[DWJ] Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, part 1

Phil Boswell phil.boswell at gmail.com
Thu Jul 12 09:11:32 EDT 2007

On 12/07/07, Melissa Proffitt <Melissa at proffitt.com> wrote:
> (Do Girl Guides sell
> cookies?  Are they as addictive as Girl Scout Cookies?

No, and therefore "who knows".

>  Will this start off
> yet another of this list's perennially favorite activities: talking about
> food?)

One interesting topic is how **much** food the wizards in the Harry
Potter books seem to consume without ever getting much more than
"dumpy". Molly Weasley seems to think nothing of shovelling a
half-dozen sausages onto Harry's plate. I know tweenagers burn up the
calories but that's strange and disturbing ;-)

There's an essay about this at the Lexicon:

> One I don't like here also bugged me in the first
> book, and that's the description of Ginny Weasley as a "small girl" (p. 35
> here, also somewhere in _PS_ that I don't feel like looking up again).  My
> impression from those words as well as her overall cringing behavior was of
> a much younger child, certainly not someone just a year older than Harry and
> his pals.  I don't know at what point Rowling conceived the idea that her
> crush on Harry would develop into something more serious and mutual, but I
> had the devil of a time taking Ginny seriously.

She's only 10 or 11 years old at this point. That's a period when you
see a huge variation in size between children. Take into account also
that the Weasleys fall into two categories: tall & skinny like Ron, or
shorter and broader like the twins. I don't recall whether it's
explicitly mentioned yet which pattern Ginny is following (although I
shall be keeping an eye out during my current reread) but she could be
just at the "point of decision" where she's still "just small".

> Which, ironically, makes the revelation that she's the one who's been
> working all the mischief (albeit under duress) almost chilling.  The girl
> nobody takes seriously has actually killed creatures with her own hands
> (Hagrid's roosters, and yes that's not much as far as death goes, but it's
> still the first time in the series that actual death happens--p. 310).

Quirrell died at the end of the first book, so this isn't actually the
first time. Not quite as obviously as in the film, but just as dead.

Thanks for an interesting and thought-provoking post.

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