Sunday, October 21, 2007

Seeing, Struggling, Succeeding

What are the major struggles and conflicts that your characters encounter? How do the characters face the conflicts and how does going through these conflicts help the characters to learn more about themselves?

Throughout the middle chapters of The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman, characters, (particularly Lyra) begin to encounter struggles that affect them and their futures. Lyra, whom joins the quest along with gyptians Farder Coram and John Faa to rescue the kidnapped children from the witch "gobblers," meets new individuals and animals. Iorek Byrnison, a white polar bear was banished from his clan of other warrior bears/men after killing a fellow soldier and was stripped of his armor. Lyra approaches him in pursuit of help on her journey, but he denies her of any assistance without his sky iron armor, ..."get me back my armor. Do that and I shall serve you in your campaign, either until I am dead or until you have a victory," (Pullman 182). She views this bear as a very credible force, but Lord Faa dissents and from past voices hears that Iorek is corrupt and will not be of any service. Lyra is forced with a split decision; to help a poor animal with a potentially rotten future and receive assistance, or obey her gyptian leaders. She eventually decides to help Iorek, and all three benefit from his presence.

Lyra is growing independent, and the quest is reliant mainly upon her success and personal decisions. Once Lyra is kidnapped by tartars and brought to Bolvanger, she must rely on herself to discover her whereabouts and whom she can trust. The boys/girls and their daemons present there are actually part of a scientific experiment that is part of the Gobblers' plot. Disguised under the name, Lizzie, Lyra is protective over her belongings, especially the rare alethiometer, and her identity. The adults ("nurses") behave like respectful employees, but the children gossip and speculate on their real purpose in Bolvanger. Lyra's instincts lead her to a forbidden room where she witnesses the horrible tests being taken on daemons. She understands that if she is caught that she would lose all chances of escaping, and also recognizes the consequences of her fellow friend's daemons if she resists (260). With help from Roger, they release the animals and run off. She learns now that helping others will help her to both gain the respect of her peers, but also gain assistance in her future pursuits.

1 comment:

Jen R. said...

You write a lot for your outside of class reading. Nice job.