Study Guide

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader Genre

By C.S. Lewis

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Children's Literature, Fantasy, Quest

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, like the other Chronicles of Narnia, is considered classic children's literature. It uses a straightforward vocabulary and syntax geared toward the child reader and also excludes any especially violent or steamy elements in an attempt to be more child-friendly. For example, although Caspian ends up meeting and marrying Ramandu's daughter, we don't hear anything about his feelings of attraction toward her. Likewise, in battle scenes we might feel fear of the unknown, but we never hear about blood or gore. The narrator is careful to protect his imagined child audience from anything that might be inappropriate for them – at least in his opinion.

In addition to being children's literature, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader is also a quintessential quest narrative. Like Homer's Odyssey or Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader involves a small group of noble companions bound together in a fellowship to seek adventure, achieve a noble goal, and arrive at a particular destination. This book, along with the other Chronicles of Narnia, is considered fantasy because it includes and depends on fun supernatural elements, such as dragons, sea monsters, magic spells, and talking animals.

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