Chapter 6 The Adventures of Eustace

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Chapter 6 The Adventures of Eustace

Postby Pattertwigs Pal » Aug 05, 2015 3:54 am

1. What do you think about how long it took Eustace to figure out he had become a dragon?

2. Why do you think becoming a dragon changed Eustace's feelings about the others?

3. Lewis keeps mentioning that Eustace read the wrong sorts of books. Why do you think he does this?

4. Why would Reepicheep want to attempt single combat with a dragon?

5. What does it say about Lucy that she was willing to risk approaching the dragon?

6. Why do you think Lucy and the others were able to figure out what had happened to Eustace?

7. What do you notice different about Lewis' treatment of dragons as compared to other authors'?

8. Does this chapter change your view of Eustace? Why or why not? If so, in what way?
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Re: Chapter 6 The Adventures of Eustace

Postby waggawerewolf27 » Aug 20, 2015 6:26 pm

8. Does this chapter change your view of Eustace? Why or why not? If so, in what way?

It seems the experience of being turned into a dragon has shown him some home truths about himself, and that he is genuinely sorry for his behaviour. So therefore the reader must think also if it is fair to judge him more harshly than he is judging himself. And so my view of him begins to change.

Though, to be honest, even when C.S.Lewis first describes Eustace, was he really all that bad? Doubtlessly he would crow irritatingly about his good school marks, because it made him feel more positive about himself. And I agree that it might be a trifle insensitive to do so at a boarding school. But wouldn't that be a fairly normal sort of thing for children to do, when at home, for instance? Especially when it would impress Mum and Dad?
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Re: Chapter 6 The Adventures of Eustace

Postby 123asdb » Nov 20, 2015 2:57 am

3.

(Sidenote: Reading this as a little kid before, this made me like the author a lot because the grown ups around always wanted me to read "proper" informative books, they always looked down on books about dragons or adventures.)

I think Lewis means, the "wrong sort of books" never gave room for imagination. They give facts but never cause you to wonder about the world, sort of boxing you in. Also, they never gave survival tips on meeting dragons.
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Re: Chapter 6 The Adventures of Eustace

Postby Pattertwigs Pal » Aug 03, 2016 7:56 pm

waggawerewolf27 wrote:Though, to be honest, even when C.S.Lewis first describes Eustace, was he really all that bad? Doubtlessly he would crow irritatingly about his good school marks, because it made him feel more positive about himself. And I agree that it might be a trifle insensitive to do so at a boarding school. But wouldn't that be a fairly normal sort of thing for children to do, when at home, for instance? Especially when it would impress Mum and Dad?

While I agree that bragging is very common for children, that doesn't make it pleasant or right. It depends on what you mean by "all that bad." Lewis makes it clear that he enjoyed bullying. I can't know for sure about the time when this story was set, but I do know that bullying is seen as being a very serious offense these days. There are severe consequences for people / students caught bullying.
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From Lewis discussion of what should happen to the bullies at Expirement House and what happens to them at the end of the book, I assume bullying was seen as being serious in most circles.



1. What do you think about how long it took Eustace to figure out he had become a dragon?
He has no background knowledge use to figure it out. I also suspect that logic is not taught at his school. He was in a panic too and probably not thinking. Still, it did seem to take a very long time for him to figure it out.

2. Why do you think becoming a dragon changed Eustace's feelings about the others?
It was a shock and sometimes a shock can change one’s perspective. His internal ugliness became external and he realized that the others were not “ugly.” He was measuring them against the monster he had become instead of against the ideal (a mixture what Alberta and Harold taught him and what he thought himself to be).

3. Lewis keeps mentioning that Eustace read the wrong sorts of books. Why do you think he does this?
It could be a commentary on the current trends in education. It helps explain Eustace’s confusion and slowness in figuring out what is going on. Assuming the reader has read “the right books” it serves as an reminder that Eustace doesn’t have this knowledge. Otherwise the reader may be too judgmental of Eustace.

4. Why would Reepicheep want to attempt single combat with a dragon?
He is a knight and knights fight dragons. Reepicheep sees it as his duty to defend. It may seem unlikely to most people that Reepicheep could do any real damage against the dragon, but I think he might be able to. I bet he thinks he could defeat a dragon.

5. What does it say about Lucy that she was willing to risk approaching the dragon?
She cares deeply about creatures and people and wants to help them. She is kindhearted.

6. Why do you think Lucy and the others were able to figure out what had happened to Eustace?
They are intelligent and have some knowledge of enchantments and dragons.

