EUSTACE SWEARS IN DAWN TREADER???

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EUSTACE SWEARS IN DAWN TREADER???

Postby LoveNarniaLive4God » Apr 03, 2011 4:36 am

EAUSTACE SWEARS IN DAWN TREADER???

well i guess not 'swears' but does he use a term which many conseder to be using the Lords Name in vain??? Id like to know your views on this?

Narnia Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Listed on Box Office Mojo's website as a 'christian' film, and of course knowing of Narnia's backgrounds and what it all stands for and means, it surprised me to hear the character eustace say a particular line in the film, one which i wasnt sure about until i bought the dvd and watched the scene with subtitles!

It is the scene where Eustace decides to selfishly desert his ship mates and flee in a boat-"you're a boat in a magical land, can't you row yourself?" to save himself from becoming a slave! when he clumsly slips and conveniently knocks the knife wielding slave trader into the water with an oar, and saying this...

"Oh God, I hope that wasnt the british consult"...

I had hoped that he only said "Oh Gosh" but didnt quite finish the word, but according to the subtitles, Nope i was wrong!
to me and many others this is using the Lords name in vain... a friend said this to me when i asked thier opinion on the matter...

"It is wrong to "use the Lord's name IN VAIN." But it is not wrong to sincerely ask God anything you want to know. So, if it's just a pointless ("in vain") exclamation that you don't really mean, it's wrong. If you are sincerely crying out to God for answers or help, it's VERY right.

which to me is spot on! So what do you think about "narnia films" using the Lords name in vain??? do you even consider what eustace said to be wrong and why? Am I wrong? Is thier nothing wrong with using the Lords name this way? Please leave your thoughts below! I hope you can prove to me that I am indeed wrong because this dissapoints me a little...

Please note I am not at all trying to create an argument with anyone, just want to know youre individual thoughts, and discuss them. :) (sorry for writing so much)
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Re: EUSTACE SWEARS IN DAWN TREADER???

Postby wolfloversk » Apr 03, 2011 8:07 am

It depends on the context...

In this case I don't mind it so much as Eustace is still his old self, who doesn't believe in Narnia. Whereas if Lucy said it, I would be upset.

Although I would have liked more emphasis on the fact it was wrong.

Another point to make here is that the donkey synonymn is used countless times in SC... although my own theory is that they were written before it was considered a swearword.
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Re: EUSTACE SWEARS IN DAWN TREADER???

Postby Clive Staples Sibelius » Apr 03, 2011 9:33 am

Heh. You should read the books. The D-word (it rhymes with 'dam') appears more than once, as does the A-word (it rhymes with 'jackass').
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Re: EUSTACE SWEARS IN DAWN TREADER???

Postby LoveNarniaLive4God » Apr 03, 2011 4:21 pm

I do know they pop up in the books, I just wondered how people felt knowing these films are widely known a christian, but yet use the Lords name in vain... to me that is a HUGE difference to just a few little words like that...??? Is it appropriate for the films? does it add anything that couldnt have been there without it?
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Re: EUSTACE SWEARS IN DAWN TREADER???

Postby Ithilwen » Apr 03, 2011 4:39 pm

You have to keep in mind that, although the movies are based on Christian books and therefore still have the Christian elements in them, most of the filmmakers are not Christian. And so, it's pretty much a given that they're going to put things like that in the movie without even thinking about it. (Not to mention the fact that even most Christians I know also use the Lord's name in vain). The main purpose of the filmmakers is not to sit down, go through the script, and weed out anything that might be a sin. The main purpose of the filmmakers is to just make a good PG movie people will go see, pure and simple.

That being said, I'm not sure if it matters too much that one of the characters used His Name in vain. I mean, of course it would be better if he hadn't. But it's not exactly something that would make me stop watching the movies. I've heard worse swear words in other movies. It's a sin to use God's Name in vain, but it's not a sin to watch someone else use God's Name in vain. So it's definitely not a sin to watch VDT.

Also, I remember, even in the books, a few characters using Aslan's name "in vain", i.e. "What, in the name of Aslan, are you?". It was also pointed out in HHB in a conversation between Shasta and Bree. The way Bree talked about it, it sounded almost as if using Aslan's name in vain was some sort of sign of devotion to Aslan; because they use his name, and not the name of anything/anyone else. I'm not sure if I agree with C.S. Lewis there though. I think using the Lord's Name in that way is something we should avoid doing ourselves. But Lewis's intentions were obviously in the right place.


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Re: EUSTACE SWEARS IN DAWN TREADER???

