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The Golden Compass

The Golden Compass

by Philip Pullman

The Golden Compass Analysis

Literary Devices in The Golden Compass

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

Setting

The first part of the novel is set in the academic world of Oxford, a university which is made up of a group of colleges. Oxford is a real, famously awesome university. It's got colleges like Balli...

Narrator Point of View

The Golden Compass is told by a third-person omniscient narrator. This means that the narrator isn't a character in the story, just a voice that knows everything that's going on in the world. That...

Genre

The Golden Compass is one of those books that doesn't fit into any one genre. Sure, it's a book written for young adults that features coming-of-age themes, but it also tackles really big questions...

Tone

When talking about a novel, "tone" refers to the author's tone, or attitude toward the story he's telling. We don't know about you, but we'd say that Philip Pullman means business. Unlike some fant...

Writing Style

Elegant WritingPullman knows how to push a pen across paper (or his fingers across a keyboard). The guy is a great writer, and has even been praised by the New York Times. Check this out:If you are...

What's Up With the Title?

You know that the title of the book is The Golden Compass, but let's not forget that it's also the first book in the series called His Dark Materials. The golden compass, also known as an "alethiom...

What's Up With the Epigraph?

Into this wild abyss,The womb of nature and perhaps her grave,Of neither sea, nor shore, nor air, nor fire,But all these in their pregnant causes mixedConfusedly, and which thus must ever fight, Un...

What's Up With the Ending?

Warning: stuff gets kind of crazy at the end of The Golden Compass. Roger is severed from his daemon and dies. Lord Asriel declares he's going to save the world from sin and crosses a bridge into a...

Tough-o-Meter

Philip Pullman doesn't underestimate kids. He trusts younger readers to think about really tough stuff: the loss of innocence, original sin, and the question of free will. Sure he writes books for...

Plot Analysis

Lord Asriel returns to Oxford from the North. Lyra's Oxford is thrown into turmoil as children are being kidnapped.Like any good fantasy novel, the first part of the book explains all of our big, n...

Trivia

Pullman plays an electric Fender guitar (source).Pullman taught middle school students before making it as a big-time author (source).Pullman is rumored to be working on a companion to the His Dark...

Allusions

The Golden Compass is the first installment of Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy, three books that set out to rewrite John Milton's epic 17th century poem Paradise Lost. Milton's poem is famous...

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