Thursday, October 7, 2010

Imagination and Adulthood

C.S. Lewis’s novel, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, takes the reader on a journey through imaginary worlds. The novel brings Edmund and Lucy Pevensie along with their cousin Eustace Scrubb onto the Dawn Treader to journey with Prince Caspian to find the seven lost Lords of Narnia. The group encounters many mystical creatures and adventures throughout their journeys of the east lands. The narrator of the novel has a close relationship to the reader acting as a trustworthy friend who aids in telling the story. Through the use of the narrator, a journey is created for the reader as a safe space for the reader to grow as well as providing a place for the imagination to journey.

Throughout the novel, the narrator acts as an omniscient voice who interjects throughout the story creating a personal bond with the reader. The narrator seems to be that of an older and wiser figure then that of the reader and possibly could be the voice of Lewis himself. In the narrator’s telling to the story, he includes personal conversations with Lucy stating that,”Lucy could only say ‘It would break your heart.’ ‘Why,’ said I, ‘was it so sad?’ ‘Sad!! No, said Lucy.” (Lewis 265). By including that the narrator himself had be told of the tales, the reader feels more of a connection with the narrator and greatly values what the narrator has to say. The close relationship between the reader and the narrator also allows for the reader to take an imaginary journey with the aid of the narrator’s tales of the Dawn Treader’s. The narrator aids in the reader’s journey through the novel and through the seas and lands of the east.

By having the narrator as a wise insight to the main characters’ journey, it allows the children who read the book to feel a connection to a more so adult figure who can be trusted and who understands adventure and imagination. This is furthered through the character of Aslan who is quite wise but also an imaginary creature. Aslan says to the children in the end of the novel, “‘you are too old, children,’ said Aslan, ‘and you must begin to come close to your own world now.” (Lewis 269). By having these trusted wise, older figures in the novel, a bridge is formed between the imaginary world of childhood and the world of adulthood. This novel provides a space for children to connect and travel through their own imagination as well as to feel a connection to others as they travel into adulthood. The use of imagination thereby allows for a deeper connection to that of the adult world and understanding of others.

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