At the C.S. Lewis Blog, a site every admirer of Lewis should bookmark, Devin Brown offers "New Starts: Looking at the World Rightly.":
C. S. Lewis Blog: New Starts: Looking at the World RightlyIt would be nice, and fairly nearly true, to say that “from that time forth Eustace was a different boy.” To be strictly accurate, he began to be a different boy. He had relapses. There were still many days when he could be very tiresome. But most of those I shall not notice. The cure had begun.The fiction of C. S. Lewis is replete with characters who make a 180-degree change in the direction they have been on and make a new start, but in no case does Lewis over-simplify or misrepresent the difficulty of the process. No where does Lewis suggest that change is easy or painless, or can take place without acquiring a radically new perspective. ....
Not all of Lewis’s characters who are given the chance to start afresh do so. For every Eustace who undergoes a successful, albeit painful, transformation, we can find one who refuses to change. In The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Gumpas, who is serving as the Governor of the Lone Islands, is told by Caspian that he must stop the slave trade. Gumpas objects stating, “That would be putting the clock back.” In The Great Divorce nearly all of the ghosts on the bus reject the opportunity they are given to make a new start. As the George MacDonald character explains, “There is always something they prefer to joy.” This something always involves holding on to a false perception.
If making a new start begins with seeing the world rightly, Lewis would hold that seeing the world rightly begins with seeing ourselves rightly, something that Gumpas and most of the ghosts in The Great Divorce are either unable or unwilling to do. As Lewis notes in Mere Christianity, “A moderately bad man knows he is not very good; a thoroughly bad man thinks he is all right.”....
Eustace, while providing Lewis’s most dramatic example of a new start, is by no means his only illustration of a character who undergoes a transformation and comes to see the world rightly. In The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Edmund reverses the path he is on, as does Elwin Ransom, the protagonist in Lewis’s Space Trilogy. In fact, it could be argued that all of Lewis’s characters, in ways big and small, are continually called to journey “further up and further in” their ways of seeing.
In Prince Caspian, the first comment Lucy makes when she finally meets Aslan is to declare that he seems to have grown bigger. However, as Aslan points out, he has not altered since their last encounter—it is Lucy’s perception that has changed. Aslan explains, “Every year you grow, you will find me bigger.”
And the same can be said for us as well. Each time we grow in awareness—each time we come to see the world and our place in it more accurately—can be viewed as a new start, or, as Lewis writes at the close of The Last Battle, as a new chapter of that Great Story “in which every chapter is better than the one before.” [more]