The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
by C.S. Lewis
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader Principles Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph)
Of course Caspian's ship was not that horrible thing, a galley rowed by slaves. Oars were used only when wind failed or for getting in and out of harbour and everyone (except Reepicheep whose legs were too short) had often taken a turn. (2.43)
Narnia may not be a democracy, but it does have principles of equality. Everyone on the ship, from the king down to the lowliest crewman, takes his turn doing hard labor to keep everything moving. Hey, maybe the Dawn Treader is a metaphor for or tiny version of the country of Narnia itself.
There was not much difficulty in settling the matter once Eustace realised that everyone took the idea of a duel quite seriously and heard Caspian offering to lend him a sword, and Drinian and Edmund discussing whether he ought to be handicapped in some way to make up for his being so much bigger than Reepicheep. (2.68)
Reepicheep's desire to duel is one of the most obvious signs of a medieval code of honor in the world of Narnia.
"Your Majesty's tender years," said Gumpas, with what was meant to be a fatherly smile, "hardly make it possible that you should understand the economic problem involved. I have statistics, I have graphs, I have – "
"Tender as my years may be," said Caspian, "I believe I understand the slave trade from within quite as well as your Sufficiency. And I do not see that it brings into the islands meat or bread or beer or wine or timber or cabbages or books or instruments of music or horses or armour or anything else worth having. But whether it does or not, it must be stopped."
"But that would be putting the clock back," gasped the Governor. "Have you no idea of progress, of development?"
"I have seen them both in an egg," said Caspian. "We call it Going bad in Narnia. This trade must stop." (4.25-28)
Caspian's straightforward ethical principle that "slavery is wrong" prevents him from being confused by Governor Gumpas's sophistry, or false logic. In the world of Narnia, most important moral issues boil down to very simple principles, and it's always wrong to compromise anything in order to get something done, make somebody happy, or bargain for something else. Caspian argues that the slave trade isn't necessary or useful for the Lone Islands, but even if it were, he'd abolish it anyway because it's wrong.