Monday, December 17, 2007

On The Dark Side

Well, I have finally made it through all 900 and something pages of “His Dark Materials” by Philip Pullman. The first book in the trilogy “The Golden Compass” has caused quite a lot of controversy and protesting because the books allegedly promote atheism.

The Catholic League has been very outspoken about this trilogy and has basically warned us not to read it, as if we would be dabbling with the devil or something, and yet The Catholic Bishops issued a statement saying it’s fine. Hmmmmmmmm.

The only explanation I have for this is that the Bishops might have actually read the book.

First off, just like the Da Vinci Code, I’d like to say that this really was one of the most captivating stories I have ever read. The storyline moves at an incredible speed and the characters are very “real”. They fail, they succeed and they learn as they go.

Very, very, very long story short, this is a story of Adam and Eve and a tyrannical angel named Metatron who has encapsulated the real God in a glass box and is acting in his place. The Church is the “bad guy” in this book, yes, because the people following Metatron are so blinded by faith and fear of going to Hell, that they don’t see that they are not following God at all.

The children in this story do not “kill God”, nor do they even kill Metatron. Metatron is killed when the characters representing Satan and The Church join forces to kill him and all lose their lives in the process. The children is the book actually free God from his glass case, they do not kill him.

I really don’t know if it was the author’s intention to promote atheism or to debunk Christianity, but if it is, my opinion is that he was not successful. Not even a little bit. I believe he said that was his intention because let’s face it, like Britney and her lack of underpants, there’s no such thing as “bad publicity” and there’s nothing like book banning to get people to read it.

Lyra and Will (the Adam and Eve of the story) display an incredible amount of goodness, thoughtfulness for others at almost the complete sacrifice of themselves, loyalty, faith, forgiveness and love. They put the betterment of everyone else in the world above their personal wants and desires. If that isn’t the Christian philosophy and representing some of the greatest gifts from God himself, I don’t know what is.

That’s my opinion. As a fictional story....A+ and as far as the dark side, superficially, yes, maybe, but at the end it's actually quit enlightening.

7 comments:

FRIGGA said...

A story about saving God promotes Atheism? I'm a little confused, but then again, I did go to public school ;-)

I think I may have to read those now! :P

Sassy Lucy said...

I have the collection, bought it for Zbear a couple of holidays back and he could not get into the story so he set it aside...now I am waiting for him to find it in the dungeon he calls a room so I can read it myself.....I figured this was another case of let's cause a stir so we can bring some publicity....Harry Potter, The Da Vinci Code...all good stories, and look how many more books sold because of the contraversy.
Thanks for your review...only makes me want to read it more...oh ZBear get up in that room will ya!

Damien said...

I appreciate that clarification about metatron and such. I think I have emerged from my terse exploration of the novels and the author a bit more skeptical of his intentions ... having said that, the movie stands as a work of art that can be interpreted to be a statement against forced conformity. I identify with that message!

julia said...

I'm so glad you wrote this post! I also did a review of 'The Golden Compass' (just finished reading it a few weeks ago - but haven't read the next two installments.) The controversy surrounding this simply smacks of mobs carrying pitchforks and torches, just wanting to chase something they know nothing about. And don't care to, which is even scarier!
My review is here. Your review is spot-on: 'I really don’t know if it was the author’s intention to promote atheism or to debunk Christianity, but if it is, my opinion is that he was not successful...Lyra and Will display an incredible amount of goodness, thoughtfulness for others at almost the complete sacrifice of themselves, loyalty, faith, forgiveness and love...If that isn’t the Christian philosophy and representing some of the greatest gifts from God himself, I don’t know what is.' I couldn't agree with you more.

The Rock Chick said...

Frigga: I don't think it was the initial intentions of the children to save God, but that's what ends up happening. This is really a story of good vs. bad and free will. It's excellent, really!

sassy: oh my! If the trilogy was in my daughter's bedroom, it would never be seen again, that's for sure! When ZBear cleans his room, can you see if my daughter's missing shoe is in there? LOL

damien: It is a story of good vs. evil and escaping tyranny and oppression. Metatron's fanatic religious views rule the world. One look at Osama bin Laden and you can tell that's not a good thing, know what I mean....

Julia: I read your review and commented to you there! You review is excellent and we both took similar viewpoints to the story and how it's being told. Personally, I think the reader's faith will affect how they feel about the book. If you believe in God, you will recognize Him in the child characters, no doubt in my mind.

adam said...

Hello I just entered before I have to leave to the airport, it's been very nice to meet you, if you want here is the site I told you about where I type some stuff and make good money (I work from home): here it is

Sassy Lucy said...

Your daughter's missing shoe? We'll look for it, it might be in Boo Bear's room too. Ya' never know around here.