Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Lucy's Temptation

While rewatching VOTDT, I was remembered how much I disliked Lucy's temptation scene. Oh, the magician's house is absolutely beautiful, especially with the snow, but by the Lion's Mane, why did her temptation scene have to deal with physical appearance? It's not entirely invented--she did see images of herself beautiful in the book, but far more than that--
She saw herself throned on high at a great tournament in Calormen and all the Kings of the world fought because of her beauty. After that it turned from tournaments to real wars, and all Narnia and Archenland, Telmar and Calormen, Galma and Terebinthia, were laid waste with the fury of the kings and dukes and great lords who fought for her favour. Then it changed and Lucy, still beautiful beyond the lot of mortals, was back in England. And Susan (who had always been the beauty of the family) came home from America. The Susan in the picture looked exactly like the real Susan only plainer and with a nasty expression. And Susan was jealous of the dazzling beauty of Lucy, but that didn't matter a bit because no one cared anything about Susan now.
She has a strong feeling that she shouldn't say the spell, but looks at the words anyway.  However, in the middle of the page she sees the face of Aslan, and instead, enacts a spell which lets her know what her friends think of her.  When she hears two of her friends belittling her, she thinks
I wonder are all my friends the same? There are lots of other pictures. No. I won't look at any more. I won't, I won't' and with a great effort she turned over the page, but not before a large, angry tear had splashed on it.
To be honest, I think this scene would have been far more interesting. I know a lot of girls struggle with  appearance, but it doesn't fit Lucy's character. She is concerned about other peoples' opinion, but in a different way. Both in LWW and in Prince Caspian, she is deeply hurt when people don't believe that she is telling the truth. Also, a temptation involving friends hits much closer to home for me. During high school, I had acquaintances, buddies, but no peers I would classify as friends. Even now, at college, I feel unreasonable panic when one of my friends chooses to hang out with another and I'm left alone. Not always, but in certain circumstances..

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