Chapter 16 The Very End of the World

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Chapter 16 The Very End of the World

Postby Pattertwigs Pal » Oct 21, 2015 3:42 am

1. What do you think of Lucy's encounter with the Sea Girl? Do you think it is possible to become friends in a moment like that?

2. Eustace thinks Caspian has a queer look in his eyes. Edmund replies they all probably look the same. Whom do you agree with and why?

3. Caspian is asked if he is abdicating and later his leaving the ship is compared to a sailor deserting. What is the difference between the two? Which do you think Caspian would be doing if he journeyed to the end of the world?

4. Why is it acceptable for Reepicheep, the leader of the Talking Mice, to never come back and not right for Caspian to do the same?

5. What does the interaction between Caspian and the others (the crew, Reepicheep, Edmund, and Lucy) say about Caspian as a King?

6. Why do you think Lucy would talk about the sound and the smell but Eustace and Edmund would not?

7. How can something break ones heart and not be sad?

8. Is it significant that things started happening on the 3rd day after they left the Dawn Treader?

9. When Aslan tells the children they must "begin to come close to your own world now," what does he mean?

10. What other thoughts would you like to share about this chapter?

11. What is the significance of the children's meeting with Aslan, including the forms he takes and the other details like the fish breakfast?

12. What do you think Reepicheep saw as he went up the waterfall?

13. Why did Reep leave his sword behind?
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Re: Chapter 16 The Very End of the World

Postby aileth » Oct 26, 2016 10:13 am

1. What do you think of Lucy's encounter with the Sea Girl? Do you think it is possible to become friends in a moment like that?
With Lucy, absolutely yes. First of all, she had a lot of experience, enough to know whether it would be possible. I mean, look at her record: Tumnus, Aravis, Puzzle and many others.

2. Eustace thinks Caspian has a queer look in his eyes. Edmund replies they all probably look the same. Who do you agree with and why?
They might both have been right; they were all undergoing some very strange experiences, and everyone had been drinking the water. It does sound as if Caspian was a little off his head, perhaps with excitement and the longing to see the world's end.

3. Caspian is asked if he is abdicating and later his leaving the ship is compared to a sailor deserting. What is the difference between the two? Which do you think Caspian would be doing if he journeyed to the end of the world?
Was Lewis thinking about the abdication of Edward VIII? George VI did not want to take the throne, and it cost him dearly. Nevertheless, he felt that it was his duty to God and his country to step in when his brother would not fulfill his responsibilities. It is possible that Caspian would have been leaving Narnia in a precarious position. One of the benefits of a monarchy is the stability it brings to a country: the same leader for years and years, without the upheaval of having to select another one every so often. The question of succession can be touchy, unless the heir is hereditary. Even then, English history is filled with the wars that occurred whenever there was a weak leader or an uncertain line of progression.

4. Why is it acceptable for Reepicheep, the leader of the Talking Mice, to never come back and not right for Caspian to do the same?
While it may have nothing to do with the matter, Reepicheep had already appointed a successor to take his place. His quest included the possibility of reaching the utter East right from the beginning. Caspian's quest did not go so far, and his desire to go on was somewhat selfish--not ignoble or wrong, in and of itself, but to please himself.

5. What does the interaction between Caspian and the others (the crew, Reepicheep, Edmund, and Lucy) say about Caspian as a King?
He had not had much practice as a heavy-handed dictator, or the others would not have dared to stand up to him and thwart his wishes. They knew that he would come to his senses if they prevented him from being rash. I do think that Reep was pushing it a bit--it wasn't exactly a good time to reproach the king.

6. Why do you think Lucy would talk about the sound and the smell but Eustace and Edmund would not?
A British boy's reticence to voice any such inner feelings? It must have had a powerful impact on all of them, if even Lucy couldn't say much about it.

7. How can something break ones heart and not be sad?
Some of the things that are most likely to make me cry are happy ones, not sad ones. When I think of the joys of Heaven, for instance.

8. Is it significant that things started happening on the 3rd day after they left the Dawn Treader?
Never noticed that before.

