Christian Themes in the Dawn Treader

C. S. Lewis, his worlds, and his faith.

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Re: Christian Themes in the Dawn Treader

Postby waggawerewolf27 » Nov 06, 2009 8:57 pm

220christian wrote:Note: the pronoun "thee" -- "I will give unto thee" -- in 16:19 can have both singular and plural meanings, depending on the context.)


Actually, no. Thee is the objective case of Thou, which is "You" singular. The objective case of "You" plural is 'Ye'. You'd need to go back to the original Greek, Latin or Aramaean text to get the right meaning, as the English language of today has departed somewhat further from its original, more Germanic variety of English used in the KJV and Douay bibles, than is the case with other Indo-European languages. Modern German, for example, has kept the 'du' form, which was 'Thou' in English.

By the way, this is also why we use copies of those lovely International editions of the Bible at Church, left at the back of pews for everyone's consultation during church services, in a size print we can actually read comfortably without hurting our eyes, and in the Standard English of today. :)

Revelation 3:20: "Behold I stand at the door and knock; if any man hear My voice and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me." Context: Jesus' message to the Laodicean church. I've seen many beautiful paintings of this scene.


Thank you for supplying the reference, 220christian. We have a stained glass window of this scene at Church. And I agree with pattertwig's discussion of the Stone Knife, which was not only a reminder to Lucy, but clearly one for Edmund as well. Isn't that why he queried whether Ramandu's daughter could be trusted or not?

2. While Israel was in Babylonian captivity, King Belshazzar "drank wine" out of temple vessels {which were considered sacred by being used in temple worship} "and praised the gods of gold, and of silver, of brass, of iron, of wood, and of stone" {Daniel 5:4}. God judged Belshazzar by letting him be killed by the Medes and Persians that night and by stripping the kingdom from Babylon.


Yes, King Belshazzar, or King Baltasar would have done this. But he was hardly the only one to desecrate the Temple vessels. Earlier, the Philistines did something similar, installing the Ark of the Covenant in their temple of Dagon. And this sort of thing was standard practice, taking the religious goods of defeated peoples as booty, and as a way of crowing over them and asserting the superiority of their own gods, whom they expected their defeated new subjects to worship. The Israelites experienced this sort of conduct many times, such as by the Egyptian pharaoh, Shishak, Shoshenq 1?, (1 Kings Ch 14: 25-26), in the 5th year of Rehoboam's reign. Also later on, the same thing happened when Judea was part of the Seleucid Empire under Antiochus IV Epiphanes and under Pompey and the Roman Emperor Nero.

And yes, Chaldean rule was extraordinarily brief, being little more than a footnote to the earlier Assyrian empire. If you don't mind my telling you what I know about that period of history, the Assyrians had previously demolished Samaria (2 Kings 17 and onwards), sending in Assyrians to live in what used to be Israel, and deporting much of the Israelite inhabitants to various towns mentioned in 2 Kings Ch 17, verse 6, in particular to the cities of the Medes, in the North. That was under kings like Tiglath-Pileser III, Shalmaneser V and Sargon II. Under the Judean King Hezekiah, Sennacherib, the son of Sargon II, invested Jerusalem, itself, demanding tribute which he got according to his own records. Sennacherib came to a sticky end, and his grandson, Assurbanipal, the only Assyrian sovereign to ever learn to read and write for himself, and who founded the first systematically organised library, was the last great Assyrian sovereign before the Babylonians, with assistance from the Medes, finally took over that area of the world.

Nebuchadnezzar II, who razed Jerusalem, destroying its temple, and taking its young king Jehoiachin captive, and who also married a Median princess, was succeeded by Amel-Marduk, who released Jehoiachin from more than thirty years of captivity, and then was killed by his brother-in-law, Neriglissar, who took the throne. He, in turn, and his son, Labashi-Marduk were succeeded by Nabonidus, who was connected with Harran and who angered the priests of Marduk, the main god of Babylon. Belshazzar or Balthasar, Nabonidus' son, was the king in Babylon who was overthrown by the Medes and the Persians. (Medes again? :-o Now who are the Medes?)

It sounds as if all this is more a Christian theme for Prince Caspian, since the Telmarines, according to Miraz, seem to have just as fratricidal ways of determining the succession as did the Chaldeans and the later Seleucids. It underlines however just how important it is for sovereigns to get married. So after Ramandu spells out what King Caspian has to do, why do we see Caspian suddenly behaving like Miraz, wanting to get his own way?

