Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today is the day that we are reminded to give thanks for everything God has blessed us with. I say reminded, because we are not suppose to give thanks only on the last Thursday of November - but every day, every minute of the year. So let us give thanks for life, for family, for Jesus' amazing sacrifice on the cross.

Today we are reminded, also, of the Pilgrims and their brave journey across the ocean. A journey that lasted nearly two months; a voyage that was full of sea-sickness, short food provisions, and storms that nearly destroyed their ship. The Lord protected them, nonetheless, and they survived the hardships and arrived at the New World near the beginning of November, 1620. The end of their journey, however, was not the end of their struggles. Winter came upon them while they were unprepared and still settling in. As a result, half of the company that voyaged from Holland (about 150 people, including sailors, etc) in September, died during the first winter in the New World. Coldness, starvation, lack of Vitamin C, weak/unhealthy diet, as well as many other causes, resulted in Scurvy, Pneumonia, and Tuberculosis.
Squanto, a Patuxent Native American, befriended them after the dreadful winter, most likely in early spring. He taught them how to use the land and water to their advantage, eels and fish were caught from the ocean, while corn was planted as instructed by Squanto. A year passed, and the Pilgrims started to thrive and built homes from trees that were cut down in the process of clearing. Crops grew healthy and strong, as well as the friendship between the Pilgrims and the Indians (that they had feared so much). Captain Jones made a journey back to England on the Mayflower, in April of 1621 to get supplies and possibly more people to inhabit the New World. Then in October or November of the same year (1621), after they had gathered in all of the crops, there was a celebration and feast that lasted three days. Ninety Indians, as well as their Chief, joined the Pilgrims in this feast, helping supply food and entertainment. This was a time of rejoicing, and thanking the Lord for what he had done.
This was the first of many Thanksgivings and the colonists were accustomed to having these feasts regularly in the future - the thing of thanks changing every time. It really is a good example to us, to set aside a day of thanks. Though let us not forget to constantly be in thanks.

While this is considered the 'First Thanksgiving', it was not officially called that until 1863 when, during the Civil War, President Lincoln proclaimed a national day of "Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens". Since then it has been celebrated every fourth Thursday of November, nation wide. Lincoln's Proclamation of Thanksgiving (1863) is really amazing to read. I'll give you the link, instead of posting the whole thing here. Click - Proclamation of Thanksgiving
I think it must have been hard, but profitable, for the people of America to find things to be thankful for in the midst of a sad, unneeded war. Brothers fought against brothers, friends against friends, and at the end of this cruel war an estimated 620,000 men died in line of duty. Cause of death varied from starvation, wounds (either instantly, later, or often from infection), frost bite, or slow death in Prison Camps. The prison camps actually played a large part in the amount of deaths, and as I read in a
1st Minnesota Infantry at Gettysburg
article "...the camp at Andersonville, Georgia, which held Union prisoners, has become one of the most infamous in the history of war. Nearly as many men died in captivity during the Civil War as died fighting in Vietnam." I read a book about the Andersonville camp and it was a cruel, ugly, camp of death. There was no hope of ever surviving for escaping. 

I am digressing. I apologize. But then again, I don't. I think its important to know about such things. 

Last thanksgiving I wrote a short story (really short, I'd even rather call it paragraph) about the Pilgrims landing at the New World. And even though it doesn't necessarily include anything about Thanksgiving, I thought I would post it. It is after all about America, the Pilgrims, and the Mayflower. So enjoy:   

The Land of the Free

   The rough ocean wind ripped at the skirts of a young girl. She stood at the bow of a ship, her body rocking in rhythm to its movement. She was a sad picture standing there, her dress dirty and torn; her hair matted and tangled. But her face, oh her face, it was pale and haggard showing clearly what she had gone through the past two months. Indeed it was a miserable picture to look upon - one look into her eyes, however, and you forgot the rest. They were lit up with joy: brimming with happiness as she watched a stretch of land come closer in view, the ship sailing swiftly towards it.
   Thoughts of the past couple months crowded into this young girls head as she clung to the side of the ship; thoughts of sleeping in a small, dirty bunk with the ship rocking her to sleep; of the meals of wormy biscuits and dry, tough, salted beef; of times when the ship was thrown recklessly about in a storm, everyone in fear for their lives. During these
storms they would huddle in the cramped cabin room, the lantern swinging dangerously as they listened to orders being barked, the sailors working hard - giving their lives - to save the ship.
   Remembrances of sea sickness also flooded in, when more than half the passengers were in their beds groaning with pain, tossing and turning with fever, hardly knowing what was going on or how much time had passed.
And so it was the entire two months: Storm after storm, bout after bout of sea-sickness or scurvy, the repulsiveness of the filth that was on them, the sickening rocking of the ship, the cold, the wind, the fear that they would not survive this journey - everyone on board longed for the time when they would spot land. And finally they had, at last it was all over. They had reached their destination. Tears of happiness rolled down the young travelers cheeks as she sent a silent prayer up to God, thanking Him free the Land of the Free.
-Written by Evelyn 
How I admire the Pilgrims for what they did. They probably didn't know all that they were getting into, but they persevered, they trusted God to take care of them, to do what he thought was best. The the Lord blessed them for that. Let us copy their example, let us give thanks together.

