2008-07-06 Show 003

Prince Caspian

Jack’s Service in the British Military

We’ll cover C S (Jack) Lewis’ military service in recognition of July 4th

  • Jack fought in the trenches in France in WW I before he was converted to the Christian faith
  • He saw military service as consistent with Christian belief and went so far as to write a paper entitled “Why I Am Not a Pacifist
  • Jack was awarded a scholarship to an Oxford college in 1916 and as a university student he had to pass an exam that included a math section. He took the exam early in 1917 but failed math and was admitted provisionally
  • He entered Oxford and decided to go to the Officers Training Core OTC.  While there he roomed with Paddy Moore and got to know Moore’s family, Janie and Maureen
  • In the Fall of 1917 Paddy and jack finished OTC and after a moth’s leave Jack joined the Somerset Light Infantry
  • In November Jack’s regiment was sent to France and went into combat
  • Jack was wounded in April of 1918 and sent to a hospital in France and then to a hospital in England.  Paddy Moore was killed in 1918.
  • Jack was discharged from the Army late in 1918 and entered Oxford
  • Oxford waived the math exam for returning servicemen, and that helped Jack.
  • When Jack was in the French hospital he was visited by his brother Warren who was also in the Army.  This visit healed a rift that had been developing between the brothers.
  • Jack and his father Albert became more estranged because of some events during Jack’s Army career.
  • Jack became close to Paddy’s mother, Janie.  After the war he took care of her because of a promise he had made to Paddy but he never told his father that he was using the money Albert sent him for support to also support the Moore’s.
  • Jack took care of Janie Moore until she died in 1951.  She became more and more bitter and domineering as she got older and made domestic life difficult for Jack.
  • Some commentators think that Jack’s relationship with Janie was not only close but sexual, but no one knows for sure

Prince Caspian and Desire and Faith

  • Note – read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (TLWW) first or Princed Caspian (PC) won’t make much sense to you
  • TLWW was written in 1950 and PC was written in 1951
  • We meet Caspian three times in the Chronicles.  First, as a young man in PC, then as a middle-aged king in the prime of life in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader and finally as an old man in The Silver Chair
  • There are 2 major similarities between Caspian and Lewis
    • Their parents are absent when they are young men – Caspian’s are dead, Jack’s mother has died and his father is distant
    • They have nurses who are important in that they tell them stories of the old days
  • There are also similarities between the two novels, PC and TLWW
    • In both of them Narnia is ruled by an evil tyrant
    • The 4 children appear in both of them and are used to help free Narnia from this evil rule
  • But there are also important differences
    • In TLWW, the White Witch rules by magic.  She recognizes that Narnia is a magical land
    • In PC, Narnia has been conquered by an outside race, t he Telmarines, who do not believe in magic or Aslan and who want to drive the knowledge of Old Narnia underground
  • Studying the conflict between Desire and Belief is one way of understanding PC
    • Desire is a feeling or want that springs up from inside us
    • Belief or Faith is a principle or idea that you hold that guides your actions.  When we have Faith in something, we may have good evidence for our Belief, but we recognize that there also may be good evidence we are wrong
    • Sometimes our Desires and faith are aligned and sometimes they are in conflict
  • Example 1 – Miraz, the Telmarines, and Narnia
    • The Telmarines have evidence that the magical Narnia, the Old Narnia exists.  Therefore,  they should conclude that the stories about Aslan and the 4 children are also true.
    • However, they don’t desire for them to be true – they do not want Aslan to exist because he would require them to rule Narnia in a benevolent way.
  • Example 2 – Caspian, Old Narnia, and Aslan
    • Caspian is told the tales about Old Narnia by his nurse and then his tutor.
    • He likes the stories and learns his moral values from them – he wants them to be true.
    • When a son is born to Miraz, Caspian must flee the country or he will be murdered by Miraz so Miraz’s son can rule
    • Caspian finds 3 of the Old Narnians by accident and decides to believe in Aslan because he has found out that the Old Narnia really does exist.  Besides, he wants it to exist.
  • Example 3 – The 2 Dwarves
    • They believe in Old Narnia, since they are part of it, but they do not believe in Aslan
    • Why?  Perhps because they really want the Telmarines to be driven out of the country and Narnia restored, and Aslan has not done this, as he should have.  They therefore conclude that Aslan does not exist because their desire has not been fulfilled
  • Example 4 – The 4 Children
    • They return to Narnia and try to get to Caspian to help him.  To do this, they must cross a gorge.
    • Lucy sees Aslan leading them up the gorge, but they want to go down and get out of the woods ASAP
    • They go down but they are nearly killed by some of Miraz’s men.  They then have to go up the gorge.
    • Aslan appears again to Lucy and says that she must make the otehrs follow her now or follow him alone if they won’t come.
    • They follow Aslan, but at first only Lucy can see him leading them.
    • Eventually they do see him but in order according to their original faith in his leading.
  • One dwarf lets his desire to get rid of Miraz lead him to try something evil by calling up the White Witch, and this leads to his death.
  • The other dwarf follows the Old Narnian moral code and eventually he encounters Aslan and believes in him.
  • Ideas from the story that are worth thinking about.

    • Do we have to believe in the possibility of God’s existence before we can begin to have faith in God?
    • Can being a good atheist be a way to encountering God?
    • Why do some of the Telmarines decided to stay in Old Narnia – what caused their faith to begin?

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