: [Fwd: Bullying, DWJ, and Harry Potter...]

Kyla Tornheim kyla at sccs.swarthmore.edu
Thu Jan 30 14:19:17 EST 2003

On Thu, 30 Jan 2003, Ven wrote:

> In the Potterverse all the Real boys and girls
> are in Griffondor and Ravensclaw, if you are in

Yes! After reading that, I just sat there saying "Yes! Yesyesyesyes,
that's *exactly* how it is." I always adored Nan's descriptions of the
groups in 6B. It's the feeling I got occasionally through _American Gods_,
too, the "this author has just put into words a vague feeling/thought I've
been having for years."

The thing is...Harry and Ron shouldn't really *be* the Real Boys. It seems
that Harry, at least, is a Real Boy for the exact opposite reason from
Simon Silverson--Simon is the Real Boy instead of Brian becauase he
believes that it is so. Harry is the Real Boy because everyone in the
wizarding world, practically, is telling him he is and treating him as

My problem with the Harry Potter books is that I really want to like them,
but I keep on comparing them unfavorably to DWJ. They're enjoyable, and
there's a lot of good stuff there, but there's far, far too much that's
overly simplistic. Names that say "Hello, I'm Evil" or "Hello, I'm Always
Picked On" have never sat well with me in books that aren't supposed to be
primarily funny. Categorizing a quarter of a school as relatively evil
simply doesn't make sense; categorizing another quarter as being meek and
plump annoys me. Oh, wait, now I'm just repeating what Ven said. Okay, I
agree with Ven, then. :^)

Many people would sooner die than think; in fact, they do so.
       --Bertrand Russell

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