After the group’s stubborn refusal to go Aslan’s way nearly ends in disaster, Lucy finally gets a chance to talk to the Lion. I never realized how much I wanted that until now, even if it is sadly brief.
“Aslan,” said Lucy, “you’re bigger.”
“That is because you are older, little one,” answered he.
“Not because you are?”
“I am not. But every year you grow, you will find me bigger.”
This is yet another conversation where I want to quote EVERY LINE, but I’ll trust that you’ve read it, too. This particular line is notable because it so well encapsulates a child’s view of God, finding him “bigger” every time they happen to meet him because they have a better understanding of the world in general. On a side note, this is also how I relate to all of my favorite stories (including these books) – every time I experience them again, I have a bit more knowledge of the world in general and a more in-depth understanding of the given story, so I actually enjoy it more than I did before.
Anyhow, this chapter feels like not much actually happens for the first twelve pages (that is, until Lucy meets Aslan), but I know that’s intentional. They decided to go their own way, but it not only gets them nowhere, it wastes their time and energy, and the reader’s meant to be a little frustrated, too. At least we get this:
“I suppose we’ll have to go right up the gorge again now,” said Lucy.
“Lu, you’re a hero,” said Peter. “That’s the nearest you’ve gotten today to saying I told you so.”
I love how humble Peter is, always the first to acknowledge when he’s made a mistake (and he clearly considers the whole situation his fault, even if he could justifiably have shirked the blame onto someone else’s shoulders).
Back to Lucy and Aslan:
“To know what would have happened, child?” said Aslan. “No. Nobody is ever told that.”
“Oh dear,” said Lucy.
“But anyone can find out what will happen,” said Aslan. “If you go back to the others now, and wake them up; and tell them you have seen me again; and that you must all get up at once and follow me – what will happen? There is only one way of finding out.”
I can’t speak for anybody else, but I know I’ve needed this reminder every once in a while. You can’t know how your actions might have changed things when you fail to act, so there’s no point in worrying about it; but you can always change the future, and then you’ll learn what impact you can make. It might not be easy, but it’s always better to do something than nothing.
It is a terrible thing to have to wake four people, all older than yourself and all very tired, for the purpose of telling them something they probably won’t believe and making them do something they certainly won’t like.
I can definitely feel for Lucy on that one (speaking as the youngest in a family of five), and of course her fears are merited: Peter proves to be too drowsy to really listen to her, and then Susan shuts her down altogether. Edmund can’t see Aslan, but as the chapter comes to a close, he does believe her, and agrees to help her wake everyone up. Because he’s cool now.
Until next time…