Category Archives: Literature

Things That Confuse and Anger Me About the Harry Potter Series: Deathly Hallows

By Ashley

So, we’ve finally made it. There’s really nothing else to say! Here is my critique of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows:

1. The beginning of this book really reinforces my idea that J.K.R should really just stick to writing the action/war stuff. The first few chapters of this book (much like the previous book) are tight and tense, thrilling and really exciting. I have no real problems with the beginning of this book. But then once we get to The Burrow where Harry, Ron, and Hermione are together (and J.K.R. has to write about, like, people’s actions and feelings and interactions with one another rather than things happening) things start to get a little shaky. Most annoyingly, the frustrating, more-than-a-little sexist ideas about gender and relationships spill over to this book to. Ron gives Harry a book called Twelve Fail-Safe Ways to Charm Witches. Uhm, ew. Now, I hate real life equivalents to this kind of thing (Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus, shit like that). Ron is acting suspiciously nice towards Hermione but not because he’s finally realized that he’s a shit person and that he’s been treating her in particular like garbage for years but because a goddam book is telling him that that’s the way to get into her pants or some shit. It’s just so icky and insincere.

2. Why didn’t any of them, at any fucking point, stop and think “Hmm…you know maybe the fact that Dumbledore had stuff in his fucking will to aid us in this mission of ours means that he was, oh, I don’t know, expecting—perhaps planning—to die?” And on a related note, Dumbledore what the fuck is your problem? Why the hell did you make things so complicated? You couldn’t tell Harry that the death was planned? You couldn’t have let SOMEBODY know that the death was prearranged? My dick, Dumbledore, for all the stress you put on how “authentic” things had to be…just no. There was no reason for things to be this goddamn complicated.

Hit the jump to see my lengthy lament over Tonks and Lupin, the ultimate Ron douchebaggery, and more….

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Things That Confuse and Anger Me About The Harry Potter Series: Half-Blood Prince Part 2

By Ashley

HBP: PART DEUX! ACTION!

1. I really hate the amount of girl-on-girl hate in this book. Whether it’s between Hermione/Ginny and Fleur, Lavender and Hermione, or Pansy and EVERY SINGLE OTHER GIRL IN THE CASTLE, it’s just so overwhelming and annoying. A lot of the “real-life teenager” aspects of JKR’s books are a little over-the-top and not that well-written. Add that to the fact that she has lingering resentment towards girls who were mean to her in school (which I’ll talk more about later during the epilogue of the 7th book) that colors the way she writes some of her teenaged female characters, and it’s just really, really fucking annoying to me. This is a magical fucking world; do you really need to keep perpetuating the same tired old gender stereotypes?

2. There has only ever been one thing in the entire series that has made Harry consider skipping a Quidditch match: Draco Malfoy. Seriously….between his epic bromance with Ron, the disturbing amount of times he thinks Tom Riddle is handsome, and his obsession with Draco Malfoy, can you really blame people like me for picking up on these totally fucking homoerotic undertone?  It’s not just wishful thinking; I’m practically drowning in gay subtext over here.

After the jump, read more about Dumbledore’s time-wasting, potentially awesome monsters, and stupid relationships…

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Link Dump: #46

This week’s kitty is from the ’80s horror classic Night of the Creeps, which gave us Tom Atkins as a zombie-killing cop with an unforgettable catchphrase (“Thrill me”). If you’ve seen the movie—or, really, any horror movie—you know that misfortune awaits this kitty. So let’s just appreciate its brief, non-undead appearance here. And then appreciate some links:

We had one outstandingly weird search term this week: “Чарли Кауфман пьессы,” Russian for “Charlie Kaufman pessy.” Yeahhh. I don’t know what to make of that. But it’s weird.

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Things That Confuse and Anger Me About The Harry Potter Series: Half-Blood Prince Part 1

So, we are slowly but surely reaching the end point of this project of mine. Rereading this book was a much more pleasant experience than rereading Order of the Phoenix, obvs, but I still had quite a few problems with it! So without further rambling, here’s the first part of my critique of HBP.

1. I am four chapters in and I have found nothing to say yet. This is pretty astounding. Especially considering that in Order of the Phoenix it took me about 3 pages to start bitching. What an improvement. (Oh, my God, I’m into the sixth book and I’m still talking about book five. I think this reread has made me hate that book. Okay, maybe not hate—I don’t hate any of them—but it’s made me realize that it’s my least favorite and probably the worst in the series.)

2. This is something that is a bit of a joke between Andreas and I: the way J.K. R. just cannot stop herself from describing how fat Slughorn is every single time he’s on the page. Like…seriously, there is always like five different mentions of his huge stomach or fat hands or how he resembles a walrus or…something! We get it! He’s fat! We got it the first fifty times you mentioned it. She might as well write “Slughorn fatly moved his fatness across the room and he was fat while he did it. FAT.” This kind of connects to something else that I have an issue with: almost every single fat or larger-than-average character is mean or unpleasant. Dudley, Vernon, Aunt Marge, Millicent Bullstrode, Crabbe and Goyle, Peter Pettigrew, Myrtle. Even Neville doesn’t get “cool” and more confident until he’s older—and thinner. I’m surprised she didn’t go all the way with the “fat=bad” shit and make Voldemort a 400 pound snake-man who swoops in on a flying bed covered in ice cream and Cauldron Cakes.

