Lucy and Reepicheep

Jill Javier '07 English 65, Fantasy, Brown University, 2004

In The Voyage of the Dawn Treader Lucy and Edmund are visiting their cousin Eustace. There a magic picture of a ship in his house soon takes them to Narnia, and they find themselves at sea with Caspian. In the following passage, Lucy is on deck, observing the beginning of her new adventure.

The next few days were delightful. Lucy thought she was the most fortunate girl in the world, as she woke each morning to see the reflections of the sunlit water dancing on the ceiling of her cabin and looked round on all the nice new things she had got in the Lone Islands-seaboots and buskings and cloaks and jerkins and scarves. And then she would go on deck and take a look from the forecastle at a sea which was a brighter blue each morning and drink in an air that was a little warmer day by day. After that came breakfast and such an appetite as one only has at sea.

She spent a good deal of time sitting on the little bench in the stern playing chess with Reepicheep. It was amusing to see him lifting the pieces, which were far too big for him, with both paws and standing on tiptoes if he made a move near the center of the board. He was a good player and when her remembered what he was doing he usually won. But every now and then Lucy won because the Mouse did something quite ridiculous like sending a knight into the danger of a queen and castle combined. This happened because he had momentarily forgotten it was a game of chess and was thinking of a real battle and making the knight do what he would certainly have done in its place. For his mind was full of forlorn hopes, death-or-glory charges, and last stands. [Pages 70-71]

Questions

1. What is Lucy's role in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader as compared to her role in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe?

2. Why did Lewis decide to express Lucy's thoughts, and how does the language in the novel change through her point of view because of this?

3. Reepicheep is a small mouse, yet is given such a strong and courageous character and personality. Why do you suppose Lewis decided to portray a hero in this way?

4. Is there any significance in the game of chess and how Reepicheep plays?

References

Lewis, C. S. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. New York: HarperCollins, 1952.


Victorian Web Overview C. S. Lewis Victorian courses

Last modified 16 February 2004