Chapter 8 - Two Narrow Escapes

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Chapter 8 - Two Narrow Escapes

Postby Pattertwigs Pal » Aug 19, 2015 4:31 am

1. Do the descriptions on the first page seem like eye witness accounts? Why do you think they were included?

2. Eustace has only recently been undragoned. What improvements do you see in him? Why do you think Lewis chose to bring attention to some of his relapses and old habits?

3. What do you think of Reep's plan to save the ship from the monstrous creature?

4. How does Lucy know "where everything is" on the ship?

5. Why does Lewis include so many plain, unexciting days in the story?

6. What was the main reason that Edmund reacted to Caspian the way he did when Caspian claims the island and orders the rest of them around?

7. Do you think Lucy did anything wrong after they discovered that the water turned things into gold?

8. From the time they are investigating the stream through when Aslan appears Eustace hardly says anything. Why do you think this is?

9. Do you think that Reepicheep was right about Deathwater Island having a curse on it?

10. What is your biggest lesson from the Goldwater incident?

11. At this point in the series, Aslan has appeared at multiple times and in a variety of ways. Why do you think he appeared the way he did in this chapter?

12. What insights do we get into Reepicheep's character and personality in this chapter?

13. The chapter is titled "Two Narrow Escapes." The first escape is obviously the sea serpent. What would you say was the escape on Goldwater (or the most important one)?

14. The chapter title indicates that the events in this chapter are connected by involving escapes. Are there any other themes or threads that run through the chapter?

Edit:
15. Which production (BBC film, Walden film, Radio Theater, etc.) do you think did the best job of adapting the Goldwater/Deathwater scene?

16. Who sees Aslan first in this chapter? What is significant about that?
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Re: Chapter 8 - Two Narrow Escapes

Postby aileth » Aug 18, 2016 4:17 am

1. Do the descriptions on the first page seem like eye witness accounts? Why do you think they were included?
I like that there is an occasional island where nothing really happens. The finding of the coracle has significance later, but there is no big event here, no lost lord, no fierce conflict.
It just is. You do get the feel of a real journey from this account--a boring, rainy day after a section of boring placid sailing. Small wonder that they were feeling a bit petulant and "Are-we-there-yet?"

2. Eustace has only recently been undragoned. What improvements do you see in him? Why do you think Lewis chose to bring attention to some of his relapses and old habits?
He was trying to be useful, and to see things from a different perspective. Even the sweetest-tempered person has their moments of irritation, and Eustace hadn't had much practice yet at good sportsmanship. Lewis may be pointing out that we must keep working on our character development: that we are not stuck where we began. Good thing, too!

3. What do you think of Reep's plan to save the ship from the monstrous creature?
He was the quickest thinking one of the lot. Eustace's attempt, brave as it was, was not going to work. If Reepicheep had not acted so quickly, perhaps the ship would have been squeezed to matchwood. He was far-seeing enough to realize that his normal approach was not going to be effective, and altered it accordingly.

4. How does Lucy know "where everything is" on the ship?
She must have been over the ship quite thoroughly, both exploring and doing little tasks to free up others (like feeding the chickens).

5. Why does Lewis include so many plain, unexciting days in the story?
It gives your brain a chance to catch up--he doesn't waste time over describing the days in detail, either, but it helps with pacing in the story. It's also very much like real life; humdrum days in between excitements (thank goodness!)

6. What was the main reason that Edmund reacted to Caspian the way he did when Caspian claims the island and orders the rest of them around?
The question is, was Edmund in the wrong here? Was he actually trying to claim the gold (as blatantly misrepresented by Walden) or was he just being testy and pulling rank? "Who do you think you are?" and "Don't tell me what to do!" are the phrases that spring to mind to epitomize his reaction. Caspian came across as quite arrogant, and I suppose that Edmund resented it. This comes up again later (ch. 16)--Caspian being wilful, and Edmund (and others) having to squelch him.

7. Do you think Lucy did anything wrong after they discovered that the water turned things into gold?
We aren't really told. She wasn't exactly tactful--they wouldn't have been any less likely to have fought, from what she said. Was she thinking greedy, selfish thoughts? Hard to say. Obviously, Aslan did not approve of their behaviour--or at least he intervened to put a stop to it.

8. From the time they are investigating the stream through when Aslan appears Eustace hardly says anything. Why do you think this is?
Do you think he might have been feeling a bit dragonish? Not wanting the gold, that is--he had had more than enough of it at the other island. But maybe a bit sick at the thought of more gold, like when you've eaten too many pieces of cake and wish you hadn't. He had a rather close personal brush with desiring gold himself, not so long before.

