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Daemon Hailed and Interpellated: Accepting One's Nature in Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of language studies.
2012 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This thesis discusses how Philip Pullman’s trilogy His Dark Materials can be interpreted using Louis Althusser’s concept of ideology. The dæmon is a distinct feature of the world of His Dark Materials and one that is of central importance to the narrative. The dæmon’s shape, which is in the form of an animal, has a profound effect on the lives of characters. The narrative presents this shape as a representation of the inner nature of each character. However, a closer look reveals that this shape is also strongly correlated to each character’s class. Althusser’s theories on ideology, hailing, and interpellation are here used to explain how the dæmon’s shape comes to be determined by the character’s class (is hailed and interpellated as a subject into ideology) and to show that the correlation between class and shape begins even before the dæmon’s shape becomes permanent. The thesis also aims to prove that the ideology presented in the narrative functions to make each character accept the shape his or her dæmon has settled into and to suggest some possible consequences of this, such as the confirmation and reaffirmation of the rigid class structures, which creates a society that is not defined by choice despite nature but by absence of choice because of class.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. , 27 p.
Keyword [en]
Pullman, daemon, ideology, hailing, interpellation
National Category
Specific Literatures
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-60455OAI: diva2:560383
Humanities, Theology
Available from: 2012-10-15 Created: 2012-10-13 Last updated: 2012-10-15Bibliographically approved

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