The Golden Compass

Discussion in 'Fifth Grade' started by sleestak, Nov 14, 2007.

  1. sleestak

    sleestak Rookie

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    Nov 14, 2007

    So, anyone out there facing this movie head on? If you are, how are you handling it? I sent an email to my parents today suggesting they look into this movie and make an informed decision about letting their kids attend it.
     
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  3. wig

    wig Devotee

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    Nov 14, 2007

    I will not order it for my student from the book club, nor will I allow them to test on it. Of course I teach in a parochial school, so I can do that.

    I sent home a copy of the article on snopes and also cautioned them to make an informed decision on purchasing the book and seeing the movies.them
     
  4. ana200907

    ana200907 New Member

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    Nov 15, 2007

    I personally have read the entire series and just recently read it for the second time. I have found from watching the news about this series that people think that it is anti-God. In fact, it is not. In the second book of the series, it says very clearly that the characters in the book are not denying a God or a higher power. The story line is actually that there is a God and one of the original angels has somehow managed to take over and say that he is God when he is not. The characters don't know where the actual God has gone and they are attempting to get rid of the imposter. Nowhere in the book does it state, "There is no God."

    I do think that this book would be controversial in classrooms and with parents of students. However, I also think that people should actually read the books for themselves before they make a judgment about them or assume that they are about something controversial.

    Anyway, I'm off my soap box. :)
     
  5. kinderkids

    kinderkids Virtuoso

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  6. sleestak

    sleestak Rookie

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    Nov 15, 2007

    Actually Pullman has said in interviews that this is his Atheistic response to the Narnia series and that he kills God at the end of the 3rd book.
     
  7. tchrmom23

    tchrmom23 Rookie

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    Nov 15, 2007

    The Chronicles of Narnia is not the bible. It is a work of fiction. The Golden Compass is a work of fiction. Read it and enjoy it as such, or don't as you so choose. I'm guessing that Mr. Pullman's take on this whole media blitz would be... "cha-ching!"...exactly what he was hoping for.
    I'm not sure why I would need to address any movie with the parents of my students unless I'm showing it in class.
     
  8. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

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    Nov 16, 2007

    I've actually read both series. I'm not too found of the "His Dark Materials" series (Golden Compass is the first book). The movie is a majorly watered down version of the book.

    Side note:
    There will be a new Narnia movie coming out soon.
     
  9. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    Nov 17, 2007

    I don't know all that much about The Golden Compass. I almost purchased the book because I love a good fantasy series. Yet reading some comments on here is kind of holding me back farther now.

    I heard about Prince Caspian, too, by the way. :) I've loved the Narnia series since I was young. It may be fun for fourth graders to see that movie- or my class- or whatever.
     
  10. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    Nov 17, 2007

    I have posted a link to a site called Common Sense Media for parents to visit if they want. It gives synopses of books, DVDs, movies, music along with a breakdown of any violence, social issues, sexual content, language, etc. and what they feel the age apporpriateness of each is. It also has reviews by kids and adults who have seen/read/heard a certain media. It's just another tool for parents to decide for themselves.

    Here's the link
    http://www.commonsensemedia.org/
     
  11. dumbdiety

    dumbdiety Comrade

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    Nov 22, 2007

    I've got all three in my library, along with all 7 Harry Potters and all 7 Narnias. My view is if you don't want your child reading the book, fine I'll make sure it isn't in their hands. But I'll be damned before a parent tells me to deny a book to ALL my studens.
    And really, it's not THAT bad!
     
  12. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Nov 22, 2007

    Do you do that for all movies? I can see why some people would be concerned about the message the original author intended in his books but aren't there so many movies, songs, books, tv shows out there that parents should 'look into' and 'make an informed decision about'?
     
  13. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    Nov 22, 2007

    I saw on the news that some schools in Ontario banned The Golden Compass and the other two related books because of what Pullman has said about his being an athiest writing books that are about eliminating God-not an exact quote (from Pullman) but the messege is precise.
     
  14. wig

    wig Devotee

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    Nov 23, 2007

    Pullman, though, expected more. "I've been surprised by how little criticism I've got. Harry Potter's been taking all the flak. I'm a great fan of J.K. Rowling, but the people - mainly from America's Bible Belt - who complain that Harry Potter promotes Satanism or witchcraft obviously haven't got enough in their lives. Meanwhile, I've been flying under the radar, saying things that are far more subversive than anything poor old Harry has said. My books are about killing God."

    http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/12/12/1071125644900.html ?from=storyrhs
     
  15. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Nov 23, 2007

    I hadn't heard that; I'll have to investigate--it doesn't sound like something that happens here (my suspicion would be that it would be private schools).