9. Do you think that Reepicheep was right about Deathwater Island having a curse on it?
Most likely. Makes you wonder why the metal deteriorated so quickly there. That one stream/lake did have a strange effect on them, including the ensuing forgetfulness. But was that part a spell from the place, or the mercy of Aslan?

10. What is your biggest lesson from the Goldwater incident?
How easy it is to be led astray, and how quickly it can happen.

11. At this point in the series, Aslan has appeared at multiple times and in a variety of ways. Why do you think he appeared the way he did in this chapter?
He didn't say a word, did he, or even look at them? The whole feel of it was like a dream afterwards--they didn't seem to tell the ship's crew that they had seen Aslan.

12. What insights do we get into Reepicheep's character and personality in this chapter?
The incident with the sea serpent is one place where we get quite a different view of his character--a sidelight, so to speak. Hey, even his shipmates were surprised! I think we tend to just write him off, at times, as bellicose and touchy: the honour of a mouse is paramount. Whatever other faults he had, he was whole-hearted in everything he did, thus nearly killing himself from over-exertion on this occasion.

13. The chapter is titled "Two Narrow Escapes." The first escape is obviously the sea serpent. What would you say was the escape on Goldwater (or the most important one)?
Well, initially, being turned into gold, like the unfortunate swimming lord. That would have been uncomfortable, to say the least. But a dissension that would have torn the travellers apart into factions would have been a far worse dilemma.

14. The chapter title indicates that the events in this chapter are connected by involving escapes. Are there any other themes or threads that run through the chapter?
Miserable rainy days? Miserable rainy days make people grumpy?

15. Which production (BBC film, Walden film, Radio Theater, etc.) do you think did the best job of adapting the Goldwater/Deathwater scene?
I've only watched the BBC and Walden versions, so can't speak for anything else. Having forgotten some of the details, I watched it again a few days ago (BBC PC and VDT) and was surprised at how much the Walden film borrowed (eg. set in an underground cave). The BBC did a fairly good job of it; at least they had the right person smitten with the gold (see above), there was no green mist (a pox be upon it), and Aslan appeared to rebuke them, though not quite in the book manner. Walden's filmography was better, as usual, but it still jars me that they were picking on Edmund. If it had just been once, I might not have cared; they did so repeatedly--everything was his fault, from landing at Fairhaven to the sea serpent. /end rant/

16. Who sees Aslan first in this chapter? What is significant about that?
Again, Lucy was the first to see him; she nearly always was. (Is there a time when she wasn't? I'd have to think about that one.)
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Re: Chapter 8 - Two Narrow Escapes

Postby Pattertwigs Pal » Aug 18, 2016 6:35 pm

1. Do the descriptions on the first page seem like eye witness accounts? Why do you think they were included?
I hadn’t thought of it that way but it could be seen that way. It is definitely a clear description. It helps set the scene and acts as a transition to the next events.

2. Eustace has only recently been undragoned. What improvements do you see in him? Why do you think Lewis chose to bring attention to some of his relapses and old habits?
He is trying to be brave by attacking the sea serpent. He isn’t saying things as nastily as he used to. It is more believable if Eustace does have some relapses. It is hard to change overnight.

3. What do you think of Reep's plan to save the ship from the monstrous creature?

It is a clever one. One of the great things about the Narnia books and VDT in particular the characters use their brains to get them out of tight situations. Reepicheep is a knight and is very comfortable solving problems by fighting, yet he is able to check that instinct if it isn’t going to work.

4. How does Lucy know "where everything is" on the ship?
She has had plenty of time to explore and we know from LWW that Lucy is very thorough at exploring.

5. Why does Lewis include so many plain, unexciting days in the story?
It helps show the passage of time and reminds the reader that a sea voyage is not all adventure.

6. What was the main reason that Edmund reacted to Caspian the way he did when Caspian claims the island and orders the rest of them around?
I could make a case for several different reasons. The most obvious (and thus most likely?) is that he resented being bossed around by Caspian. I’m not sure what the protocol is when there are 2 kings like that. Edmund never officially abdicated but yet Caspian is the current king. Still, Caspian overstepped when he threatened them with death. Caspian and Edmund should be equals or very close to that. I was going to say that Edmund might have been calm when he said it but it seems unlikely considering the words and Caspian’s reaction of drawing his sword. Another possible reason is that greed was fueling his response. He might have been trying to stake his claim to the island by showing that he was the highest in rank. Aslan stops the situation before it can go any further so we have very little to go on.

7. Do you think Lucy did anything wrong after they discovered that the water turned things into gold?
Well, it was probably wrong to call boys “swaggering, bullying idiots.” She did try to stop them however.

8. From the time they are investigating the stream through when Aslan appears Eustace hardly says anything. Why do you think this is?
Eustace has had enough of gold for a while. Also, when he starts to talk he is interrupted by Edmund explaining that his boots are gold.

