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The Golden Compass

The Golden Compass


by Philip Pullman

The Golden Compass Identity Quotes

How we cite our quotes: (Chapter.Paragraph)

Quote #10

"We don't feel cold, so we need no warm clothes. We have no means of exchange apart from mutual aid. If a witch needs something, another witch will give it to her. If there is a war to be fought, we don't consider cost one of the factors in deciding whether or not it is right to fight. Nor do we have any notion of honor, as bears do, for instance. An insult to a bear is a deadly thing. To us... inconceivable. How could you insult a witch? What would it matter if you did?" (18.13)

Unlike humans, witches don't feel the cold, and their long lifespans also give them a different perspective on the world.

Quote #11

"Flying is just a job to me, and I'm just a technician. I might as well be adjusting valves in a gas engine or wiring up anbaric circuits. But I chose it, you see. It was my own free choice. Which is why I find this notion of a war I ain't been told nothing about kind of troubling." (18.16)

Lee Scoresby doesn't see his job as an aeronaut as part of who he is – it's just what he does. Do you agree with him? Is being an aeronaut part of his identity or not?

Quote #12

But she moved a little closer, because she had to, and then saw Iofur was holding something on his knee, as a human might have let a cat sit there – or a daemon.

It was a big stuffed doll, a manikin with a vacant stupid human face. It was dressed as Mrs. Coulter would dress, and it had a sort of rough resemblance to her. He was pretending he had a daemon. (19.114-115)

Iofur is king of the bears, but he doesn't see himself as a bear; he wants to be human. Maybe he's meant to show us what happens when we're not satisfied with the parts of our identity that cannot change.

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