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The Portrayal of the Main Female Characters in Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials Trilogy


  • Fanny Sundman

Summary, in English

This thesis, based on Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy, analyses, from a gender perspective, the depiction of the two main female characters, the main protagonist Lyra and her mother Marisa Coulter, by contemplating their developments throughout the story and by comparing them to the depiction and development of their male counterparts: the second protagonist Will, and Lyra's father Lord Asriel. By examining how they relate to stereotypes and traditional gender roles; how femininity and masculinity are applied to the characters; how power is attributed differently depending on gender and by demonstrating how Lyra and Marisa both undergo radical transformations during the course of the plot, inhabiting conventional female roles, I argue that the novels support notions of innate inequality between men and women, from a feminist viewpoint, on the level of character portrayal.


Publishing year




Document type

Student publication for Bachelor's degree


  • Languages and Literatures


  • Philip Pullman
  • feminism
  • gender
  • female characters
  • His Dark Materials
  • character portrayal


  • Birgitta Berglund (FD)