9. When Aslan tells the children they must "begin to come close to your own world now," what does he mean?
It is time for them to take on the responsibilities of their own world--to grow up. Not in the negative sense of adulthood, like Susan fell into, but none of us ought to spend all our time dreaming. There would be people in our world who would benefit from their experience and character growth. Of course, Aslan also knew that they would be coming back for good within a relatively short time.

10. What other thoughts would you like to share about this chapter?
There is such a wistful quality about it, as if we too have drunk of the sweet water. It's almost the same feeling as in the last chapters of Last Battle.

11. What is the significance of the children's meeting with Aslan, including the forms he takes and the other details like the fish breakfast?
It is reminiscent of the breakfast by the sea in John 21. There are quite a few similarities between the ending of this book and LB, like where it said that Aslan no longer looked like a lion.

12. What do you think Reepicheep saw as he went up the waterfall?
I like to think that he saw Aslan's country spread out before him, a fuller view of that which the children caught a glimpse. Interesting that the sun rose this side of the mountains--a somewhat mind-stretching concept.

13. Why did Reep leave his sword behind?
I wonder if Lewis was thinking of the legend of Excalibur in "Le Morte de Arthur?" Reepicheep knew that it would be a different world, with a different set of needs (though didn't he have a sword in LB? Perhaps it was merely ceremonial, as there are no enemies in Aslan's Country.)
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Re: Chapter 16 The Very End of the World

Postby Pattertwigs Pal » Oct 31, 2016 7:57 pm

1. What do you think of Lucy's encounter with the Sea Girl? Do you think it is possible to become friends in a moment like that?
It seems very unlikely to me but if it could happen to anyone Lucy would be the likeliest (as aileth mentioned she does make friends quickly). I suppose it is a variation of love at first sight (which I am skeptical of as well). I know friendships can happen quickly but usually there is at least some communication.

2. Eustace thinks Caspian has a queer look in his eyes. Edmund replies they all probably look the same. Whom do you agree with and why?

I think Eustace is reacting to the fact that Caspian is about to attempt to abdicate. His selfish desire is showing through his expression. I assume that the water and sun did have an effect on the look in all of their eyes but I think Caspian’s was indicating trouble.

3. Caspian is asked if he is abdicating and later his leaving the ship is compared to a sailor deserting. What is the difference between the two? Which do you think Caspian would be doing if he journeyed to the end of the world?
The sailors have a contract that they are bound to. Caspian agreed to be king and was given that job by Aslan. I’m not sure that Caspian would have signed anything. His case is different because he was king by birth but was also chosen to be king. In Caspian’s case it could either be called abdicating or deserting. He has not been king very long and he didn’t even offer any suggestions or nominations for his replacement. Although he did say “if” he didn’t come back who should choose the next king so maybe he thought he might come back? However, that would be very unlikely since he was going to send the ship back to Ramandu’s Island without him.

4. Why is it acceptable for Reepicheep, the leader of the Talking Mice, to never come back and not right for Caspian to do the same?
Reepicheep is only a leader of a group – he and his mice are subject to Caspian.
Reepicheep went on the voyage with the plan of going to the end of the world and finding Aslan’s Country – I assume his mice did not expect him to come back. He had a replacement in place.
Reepicheep had presumably been leader of the mice longer than Caspian had been king. Caspian’s abdicating could easily have caused problems for a country that had gone through a lot of change. It is one thing to have a regent run the country for a year or 2 when it is expected that the King will return and quite another to be suddenly left without a king. 3 years isn’t a lot of time to establish a country that can survive losing their king and having no clear line of succession to follow.

5. What does the interaction between Caspian and the others (the crew, Reepicheep, Edmund, and Lucy) say about Caspian as a King?
Caspian is the kind of King his subjects and others feel comfortable confronting. He probably has spent time talking with the crew and would consider Reepicheep, Edmund, and Lucy friends. Yet, he still knows he is the king and is willing to point that out if it serves his purpose (or he thinks it will).

6. Why do you think Lucy would talk about the sound and the smell but Eustace and Edmund would not?

Females are more likely to talk about emotions and situations in general. It could also have something to do with their relationships to Aslan. Eustace and Edmund would have a similar relationship to Aslan since they came to him from the wrong side. Lucy was always with him. Lucy seems to experience things very deeply so maybe that helps her talk about it?