I might also mention that even the Bible, in recounting the stories of Nebuchadnezzar and Nabonidus, mentions the way these Chaldeans absented themselves from their subjects for years on end, because of illness or contrary beliefs. Much like Caspian, on his Voyage, and later on, Rilian in his enchantment, were to do. In this case we have not only what their contemporaries have to say about them, but also what Greek historians like Herodotus learned about them to back up the Biblical account.

And if you were to get a further theme for several of the Narnian chronicles, not just VDT, there is nothing like the resistance of people like Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Shadrach, Meshak and Abednego against their Babylonian captors, their demands that these Hebrew captives conform to firstly Babylonian beliefs and secondly to worship of the Emperor, himself, and how it was this very resistance, including, I suspect, the compilation and reorganisation of what written records that remained to the captives, which enabled the Hebrews, maybe the Bible, itself, to retain their distinctiveness and relevance up until the time of Jesus Christ, and for thousands of years afterwards.

Have to follow up Ezra 4:10 ;)
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Re: Christian Themes in the Dawn Treader

Postby 220chrisTian » Nov 07, 2009 3:33 pm

Don't have much time. :( But thanks for all the historical info. :)

waggawerewolf27 wrote:
220christian wrote:Note: the pronoun "thee" -- "I will give unto thee" -- in 16:19 can have both singular and plural meanings, depending on the context.)
Actually, no. Thee is the objective case of Thou, which is "You" singular. The objective case of "You" plural is 'Ye'. You'd need to go back to the original Greek, Latin or Aramaean text to get the right meaning, as the English language of today has departed somewhat further from its original, more Germanic variety of English used in the KJV and Douay bibles, than is the case with other Indo-European languages. Modern German, for example, has kept the 'du' form, which was 'Thou' in English.
Well, here is the Blue Letter Bible on "thee" in Matthew 16:19 = soi, the dative case of sy. I assume "dative" means "objective"? Although sy means "the person pronoun of the second person singular," according to Thayer's Lexicon, in some Bible verses soi is used to address several people at the same time. Sometimes it's translated "thee" and other times "thou," "thy," and "thine own." And here is Strong's Exhaustive Concordance on soi.

wagga wrote:Earlier, the Philistines did something similar, installing the Ark of the Covenant in their temple of Dagon.
How did I forget Dagon? 8-| Everybody: the story is in 1 Samuel 5-6. I always found the golden mice bit funny, as well as God's curse on the Philistines. In my Bible it says "emerods" might have been "bubonic plague." Well, maybe not so funny. :p

wagga wrote:So after Ramandu spells out what King Caspian has to do, why do we see Caspian suddenly behaving like Miraz, wanting to get his own way?
Don't forget that Miraz is his uncle. Blood will tell. ;)
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Re: Christian Themes in the Dawn Treader

Postby waggawerewolf27 » Nov 07, 2009 4:41 pm

I assume "dative" means "objective"?


Er no, not quite. :ymsmug: The dative case is not the objective case at all. Where the dative case is still used in a language it is to indicate an indirect object to distinguish the direct object. Eg I gave the keys to him. Keys would be the direct object and to him is dative.

If you study Latin, you get the following cases: Nominative (subject), Vocative (when addressing someone), Accusative (Objective case or indicating direct object), Genitive (expressing ownership eg his), Dative (expressing to & towards), and Ablative (expressing from or separation). It is the same in other languages, not only Indo-European ones, especially when word order is not an issue and where there are no prepositions, unlike English where such cases have fallen into disuse.

Eg, "Ave Caesar! Morituri te salutant." - Hail Caesar! They who are about to die salute you.

Well yes, Miraz was Caspian's uncle, and he reared him, too. But Caspian IX was his father, and the better man of the two brothers, it would seem. But was he? Is the novel suggesting Caspian's tantrum is a family trait? Or suggesting that Caspian is somehow less than the perfect monarch? Reinforcing the incident at Deathwater?

As far as I could find out, the 'emerods' were tumours. One suggestion was haemorrhoids or piles which would have caused the Ashdod people a lot of pain. It isn't the only time a plague of mice is indicated. Herodotus in his account of why Sennacherib withdrew without sacking Jerusalem mentioned a plague of mice throughout the Assyrian camp.
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Re: Christian Themes in the Dawn Treader

Postby Pattertwigs Pal » Nov 08, 2009 6:36 pm

220chrisTian wrote:1. Pattertwig, I know you meant "ark of the covenant." ;)
2. Everyone else: the story Pattertwig is talking about is when King David gets the priests to carry the ark to Jerusalem [they do so improperly] and Uzziah touches it [no one was allowed to touch it]. See 2 Samuel 6:1-11 and 1 Chronicles 13:6-14.

