The Voyage of the Dawn Treader Blog: A Child's Prerogative
In C.S. Lewis' fantasy land of Narnia, without the overbearing reach of adults, the "children" are able to overcome the stereotyped behavior of their age and have experiences that many adults in the "real world" probably wouldn't be able to achieve. C.S. Lewis is using the art of imagination to explain the affects of faith. If one, such as Eustace, can't believe in a place like Narnia how are they to believe in God? Fantasy is necessary to life. I think the most concrete example of this is Lucy. Lucy is the youngest of the Pevensies siblings and yet she carries a tremendous amount of grace and maturity. Specifically, Lucy takes it upon herself to save the crew of the Dawn Treader on the island of invisible people. Edmond and Caspian object to her risking her own safety in order to save them but Lucy explains to them that they would do the same for her (the golden rule) and that she also must do it to save herself.
In Narnia, without the conventions of society to hold them back, the Pevensies children can travel both beyond what the map shows literally and beyond their own boundaries. They quest not only for adventures and knowledge of the land but also inner knowledge of themselves. They are able to express themselves, have freedom, and make decisions without consulting anyone else but each other.
No one is perfect; not even in Narnia, with perhaps the exception of Aslan. If a character should wobble on the precipice of caprice, Aslan reveals himself to guide them back onto the right path. When Eustace transforms into the Dragon that he has been behaving like, and recognizes that he needs to change his ways, it is Aslan who sheds his skin in a painful but fulfilling way. When Caspian and Edmond begin to quarrel over the golden river and their pride threatens to break their bond of friendship Aslan appears in the sky and the boys remember themselves and leave the place immediately. Lucy is tempted by the Book of Magic for eternal beauty even at the cost of war and the relationships she cherishes. Before she can begin reciting the incantation Aslan's growling, fierce face appears on the page and she forgets her vanity and is saved from the treachery of the Book. She is free to make her own decisions about what she reads/does with the spells after she sees Aslan's warning. Aslan is a symbol for God. He protects all from losing their innocence while allowing them to learn from their mistakes. I regard Aslan as the hand that guides both the external and internal travel of the Narnians. He shows those who believe in Him the path he would take and lets them chose whether or not they will follow it. Sometimes the path is a literal journey to the edges of the earth. Sometimes the path is within, to the edge of our own identities, where we discover who we really are.