7. How can something break one’s heart and not be sad?

Maybe it breaks one’s heart so purer and /or better things can get in.

8. Is it significant that things started happening on the 3rd day after they left the Dawn Treader?

It seems like it should be. 3 is an important number in the Bible so maybe Lewis was referring to that? This chapter contains a lot of connections to the Bible so it won’t surprise me if Lewis was referencing the wait for the resurrection or something.

9. When Aslan tells the children they must "begin to come close to your own world now," what does he mean?
They cannot be residences of 2 worlds. They need to learn to live solely in their own world and care as deeply about its people as they do the Narnians.

10. What other thoughts would you like to share about this chapter?

I like the bit of humor at the end with Alberta’s reaction to Eustace’s change. It makes me wonder how much Harold was into their lifestyle since it doesn’t say what he thought about Eustace’s change.

11. What is the significance of the children's meeting with Aslan, including the forms he takes and the other details like the fish breakfast?
I don’t understand the part about water and a bridge but many of the other details serve to point towards Christianity and Jesus – Jesus served his disciples fish before he left them. He didn’t answer questions about someone else fate. Jesus is referred to as a lion and a lamb.

12. What do you think Reepicheep saw as he went up the waterfall?
A lot of water and the mountain and trees of Aslan’s Country.

13. Why did Reep leave his sword behind?

I think it was symbolic of his trust in Aslan and his belief this was his last adventure and one that would have no enemies.
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Re: Chapter 16 The Very End of the World

Postby King_Erlian » Nov 11, 2016 3:38 am

I often wondered, when reading this book, how much of a hard time Eustace may have had from his parents after returning from Narnia. I imagine it would have been a lot tougher than Aunt Alberta simply saying, "Oh dear, how tiresome," and Uncle Harold just shrugging his shoulders and hiding behind his newspaper. I can imagine that the first week after his return, there would have been a lot of friction between him and his parents. Fortunately Edmund and Lucy would still have been there to help him through it (as the Professor was there to help them to readjust when they returned to Narnia after having been kings and queens for so long). Presumably they (Edmund and Lucy) would have gone back to school at the end of the holidays, but then it was only two more weeks before he (Eustace) went back to Narnia.

There's an interesting contrast between Eustace's situation and Susan's. Eustace had Edmund and Lucy, then Jill, and later Peter, the Professor and Aunt Polly to help him consolidate his faith in Narnia while in this world. Susan, on the other hand, once she'd passed a certain age, was constantly being whisked away on her own by her parents (and possibly others) because she was "the pretty one" and she had no option but to act in the way that was expected of her. Torn out of the fellowship of her Narnian-loving friends, it's no surprise that her faith in Narnia diminished. So I think we should stop laying all the blame at Susan's feet. In a way, her parents were partly (and inadvertently) responsible for her losing faith. If Susan had gone to Harold and Alberta's, even though she may not have been able to go to Narnia with Edmund, Lucy and Eustace, she would have been able to share in their experiences when they got home.

(As a personal aside, on Wednesday, something changed inside me, and I've no idea why. I'm not a different man, but I've begun to be a different man. The cure has begun!)
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Re: Chapter 16 The Very End of the World

Postby waggawerewolf27 » Nov 23, 2016 2:46 am

1. What do you think of Lucy's encounter with the Sea Girl? Do you think it is possible to become friends in a moment like that?

Possibly, especially as Lucy might feel that the Sea Girl, minding her flock, is a kind of kindred spirit. Lucy, after all, does also tend to mind her "flock", which in this case are her fellow passengers. In a different environment they might have some interesting observations to share about that particular meeting.

2. Eustace thinks Caspian has a queer look in his eyes. Edmund replies they all probably look the same. Whom do you agree with and why?

