Monday, October 15, 2007

Human Emotions in a Fantasy World

The Golden Compass is a bizarre but engaging fantasy adventure story; one that defies the realities in our world. It involves fictional creatures, like deamons (shape shifting animals) whom adapt to their surroundings by changing constantly. In addition, there are gobblers whom kidnap children to the northern points of the earth using them to plot evil doings and advance themselves. Lyra, the protagonist loses her friend to the gobblers along with her father, Asriel. She then must protect herself and embark on a quest to rescue her loved ones. These elements are a couple of the fantasy portions, however, most of the story deals with humans and their struggles to cope with life and relationships.

Lyra longs for a better life, and soon receives it as she lives with Mrs. Coulter. She gains traditional feminine gifts like makeup and clothing, but soon realizes Mrs. C's corruptness and her true identity as the head of the Gobblers. After fleeing her house, she is stranded and hopeless. However, after being rescued by Tony and his mother Ma Costa, she feels a sense of love that she never received. This family understands her situation and is aware of the Gobbler status in London. Farder Coram, a wise man introduces Lyra to the aliethiometer (another fantasy element) which tells the future through images. The comradery between the two is reminiscent of curiosity in general and the desire for understanding mystery and decoding your past and predicting your future. Once prepared for her quest, she experiences fear and apprehension; feeling isolated, but also feeling protected. All of these components reflect daily life in general and express how everybody expresses the same emotions regardless of differences.

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