© 2014 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
The Golden Compass

The Golden Compass

by Philip Pullman

Politics Theme

Where there's power there's politics, and in <em>The Golden Compass</em> there's plenty of both. The book dramatizes the struggle for power and resources among many competing factions: the Oxford scholars, the General Oblation Board, the witches, the gyptians, the bears, Lord Asriel, Mrs. Coulter – even Lyra herself. Each party has its own agenda, motives, and inclinations. Politics becomes a way for certain characters and groups of characters to serve their own interests.

Questions About Politics

  1. Why does Lord Asriel show the scholars a frozen head? What are his political goals?
  2. Why does the Magisterium want to take away the gyptians' right to free movement?
  3. What's the political position of the witches? The bears?
  4. What are Mrs. Coulter's goals? Why is she working with the Church and the General Oblation Board?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

In The Golden Compass, all of the characters involved in politics are prone to immoral behavior.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement