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 Alice 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…
Well, folks, at the halfway mark! And this one is a doozy. It’s so large, in fact, that I’ve decided to split it up over two posts. The first part today, second next Wednesday! Please enjoy!
Things That Confuse and Anger Me About the Harry Potter Series: Goblet of Fire
1. In this book we learn about the Weasley’s nifty little clock: it tells whether each member of the family is “home,” “work,” “traveling,” “prison,” etc. One of the options is “mortal peril.” This got me wondering: wouldn’t Mr. and Mrs. Weasley know immediately all the times any of their children went on dangerous excursions with Harry? Ron going after the Philospher’s Stone; Ron and Ginny being in the Chamber of Secrets; Ron being attacked by Sirius?
2. This is something that has always bothered me since I first read the book, but even more so now as an adult who is a feminist and activist: Hermione’s activism for House Elf rights and how it’s treated in the book. Hermione becomes a well-meaning, though misled and self-righteous, activist for the welfare of House Elves after she discovers how badly they’re treated and how the law disregards them. She has some truly feminist-licious lines like: “It’s people like you, Ron, who prop up rotten and unjust systems…” With Hermione’s activism we have two sides of the feminist coin. It’s so cool to see a main character in a popular book being unapologetically an activist, lobbying for the rights, welfare and enfranchisement of a non-privileged class. However, Hermione’s activism is at times very reminiscent of the typical Western, white, middle-class feminism, in that it’s so self-righteous and she is completely unwilling to recognize the voice of the very people she’s trying to end oppression against. It’s basically like every white feminist who speaks about how horribly oppressed women of other cultures are while ignoring the stories and experiences of those women.
Read more about SPEW, the Yule Ball, and J.K. Rowling’s hilarious problems with spatial perception after the jump…