Yes, that is what I did mean. I had a feeling I something wasn’t right when I was typing it…. :ymblushing: Thanks for supplying the Biblical references. I wasn’t sure where the story was located.

220chrisTian wrote:"And why does Aslan disapprove so much of the quarrel on Deathwater Island?" I guess what disturbs me most about this is that a man died, mostly as a result of negligence or carelessness. The Dawn Treader crew are in danger of becoming solidified into gold, thanks to Lord Restimar's deadly discovery. And yet, after the first sense of danger passes, all they can think about is that gold. They don't think of the man who died. There's no memorial to him. There's no sense of eternal things, just temporal ones. /:)

But it's also a kind of spiritual death to Caspian and his friends. Why? Greed.

Maybe....Caspian is tempted by the island, yes. But it isn't simply greed for himself. If he just wanted instant money, he could have helped himself earlier to the dragon's hoard, like Eustace did, though there might have been some consequences if he did. After all, the dragon's hoard isn't a Narnian version of an ATM, and the bulk of the items originally belonged to someone else, just like Octesian's arm ring. Caspian wanted, not himself personally, but Narnia, his kingdom, to be the richest country in the world. Again one can feel for Caspian.

Although Lucy is horrified about what happened, the part about the lord dying is left out of conversation for a while until Reep suggests the name of Deathwater. Not being Aslan or Lewis, I can’t positively say why Aslan “disapproves so much of the quarrel.” That won’t stop me from venturing some guesses though. ;)) Although I never thought of it before, it is horrible that Caspian, in particular, forgets so soon the lord in the water, one of the lords he is supposed to be looking for. I agree that Caspian had a sort of spiritual death (I’m still working on my opinion of the others). I think Caspian’s problem had a lot to do with greed and greed for himself. “The King who owned this island,” said Caspian slowly, and his face flushed as he spoke, “would soon be the richest of all king in the world. I claim this land for ever as a Narnian possession. … No one must know of this.” It doesn’t sound like Caspian means to share with anyone. He refers to the king and not the land as being the richest in the world. What happened to the Caspian who was content to live with his people in the forest? We don’t know what would have happened if the quarrel was allowed to continue but it is likely that someone would be hurt or killed. I don’t think Eustace or Reepicheep would have given into greed and lusted after the gold. I’m not sure what to make about Edmund. Why did he react the way he did to Caspian? (“Who are you talking to?” said Edmund. “I’m not subject of yours. If anything it is the other way around. I am one of the four ancient sovereigns of Narnia and you are under allegiance to the High King my brother.”) Did he resent Caspian’s treatment of him? Did he see that Caspian was behaving badly and wanted to bring him to his senses? Did he feel that he had to assert and claim leadership over Caspian (in a way that had a clear I’m more powerful than you or I’m more important than you sense to it) Or did he want the gold for himself / feel he had a better claim for it? From the way Lucy reacts, I would say that she anyway thought it was an issue of who is more powerful than the other. The BBC version interpreted it as a greed issue. Edmund says something about “is that what gold does to a person” and Lucy rebukes them or perhaps just Caspian by saying “I’ve never seen such greed.” What are the similarities and the differences between this quarrel and the one at the end of the world? In both quarrels, Edmund reminds Caspian that he (Edmund) is not Caspian’s subject. Was he right in doing this in both quarrels, in neither quarrel, or in just one of the quarrels? In the end, it is Aslan that settles both quarrels and why is that?

As for the dragon’s hoard, I think what happened to Eustace was enough of a deterrent to the rest not to help themselves to the treasure. I wonder if it had been Caspian who found the treasure first if he would have fallen into the same trap as Eustace. :-\

waggawerewolf27 wrote: But I don't think it is Jealousy or Greed that is Lucy's problem either on Coriakin's Island or at Deathwater Island. Lucy does have a tendency to generalise, and such generalisations do tend to separate people into us and them. 'Boys are such swaggering, bullying idiots', she said. Presumably 'us girls' aren't ever tempted to also swagger and bully when and if we find we have succeeded in outshining others. And although Caspian and Edmund are arguing, it isn't a fair judgement for Lucy to make - in my opinion, anyway. Don't know what you think yet. ;)
I think that jealousy was a big part of Lucy’s problem on Coriakin’s island, but I don’t think either one was on Deathwater. I think that Lucy statement was and wasn’t fair. It was unfair to lump all boys into a group, especially since Eustace was there and wasn’t “swaggering or bullying.” Yet, Caspian was being a “swaggering, bullying, idiot.” Edmund might have been too. As we see in SC, girls are perfectly capable of bullying. Lucy, however, does seem to be suggesting that girls aren’t like boys in that sense. When you mentioned Lucy’s tendency to generalize what were you thinking of? I can think of this example and the comment she makes in PC about girls’ heads having something in them, but that is all. Are there other examples?

