Saturday, July 02, 2016

Discussion Questions for “Prince Caspian”

Here’s the latest set of discussion questions in the Summer Reading Project. Previous postings here on The Book Den explain the program and include discussion questions for the first two books in C.S. Lewis’ classic adventure series, The Chronicles of Narnia. Please check them out here, here, and here.

As we have said previously, you may not need any conversation starters other than the general questions that work the best for any book discussion. Those questions, of course, include the following. Did you like the book? What did you learn from it? Were there any characters, incidents, passages, or even single lines that made an impact on you? Were there things in the book you had questions about or disagreements? What were some of the most memorable things about the book?

But if you think any of the questions below might add a bit to your discussion, please use what you like.

Questions for Kids (and adults)

1) Where were the children when the magic transported them to Narnia?
2) What do the children find to eat in the ruins of Cair Pavel?
3) What was the name of Peter’s sword?
4) The Dwarf wanted something besides apples for breakfast.  So, what did he do?
5) What was the name of the wicked king of Narnia?
6) What happened to the “seven noble lords”?
7) What did Doctor Cornelius give to Caspian before he ran away?  And how was that gift used later?
8) What was the name of the badger who befriended Caspian?
9) What gift did the Three Bulgy Bears offer Caspian when they first met?
10) What kind of animal was he Pattertwig?
11) What did you think of Reepicheep?
12) Where did Caspian and the Narnians decide to fight the battle with King Miraz? Why did they choose that spot?
13) Who volunteered to travel to Cair Pavel to try and find help for Caspian’s forces?
14) What did D.L.F. stand for?  Who was it used to describe?
15) Who challenged King Miraz to single combat?
16) Who actually killed King Miraz?
17) What happened to Reepicheep in the battle?

Questions for Adults (and kids)

1) Things looked bleak when the children were first in the ruins of Cair Pavel “but the spirit of adventure was rising in them all.”  That “spirit of adventure” can certainly help us deal with gives to suffering and other challenges, can’t it?
2) The “old Narnians” were forced to be rebels. That’s not unlike modern times in America where conservatives are the counter-culture.
3) King Miraz not only hated and feared Old Narnia, he hated and feared anyone who even remembered Old Narnia.  Does that remind you of how culture leaders of our day work so hard at historical revisionism?
4) At the price of his head, Doctor Cornelius was forbidden by the government (King Miraz) to teach things that were politically incorrect. That’s yet another sad parallel to modern times.
5) Caspian wasn’t a natural Narnian.  He was a Telmarine.  Yet he loved Narnia for what it represented.
6) King Miraz and his court denounced and disbelieved the stories of Aslan coming from the sea. Nevertheless, they were deathly afraid of the sea. The irreligious do not believe because of a lack of evidence, but simply because they refuse to accept the changes that would come from belief in God.
7) King Miraz, like all dictators, allowed no opposition at all, even if it required him to use guile, injustice, and even violence as governing tools.
8) Consider the moral challenge of Truffelhunter’s boast of steadfastness.  “Badgers don’t change.  We hold on.”
9) “Narnia was never right except when a son of Adam was King.”
10) Trumpkin represents the danger of disloyalty and selfishness within the ranks.  And disbelief too.  Remember his skepticism?  “Who believes in Aslan nowadays?”
11) Another profound line suggests the need for courageous faithfulness to the call for spiritual warfare. “It now seemed to them quite possible that they might win a war and quite certain that they must wage one.”
12) In spite of danger Edmund says, “But we want to be here, don’t we, if Aslan wants us?”
13) “Aslan,” said Lucy, “you’re bigger.”     “That is because you are older, little one,” answered he…“Every year you grow, you will find me bigger.”
14) Lucy was prepared to follow Aslan even if her siblings wouldn’t.  Oh yes; sometimes faithfulness to God presents a lonely path.
15) Susan’s failure to believe in Aslan, even though she had in earlier times, is a picture of all of us sometimes.  She had “listened to fear” rather than what she knew in her heart was true.
16) Nikabrik discounted Aslan’s resurrection (just as skeptics do today) and it led him into partnerships with dastardly evils.
17) And those dastardly evils ( the Hag and the Wer-Wolf) tried to win over the Narnians by stealth. For instance, they hid behind disguises and lied about their purposes.
18) Nikabrik “had gone sour from long suffering and hating.”
19) The ranks of evil are often divided among themselves as in Sopespian and Glozelle conspiring against King Miraz.
20) what do you think about the spread of joy that followed the Narnian victory?
21) Caspian’s awareness of his lack of sufficiency to be king was, to Aslan, one of the proofs that he could, in fact, handle the job.

Discussion questions for the other books in the series will be posted as we go along. Look for those dealing with Voyage of the Dawn Treader in a couple of weeks…after we have the first Narnia party at our house!