Setting

In The Voyage of the "Dawn Treader," Lewis greatly expands the size of Narnia's known world, sending his characters across a vast expanse of ocean and to many islands, until they reach the Last Wave and the End of the World, beyond which is Aslan's country, high atop and beyond sheer cliffs. Once the ship reaches the Lone Islands, soon after picking up Lucy, Edmund, and Eustace, it sails from the island, heading roughly southeast until reaching the Last Wave.

A Narnian king has not visited the Lone Islands for hundreds of years, and its government has fallen into corruption and there is a slave market in Narrowhaven, the capital of the province. When Caspian asserts his authority, he bans slavery, removes the corrupt government, and appoints Lord Bern a duke and governor of the Lone Islands. Bern is one of the seven faithful lords that the usurper Miraz had sent on the suicide mission to explore the Eastern Sea.

As the Dawn Treader sails to the southeast, it is buffeted by a fierce storm, during which a sailor is lost. The main mast is broken in the storm, so the voyagers anchor at the next island they find in order to look for a tree suitable for replacing the mast. It is on this island that Eustace is transformed into a dragon, becoming in the flesh the monster he is in spirit, and it is on this island that Aslan begins his reforming of Eustace, washing away the penitent boy's sins.

The next island on the voyage tests Caspian, Edmund, Eustace, and Lucy with temptation. While hiking across a hillside on the island, they discover the remains of armor and cloth and wonder whether they have found what is left of one of the lost lords. Then they find a pool with a statue of a man in it. Quickly, they realize that the water in the pool turns anything in it to gold, and, just as quickly, Caspian and Edmund begin bickering over who owns the pool, much to Lucy's distress. The brief appearance by Aslan, huge and fierce, brings Caspian and Edmund back to their senses. They decide to name the island "Deathwater" and to tell no one of what they have found.

After that comes Burnt Island, whose population has disappeared, leaving rabbits and the remains of a fishing community. Sailing ever southeast, the Dawn Treader reaches the island of the Dufflepuds, who are governed by a star, Coriakin. Old Coriakin committed an unspecified transgression while a star, and his punishment is to rule over the Dufflepuds while helping them become wise. The islanders were called "Duffers," a word implying foolishness or stupidity, and they are also called "monopods" because they each have only one foot, on which each hops about. They The Voyage of the "Dawn Treader" 417 themselves blend the two words into "Dufflepuds."

They are invisible because they thought themselves ugly and had one of their girls sneak into Coriakin's tower and read an invisibility spell from a book of magic. They demand, threatening violence, that Lucy go up the tower to the book and read the visibility spell. It is while reading the book that she is sorely tempted, resisting once and failing once.

Coriakin's island is laid out with broad roads and farms, and Coriakin is a generous host. The Dawn Treader had been damaged by a sea serpent, but Coriakin uses his magic to repair the ship. The voyagers have had many strange adventures, but after they leave the Dufflepuds, they have what may be their most awful one, because they encounter the Darkness and the Dark Island. While enveloped by the Darkness, they hear a man's cries for help, and when they call back a man desperately swims to the ship. He is Lord Rhoop, one of the lost lords, and he urges the voyagers to flee from the island and the Darkness. Dark Island is where dreams come true, Rhoop explains, "This is where dreams—dreams, do you understand—come to life, come real. Not daydreams: dreams." The sailors think they see all sorts of horrors climbing over their ship. A prayer by Lucy brings an albatross, a symbol of good luck, that looks like a white cross in the Darkness, and which leads the Dawn Treader out of the...

(The entire section is 1685 words.)