“The Chronicles of Narnia” is a book series written by the English writer C.S. Lewis. It has seven sequels, and “The Voyage of the Dawn Threader” is the third sequel published. In one of his letters, author recommends different order of reading the novels then the way they were published, so this sequel is recommended as a fifth in a row from “The Chronicles of Narnia”.
“The Voyage of the Dawn Threader” is a fantastic, and in a way differently written considering the previous sequels. Adventures in this novel are masterfully described, and the main idea is to lead the readers through the adventure by the power of their own imagination, only borders outdrew by the force beneath them. This novel is also filled with picturesque descriptions of the sea, irrelevant if it’s calm as the oil or wild and stormy.
The character of the Caspian and his reign over the land of Narnia is described in this sequel as well, but this time, the main children characters are only Lucy and Edmund. Susan and Peter were left out straight from the beginning of this novel, probably because they already grew up.
The main occasion for setting the plot at the ship of the Dawn Threader is Caspian’s wish of searching for his father’s seven friends, who were sent by his uncle Miraz on the expedition at the unknown East seas, behind the Secluded islands. On his coronation day, Caspian sworn with Aslan’s approval that, after establishing the peace in Narnia, he will sail towards the East in a mission of finding his fathers friends, knowing something about their death, and avenging them as well. Lucy, Edmund and a new character, their cousin Eustace are being magically transfere through the painting onto the Caspian’s ship, coming just in time for the beginning of the adventure with Caspian.
At a symbolic level, the motif of the sea is the most important one, as the main plot is happening at the sea. It is also used as a bridge between two worlds. Sea is a place of transition and bond, a place of immense expansion and only superficially impressive for the human senses.
The journey to the East is symbolic as well itself, if we keep in mind that the East is presented in human conscience as the origin and the beginning of the world. In this case we can understand it as a journey to the light as the source of everything that is positive and good. That is why the crew of the Dawn Threader on their sail are meeting many enchanted, imprisoned or detached characters and they learn a lot by doing good deeds and bringing happiness and joy to the other characters.
Place: Narnia, Secluded islands
Theme: Caspian’s wish of finding the seven friends of his father, who were sent by his uncle Miraz on the expedition into the unknown areas of the East seas behind the Secluded islands
Idea: Victory of good over the evil, with the ability of leading the reader to establish a connection with himself as a way of developing a stronger and more powerful sense, struggling to highlight the good and it’s power but also avenging the past actions.
C.S. Lewis starts this novel by presenting a new character, who is completely different form the other characters already described in the “Chronicles”; the feisty ones, always curious about new places and adventures. Eustace Clarence Scrubb is a cousin of the four Pevensies who already conquered the Narnia and reigned for some time. Eustace didn’t like his relatives, but he still was quite happy when he finds out that Lucy and Edmund are visiting to stay for a longer period of time.
Peter was planning on spending his holidays studying, because he was seriously preparing for one exam, and Susan went to America with Lucy and Edmund. Her mother assured her she’ll have more use for the journey to America than her younger siblings.
When Edmund and Lucy found some brief period of time for them to spend together, culmination of this novel takes place. They were sitting on the bed in Lucy’s room and observing a painting at the opposite wall. That was the only painting they really liked from all the other paintings in the house.
The painting was displaying a ship sailing in the right direction of the observer. The top of the stem was covered in gold and shaped like a dragon head with wide opened mouth. The ship had only one pole and one large squared sail which was colored in a deep shade of purple. The sides of the ship were green.
Suddenly, Eustace entered the room and started to incite them by telling their stories about Narnia. Lucy and Edmund were slightly upset, and Eustace was enjoying in provoking them. All three of them got more concentrated at observing the painting, commenting there is something unusual about it.
As the waves and sea were becoming real, and the ship started moving and sailing the restless sea. The objects at the painting began to move and the colors appeared to be too realistic, bright and natural. Eustace was convinced it is some kind of trick the Lucy and Edmund are playing with, but then the big and cold wave splashed them, and suddenly they were there- in the painting.
The three children appeared on a ship of the recent Narnia’s ruler. Princ Caspian was standing in front of them, a bit taller and older than before. He walked them around the ship, got to know Eustace, and then explained them why are they here and what is his plan.
He also got to meet them with his crew, including the Cioux, and then explained all about his intentions of saving the seven friends of his father, and the pledge he took under Aslan’s permission for avenging their death. That was the main motif, but Cioux was also hoping to sail the seas until the very end of the world, in hope of finding Aslan’s homeland.
That was the beginning of the Lucy’s. Edmund’s and Eustace’s journey with Caspian’s crew. The first land they saw was the island of Doorn. Hills of this island were a part of Narnia since the era of the White Witch. They decided to anchor for a while and then to sail around the cape by paddling in boats.
