ERIC Number: EJ905243
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Dec
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 44
"Nothing like Pretend": Difference, Disorder, and Dystopia in the Multiple World Spaces of Philip Pullman's "His Dark Materials"
Cantrell, Sarah K.
Children's Literature in Education, v41 n4 p302-322 Dec 2010
This article examines the multiple worlds in Philip Pullman's "His Dark Materials" trilogy in light Pierre Bourdieu's "space of possibles" and the combination of chance and choice that impact Lyra and Will's decisions. Rather than viewing chance or destiny as disempowering, this article considers how the protagonists' choices also encourage readers to confront their own notions of space in the world outside the narrative. As Lyra and Will work to escape and restore the dystopic multiverses through which they travel, Pullman's text challenges readers to recognize and repair the dystopias in their own worlds and to accept the Keatsian "negative capabilities" of ambiguity and mystery in place of facile escape. Given this pedagogical imperative, Pullman's enclosure of Lyra and Will in their separate worlds lies at the heart of his resistance to escapist tendencies of fairy-tale endings. Fantasy must be grounded in reality because Pullman's readers must also continue the struggle for wisdom in their own worlds no less than Lyra and Will.
Descriptors: Fantasy, Figurative Language, Teaching Methods, Childrens Literature, Reader Text Relationship
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
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