Lucy meets the Magician and discovers him to be “a brick”.
“Welcome, Sir, to the least of your houses.”
“Do you grow weary, Coriakin, of ruling such foolish subjects as I have given you here?”
“No,” said the Magician, “they are very stupid but there is no real harm in them. I begin to grow rather fond of the creatures. Sometimes, perhaps, I am a little impatient, waiting for the day when they can be governed by wisdom instead of this rough magic.”
I mentioned before that Dawn Treader’s structure is loosely based on (or perhaps mimics) that of the Gospel of John. Now, John doesn’t actually include much of Jesus’s teachings (at least not until the Last Supper), instead opting for episodic vignettes – parables based upon the life of Jesus, if you will. Dawn Treader shares that episodic structure, of course, but it also shares that tendency toward parable, that tendency for stories to hide spiritual truth.
This particular parable is a metaphorical rendering of ancient Israel: A stubborn, arrogant, foolish people that refuses to listen to wisdom. Coriakin lives above them (upstairs), trying to make their lives better and interceding on their behalf, acting as a mediator between them and Aslan (because they’d be scared out of their wits if he spoke to them face to face). He’s basically like Moses, a prophet (and performing the occasional “miracle” to boot). The Dufflepuds are simply a more recognizable (and family-friendly) sort of “bad” than the Israelites.
Also, Coriakin really is a brick!
“Come,” said the Magician. “All times may be soon to Aslan; but in my home all hungry times are one o’clock.”
Upon seeing the Dufflepuds in their visible, “uglified” state, she sets out to tell them that she actually thinks they look rather nice as Monopods, leading to this gem:
“You’re enough to drive anyone mad,” said Lucy, and gave it up. But the Monopods seemed perfectly contented, and she decided that on the whole the conversation had been a success.
And poor Coriakin has to deal with this every day!
Next chapter: The Dark Island…