"Northern Lights" by Philip Pullman - Change in a Character - Lyra

Essay by gr34tadi_daHigh School, 10th gradeA, August 2007

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Over the course of Northern lights, Lyra has changed in many aspects of her personality and mentality. The events and experience of her adventure saw her into great perils, challenges, dangers and personal successes, all of which build her character throughout the story. One of the ways her mentality, and maturity, has grown, is her sense of what war, violence, and fighting really is. Another of Lyra's major transformations was her view on death, and how she acts around the dead. My third viewpoint on how Lyra has changed through Northern Lights, is her perceptions of bravery, what being brave really means, and how reacting naturally is human, not childish.

As Lyra finds herself in situations of conflict and war, she begins to realize that it's not just a fun pastime. In the beginning of the story, Lyra sees war as a game, something to keep her occupied. Or what she thinks war is.

"In fact, of course, Lyra and her peers were engaged in deadly warfare" (pg 36). Of course, she didn't have any perception of the pain and grief that also comes with every conflict. "This rivalry was hundreds of years old, and very deep and satisfying" (pg 36). But as her adventure progresses, and she begins to see what war is really about, she gains a view from personal experience as to what it is in real life. She has lost her innocence of war. The pain, suffering, and hardship which she naively looked past during her games, now came as a real shell shock to her system. "She found herself crying....she was so frightened" (page 346). This is an important factor in the story, as it could be said that this shell shock has built her character, eased her into a sense of adulthood, and...