The Golden Compass
How we cite our quotes:
"No, no, that's the saddest thing: she will be the betrayer, and the experience will be terrible. She mustn't know that, of course, but there's no reason for her not to know about the problem of Dust. And you might be wrong, Charles; she might well take an interest in it, if it were explained in a simple way. And it might help her later on. It would certainly help me to be less anxious about her." (2.147)
Lyra will be the cause of the one of the book's largest sacrifices: the death of her best friend Roger. As we discuss under the theme "Fate and Free Will," she is destined to play an important role in saving humanity, but she isn't allowed to know this.
"In the Middle Ages, parents would give their children to the church to be monks or nuns. And the unfortunate brats were known as oblates. Means a sacrifice, an offering, something of that sort. So the same idea was taken up when they were looking into the Dust business... " (5.76)
The Church has long asked its parishioners to sacrifice. Notice again how the sacrifice focuses on children.
"And has she told you what happens to the children?"
"No, she hasn't told me that. I only just know that it's about Dust, and they're like a kind of sacrifice."
Again, that wasn't exactly a lie, she thought; she had never said that Mrs. Coulter herself has told her.
"Sacrifice is a rather dramatic way of putting it. What's done is for their good as well as ours." (5.142-145)
Schmoozing at Mrs. Coulter's dinner party, Lyra gathers information about the cutting procedure done in the North. Why does Lord Boreal say that "sacrifice" is a "dramatic" way of describing cutting? What are his motives?