[DWJ] Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Dorian E. Gray israfel at eircom.net
Wed Jul 18 14:17:16 EDT 2007

Farah said...
> 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.

True, but Dobby has always been unusual.  In trying to warn Harry in book 2, 
he was doing something that, while not explicitly forbidden by his master, 
was certainly something he knew his master would not want him to do (and his 
conditioning forced him to keep trying to punish himself even as he did it). 
But he is the *only* house-elf to do such a thing.  Just as he is the only 
house-elf to be happy being free (and in fact, his own actions led to his 
freedom).  Winky hates freedom, never wanted it, and can't cope with it.

So the question is...is Dobby a Really Weird house-elf with some kind of 
mental disorder that draws him to freedom?  Or are all the other house-elves 
just "not enlightened" yet?

We have no way of telling from the texts.

But I'm inclined to think that even if Dobby is ahead of his time, and 
freedom is really the way to go for house-elves, Hermione is going about her 
cause all wrong.

(And Dumbledore eventually employed Dobby.)

Until the sky falls on our heads...

Dorian E. Gray
israfel at eircom.net

"Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake."
- Napoleon Bonaparte 

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