Up@dawn 2.0

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Final Blog Post (1/3) H1G4 - Edmund Pevensie: A Story of Redemption

First, A Little Note....

Although this post will contribute but a drop to the great ocean we call the CoPhilosophy Blog, I would like to say that I am honored to have been a part of such a great community of thinkers.  Dr. Oliver, your class has taught me many different ideas and viewpoints concerning the great world in which we live, and I have grown in ways I probably will not fully appreciate until further down the line.  I thank you for pushing us and occasionally throwing us out of our comfort zone.  I plan to use what I have learned to better understand the people around me and embrace with a renewed enthusiasm the life I have been given.  I hope you enjoy this last series of posts!

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Edmund Pevensie: A Story of Redemption

Introduction:



Some of you might have heard of C.S. Lewis (1898-1963).  The most notable of his many roles are that of author and Christian Apologist.  He became very popular from the radio broadcasts he made during WWII, talking about Christianity from the perspective of an ordinary man [he later turned those broadcasts into his book Mere Christianity (1952)].  However, he is probably most famous for his children's series, The Chronicles of Narnia (1950-1956), whose Christian allegories are pretty easily recognized.  The first one to be published, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, is probably one of the more popular books of the seven that make up the series.  I am going to focus on the story of a particular character in the first published book, Edmund Pevensie.

I chose this subject because I believe everyone has a world view, and those world views make up what we like to call philosophy.  In the spirit of our "collaborative search for wisdom," I thought I would share the world view of a well-known man such as C.S. Lewis, who has influenced many a reader since he began his career.  I chose Edmund Pevensie specifically because his story is one that I think really shows the core of Lewis' beliefs.  It is a story of redemption.

Summary:

Just in case you have never read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, here's an extremely brief summary below:

Narnia is a land that is connected to Earth by a portal, a Wardrobe in the spare room of a mansion.  It is being ruled by the evil White Witch, who has trapped the land in a perpetual state of winter without Christmas.  Four human children, Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy Pevensie, accidentally find themselves in Narnia and learn of the White Witch from some Narnians, who are animals.  The children learn that Aslan, the Lion of lions, is the rightful King of Narnia, and that he has come to make things right again.  The four Pevensie children fight alongside Aslan and his army against the White Witch, and they ultimately defeat her, bringing peace to the land.  The Pevensie children are crowned the rulers of the land and they live there until adulthood, ruling justly and peacefully.

However, things did not go quite as smoothly for one character.  Here is the story of the third oldest sibling, Edmund Pevensie....

Part I: The Sinner




Edmund Pevensie is definitely the least pleasant of the four Pevensie children.  He is rude, spiteful, and just plain mean, especially to his little sister, Lucy.  Edmund acts like a know-it-all and really irritates those around him with his arrogant attitude.

Well, Edmund is quickly fooled by the White Witch, who introduces herself to him as the Queen of Narnia, into thinking she is good.  He basically sells himself into her service for some enchanted Turkish Delight, which makes him crave more.  Even after he realizes the Queen is actually the evil White Witch, Edmund rationalizes his allegiance to her by saying that they could not really be the same person....


Edmund is completely fooled by the fox in sheep's clothing.

Edmund's own greed and selfishness cause him to accept the gifts of the White Witch, who fools him into thinking he can have happiness and power if he just follows his own desires and her guidance.

Likewise, Satan is constantly trying to get us to think we can have it all by relying only on our own strength.  We gorge ourselves on our own desires in greed, just like Edmund with his Turkish Delight.  At first, we only experience the immediate pleasure of indulgence.  However, sooner or later, things start to change....

When all four children are together, they find out about Aslan from Mr. Beaver and his wife.  At the mention of Aslan's name, Peter, Susan, and Lucy feel a great sense of joy, while Edmund feels a mysterious sense of dread and horror.  There is something about that name.... However, Edmund can only think about that Turkish Delight!  When the group talks about meeting Aslan at the Stone Table to plan for Narnia's rescue from the White Witch, Edmund escapes the Beavers' abode and finds the White Witch to tell her what they are up to.

However, the White Witch now treats Edmund with contempt and cruelty.  She ties him up and plans to kill him so she can secure her reign over Narnia.  Whoa!  That's a big change from their first meeting!  Edmund begins to see that he has made a mistake by choosing her side.  In her frustration of her winter land melting due to Aslan's presence, the White Witch turns a small family of forest creatures into stone with her golden wand.  At this point, Edmund REALLY regrets joining her, but it is too late; she has him in her grasp and there's nothing he can do about it.  

Edmund is about to pay for his mistake....

Some people who have tried to tackle the world on their own feel a sense of hopelessness.  They don't want to rely on anyone else, but then they realize they cannot surmount the struggles of everyday life.  They feel like there is no way out.  They have made too many mistakes.  They are done, and there's nothing they can do about it.  There is no hope for them...

... Just like there is no hope for Edmund, who is about to be killed.  Who will save him?  Find out on the next post!

3 comments:

  1. Thank you, Keaton. The world's big enough for all kinds of views, especially when we're willing to engage those of others respectfully. I, too, will continue to ponder your and your peers' views. It's never too late to entertain a fresh idea.

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  2. I agree with you. That is definitely something I have learned in your class - there are many many different views out there! It has been an interesting and challenging experience looking at them and digesting them. I will also spend more time contemplating the implications of these different ideas of the world. Thanks again for your class!

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  3. Very nice posts Keaton! My sister has been a huge fan of the movies for a while now, and while I caught some of the parallels with Christianity, this showed me a lot more! I am really glad that I got to do so! This just exemplifies what this class was for me- an oppurtunity to begin thinking about life and the way we and others are living in it, and the way we can live along side one another in peaceful coexistance even with our differences!

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