[DWJ] Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Farah Mendlesohn farah.sf at gmail.com
Wed Jul 18 06:02:21 EDT 2007


But we are told Dobby wants a job but nobody will employ him.

This is precisely the situation that freed slaves faced in the 1840s.

So the alternative facing house elves is happy slavery or unemployment.

On 18/07/07, Phil Boswell <phil.boswell at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 17/07/07, Farah Mendlesohn <farah.sf at gmail.com> wrote:
> > The entire noxious mess is straight out of Stanley Elkin's book on
> > slavery where he argues for a "slave mentality" in the teeth of
> > evidence of endless slave revolts and attempts by slaves to poison
> > their masters. I felt when reading HP and GF that someone had stranded
> > me in Tara,
> Well, to me, the whole argument smacks of a ridiculous interview I saw
> on the Big Breakfast one time which still has me fuming.
> It was with this woman who was some kind of militant vegetarian, about
> how she had managed to convert her cats to vegetarianism.
> ...
> Yeah, right...as those of us who are actually aware that cats are
> obligate carnivores would be cross but not entirely staggered to
> discover, she utterly failed to mention (except in a throwaway, almost
> inaudible comment right at the end) that she had to give them vitamins
> to make it actually work and not kill them.
> But there are still stupid and misguided people out there who are
> convinced that cats could be vegetarians if they JUST TRIED HARD
> ENOUGH. Some of them will have seen this interview and been convinced
> that they are correct.
> Like the couple who were in the papers a few weeks back who managed to
> kill their baby because...as fervent vegans...they had decided that
> "mother's milk" was not going to do their new baby any good and it
> effectively starved to death.
> There are perfectly intelligent vegetarians out there who know just
> how stupid these people are, yet they never make the
> headlines...mostly because they don't do mind-numbingly stupid things
> like try to force a baby or a cat to live on a totally unsuitable
> diet.
> Hermione is sadly...but for the best of reasons...doing exactly what
> she complains of other people doing: she has decided what is best for
> the house-elves without consulting them or researching the situation
> properly (which is in itself a shocking omission from the normally
> sensible Miss Granger ;-) and is going to plough ahead trying to
> change their circumstances despite anything they try to tell her. She
> will shrug off their protests on the grounds that they are "falsely
> conscious", an invidious little phrase my wife has taught me from her
> sociology studies: because they don't know any better, her opinions
> are automatically more correct.
> What will be interesting is whether her stance will adjust itself in
> future books: she's shown herself to be flexible enough in other
> contexts after all.
> Sorry for the rant, but this subject seems to push several of my "red
> buttons" all at once...
> --
> Phil
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