Pullman (spoilers for all 3 books)

Rowland, Jennifer A B jennifer.rowland at ic.ac.uk
Mon Mar 18 06:54:16 EST 2002


I found the ending unsatisfying and couldn't pinpoint why. I liked a lot of
the points!

> From: Kyla Tornheim 
>  
> 7) and lastly, I suppose: Mary as serpent. Argh. Dust != sin, because
> that's what the Church says, and it is clearly ("clearly") Evil and
> Bad. But children do not have Dust. Lyra and Will having sex or just
> behaving in a sexual manner stops the dust from leaving. The 
> strength of their love. Aren't they 12 and 14? 
> 
> There's about eight different points in #7. I guess it's that 
> the original Eve story annoys me, so the new one does too. I don't see 
> Mary as being so tempting; I don't really think a 12-year-old should be
having 
> sex; I don't understand children's vs. adults' (lack of) dust. Why is it
such a
> revelation to the world when Lyra and Will go through this change? Why
> does it have to be them? Really, what does Dust care? And is it so
> completely tragic that they're separated? The boy I liked 
> when I was 12 was a total jerk by high school. The guy I dated two years 
> ago apparently isn't even my friend now. If we'd been tragically separated

> after a month, it would've seemed really bad. Shrug.

Well, lovers having to renouce each other is High Tragedy, suitable for the
big payoff of a high-concept series; lovers growing apart is boring everyday
tragedy. 

I though Dust was sort of a quantumy thing to do with uncertainty, and had
something to do with being a moral agent; making choices. So L and W have to
start attracting dust by losing innocence, making a big, adult-level
decision, and sex is easy shorthand for that. As to why it was these two, I
felt it was ambiguous if Lyra really was fated to be the New Eve, a messiah
figure, or if they happened to be in the right place at the wrong time. As I
read it it all seemed to make sense, it's only afterwards I started
quibbling!
Jennifer
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