The Golden Compass is the first book in a trilogy series called His Dark Materials, written by Philip Pullman. The author was influenced by the title, His Dark Materials from another famous piece of work. That title is written in John Milton’s 17th century poem, Paradise Lost.
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In Pullman’s book, he tries to raise many of the same issues in Milton’s poem, such as free will versus destiny and the nature of good and evil in a different perspective. The characters in The Golden Compass reflect certain characters and concepts in Paradise Lost. The character Lyra is a reflection Eve, Ms. Coulter is the female version of Satan, Lord Asriel resembles Adam, and the particle dust reflects the forbidden fruit. In both stories, the characters display betrayal, love, or hate in their relationships. There are also the concepts of the loss of innocence, gaining the knowledge of evil, temptation, and fate. I will analyze both books separately and then together.
Paradise Lost is a fiction poem about the first fallout in heaven, the creation of mankind, using free will wisely, and original sin. In this novel we are introduced to the main characters, The Father (God), The Son, Adam, Eve, and Satan. The events take place in the Garden of Eden, also called Paradise. The Father does not live in Paradise but he watches what occurs there from heaven. Satan is the first person to be condemned by God, he is banished from heaven into hell where he proclaims an eternal war against God and begins corrupting the world. Adam was the first human created by God. Eve is Adam’s wife, who was literally created from one of the ribs in Adams body. One day Adam and Eve get into a dispute which cause them to separate. Adam disagrees with that idea because Satan could attack them separately but not together. Eve believes Adam is distrusting God by thinking that she cannot defeat Satan alone. When Eve wanders off she meets Satan, who was disguised as a talking serpent. The serpent told her about the food of God which turned out to be the forbidden fruit. He easily used a few compliments and a convincing speech to trick her into indulging. Eve was tempted, compelled, and it was also lunch time. Eve decided to eat the apple and after sharing this news with Adam, he decides to eat the apple too.
One of the main underlying conflicts in Paradise Lost is the concept of free will. Free will is what inevitably leads to the fall of man. Adam and Eve are left alone in the Garden of Eden with only one rule, which is not to eat from the forbidden tree of knowledge. The twist to this tree is that knowledge is the awareness of everything,
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