Looking at Lyra, discuss the role gender plays in becoming a hero. Lyra grows up in a clearly male-dominated society, but it becomes clear that she is destined to challenge and change that society.
Choose one of the following topics and write a 1500-2000-word essay. Your essay must refer to at least three secondary sources.
You will need to develop a research question for your paper based on the methods discussed in class.
Please make sure that you are following the guidelines discussed in class regarding reputable sources. Please follow the essay guidelines previously provided and remember to double-space your paper. Please adhere to MLA style.
1. Looking at Lyra, discuss the role gender plays in becoming a hero. Lyra grows up in a clearly male-dominated society, but it becomes clear that she is destined to challenge and change that society.
2. While Lloyd Alexander identifies The Mabinogion as the source for many of his characters, his versions of them are usually significantly different than their original form. Research one of the mythological characters (Arawn, Gwydion, etc.) used in The Book of Three. Compare how the character is portrayed in the original versus the novel.
3. Look at the heroic qualities possessed by any of the major or minor characters in the books we have discussed. Choose one character and analyze the significance of their heroic traits.
4. Discuss the representation of religion in The Golden Compass. In Lyra’s world, the church is a kind of all-powerful organization that controls every aspect of people’s lives. On the one hand, religion seems to hold back the society’s progress by stopping new research and discoveries, labeling them “heresies.” On the other hand, Pullman’s world contains many clearly spiritual elements, such as daemons. Many critics argue that the book, and series as a whole, is anti-religion while others claim that Pullman is calling for a different approach to religion.
5. Look at Hermione’s role in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Some critics contend that she is merely a helper in Harry’s quest while others claim that she is heroic
in her own right. Also, while she is very smart and useful to Harry’s quest, she is not well liked by her peers. Consider what role Hermione’s gender plays in how people react to her.
6. Daemons are an important part of Lyra’s world and play an integral role in the story’s plot. Discuss what daemons are, and what their role is in The Golden Compass.
7. Lyra’s world often seems extremely familiar, sharing many similarities with the real world. However, there are many rather jarring differences, such as the lack of technology or use of old technology (no computers, zeppelins instead of planes), the Magisterium’s complete control over society, or the existence of dæmons. Discuss what point Pullman is trying to make through these differences.
8. Look at one of the books through the lens of children’s literature. Consider how the books represent children and their desires versus how adults might see them.
9. Create your own topic. If you choose this option, please let me know what topic you have chosen.
All take-home assignments are considered required elements of the course. Therefore, failure to complete any of the take-home assignments will result in a grade of NP in the course.
If you need an extension, please contact me as soon as possible.
I am willing to look at drafts, but you must get them to me at least five (5) days before the due date.
• follows MLA
• original title that includes the author and title of the novel under discussion
& Conclusion /5
• follow usual guidelines for introductions and conclusions
• makes a debatable claim
• provides a reason for the claim
• following basic grammatical rules
• phrasing and clarity
• word choices/vocabulary
• maintains focus on thesis
• adequately supports the thesis
• integration and explanation
• topic sentences make debatable claims
• paragraphs focus on one topic
• provide complete understanding of topic
Secondary Sources /20
• quality of sources (must be at least three scholarly sources)
• effective use of sources to support argument