The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
by C.S. Lewis
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader Contrasting Regions: Narnia and England Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph)
Narnian time flows differently from ours. If you spent a hundred years in Narnia, you would still come back to our world at the very same hour of the very same day on which you left. And then, if you went back to Narnia after spending a week here, you might find that a thousand Narnian years had passed, or only a day, or no time at all. You never know till you get there. Consequently, when the Pevensie children had returned to Narnia last time for their second visit, it was (for the Narnians) as if King Arthur came back to Britain as some people say he will. And I say the sooner the better. (1.35)
Our narrator seems to be implying that a revival of medieval heroism is just what 20th-century Britain needs to counteract the after-effects of World War II.
Eustace of course would be pleased with nothing, and kept on boasting about liners and motor-boats and aeroplanes and submarines ("As if he knew anything about them," muttered Edmund), but the other two were delighted with the Dawn Treader, and when they turned aft to the cabin and supper, and saw the whole western sky lit up with an immense crimson sunset, and felt the quiver of the ship, and tasted the salt on their lips, and thought of unknown lands on the eastern rim of the world, Lucy felt that she was almost too happy to speak. (2.53)
Eustace connects his identity with the technological advancement of his own world and its point in history. However, as Edmund observes, Eustace didn't create any of the devices he feels so invested in. Eustace invests his self-worth in something outside himself rather than really getting to know himself and his own nature.
It's madness to come out into the sea in a rotten little thing like this. Not much bigger than a lifeboat. And, of course, absolutely primitive indoors. No proper saloon, no radio, no bathrooms, no deck-chairs. I was dragged all over it yesterday evening and it would make anyone sick to hear Caspian show off his funny little toy boat as if it was the Queen Mary. I tried to tell him what real ships are like, but he's too dense. (2.55)
In Eustace's opinion, things aren't "real" unless they are the biggest and the best of their kind. It must be hard to accept the fact that he himself isn't as big or as good at things as Caspian or Edmund. We also notice that Eustace seems to have trouble distinguishing between meaningful technological advances that really change the way life is lived (such as bathrooms) and unimportant creature comforts (such as deck chairs).