The Pursuit of Knowledge

From this essay, it is clear that however, there remains a third possibility neither of the adults was able to understand and that is that the Dust may actually be a good thing. This is first suggested when Lyra talks with the boatman on board ship about the benefits of having one’s daemon settle into a fixed form, such as knowing what sort of person you are. Only after being fully capable of understanding the evil that had been committed by both Mrs. Coulter and Lord Asriel, was Lyra finally able to begin theorizing for herself and concluding that anything with so much harm involved could not be done for the betterment of humankind.
This paper makes a conclusion that the example of the church in attempting to block all knowledge of Dust among the populace and discover a means of preventing it from ‘infecting’ future generations emerges as an evil practice that has little more than an ambition for power behind it as a driving force. Similarly, the example of Lord Asriel in attempting to discover the source of the Dust and find a means of blocking it is revealed as equally evil and life-threatening and equally blind to the possibilities. Only when she is able to distance herself from both approaches is Lyra able to understand a third possibility, that the Dust might be something good, as she decides to follow her father into the alternate world he has opened and try to prevent him from destroying the source of the Dust before she finds out its true nature.