Chapter 13 The Three Sleepers

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Chapter 13 The Three Sleepers

Postby Pattertwigs Pal » Sep 30, 2015 4:20 am

1. A lot of this chapter is devoted to describing the island in vivid detail. Did any part of the description resonate with you?

2. Would you have eaten the food?

3. Would you have stayed at the table all night?

4. Do you think Reepicheep was brave to suggest staying, or foolhardy?

5. What does the setting of the table and the sleepers remind you of?

6. How do you think Eustace learned so much about botany?

7. Lewis repeatedly mentions that Eustace had read none of the "right" books. We can assume then that conversely the Pevensies read the "right" books. Let's assume that Eustace learned botany by reading his "books of information." Back in Prince Caspian, the Pevensies mention that characters in books always find ways to survive in the woods eating roots and things. Unfortunently, they are unsure exactly what that means. If Eustace had been there, do you think the knowledge he had from botany books would be more valuable than the knowledge the Pevensies had from there books? What do you think Lewis is trying to say by refering to the "right" books?

8. Compare and Contrast Reepicheep and the "masterful" Lord.

9. What do you think of Caspian's and the Lady's exchange at the end of the chapter?
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Re: Chapter 13 The Three Sleepers

Postby aileth » Oct 12, 2016 5:51 pm

1. A lot of this chapter is devoted to describing the island in vivid detail. Did any part of the description resonate with you?
Somehow it is a bigger island than I first thought it--another quiet, peaceful one with springy turf. It sounds as if it must have been inhabited (by someone other than Ramandu) long, long before. The constant sound of the surf on the sand is not something Lewis mentioned at any of the other places. Did he ever travel to the remote, lonely islands of Scotland or Ireland? It's almost as if he was thinking of some of them.

2. Would you have eaten the food?
It sure sounds good. Of course, having read the myth of Persephone, maybe not. Maybe after the lady said it was all right? Certainly if I knew that it was provided by Aslan.

3. Would you have stayed at the table all night?
With some reluctance, yes. If the others were staying. I think I would rather be there with them, even if something happened, than back at the ship, worrying that something might happen.

4. Do you think Reepicheep was brave to suggest staying, or foolhardy?
Seeing Reepicheep has no fears, I'm not sure it would be considered bravery, but if you are going in for adventure, why not take whatever comes your way? After surviving being enslaved, dragoned, attacked by a sea serpent and (almost) by Dufflepuds, what was to be lost by braving a few sleepers?

5. What does the setting of the table and the sleepers remind you of?
Strangely enough, it makes me think of the hall of kings in Charn. Not that there was food or even a table, but that was the first thing that came to mind.

6. How do you think Eustace learned so much about botany?
Reading his despised books full of information?

7. Lewis repeatedly mentions that Eustace had read none of the "right" books. We can assume then that conversely the Pevensies read the "right" books. Let's assume that Eustace learned botany by reading his "books of information." Back in Prince Caspian, the Pevensies mention that characters in books always find ways to survive in the woods eating roots and things. Unfortunately, they are unsure exactly what that means. If Eustace had been there, do you think the knowledge he had from botany books would be more valuable than the knowledge the Pevensies had from their books? What do you think Lewis is trying to say by refering to the "right" books?
Pre-dragon Eustace might have had the knowledge to have helped them, but I suspect that he would have spent his time complaining and trying to avoid having to do any gathering of food. Did Lewis have to change his perspective here and do an about-face, in his continued reformation of Eustace? Or was he never so much condemnatory of factual books, as the improper use of said books? Maybe Eustace was beginning to have the right attitude towards the facts he had previously imbibed. Lewis himself didn't just read fairy tales and fiction. I'm sure he would have disparaged the mindless reading of novels, too. Books should stimulate the imagination, and open worlds of exploration for the mind.

