Chapter 7 - How the Adventure Ended

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Chapter 7 - How the Adventure Ended

Postby Pattertwigs Pal » Aug 12, 2015 7:11 am

1. Apart from not being able to tell stories, what other disadvantages does Eustace have, from not reading the right sort of books?

2. Do you think Eustace’s new positive experiences as a dragon outweigh the negative ones?

3. Why would Reepicheep's stories not perhaps seem comforting?

4. The writer said these stories are not allegory, so how would you describe the ‘un-dragoning’ of Eustace? Why do you think it hurt so much?

5. How does Eustace's encounter with Aslan compare to the first experiences of the Pevensies in LWW and Trumpkin and Caspian in PC? Whose encounter would you rather have?

6. Do you think it was mere chance that Edmund awoke when he did?

7. Why do you think Eustace didn't want to hear Edmund's story?

8. How do you think Eustace felt about losing his pockets full of jewels? And what do you think when you read, “he began to be a different boy..." ? What do you think Lewis means by "he began to be better"? Have you seen anything like this in life or in other stories?

9. It seems likely that the dragon on the island was either the missing Lord or the eater of the lord. What does it say about the other lord that this dragon remained alone on the Island? (Reepicheep would not have left a dragon alive that had eaten his shipmate and Caspian and co wouldn't have left Eustace behind)

10. Why is the fate of the bracelet important?


11. What is your favorite part/scene in this chapter?
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Re: Chapter 7 - How the Adventure Ended

Postby Pattertwigs Pal » Aug 06, 2016 11:38 am

1. Apart from not being able to tell stories, what other disadvantages does Eustace have, from not reading the right sort of books?
Well, he didn’t know what he had been turned into. He is lacking knowledge in some areas that would help him.
2. Do you think Eustace’s new positive experiences as a dragon outweigh the negative ones?
Yes, I think so. It is important for him to learn to like others and I am sure he enjoyed being liked.

3. Why would Reepicheep's stories not perhaps seem comforting?
It isn’t Eustace’s story. How does he know his story will work out the same or similar? He probably isn't sure if they are true stories or fiction. It is probably similar to the feeling I get as a single woman reading romance novels – it points out what I am missing but gives no hope that it will happen to me.

4. The writer said these stories are not allegory, so how would you describe the ‘un-dragoning’ of Eustace? Why do you think it hurt so much?
Eustace could not change himself back from a dragon. He could make a very minimal first step, but he needed Aslan to do the rest.
Lewis in Mere Christianity wrote: Now we cannot...discover our failure to keep God's law except by trying our very hardest (and then failing). Unless we really try, whatever we say there will always be at the back of our minds the idea that if we try harder next time we shall succeed in being completely good. Thus, in one sense, the road back to God is a road of moral effort, of trying harder and harder. But in another sense it is not trying that is ever going to bring us home. All this trying leads up to the vital moment at which you turn to God and say, "You must do this. I can't.
Eustace is trying very hard to obey Aslan’s command but in the end he cannot do it and Aslan must. Eustace actually learns fairly quickly that he needs help. Eustace allows Aslan to help just as soon as Aslan offers. Change isn’t easy so Eustace’s physical pain is symbolic of the difficulty of getting rid of the “dragonish” parts of one’s personality.


5. How does Eustace's encounter with Aslan compare to the first experiences of the Pevensies in LWW and Trumpkin and Caspian in PC? Whose encounter would you rather have?
Peter, Susan, and Lucy were scared but they came into it willingly. They knew they needed to come to Alsan to get the help they needed. Edmund’s time was likely much more uncomfortable. He had betrayed his siblings and Aslan. His meeting with Aslan was unpleasant in an emotional sense. Trumpkin was scared but had little choice in the matter to come to Aslan. Then he gets tossed around as a cat might do with a mouse. It was probably embarrassing for him as well. Eustace’s encounter was physically painful. He had to submit to it if he wanted future relief from pain. I would rather have Peter, Susan’s, and Lucy’s encounter.

6. Do you think it was mere chance that Edmund awoke when he did?
No, Eustace needed to talk and Edmund was the best one to understand and help him.

7. Why do you think Eustace didn't want to hear Edmund's story?
Maybe Eustace thought his own story was horrible enough so he didn’t want to hear Edmund’s? Or Eustace wanted to spare Edmund the pain of telling the story.