    Edited to add:
    My suspicion was wrong--one of the Catholic School Boards near Toronto has pulled the book from their library shelves. (Here, the Catholic School Boards are publicly-funded, not private schools). I just gave the article a quick read, and it seems as though the books are not on the library shelves, but haven't been removed altogether pending a review.
    http://www.thestar.com/News/article/278845
     
  16. Bookworm

    Bookworm Companion

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    Nov 23, 2007

    I can't believe in this day and age we still have the proverbial witch hunt over literature. Simply read the book so that you may make an informed decision. No way will I be "warning" my students parents of this movie/book. As educators we need to teach our children how to think for themselves and make informed decisions. Read the book! Look what happened to the DaVinci Code when a few ultra conservative people piped up. It made millions and more people than ever read and saw the movie. Don't forget we are talking about pieces of fiction.
     
  17. WannaTeach

    WannaTeach Companion

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    Nov 23, 2007

    Please don't make your decision based on others' comments. In order to decide whether or not any of the comments are founded you must read the book for yourself. I have the book. I have read it. The part that bothers me is not the suggestion that there is no God (this is not suggested in the book) but is the fact of the children being kidnapped by "bad" people. You must read for yourself to be informed. That is why reading is so important. Everyone has the choice of knowing for themselves. Making decisions on others' comments especially when many haven't read the book or the series only leaves people ignorant. Sorry, I can get on my soapbox about learning/being informed for ourselves and not depending on others when they may be WRONG. The same thing happens in history class when talking about the different religions of the world. People freak out because they believe what someone else tells them without finding out the truth for themselves.
     
  18. wig

    wig Devotee

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    Nov 23, 2007

    I understand what you are saying. I even agree with what you are saying for the most part. For that very reason I read Harry Potter. Disliked it, but did not feel it was promoting witchcraft. BUt when the author himself says that his books are about killing God, I think that carries some weight in making a decision.

    I do think that parents need to know both sides of an issue such as this to make an informed decision. However most parents tend to "trust" the books in Scholastic without having read them and will order them.
     
  19. eduk8r

    eduk8r Enthusiast

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    Nov 23, 2007

    You could easily infer where Pullman was going to go with the next book by the end of the Golden Compass. Putting aside the egomaniacal and ridiculous idea of killing God, what I found most disturbing was the depressingly cynical view of humanity that the book was infused with. The main character's parents were both using her for their sick purposes and then in the end her father tricks her into using her only friend and killing him, taking away her innocence and the only person who loved her.

    Sorry, but if it doesn't bother you to take away a child's innocence by reading this book I don't know. I believe that children should not be exposed to all the evil that exists in the world, especially with none of the good being presented. Children need hope. Why? They are developing and it is an enormous burden to have this knowledge and I consider it to be robbing them of their childhood. Literature has a strong effect, in case you want to say it is not real life. And for the effects of too much knowledge too soon, go and read some of the stories of the children in Africa for starters, who have been kidnapped and forced to kill family members and villagers in their communities before they head off to be killing/sexual slaves for the rebels there. It's happening right now, I'm sure you can find information on it. Look at the pictures, look at their eyes, read their stories.
     
  20. WannaTeach

    WannaTeach Companion

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    Nov 23, 2007

    Yes. This is what upset me the most about this book.
     
  21. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    Nov 23, 2007

    Just a side note to all the debate, I have read almost 100 pages of The Golden Compass and find it rather slow and boring to be quite honest. I'm ready to set this one aside ane move on to other things. I love Harry Potter, but I just can't get into this book.
     
  22. Mamacita

    Mamacita Aficionado

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    Nov 24, 2007

    No accurate opinion of a book (or movie) can be formed unless the book has been read (or the movie seen) by the person stating said opinion, himself/herself. One's next-door-neighbor's grandmother's pastor's wife's best friend's maiden aunt's paper boy's mother who read it in a church bulletin is not a viable source.

    Opinions will differ: that is why opinions are not facts. But no opinion means scheisse unless it is stated by a person with thorough personal knowledge of such matters.

    I haven't read this book yet, so I have no opinion. Other people's opinions mean nothing to me until I have done the research myself.

    My daughter and all of her friends have read it, however, and they said it was perfection on a stick for anyone with above average intelligence.
     
  23. eduk8r

    eduk8r Enthusiast

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    Nov 24, 2007

    We all read the Golden Compass. Only one of us wanted to read the next two books. And she was disappointed in them. :)
     
  24. WannaTeach

    WannaTeach Companion

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    Nov 24, 2007



    runsw/scissors: This is also true. While reading it, I found the first chapters slow. The best part was reading about the kids climbing on the roof and just being kids. It picked up for me at that point. It is just a work of fiction. You know, to all the discussions of to read or not to read or to see the movie or not has left me with a question. I live in western NC. The number of people who have "boycotted" Harry, Passion, etc. was unbelievable. But, they allow their children to go to the movies and see Freddy, Michael, Jason and all those horrible movies. No one says anything against them. I wonder.... that opens another can of worms. Have a great weekend.
     
  25. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Nov 24, 2007

    ...and if people are above average in intelligence and hate it? or are brilliant and think it's 'schiesse' on a stick? :confused:
     
  26. kinderkids

    kinderkids Virtuoso

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    Nov 24, 2007

    The author made it VERY clear what the premise of the stories are, and that isn't opinion, that is fact.
     
  27. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    Dec 13, 2007

    But whether that makes it offensive or not is opinion...
     

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