waggawerewolf27 wrote: Remember Gumpas' economic statistics? And that there were Calormenes around happy to spread their cash around to buy slaves? If Caspian had a reliable and a secret source of wealth he needn't worry so much about possible Calormene warlike intentions now that one source of slaves had dried up. Calormen would respect a nation wealthier than they are, or would they? The trouble is, that wealthy kings and nations can become a mite too arrogant, such as Calormen has already become. Caspian also reflects this tendency to arrogance when he forgets that strictly speaking the Pevensies, even Eustace, are not his subjects, even if Reepicheep is, and that he can't 'bind them to secrecy on pain of death'.

I rather doubt that the money would help against Calormen. If anything it would make Narnia more attractive to attack. Calormen would want all that wealth. Caspian does show the tendency in VDT to be arrogant, and he might take a turn for the worse if too much wealth came his way.

waggawerewolf27 wrote: Exactly what do you think the Stone Knife was doing there anyway? And why is Edmund suspicious of Ramandu's daughter?

waggawerewolf27 wrote: And I agree with pattertwig's discussion of the Stone Knife, which was not only a reminder to Lucy, but clearly one for Edmund as well. Isn't that why he queried whether Ramandu's daughter could be trusted or not?

In the book, Ramandu’s daughter says, “…it [the knife] was brought here to be kept in honour while the world lasts.”
I hadn’t thought specifically of the stone knife’s causing Edmund to suspect Ramandu’s daughter, but I did think that it had something to do with his being taken in by the White Witch who was also beautiful. It makes since that the knife would remind him of this. Since Lucy so freely mentions where she saw the knife, I would assume that Edmund knows the whole story and the knife would serve as a reminder of what he did.
waggawerewolf27 wrote:Well yes, Miraz was Caspian's uncle, and he reared him, too. But Caspian IX was his father, and the better man of the two brothers, it would seem. But was he? Is the novel suggesting Caspian's tantrum is a family trait? Or suggesting that Caspian is somehow less than the perfect monarch? Reinforcing the incident at Deathwater?

We aren’t told what Caspian’s father was like, but I would imagine he was at least somewhat better than Miraz. Lord Bern at least seems to be a decent sort of chap (I think I’ve been reading the Narnia books too much. I’m beginning to think in the language in which they were written. 8-} “Decent sort of chap” is in the books somewhere I think. Anyway it isn’t something I would normally say (type).), and I don’t think Lord Bern would support someone that was like Miraz or worse. I’m not sure if it is suggesting that it is a family trait or not. Trait seems too definite as if it is something he could not help, and I’m not sure that is something Lewis would agree with. I do think it was intended to show that Caspian was less than perfect. The comparison to Miraz was an easy way to show the readers just how wrong that Caspian was.
There I think of caught up on answering / offering opinions.
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Re: Christian Themes in the Dawn Treader

Postby daughter of the King » Nov 08, 2009 8:21 pm

Pattertwigs Pal wrote:In both quarrels, Edmund reminds Caspian that he (Edmund) is not Caspian’s subject. Was he right in doing this in both quarrels, in neither quarrel, or in just one of the quarrels? In the end, it is Aslan that settles both quarrels and why is that?


I'm not sure. It can be read a couple of different ways. 1. Edmund resents Caspian lording it over him and so reminds Caspian that he does not have as much authority as he thinks he does. Perhaps a pride issue? 2. Edmund was trying to talk some sense into Caspian but used the wrong tactic. He does not resent Caspian's authority, but needs to bring him down if he goes too far.
On Deathwater, Edmund is either wanting the gold for himself and so pulls rank, or he sees Caspian's greed and tries to ward it off. At the end of the world, I think it is more a case of Edmund trying to talk sense into Caspian. Caspian wants go on, but Edmund knows that would be going against the duty of his kingship. Caspian does not want to be held down by duty, he wants to go and have adventures.
As for Aslan coming in, how else could it be solved? Edmund and Caspian are almost equals. They can't really pull rank on each other, they can't have the crew vote for one or the other, and it would be pretty bad if they had to duel.