8. How do you think Eustace felt about losing his pockets full of jewels? And what do you think when you read, “he began to be a different boy..." ? What do you think Lewis means by "he began to be better"? Have you seen anything like this in life or in other stories?
I doubt Eustace cared in the least of losing the jewels; he was too happy at losing the form of a dragon. He started improving but he is not perfect. It is similar to how a Christian is supposed to grow in Christ the longer he or she is a Christian. Anyone who has tried to change would “begin to be better” at the start and would need to work from there. Edmund’s change in LWW goes through steps although the timeline is a bit faster. He starts to change when he is traveling with the witch but talking with Aslan brings greater change. He seems to become very close to the goal after he is given the cordial.

9. It seems likely that the dragon on the island was either the missing Lord or the eater of the lord. What does it say about the other lord that this dragon remained alone on the Island? (Reepicheep would not have left a dragon alive that had eaten his shipmate and Caspian and co wouldn't have left Eustace behind)
We can’t know exactly what happened but it does offer possible insights into their character. I have included four of those possibilities below.
Scenario 1: Octesian was the dragon, the Lords knew that he was, and just left him there. In this case, they seem to lack a bit of loyalty. They easily could have split up and left a couple of Lords to keep him company.
Scenario 2: Octesian was the dragon, the Lords knew that he was, and asked him if it was okay if they left him there. They would be reluctant to just leave him but not willing to put staying with him above continuing their journey.
Scenario 3: Octesian was the dragon, the Lords knew that he was, and Octesian snuck away like Eustace was planning to do. They merely carried out his wishes.
Scenario 4: Octesian was eaten by the dragon and the Lords knew it. They did not have the high degree of honor that Reepicheep did. They valued their own lives more than avenging the life of their companion.


10. Why is the fate of the bracelet important?
It is an interesting side note. It shows that it was not meant to be owned by anyone; it was better for it to be there as a kind of memorial for Octesian or as a warning to others about the perils of desiring gold. (I wonder if the bracelet is more of a clue to what happened to Octesian that the characters realized. If Octesian was the dragon, wouldn’t he have had to take it off before turning into the dragon? Otherwise it would have been stuck on his wrist. It is possible he would take it off to sleep, but it might be more likely that he as eaten and the dragon kept the bracelet.

11. What is your favorite part/scene in this chapter?
I like that Reepicheep comes and does his best to comfort Eustace. That shows a lot about Reepicheep’s character. Reepicheep probably had the most reason to dislike Eustace but instead of rejoicing in Eustace’s misfortune Reepicheep chooses to comfort him.
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Re: Chapter 7 - How the Adventure Ended

Postby aileth » Aug 17, 2016 12:08 am

1. Apart from not being able to tell stories, what other disadvantages does Eustace have, from not reading the right sort of books?
No knowledge of dragon facts at all--habits, behaviour, looks. Surely some book he had read should have had that sort of thing in it. Maybe it just never interested him--at the time.

2. Do you think Eustace’s new positive experiences as a dragon outweigh the negative ones?
Certainly for the others, it was a great improvement, in spite of the worry about how to stow him and such. For Eustace, it's hard to say. In the end, yes. But during? He found out that the others cared for him, and did gain the pleasure of being useful. Let's put it this way: would I want to be a dragon? A most decided no.

3. Why would Reepicheep's stories not perhaps seem comforting?
Hearing about other peoples' trials might be less than comforting, including the fact that you are not the only one. We would like for our sufferings to be unique and special, in some ways. And from the sound of it, not all of those examples came right again.

4. The writer said these stories are not allegory, so how would you describe the "un-dragoning" of Eustace? Why do you think it hurt so much?
You're right, Twigs, it could only be done by Aslan. I love the part where he "just lay flat down on his back" so that Aslan could free him. When a reptile sheds its skin, (something Eustace had learned somewhere) it usually comes off one layer at a time. If you peeled off great chunks of skin, it would leave you, as Eustace said, very tender underneath.

