Eustace-from skeptic to believer

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

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Eustace-from skeptic to believer

Postby stateofgreen » Dec 12, 2010 11:58 pm

This is just one of my favourite spiritual themes from VDT. Eustace starts out very unbelieving with layers of humanistic thought and education. The multilayered skins peeled off by Aslan (Christ) are to me just symbolic of hardening/callousness to spiritual things and things of faith. This is something I really identify with and is something a lot of Christians probably struggle with to remove all of the layers so that the new man/woman/boy/girl is revealed and it can't be done without God's power. The character is being continually worked on (sanctification).
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Re: Eustace-from skeptic to believer

Postby Ithilwen » Dec 13, 2010 12:09 am

Yes! Definitely one of my favorite parts of the books! I think maybe even the strongest spiritual story of any of the human stories. I think, while some of the Christian elements were more veiled, this is one was bolder and more obvious to the reader, which I definitely liked about it. :-bd


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Re: Eustace-from skeptic to believer

Postby StarAsterisk » Dec 29, 2010 4:41 pm

Yes I liked how there was an immediate change with Eustace after Aslan cleansed him of his scales. But it wasn't like all his bad habits where over and all bad in his life disappeared. some people think getting saved is going to make you a different person. And it can, but this projects a more realistic view.
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Re: Eustace-from skeptic to believer

Postby Caspian_Xth » Dec 30, 2010 8:41 am

I'm not sure if C.S. Lewis ever considered this but over the past few days I have been comparing Eustace to Paul.

Paul used to persecute Christians; Eustace used to abuse his cousins for believing in Narnia. Paul ended up being one of the prominent speakers for Jesus; Eustace ended up being one of the prominent speakers for Aslan.

Coincidental? or on purpose? C.S. Lewis said himself the books were not allegorical.

My personal belief is if you believe something strong enough, it will fill every fiber of your being and show in every aspect of your life. C.S. Lewis was a strong Christian and it came out in his writing.

That's my belief. Anyone think otherwise?
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Re: Eustace-from skeptic to believer

Postby Ithilwen » Dec 31, 2010 5:10 am

Oh, I definitely think that Eustace was either inspired by Paul or was a parallel to Paul. :)

One thing a lot of people don't realize is that just because a book is not an allegory, that doesn't mean it can't have symbolism in it. I'm an author myself. And although I've only written one book that can strictly be called an allegory, all of my other books contain symbolism and parallels as well. The difference is this: Allegory is a genre. Symbolisim is a technique. You can have one without the other.

:)


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Re: Eustace-from skeptic to believer

Postby Dr Elwin Ransom » Jan 03, 2011 8:34 am

Caspian_Xth wrote:Coincidental? or on purpose? C.S. Lewis said himself the books were not allegorical.

My personal belief is if you believe something strong enough, it will fill every fiber of your being and show in every aspect of your life. C.S. Lewis was a strong Christian and it came out in his writing.

That's been my view about Lewis and his writing philosophy as well, for many years, and I haven't heard it contradicted yet. (You'll even see parts of this view reflected in the Narnia and Christianity section-specific rules.) Moreover, those steeped in Christian truths, as found in the Bible, will also find that story elements of those truths embed into one's speech or writing, regardless of intent.

So, one could easily say that Eustace reminds us of Paul, not because Lewis intended that necessarily, but because Lewis was familiar with Paul's conversion account and had it deep in his mind. 'Tis not some great Meaning, I'll wager, but it reminds us of the overall Biblical theme that God can redeem and change anyone, even the greatest of sinners.
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Re: Eustace-from skeptic to believer

Postby Pepper » Apr 12, 2011 11:20 am

Eustace's experience and the un-dragoning most closely mirrors my personal experience. If I look at myself apart from Jesus' redemptive power, all I see is something wretched and scaly, and prone to breathe fire on whoever happens to be nearby.

I see a lot of myself in the others too, but I think Eustace is the closest.
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Re: Eustace-from skeptic to believer

Postby fireheart209 » May 12, 2011 10:56 am

Eustace's journey is one of my favorite stories from the Chronicles. I think he is one of the most the most well developed characters in the series. What strikes me about his story is the love and grace shown to him by Caspian, Reepicheep and his cousins. I didn't notice this when I read the books as a child, but its obvious to me now. Eustace whines and complains that Lucy gets a whole cabin all to herself, giving the impression that the cabin is huge or luxurious. Now I have toured old fashioned ships in museums and the captain's cabin is not better or even bigger than anybody else's its just the only one that's private.

Eustace also completely ignores the fact that Caspian and Edmund--the two highest ranking individuals on board the ship--give him the only remaining bed, refuse to take cabins away from any crew member, and give themselves the same accomodations as the lowest ranking people on board that ship.

He justifies it as something he deserves rather than accepting it as the self sacrficing gift that it is when Lucy offers him some of her food and water during the shortage. The same person he thought selfish simply for being given a private cabin is depriving herself of food and water for his sake. Showing again the type of leaders these kings and queen are and the type of servant leadership that it seems Lewis admired.

One of the most poignant moments in the book is when Eustace realized that these people have been his friends all along and how much he wants to just stop fighting and just accept the love they have been offering him.

And the way they treated him after he was dragoned and again after he was undragoned. Reepicheep comforted him and Edmund patiently listened to his whole story with compassion and concern for his well being. When Eustace apologizes for his behavior, Edmund accepts his apology with a self depricating, "there but for the grace of God go I" attitude.

The whole story is heart wrenchingly full of the power of God's grace and unconditional love.

Even after years and multiple readings, I can still uncover new depths to these stories. I never equated the pool into which Eustace was thrown as a baptism, but after hearing others talk about it that way, I can totally see it now.
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