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…