9. Do you think that Reepicheep was right about Deathwater Island having a curse on it?
I think it is a dangerous place. It is an easy place for greed to take over. However, I don’t think there is anything that makes people greedy. We don’t have enough information to know for sure if the island causes the forgetfulness or if it was Aslan. I suspect it was Aslan because as soon as they saw him they were a bit confused. It is interesting when Drinian is talking to Rhince he says “Their Majesties all” technically Reep and Eustaces are not royalty. Was Drinian using “their majesties all” to refer to the whole group instead of taking the time to and Reep and Eustace or did he really just mean “their Majesties” (Lucy, Edmund, and Caspian)? Lewis does imply that they all were confused but it is interesting that Reepicheep is able to very quickly come up with an appropriate name for the island. Maybe Reepicheep could have put together a more coherent story but he chose not to. Yes, I know that idea is far-fetched.

10. What is your biggest lesson from the Goldwater incident?
Greed is dangerous.

11. At this point in the series, Aslan has appeared at multiple times and in a variety of ways. Why do you think he appeared the way he did in this chapter?
It was the best way to deal with the situation. Maybe if he had left their memories intact and talked to them, they would have slipped back after he left or on the return journey.

12. What insights do we get into Reepicheep's character and personality in this chapter?
He can think on his feet and he is not interested in wealth.

13. The chapter is titled "Two Narrow Escapes." The first escape is obviously the sea serpent. What would you say was the escape on Goldwater (or the most important one)?
They escaped from death and being overcome with greed. Escaping from death would be the most important one – whether that be from the water or dying in a duel.

14. The chapter title indicates that the events in this chapter are connected by involving escapes. Are there any other themes or threads that run through the chapter?
As Aileth mentioned there are several rainy days. There is also a theme of thinking – Reep thinks about the sea serpent situation to solve it and at Deathwater they think through the mystery of the armor.

15. Which production (BBC film, Walden film, Radio Theater, etc.) do you think did the best job of adapting the Goldwater/Deathwater scene?
Definitely not Walden. I can’t remember the Focus on the Family Radio theater scene well enough to comment. I like the BBC version. It isn’t strictly like the book but it has Aslan unlike the Walden one. I think they took Lucy’s behavior a little too far. I like that Eustace is the one to see Aslan first. I know that is different from the book, but I like it because Eustace wasn’t engaging in the greedy childish behavior. He is so happy to see Aslan; it is nice to see since he had only seen Aslan once before. His joy is a good contrast for the guilt of the other 3 humans.

16. Who sees Aslan first in this chapter? What is significant about that?
Lucy sees Aslan first. I’m not really sure why that is significant. As Aileth mentioned, she often does see Aslan first. I can’t think of a time that someone else sees him first although I can think of times that others saw him the same time she did. She was talking at the time so maybe she was about to say or do something that was very bad. Or it could be that her relationship with Aslan is such that she can sense his presence even though she is acting in a way that Aslan doesn’t approve of.
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Re: Chapter 8 - Two Narrow Escapes

Postby aileth » Sep 03, 2016 10:55 am

Pattertwigs Pal wrote:4. How does Lucy know "where everything is" on the ship?
She has had plenty of time to explore and we know from LWW that Lucy is very thorough at exploring.

I hadn't thought of that--she is indeed very thorough. If it hadn't been for Lucy's explorations, there would have been no Narnia series, so what a lot we owe to her curiosity. Or at least, it would have been significantly different.

9. Do you think that Reepicheep was right about Deathwater Island having a curse on it?[/b]
...Maybe Reepicheep could have put together a more coherent story but he chose not to. Yes, I know that idea is far-fetched.

Are you sure it is far-fetched? I think it's quite possible.
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Re: Chapter 8 - Two Narrow Escapes

Postby waggawerewolf27 » Nov 10, 2016 4:04 am

1. Do the descriptions on the first page seem like eye witness accounts? Why do you think they were included?'

The descriptions of days passing up to whole weeks, paces the story better, just like being on a real journey, and gives a better sense of the reality of time and distance. That is the trouble with TV and films. They expect whole masses of time to pass in only an hour or two. Days do pass without much happening, and there are other more eventful days.

2. Eustace has only recently been undragoned. What improvements do you see in him? Why do you think Lewis chose to bring attention to some of his relapses and old habits?

Time passing slowly does get a bit boring, and so does losing all the time at a game one hasn't learned yet how to play skilfully. It sounds as if Eustace is at his most vulnerable to relapses when he feels less clever than those around him. I wonder if he got into those old habits in the first place, because he was afraid of being ridiculed for losing? It would certainly explain why he was so proud of his marks, which might have enabled him to keep his self-respect.

