Friday, December 18, 2009

Pullman Post

I really enjoyed the His Dark Materials series. I thought that the concept of daemons was interesting and a very unique addition to Fantasy Fiction . Daemons can be described as representing the consciousness of a person. In Lyras’s world a person’s daemon takes on an animal form (almost like a totem animal) and provides companionship and protection.

One aspect of the daemon/ human relationship that I did not understand was how humans could exist in the realm of the dead whereas the daemons dispersed to become a part of the universe. If daemons are the consciousness of a person and the people themselves are only a physical formation of cells, tissue, and skin then how could their physical self arrive anywhere at all? Wouldn’t they remain to decompose as flesh is supposed to? Maybe they aren’t simply the physical form.

Maybe the people of Lyra’s world have a split consciousness. Pullman might have used this concept to suggest that there should be an ongoing discussion within human consciousness. Lyra’s interactions with Pantalaimon show that Pan comes to different conclusions about events than Lyra does. They talk about the matters further in order to decide who may be more accurate.

Although Will does have a daemon, he cannot interact with her because he cannot see her. He does not have the special relationship with his consciousness as Lyra does. He can get along fine without it but as the story continues he is nearly envious of Lyra’s relationship with Pan. She is never completely alone and Pan provides love, play, warning, and a second opinion. I feel that Pullman may be attempting to propose the possible benefits of humans interacting more personally with their own consciousness. That interaction can provide insight that would otherwise go unnoticed.

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