Eustace is the one who is "on the money", I think. Especially as Eustace was the neutral observer at Deathwater Island, when Edmund and Caspian clashed over the golden statue in the water. Caspian might try to be a good Narnian king but he does have his weaknesses, including a tendency to think he should rule the roost.
Much like his uncle Miraz, and possibly his own father, Caspian IX. Does anyone think that these sorts of tendencies were the reasons why Edmund, Eustace and Lucy found themselves on the Dawn Treader?

3. Caspian is asked if he is abdicating and later his leaving the ship is compared to a sailor deserting. What is the difference between the two? Which do you think Caspian would be doing if he journeyed to the end of the world?

Of course Caspian would be deserting the ship and Narnia as well, if he decided to do as he wanted. The real life situation that C.S.Lewis might have drawn a parallel to, was to Edward VIII, who, being king, decided that he could not rule without Wallis Simpson. Since up to Elizabeth II's accession the men of her family all served in the UK navy, the idea of a deserting sailor is even more pointed. Especially as he hasn't said who could take his place. Does anyone else find it strange that in the fullness of time, he would revisit this problem again, years later, when his son and heir went missing?

4. Why is it acceptable for Reepicheep, the leader of the Talking Mice, to never come back and not right for Caspian to do the same?

Yes it is right for Reepicheep to never come back as he has already appointed Peepiceek to take his place when he boarded ship on the Dawn Treader. I think that Peepiceek and Reepicheep had discussed already what is to happen, especially as Reepicheep has been aware what he wanted to do long before the second war of Beruna which made Caspian King.

Whereas Caspian had made no such arrangement. And so, it is wrong for him to go away and break his oath to sail for "a year and a day", to find the Seven Lords without returning himself, especially as he half-promised Ramandu's daughter he would see her later. In Walden's film, Prince Caspian, he even reproached the Pevensies for going away and leaving Narnia in the lurch. Wouldn't it be bad form for him to do exactly what he criticized the Pevensies for doing? Without the valid excuse the Pevensies have that they were whisked away from another world?

5. What does the interaction between Caspian and the others (the crew, Reepicheep, Edmund, and Lucy) say about Caspian as a King?

At this stage he doesn't seem to be a very good king. He sounds too wilful, too dictatorial and too inclined to throw tantrums, just like Miraz and even the White Witch. It isn't the first time that Edmund has to stand up to him. And of course the crew Caspian has incited with rewards to go thus far with him, would be in danger of missing out on their rewards, if they returned without him.

6. Why do you think Lucy would talk about the sound and the smell but Eustace and Edmund would not?

It probably wouldn't be the first or last time that Eustace and Edmund would consider whatever Lucy said a bit too poetic for their liking. Remember Lucy's saying that
that Ramandu's island "had a purple smell"? Or maybe even if they agreed, they might be too embarrassed to say so. I know what Lucy means. If you go to Ephesus, to the church where St John taught, there is the most glorious smell about the place, but nobody would understand what I was smelling. Especially as I don't know all the vegetation there.

7. How can something break ones heart and not be sad?

Maybe through joy? That something longed for so much has finally come to fruition?

8. Is it significant that things started happening on the 3rd day after they left the Dawn Treader?

As JK Rowling has said, 3 is a magic number. It is even more important in the Bible, as it refers to the 3 days between Christ's crucifixion, and resurrection. Besides, 3 days drifting in the current in a rowing boat might be quite long enough to go without a proper meal etc.

9. When Aslan tells the children they must "begin to come close to your own world now," what does he mean?

It means that although Aslan is still with them in spirit, albeit in other guises, they must get close to the realities of their own world where they can apply whatever they learned in Narnia.

10. What other thoughts would you like to share about this chapter?

Eustace, when he first arrived on the Dawn Treader, was a bit of a nuisance. Does anyone think that at the end of the journey, when Caspian wanted to go with them, that Caspian was just as much of a nuisance for not accepting what needed to be done?

11. What is the significance of the children's meeting with Aslan, including the forms he takes and the other details like the fish breakfast?

This is something like a gospel story in John of the Resurrected Christ, the Lamb of God, meeting some of his disciples, who had gone fishing, on the shores of Lake Galilee, where they, too, partook of a fish breakfast. All the changes of forms Aslan takes adds more point to what the significance of the children's meeting with him.

