Themes and Characters
Edmunds calls Eustace Clarence Scrubb a "record stinker." The narrator says of Eustace, "I can't tell you how his friends spoke to him, for he had none." When he learns that Lucy and Edmund will be staying in his home, Eustace delights in thoughts of how he will torment them and make them miserable.
When Eustace ends up on the Dawn Treader, he almost immediately causes problems: he swings Reepicheep around by the tail and then is surprised when the mouse Book illustration by Pauline Baynes for The Voyage of the "Dawn Treader" by C. S. Lewis. takes after him with a rapier. Eustace apologizes to Reepicheep, though for the wrong reasons. This may be his first step toward reform. He manages to make enemies of everyone on the Dawn Treader. When they drop anchor at Dragon Island, being lazy, he decides to simply slip away to avoid work, climbing up a hillside in the forest. According to the narrator, "This showed, by the way, that his new life, little as he suspected it, had already done him [Eustace] some good; the old Eustace, Harold's and Alberta's Eustace, would have given up the climb after about ten minutes."
Much of the blame for Eustace's despicable behavior falls on his upbringing; in fact, his mother seems to like his being cruel to others. After returning home from the voyage, the new Eustace is not nearly so interesting to her as he was before, so she neglects him. When he sees a dragon, he has no clue as to what it is...
(The entire section is 2629 words.)
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