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

Ian W. Riddell iwriddell at charter.net
Fri Jan 31 10:16:15 EST 2003

On Friday, January 31, 2003, at 08:28 AM, Kyla Tornheim wrote:

> On Fri, 31 Jan 2003 hallieod at indigo.ie wrote:
>> feeling that everything was being written for an effect, rather than
>> because it was true in any way that mattered.  Harry's the underdog -
>> must build up sympathy for him, so we'll put the (fat and) evil
>> Dursleys in charge of him, and let him be sent back there through
>> book after book, so he can really suffer.
> One thing I didn't understand was--Harry gets *away* from the Dursleys,
> and then he goes *back*? Sheesh. They're abusive. I'm sure *someone*
> (Dumbledore, McGonagall, this would be you guys) could have gotten 
> their
> guardianship negated or something. I always thought Harry should go 
> live
> with the Weasleys and pay for his room and board, which would solve a
> number of problems all round.

The conceit in the books is that Harry is safe from Voldemort as long 
as he is living with Family (however degenerate that family is).

>> Melissa:
>>> Heck, Hermione is the queen of textbooks and yet she's a
>>> Gryffindor.  Which is why I'm not ready to discount the 
>>> possibilities yet.
>> But surely that's still consistent with the logic of really Good Guys
>> being the Gryffindor type, and right the way through, even as grown
>> ups, having less power than the Bad Guys?
> There was some article somewhere, or perhaps it was on another e-mail 
> list
> I'm on, in which the non-positive aspect of Gryffindor was discussed, 
> and
> I found it really interesting. Gryffindors tend to ignore rules right 
> and
> left. Sure, it's mostly "for the greater good," but even Hermione is 
> all
> "oh, we're not allowed to do magic on our own, particularly really
> difficult and dangerous spells? eh, whatever. We're doing *important
> stuff* here!"

I can't remember if this came up here or in a discussion with my 
partner, but I remember Patrick Lane (film reviewer for the New Yorker 
magazine) commenting that one of the themes of the Potter movies (and 
by extension, the books) is the difference between bad (breaking the 
rules as Harry, Ron, and Hermione do) and evil (Voldemort, Lucius 

I will say, in the books' defence, that my favorite thing about them is 
the character of Snape. I love the fact that although his hating of 
Harry (with a passion) does not make him evil. It makes him annoying 
and frustrating, but he's on the side of the angels in the long run. 
Sometimes there are people who are good guys who we just don't like and 
don't like us.


who's holding out for Draco Malfoy to save the day and redeem himself

The purpose of art is not the release of a momentary ejection of 
adrenaline but rather the gradual, lifelong construction of a state of 
wonder and serenity.
Glenn Gould
Ian W. Riddell
iwriddell at charter.net
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