12. What do you think Reepicheep saw as he went up the waterfall? I think that this question would need to remain a mystery, unless one was in Reepicheep's situation and with his point of view. He seems to have parted with the Pevensies with much joy, and with no fear, so what he saw must have been good.

13. Why did Reep leave his sword behind?

It is an acknowledgement that Reepicheep's fighting days are over, and that he has no longer any need to guard his honour.
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Re: Chapter 16 The Very End of the World

Postby aileth » Nov 23, 2016 9:57 am

waggawerewolf27 wrote:Eustace is the one who is "on the money", I think. Especially as Eustace was the neutral observer at Deathwater Island, when Edmund and Caspian clashed over the golden statue in the water. Caspian might try to be a good Narnian king but he does have his weaknesses, including a tendency to think he should rule the roost.
Much like his uncle Miraz, and possibly his own father, Caspian IX. Does anyone think that these sorts of tendencies were the reasons why Edmund, Eustace and Lucy found themselves on the Dawn Treader?


Sometimes you do wonder why they were brought to Narnia in this book. There just doesn't seem to be as much purpose in VDT, particularly for Edmund and Lucy. Were they just along for the cruise? In LWW, they had to fulfil the ancient prophecy; in PC, help Caspian; in SC, find Rilian. I suppose that Eustace needed to be transformed for future needs, but it makes sense that it was necessary for them to keep Caspian in order as well.
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Re: Chapter 16 The Very End of the World

Postby Pattertwigs Pal » Nov 23, 2016 8:48 pm

aileth wrote:Sometimes you do wonder why they were brought to Narnia in this book. There just doesn't seem to be as much purpose in VDT, particularly for Edmund and Lucy. Were they just along for the cruise?

I agrre there doesn't seem to be an urgent need for Edmund and Lucy to be on the voyage. Yet, Lucy is needed to undo the spell on the Dufflepuds. I think Edmund's role has to do with thinking and talking. He is there for Eustace, he goes up against Caspian twice, and uses logic to figure things out.
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Re: Chapter 16 The Very End of the World

Postby waggawerewolf27 » Nov 24, 2016 10:20 pm

Pattertwigs Pal wrote:I agree there doesn't seem to be an urgent need for Edmund and Lucy to be on the voyage. Yet, Lucy is needed to undo the spell on the Dufflepuds. I think Edmund's role has to do with thinking and talking. He is there for Eustace, he goes up against Caspian twice, and uses logic to figure things out.


And yet there needs to be such a reason. Either to solve a problem or else to avert others occurring. Maybe the presence of all three children was to keep Caspian honest and on track?

As we were told in Prince Caspian, Narnia wasn't really a place for humans but yet it was a country for humans to be in charge of. According to the films and audio versions so far, such a purpose can be from the point of view of protecting Narnia, though when Edmund went there first, he was the reason for Aslan's sacrifice, and when he, Susan and Peter went there in Prince Caspian, it was at the behest of Prince Caspian, himself, at that stage in rebellion against the Telmarine rule of Caspian's uncle Miraz, when the birth of Miraz's son made Caspian superfluous as heir.

But in the four VDT film and audio productions, at least two of them suggest that Lucy, Edmund and Eustace were more in need of such discipline than Caspian, himself. In the Walden film, in particular, it seemed that it was Edmund who was the one tempted, not Caspian, and in one of the audio productions it was Edmund who was humming and ha'ing about wanting some of the money. Even in the BBC TV production, there was an actual fight between Caspian and Edmund. Yes you are right that Edmund was there for Eustace, when he was undragonned, but was that the only other reason why, apart from keeping Caspian honest, Edmund was on the Dawn Treader?