Happy Thanksgiving, may the Lord bless all of your endeavors.

<3 Eva
After years of waiting... I have finally starting to read these lovely books. 
I like Aragorn. a lot.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Comparison Post - Part II; Edmund Pevensie

   Edmund is a boy of 10 when the story first opens up in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. He is removed, along with his brother and sisters, from his home to live in a boring old house with a stingy housekeeper, and an old Professor. He is a very spiteful and mean-spirited boy; he hates being told what to do and misses his father dreadfully, who is off fighting in the war. (though him missing his father is actually not part of the book.. discussed later)

The movies, in my opinion, do a very good job on portraying him. Even if he's suppose to be blond haired, not dark. But that doesn't matter that much, because I like him dark haired better. =D (but I'll try not to let my feelings get in the way with this comparison!)

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe: Out of the four Pevensies his character develops the most over the course of story, starting out as a very touchy and spiteful boy. His relationship with Lucy (with all of his siblings, in fact) is very poor and weak. He looks down on her a lot, and tries to act older - as if he's above her. Even after he knows she's right in an argument he's too proud to admit it:
   "Oh Lucy, you've been dreaming." Susan replied to Lucy's second story about going to Narnia.
    "No I wasn't, I saw Mr. Tumnus again! Oh, and this time - Edmund went too." Lucy replied ending happily, turning to look at Edmund.
    Peter turned to Edmund, "You saw the faun?"
    "Well, he didn't actually go there with me." Lucy pauses looking puzzled. "What were you doing Edmund?"
   Edmund, stuttering at first then ending with a grown-up voice, replied, "I-I was just playing along. You know what little children are like these days, they just don't know when to stop pretending." He ends with a smug look at Lucy. Lucy
breaking into tears, ran crying from the room.
-The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe [the movie] (narration according to movie actions added by me)
It was very similar in the book - Edmund replying in a superior voice that 'they had only been pretending'. As the Narrator put it '.. one of the nastiest things of the story' this part was.

However, by the end of the story he has learned quite a few lessons and becomes King Edmund the Just and learns to use his knowledge for the good of things in more ways than one. The beginning of this valuable trait is when he attacks the White Witch, and tries to destroy her wand instead of her. Which is what everyone else was doing, and thus getting turned into stone. This amazing scene was in the book also, and I'm so glad they included it in the movie. As in the movie, in the book he was severely wounded and would have died if it had not been for Lucy's cordial. Such a sweet part when he regains consciousness....

So in terms of the Lion the, the Witch, and the Wardrobe I think that his character is just like the book. Though I did read this somewhere, I didn't notice it myself, but it's very true, nevertheless:
It is implied in the book that Edmund started life as a likable person, but then changed for the worse and began to act meanly after attending a new school. However, in the 2005 film adaptation of the book, it is implied that he is upset that their father was forced to serve in the war and that they are sent away from home as a result. (resource unknown)
Peter even remarks about that in the book, saying,
"You've always liked being beastly to anyone smaller than yourself," Peter says to Edmund, "we've seen that at school before now." (The Book)
Oh Edmund, I fear that school was not a good influence on you.

One of the reasons why I love Edmund so much is - I'm sure you've noticed I love this in former posts - character development. And to watch/read about Edmund going from what I just described to you (rude and stingy are the words that come to mind) to a man of wisdom and valor, is something I enjoy a lot. The soberness of his love and relationship with Aslan, especially, is extraordinary. The scene when he talks with Aslan after being rescued touches my heart, and the fact that you know very little of the conversation, but can see parts of it on Edmund's face and through Aslan's words is really amazing:

Prince Caspian: His character is done very well in the 2nd movie, even if the movie itself is very different than the book. (though I still love it so much!) =D In this one he is the 'cooler' of the two Pevensie boys, he is very down-to-earth and has a very calm attitude, unlike Caspian and Peter. He obviously learned how to use his sword during the Golden Age, and it shows in the different fights.

Both in the book and movie Edmund has a duel with Trumpkin to prove that they are, indeed, the Kings and Queens of Old. Winning it by using a twist of the sword disarming Trumpkin in a single move, drawing from the Dear Little Friend an admittance that they are 'the' royalty. He fights bravely in the Night Raid of Miraz's castle and was a main part in it, as well as in the battle with the White Witch: He was the one to aid the rest of the Narnian's in getting in into the castle, and the one to destroy the White Witch when she had Caspian and partly Peter under her spell.

