, he's probably seen it in action more than any Narnian who hasn't been turned to stone! It also speaks to his transformation that he was willing to go after the wand, despite the danger it presented to him--especially since he was badly wounded in the battle.

I think my least favorite part is the idea that the children, after having been Kings and Queens so long, forgot about England and their entrance to Narnia entirely. If they forgot about that, then did they forget about their first adventure? How did they reconcile the idea that Edmund once betrayed them without the crucial information that he was a stranger to Narnia when he first came--unless they had forgotten that he betrayed them? (I don't think "forgiving and forgetting" is supposed to be taken to that extreme! ;) )
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There's also the fact that Lucy tells this story in HHB. This is already years after the events of LWW, so... did they spend even more years after this, long enough for her to forget entirely?
I can see how the intent is that Narnia became such a part of them that it was as if they'd always been there, but... yeah, I think that's a bit too extreme.
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Re: Chapter 17 The Hunting of the White Stag

Postby Movie Aristotle » Sep 30, 2014 11:37 pm

1. What does it tell us about Lucy that she needed to basically be told twice by Aslan to go and help the wounded? Do you think this is an important piece of character development for Lucy? Why or Why not?

I think sometimes we all think we know best and don't realize that we are disobeying. There are times when advice or negotiations are proper. There are also times to take orders as given. This was one of those times.

In this section we learn that even Lucy, the seemingly perfect child in this story, has her faults. But she learns quickly.

2. Do you agree with Susan or Lucy about if Edmund should be told about what Aslan did for him?

I agree with Lucy. Basically for two reasons:

A. I wouldn't be able to keep the secret. What Aslan did was too wonderful and important.
B. As Christians, we are told to preach the gospel. We are to proclaim Jesus' life, death, and resurrection. Lewis knew this.

Susan was a gentle person, and perhaps didn't want to tell Edmund because she didn't want him to feel bad about what he had done.
But note that Susan is the one who eventually walks away from her faith.


Lucy thought Ed ought to know what a terrific thing Aslan had done for him. Lucy wanted him to know the lengths that Aslan would go to because of his great love for Ed.

Perhaps Lewis left this question in the story deliberately unanswered by the characters, so that the children reading the book could make up their minds for themselves. Edmund should be told. In fact, all of the Edmunds in our world should be told as well.

3. After Edmund was healed, Lucy noticed that looked better than he had since first went to "that horrid school" and "He had become his real old self again and could look you in the face." Why do you think Lewis points out this apparent difference in Edmund? What do you think caused this transformation?

Aslan was the chief cause. Aslan changed his heart, his spirit. But this change was made manifest by Edmund defeating the Witch's wand. The temptress no longer had any power over him, and his breaking of the wand was both symbolic of and proof of this.

Another theory is that Lucy's cordial healed not only the wounds of the battle, but the ill effects of the Witch's enchanted food. Perhaps the Turkish Delight was the physical manifestation of Edmund's worst character traits. Maybe eating the Turkish Delight nurtured the nastier part of his nature, the part that was begun in him while at that horrid school. The cordial had the reverse effect, not only counteracting the Turkish Delight, but eliminating Edmund's character defects altogether. Perhaps the cordial not only heals the body, but the soul as well.

Perhaps Edmund emerged from the battle whole, refreshed in spirit, soul, & body, thanks to Aslan.
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