Why did Eustace find himself stuck in such a place, for example? Was he just the sort of child who was ripe to be turned into a dragon, so that he could solve the problem of Octesian's disappearance? Or did his character development as a dragon show him to be a good deal less of a nuisance than he ever meant to be in his resentfully kidnapped state? What about Lucy's struggles with some of the spells, even though I agree she was necessary to read out the invisibility spell reversal for the benefit of the Dufflepuds? Or is there something else about that cruise that we are all missing?

aileth wrote:Was Lewis thinking about the abdication of Edward VIII? George VI did not want to take the throne, and it cost him dearly. Nevertheless, he felt that it was his duty to God and his country to step in when his brother would not fulfill his responsibilities. It is possible that Caspian would have been leaving Narnia in a precarious position. One of the benefits of a monarchy is the stability it brings to a country: the same leader for years and years, without the upheaval of having to select another one every so often. The question of succession can be touchy, unless the heir is hereditary. Even then, English history is filled with the wars that occurred whenever there was a weak leader or an uncertain line of progression


It was not only possible but probable that Narnia would have been in a mess if Caspian had abdicated. Had Caspian gone on with Reepicheep and his old Pevensie friends, he would not only have broken faith with Narnia and the captain and crew of the Dawn Treader, but also whoever was still living among the Seven Lords, themselves, and Ramandu's daughter, whom he was to marry eventually. Who else could have ruled Narnia, anyway? We aren't told what happened to Caspian's fatherless little cousin, who would be about three by the time of VDT. And a three year old is not a suitable person to rule a country, even with good guidance from his predecessors' councillors.

And yes, you are right about English history, and until the end of the Stuart line, of Scottish history for that matter. Even Irish, from 1168 AD, when Ireland came under the control of the Norman, Richard de Clare, also called Strongbow.

Edward VIII abdicating at the end of 1936 would definitely be what C.S.Lewis was thinking about. Not only did it look like a desertion of his duty, to choose the lady not the crown, but it left UK open to the wiles of "Der Fuehrer", whose men thought if they could invade the British Isles, they could restore Edward VIII to be in charge of a Quisling government. They, at any rate, had no problems with a twice-divorced American duchess being the Queen Consort of "their" king.

King_Erlian wrote:There's an interesting contrast between Eustace's situation and Susan's. Eustace had Edmund and Lucy, then Jill, and later Peter, the Professor and Aunt Polly to help him consolidate his faith in Narnia......Torn out of the fellowship of her Narnian-loving friends, it's no surprise that her faith in Narnia diminished. So I think we should stop laying all the blame at Susan's feet. In a way, her parents were partly (and inadvertently) responsible for her losing faith...


Now that is a fair point, Erlian. :) And it may apply, not only to Susan, but also to Caspian as well, who, like Eustace, had had a rather lonely upbringing, and therefore may have enjoyed the company of the others rather more than he might have been prepared to admit. Hence his difficulties in "letting go" towards the end of the journey.

In any case I agree that Susan should not have been blamed for being in America in VDT, and very likely in SC as well, and therefore out of the Narnia loop. It wasn't necessarily the fault, inadvertent or not, of Mr and Mrs Pevensie, either. I don't think that Aunt Alberta and Uncle Harold would have wanted to be saddled with teenaged Susan, nor, given Edmund and Lucy's opinion of him at the beginning of VDT, could I see Susan enjoying being with someone like Eustace, who was so much younger than herself.

Peter wasn't with Eustace, Lucy and Edmund either, and though his reason for being away was hard work, not the "holiday cruise" that Susan and, arguably, his other siblings, were having, he at least had the company of Professor Kirk. The most striking thing about VDT is that for the first time in the series we see how Lucy and Edmund manage without being overshadowed by their older siblings, or by the family dynamics which had defined all four children beforehand.

Much of the hype about Susan has been by post war, often anti-Christian academics and writers, who miss the point that being by herself she would have had extra reason to "begin to come close to her own world", as Aslan put it. Especially as Susan, already dabbling in "romance" at the end of LWW, wasn't quite so likely to forget the problem of finding suitable consorts, unlike Caspian with his rather snooty attitude to the Duke of Galma's daughter. I wonder if Lucy hadn't reminded him of Ramandu's daughter when she did, backed up by Aslan's little chat with him, if Caspian would have simply forgotten about the need to find himself a Queen.

