Friday, June 12, 2015

My Secrets of Literature- If I Could Meet One of My Favorite Literary Characters

I was over at The Pink Cave where I read Kaycee Browning's post on meeting a favorite literary character. It sounded like fun, so I thought I would give it a go.

How do you pick a favorite literary character? In my opinion, that's like trying to choose a favorite child, which is cruel and unusual punishment. Therefore I have adopted the policy of choosing "one of" my favorites, rather than settling on a specific, single answer.

I was debating over whom I would choose to meet from literature, this thought process was happening when I was supposed to be going to sleep. Welcome to my insomnia-atic brain folks!

Would I go speak to a character who was going to make a poor decision(s) leading to hardship and suffering (Julia from Mark of the Lions Series)? Would I fan girl over a character I had admired, and yes, crushed on since childhood (Frank and Joe Hardy), or would I choose a character whom I had always hated so that I might have the pleasure of either verbally assaulting/and-or-decking him (Mr. Dinsmore Elsie Dinsmore Series)?

Upon sifting through the myriad of characters swirling around in my head, it hit me who I really had wanted to talk to all along.

Yes, Edmund Pevensie. Like so many blessed home schooling children, my parents read C. S. Lewis's wonderful The Chronicles of Narnia aloud to me and my older brother. Throughout the years we have gone through multiple copies of the books, and our Focus on the Family radio drama CD cases are dog-eared. Oh, and of course, we own all of the movies.

I always loved Edmund as a character, even before I fell in love with the movie version of him in the most recent The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe at the tender age of 10. I still feel wonderful when I watch him.

Edmund represents humanity (us), in all of our ugliness, our betrayal, and our treachery. He has these wonderful siblings, and the incredible privilege of entering this beautiful land called Narnia. And yet, who is the first person he makes a connection with? The White Witch. She then uses him to betray the ones he loves best, and because of his actions, someone must pay the price. Aslan, the noble lion representing Jesus, chooses to give up his own, glorious life so that a single traitor like Edmund might be saved. After that, Edmund is an entirely different person.

He gains valuable time in the battle at the end of The Lion, the Witch, The Wardrobe by breaking the White Witch's wand, which she has been using liberally to turn the Peter's soldiers into stone. However, breaking the wand comes at a price, the White Witch stabs him and he nearly dies on the battlefield.

I know, so many people love Peter, or Lucy. They are the instantly likable ones. Peter is strong, brave, and courageous. In the books, you never read about him slipping up or making mistakes on purpose. Of course, in the movies, they give Peter a bit more of a believable emotional arc in which he deals with pride and recklessness.

Lucy is always this shining example of belief and open faith. She discovers Narnia, she is always brave, and she is always cheerful.

But no, I always loved Edmund more. Edmund, dear boy, knows what it means to be redeemed in a way that is unparalleled by any other character in this entire series. Edmund is touch with his own humanity, he knows what he is capable of, and he knows what his choices have cost. I believe this is why he became King Edmund the Just. Humility, wisdom, and justice are best friends.

After he is redeemed, Edmund becomes one of the steadiest characters. He is there backing up Peter and giving him courage when Peter has to go charging into his very first battle. In The Horse and His Boy (MY FAVORITE BOOK IN THE SERIES, I CANNOT WAIT FOR THEM TO MAKE IT INTO A MOVIE), Edmund is the guardian of his sister Queen Susan, and it is greatly due to his wisdom and discernment that she is saved from a life of horror and abuse. Later on, he, along with his sister Queen Lucy, leads the Narnian troops in aiding their beleaguered neighbors in Archenland.

In Prince Capsian after having been called back from our world, Edmund aids in rescuing Narnia from the grip of the Telmarines and restoring Prince Caspian to his rightful throne. In this book/movie, Edmund again shows how much character he has, he is the only one to back up Lucy when she sees Aslan, and the second one to see Aslan as he is revealing himself to the siblings. Peter would be lost without him at his side, as would so many others. His courage and quiet strength are the glue that hold most of the others together.

I have had multiple dreams where I go to Narnia, and I am always with Edmund. I love this character so much, and I believe that his story is probably the most vivid allegory ever written of Christ's redemption of humanity. Edmund, to put it, is broken, redeemed, and simply beautiful.

Small side note here, for fans of the movies. The actor who played Edmund Pevensie, Skandar Keynes, happens to be a direct descendant of the Charles Darwin! Coincidence? I think not! Simply consider that for a moment, the irony of it is too beautiful to be ignored.