The Golden Compass : The Hero's Journey

Decent Essays
Although The Golden Compass mostly follows the stages of the Hero’s Journey pattern, there are also certain instances in which it deviates from that pattern. Additionally, some of the stages are repeated or occur in a different sequence. For example, the stage labeled ‘Crossing the Threshold’ appears to take place twice, each time marking a significant moment of progress for the Lyra, the protagonist. Similarly, it is not clear when the ‘Ultimate Boon’ stage occurs, as could be interpreted to happen in multiple places. The next stage, called ‘Return Threshold’ doesn’t even occur; instead of Lyra coming back to “the real world”, she adventures to a completely new world. So although much of the Hero’s Journey pattern can be found in The Golden Compass, there are many variations as to how well sections of the book match the different stages. I first interpreted the ‘Crossing the Threshold’ part of the Hero’s Journey to occur when Lyra enters the fens, the meeting place of the gyptions. Right before that, she lived with Mrs. Coulter, having been recruited as an assistant. Prior to that she lived at Jordan College, where she had no inclination to leave until the charming Mrs. Coulter appeared. Quickly, however, Lyra realized that her beloved mentor was in fact a leader of the dreaded Oblation Board, the cause of the many mysterious disappearances of children, and fled. After being pursued, Lyra finds shelter with the Costas, a family of ‘gyptians’ who take her on their boat to
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