Postby Dr Elwin Ransom » Apr 05, 2011 5:54 am

If Eustace did indeed say that, it was among the film's lesser offenses. This is not to downplay the Fourth Commandment, but actually to show that if we're talking about "using God's Name in vain," it was the corruption of Aslan that did that most of all. :( Ithilwen is spot-on — we shouldn't expect a Christian Movie, with the filmmakers keeping C.S. Lewis's book open, with an open Bible right next to that. But it's not too much to expect them to try for more faithfulness to the actual story. Sadly, Dawn Treader did not, and "took Aslan's name in vain" by salvaging the character for use as a mere sidekick and spouter of humanist platitudes.
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Re: EUSTACE SWEARS IN DAWN TREADER???

Postby The Black Glove » Apr 05, 2011 10:17 am

Clive Staples Sibelius wrote:Heh. You should read the books. The D-word (it rhymes with 'dam') appears more than once, as does the A-word (it rhymes with 'jackass').


The latter is a very mild swear in British English, used as an insult (similar to calling someone an "idiot") comparing someone to a donkey (unlike the American connotation of the rear end---the Brits have a similar-sounding equivalent).
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Re: EUSTACE SWEARS IN DAWN TREADER???

Postby waggawerewolf27 » Apr 05, 2011 2:28 pm

For the record, the British neither pronounce nor spell the 'similar sounding word' anything like the American donkey synonym. Their four letter 'similar sounding word' rhymes with farce. =)) Down Under we refer to a person's backside, which isn't a swear word at all, but can sound just as offensive or authoritative if people are told to get off theirs. Or we can use 'derrière' or 'sit upon' if we want to be fancy.

I agree that C.S.Lewis never wrote the books with American usage in mind, genteel or otherwise. And he referred to donkeys or their asinine synonyms quite a bit as synonyms for idiots. Poor Puzzle! :( And I agree with Ithilwen and Dr Elwin Ransom who said, "we shouldn't expect a Christian Movie, with the filmmakers keeping C.S. Lewis's book open, with an open Bible right next to that.".

I think that Eustace behaved naturally. He wouldn't have been expected to worry about Christian concerns at a time when he wasn't one. C.S.Lewis depicts his male characters, in particular, in a fairly realistic way. From time immemorial, boys have been given more latitude in the sort of language they are allowed to use, often whilst expecting girls to be more polite and 'genteel', which I think is a bit of a mistake. Both boys and girls should be expected to be polite at all times, whilst being able to call a spade a spade. :)

In HHB Aravis asks Bree why he continually swears by Aslan. Noticeably she swears by Tash, like all Calormenes. And in SC Aslan tells Jill that she will know Rilian because he is the first person who will ask her to do something in Aslan's name.

I don't have a problem with Narnian characters using Aslan's name. Yes, Aslan is a supremely good character in the Narnian stories, a Narnian parallel to our ideas of our Christian messiah. But the Narnian stories are stories, after all. Not fact. If swearing is such a problem in the Narnian world why not adopt the very earthy Trumpkin method of exclaiming 'beards and bedsteads', or 'lobsters and lollipops'? :D

In my opinion, VDT, the film, is relatively free of such styles of language,apart from that one incident. Unlike 99% of other movies, including Mickey Mouse cartoons, where some sort of watered down remarks are often used. Including Golly, Gosh, By Jove, Crikey, etc. But then English speakers aren't the only offenders. The French say merde, Sacre Bleu and other terms, whilst devout Muslims say Inshallah (God willing) a lot.

I have always understood that taking the Lord's name in vain is swearing you will do something by the Lord's name and then not doing it as you swore. If you swear on the Bible to tell the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me God, then you must keep that oath.

Just my tuppence worth.
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Re: EUSTACE SWEARS IN DAWN TREADER???

Postby TheGeneral » Apr 06, 2011 1:36 pm

I wouldn't call that phrase using it 'in vain', so differing opinion there.
But if the movies had expressions like that every other sentence, I'd loose respect for them since that'd make them sound like shallow, teenybopper movies :p
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Re: EUSTACE SWEARS IN DAWN TREADER???

Postby Arvan » Jun 01, 2011 5:04 pm

Remember the books:
In SC Jill says "Dam' good of you" to Eustace.
In MN Uncle Andrew says "A dem mine woman, a dem fine woman."

So there is some "swearing", though the "D-word" is never spelled out. But notice that Jill, while a good person, is not a Christian nor has she ever met Aslan or Narnia. Andrew is certainly no Christian either.

What do you think?
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Re: EUSTACE SWEARS IN DAWN TREADER???