Hit the jump to see who gets unfairly hit by the “implausible love” train, Harry being a dick (shocking, I know), Ron’s ugly jealousy and more…

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Things That Confuse and Anger Me About The Harry Potter Series: Order of the Phoenix Part 3

So, here it is, finally. The end of my massive criticism of OotP! Enjoy!

1. “Young people are so infernally convinced that they are absolutely right about everything. Has it not occurred to you, my poor puffed-up popinjay, that there might be an excellent reason why the headmaster of Hogwarts is not confiding every tiny detail of his plans to you? Have you never paused, while feeling hard-done-by, to note that following Dumbledore’s orders has never yet led you into harm? No. No, like all young people, you are quite sure that you alone feel and think, you alone recognize danger, you alone are the only one clever enough to realize what the Dark Lord may be planning…” BOOM. Phineas Nigellus, much like Severus Snape, is spot on about this kid. Why does J.K. Rowling make these absolute truths come out of the mouths of characters we’re supposed to dislike? What the fuck? And because Harry is exactly like what Phineas said, his immediate response is “He is planning something to do with me, then?” Like…wow, did you not just hear that entire paragraph worth of character analysis? Jesus Christ. Also, I’m gonna call people “poor puffed-up popinjays” from now on because that’s a sick burn.

2. Snape and Sirius are both such assholes who need to get over their old bullshit, like yesterday. But I expect Snape to be a doucher; there’s never been any evidence to suggest otherwise in any of the other books. Sirius’s behavior is just so much more annoying, mostly because he wasn’t like this in the previous book, but also because he is, once again, affirming Harry’s own distrustful attitude against Snape and Dumbledore. And anyone who’s read the fifth book knows where that attitude leads them.

Hit the jump to finally conclude this epic bitchfest…!

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Things That Confuse and Anger Me About the Harry Potter Series: Order of the Phoenix Part 2

By Ashley

OOTP PART DEUX! ACTION:

1. Fond as I am of the Sorting Hat, I have a bit of a hang up with its new song. It just makes all the founders except for Hufflepuff sound not so nice. They’re all into teaching certain students, but Hufflepuff is just standing there like, Uhm, okay, I’ll just take the magical children you douches don’t want. Hufflepuff is the only house that seems to be interested in equality among students, and yet J.K. Rowling never does anything interesting with it. All the cool characters from that house (all two of them) end up dead and we never see Hufflepuff house at all. J.K. Rowling really undermines her tolerance message with the lack of development for Hufflepuff (and to a lesser extent Ravenclaw).

2. Why are Harry and Ron still taking Divination? They hate it and I’m pretty sure it’s not necessary. Like you have your sort of general education classes, which I would assume are potions, transfiguration, history of magic and charms. And then other shit that you take that suits the career you want. Divination is not required to become an Auror. WHY ARE THEY STILL TAKING THIS CLASS?

3. “Cedric had been Cho’s boyfriend and the memory of his death must have affected her holiday almost as badly as it had affected Harry’s…”

Almost. 

How self-centered is this little shit? Like, okay, yeah, you saw Cedric die and you’re traumatized from your fight with Voldy, I get that. But you weren’t close friends with Cedric; he was a guy you sort of knew and often times didn’t like very much because you had a boner for his girlfriend. Cho was in a fucking relationship with him. She probably spent the entire summer in a deep depression, you insensitive fuck.

Hit the jump for Sirius being even more of a dick, racially charged insults, even more angsty Harry, and more…

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Things That Confuse and Anger Me About the Harry Potter Series: Order of the Phoenix Part 1

By Ashley

Woohoo, made it to Order of the Phoenix! So…wow. Just wow. I had no idea the amount of FUCKERY in this book. Other than being, probably the most annoying book in the whole series, it’s not as well written as the fourth, which is fucking bizarre! But let me not start the bitching prematurely! This will be spread out over THREE WHOLE GODDAMN POSTS.

Things That Confuse and Anger Me About the Harry Potter Series: Order of the Phoenix

1. We start this book out right away with big a dollop of angst from Harry: why isn’t anyone telling me anything, I’m the one who fought Voldemort, wahh, wahhhh, wahhhhh. It’s not so much the fact that he’s angsty that gets me (that’s what 15-year-olds do, I was 15 once, I remember it well) it’s that he’s taking typical self-centered teenage angst and applying it to something that is way bigger than him. He’s assuming that he’s been totally forgotten by Dumbledore (totes likely, amirite?) and being purposefully left out of the loop even though he (according to himself) should be notified more than anyone else because he’s Harry Potter.

2. See? See where all this ridiculous coddling has gotten Harry? He’s so fucking used to being given special privileges and special information that when Dumbledore withholds information from him and treats him like he does any other student, he gets really, really angry and thinks things like: “Hadn’t he proved himself capable of handling much more than [Hermione and Ron]?” and “Wasn’t anybody going to say ‘well done’ for fighting off two Dementors single-handedly?” When Harry isn’t being treated like a special snowflake, he just can’t handle it.

Hit the jump to read about Harry’s ridiculous temper tantrums, Sirius being an irresponsible douche, one truly horrifying sentence, and more…

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