Pattertwigs Pal wrote: waggawerewolf27 wrote: Exactly what do you think the Stone Knife was doing there anyway? And why is Edmund suspicious of Ramandu's daughter?


waggawerewolf27 wrote: And I agree with pattertwig's discussion of the Stone Knife, which was not only a reminder to Lucy, but clearly one for Edmund as well. Isn't that why he queried whether Ramandu's daughter could be trusted or not?


In the book, Ramandu’s daughter says, “…it [the knife] was brought here to be kept in honour while the world lasts.”
I hadn’t thought specifically of the stone knife’s causing Edmund to suspect Ramandu’s daughter, but I did think that it had something to do with his being taken in by the White Witch who was also beautiful. It makes since that the knife would remind him of this. Since Lucy so freely mentions where she saw the knife, I would assume that Edmund knows the whole story and the knife would serve as a reminder of what he did.


I think Edmund might have questioned Ramandu's daughter anyway. She is a beautiful person that they know nothing about and she is telling them to eat. He's probably had nightmares about beautiful ladies offering him food since LWW. The knife just prompted him, made the memory even rawer. I think he knew the significance of the knife. After Lucy mentions where she saw the knife, there comes a bit right before Edmund questions Rd: "Edmund, who had been feeling more uncomfortable for the past few minutes........" (Not sure if that quote is exact, but you get the idea)
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Re: Christian Themes in the Dawn Treader

Postby waggawerewolf27 » Nov 09, 2009 2:27 pm

Daughter of the King, I do agree that Edmund could have questioned Ramandu's daughter anyway. Regardless of whether or not he knew the full story - Susan didn't want to tell him - he had personal experience of that knife. It was the one the White Witch wanted to use to execute him, and from which Aslan's rescue party delivered him from in LWW. I love your idea that "Edmund probably had nightmares about beautiful ladies offering him food since LWW". B-) Maybe even on Dark Island. ;) Isn't that why he, along with the others, wasn't game to eat anything at the table?

pattertwig's pal wrote:I think that Lucy statement was and wasn’t fair. It was unfair to lump all boys into a group, especially since Eustace was there and wasn’t “swaggering or bullying.” Yet, Caspian was being a “swaggering, bullying, idiot.” Edmund might have been too. As we see in SC, girls are perfectly capable of bullying. Lucy, however, does seem to be suggesting that girls aren’t like boys in that sense. When you mentioned Lucy’s tendency to generalize what were you thinking of? I can think of this example and the comment she makes in PC about girls’ heads having something in them, but that is all. Are there other examples?


I did mean both the examples you used, though in PC, Edmund also generalises to say something disparaging about girls in general. But also I thought Lucy being tempted by both the Beauty spell and the Eavesdropping spell indicate a tendency to generalise. The Magician's book stated that the Beauty spell was ‘An infallible spell to make beautiful her that uttereth it beyond the lot of mortals’. Lucy only needs really to be more beautiful than Susan, who surely isn't the most beautiful girl in the world, or not even in Narnia, according to Lazaraleen, in HHB.

And then there is the other spell Lucy did say, to learn something about a classmate and friend in the real world. Is this girl, Anne Pennyfeather, truly the only friend Lucy ever has? I thought Lucy had quite a few worthwhile friends accompanying her on the Dawn Treader, including Caspian. And One who would gladly accompany her everywhere, all the days of her life, whenever she needs him to be close, whatever name is used for him. Or is she judging all of her friends by what Anne Pennyfeather and Marjorie Preston had to say to each other - generalising again?

In both quarrels, Edmund reminds Caspian that he (Edmund) is not Caspian’s subject. Was he right in doing this in both quarrels, in neither quarrel, or in just one of the quarrels?


Now this is another friendship issue I think. Yes, Caspian was indeed being a 'swaggering, bullying idiot' on Deathwater Island. If you consider overweening ambition is a form of greed, then Caspian is greedy when he sees the possibilities of Deathwater Island, especially for a King of Narnia. But Lucy was being unfair, not only in lumping the boys in together, when as pattertwig's pal says, Eustace, in particular, hadn't been doing anything. I think she was also unfairly generalising when she lumped even Edmund and Caspian together, since she wasn't considering the issues of the conflict.

I'll say Edmund was right to remind Caspian both times that he was not Caspian's subject. As Daughter of the King says in the last post, Edmund and Caspian were equals. He, Lucy and even Eustace and Reepicheep were there as Caspian's friends, not his subjects, and Caspian needed to be reminded of this.

As Dumbledore said in a different series: 'There are all kinds of courage. It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.'