Eustace was grumbling and complaining for the whole time, and also started to hate the whole concept of the Dawn Threader. He couldn’t wait for the moment to get off of the ship and feel the land under his feet.
They were heading deeper in the island, trying to climb aslope, yet lower hill. They made it to the top and now they could see the Doorn spreading around them. Doorn was separated from Felimatha by a mile wide canal; behind the Doorn, at the left, was Avara. A small white city known by the name of Tight Harbour was also clearly visible.
They continued to walk and saw in a distant green valley a couple of rough-looking men. After greetings they offered them a drink, but Cioux soon got in a fight with them. They soon realised that those people are slave traders, who got them abducted as well.They took the children in a room filled with other captives where they met a pirate named Fox.
Caspian and the person who bought him went to the village where he told him that he bought him only because of his resemblance with the former ruler of Narnia. When Caspian proofed him his identity, he realised that his buyer was one of the seven Lords who were sent away by his uncle Miraz.
He introduced himself as lord Bern and explained Caspian all about the island, advising him how to attack Foxes ship. Caspian blew the horn, and that was the only signal needed for the crew of the Dawn Threader.
Next morning a group of people gathered in the harbour, supporting Caspian. He went to the castle to pay a visit to the king, conquering the guards.He talked with the island supervisor Gumpas about changing the way of managing the island, then he went off to the slaves market.
They declared slaves free and banned the slave market. After finding Lucy, Edmund and Eustace they returned to the ship and celebrated the improvements he made with the support of the citizens of Bern.
After some minor fixes on the Dawn Threader, they supplied themselves with food and enough of water to last them for some time.
After a couple of days with nice weather, one evening a storm occurred.They were managing to keep the ship on a surface for the next couple of days by using all of their strength to do so. One morning they found themselves in a bay surrounded by the cliffs as seen in Norway. The surrounding was quiet, and surface of the water clear and smooth as glass.
The crew paddled to the shore, where they decided to rest for a while and bring the Dawn Threader back to his original state. Eustace’s mood haven’t changed since he arrived on the ship, and the storm combined with slavery made him decide to ran away. He felt content while he was drifting away from the other passengers.
Finally he was feeling free and enjoying the beauty of the nature around him. After a short time, while he was laying under a tree, it has occurred his mind that the others probably forgot about him and left so he panicked and tried to run back downhill, but he slipped and fell down the mountain into a hole.
As Eustace found him self surrounded by dark and rising fog, he became aware that he is lost. While he was standing beside a rock, he saw two smoke pillars rising out of a colorful piece of rock. He soon realised that was a sleeping dragon, and started crying, regretting his decision of running away.
Suddenly, a dragon woke up and went in the direction of water, but he fell into the lake. Eustace thought the dragon is dead so he ran into dark cave where he spent the night. Soon he realised it was the dragon’s cave and the next morning he saw another dragon standing in front of him. Eustace actually turned into dragon himself and he was unable to speak.
Eustace was sad and transformation made him rethink his behavior towards the rest of the crew. He decided to change his behavior, and in the meanwhile, Lucy, Edmund and Caspian organized a search for him.
They’ve seen a dragon laying and soon realised something weird was going on, as dragon didn’t try on attacking them. Using some strange method of communication, they’ve somehow recognized the dragon was actually Eustace so they got rid of the fear.
A couple of days passed by, and they started to accept each others under this new circumstances but still didn’t knew how will they continue their journey. One morning Edmund went for a walk in the forest where he saw Eustace standing behind a tree.
Eustace magically went back into taking human appearance by following the lion in the direction of stream, where he managed to take off dragon skin.Eustace became better man, so they carved in the stone that they were present at this island and carried further on with their journey.
They ran again into troubles, fighting against the sea snake who attacked their ship. They managed to kill her using axes and swords, and couple of they after celebrating this grand victory, they spotted another piece of land. After investigating the shore, they found remains of the battle, as weapons and armoury laying around.
They decided to go to the stream to get some water, and there they found a golden statue, laying under the water. While Edmund tried to check the depth of the stream, he realised that the water in him has the magical powers, turning everything in gold.
They also saw a great lion, who vanished without a trace, and they were convinced it was Aslan. They decided to leave this weird island, naming it Dragon’ stream.
By the noon, they landed on another island where the grass was freshly cut, trees aligned and the air was pure and fresh. After walking the long, sandy path they found a house at the end of it. Lucy stayed a bit behind the others, trying to remove a rock out of her shoe. She heard strange voices, and felt the ground under her shaking but she hasn’t seen anything weird.
Soon they met the inhabitants of this island, invisible people, who needed Lucy to read a couple of verses from the magical book in order to remove the spell and make them become visible again. She learned a lot by reading a book, and soon she removed the spell.
