An analysis of ‘the Wind in the Willows’ and ‘The Golden Compass’

An analysis of ‘the Wind in the Willows’ and ‘The Golden Compass’

Is it possible in literature to find different books by different authors written at different times and place that are similar in nature? The books ‘The Wind in the Willows’ by Kenneth Grahame and ‘The Golden Compass’ by Philip Pullman are examples of books that are written by different authors at different times and place that are similar in nature. When one considers the two books without having gone through them or read them, one would assume that they are different. However, upon reading and analyzing, the books, I found out that the two books are similar in many ways and aspects. However, how do the similarities help sustain and build on the effectiveness of the two books?

The ‘wind in the willow’ is similar to the ‘Golden Compass’ as both are on fantasy stories. One of the books presents a gentle animal fantasy while the other is a valiant fantasy. Although the books have different geographical basis, they are both based on the realities of human character. The fantasies are presented in a serious manner, which ensures the reader also takes them seriously.

In the two books, characterization has been used to portray and develop the themes of friendship and community. In Kenneth Grahame’s ‘The Wind in the Willows’, it is argued that friendship between different characters help build a community (Grahame & McKowen, 2005). The community created by the friendship help deal with conflicts that arise. The main characters in the book are Rat, Badger, Rat and Toad live together in a community of friends who help each other. Rules are followed to the later. The author effectively uses his characters too create both friendship and community that exists in society. On the other hand, Phillip Pullman in his book, ‘The Golden Compass’ uses his characters to show selfishness in society. The characters are selfish and only engage in activities meant to benefit themselves only. The main character, Lyra, has no true friends and community. She acts alone to solve her problems.

In both books, the authors skillfully use different writing techniques and give critical attention to detail. For instance, both have efficiently used personification to develop the books. The authors give the characters in their books human qualities and emotions. This enables them to create a realistic yet fantastic world effectively. This is useful as it helps ensure that the books are acceptable and appealing to persons of any age. It has increased the popularity of the stories of the books. For instance, it is seen Grahame’s use of parallelism such as the representation of the river and the wild wood and the personification of the animals in both books. The main characters in the book are Rat, Badger, Rat and Toad who are given human qualities and emotions.

The authors have similarly used the same techniques such as vivid description to create excellent fantasy stories. For instance, in the book ‘The Wind in the Willows’ animals are represent themselves as walking and talking figures in their own stories. Human characters in the story answer to the animals. The animals even have an animal God. In the book, ‘The Golden Compass’ is a fantasy involving a young girl. Although, she is a young girl the author still uses her effectively to make his descriptions (Pullman, 1996). The author realistically and beautifully gives his description creating a fantasy that appeals to all.

The above shows that it is possible to have different books by different authors that are similar in nature. It shows how the authors in the two books used different techniques effectively, to create the different fantasies and lead to the appeal of the fantasies among different people.



Grahame, K., & McKowen, S. (2005).The wind in the willows. New York, NY: Sterling Publishing Company, Inc

Pullman, P. (1996).The golden compass. New York, NY: Alfred A. Knopf; Distributed by Random House

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