It didn't bode well for the way Caspian would treat his subjects that he not only ignored Restimar's dead body, when he should have been more mindful of it, but also thought he could order around 'on pain of death' his friends and companions. And though Reepicheep genuinely was also subject of Caspian, it is significant that when both quarrels occurred, Caspian was facing losing the dearest friends he ever had because of ambition, in one case, or losing his kingdom because of personal ambition in the second case. I doubt that Caspian would have fallen into quite the same trap as did Eustace, because on Dragon Island, unlike Eustace, Caspian had been prepared to share the hardships they all endured, and didn't shirk doing the necessary labour, and remained with the rest of the crew and his friends to see that it was done.

I'm not saying that Edmund couldn't have handled the first quarrel better than he did. And how could I have missed it? Isn't friendship one of the most important Christian themes in VDT?
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Re: Christian Themes in the Dawn Treader

Postby 220chrisTian » Nov 10, 2009 6:20 pm

wagga wrote:Isn't friendship one of the most important Christian themes in VDT?
Interesting. I think maintaining friendships is, especially in close quarters on a ship. Disagreements can quickly get out of hand, i.e. Eustace and Reepicheep. You know, "cabin fever." ;) But I hate hearing it when people say LWW is about friendships. 8-|

I loved the discussion on Edmund and Ramandu's daughter and I agree with the views put forth. I don't really think I have anything to add. But I thought this was interesting.
Pattertwig wrote:In the book, Ramandu’s daughter says, “…it [the knife] was brought here to be kept in honour while the world lasts.”
I see this as a necessary reminder of Aslan's sacrifice for the old Narnia, and in our world of partaking in the Lord's Supper. We won't do this in heaven. There won't be any need. And this never comes up in The Last Battle, in the new Narnia, does it?

Thanks for the Latin lesson, wagga. I've never studied the language. Although I probably need to, if I ever find the time. :P
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Re: Christian Themes in the Dawn Treader

Postby waggawerewolf27 » Nov 11, 2009 3:03 am

No problem, 220christian. :ymhug: There has to be some use out of 5 years of studying Latin at high school - a Government school into the bargain. Even after all these years. ;)

I agree that friendship matters, especially on board a ship. There are plenty of examples where the lack of friendship has meant a great deal. I've already referred to the 'Batavia' whose skipper, Ariaen Jacobsz, and whose under-Supercargo, Geronimus Corneliusz, played such an enormous role. I've seen what is left of the 'Batavia'. It is now an exhibit in the Western Australian Maritime Museum at Fremantle, Western Australia. And I have also read about her cramped conditions, for a ship of her size, with only 4 toilets for more than 300 passengers and crew. And it depended a lot how well placed one was in society which toilet one got to use. Executive bathrooms, anyone?

Believe me, this is one big planet we live on. It is uncomfortable enough travelling from Singapore or Bangkok to Europe or back again by air, let alone the extra leg to Sydney or Melbourne. By ship it would have been agony in days gone by. It takes something like 13 hours by air, but it usually took months - if one was lucky- to travel by ship in the 1600's. Even if the ship was a state of the art Dutch ship, it still would have been at the mercy of trade winds, disease and the captain's ability to navigate. So no wonder tempers frayed and antipathies abounded.

You wouldn't like to be stuck on such a ship with someone you really disliked, now would you? Especially as it wasn't for at least a century afterwards that anyone knew about longitude, and the 'Batavia' was not the only vessel that ever came afoul of the Western Australian coastline. :p

And I find it very interesting indeed, that the "Dawn Treader" is being partially modelled on the Endeavour replica. No wonder that Queensland's premier, Anne Bligh, is so keen on filming the Dawn Treader! :ymsmug:

220christian wrote:But I hate hearing it when people say LWW is about friendships.


Please explain? :-\

Edited to revise any inaccurate figures and facts. History matters. :p
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Re: Christian Themes in the Dawn Treader

Postby 220chrisTian » Nov 11, 2009 2:34 pm

LWW and friendships: I read somewhere that Anna Popplewell thought the movie was all about friendships, and basically nothing more [this in 2005]. Others who watched the movie said something similar. They couldn't see the deeper meaning. The strongest message of LWW is sacrifice and redemption. It is this that restores the friendship between Edmund and his siblings, really between Edmund and all of Narnia [esp Aslan]. This also rightly breaks the "friendship" [more like hostage situation] between Edmund and the White Witch. He has to learn who his friends and enemies are. He can't become friends with the enemy. That is treachery, is it not? /:)

VDT: what's the story on the Endeavour? :ymblushing:

Latin: my mom had it in a public high school, but at the time the town had many Catholics. My high school offered only French, German, and Spanish. I've never been given the opportunity to study Latin. So my only option is pretty much self-study, unless I can get university credit for it somehow. :p
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Re: Christian Themes in the Dawn Treader

Postby waggawerewolf27 » Nov 11, 2009 9:03 pm

220christian wrote:The strongest message of LWW is sacrifice and redemption. It is this that restores the friendship between Edmund and his siblings, really between Edmund and all of Narnia [esp Aslan]. This also rightly breaks the "friendship" [more like hostage situation] between Edmund and the White Witch. He has to learn who his friends and enemies are. He can't become friends with the enemy. That is treachery, is it not?


