Tuesday, October 7, 2008

A Journey of Faith

As was said in class, it is fairly difficult to ignore the Christian messages in C.S. Lewis’ writing. On particular passage which stands out is when the daughter of Ramandu tells Edmund “you can’t know…you can only believe-or not” (p 217). This is the primary difficulty with faith. It involves a belief in something we cannot truly or fully know. The presence of religion in a person’s life has often been described as “the journey of faith.” It involves active seeking in order to come to a realization about one’s faith. In The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, C.S. Lewis literally sends his character’s on a “journey of faith” in which they are able to grow both as people as well as in faith.

The journey of faith, like an actual journey, is transformative. Any travel that we do will change our perspective or our mindset in some way. Lewis shows that the journey of faith is no different. All of the characters in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader are changed remarkably after the journey. The most notable is Eustace, who starts as a brat who “almost deserved it” and improves in such a way that “you’d never know him as the same boy” (p1, p 217). Everything from his transformation to a dragon and the shedding of his dragon skin, to his bravery facing the sea serpent and in volunteering to go to the end of the world, are all steps in Eustace’s journey. However, despite the hardships, he is a better person when his journey is over.

The fact that this journey that the Dawn Treader embarks on is in fact a journey of faith is most evident when they reach the end of the world. Once there, Lucy and Edmund are met by Aslan, the God-like figure of Narnia, who first appears to them as a lamb, the symbol of Christ. Aslan tells them that “this was the very reason they were brought to Narnia, that by knowing me here for a little while, you may know me better there” (p 270). This quote shows that Aslan, or God, intends for people to go on “a journey” in order to better understand. C.S. Lewis tries to give his readers the simple message of faith as a journey that must be embarked upon. It may be difficult at times, even to the point where we want to quit. However, if a person truly believes, then he or she will be willing to embark upon this journey in order to become closer to God.

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