The Golden Compass
How we cite our quotes:
"That left them with the problem of deciding what it was. And given the Church's nature, there was only one thing they could have chosen. The Magisterium decided that Dust was the physical evidence for original sin." (21.98)
Original sin is the idea that humans are inherently sinful. For a lot more on this, check out "Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory."
"Do you know what the word castration means? It means removing the sexual organs of a boy so that he never develops the characteristics of a man. A castrato keeps his high treble voice all his life, which is why the Church allowed it: so useful in Church music. Some castrati became great singers, wonderful artists. Many just became fat spoiled half-men. Some died from the effects of the operation. But the Church wouldn't flinch at the idea of a little cut, you see. There was a precedent. And this would be so much more hygienic than the old methods, when they didn't have anesthetics or sterile bandages or proper nursing care. It would be gentle by comparison." (21.129)
The procedure of the Oblation Board is likened to real-life castrations. This is a pretty scary passage, don't you think? The Magisterium is coming off as pretty cruel.
"Somewhere out there is the origin of all the Dust, all the death, the sin, the misery, the destructiveness in the world. Human beings can't see anything without wanting to destroy it, Lyra. That's original sin. And I'm going to destroy it. Death is going to die." (21.151)
Lord Asriel is fighting against the Church, but he's also is fighting against Dust. (Hmm. Seems like you can be a bad dude whether you work for the Magisterium or against it.) What can we tell about his character from his declaration, "Death is going to die"?