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

deborah deborah at suberic.net
Fri Jan 31 00:47:50 EST 2003

On Fri, 31 Jan 2003, Ms Kathleen Jennings wrote:
|Although the function of the Sorting Hat should be taken into account:
|people aren't evil because they're in Slytherin, they're put into
|Slytherin because they're (potentially) like that. And this is, to an
|extent, a choice - most of the children *want* to be in the house
|they're in, and Harry makes a choice - and actively pleads - not to be
|in Slytherin.

Though this is still essentialist:  You have the potential for great
power.  Will you use it for good or evil?  Please note: the decision you
make now -- and nobody thinks for a second that you're the kind of
person who would choose wrongly, because in this world spending your
childhood as the victim of child abuse doesn't put at risk your
Essentially Heroic Nature -- will be a binding decision, unless you have
a late-in-life conversion, after which you will still be saddled with
greasy hair and be played by Alan Rickman.  Which, hey, Alan Rickman not
so bad, but the hair must itch.

As opposed to, say, Gair or Howl or Kit, who are capable of making some
incredibly selfish and dangerous choices (people *die* in Dark Lord),
and who have to fight to be heroes.  It's not an essential part of their

Though arguably it is, it's just more deeply buried. And more complex;
look at Clennen.  But it's certainly not so easy.  "Sophie: Gryffindor.
Lettie: Ravenclaw.  Michael: Hufflepuff.  Howl:  Slytherin"?

deborah at suberic.net
The main character is a misogynistic, hermaphroditic,
heavy-drinking, ultra-cynical aardvark. It's an acquired taste.
	-- A member of the DWJ list, on Cerebrus

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