I Don’t Understand Fundies

A while back, some people were getting bent out of shape because Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials had sex in a children’s book.

(Spoilers after the jump.)

Having just reread the trilogy, I think the scene in question can fairly be summarized as “They embraced. They kissed. Fade to black”. There’s room for a sex scene, but only if you put it there.

Okay, that’s kinda standard fare for prudes. But what I don’t get is that in the very next scene, an angel kills a priest, and nobody’s complained about that.

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2 Responses to I Don’t Understand Fundies

  1. Eamon Knight says:

    I just re-read the trilogy. Yeah, it’s all very PG, and the first time round I even missed the implication. Given the change in behaviour of the Dust (not to mention all that stuff about Lyra being the “second Eve” and being tempted), I think they Did It, because it seems like that level of effect requires something, well, more dramatic than a bit of smooching. In that case, I think the “prudes” have a point — Will and Lyra are young enough that even a fairly liberal view of teen sex might find it problematic AND there’s no indication of contraception. OTOH, if you take a mythopoeic view of the whole thing then maybe it doesn’t matter.

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  2. arensb says:

    the first time round I even missed the implication.

    Same here. I saw it the second time around because I was looking for it.

    I think they Did It, because it seems like that level of effect requires something, well, more dramatic than a bit of smooching.

    You can definitely make a case both ways. Remember that Mary, seeing the change in the flow of Dust/sraf says that Will and Lyra “see each other differently” or some such. And the “did they or didn’t they?” scene mirrors the scene where Mary tells them about tasting marzipan and realizes that she doesn’t want to live a life without love.

    Likewise, in the scene in question, Lyra sees her relationship with Will in light of Mary’s story, and finally puts a name to it: love. All the pieces were already there, but now she sees a unifying theme rather than a bunch of disparate facts, and that changes everything. And since Dust is associated with consciousness, presumably this mental change is sufficient to make Dust act differently.

    But, as I said, you can make a good case either way.

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