The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
"Oh, Aslan," said Lucy. "Will you tell us how to get into your country from our world?"
"I shall be telling you all the time," said Aslan. "But I will not tell you how long or short the way will be; only that it lies across a river. But do not fear that, for I am the great Bridge Builder."
In his fantasy novel The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, C.S. Lewis introduces his reader to a majestic land of magic, where children sail the seas and discover the wonders of the world around them. These children: Lucy, Edmund and Eustace, are presented with a great amount of responsibility (like sailing to the end of their world just to drop someone off) and adventure, which you think would usually appear too heavy for the psyche of a child. The emotional tolls are intense (when Eustace shape shifts into a dragon for example), yet every step of their adventure provides them with a lesson greater than the last. However, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader exposes its characters to such turmoil with good intentions. Lewis strongly believes in the power of imagination, and highlights its crucial role in developing the future of children, as well as their sense of faith. Lewis is aware that before we hand the world off unto the children of future generations, we must allow them to explore the world of their mind, as well as their surroundings.
C.S. Lewis skirted the fine line between faith and imagination, yet did so gracefully in order to illustrate the relationship between the two. Written on the wake of World War II, The Dawn Treader kept spirits high by proving to children that if they believed in Narnia, they could believe in anything (meaning God). When children needed a break from the all-too adult inhabited world around them, all they needed to do was escape into the pages of Narnia. An external journey of their world through an internal exploration of their imagination has proven time and time again that we all have our own Narnia. There is not one single path and the journey will be difficult, yet it is a journey you must complete on your own. Like the journey towards finding God, the children’s future attempts at reuniting with Aslan will require a bit of off-centered thinking. Yet since their imaginations were stretched to their limits aboard the Dawn Treader, they now know that anything is possible and that it is necessary to keep an open mind to the wonders of our world.