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the meaning of Tumnus

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Postby Solomons Song » 23 Aug 2007, 01:40

I've heard on many occasions that the whole Narnia series was sparked by a picture of a faun walking through a snowy wood carrying an umbrella. But if he charactered Tumnus after anyone is anyone's guess. I heard he patterned Ransom after Tolkien somewhere (though I cannot remember where) and then heard that Tolkien returned the favor by patterning Treebeard after Lewis.

If anything, I consider Shasta (Cor) to be the best picture of Lewis. Poor, with a slaves existence when he was an atheist, but haunted by a sense of wonder of "what might out there". In the same way this led Shasta to travel north, it led Lewis to Christ, where Shasta (and Lewis) ultimately came into their true inheritance, and given his true name (identity) by their father (God).

Hmm. I guess this would make Bree, Tolkien :lol: With the emphasis Tolkien gave to horses in LotR, I imagine he would have been honored to have been made into a talking horse.
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Postby Guest » 24 Aug 2007, 14:01

Solomons Song wrote:If anything, I consider Shasta (Cor) to be the best picture of Lewis.


For similar reasons, I've considered Trumpkin to have Lewis-esque qualities. An honorable doubter who is eventually thrown up into the air by He whom he doubted.

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Postby Roonwit » 24 Aug 2007, 17:52

Tumnus representing Lewis was something that was mentioned in the Dreamer of Narnia DVD in the box set of LWW.
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Postby King Peter » 25 Aug 2007, 00:36

Dan65802 wrote:
Solomons Song wrote:If anything, I consider Shasta (Cor) to be the best picture of Lewis.


For similar reasons, I've considered Trumpkin to have Lewis-esque qualities. An honorable doubter who is eventually thrown up into the air by He whom he doubted.

- Dan -


These are good points. Actually, though, I have always thought of Digory / Prof. Kirke being the most similar to Lewis. In LWW, the professor reminds me of Lewis and in MN I see the correlation with Jack having lost his mother and Digory almost losing his mother.
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Postby Dan65802 » 27 Aug 2007, 14:11

King Peter wrote:Actually, though, I have always thought of Digory / Prof. Kirke being the most similar to Lewis. In LWW, the professor reminds me of Lewis and in MN I see the correlation with Jack having lost his mother and Digory almost losing his mother.


I believe Professor Kirke of LWW was based on Lewis' tutor in his teen years, William Kirkpatrick, although there will undoubtedly be similarities between Lewis and his tutor.

I've often wondered if it was painful for Lewis to write about Digory's mother. MN was definitely a fantasy story, since the healing of Digory's mother was the dream that Lewis never got to see as reality.

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Postby carol » 28 Aug 2007, 09:10

I think some of the narrative of MN does suggest that Lewis was remembering a good bit of those difficult days before he lost his mother - and after.
I find them quite poignant, particularly the bit where Digory looks up and sees the tears in Aslan's eyes, as if the Lion cared about his mother even more than he did. I always get tears in mine at that point! It strikes a chord with anyone whose mother was died or was seriously ill, when they were a child.
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Postby nomad » 28 Aug 2007, 17:32

I've never heard the idea that Tumnus represented Jack. And to be honest, I never thought of any of the characters being particularly like Lewis. I would suppose there are bits of him in many of the characters, as well as bits of what he would like to be or even what he feared becoming.

Did LWW ever actually say that the packages Tumnus was carrying were Christmas gifts? If so, that would be a point worth considering, since that seems like the sort of thing an author would do on purpose.
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Postby Dan65802 » 28 Aug 2007, 17:40

nomad wrote:Did LWW ever actually say that the packages Tumnus was carrying were Christmas gifts? If so, that would be a point worth considering...


No it does not. It says that what with the snow and packages, it looked like someone having just completed their Christmas shopping.

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Postby moordarjeeling » 08 Sep 2007, 20:52

Stanley Anderson wrote:Lewis does quite often insert himself into his work. I don't know if it is "that way", but we see him as the author inserting himself in the Bragdon Wood scene in That Hideous Strength. And we see him as an actual character in Perelandra. And we see him as the dreamer in The Great Divorce, and we see him "talking to us" with his opinions as author in several places in the Narnia books. These are all different ways that he inserted himself into his work


Imo there's no problem with Lewis putting 'himself' or 'bits of himself' etc into the same book in several different ways! Professor Kirk is like Lewis in his profession, his library, his open-mindedness about magic and other worlds, and being a fan of Plato. :-) Tumnus is like Lewis in culture (his furnishings contrasted with the Beavers'), his library ("Is Man a Myth"), etc. Trumpkin is like Lewis in some ways. And of course Lewis does speak in a narrator's voice sometimes, as in (quoting from memory) "It is as though King Arthur were to come back to England today (and the sooner the better, I say)"

(I even like to think that he put a bit of "himself" as he might have been had he never converted, in the character traits of Fairy Hardcastle, but that is very debatable of course and only my own wild conjecture:-)


Too wild for me! But I did have a regrettable moment of thinking what Hardcastle might say about the Minneapolis restroom police. <grin, duck, and run very fast>
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