When you think of travel, automatically the vision of an airplane, automobile or some sort of transportation comes to mind. In C.S. Lewis’s novel, TheVoyage of the Dawn Treader, Lewis challenges the reader to question what ‘traveling’ really entitles. Although the novel is obviously about a ‘voyage’, Lewis enables everyone inside and outside the opportunity to travel. Not only does his writing emphasize the impact of physical travel (from sea to island), but Lewis offers the reader to travel into the world of fantasy through his words.
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader starts off engaging the reader to join the journey. “They were in Lucy’s room, sitting on the edge of her bed and looking at a picture on the opposite wall” (4) by describing the picture C.S. Lewis invites the reader to imagine they were physically present. Using the painting as a window for travel, demonstrates the importance of art as an escape from reality. All forms of art form a sense of imagination and perspective, resulting in our own ‘new world’.
As the novel progresses, the reader’s journey mirrors the voyage within the book. While Lucy, Edmund and the others travel to undiscovered lands, we (as readers) are traveling in undiscovered lands of our own. The idea of our ‘new world’ is the overall concept of gaining knowledge from a new book. C.S. Lewis’s literal words help formulate new outlooks and ideas, but the overall themes and concepts act as windows for the reader to travel into their unique world. Here the individual applies the newly discovered concepts to their personal life, and uses their imagination to reflect.
As a reader, we discover new lands within our own world, using the voyage and Lewis’s words as our windows of travel. Both aid in self discovery, by gaining new perspectives on life and allow us a sense of self awareness. As the Dawn Treader sailed threw the ocean, each experience brought a new tale. These tales then effect each individual crew member differently, just like the literal novel and the unique meaning it holds within each reader.