Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Gilbert Blythe vs. Caspian

I've lived in and through books so much of my life, it's hard to find real people who match up to those ideals with whom I've played and learned and grown all these years. That got me thinking the other day about the boys in the books with whom I've grown right fond. I've come to the conclusion that I'd be hard-pressed to choose between Gilbert Blythe (from the Anne of Green Gables series) and Prince/King Caspian (from the Chronicles of Narnia), were I offered the choice between them for the office of "Melissa's husband."

Gilbert has the advantage that he's "more real" than Caspian, that is, his series is set in a "real" place (Prince Edward Island, Canada) during a "real" historical period (late 1800s, early 1900s). Although, I guess you could ask the Velveteen Rabbit about "real" vs. imaginary. Gilbert basically fell in love with Anne when he first met her, and he waited for her, through her "hate" of him, through her dating other guys, through her rejection(s) of his love. Nothing deterred him and he wanted to be no place other than with her. He was also a doctor, which is always a handy thing to have around the house. I guess my biggest issue with Gilbert is that, while he _did_ evidence a sense of humor, he was almost too perfect. There's one time when he and Anne have been married for 13 years or so when he gets slightly distracted by a patient, but other than that, he's perfect. I'm not sure I could deal with a perfect man. Seems to me that he'd be pretty boring. Also, the pictures that they have of him on the covers of the book...well, let me tell you...he's not much to look at....not that that matters in and of itself, but it's still something to think about when looking at pros/cons of imaginary book men who are aiming to become your life-long mate.

Caspian, on the other hand faced tempations and even fell to them on occasion, if only for a time (Goldwater/Deathwater Island). He believed in "fairy tales" (Aslan, talking animals, etc.). He was adventurous (let's sail to the end of the world!). And he, too, fell in love with Ramadan's daughter basically at first sight. That seems to be a theme with me. And while Caspian lived in an "imaginary" world (Narnia), well, that's not necessarily a bad thing, since I've been in love with Narnia basically since first "sight." And speaking of sight, Caspian is always described as a very nice-looking example of manhood, so no problems there.

I could live through my romanticised notion of the turn of the (last) century and the first World War with Gilbert, or I could live in "imaginary" Narnia with Caspian. In one, I'd be a "real" person, and in one I'd be the queen of an "imaginary" county. Either way, I'd get to wear some great clothes. :)

But I guess the bottom line between the two is that in Narnia, there are occasional glimpses of Aslan in the flesh, while in PEI, you have to "make do" with just knowing that He's always with you.

So, Caspian, if you're out there listening, and you ever choose to propose to me instead of Ramadan's daughter, I accept. You just have to ask my dad first. :)

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