I'm not quite as sure that Aunt Alberta, herself, had such difficulty with Eustace, initially, though he might have become somewhat less receptive to her administrations of Plumptree's Vitaminised Nerve Food etc. It was more like after the Pevensies had left, and when he went back to school, and found himself having to stand up to the very sorts of people that his mother might well have thought necessary to impress, that she might have gotten her nose out of joint with him.
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Re: Chapter 16 The Very End of the World

Postby Pattertwigs Pal » Nov 25, 2016 9:04 am

I'm not denying that there are reasons they are on board the Dawn Treader. I'm just saying there wasn't an urgent need like there was in the first 2 books. Narnia was not in any peril. The two times that Edmund went toe to toe with Caspian Edmund really didn't do anything to influence Caspian. Aslan came in and set Caspian back on the right track. There weren't any major moments of character development for Edmund. Lucy learned a valuable lesson at the Magician's house. Eustace was the one who really needed to go to Narnia for character improvement. Lucy and Edmund needed the closure on Narnia that Peter and Susan got in PC. Maybe that explains it all.
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Re: Chapter 16 The Very End of the World

Postby waggawerewolf27 » Nov 26, 2016 3:40 am

Yes, Lucy and Edmund did need the closure that Susan and Peter got in Prince Caspian. But Susan and Peter's "closure" in Prince Caspian was also reiterated at the beginning of VDT, in the first chapter. Peter went off to study during school holidays, possibly for final examinations and career preparation.

Susan went off to America with her parents, and, as King Erlian suggests further up the thread, Susan was inadvertently isolated from the rest of her siblings. Perhaps for evermore, as there is nothing in any of the other books that suggest she ever returned from America. Only in one of the last chapters in Last Battle is there any indication that she actually remained in any sort of contact with her family at all, possibly by letter, by phone and the occasional visit. And that, as King Erlian points out, would be totally inadequate to maintain interests in Narnia as well as family ties. Particularly when to go to USA, in itself, can seem almost like travelling to another world for those who live elsewhere.

It is also a favourite device for British authors, in particular, to send characters off to America, or to Australia etc if those characters are no longer required. Just think of Madgewick in Charles Dickens' book, Great Expectations, for example. Or JK Rowlings getting her heroine, Hermione, to send her parents off to Australia.

But then, why would a book like VDT, tying up loose ends about Lucy and Edmund, not to mention Reepicheep, introduce a new character, Eustace? And how good was the book at tying up loose ends about Prince Caspian, anyway? All we know about him was that he returned to Ramandu's Daughter, they married and lived happily ever after, presumably. I have also heard somewhere or another, that originally C.S.Lewis meant to finish the series with Voyage of the Dawn Treader but later on changed his mind. PC, VDT and SC still remain the Caspian trilogy.

Pattertwig's Pal wrote:The two times that Edmund went toe to toe with Caspian Edmund really didn't do anything to influence Caspian. Aslan came in and set Caspian back on the right track.


I'm not sure that you are right. Yes, Eustace did need the character development, all the more so when much of the story was written from his point of view. But surely he wasn't the only one who needed his character modified to some extent or another. Lucy was the other main character whose input drove the story further, and yes, she did read the spell releasing the Dufflepuds from invisibility plus getting tempted on the way.

But what about Caspian, as well? He was an old friend from a previous incident, who had been carefully educated in the expectancy he might become King. The only reason why that was the case was the lack of an alternate prince, until his aunt finally gave birth to his cousin. That was three years previously and boys of 14 or so grow a lot in three years. He still remembered both Lucy and Edmund, but his acquaintance with them, or at least Edmund, was only for about a week, and they, too had changed.

And now he has become King, and was about to fulfil one of his duties, is it really true that on this voyage he no longer needs any further mentoring? And whilst Lucy and Edmund are logical people to keep him company, how would his perspective of them, Edmund in particular, differ from his relative meekness in the book Prince Caspian, when Peter and Edmund turned up with Trumpkin to rescue him and his army?

I know nobody should ask "what would have happened", but if Aslan had not shown himself a couple of times, or if Lucy and Edmund hadn't been there, would there have been different outcomes in some instances? Or could Caspian have been trusted to wake up to his responsibilities in time, even if Lucy and Edmund hadn't been there? Or Eustace, for that matter?
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