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

johanna at nobrandheroine.net johanna at nobrandheroine.net
Fri Jan 31 08:49:37 EST 2003

Hi everyone--I've recently started to lurk on this list, & contemplated,
if nothing else, delurking to say how much I'm enjoying hearing everyone's
recommendations (I'll have to make a new shopping list for the next time I
get to buying books)!

Then the HP discussion started. And that's even better! I love the Harry
Potter books--but it's one of those things where I have to squelch my more
critical (both literary & political) sides a bit to enjoy it. I don't
often get to hear people discussing the books critically, & am really
enjoying this. Has anyone else been disturbed by the whole house-elf
thing? Like how it's treated like a big joke that Hermione wants to get
them better treatment--like just a nerdy Hermione-type thing to do, that
no one has to take seriously. And everyone goes on about how the house
elves are happy being treated the way they are, & such... echoes of
American slavery rhetoric, anyone? I'm hoping Rowling redeems herself by
having people gradually realize that, hm, maybe Hermione is on to
something--instead of it just being a bit of comic relief.

And, yeah, the fat people are always the bad ones. Although this comes
through in a lot of YA fiction--even DWJ... I'm just reading Castle in the
Air for the first time, for example, & I'm thinking of Abdullah's fat
nieces. Bah.

> 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.

BTW, this made me laugh really hard. Thank you. :)

Oh, & just a bit of background: I'm a fairly new DWJ reader; I read Fire &
Hemlock a few years ago, but hadn't read anything else by DWJ as I was
terrified that it would all be horrible in comparison! In the past few
months, though, I've burned through the Dalemark quartet (& have dug up
the original list reference here to the missing text in Cart & Cwidder, &
am v. sad that my copy is missing it) & the Chronicles of Chrestomanci, &
the Howl books. I've just started grad school in urban planning, so I'm
not sure how much outside reading I'll be able to do for the next couple
of months... sigh!


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