Change of Mind
Meditate on a time you misunderstood someone or were misunderstood yourself. Write the poem from the other’spoint of view.
You don’t know where I come from
You don’t understand what I go through
How could you say the things you have said
I have put up a wall
My defenses are up.
There is a battle in my head
I try to be the strongest
A warrior against my mind
You don’t know where I come from
You don’t understand what I go through
People around the world have many different thoughts on mirrors. Pratchett uses different cultures to tell of different myths on mirrors. In Witches Abroad, some believe that mirrors can steal your soul. People also believe that there are other universes inside mirrors. For some characters in the story, mirrors and reflections are a way to gain power, but also a way of seeing things. Reflections can show qualities, or things that people don’t normally see in themselves or the world, which can either be a good, or bad thing.
In the beginning of the story, it is said that “a mirror can suck up a piece of soul”(5). Pratchett is saying that someone who is always in the mirror, or in front of cameras, always staring at their reflection will have a piece of their soul taken because they are too vain and their souls don’t seem to have any good qualities. The mirrors in this story seem to be portrayed in mostly evil ways. Lady Lilith de Tempscire used the mirrors to try and gain more power. It is described that “She could feel herself pouring into herself, multiplying itself via the endless reflections”(14). She thought that if she were to look into two mirrors, that her reflections would just bounce off of one another, giving her more power. She thought she would gain a new quality within her soul rather than lose it. She also used the mirrors to scan the world. This gave her more power because she was able to see anything and anyone from any reflection. They help Lilith see what’s going on and she wants to change the world into her own fairy tale.
The mirror and reflections in this story are similar to the mirror in Snow White, in that the evil Queen was vain, and looked into her mirror everyday asking who is the fairest of them all. The Queen used the mirrors to hear what she wanted to hear, while Lilith used the mirrors to get what she always wanted which is power from becoming greedy. Another fairy tale that uses mirrors for the same purpose that Lilith had, is Beauty and the Beast. Beauty used the mirror to see her father and sisters and how they were doing.
Lilith was trying to find out everything about the world by using the mirrors, but using it for her own advantage. In the end it could be something that could come back to hurt her. For now, the mirrors are giving her power that only a few can manage if they know how to use mirrors the right way. A mirror is a way of seeing into ones soul, Lilith looks more at what others are doing than at herself, and one day Lilith might not like what she sees if she truly looks into the mirror.
Dust is feared by many, and no one really knows where it comes from or its purpose. It is viewed as a bad thing, but no one except Mrs. Coulter and Lord Asriel were willing to experiment and research it. The church said that dust was something that came into existence from original sin. As Lord Asriel is telling Lyra what Dust is he tells of Adam and Eve and their sin, saying ‘“And that was how sin came into the world,” he said, sin and shame and death. It came the moment their daemons became fixed”’(326). He is saying that when Adam and Eve committed the first sin, they were no longer innocent, and they matured. This is just like how their daemons become fixed once they mature, and are no longer innocent. Their daemon becomes who they truly are. The more innocence that is lost in children, equals the more negative characteristics that come out in their adulthood.
The General Oblation board was set up by Mrs. Coulter to study dust more closely. She believed that she could rid children of original sin. She received money from the magisterium to run her own experiments with children. Asriel says ‘“Your mother has always been ambitious for power”’(328). Mrs. Coulter knew that people feared dust, and used that to gain power and open up her own site. The General Oblation Board would have never been made if she was so power hungry and ready to find out what dust was all about. Mrs. Coulter thought that cutting the daemons away from the children would possibly take away their sin. Asriel said that she had a feeling that dust and adolescence were related. ‘“the change in one’s daemon and the fact that dust began to settle. Perhaps if the daemon were separated from the body we might never be subject to dust-original sin”’(329). Just like the church, she believed that dust was the physical form of original sin and that simply by removing daemons, she could ultimately remove all original sin and children would grow up free and pure from it. Unfortunately the only thing she was doing was causing the children to die.