7. What do you notice different about Lewis' treatment of dragons as compared to other authors'?
Well, I remember reading some book where dragons could understand a lot of different languages and if a person drank some of the dragon’s blood they could too. Lewis doesn’t mention anything like that. My students love a book called Dragon’s Love Tacos. Lewis’s dragons eat things like raw meat and other dragons – no mention of tacos. I can’t recall any other stories where someone turns into a dragon by “sleeping on a dragon’s hoard with greedy, dragonish thoughts in his heart.”
8. Does this chapter change your view of Eustace? Why or why not? If so, in what way?
Eustace shows the beginning of change in this chapter. He is able to see others as they are and is starting to see himself for what he is. I begin to see him as having a chance at becoming a better person.
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Re: Chapter 6 The Adventures of Eustace

Postby aileth » Aug 06, 2016 11:16 pm

1. What do you think about how long it took Eustace to figure out he had become a dragon?
I don't suppose that I would have been much faster, although I do at least know what a dragon looks like. It was a rather improbable happenstance at the best of times.

2. Why do you think becoming a dragon changed Eustace's feelings about the others?
Do you find it interesting that his secondary sensation, immediately following his initial vengeful thought, was loneliness and the desire for companionship? That must have been an eye-opener to him to begin with; he started to recognize how repulsive he was, in behaviour as well as looks.

3. Lewis keeps mentioning that Eustace read the wrong sorts of books. Why do you think he does this?
It does feel a bit like preaching to the choir, doesn't it? After all, look what book we're reading.

4. Why would Reepicheep want to attempt single combat with a dragon?
Never having had a chance to spar with a dragon before, he could just have been thrilled by the thought of the challenge, but in this case it may be that he was thinking more of the safety of the others. If he engaged the dragon, the others might make it back to the ship unharmed.

5. What does it say about Lucy that she was willing to risk approaching the dragon?
Even though she was accustomed to spending time with a very large lion, it still must have taken a good bit of courage. And yet, maybe not in this case, for she had a very tender heart; as soon as she saw that it was hurt, she rushed to help it without another thought.

6. Why do you think Lucy and the others were able to figure out what had happened to Eustace?
They had profited from the Professor's lessons on logic, perhaps? Or maybe it was like a game of 20 Questions. One thing leading to the next.

7. What do you notice different about Lewis' treatment of dragons as compared to other authors?
He doesn't treat them as either noble or wicked; in fact, he treats them as large reptiles. Eustace was a very ordinary dragon who did very ordinary dragon things. Lewis doesn't make it sound like a romantic or desirable state to be in. (I suppose that the dragon of King Gale was more the traditional fire-breathing, needing-to-be-slain sort of dragon.)

8. Does this chapter change your view of Eustace? Why or why not? If so, in what way?
We already have a sneaking desire to like Eustace, I think. I mean, he is funny, in his wrong-headed way. And we can acknowledge that, to a certain extent, he is the product of his upbringing. Once he has a complete turn in his thinking and realizes what a nuisance he has been, he stops behaving badly. Sometimes people know they are wrong, but they go on anyways. Very frustrating!
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Re: Chapter 6 The Adventures of Eustace

Postby waggawerewolf27 » Oct 26, 2016 3:13 pm

Pattertwig's Pal wrote:Lewis makes it clear that he enjoyed bullying. I can't know for sure about the time when this story was set, but I do know that bullying is seen as being a very serious offense these days. There are severe consequences for people / students caught bullying
.

As bad as bullying is, I rather doubt that Eustace really got up to the sorts of things I see reported as happening in our Daily Fishwrap, not only here or but also from other parts of the world. Eustace's physical description suggests he is too puny and unathletic to have engaged in the sort of overt and individual physical bullying that would not have been tolerated even in C.S.Lewis' time. That doesn't make Eustace a pleasant or friendly child to be with. We haven't seen as yet the sorts of people who went to school with him.

Maybe he was the sort of person who enjoyed the discomforture of those other children he doesn't like, himself, thinking about how funny it was, and without thinking about what is right and what is wrong about it. He doesn't seem to think much beyond himself and his own needs, it seems. Bullying, I agree, is considered much more seriously now than it used to be, in the 1960's, and especially in the aftermath of World War II, I'll agree.

So far, in the book, he doesn't want to co-operate with those who do try to be pleasant and friendly to him. And he is learning the hard way, what it is like to be on the receiving end of the sorts of behaviours he has been condoning, even if he hasn't actually done anything worse at his school than what he did to Reepicheep.
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