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The Golden Compass

The Golden Compass


by Philip Pullman

The Golden Compass Theme of Sacrifice

Along with the theme of religion comes the theme of sacrifice. Roger is clearly a figure of sacrifice, and Lyra herself makes many sacrifices in the book. The most compelling and terrible sacrifice in The Golden Compass, however, is the one we are least likely to comprehend: the sacrifice made when a daemon is cut from its human. Since none of readers don't have daemons (we wish we did!), we might not really get how big of a deal this is, but Pullman does his best to help us wrap our heads around it.

Questions About Sacrifice

  1. What is an "oblate"?
  2. How does the General Oblation Board describe their "cutting" procedure as a "sacrifice"? Do you think it really is a sacrifice, or is it something else?
  3. What is the name of Tony's daemon?
  4. What happens to Roger at the end of the book? Is it fair to consider him a sacrifice?
  5. Why is Lord Asriel upset at the end of the book when Lyra shows up at his door?

Chew on This

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

In The Golden Compass, the word "sacrifice" is used to mask violent realities and abuses of power.

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