The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
Contrasting Regions: Narnia and England Quotes
How we cite our quotes:
They call him a King. I said I was a Republican but he had to ask me what that meant! He doesn't seem to know anything at all. (2.55)
Narnia is an unashamedly monarchical world: what the king says goes. There's no voting in Narnia, and no sense that representative democracy is desirable or necessary. As much as we like Caspian, we still like to vote on things, too… (By the way, here "Republican" means someone who is in favor of government being a republic instead of a monarchy where a king or queen rules.)
Needless to say I've been put in the worst cabin of the boat, a perfect dungeon, and Lucy has been given a whole room on deck to herself, almost a nice room compared with the rest of this place. C. says that's because she's a girl. I tried to make him see what Alberta says, that all that sort of thing is really lowering girls but he was too dense. (2.55)
Eustace and his progressive parents believe in gender equality – which, in their view, means no chivalry, like giving Lucy a bigger, nicer cabin because she is supposedly more delicate than the men around her. The problem, however, is that Eustace doesn't really think Lucy should be accorded the same rights and responsibilities as the men around her. He's just jealous that she has a nicer cabin on the ship than he does.
"In a civilized country like where I come from," said Eustace, "the ships are so big that when you're inside you wouldn't know you were at sea at all."
"In that case you might just as well stay ashore," said Caspian. (3.16-17)
The Narnians appreciate that a little hardship can be good for the soul. Perhaps in our world we're too concerned about making things comfy while we're traveling and not concerned enough about making a real difference when we get where we're going.