Postby stateofgreen » Jun 01, 2011 9:35 pm

I'm not sure. Part of me when I read the books thought it can be credited to C.S. Lewis and his usage of "swearing" or "swear" words in the British cultural sense. There's a character I'm reminded of in Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens that Uncle Andrew reminds me of when I read his phrase "a dem fine woman". So maybe it's cultural. I have a different opinion of what is considered "swearing" than my sister does. She actually thinks "wooden" swearing (saying words almost similiar to an outright actual swear word, egs. dang, gosh...) is just as bad a regular swearing. "Gosh" or "Jeez" are just corrupted forms of taking the Lord's name in vain to her.
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Re: EUSTACE SWEARS IN DAWN TREADER???

Postby MinotaurforAslan » Jun 02, 2011 11:57 am

Arvan wrote:So there is some "swearing", though the "D-word" is never spelled out. But notice that Jill, while a good person, is not a Christian nor has she ever met Aslan or Narnia. Andrew is certainly no Christian either.

What do you think?


I don't think the "D-word" never being spelled out diminishes it's appearance. We all know what word was being referred to, regardless of it's spelling....all the spelling does is indicate the accent/tone of voice when the word was spoken.

I've read other books from the time period where 4-letter swears are obscured in some form or another (by replacing a k with a g, for example), but it doesn't really matter because I know exactly what word was intended, especially if I read it out loud and consider the context. Publishers were more strict back then and sometimes would refuse to publish books with swears in them.

I think the more interesting question point is that the "swears" in the Narnia books are usually said by non-Christian/Aslan-followers, except for perhaps Peter in PC ("Come back Reepicheep, you little @$$"). Is swearing by a god one doesn't believe in as bad as swearing by a god one does believe in? There is one instance in the Chronicles that indicates that it is (Rishda mockingly calling upon tash, and tash comes and eventually eats him), but Eustace's slip of the word God doesn't have the same intended harshness towards the one he is referring to.
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Re: EUSTACE SWEARS IN DAWN TREADER???

Postby Arvan » Jun 02, 2011 12:08 pm

Note that the use of "@$$" in CoN is not the same as our interpretation. It's like calling someone an idiot, or fool. Not nice, but it's nothing like using the "A-word" American style, nor is it like calling someone one of the words that begin with "B". (Is this getting ridiculous or is it just me?)
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Re: EUSTACE SWEARS IN DAWN TREADER???

Postby Warrior 4 Jesus » Jun 03, 2011 8:21 pm

I've never had a problem with the language in the Narnia books. It amuses me that it's such a big deal in the US. That said, I was a little startled when I first read The Cosmic Trilogy, to find some of the characters continually disrespecting God.
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Re: EUSTACE SWEARS IN DAWN TREADER???

Postby waggawerewolf27 » Jun 04, 2011 4:38 am

Fellow Roman, countryman and citizen, you don't have to lend me your ears. In fact I am all ears. :ymhug:

It has always amused me the censorship used in countries so devoted to the right to free speech. I'm not worried about the language used in the Cosmic trilogy, since these are adult novels, meant for an adult audience, in a pre-1960's age where men were given too much licence as heads of their households to indulge themselves, and when Parliament was not on national TV.

What annoys me a lot more is the amount of much worse profanity habitually used in adult books, including fantasy novels such as in Stephen Donaldson's Thomas Covenant chronicles. I don't know why there is such a stew about the American word (or donkey synonym) for a backside on the one hand, and on the other hand, the apparently commonly held opinion that it is normal for any adult (male) to swear whether in real life, in books or in films as it is considered their constitutional right to do so. It sometimes gets that way I need a translator when some men (and not only men) express any sort of opinion. 8-|

I am not considering C.S.Lewis's habits, since that was then and this is now. Surely since his death it doesn't take someone like me, or even the Church to point out that 'monkey see, monkey do' and that leadership in a household is all about setting an example, rather than domination. If men want their children and their wives to behave just so, they should remember to behave themselves the way they expect of others.

As for poor Eustace, swearing is something you would expect a brat to do. (Mind you, is 'brat' a swear word or pejorative?)
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Re: EUSTACE SWEARS IN DAWN TREADER???

Postby Graymouser » Jun 04, 2011 8:00 am

think the more interesting question point is that the "swears" in the Narnia books are usually said by non-Christian/Aslan-followers, except for perhaps Peter in PC ("Come back Reepicheep, you little @$$").


Well, except for Aslan Himself. Twice.

Because calling someone a donkey is not swearing. The fact that a word has a different meaning in a different dialect in a different country doesn't alter that.

It does seem rather strange that on a forum dedicated to Narnia and Christianity people are afraid to quote both Aslan and the Bible ;).

I suspect that "Jack" Lewis, wherever he is, would be having rather a large chuckle over that.
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