5. How does Eustace's encounter with Aslan compare to the first experiences of the Pevensies in LWW and Trumpkin and Caspian in PC? Whose encounter would you rather have?
The very first time the three Pevensies met Aslan, there was a sense of majesty and regalness--they were meeting the King. In PC, it was far more informal--no banners or trumpets--more personal, if you like. Eustace, like Edmund, had the privilege of a private audience with Aslan. If I were ashamed of myself, I think I would prefer it that way.

Have you noticed that most introductions to Aslan seem to include a measure of shamefacedness for some fault? Peter apologized for the loss of Edmund; Edmund, of course, had betrayed his family; Trumpkin failed to believe in Aslan; Caspian felt like he hadn't done very well. (Even Digory had an uncomfortable introduction, after letting Jadis loose on Narnia.)

6. Do you think it was mere chance that Edmund awoke when he did?
I'm with you, Twigs. Aslan most likely called him, for Eustace's sake. You might wonder why it wasn't Lucy, but I think he might have been more comfortable talking to another fellow just then.

7. Why do you think Eustace didn't want to hear Edmund's story?
Yes, to spare Edmund embarrassment; also because in those days, men tended to be quite reticent--they didn't share their inmost feelings very readily. The stiff upper lip, you know.

8. How do you think Eustace felt about losing his pockets full of jewels? And what do you think when you read, “he began to be a different boy..." ? What do you think Lewis means by "he began to be better"? Have you seen anything like this in life or in other stories?
He didn't seem to mind at all--so little that he didn't even care to keep the bracelet as a memento. There were other ways to be reminded of his experiences, including his complete change of attitude. It would have been strange if he had suddenly become perfect--it would be extremely unrealistic.

9. It seems likely that the dragon on the island was either the missing Lord or the eater of the lord. What does it say about the other lord that this dragon remained alone on the Island? (Reepicheep would not have left a dragon alive that had eaten his shipmate and Caspian and co wouldn't have left Eustace behind)
I like your four scenarios, Twigs!
The had already left Lord Bern behind--perhaps they were not so very attached to each other. The journey (and each others' company) was in a sense forced on them--leave, or face assassination. So they may have had little loyalty among themselves.

10. Why is the fate of the bracelet important?
What is significant is that nobody wanted to keep the nasty little thing, though I suppose it would have been worth a good bit. It seemed suitable that it should have stayed there, near the inscription, to mark the lord who had perished.

11. What is your favorite part/scene in this chapter?
Definitely Eustace and Edmund's conversation after Eustace is undragoned.
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Re: Chapter 7 - How the Adventure Ended

Postby waggawerewolf27 » Oct 27, 2016 1:36 am

1. Apart from not being able to tell stories, what other disadvantages does Eustace have, from not reading the right sort of books?

Eustace doesn't seem to have had much relationship with animals at all, let alone mythical ones like dragons. He hates performing animals, which might have been a good reflection of his mother's snobbish views on such entertainment. Or it might also be that he has never had the closeness of a pet, given how finicky Eustace has become under his mother's upbringing. Books featuring illustrations of grain silos and fat foreign children doing exercises at model schools might show lots about economics, commerce, transportation, governments, industry and how to make money, but may not be anywhere as informative about animals, except maybe about livestock.

And I'd really think badly of him if his treatment of insects was extended to habitual cruelty to more developed animals such as cats and dogs. What he did to Reepicheep was bad enough, and at least Reepicheep could talk back to him and defend himself. But as his treatment of Reepicheep showed, he had no way of imagining what life is for any animal let alone the sort of diet and attributes of a dragon which he didn't know about.

2. Do you think Eustace’s new positive experiences as a dragon outweigh the negative ones?

No, not really. Though it is pleasant for him to learn his efforts at being helpful are appreciated, I'd imagine that Eustace was a very frightened dragon, who was very afraid of being left behind, to live out his days all alone. Especially now that the crew has a good reason to do so, as sympathetic as they are, because of his size and dragonish habits.

3. Why would Reepicheep's stories not perhaps seem comforting?

Reepicheep's stories, though well meant, would be a lot more comforting if there had been a doctor or equivalent turning up who could say how long the dragon effect would last, what he needed to do, himself, and reassure him that he wouldn't have to stay a dragon forever. Nevertheless, those stories were well-meant, and Eustace never forgot them or the kindness of Reepicheep.

4. The writer said these stories are not allegory, so how would you describe the ‘un-dragoning’ of Eustace? Why do you think it hurt so much?

