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Lewis/Caspian symbolism

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Lewis/Caspian symbolism

Postby -centaur- » Jul 08, 2010 12:37 pm

This isn't really a discussion thread, just something I thought was interesting. :p

I just finished reading Jack's Life, a short biography of C. S. Lewis. (It's a great book by Douglas Gresham, I'd recommend it to anyone). It's not the first biography I've read about him, but there are things in it I hadn't known before. One thing in particular stood out. Growing up in Ireland for the first decade of his life, Jack's nurse told him stories about the ancient myths and legends of Ireland. That's a good guess as to where the beginning of Prince Caspian comes from. Later in life, he made a promise to his friend Paddy Moore before they went off to war. If either should die, the survivor would take care of the other's family. Paddy died, and Lewis stuck to his word, caring for Paddy's mother Janie and his sister Maureen. Mrs. Moore was broken by Paddy's death and began ordering Jack around. Before long, he was little more than a slave, and I'm sure at one point or another wished he hadn't made the promise.

"Caspian had often wondered why he disliked his aunt, and he now saw it was because she disliked him." While Jack never hated Mrs. Moore, I can see where that part of the storyline came from, too.

(mods, if this the wrong place for this thread, move it :D )
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Re: Lewis/Caspian symbolism

Postby DiGoRyKiRkE » Jul 09, 2010 6:01 am

No, this it the right place for this thread. . . I'm just not convinced that I'm seeing the similarities. Lots of people have friends and relatives that they dislike, and lots of people have heard Irish fairy stories. That doesn'e necessarily imply that the stories and the grouchy old lady inspired Prince Caspian.

Now the fairy tales definitely did give rise a thoughtful and imaginative child. They allowed his imagination to flourish even through early youth, and therefore allowed for the eventual writing of CoN, but I don't think that they inspired them.

It may be of interest to note that I have always thought PC to be based rather loosely on the story of King David. Both of them grew up in court, both of them had to overcome huge adversities in early life, both of them had to flee for their lives from kings who wished to kill them, both of them lived in the wilderness with their armies, etc. . .
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Re: Lewis/Caspian symbolism

Postby Boy Scout » Jul 11, 2010 7:55 am

C.S lewis could have very well got the idea for Caspian's from his own. Writers often write based off experiacne. (Or so I'm told) The part about Caspian's aunt appears less likely to me.
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Re: Lewis/Caspian symbolism

Postby Alyosha » Jul 11, 2010 9:20 am

Interesting. I hadn't noticed that before. I don't know if he did it on purpose, but every writer draws from their own experience, and Lewis certainly did (Puddleglum is based on Fred Paxford his gardener, Lucy on June Flewett...). Some commentators have said that Digory is a representation of Lewis too, since his mother died when he was the same age as Digory in MN (only Digory's didn't, obviously). And Digory's personality seems more similar to Lewis' than Caspian's does.
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Re: Lewis/Caspian symbolism

Postby DiGoRyKiRkE » Jul 11, 2010 11:52 am

Both Lewis' mother and Digory's mother were also sick with the same illness. I read in a book somewhere (I forget where) that both had stomach cancer (which explains why Digory's mother was nervous about eating the apple at first)
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Re: Lewis/Caspian symbolism

Postby DamselJillPole » Jul 11, 2010 8:09 pm

I did a report on this about two years ago stating some reasons about how CS Lewis is so close into comparison as Caspian 10th. I always thought I was the only one who knew this but thank you to this, I see I'm not alone. :) :ymapplause:
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