Tuesday, August 23, 2011

More Things To Like About the Harry Potter Series

One of the reasons I can't stop blogging is because of the wonderfully smart people who read and comment (not often enough, do y'all hear me?). And because I'm lazy, and I'm sick again, I'm going to cheat on today's post and just share two lovely comments on the last post.

Starry eyed says:
The humour! Though I must've re-read the books thrice by now, I'm now reading them aloud to my daughter, and am dissolving into fits of laughter so often! It's that way JKR creates the picture in your mind, of spells and charms hitting classmates, of the half-transfiguring mistakes going on during conversations b/w Harry and his friends during lessons...it's LOL all thru during the drama, adventure, tragedies and friendship. Makes it endearing!
Thank you, Starry. Now please go back to your blog and write us a post or two. Do you know how long it's been?

Mad Hatter says:
oh i enjoyed some of the word play. cant remember too many examples now, but i liked the little inversions of word-order that she did, or the slight tweak in a familiar word or concept to come up with a new fun idea. i remember being taken up with 'put-outers' :)

I love everything @lankr1ta writes, especially on feminism, and wish she would write far more often!
All her female characters are really strong. look at Bellatrix Lestrange- she is the most powerful Death Eater. Or Rita Skeeter who makes Harry's life living hell through her pieces.
And then there is Molly Weasely, the one who finishes Bellatrix off. And Ginny- who is a strong brave person. And Fleur who should be a dumb blonde but is not. Or the fact that what saves Harry is his mother Lily's sacrifice. Or McGonagall, and Professior Sprout or Madam Pomfrey or even Tonks who are such strong women of their own type. And did I forget Madam Hooch who teaches the kids to fly. There is such a strong undercurrent of people being good or bad regardless of gender.
Besides what I really like is how her stories work hard against prejudice and stereotyping.
Oh and did I mention the very unconventional idea that Dumbledore is gay and has shades of weakness and strength- life being about "choices" not innate qualities.

A few thoughts of my own to add on to @lankr1ta's comment:
  1. First: I totally agree about the women characters. They are well-rounded, three-dimensional, even when they feature for about twenty seconds (like Tonks' mother and her story, told in a few sparse lines, of how she rebelled against her snobbish rich and presumably evil parents and avoided the fate of her sisters Bellatrix and Narcissa).
  2. Also agree about the female characters on the other side being well-rounded and actually evil, not just sultry temptresses. Bellatrix is kind of the stereotypical evil person (there's no explanation for why she is the way she is, little about her background, but we know she's bad all the way), but she's a woman. Umbridge (funny how her name just came to me right now, when I couldn't remember it yesterday) is so evil and manipulative, yet her motivation is easy to understand if not empathize with, and I think she makes a worthy rival to Voldemort in villainy (though Voldemort isn't the most well-etched of villains). 
  3. As to prejudice and stereotyping, I only partly agree. Fleur isn't a dumb blonde, as Ally points out, though she should have been in a typical book. And Dumbledore is gay. However, Dumbledore isn't gay in the book (or at least he's in the closet): we only know it because Rowling said so later. I would have liked Sirius to be in love with James too, but that might be just me. I wish Rowling had been a little braver and had openly queer characters. (Don't even try saying "that would harm our children." Reading giant spiders and abuse by foster parents doesn't hurt kids, but that all love isn't between a man and a woman does?)
And now, because I'm home sick and that's the best time to reread one of these books, let me get to that. 


starry eyed said...

Awwww....thanks! Yes....I know it's been over a mth....not finding the time...but am seriously tempted to do a mega-post abt Harry...each re-read brings up more n more feelings and opinions. Sigh!

Anonymous said...

@Starry: go ahead and do it..please...I love reading these posts by Unmana on HP...can you believe I am actually re-reading the series and enjoying the different angle to it :)

~G said...

No new posts. That ill eh? Take care.

Unmana said...

G: Thanks. I'm recovering now, and trying to stay away from the computer unless it's necessary.

mad hatter said...

thats a long spell! get well soon?

time away from computer is good :)take care..