His Dark Materials: The Golden Compass • Book I. The Subtle Knife • Book II. The Amber Spyglass • Book III. Lyra's Oxford. The Broken Bridge. Count Karlstein. Pullman, Philip - Dark Materials 2 - The Subtle Knife (v). Read more His Dark Materials (The Golden Compass; The Subtle Knife; The Amber Spyglass). Philip Pullman - Dark Materials 02 - The Subtle Knife. Read more His Dark Materials (The Golden Compass; The Subtle Knife; The Amber Spyglass).
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His Dark Materials has 22 entries in the series. Philip Pullman Author (). cover image of The Science of Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials. This paper aims to ex plore the aspects of His Dark Materials which div ided opinions and attracted a barrage of criticism. It introduces the concepts of religious. PDF | The purpose of this paper is to analyze five themes of the trilogy His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman in the light of their similarity to.
Ask students to use the Bible, a storybook, or an encyclopedia to read about the Garden of Eden and the fall of Adam and Eve Genesis 2, 3. Discuss whether she was aware that she was betraying him. How does she try to rectify this betrayal? Discuss how Lyra deals with these betrayals. Good vs. Evil —The trilogy challenges our assumptions about good and evil: What are other examples of unexpected forms of good and evil in the trilogy?
At the end of The Amber Spyglass , what do Will and Lyra learn about good and evil, about actions versus labels? How will this affect the way they will live the rest of their lives?
At what point does she almost lose her courage? How does Will show courage in The Subtle Knife? Engage the class in a discussion about whether having possession of the alethiometer and The Subtle Knife either gives Lyra and Will courage or threatens it.
How does it take courage to leave one another and return to their own worlds at the end of the trilogy? Why does he evoke fear in her? How can she be afraid and admire him at the same time? Discuss how fear is related to courage. Why does this enable Lyra to trust him?
Which characters do Serafina Pekkala and Lee Scoresby decide to trust? Is their trust warranted? Who are the characters that Lyra once trusted, but in the end finds that she cannot? Please be kind to Lyra for as long as she lives.
I love her more than anyone has ever been loved. How does their love affect the fate of the living—and the dead? Ask students to identify the qualities of a hero.
Have students select a hero from one of the novels and write a poem about that hero. Encourage students to share their poems in class. Life After Death One of the foundations of Catholic teaching is the eternity of the human soul, which inev itably implicates the ex istence of afterlife. In Catholicism, death is nothing but a new beginning; heav en and boundless joy await those who hav e prov en themselv es to be worthy and interminable suffering for the sinful.
Pullman substitutes this merit sy stem with a disheartening image of the Land of the Dead, where ev ery one goes to, "kings, queens, murderers, poets, children" but nobody comes back from.
His descriptions are painfully ex pressiv e: It's a place of nothing. The good come here as well as the wicked, and all of us languish in this gloom forev er, with no hope of freedom, or joy , or sleep, or rest, or peace" Pullman III, The ghosts of deceased people feel deceiv ed.
A woman who died as a marty r complains to Ly ra: And they said that Heav en was a place of joy and glory and we would spend eternity in the company of saints and angels praising the Almighty , in a state of bliss. That's what they said. And that's what led some of us to giv e our liv es, and others to spend y ears in solitary pray er, while all the joy of life was going to waste around us and we nev er knew.
Ly ra and Will are ev entually able to release them by cutting a portal to another world. The ghosts realise that this entails dematerialisation and disappearance but are eager to accept the regress: They refer to the Kingdom of God that is within the people that can be approached by understanding and accepting the world like a child.
It also denotes a spiritual rebirth, as well as performing the will of God. Finally , the paramount realisation of the Kingdom of Heav en will take place after Christ's Second Coming, when he deliv ers the final judgment on all the liv ing and the dead and defeats Satan. Pullman seizes this utterly religious concept and giv es it a political, as well as a spiritual connotation.
This change has considerably more to it than just a cosmetic v ocabulary alteration; the entire concept it conv ey s is considerably modified. The term kingdom refers to a monarchy , a realm ruled by and in absolute control of one entity solely. The connotations it carries are oppression, restrictions and single-mindedness. As an opposition to this, Lord Asriel, the character Pullman matches to Satan, proposes the idea of a Republic, which implies a sy stem where the gov erning entity is chosen by the people and which is characterised by democracy , collaboration and tolerance.
These opposites are portray ed in order to present the current state of affairs and the utopia mankind should aim to achiev e. Equally important, the Republic of Heav en has an immaterial, spiritual dimension to it. The Republic is not only a place, free of the Church and other constraints, but also a state of mind.
Lord Asriel's grandiose v ision may not be fulfilled but it is replaced with an enlightened legacy: We hav e to build the Republic of Heav en where we are, because for us there is no elsewhere. We shouldn't liv e as if it mattered more than this life in this world, because where we are is alway s the most important place.
We hav e to be all those difficult things like cheerful and kind and curious and patient, and we'v e got to study and think and work hard, all of us, in all our different worlds, and then we'll build Pullman III, 41 4 3. It seems as if Pullman is dissecting its structure in order to call attention to its flaws on ev ery lev el and in ev ery segment. The Image of God The ex istence of God and his almightiness is the crux of ev ery monotheistic religion and the basis for the formation of the religious canon.