8. Compare and contrast Reepicheep and the "masterful" Lord.
On the surface their motivations are alike. In this respect they differed: Reepicheep might have been scornful if someone turned down adventure, but I hardly think he would have resorted to violence. I wonder if a sleep of seven years would have served to modify the lord's fiery temper. Otherwise he might have made an uncomfortable companion when disenchanted.

9. What do you think of Caspian's and the Lady's exchange at the end of the chapter?
Most charming--somewhat subtle, but not too subtle. Neither of them spent much time beating around the bush. Now the real question is: How did Caspian ever hear the story of Sleeping Beauty? Was it passed down from King Frank and Queen Helen? Or did Lucy tell it during one of the lulls in busyness aboard the ship?
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Re: Chapter 13 The Three Sleepers

Postby waggawerewolf27 » Oct 12, 2016 11:20 pm

1. A lot of this chapter is devoted to describing the island in vivid detail. Did any part of the description resonate with you?

Yes, and I loved Aileth's answer above. The Hebrides are indeed lovely quiet places, with springy turf, sheep following you into post offices and cows sunbathing on beaches. But I'm sure that C.S.Lewis has at least heard of wonderful beaches such as he describes, elsewhere in the world. Where the noise of the surf lulls one to sleep as it doesn't in the inner Hebrides.

2. Would you have eaten the food?

If I could identify it clearly, and was assured it was okay to eat, yes. Sometimes appearances may be deceptive. I remember, on a tour through Europe, not being able to find where the milk was for breakfast cereal, and seeing a dish containing what I thought was yogurt, I thought I'd substitute yogurt for the unfindable milk. Since the labelling was in Hungarian, I was unaware that I was eating horseradish dressing instead of yogurt. =))

3. Would you have stayed at the table all night?

If I had something to read, for example Voyage of the Dawn Treader or Silver Chair, with me to while away the time, yes. But I might have fallen asleep like the three sleepers. As a child I would have felt differently,

4. Do you think Reepicheep was brave to suggest staying, or foolhardy?

Neither. He just wants to know the truth of the matter, and I'd be glad of the company. Though it is easier to say than to do it. If it gets too chilly I might have changed my mind.

5. What does the setting of the table and the sleepers remind you of?

Lots of things. Such as my wedding banquet, a state banquet, Narnian, Tudor or otherwise, or the sort of help yourself smorgasbords available on cruises, at hotels and conferences, at Christmas, or at really special occasions. Also the sorts of meals dreamed about in leaner times. And above all, they do remind me of other meals we see in other books, especially in LWW. The stone knife speaks of other, more sinister matters. Punishment, crime, death, and mourning.

The sleepers remind me of vegetable carvings or other table centrepieces at such occasions. But they also remind me of mops left aside by the cleaners, a stack of hairy cushions or household clutter not put away. Also, students falling asleep over their studies, in library carrels, with the remains of their smuggled lunches by their side, as they try to prepare for their exams. ;)

6. How do you think Eustace learned so much about botany? Easy. He wasn't so much younger than the Pevensies that he wouldn't have worked in his parents' garden growing vegetables for the War Effort, and that is probably where he found some of the insects in his collections. Being bookish, he was a good student in subjects that interested him, factual books clearly did not daunt him, and he probably could be trusted to do his homework thoroughly, since he wasn't distracted by sporting activities or being the life and soul of the parties, not being the most popular boy at his school. He would have had the sorts of high marks Alberta would have loved and which he could skite about at school.

7. (a) Lewis repeatedly mentions that Eustace had read none of the "right" books. We can assume then that conversely the Pevensies read the "right" books. I wouldn't have assumed anything, really. Of course Eustace hadn't read any of the "right" books. He'd read the sorts of technical books that would have helped him with studies. He hadn't really bothered much about the more imaginative side of studying like history, literature, art or languages. Therefore, though he was good at the sorts of things he was interested in, Eustace's education was a bit one-sided. Yes, the Pevensies probably did read the "right" books. But were they books of information they needed to do schoolwork? Or were they just entertainment?

