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Mailbag

Letters from our readers

Issue: "Left behind," June 28, 2008

Mere resemblance

Megan Basham's review of Prince Caspian ("To Narnia!" May 17/24) excellently avoids the mistake of judging a movie entirely by the book it adapts. However, while I liked many things about Adamson's movie, it just isn't Lewis' book. Aslan was all but absent from the story, and the reawakening of Narnia, which makes up so much of the novel's beauty, was completely absent. The movie is less an "adaptation" than a "resemblance."
-Charlie W. Starr; Grayson, Ky.

I lost sleep because of your review of Prince Caspian before I saw the movie, particularly because of your description of Susan as a "warrior princess leading the charge and commanding men (or at least male Narnians) on the battlefield." After seeing the movie, however, I would point out that although Susan does perform one or two stunts needlessly sugarcoated with girl power, at no point does she lead a charge on the battlefield; she directs a rear rank of archers. I am very confused, however, that the article did not mention the quasi-romance between Susan and Caspian, a departure far bolder and more uncalled-for than any other.
-Clara Meath; Adelphi, Md.

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I was impressed with many things in the movie, but creating an arrogant, controlling, and prideful Peter who lost faith in Aslan was not a positive change. It saddened me that Peter's previous encounters with Aslan had seemingly faded from his memory. Lewis' original message was superior: A true encounter with Aslan (Christ) will make lasting changes in a person's attitudes, character, and actions. If that makes Peter and all of the characters seem too good to be true, then so be it.
-Susan Corley; Carthage, Texas

I am amazed at fans' negative response to the movie's portrayals of Peter and Susan. Their characters were not really different from those in the books, just expanded. In the book, as in the movie, Peter struggled with self-reliance and Susan did not enjoy violence but she fought when necessary to save her siblings and Narnia. Adamson was very faithful to the source material while telling the story as he read it.
-Emily Nowak; Churchton, Md.

Right on the student loan

Janie B. Cheaney is right on the money when she points out that many students graduate from college with huge debt and low incomes ("Diminished returns," May 17/24). I frequently work with young (and not-so-young) folks who are deeply in debt due to college loans. Sometimes these are deeply committed believers who would like to go into missions or the pastorate but find their debt preventing them. While Scripture does not condemn borrowing as sin, it certainly warns that the borrower is a "slave to the lender."
-Robin Lambert; Webster, N.Y.

As a current college student, I found especially interesting the assertion that "many young people without professional goals could get their life preparation elsewhere, like travel, apprenticeship, or volunteer work." I love the idea but there are issues: Travel costs money; I've never found an apprenticeship that didn't require some advanced schooling; and volunteer work doesn't pay the bills. How do we make this work?
-Alisha Bennett; LaRue, Ohio

I would add to Janie Cheaney's insightful column that an enlistment in the armed forces can also prepare young people for life, clarify professional goals, and provide valuable training and experience, provided the young person has "counted the cost" of serving his or her country.
-Kathy Benton; Gainesville, Fla.

Lives worthy

The column about Cpl. Matthew P. Wallace and his fellow soldiers ("Blood that speaks," May 17/24) was a beautifully written, compassion-filled remembrance of lives worthy of remembering. Mindy Belz was able to capture our delicate tightrope walk through grief in words because she chose to see it as her own. As we spent Memorial Day at Arlington, we knew we were accompanied by the thoughts of many from the WORLD community. Words fail to convey how deeply that's appreciated.
-Louise Korade; Hollywood, Md.

In July our family of six will drive up the Eastern Seaboard to absorb American history and make a few family memories. "Blood that speaks" put a face and a name to our future time at Arlington. We will make the long walk to Section 60 and find the grave. While we're discussing the brightness of the marble and the lack of grass, I will read that Wallace was "torn between confidence in Christ and his mission." We will pause and listen to the breeze and pray for the Wallaces (and the Korades) and the families of all those who made the greatest sacrifice.
-Mark Whitlock; Franklin, Tenn.

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