Fair enough. And I agree about the sacrifice and redemption. But then I also thought of this verse from the Bible: Greater love hath no man than he lays down his life to save his friends. (Not sure if I got that one right... /:) ) Back in 2005 I never heard what the disputes about LWW were. And if I had to pick which Narnian chronicle had friendship for a theme, I most certainly would pick VDT first.

The Endeavour was famously the name of Captain James Cook's ship when he sailed to observe the transit of Venus across the face of the Sun and also to see what he could find out about the land mass formerly known as Terra Australis Incognita. In 1770, he sailed along Australia's east coast from near the NSW/Victoria border right up to Cooktown in North Queensland. At one place the Endeavour was damaged when it hit the Great Barrier Reef, but James Cook and his crew were able to patch it up sufficiently to get everyone to Batavia, the former name of Jakarta. From thence he went on to return to London, where they rang the bells of St Martin-in-the-fields in his honour. These bells were given to the City of Perth as a bicentenary present from UK in 1988.

Although James Cook was also the first sea captain to sail a ship around the world without losing any of his crew to scurvy, and although he also circumnavigated Antarctica in his second voyage, it didn't do him much good. On his third voyage he was killed and possibly eaten by angry natives in Hawaii, previously called the Friendly Islands. /:)

In 1988 Australia celebrated its bicentenary and sailing ships were sent to Sydney, where it all began, to participate in the festivities. Some stayed. The replica Endeavour is as exact a recreation of Cook's ship as can be made. The Dutch have had similar projects to recreate the 'Batavia' and in Cairns another such project recreated Jansz's ship, the Duyfken, which explored the eastern shores of the Gulf of Carpentaria in 1606.

Despite what Eustace ever said about the folly of undertaking the Voyage of the Dawn Treader, it was no more risky, uncomfortable or uncertain than any of the voyages I have mentioned so far. I might mention that an unfriendly atmosphere would spoil a holiday even on a fancy cruise ship, or Susan's accompanying her parents on their American tour.

As for the Latin, it happened I made the top class so was allowed to do it, and in Senior High School I chose to continue with it for my Leaving Certificate. Other classmates objected to doing Latin and were happy to drop it as soon as they reasonably could, in favour of Chemistry, since they said Latin was a dead language and therefore unnecessary to get them where they wanted to go.
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Re: Christian Themes in the Dawn Treader

Postby 220chrisTian » Nov 12, 2009 1:59 pm

waggawerewolf27 wrote:And I agree about the sacrifice and redemption. But then I also thought of this verse from the Bible: Greater love hath no man than he lays down his life to save his friends. (Not sure if I got that one right... /:) )
Pretty close, wagga. "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends" [John 15:13, KJV]. That's what Aslan did for Edmund because he already considered him his friend and that of Narnia, i.e. the Cair Paravel thrones prophecy. I'd call that predestination, yes? ;)

Thanks for the Endeavour history lesson! I told my mom once about Sir Neville Mariner [sp?] conducting the St. Martin-in-the-fields [orchestra?] and she wondered who I was talking about. And we share the same house. :|

On being eaten in Hawaii, I read somewhere that Cook proclaimed himself a god. /:)

They said Latin was a dead language and therefore unnecessary to get them where they wanted to go.
8-| No knowledge is unnecessary! There's more to education than getting a job! That's what Cardinal Newman's The Idea of a University was all about! A liberal education! /:) How can a person understand various modern languages, including English, without understanding their roots ... Latin, Greek, German, etc? ;)
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Re: Christian Themes in the Dawn Treader

Postby waggawerewolf27 » Nov 13, 2009 5:12 am

Thank you, 220christian, for your kind words about learning Latin.

I have to apologise if I made any historic mistakes. You will notice I edited a previous post to get Geronimus Cornelisz' name right and also the number of passengers on board the Batavia in 1629. That becomes of writing things from memory and not checking one's facts carefully enough. :ymblushing: #:-s

Prior to that I called the bloke Corneliusz Jansz and that isn't good enough. Happy sailing on the Dawn Treader! :D

And come to think about it, that is just the point of that journey. Learning to rub along with others. Just because they didn't go on the cruise with Susan and their parents doesn't mean they can't have a wonderful holiday, just the same. And just because Eustace seemed a bit of a pill, doesn't mean he can't change.

