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Let there be ... beheadings ...

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Let there be ... beheadings ...

Postby CKinna » 11 Mar 2009, 14:13

Lewis said "Let there be wicked kings and beheadings, battles and dungeons, giants and dragons, and let villains be soundly killed at the end of the book." in his essay "On Three Ways of Writing for Children"

I am teaching an adult ed class at my local community college and exploring the issue of violence in the CON I wanted to present the most striking fact - the number of beheadings in the CON. I am sure this has been discussed in the past, but I need a few voluntary research assistants to list all of the beheadings in the CON and any other extremely violent images Lewis includes.

For the Narnia experts out there with time to kill I appreciate any effort you put forth.

Thanks! :smile:
What does not satisfy when we find it, was not the thing we were desiring. - Brother Jack
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Re: Let there be ... beheadings ...

Postby Leslie » 11 Mar 2009, 22:18

Well, there's the one in PC, when one of Miraz's henchmen (can't recall which one) gets his legs and head walloped off in the battle after the single combat.
"What are you laughing at?"
"At myself. My little puny self," said Phillipa.
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Re: Let there be ... beheadings ...

Postby Lirenel » 12 Mar 2009, 01:24

I know my mother was shocked when she first read the beheading in Prince Caspian. Me, I was shocked...that I hadn't even noticed it despite having read the book at least two times before her. Or maybe I read it and it just 'went over my head' so to speak, since I was pretty young when I read it the first time. So I suppose I can tell you that adults care more about things like that than kids.

But take that with a grain of salt because I have a bad habit of skimming books.
The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life, of whom shall I be afraid? - Psalm 27:1

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Re: Let there be ... beheadings ...

Postby Stanley Anderson » 12 Mar 2009, 14:09

Lirenel wrote:...maybe I read it and it just 'went over my head' so to speak, since I was pretty young when I read it the first time. So I suppose I can tell you that adults care more about things like that than kids.


This is an example of what I have mentioned many times when people ask what the right time or the right age to read CoN (or nearly any other book) to their children is. My response is that you really can read a book to them at any age (even before they can speak), since they are only capable of forming images in their heads of what is being read to them by what they can imagine at that point. Much of the text may go "over their heads", but so what? What ever they can glean from the book will be valuable (if it is worth reading and holds their interest -- and one must take into account the fact that they need to be "trained" to enjoy listening to being read to, so those first frustrating attempts must be followed up with more effort before giving up).

This, by the way, is in direct contrast to whether movies of various kinds are appropriate for children. In that case, as opposed to listening to books being read, where, for the most part, they can only take in what they can imagine, the visual imagery of a film is, in effect, "crammed down their throat", so that things that may not be disturbing when read aloud (eg the beheading that passed right by your attention as a child), may be extremely harmful when shown to a child on the screen. In effect, the screen is bypassing the child's imagination and spoon feeding the imagery directly to his or her mind in a potentially unhealthy way.

--Stanley
…on a night of rain Frodo smelled a sweet fragrance on the air and heard the sound of singing that came over the water. And then it seemed to him that as in his dream in the house of Bombadil, the grey rain-curtain turned all to silver glass and was rolled back, and he beheld white shores and beyond them a fair green country under a swift sunrise.
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Re: Let there be ... beheadings ...

Postby archenland_knight » 12 Mar 2009, 14:11

Tirian beheads an opponent in what I think was his first encounter with the Calormen in LB. Jewel takes one out with his horn in the same fight.

Stanley wrote: In effect, the screen is bypassing the child's imagination and spoon feeding the imagery directly to his or her mind in a potentially unhealthy way.


Which is a problem all by itself, no matter what the imagery is.
Romans 5:8 "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
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Re: Let there be ... beheadings ...

Postby A#minor » 19 Jun 2009, 22:16

Oh, well said, Stanley!

I remember re-reading books as an adult that I had read as a child (or had had read out loud to me), and there are all sorts of things I don't remember being in there. I certainly don't remember any beheadings. Yes, I think adults are more sensitive and worried about violence, etc... than children are.
Kids are sheltered too much these days anyways. Violence and pain are realities of life that they ought to learn to cope with eventually, and if you present them with examples of correct behavior when placed in situations of violence, then they are that much more prepared to face it in their own lives. Even if it's just the bully at school or the neighbor's mean dog that bit them, they can relate it to the literary knowledge they've gained and react in an appropriate manner.
Just a thought.
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Re: Let there be ... beheadings ...

Postby archenland_knight » 09 Aug 2009, 23:55

A#Minor wrote:Violence and pain are realities of life that they ought to learn to cope with eventually, and if you present them with examples of correct behavior when placed in situations of violence, then they are that much more prepared to face it in their own lives. Even if it's just the bully at school or the neighbor's mean dog that bit them, they can relate it to the literary knowledge they've gained and react in an appropriate manner.
Just a thought.


I totally agree. "Barney" feeds children the "I love you, you love me" tripe that leaves them totally unprepared for the fact that there is a whole world of people out there that do not, in fact, love them.

My kids grow up on Bible Stories. My oldest son's favorite story was, of course, David And Goliath. At the age of 3 or 4 he had is own title for the story. "Cut off The Giant's Head".
Romans 5:8 "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
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Re: Let there be ... beheadings ...

Postby carol » 10 Aug 2009, 07:05

One of the great things about being a family without TV in the 60s was that we listened to lots of good radio, including fantastic children's programmes. We were well served by excellent BBC radio serialisations of good classic kids' books, some of which I have read and re-read over the years (anyone else read "Tom's Midnight Garden"?) We had our own mental pictures of the scenes and the characters.
FotF radio dramas have helped bring that for some children.
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