Fragmente aus Narnia: Experiment House

„Experiment House“ bildet den (negativ besetzten) Hintergrund in der sechsten Folge der Narnia-Chroniken, „Silver Chair“. Es handelt sich um eine geschlechter-gemischte Schule. Der Name deutet darauf hin, dass an der Schule experimentiert wird. Manche vermuten, dass Lewis‘ eigene, negative Schulerlebnisse den Hintergrund für diese Buchkulisse bilden. Die einführende Szene ist aufschlussreich:

This is not going to be a school story, so I shall say as little as possible about Jill’s school, which is not a pleasant subject. It was “Co-educational,” a school for both boys and girls, what used to be called a “mixed” school; some said it was not nearly so mixed as the minds of the people who ran it. These people had the idea that boys and girls should be allowed to do what they liked. And unfortunately what ten or fifteen of the biggest boys and girls liked best was bullying the others. All sorts of things, horrid things, went on which at an ordinary school would have been found out and stopped in half a term; but at this school they weren’t. Or even if they were, the people who did them were not expelled or punished. The Head said they were interesting psychological cases and sent for them and talked to them for hours. And if you knew the right sort of things to say to the Head, the main result was that you became rather a favorite than otherwise.

Die verstreut im Buch auftauchenden Bemerkungen zum “Experiment House” sind auffällig (und erinnern an die aktuelle Schulsituation):

  • Ein gehasster Ort: “Look here, Pole, you and I hate this place about as much as anybody can hate anything, don’t we?” (4)
  • Keine Ermutigung die Bibel zu lesen: “(When I was at school one would have said, “I swear by the Bible.” But Bibles were not encouraged at Experiment House.)” (6)
  • Man rechnet Wochen, Urlaub und Unterricht im Voraus aus – ein Audruck der Hoffnunglosigkeit: „They … thought of all the hopelessness of Experiment House (it was a thirteen-week term and there were still eleven weeks to come)…“ (6)
  • Vermeidungsverhalten vor Inhalten: (Owing to the curious methods of teaching at Experiment House, one did not learn much French or Maths or Latin or things of that sort; but one did learn a lot about getting away quickly and quietly when They were looking for one.) (9)
  • Unwissenheit über die biblische Schöpfungsgeschichte: “people at Experiment House haven’t heard of Adam and Eve, so Jill and Eustace couldn’t answer this.” (40)
  • Keine Höflichkeitsformen: “(girls are not taught how to curtsey at Experiment House”) (112)
  • Wenn die Exponenten von Experiment House auf Aslan treffen: “Their faces changed, and all the meanness, conceit, cruelty, and sneakishness almost disappeared in one single expression of terror. … with the strength of Aslan in them, Jill plied her crop on the girls and Caspian and Eustace plied the flats of their swords on the boys so well that in two minutes all the bullies were running like mad, crying out, “Murder! Fascists! Lions! It isn’t fair.” And then the Head (who was, by the way, a woman) came running out to see what was happening. And when she saw the lion and the broken wall and Caspian and Jill and Eustace (whom she quite failed to recognize) she had hysterics and went back to the house and began ringing up the police with stories about a lion escaped from a circus, and escaped convicts who broke down walls and carried drawn swords.” (255-256)