Perhaps Lucy and Edmund, as well as Eustace, needed that lesson, that life is largely what one makes of it, and that it is our attitudes which make life enjoyable or not.
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Re: Christian Themes in the Dawn Treader

Postby 220chrisTian » Nov 13, 2009 3:04 pm

waggawerewolf27 wrote:I have to apologise if I made any historic mistakes. You will notice I edited a previous post to get Geronimus Cornelisz' name right and also the number of passengers on board the Batavia in 1629. That becomes of writing things from memory and not checking one's facts carefully enough. :ymblushing: #:-s
It's okay. :ymhug: You don't want to know how many times I've done this with a Bible reference or quote. :-$

And come to think about it, that is just the point of that journey. Learning to rub along with others. Just because they didn't go on the cruise with Susan and their parents doesn't mean they can't have a wonderful holiday, just the same. And just because Eustace seemed a bit of a pill, doesn't mean he can't change.

Perhaps Lucy and Edmund, as well as Eustace, needed that lesson, that life is largely what one makes of it, and that it is our attitudes which make life enjoyable or not.
Interesting. I agree about attitudes and learning to get along with others. You have no idea how many times my attitude about something changed -- for the better -- when my perspective did. But regarding "life is largely what one makes of it," how do you compare this with Reepicheep's sense of destiny, and Caspian's fulfillment of his promise to search for the Seven Missing Lords? These two were almost called to the journey. In one sense, weren't Edmund, Lucy, and Eustace called as well? :)
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Re: Christian Themes in the Dawn Treader

Postby waggawerewolf27 » Nov 14, 2009 4:59 am

Well you might say that Reepicheep has an unshakeable sense of destiny. But wasn't it also his dream to follow to go to the Utter East? This is why Caspian rebelled. Because he, too, had realised there were other things he might want to do besides being King.

Yes, Reepicheep had a calling to do this, something like a sense of Vocation - like wanting to become a doctor. I heard today a man who was supposed to talk about his own childhood at the boarding school we all attended, who instead talked about his recently deceased son, who had an unshakeable vocation to become a doctor. I asked a classmate if he remembered how our class was banned from being taken to the library, due to our naughtiness, but he never remembered this. It was this banning, and my desire to enter this fabled place which eventually led to my training and employment as a librarian, despite my also getting married.

Caspian's promise is something else. It is a solemn Coronation oath which was the reason why he'd build the Dawn Treader in the first place, and why they were all there. A call to duty and to fulfil a promise. That is why his wanting to accompany Reepicheep and the others to the East would be seen as a dereliction of duty.

Yes, Edmund, Lucy and Eustace were called in a way, Eustace despite himself. All three did have a lesson to learn, about how to enjoy themselves and make friends of each other. But I think their presence was to help Caspian on his way also, as his friends and equals. To stand up to him whenever necessary, to remind him that he also was human and to also to teach Caspian that even kings need to do their job, work as part of a team and to value the friendship they had.

The Dawn Treader led Caspian to Ramandu's daughter, and no doubt she was a solace to him. But without what he learned about friendship in his expedition, how would he have treated Drinian later on, when not only did Caspian lose his wife, but also his son Rilian?
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Re: Christian Themes in the Dawn Treader

Postby Lady Galadriel » Nov 14, 2009 12:03 pm

Isn't the quote something like this---
"I have lost my wife and my son! Shall I lose my friend also?" said Caspian. And he fell upon the Lord Drinian's neck and embraced him and both wept, and so their friendship was not broken.
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Re: Christian Themes in the Dawn Treader

Postby Liberty Hoffman » Nov 25, 2009 3:08 pm

I think the best part of the story is how Eustace (like Edmund in LWW) is redeemed from his old selfish self. Lewis really made that part a bit more graphic than other parts in Narnia, what with the whole "dragoning" of Eustace and how he has to have Aslan make him a boy again because he can't do it on his own. it's a really incredible redemption! and from what I've been hearing, I think they are going to extend this part in the movie! yay! :D
it's a lot like Skillet's song, "Monster"! just read the chorus:
"I feel it deep within/it's just beneath the skin/I must confess that I feel like a monster/I hate what I've become/the nightmare's just begun/I must confess that I feel like a monster/I, I feel like a monster/I,I feel like a monster....."
(that song should go in the credits at the end of VotDT! lol! :D :D )
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