Chapter Seven is titled: A Day With The Beavers. In this chapter we see further development towards Edmund’s betrayal, we begin to get to know more characters in Narnia, and we hear mention of Aslan.
Without further ado, on we go; into the land of Narnia.
C.S. Lewis’ Writing
Their apparent guide, the robin, has flown away. The children are lost in an uncharted forest, within the reach of enemies. A bush rustles and a shadowed figure of an unknown creature is seen flitting between bush and tree. CS Lewis builds the tension and steadily adds details to the encounter, before revealing the creature is a beaver by Peter saying
“…it’s a beaver. I saw the tail.”
We all breathe a sigh of relief! Lewis then captures childish innocence in Lucy and Susan’s reactions of
“I think it’s a nice beaver.”
“I feel I want some dinner”
respectively. They consider only the outward appearance and their personal feelings. Even Peter their leader misses the possibility that there may be more than one creature lurking nearby. Nevertheless, this beaver is fondly referred to as Mr. Beaver by the children once they feel safer around him.
Edmund is held apart from the other children in CS Lewis’ writing. This is shown by his vastly different reaction to the mention of Aslan’s name. It is one of horror, for he stands by the Witch’s regime. It is further displayed by only him not trusting Mr. Beaver and his longing look between the two hills – towards the White Witch’s palace.
“…Edmund could see two small hills, and he was almost sure they were the two hills which the White Witch had pointed out to him…”
The final piece of CS Lewis’ writing (and the final point of this short essay) that I wish to draw attention to is his creation of the Beavers as a very comfortable couple. The beavers’ house is given to us in even more detail than Mr. Tumnus’ is earlier in the book, and the characters are given a lot more time to show themselves to us. We see Mr. Beaver’s dam that is praised out of courtesy by Susan:
“What a lovely dam!”
To which Mr. Beaver can’t help but reply in feigned modesty:
“Merely a trifle!”
By this we can clearly see that Mr. Beaver is a homely chap. Mrs. Beaver sows and cooks very well, and Mr. Beaver fishes and drinks a little beer. What a gentle couple, and so very welcoming. For the first time that the children are in Narnia I feel they are in safe hands.
Thank you for taking the time to read my little writings. Feedback is greatly appreciated and will be read and digested. I’ll be back with a special post on the same chapter next week. Till then: