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"His Dark Materials" Book Discussion - Page 2

post #21 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthla View Post
I also wondered about same-sex daemons and homosexuality. Is the daemon the gender of person you're attracted to? But then what about bisexual people?
I find the whole daemon thing to be similar to the Jungian anima/animus. I suppose if you had a same sex daemon you could be homosexual. I don't know how that would work with bisexuals, though.

And for your original question: I think Will and Lyra, in discovering their love for each other and becoming adult like, attracted just enough Dust to "change the tide", so to speak. They didn't stop all the leakage of Dust but I think because of their sudden change in that world, at that specific time, they were able to keep enough of it from escaping into the Abyss. The mulefa were described as more slow witted than humans and other than Mary, Will and Lyra there were no other intelligent species inhabiting their world. Therefore, we can speculate that the mulefa did not attract enough Dust to divert the flow from escaping. That's just my take, anyway.

As a side note, I really did not like the movie. They totally butchered the original, IMO.
post #22 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaronsmom View Post
And for your original question: I think Will and Lyra, in discovering their love for each other and becoming adult like, attracted just enough Dust to "change the tide", so to speak. They didn't stop all the leakage of Dust but I think because of their sudden change in that world, at that specific time, they were able to keep enough of it from escaping into the Abyss. The mulefa were described as more slow witted than humans and other than Mary, Will and Lyra there were no other intelligent species inhabiting their world. Therefore, we can speculate that the mulefa did not attract enough Dust to divert the flow from escaping. That's just my take, anyway.
That makes a lot of sense with the whole pebble thing.

I also think they did more than merely kiss and that their love was very real and thus perhaps attracted more dust than might be exactly average.

I love these books. Nothing like a group of children on a quest to kill God. So right up my alley.
post #23 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by annakiss View Post

I love these books. Nothing like a group of children on a quest to kill God. So right up my alley.
Exactly.

And.......

I was really happy with the ending. However, I'm still so, so sad that Will and Lyra will never see each other again!

Has anyone read Lyra's Oxford or Once Upon a Time in the North? If so, are they good?
There's also another psuedo-sequel coming out in 2009 called The Book of Dust!!
post #24 of 35
I'm halfway through The Amber Spyglass. Must. Not. Read. Spoiler. Thread! I will return when I have finished it.
post #25 of 35
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by annakiss View Post
I also think they did more than merely kiss
I was wondering the same thing as well! That scene is written so vaguely that it's not clear if they kissed, or if they "kissed and...." Plus they were described as lovers after that.
post #26 of 35
I think Pullman left it intentionally vague about whether they had sex, so the reader can choose, based upon their perspective, and maybe based upon their comfort level.

I think they had sex. I think acknowledging and legitimizing sex is something Pullman wanted this story to do. His intention is to poke holes in the Church's take on original sin, which is ALL about sex. I think he objects to the way sex, and therefore women, are considered sinful and bad. I really think this was one of the main themes of the story.

What do people think about the way God was portrayed when we finally see him?

He was this shriveled up thing imprisoned in a royal cage, wasn't he? He was already close to disintegration, wasn't he? It's been quite a while since I read the story.

Were we supposed to feel sorry for him?

============

Edited to say, this is what Wikipedia had to say about it:

The Authority himself dies of his own frailty when Will and Lyra free him from the crystal prison wherein Metatron trapped him, able to do so because an attack by cliff-ghasts kills or drives away the prison's protectors.

I was disappointed with how little was made of it when they finally met God, how little was made of the fact that God died. Shouldn't that be momentous, that God died?? I know it was significant that Lyra and Will were responsible for his death.

The same Wikipedia entry said,

Mrs. Coulter enters the Clouded Mountain, citadel of the Authority, where she meets Regent Metatron. She offers him Asriel's life, hoping that he will destroy himself taking it. When Asriel arrives, Mrs. Coulter confesses her scheme to him, whereupon he attacks Metatron. All three fall into an 'Abyss' and cease to exist. Here, Mrs. Coulter's trick resembles that used by Lyra to defeat the renegade bear Iofur Raknison.

Wow, that's very cool. I hadn't caught that parallel.
post #27 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by journeymom View Post
I was disappointed with how little was made of it when they finally met God, how little was made of the fact that God died. Shouldn't that be momentous, that God died??
I kind of liked it that it wasn't momentous - that it was just this unnoticed little thing that happened off at the edges of the action and didn't really have any effect. His death would only be momentous if he were really God, as people usually think of God. But he wasn't. In this book, there is no real God.
post #28 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daffodil View Post
I kind of liked it that it wasn't momentous - that it was just this unnoticed little thing that happened off at the edges of the action and didn't really have any effect. His death would only be momentous if he were really God, as people usually think of God. But he wasn't. In this book, there is no real God.
:

At that point in the story, Metatron had pretty much already taken the Authority's place and I think all of the focus (of most of the characters anyway) was on him.
post #29 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daffodil View Post
I kind of liked it that it wasn't momentous - that it was just this unnoticed little thing that happened off at the edges of the action and didn't really have any effect. His death would only be momentous if he were really God, as people usually think of God. But he wasn't. In this book, there is no real God.
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaronsmom View Post
:

At that point in the story, Metatron had pretty much already taken the Authority's place and I think all of the focus (of most of the characters anyway) was on him.
Ah, good point. The Authority had never been the god of creation that he claimed to be, anyway (there was no god of creation). He had only ever been an angel, a very ambitious one.
post #30 of 35
I finished The Amber Spyglass today. I flew through The Subtle Knife and it took me a lot longer to read this one. It felt drawn out. I'm curious as to how things worked after Metatron was defeated. I know he mentioned that the church cracked down, then kind of fell apart. What then? What was the whole point of Lyra and Will's quest to increase Dust? Was it just to teach people to be nice to each other? The whole ending kind of confused me.
post #31 of 35
I enjoyed the books but I felt that the ending wasn't in mind at the beginning.

I think that Lyra and Will had sex.

I think that our first love transforms us, I can basically date my existence in this form to the year I met my first love. Not my first crush or the first boy I really liked or the first person I kissed or any of that, but my first love. It changes you.
post #32 of 35
When a friend and I "studied" this book in college we talked about Dust as a synonym for consciousness. Or you could say worldly knowledge I suppose. Whatever it was that Adam and Eve got from eating the apple. Pullman thinks it's good and the "Church" thinks it's the source of all sin.
We also talked a lot about whether Will and Lyra had physical sex or soul sex...(whatever that is, lol). And there may have even been a mind sex in there too.

I thought the movie was very visually beautiful and really did a good job of creating the visual world of the books. Unfortunatley it is not an easy story to tell in movie form, so that was not so great. One visual they did that I did not really approve of is that they showed Dust which was not supposed to be visible.
Anyway, glad to read some interesting perspectives here.
post #33 of 35
I know this is an old thread, but I just got The Golden Compass from Netflix a few days ago. I read the books years ago, and loved them. The movie was candy- visually appealing but empty. It was too much plot for a film; messy, choppy, and there was no room left for character development. I did a search to see if anyone else felt the same way and I found these old threads.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthla View Post
I guess I'm still having trouble with the underlying concept that falling in love for the first time changes you from a "child" to an "adult". The whole concept of Dust being attracted to adults but not children just seems weird to me-as if children "don't matter" on a Cosmic level.

Even though it's been a while since I read the books I wanted to throw my hat in re: dust. I understood dust to be less about consciousness and more about the life force. The Authority was created from the dust BEFORE the Authority became conscious of himself, so dust preceeds consciousness. And after all, children are perfectly conscious of themselves and the world LONG before most become sexually aware. So, I believe the fact that children only have as much dust as objects that adults have touched shows that children have a latent sexuality that isn't a huge part of who they are.

Pullman's series has references to Milton's Paradise Lost, in Spades. The phrases "his Dark Materials" and "the Golden Compasses" come from the poem, which is about the fall of man, something Pullman obviously perceives as a good thing. The underlying theme to the series is that it is fundamentally good to be man, that we lept out of the cosmos into physical life and that sexuality is the force behind that life. The church tries to destroy this fundamental part of life before it can blossom, essentially separating the soul from the individual and destroying young people.


I understood the changing of the daemons to represent the possibility of youth. Daemons, even in the changing phase, still have a few prefered forms, so their character is somewhat formed, but they still have a lot of wiggle room and time to choose who they will become.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthla View Post

But I still don't understand how two adolescents kissing (or more?) fixed the rift in the world. Remember that the Dust/Sraf stopped flowing out towards the sea after they kissed, and before they learned about the Windows causing damage and the hard choices that they had to make.


I think Pullman was careful not to make it a moral issue. Lyra didn't save the Universes by making a choice, by being "good," because the Fall of Man really wasn't about choice, good or bad- it is about a basic drive to live and continue life, expressed through sex. It isn't a moral issue. Sex didn't get Adam and Eve cast out of Paradise, but it's the first thing they did after they were showed the door, and it's the churchest biggest preoccupation. Anyway, that's my take on it. She didn't save the worlds by being "good," she did it by "being," the way we are supposed to be.


Sorry about spelling. Too lazy to check it.
post #34 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthla View Post
I guess I'm still having trouble with the underlying concept that falling in love for the first time changes you from a "child" to an "adult". The whole concept of Dust being attracted to adults but not children just seems weird to me-as if children "don't matter" on a Cosmic level.
It's been over a year since I read these, but I took it that children mattered *more* than adults. The adults lost something at puberty. That is when their demons chose a permanent form. I equated the dust witch-hunt to adults trying to destroy the very thing about childhood that they lost and therefore no longer understand. I am not christian though, so can't draw parallels back to anything biblical.
post #35 of 35
I recall reading this book as a pre-teen and absolutely loving the writing style and imagery.

I tried picking it up again a couple weeks ago and found it to be a little boring. I also found myself questioning the storyline. So much for happy memories.

I did not, however, think the ending was a good ending (aka all wrapped up). I felt the ending was unsettled.
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