I'd agree it isn't an allegory, since this part of the story is about removing a scaly dragon skin. And whether anyone thinks this story is an allegory or not, I'm not at all sure exactly which Biblical story it would be an allegory of, anyway, despite the parallels with baptism. There is an Old Testament story about the Prophet Elisha which I think you would find it in either Kings or Chronicles. A man called Naaman suffered from leprosy, and the Prophet told him to bathe in the Jordan seven times. Eventually he did, after a lot of whining, and was then healed. But Gehazi, Elisha's greedy servant, caught the leprosy instead. Though both baptism and communion has a similar premise of washing off old sins and being redeemed into a new life, the story of Naaman, a leper, sounds most like this episode of VDT.

Of course the undragonning of Eustace would hurt. Under his own efforts it wouldn't hurt so much because it is natural to wince away from too much pain inflicted. That is why Aslan had to do it to get to the root of the problem which was Eustace's habit of letting himself off too lightly.

5. How does Eustace's encounter with Aslan compare to the first experiences of the Pevensies in LWW and Trumpkin and Caspian in PC? Whose encounter would you rather have?

I think Eustace's encounter was like that of Naaman undergoing prescribed treatment in the previous question I answered, only rather more so. The only other encounter which was similar was Edmund's talk with Aslan after he was rescued. In both cases each cousin underwent a profound and painful transformation. The one I would have liked best is that of Trumpkin, which was playful, like that of the newly resurrected Aslan with Susan and Lucy, but I doubt I'd deserve it. :(

6. Do you think it was mere chance that Edmund awoke when he did?


No, I think Eustace wanted to talk to Edmund in particular. Did he know a bit about Edmund's past already? Did Aslan somehow suggest that Edmund would be the best person for Eustace to speak to? Maybe it might have been because Edmund and Eustace had been sharing accommodation, had not got on well beforehand and know just how they were getting on each other's nerves.

7. Why do you think Eustace didn't want to hear Edmund's story?

Maybe too much information? Or had he overheard some information earlier from the other Pevensies, or Edmund and Lucy themselves?

8. How do you think Eustace felt about losing his pockets full of jewels? And what do you think when you read, “he began to be a different boy..." ? What do you think Lewis means by "he began to be better"? Have you seen anything like this in life or in other stories?

I don't think he missed the jewellery. By that time, whilst listening to Reepicheep he would have very likely heard a bit more about cursed treasure.

I can't say I've seen anything like Eustace's "beginning to be better" in real life, though I might have been missing something. ;) But I've seen this sort of situation in other books, for example, What Katy Did or even in Seven Little Australians after Judy's harrowing death. I think C.S.Lewis is quite right. No matter how much Eustace might have the good intentions to be better, he will still have relapses due to anger or frustration, depending on how prolonged the frustrating situations might be.

9. It seems likely that the dragon on the island was either the missing Lord or the eater of the lord. What does it say about the other lord that this dragon remained alone on the Island? (Reepicheep would not have left a dragon alive that had eaten his shipmate and Caspian and co wouldn't have left Eustace behind)

Now that is a very good question. I wonder how well the seven lords got along with each other, anyway? Or did they have cabin fever? On the whole, Lord Bern, who fell in love with a native girl, seems to have had the best fate he could have had. But wouldn't that sort of good fortune annoy the other six lords, who might have felt he deserted ship?

Did they all land on the Lone Island when he did, and what got them to move on? And were their attitudes a real factor in the other men leaving the ship? At Dragon Island, they seem to have abandoned their shipmate to his fate. Was he marooned because he was considered too greedy with supplies? Or did they flee from the dragon he'd become?

10. Why is the fate of the bracelet important?

It is as important an artifact as the inscribed pewter plate left by Dirk Hartog at Shark Bay (W.A.Coast) four hundred years ago last Tuesday (25/10/1616, at Cape Inscription on Dirk Hartog Island). This plate was replaced by another Dutch explorer, Willem de Vlamingh and that inscribed plate ended up in the National Maritime Museum, with the original now housed in Amsterdam. The bracelet or armlet is a guide and a warning to any more accidental tourists who might happen by.

11. What is your favorite part/scene in this chapter?

How Eustace was undragonned, actually.
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