Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Facing Your Fears

Towards the end of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Reepicheep attempts to motivate the crew on multiple occasions. He explains the regret they will feel and the honor they will lose by letting themselves fall victim to fear. When they are faced with The Dark Island, Reepicheep says, “ I know we did not set sail to look for things use-full but to seek honor and adventure. And here is as great an adventure as I ever heard of...” (193). There are many people who are like Reepicheep and look at a situation that may be dangerous but desire that sense of satisfaction that results when facing it directly. If I was onboard I would have been one of the crew members who were all too ready to turn the ship around. 
I was not the bravest child and I would constantly be the one missing out on things because I was too scared. Unlike Reepicheep, I did not see the value in adventure, but rather the security that came with sticking within my comfort zone. One winter when I was ten years old there was a massive blizzard. The winds were strong and there was at least two feet of snow on the ground. My sister and I decided to go out into the storm, but instead of staying in front of the house she wanted to venture out. I was extremely hesitant due to the intimidating gusts of wind and the mounds of snow that were almost unbearable to walk in. Seeing that I was not very enthusiastic about her big plan, she tried to convince me that it would be a fun adventure.
The familiar environment that I knew of was transformed by this storm into this new world. Everything becomes so unrecognizable and the silence is very eerie. All that can be heard are the gusts of wind and not a soul could be seen anywhere. Although I was truly scared to walk aimlessly into this storm, I decided to go with my sister. We slowly started pushing our way through the snow and went across the road to this neighborhood on the other side. We kept walking till we ended up discovering this private little road that seemed to lead somewhere else. At this point Im beyond freezing, the winds are picking up, and tree branches are falling left and right. This didn’t stop my sister at all and she once again pushed me to go forward. We were led to this massive open field. All we could see was heavy snowfall all around us and the snow drifts that were several feet high. It was kind of creepy and very surreal. However, the more we starred into the vastness the more beautiful it became. I wasn’t paying attention to how cold I was or the fact that we had a pretty long journey back, but instead was trying to take a picture of this magical scene that was before me.
This experience of mine was triggered by the situations the characters are faced with within The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. As they near the world’s end, everyone begins to doubt whether it is really worth going forward. Once again Reepicheep speaks out and states, “ This is a very great adventure, and no danger seems to me so great as that of knowing when I get back to Narnia that I left a mystery behind me through fear” (212). This statement possesses a message that relates to life in a very general sense. Regret is something that people can deal with forever. It is important to realize that any adventure, no matter how big or small, will lead you to new discoveries. The characters in this novel take chances and push forward through many obstacles that are intimidating and dangerous. As a result, they reap the reward by getting to witness the Sea People, taste the sweet water, glide through a sea of lilies, and eventually see with their own eyes the edge of this fantastical world. 
This is further expressed in the chapter The Three Sleepers, when the girl is explaining what happened to the sleeping lords. She explains that one of them said, “We have not long to live in any event. Let us spend what is left in seeking the unpeopled world behind the sunrise” (216). In this quote, there is no doubt C.S. Lewis is trying to express the importance of living one’s life to the fullest. In this case, it is through traveling into the unknown where no one has been before to discover the mysteries that lie beyond. Travel is important because it gives us the choice to test ourselves and how far we are willing to go. For me, I saw my once familiar surroundings in a way I would have never seen if I didn’t push myself forward. 

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