Some thoughts on His Dark Materials.
I read this series because when the movie came out, there was a lot of discussion, especially from religious groups, about the sort of anti-C.S. Lewis that the author, Philip Pullman, was making himself out to be.
I tend not to like to give plot summaries, so if you need one, try this one. And beware of possible spoilers below.
After reading the three books, I have the following questions or comments:
- Why was Jesus completely left out of the story? If Pullman is taking on Christianity, Jesus would be an important element of the religion to address, no?
- Pullman gives a lot of weight to the idea that Lyra is the new Eve. What exactly was the choice that she was forced to make and/or the command that she could obey or not obey?
- Eve was the mother of her race. Exactly what was Lyra inaugurating?
- Why would we need another Eve? The first Eve made exactly the choice that Pullman would have wished (choosing knowledge over obedience to authority).
- Does Pullman really have problems with Christianity or just with authority in general?
- How is it that even when two belief systems appear to be so diametrically opposed as Christianity and atheism, they appear to share the same values?
I do have my own thoughts on some of these, but I’d also like to know what you think!