I just read the short story, "The Problem of Susan" by Neil Gaiman, which is a sort of rebuttal/critique/thought provocation based on the end of the last novel in the Chronicles of Narnia series. In The Last Battle, Susan Pevensie, the older sister in the Pevensive children who first went to Narnia in the Lion, the Witch, and The Wardrobe, is denied entrance into the "True Narnia" when all of her siblings, parents, and two older friends are all killed in a railway accident. She's denied entrance because she is "no longer a friend of Narnia" and she has become obsessed with "nylons, lipsticks, and invitations".
Polly also deftly notes that Susan has spent her entire childhood rushing to be the age she is now (18-21), and will spend the rest of her life trying to stay that age for as long as she can.
Susan casually dismisses the family's earlier adventures in Narnia as being a made-up game of pretend, although she may or may not actually remember them as reality.
In the Neil Gaiman story, we meet an elderly professor who is heavily implied to be Susan Pevensie (although she's never named as such outright), who recounts the immediate days following a devastating railway accident that took the lives of her family in the late forties or early fifties. In the story, a young college student interviewing her brings up the subject of the Chronicles of Narnia and how unfair it all had been towards Susan. She claims that Susan was denied access to Narnia because she had discovered her sexuality. The professor never truly agrees or disagrees, although she cuts the interview short and later dies in her sleep.
I have a big problem with the assumption that Susan was not allowed into Narnia in the final act because she had become a sexual being...however, when I've read discussions on the topic lately, it seems to be the reigning consensus.
I personally believe that Susan was denied entrance because she had turned to more worldly and fleeting matters than her spiritual awareness and had all but denied that she had been to Narnia and turned her back on her past and what she knew to be the truth. (after all, on two separate occasions, had been engaged to be married within Narnia itself, which would imply a sexual awakening of sorts...)
Susan denying Narnia's existence isn't without precedent...in her every appearance in the books, she was portrayed as being somewhat hesitant and wishy-washy about what to do and what to believe. I look at her as the foil to her sister, Lucy, the clear leader of the foursome, despite being the youngest.
Has anyone else read the Chronicles and the subsequent story by Neil Gaiman? I thought his story, although I didn't agree with it, was incredibly interesting (although I could have done without the final scene of Aslan and the White With having crazy-style sex in front of the kids.....)