"His Dark Materials" Book Discussion - Page 2 - Mothering Forums
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Book Clubs > "His Dark Materials" Book Discussion
malibusunny's Avatar malibusunny 07:36 PM 11-23-2008
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.

plantmama's Avatar plantmama 08:41 PM 11-23-2008
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.
because why not?'s Avatar because why not? 04:34 PM 03-05-2009
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.
New_Natural_Mom's Avatar New_Natural_Mom 05:11 PM 03-05-2009
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.
claddaghmom's Avatar claddaghmom 10:45 PM 03-29-2009
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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