Matthew Alderman provides a good reminder of why it is important to actually read and understand what someone writes rather than to assume the worst based upon a shallow and culturally captive reading. I’ve often wondered how, if they get to it, the Narnia films will deal with this?
It’s one of childhood’s great narrative shocks. Susan Pevensie is no longer a friend of Narnia. The bad news comes, almost offhandedly, as the series ends amid the cheerfully eschatological curtain-calls of The Last Battle. How could he—C.S. Lewis, Aslan, maybe God—do that to dear old Su? To Queen Susan the Gentle, Susan the sure-sighted archeress?
Surely you remember her. She is the second-eldest of the Pevensie children, the pretty one in the family, dark-haired, tender-hearted, and occasionally cautious to the point of being a bit of a wet blanket. In The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, she is given the representative gifts of a bow, arrows, and a magic horn that summons help wherever you might be. These gifts signify her strength, femininity, and prudence.
Yet she is conspicuously absent from the roll call of Narnian heroes we encounter in Aslan’s heavenly country. She is, Aslan says, “no longer a friend of Narnia.” Susan, we remember, is excluded from heaven for growing up, for liking lipstick, nylons, and parties.