‘THE VOYAGE OF THE DAWN TREADER’
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A Voyage To The Very Ends Of The World
‘The Voyage of the Dawn Treader’ is the fifth book of ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’ by C.S. Lewis, although it was third book that he wrote in the series. This gripping book is divided into 16 chapters.
I eventually saw the movie version of ‘Dawn Treader’ years later in 2010. From knowing the book so well, I could tell there were structural differences from the book to the movie which was interesting.
In this story, it is set a year after ‘Prince Caspian’ and features Edmund and Lucy with their odious cousin Eustace. They soon get transported back into the world of Narnia via a picture in a bedroom.
They end up in the sea and are rescued by King Caspian X and his crew aboard the Dawn Treader ship. Caspian is on a quest to search for the lost seven lords of Narnia and to reach the world’s end.
Here’s structure of the story. The voyage is from the Lone Islands, to Dragon Island, to Deathwater Island, to Coriakin’s Island, to Dark Island, to Ramandu Islands before going to the end of the world.
The structure in the book is very different to how it was portrayed in the 2010 movie. The BBC version is the only visual version to remain true to the book since it follows the ship’s same voyage.
The reason why the film version was different in terms of structure was because it included the Dark Island as the main enemy. It provided the backdrop for the climatic showdown for these characters.
The ‘Dawn Treader’ book has no main villain and the themes of temptation are subtle compared to the movie. Also, the book feels more episodic in terms of how the Dawn Treader makes its voyage.
I like how C.S. Lewis details the character journey of Eustace in this book. He makes it clear how Eustace is odious since he did not read all the right books and is more interested in facts and figures.
The transformation of Eustace into the dragon is very well-done, since we have it from his point of view when waking in the treasure cave and becomes the dragon. It makes it very tense and gripping.
There were times Eustace kept a diary and wrote accounts of things from his point of view. This was when he was odious and before he became a dragon. He stopped his diary entries afterwards.
Reepicheep has a major role in the ‘Dawn Treader’ book compared to ‘Prince Caspian’. This was due to Reepicheep’s popularity and he was given a chance to develop his heart of courage through this.
By the way, the story is set three Narnian years for Caspian and Reepicheep after the events of ‘Prince Caspian’. This was very unusual due to the time elapsed between ‘LLW’ and ‘Prince Caspian’.
In the scene where Lucy reads the Magician’s Book on Coriakin’s Island, there’s more strange moments in the book. This includes Lucy eavesdropping on her two friends’ conversation at school.
The book ends with Aslan telling the three children that he has another name in the world they come from and they must know him by that name. Aslan is a name for Jesus in these Narnia books.
‘The Voyage of the Dawn Treader’ has been very enjoyable to read. It is episodic in terms of the voyage’s journey to islands. But the feel of a sea voyage and the book’s messages are strong in this.
‘The Voyage of the Dawn Treader’ (Book) rating – 8/10
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