(b)Let's assume that Eustace learned botany by reading his "books of information." Back in Prince Caspian, the Pevensies mention that characters in books always find ways to survive in the woods eating roots and things. Unfortunately, they are unsure exactly what that means. If Eustace had been there, do you think the knowledge he had from botany books would be more valuable than the knowledge the Pevensies had from there books? What do you think Lewis is trying to say by referring to the "right" books?.

Possibly Eustace would know a thing or two more than what the Pevensies did about plants. He would at least have a frame of reference to identify those plants he wouldn't be familiar with. And to recognise those plants he knew about. Just like Sir Joseph Banks who accompanied Captain Cook in 1770. If Eustace had been with the Pevensies in Prince Caspian he would still have had to ask Trumpkin for advice, I think. But would he have done that before he was dragonned? I think that C.S.Lewis is saying the "right" books are those sorts of books that would be helpful in any given situation. If Eustace had read the "right" books he would be more familiar with the more creative side of human knowledge and less dismissive of it. He would have known not only what a dragon was supposed to be and stories about such creatures, but would also recognise the symbolism attached to it.

8. Compare and Contrast Reepicheep and the "masterful" Lord.

Both characters are masculine, goal driven beings. But whereas Reepicheep knows where he is heading and why, in a positive way, the "masterful" Lord, is fleeing from Miraz, and is afraid to go back. Also, the Lord, being human, is subject to human failings such as anger and pride. He also probably used physical violence to control others to get them to agree to his point of view. Or is he simply someone used to being obeyed and who hates being contradicted?

9. What do you think of Caspian's and the Lady's exchange at the end of the chapter?

Actually it says a lot about both people. Caspian wants to court the lady there and then, and she is saying not so fast. Get the job done and then let us consider the next item of business. Interesting really. :-$
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Re: Chapter 13 The Three Sleepers

Postby aileth » Oct 13, 2016 7:40 pm

waggawerewolf27 wrote:Where the noise of the surf lulls one to sleep as it doesn't in the inner Hebrides.

Alas! I have yet to go there, so I'll have to take your word for it, wagga.

Since the labelling was in Hungarian, I was unaware that I was eating horseradish dressing instead of yogurt.

That must have been a shock!

The sleepers remind me of vegetable carvings or other table centrepieces at such occasions. But they also remind me of mops left aside by the cleaners, a stack of hairy cushions or household clutter not put away. Also, students falling asleep over their studies, in library carrels, with the remains of their smuggled lunches by their side, as they try to prepare for their exams.

=)) =))
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Re: Chapter 13 The Three Sleepers

Postby Pattertwigs Pal » Oct 17, 2016 8:44 pm

A lot of this chapter is devoted to describing the island in vivid detail. Did any part of the description resonate with you?
I like the description of the sunset. Also the way that Lewis describes how the sleepers hair grows is very effective. I can easily picture it. I especially like the part “climbing round and entwining plates and goblets.”
2. Would you have eaten the food?
Certainly not before the girl came. After that I would likely have waited to make sure it didn’t have any ill effects on the others. Depending on what kind of nuts were on the table I might not being willing to risk trying the food for fear of cross-contamination. (I’m severely allergic to peanuts) I wonder if Lucy’s cordial works on allergic reactions? I suppose it would.
3. Would you have stayed at the table all night?
Yes, since the others were. I would much rather be in a possibly dangerous situation than be on the ship and worrying about what was happening.

4. Do you think Reepicheep was brave to suggest staying, or foolhardy?
I’m not sure if he was either. Is someone who lacks fear brave? I don’t see Reepicheep as foolhardy since he seems to at least put some thought into his actions.

5. What does the setting of the table and the sleepers remind you of?
Rip Van Winkle or the scene in Sleeping Beauty where everyone is put to sleep and there is a banquet.

6. How do you think Eustace learned so much about botany?
He either studied it at school or got from his books. I’d lean toward his books of information but I’m not familiar with the subjects taught in English schools.