Lord Asriel had his own thoughts about dust. He believes that dust comes ‘“from the other universe we can see through the Aurora”’(330). He had realized and was fascinated by dust traveling through the different worlds, and that it had to have originated somewhere other than people in his world. He says ‘“Somewhere out there is the origin of all dust, all death, the sin, the misery, the destructiveness in the world”’(331). Asriel is determined to rid the world of dust, and by doing this he also believes that he will rid the world of sin, and all other negative characteristics of the world.
Smaug and Gollum are two creatures that seem to be independent, but very lonely. Although Gollum only has one treasure, and Smaug has many, they both treat those treasures in the same way, they guard them all the time and if something is lost, they will stop at nothing to get it back. Both are similar in many different ways, possessing qualities that cause them to be disliked or pitied. Two of those qualities are curiosity and greed.
When Gollum first encountered Bilbo, his first thought was “I guess it’s a choice feast” (Tolkien 81). He was ready to eat Bilbo, but not after he found out who Bilbo is. Gollum also wanted to find out what he was carrying in his hands. The only thing that Gollum could think of before deciding if he wanted to eat Bilbo or not, was ask him riddles. Gollum believed that Bilbo would get the riddles wrong, and then he would have made his decision, but Bilbo answered each riddle right, making Gollum angrier and angrier. Gollum loves his ring so much that he will do anything to get it back when he realizes that he lost it. He only has his mind set on getting back his ring. In the end Bilbo realizes that Gollum wants to kill him for this reason, and that Gollum became more irrational and dangerous, trying to kill him.
Bilbo’s encounter with Smaug is almost exactly the same as his visit with Gollum. Smaug knew that someone was trying to take his treasure. When he senses that Bilbo is near, he asks him questions. Bilbo was smart with Smaug, and “was not quite so unlearned in dragon-lore (241 Tolkien). Smaug is trying to figure out who Bilbo is, and just as Gollum used riddles to buy time, and figure out what Bilbo was doing, Smaug used clever questions to find out more about Bilbo, and assumed that Bilbo was in his cave only to steal his treasure, ready to spring on him once he told the truth. Just as Gollum thought that all Bilbo wanted was his ring. In the end, Smaug became angry because he could not figure out who Bilbo is.
Both Smaug and Gollum live in lonely places, only thinking about their treasures and guarding them with their life. If they were to encounter anyone who seemed suspicious, they would only believe that person was after one thing. With Bilbo, they were curious and tried to get as much information out of him and the truth, before killing him. They cannot control themselves once they learn that their ring, or treasures are missing, and their greed takes over and causes them to only want to hurt and kill.
In Bluebeard’s Egg, Fitcher’s Bird, and Bluebeard, the egg and the key given to the characters had meanings of infidelity and sexual curiosity. In Perrault’s story each sister was given the keys to the house. These keys represented the women’s virginity. The first two sister’s could not prevent their curiosity to get the better of them, opening the forbidden room. This is similar to a women flirting and exploring her own sexuality. Because Bluebeard asked the women not to open the room, this meant that they were not faithful to their husband, and therefore had to be punished for their infidelity. The key could not be cleansed because once virginity is lost it is not something that can be taken back. The blood on the key could also have been a sign of guilt which the women were full of when Bluebeard had come back home. In Fitcher’s Bird, it is the same situation, but the egg is added. The egg is dropped by the sister, which is her maturing, but in this story it leads to punishment. In Bluebeards Egg, Sally is a little different from the sisters. She knows that if she was too curious, she might find out something that she wished she had not. She says “The puzzle is Ed. If she should ever solve it, if she should ever fir the last cold splinter into place, the house will melt and flow away down the hill, and then…)” (Atwood 170). Sally has desires to find out everything about Ed, and where their life is going, but she knows there could be consequences so she stops herself from those thoughts, or opening that chamber, unlike the sisters in the other stories. these stories all have morals, having to do with women being married, and faithful. it also has to do with the curiosity of women and like the saying, “curiosity killed the cat”, it can be true to these stories. the stories seem to say that women should not look into their sexual desires and hide their feelings. they should be faithful to their husbands and do as they say. If they decide to look into the room, or explore their sexuality, they will regret it, and they cannot take back the mistake that they made.