The premise that he is an almighty supernatural being who, not only created, but is still and alway s will be in control of the entire univ erse is the postulate for further dev elopment of the religious belief sy stem. By negating this, Pullman delineates the Church as a house built on nonex istent foundations. Interestingly and v ery indicativ ely , the rev elation comes from angels Balthamos and Baruch, a couple of well informed insiders: Pullman giv es no detailed account on how did it happen that matter became conscious, but leav es no doubt regarding God's role in the Creation.
He also brings to light the perception of God and how it was manipulated ov er time: No one has seen the summit for thousands of y ears. The ex pression used here, the Clouded Mountain, is v ery suggestiv e of how the image of God has assumed fictional, rather than religious properties. When Will and Ly ra finally meet God they are shocked by what they see: Not only is the figure of God depriv ed of any power, but also of the last bit of dignity ; he is tantamount to a helpless toddler.
His disconcerting weakness is in a sharp contrast to the frightening power of the Church. But in the open air there was nothing to stop the wind from damaging him, and to their dismay his form began to loosen and dissolv e. Only a few moments later he had v anished completely , and their last impression was of those ey es, blinking in wonder, and a sigh of the most profound and ex hausted relief.
He simply replies that the figure of authority fits the story better. Howev er, if the God-killing incident is ex amined closely , certain parallels between him and Jesus can be found. Just like Jesus Christ was sacrificed and died for the salv ation of the world in the New Testament, in His Dark Materials God dies and the restoration of balance is enabled.
Also, Christ forgiv es the men who crucify him and, here, God smiles at Will and Ly ra as he dissolv es into the air. Concludingly , although the figure of God is utterly distorted, it is not completely depriv ed of omnibenev olence. The Critique of the Church Hierarchy and Organised Religion The Church Pullman portray s in his trilogy could be most accurately described as a v illainous criminal organisation with one and sole objectiv e: In unmasking it, Pullman starts at the top of the tree.
After disclosing God as a benign imposter, he turns to his Regent Metatron. This character and his role can be compared to those of the Pope, God's Regent in the Catholic Church. Apart from the leadership, Pullman also criticises the rest of its structure. His clergy are wicked, power-hungry and unscrupulous. In realising their plans, they do not recoil at any thing.
To ex emplify , when constructing a bomb to kill Ly ra, they follow it through although they are v ery well aware of the fact that their plan might not come off and that the entire world could be destroy ed. Just like in the real world: Another criticism is directed towards the Church's own discord. Ev en though they are fighting the same enemy and it is apparent that collaboration would ensure them the v ictory , the Church departments refuse to work together.
They simply cannot ov ercome their calamitous destructiv eness: Image of the Helpers: Exclusion vs. Acceptance His Dark Materials has an astonishingly wide and div erse range of minor and supporting characters. In creating sidekicks for Will and Ly ra, Pullman is making a firm and conv incing statement about tolerance and alliance.
Although, their helpers are somewhat socially different and come from marginal groups, they succeed where the Church fails; they manage not only to surmount their differences, but also use them as an adv antage in fighting against the common enemy.
The first ones in the rainbow coalition were Gy ptians, a nomadic people, liv ing and trav elling on boats, who were regarded as trouble-makers in Ly ra's world. Pullman draws here an ev ident analogy to the Romani people, who are similarly marginalised. Secondly , there are witches, who are sinful fly ing temptations, persecuted by the Church. One of Ly ra's best friends is the polar bear Iorek, an armoured brute, who is able to foresee things ev en before the alethiometer.
Finally , both Will and Ly ra's liv es hav e been sav ed by homosex ual angles. Ev en though Metatron ex iled them, their lov e is so strong that it creates an abundance of Dust. The inclusion of these protagonists is not merely a critique of the Church but of the society on the whole. Pullman fights prejudice and stereoty pes through Ly ra, whose childish play fulness and open-mindedness prev ents her from judging and discriminating.
Conclusion Pullman's trilogy His Dark Materials is a fantasy literary work profusely aggrandised with elements of the religious canon. The author employ s numerous traditional Judeo-Christian concepts, implementing them in a completely new contex t and reshaping them to tell his story.
His interpretations and representation brought on a lot of criticism and public discussions, and his writing was perceiv ed by some as a scurrilous attack against Christianity.
The analy sis of Pullman's work in the framework of the religious canon raises the question of boundaries that art ov ercomes. Obv iously , for part of the audience, killing God in a children's book was too much, a sacred realm not to be inv aded.
Others, howev er, consider the v ehicles, such as the murder of a div inity , felicitous or perhaps ev en necessary to conv ey the author's message about organised forms of religion. The only certainty is the ambiv alence of responses to the subv ersiv e act. Pullman interprets this as a nev er-ending life battle and calls to befitting arms: I think we should act as if. I think we should read books, and tell children stories, and take them to the theatre, and learn poems, and play music, as if it would make a difference.
We should act as if the univ erse were listening to us and responding. We should act as if life were going to win. Pullman in Miller Works cited: Bal, Mieke. Songs of innocence and of experience, reproduction of Blake's original illustrated book, ed.
With intro. Brodwin, Leonora Leet. Ed James Simmonds. Univ ersity of Pittsburgh. Electronic v ersion. Crosby , V anessa. Danielson, Dennis ed. Ebbs, Rachael. Erickson, Sandra. Principios V 6. Falcone, Filippo. Milton's Inw ard Liberty: Fried, Kerry.
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