Journal 5- Daemons

The personification of animals is prevalent throughout literature. In early mythology and folklore animals were often the protagonists; they represented certain aspects of humanity. We frequently imbue animals with human characteristics: the sly fox, the wise owl, the loyal dog. Humans and animals have a natural connection. Ancient people made their gods animals. The Egyptians prayed to the jackal-headed Anubis and their most important god Ra had the head of a hawk.

 

When choosing a form for daemons (visible souls) in The Golden Compass, animals are a natural choice. Pullman could have created unique creatures to represent human souls, imagining ghostlike apparitions or traditional demons. Animals, however, already come with their own personalities. In choosing animals to represent a human’s visible soul Pullman has established characteristics that add to his characters. Mrs. Coulter’s daemon, the golden monkey, reveals aspects of her personality that would otherwise be hard to show. Monkey’s are often depicted as cute and curious animals, however when angered they display sharp teeth and a penchant for violence. The golden monkey exhibits a barely restrained sense of rage; similar to Mrs. Coulter it is also disarmingly, if fiercely, beautiful. The animal fits the human, and fleshes them out, as no unique creature could.

 

I’m a very introverted person; friendly but reserved. I am sarcastic, independent, and often distracted by my own thoughts. I’m also not really an animal person. Choosing my own daemon was a lot harder than writing the first part of this journal. I tried various online quizzes. At first I was told that I was a monkey: admired, detail-oriented, and full of curiosity. That doesn’t sound like me at all. I tend to not ask a lot of questions, I can be detail-oriented but I don’t pay a lot of attention to life, as for being admired you would have to ask someone else. The next test told me I was a wolf. I immediately dismissed it; I’m not a predator. My next step was to Google deceptively cute animals. I wanted an animal that didn’t seem harmful or aggressive, but could be if needed. I don’t speak my mind often, I have a hard time telling people how I feel, and I am relatively easy-going. But I am also quick to anger, though my temper doesn’t show in any traditional way. I’m full of plans and goals, but I’m slow to act preferring to plan and schedule- and frequently waiting till the opportunity passes by. I stumbled upon the slow loris. This animal is adorable, it moves at a careful, practically silent pace, and it produces a deadly poison.

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