Study Guide

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader Awe and Amazement

By C.S. Lewis

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Awe and Amazement

Feelings of awe and amazement are the mechanism by which characters in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader recognize that they have come into contact with something holy or divine. These feelings might be inspired by the presence of divine figures (like Aslan) or by vast and unusual landscapes (such as Aslan's country in the eastern edge of the world). Awe is often tinged with fear or intimidation; sacred things are almost too beautiful, powerful, and amazing for mere human beings to bear. The natural world is often the setting for unexpected experiences of solemn amazement. Things that are awesome also inspire silence and stillness; awe, in this book, is orderly, calm, and self-contained, not an ecstatic frenzy.

Questions About Awe and Amazement

  1. How does Eustace feel when he first sees Aslan?
  2. Why does Lucy see Aslan most frequently? What aspects of Lucy's character make her a particularly receptive believer?
  3. Why does Aslan usually only appear to individuals or very small groups? Why doesn't he just appear to the entire crew of the Dawn Treader and give them instructions?
  4. What emotional and psychological effects do the crew of the Dawn Treader experience at the extreme eastern edge of the world? How does the power and glory of Aslan's country manifest for them?

Chew on This

The feelings of awe that Aslan inspires are connected with fear of his power and appreciation of his beauty.

In The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, awe and amazement are quiet, solemn emotions; there is no place in this world for ecstatic frenzy.

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