7. Lewis repeatedly mentions that Eustace had read none of the "right" books. We can assume then that conversely the Pevensies read the "right" books. Let's assume that Eustace learned botany by reading his "books of information." Back in Prince Caspian, the Pevensies mention that characters in books always find ways to survive in the woods eating roots and things. Unfortunately, they are unsure exactly what that means. If Eustace had been there, do you think the knowledge he had from botany books would be more valuable than the knowledge the Pevensies had from their books? What do you think Lewis is trying to say by referring to the "right" books?
Yes, I think information about botany would have been more useful than books about knights, etc. in that particular instance but only if Eustace would have thought to use that knowledge to find something to eat. Not having the background of fairy tales and legends, he might not have ventured off of the beach. I think Lewis is trying to make the point that fiction, fairy tales, and legends should not be discounted and are important for children. Books about grain elevators and foreign children doing exercises would not be helpful in Narnia at all.

8. Compare and Contrast Reepicheep and the "masterful" Lord.
Reepicheep and the “masterful” Lord both try to motivate people by appealing to their character. Both assume that it is honorable and a duty for people of a certain rank to face adventure. (Reepicheep realizes that the crew need not stay and the “masterful” lord appeals to his companions as "Men and Telmarines, not brutes.” The main difference is that Reepicheep would not use a weapon against his friends like the “masterful” lord tried to do.
9. What do you think of Caspian's and the Lady's exchange at the end of the chapter?
The Lady’s response is perfect for slowing things down but allowing for the possibility of a kiss to come. Caspian could perhaps use some work on his pick-up lines and not be quite so quick to show his desire. However, in a story of this type it works.

[quote=ailth] Did Lewis have to change his perspective here and do an about-face, in his continued reformation of Eustace? Or was he never so much condemnatory of factual books, as the improper use of said books?[/quote] I don't think Lewis would make a blanket comdemnation of factual books. I can't decide exactly what Lewis means when he writes "He liked books if they were books of information and had pictures of grain elevators or of fat foreign children doing excersies in model schools." It is clear that he only likes books of information but did Lewis intend the sentence to mean that books had to be not only books of information but also had to have pictures of grain elevators or foriegn children? The use of "and" seems to imply that thoses are the only 2 kinds of books he likes. That is quite a small list of books if that is the case.
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Re: Chapter 13 The Three Sleepers

Postby waggawerewolf27 » Oct 27, 2016 5:17 am

aileth wrote:Alas! I have yet to go there, so I'll have to take your word for it, wagga


I wouldn't be too confident that I'm right anyway. :-s Tides may vary at different parts of the year, and some places, on the lee side of an island, are more sheltered from heavy surfs than others. I was only there briefly, and not in the middle of winter, when the surf might pound so much it would be more frightening than comforting. And I'll also agree that horseradish sauce, something that is lovely with sausages, is rather an acquired taste when served up on one's cereal. :ymsick:

Pattertwig's Pal wrote:I can't decide exactly what Lewis means when he writes "He liked books if they were books of information and had pictures of grain elevators or of fat foreign children doing excersies in model schools." It is clear that he only likes books of information but did Lewis intend the sentence to mean that books had to be not only books of information but also had to have pictures of grain elevators or foriegn children?


I thought he mentioned the illustrations by way of illustration :-$. To my librarian's mind, knowing even pictures can be classified, and from what Eustace says elsewhere, it sounds like Eustace's favourite subjects were economics and commerce, transportation and perhaps geography, though he might have liked some science subjects also, eg botany. The book gives Eustace a rather legalistic turn of mind, which the 2010 film emphasized. He yells for the British consul, but I wonder how many children his age would know what a British consul does. He talks about "depositions" and the sorts of ships in our world, which would dwarf the Dawn Treader. If he were a library borrower, his choices would mainly be in the 300's (Social sciences). So we get an idea of not only what books he liked to read and perhaps why, ;) but also what he clearly didn't read. [-(
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