However, the Night Raid of Miraz' castle was not in the book. Some may consider it an ill decision to add that since it's such a big part of the movie. But if I remember correctly, there were a couple battles in the book that they led, and lost. I know that there was a ambush on Miraz's army that Caspian led, before the Kings and Queens of old joined him, and before they make camp at Alsan's Howe, that did fail. So taking
that right there - that's very similar to the surprise attack in the movie. So while it is not specifically mentioned I think it was an important part of the movie. To show that Caspian and Peter were depending on themselves and not Aslan, which from the looks was what Caspian was trying to do in the books. (I realize the differences between the Book Caspian and Peter and the movie versions of them, but we are focusing on Edmund here!) 

The battle with the White Witch was, and wasn't in the book. Nikabrik brought two 'friends' to a council meeting with Caspian, the Badger, and the Doctor, who ended up being a Hag and a Werewolf. At one point in the council (right before they found out who the two friends really were) the werewolf said 'Draw the circle. Prepare the blue fire.'. They were very close to bringing the Witch back from the past, but Caspian realized who they were and attacked, before they could. Unfortunately in the movie, they did manage to bring her back, although before it could be completed she needed one drop of a Son of Adam's blood, which she almost got from Caspian, but Peter intervened before he could, then he almost gave it to her - however Edmund destroyed the .. ice that she was in before he could, thus destroying her. The scene was pretty close to the book, in a way. We will discuss what's different (*ahem* Peter and Caspian's attitudes) in later posts. =)

The lessons he (I'm supposed to be talking about Edmund, remember?) learned during his first visit to Narnia, were practiced in his second visit. One of them was respecting Lucy. When she tells them she saw Aslan, Edmund believes her, and consents to follow her {in the book}. Even though he can't even see Aslan - yet. In the movie he believes her and puts in a word about what happened last time he didn't believe her, but doesn't try to persuade his older siblings to try to find Aslan again. We see him using his brain a lot, which is something he didn't do, but learned in the first one :P He finds that arguing is useless and a waste of time. I love when he breaks up the argument between Caspian and Peter (after the night raid), reminding them in his single word that this is not the time (is there ever??) to be arguing and that there are injured soldiers and other things that need to be dealt with.

And so, from what I can see there's not much of a difference between the Prince Caspian Book, Edmund, and the Prince Caspian Movie, Edmund. Putting aside his age, of course. (which might put a difference in age maturity.. if you know what I mean)

When I watched the 3rd movie, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, one of my first thoughts about Edmund was 'wow, he's different than the book. He's changed!'. But lets look at a couple things here.

The Edmund in this movie seems to be a little jealous of Caspian's power, and seems easily tempted by treasure, or something that will give him power. (like the lake that will turn anything into gold) Most of this is in the book. In the book, when he finds out, and then tells Caspian, about the powers of the lake, Caspian orders everyone to keep this to themselves, saying that no one must know of this. Edmund retorts back, informing him that he's not his subject to be ordered around. Which turns into a start of a sword fight and an argument.. but (!!) Aslan appears, resulting in them going into a daze and forgetting what they were arguing about. This practically is in the movie. There are however a couple different things, such as the placement of the lake; it was among rolling green hills in the book, while in the movie it was in an underground cavern. The 2nd difference, is that in the book Aslan stopped the fight, while in the movie it was Lucy. But I was happy that they got it so close. (which seems to be really hard to do in Hollywood)

I have to say, I really like him in this one. (though everyone else seems to like him less.. but he was great in all of the movies.) His relationship with everyone is so fun to watch, especially at the end when he's on better terms with Caspian and Eustace. And to watch his relationship with Lucy go from stingy and rude, to gentle and brotherly is really sweet. It is his turn to be the older, protective brother.

There are a couple things in the general movie story-line that are different, but I already mentioned them in Lucy Pevnsie's Comparison Post. So if you would like to read about it then simply go there. =)

I think I have already talked to long on the other books, and since the only differences between the book
and movie Edmund of The Voyage I just discussed I think I shall wrap up with a similar paragraph to the one I included in Lucy's Post.

Edmund, after his 'transformation', became a very sober and wise king. He was known for handling many of Narnia's negotiations and transactions, and was most likely the 'voice of reason' as I read somewhere. We see in The Horse and His Boy that he knew how to lead battles, and was talented in fighting. And from the looks of it, he probably fought in a lot more of the minor battles compared to Peter. The dealings with the White Witch, however, and his betrayal of his siblings, haunted him the rest of his days. He often defeats the White Witch (in all three movies) and I think in a way it shows him defeating the 'traitor' part of himself, again and again as it strives to come to the surface of his character. He often expresses his shame for being a traitor, and one time said as encouragement, in the context of the the decision of whether or not to kill Rabadash: "Even a traitor may mend. I have known one who did." That right there may shed some light on why he was called King Edmund, the Just..

<3 Eva
 "Edmund was a graver and quieter man than Peter, and great in council and judgment. he was called King Edmund the Just."
-The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

Graphic made by Evelyn