The End of the World

Gregory Souza '07 English 65, Fantasy, Brown University, 2004

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, part of The Chronicles of Narnia, tells the story of three children and their adventures aboard the Dawn Treader. Peace has been brought to the magical land Narnia, and the King Caspian decides to go on a voyage to find the seven Lords that were sent off to the east by his evil uncle. The three children, Edmund, Lucy, and Eustace, are brought from their world to aid Caspian. They face many dangers and eventually discover the fates of all the Lords. In the end, as ordered by the great lion Aslan, the children come to the End of the World before returing to their own.

But between them and the foot of the sky there was something so white on the green grass that even with their eagles' eyes they could hardly look at it. They came on and saw that it was a Lamb.

"Come and have breakfast," said the Lamb in its sweet milky voice.

Then they noticed for the first time that there was a fire lit on the grass and fish roasting on it. They sat down and ate the fish, hungry now for the first time for many days. And it was the most delicious food they had ever tasted.

"Please, Lamb," said Lucy, "is this the way to Aslan's country?"

"Not for you," said the Lamb. "For you the door into Aslan's country is from your own world."

"What!" said Edmund. "Is there a way into Aslan's country from our world too?"

"There is a way into my country from all the worlds," said the Lamb, but as he spoke, his snowy white flushed into tawny gold and his size changed and he was Aslan himself, towering above them and scattering light from his mane.

"Oh Aslan," said Lucy. "Will you tell us how to get into your country from out world?

"I shall be telling you all the time," said Aslan. "But I will not tell you how long or short the way will be; only that it lies across a river. But do not fear that, for I am the great Bridge Builder. And now come; I will open the door in the sky and send you to your own land." [...]

"Dearest," said Aslan very gently, "you and your brother will never come back to Naria." [...]

"You are too old, children," said Aslan, "and you must begin to come close to your own world now. [...] But there I have another name. You must learn to know me by that name. This was the very reason why you were brought to Narnia, that by knowing me here for a little, you may know me better there." [Chapter Sixteen]

Questions

1. How does Lewis describe the Lamb/Aslan in this passage? What is the significance of Aslan appearing in the form of a Lamb?

2. What is the "door into Aslan's land" from Edmund and Lucy's world?

3. Why can't the children return to Narnia?

4. How does this passage encompass the Christian ideals that the Chronicles of Narnia are based upon?


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Last modified 16 February 2004