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Why Coriakin turned the Duffers into Monopods?  

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Mickey
(@mickey)
NarniaWeb Newbie

One thing I've been really curious about when I've read Dawn Treader is what was Coriakin's motivation to cast such a bizarre spell on Duffers? In the book he never elaborates on that, he just says that it's because they were disobedient and did stupid things like trudging up to the spring to take water.

So, was it a kind of punishment to make them obey, or some sort of joke on his part?

This topic was modified 3 months ago 3 times by Mickey
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Posted : November 23, 2020 3:14 pm
Cleander
(@the-mad-poet)
NarniaWeb Junkie

I always saw it as sort of a kindly punishment. Coriakin didn't want to hurt them, he just wanted to show them how ridiculous they really were by making look as silly as they acted. 

The change does seem to hit home somewhat considering how horrified the Duffers were at their "ugliness," and how desperate they were to do something to hide it. It also forced them to look to someone else- namely Lucy- to solve their problems, whereas they had hitherto distrusted and ignored Coriakin in favor of their own buffoonish counsel.

We get the sense that he's amused by them being monopods, (laughing along with Lucy when she first sees them) but he also makes it clear that he had refrained from using direct force to solve the Duffer problem, such as making them not believe anything the Chief says. He even says he looks forward to the day when he won't have to use magic in his governance of the Duffers at all. It's as if he put the spell on them to prove a point and teach them a lesson rather than to hurt them seriously or have a laugh at their expense.

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Posted : November 23, 2020 9:30 pm
Courtenay liked
coracle
(@coracle)
NarniaWeb's Auntie Moderator

It was a punishment, but it was also to entertain Coriakin. The story does not say whether the author agrees with his doing that to them, and I think we must view Coriakin as imperfect, not a sinless character like Aslan.

.'....whispered to her,"Courage, dear heart", and the voice, she felt sure, was Aslan's, and with the voice a delicious smell breathed in her face.'

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Posted : November 24, 2020 2:27 am
Courtenay liked
Courtenay
(@courtenay)
NarniaWeb Guru Friend of NarniaWeb

I can't give a better answer than Cleander and Coracle, but just as an interesting side note, Lewis almost certainly got the idea for the Monopods from a medieval map of the world (c. 1300), the Hereford Mappa Mundi, which is on display at Hereford Cathedral. One of the many mythical creatures included on the map is a Sciapod (literally "shadow-foot"), i.e. a man-like character with only one leg and a foot so big it could be used as an umbrella...

Sciapods

(Picture from Mappa Mundi Hereford)

But as to exactly why Coriakin decided it would be a good punishment to turn the Duffers into these, I'm not sure! Wink  

"Now you are a lioness," said Aslan. "And now all Narnia will be renewed."
(Prince Caspian)

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Posted : November 24, 2020 8:54 am
Mickey
(@mickey)
NarniaWeb Newbie

Interestingly, it's also mentioned that he had a bearded mirror in his mansion; its purpose is unknown, but the implication is that it could be used to prank his guests. Wonder if the author implied that Coriakin has a peculiar sense of humor?

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Posted : November 29, 2020 5:26 am
Courtenay liked
Mickey
(@mickey)
NarniaWeb Newbie

You know, I've recently read that it could also be a kind of self-irony on Lewis' part. You know, the Dufflepuds eventually learned to make use of their condition that they thought a curse (i. e. using their large foot as a boat, etc.) And Lewis himself was born with only one functional joint in each of his thumbs, which made him unable to play sports games and do a lot of other stuff, so he resorted to writing - and became a great writer, which probably wouldn't have happened had he been born with normal thumbs. Given that Coriakin's relationship with Dufflepuds was clearly a metaphor for humans' relationship with God, it's quite likely IMO that Lewis intentionally drew this parallel.

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Posted : December 30, 2020 8:35 pm
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