Aslan appeared and met Lucy with the master Coriacin, and then told her the story about the former, invisible inhabitants of the island, the Blunopodes. Blunopodes were stupid and reckless, and they were creatures with only one leg who was growing from the hat, looking as walking mushrooms.
After the big celebration ,a wizard of the island gave Caspian a map of all island and places they already visited. He also helped them repairing the ship, and wished them good luck for the rest of their journey.
They kept on sailing and, after a while,they entered into endless darkness. They heard a voice, begging them to help him, so they rescued that man by bringing him on ship. His name was lord Rhoop, and he warned them that in this darkness all the nightmares become true. After a couple of hectic situations, they managed to escape the darkness.
They found yet another island, where they saw three sleeping man sitting at the dining table, unable to wake up. A girl carrying a lamp appeared and explained them that the men started arguing and fell asleep by touching a forbidden knife. The only way to break that spell was with the help of her father, who soon appeared.
Girl’s father advised them to sail as nearest as they can to the end of the world, and then come back after leaving one crew member there. Cioux offered to be left there, so they started sailing toward Aslan’s land. The water was becoming warmer and drinkable, and they found themselves on the island where a lamb was waiting for them.
The lamb explained to them that the doors to the Aslan’s world are leading outside of Narnia, then Aslan appeared and told Lucy and Edmund this was their last visit to Narnia. Lucy had too many questions, but Aslan ignored her and then kissed both of them on the forehead, shifting them back to the room they started this journey from.
Caspian and the rest of his men happily returned back to the Ramandu island, where the three sleeping men woke up. Caspian married the girl from that island as well, and Eustace improved his behavior, becoming a rather common and pleasant person.
Characters: Edmund, Lucy, Eustace, Caspian, Lords, Drinian and the rest of the crew
A lion full of kindness and power, his purpose was helping the children who once ruled Narnia. He is the symbol of the power in Narnia, and the symbol of strength in general Although he grew old, he remained wise and strong, appearing himself as the greater source of good in Narnia.
He is respected and celebrated by everyone, and the children became very fond of him, unable to achieve anything without his help and assistance. Aslan, Susan, Lucy, Edmund, and Peter are a sole purpose and foundation of Narnia.
Susan, Lucy, Edmund, Peter
Common children who shift their personalities once they enter the Narnia. Although they are average children, in Narnia they are entitled as powerful rulers. After entering the magical Narnia through the closet, everything in their lives changed. They were fighting with all of their strength, bodies and souls to free Narnia, using the special set of powers to conquer their enemies.
By helping Caspian who asked their assistance by blowing a horn, they made a lot of dreams of Narnian people come true, and that’s the main reason why they are so respected and praised.
Curious about the history of Narnia from his earliest childhood, he never got bored listening the old stories, although they were forbidden while he was growing up. He was raised by his uncle Miraz and his wife, and got to know more about Narnia from his former nanny, who got fired for telling him those stories. Miraz had some bad intentions for the future of Narnia, but Caspian soon found out more from his new teacher, Cornelius.
Doctor Cornelius inspired him to help the people of Narnia by saving them with the help of Edmund, Peter, Susan and Lucy. He is a symbol of desire and actions oriented towards achieving a specific goal. At the end of the first book where he appeared, he ended by becoming a king, and after a while, he decides to revenge his father with the help of Lucy and Edmund.
C.S. Lewis Biography
Clive Staples Lewis is a popular Irish children author. He was born in Belfast on November 29th, 1898.
His brother Warren was a writer as well, but his themes were historically inspired while Clive began on developing interest towards fantasy novels.
After the death of his mother, Clive, and his brother moved to England, where he begins to grow interest for Wagner’s music and Nordic mythology, becoming also a member of a group “The Inklings”.
He publishes his first SF novel, “Out of silent planet” in 1938., followed by the second part “Perelandra” in 1943. After the death of a close friend Charles Williams in 1945., he publishes the last part of this trilogy, under the name “That Hideous Strength”.
The year 1950 was crucial for this talented author, as he publishes the first out of seven books from the serial “The Chronicles of Narnia”. This book, known under the title “The Lion, the Witch, and the Closet” was soon used as a transcript for the movie, becoming a huge success.
In 1951, the second part is published – “Prince Caspian”, and a year after “The Voyage of a Dawn Threader” is printed as well.
That same year he meets his future wife, Joy Davidman Greshman, and continues with writing. “The Silver Chair” is published in 1953., followed by the other books from series (“A Horse and His Boy”, “Wizzard’s nephew”, “The Final Battle”).
Soon after marrying his wife, she got diagnosed with bone cancer and dies in 1960.
Lewis was devastated, but he remained on raising her son from her first marriage, Douglas.
He dies in Oxford at November 22nd, 1963, soon before his 65th birthday.