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

christian nutt ferricide at hotmail.com
Fri Jan 31 14:24:50 EST 2003

>I was going to ask about bothering to read onto the fourth one, which I've 
>never read.  I did remember someone (Christian?) saying he/she really liked 
>the fourth one a lot more than the previous ones, though I don't remember 
>if that's an accurate memory of what was said.

it's interesting -- i didn't like the first 1.67 books much at *all* the 
first time i read them. but i began to come around at the end of the second, 
liked the third, and really liked the fourth.

recently i reread the entire series and i enjoyed it straight through. i 
still am well aware of its shortcomings.

i think that perhaps the list is being a little harsh, although rowling can 
tend to be rather lazy in her characterizations.

as melissa pointed out, there are hints that she's aware of the shortcomings 
dropped in the text, but very often she just sort of glosses over this 
potential depth in her hurry to get the story to go where she wants it to 
go. she's put in the building blocks for something very specific -- the tale 
of harry potter -- and shored it up with a lot of unplumbed depth. it's 
there, though.

FWIW some of this comes into play more in the fourth book, including, 
without getting too spoilery, a very heroic hufflepuff. i think that a lot 
of what's going on is reading between the lines (neville and professor 
sprout are the only hufflepuffs we have descriptions of, so we assume that 
all of them are like that  -- or assume that rowling is saying that all of 
them are like that.)

i think that the books trend upward as she explores the depth of the series 
more. i am not sure whether this is entirely intentional or just what she 
does to keep herself from going insane (she could have easily written the 
same book 7 times, i think. she almost did with the first two.)

there is a lot more grey shading going on later on in the series, but it 
still tries to hard to be clever (and fails) with character naming 
conventions and sorting everyone into houses, etc.

despite the fact that *we* view harry as the hero, BTW, the other characters 
in the novels don't necessarily, to answer the argument of whoever made a 
comment of that sort (robyn? i apologize, this thread has been long and i'm 
only half through it!)

the point is -- harry and ron are actually outsiders to many of the students 
at the school. even the rest of gryffindor can be quite cold to harry 
depending on which way the wind is blowing. he operates outside of the 
rules, although it's tacitly sanctioned by dumbledore because of the 
Inherent Goodness of his actions, it still is outside the norm of that 


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