Does anyone else notice that after discussing The Silver Chair, especially Experiment House, at the beginning, that it is easier to understand quite a bit of Eustace's initial difficulties with his cousins and fellow shipmates aboard the Dawn Treader, and why he might relapse occasionally?

3. What do you think of Reep's plan to save the ship from the monstrous creature?

It is a good plan and probably the only one which worked. Reepicheep is not the average mouse and there is more to him than being useful with a sword.

4. How does Lucy know "where everything is" on the ship?

Whilst on Dragon Island getting the ship repaired Lucy probably helped with inventories and repacking of everything that was still salvageable and useful. Including useful tools.

5. Why does Lewis include so many plain, unexciting days in the story?

On a sea voyage, in particular, it takes time to get from A to B. It isn't like an aeroplane which can travel half the world in 23 hours including stopovers for refuelling. It is more like the old sea voyages of old, though without the sailors getting scurvy. So long as there is enough to eat, that is the beauty of a sea voyage, to be able to take one's time.

6. What was the main reason that Edmund reacted to Caspian the way he did when Caspian claims the island and orders the rest of them around?

It seemed that Caspian was getting a bit too overbearing at this stage, ordering people around. Though the book doesn't say so, Caspian, who resembles his father, also, to some extent, did resemble his uncle Miraz. And so Edmund wanted Caspian to realise that he and Lucy were Caspian's equals, not his subjects.

7. Do you think Lucy did anything wrong after they discovered that the water turned things into gold?

Yes, calling the boys swaggering bullies, and buying into their brawling. Eustace, who shut up and didn't say anything much was the only one in the clear. Apart from Reepicheep.

8. From the time they are investigating the stream through when Aslan appears Eustace hardly says anything. Why do you think this is?

I don't think he expected that Edmund and Caspian would fight each other. Remember, at the beginning, Eustace complained that Edmund and Caspian were too busy buttering each other up. Also, after his recent undragonning, he might not have felt in a position to say anything, apart from confirming that a dragon couldn't have undressed anyone in chain mail.

9. Do you think that Reepicheep was right about Deathwater Island having a curse on it?

Yes, the lure of gold can act like that, creating discord. Does the legend of a King Midas come to mind? Did anyone notice that when they first reached the island, even Drinian seemed a bit short-tempered?

10. What is your biggest lesson from the Goldwater incident?


That there are other things more worthy of being treasured than access to a pool which turns everything to gold. I wonder how it was that the others of the Seven Lords escaped the island and not the lord at the bottom of the pool?

11. At this point in the series, Aslan has appeared at multiple times and in a variety of ways. Why do you think he appeared the way he did in this chapter?

At this stage Aslan realises that the travellers on Death Island need help fast. Caspian and Edmund could have ruined a firm friendship and the rancour they engaged in seems to have been catching. Even Drinian was a bit short with people when they first arrived, even without knowing about the gold. Is there something in the atmosphere which has that sort of quarrelsome effect on people?

12. What insights do we get into Reepicheep's character and personality in this chapter?

Reepicheep has a noble character that doesn't give into the sorts of fears and desires that make humans so morally frail at times. Gold doesn't have any hold over him.

13. The chapter is titled "Two Narrow Escapes." The first escape is obviously the sea serpent. What would you say was the escape on Goldwater (or the most important one)?

The most important escape was from giving into the gold fever that seems to have infected them, but that was because of Aslan's arrival. Left to themselves, disaster might have happened.

14. The chapter title indicates that the events in this chapter are connected by involving escapes. Are there any other themes or threads that run through the chapter?

Not only greed, inspired by the gold, but also pride and anger. And how quick to anger humans can be. The humans were okay until Caspian realised how valuable it would be to have access to so much gold.

Edit:
15. Which production (BBC film, Walden film, Radio Theater, etc.) do you think did the best job of adapting the Goldwater/Deathwater scene?

I didn't watch the Walden version, not having access to our TV for long enough, though I did watch the BBC version. The Walden version, of course, picked on Edmund, who wanted to take the gold back with him to London. But interestingly enough the Radio Theatre version also had Edmund muttering something similar under his breath, though not to the same extent. The BBC version was really rather aggressive behaviour from both Edmund and Caspian, whilst the BBC audio drama ran closest to the book. However, it left out the sea serpent completely, unlike the other three versions.

16. Who sees Aslan first in this chapter? What is significant about that?

Good question! I got the impression that more than one person saw Aslan in the book, though it seems to be Lucy who was the first to notice. The BBC version has Eustace being the one to notice Aslan first, whilst others have Lucy being the first one to see Aslan. It suggests to me that Lucy and Eustace, in particular, are the ones closest to Aslan at that time.
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