Thursday, October 7, 2010


Reepicheep’s seemingly paradoxical quality as a valiant mouse along with his final choice to reach the utter East at the end of the novel suggests the idea that even the characters from the humblest circumstances can reach the Ultimate.

It is clear right when the reader meets Reepicheep that this mouse, a seemingly skittish and cowardly animal, is just the opposite. He is the most courageous and chivalrous of all the men on the journey. While Caspian tells the kids that his purpose is to find the seven friends of his father's, Reepicheep states that he has a more ambitious purpose for his journey: "Why should we not come to the very eastern end of the world? And what might we find there? I expect to find Aslan's own country," (21). Though others question the feasibility of this quest, Reepicheep remains faithful to his purpose throughout, challenging the other members of the crew to continue in the face of danger and fear.

Reepicheep’s ambition to seek the greater was instilled in him from a young age when he was sung from a lullaby, “Where sky and water meet/ Where the waves grow sweet/ Doubt not, Reepicheep,/ To find all that you seek/ There is the utter East” (22). This higher, greater end, the “utter East”, presumably Aslan’s country, is what Reepicheep longs for his entire life. When he finally gets the chance to go to the utter East, closer to Aslan the Ultimate, he is “quivering with happiness” (266) and lacks even the slightest amount of fear. He embarks on this journey to the utter East alone, but successfully nonetheless, as the narrator says that it is his belief “that he came safe to Aslan’s country and is alive there to this day,” (266).

Though Reepicheep the Mouse’s ambitious character adds humor to the novel, he is representative of something a lot deeper. Reepicheep is determined to take the nobler route always, to promote justice and the good at all times. Never overcome by fear, Reepicheep strives for what he thinks is right. Reepicheep, though smaller and humbler than the rest of the characters, is the only one in the entire book who truly succeeds in doing what St. Ignatius calls “Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam” or, for the Greater Glory of God. This little mouse's efforts and constancy are eventually rewarded, for he reaches Aslan’s country in the end, the place of eternal peace and happiness.

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