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Chapter 7 Discussion: The Slug Club

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  • Aldo Cauchi Savona
    Chapter 7: The Slug Club This chapter can be summarised into two key points in this chapter: * Harry s obsession with Draco s actions. * Professor Slughorn
    Message 1 of 3 , Dec 26, 2005

      Chapter 7: The Slug Club

       

      This chapter can be summarised into two key points in this chapter:

       

      • Harry’s obsession with Draco’s actions.
      • Professor Slughorn introduces his ‘elite’ club.

       

      Harry, Hermione and Ron witnessed the events at Burkes in Nocturn Alley. Out of the three of them Harry is the only character to pursue the meaning of the event and Malfoy’s actions. This leads him to conclude that Draco is now a Death Eater, something which Hermione, Ron as well as Arthur Weasely find a bit far fetched. While there is no hard evidence in the book (to my knowledge) to support the fact that Draco is now a Death Eater we do learn that Draco is carrying out Lord Voldemort’s orders. Harry’s obsession with learning what Draco leads him into rash actions and into ‘trouble’ towards the end of the chapter. During this adventure Draco hints that he might not be at Hogwarts for the final 7th year, mainly for attention. At the end of the book we learn that Harry, Hermione and Ron have any intention of finishing their last school year. Due to the circumstances in the Wizarding world will there be a 7th year at Hogwarts?

       

       

      As the title suggests, professor Slughorn wastes no time in establishing his ‘elite’ club of favourite students. From his conversations with the pupils we learn the various reasons why they were invited, mainly due to family members the professor once taught. Neville was invited due to the sacrifice his parents made, whose importance eludes Draco. The only two characters that were invited to the club due to their own actions are Harry and Ginny. Harry was invited for his fame, while Ginny was invited due to her hexing skills.

       

       

      Other points worthy of note and possible discussion points include:

       

      Fleur’s monologue about the bridesmaid clothing being clothed in pale gold (pp. 126);

      Fleur’s comment about Tonks letting herself go & Mrs. Weasley’s reaction.

      Neville has a new Cherry & Unicorn hair wand (and the last wand sold by Olivander) (pp.132)

      The enforcement of Harry’s friendship with true friends (as opposed to friends due to fame pp. 134);

       

      Aldo

       

    • iris_ft
      Hi Seekers, Here are some comments about chapter 7: Aldo wrote: Harry s obsession with learning what Draco leads him into rash actions and into `trouble
      Message 2 of 3 , Dec 30, 2005
        Hi Seekers,

        Here are some comments about chapter 7:

        Aldo wrote:

        "Harry's obsession with learning what Draco leads him into rash
        actions and into `trouble' towards the end of the chapter."
        <snip>
        "As the title suggests, professor Slughorn wastes no time in
        establishing his `elite' club of favourite students."

        Audrey wrote:
        "Slughorn offers pheasant to the students: that's interesting
        because, traditionally, the pheasant is bound to the phoenix image.
        In alchemy, the "Pheasant of Hermes" also represents the "mercury of
        the wise", bound to the White Process, again..."


        Me:
        In this book, like in CoS, there are references to hunting. Several
        characters try to corner others, and in a way, treat them like game.
        In chapter 7, we find several examples.
        Harry starts spying on Draco. He is in a way "hunting" Draco all
        along the book. He spies on him, he tails him. He behaves towards
        Draco like a hunter lying in wait for game.
        Perhaps Harry being a "hunter" has to do with Alchemy.
        And he is always hunting a vanishing game he would like to corner:
        Draco, or Slughorn's memory. Actually, like an alchemist, he's
        trying to fix a volatile element. What is Draco planning secretly?
        If Harry could fix Draco, it would help keep Hogwarts safe. What is
        Slughorn hiding in his mind? If Harry could reach it, it would give
        a determinant information concerning Voldemort. What Harry is
        hunting in HBP is something that could help him to protect the
        Wizarding World. Maybe it is his "mercury of the wise".
        On the other hand, we can say that in this chapter, Slughorn behaves
        like a hunter too. He is hunting students like a spider waiting on
        his web. He offers them pheasant, in other words, game. And he
        considers them as if they were game too. JKR writes that he looks at
        Harry "as though he were a particularly large and succulent piece of
        pheasant".
        Actually, the whole sequence presents references to hunting: Cormac
        Mac Laglen hunted Nogtails with his uncle in Norfolk, Marcus Belby's
        uncle invented the Wolfsbane Potion, i.e., the potion that chases
        the wolf away from the man, and finally, what we are told about
        Blaise Zabini's mother can lead us to think she's a like these black
        spiders that kill their males (do you call them `black widows' too?
        That's their name in French).
        One last comment: Draco, Harry and Slughorn are at the same time
        game and hunters.
        Draco is hunted by Harry, but he's hunting Dumbledore. Harry is
        hunted by Slughorn, but he'll hunt him in return when he tries to
        reach his memory. Slughorn is hunting Harry, but before he was
        hunted by the Death Eaters.


        Audrey wrote:
        "At the beginning of the chapter, Harry "sees" better than Ron and
        Hermione: he is right about Draco and they don't believe him. When
        he is talking to them, it is said: "Harry broke off, his eyes fixed
        on the window behind Hermione, his mouth open. A startling thought
        had just occurend to him."

        He looks behind Hermione, beyond her somehow. I think it is a
        metaphor telling us that, in the first 5 books, Harry has moved on a
        lot on his "path" that leads him to symbolical gold but Ron and
        Hermione are still "behind" him on that path, they have to grow up
        and learn a lot before catching up with him, so to be able to play
        their part in the final stage. And they will grow up emotionally in
        this book indeed. Hmmm... Something tells me we'll find other
        details sprinkled in the book about their own journey, let's keep
        our eyes opened!"

        Me:
        There's another reference to that difference between Harry and
        Ron/Hermione in chapter 8. But you'll have to wait for the chapter
        discussion, I won't tell you here.<g>

        Audrey again:
        "Blaise Zabini: I found out that Blaise comes from the
        Latin "blaesus" that means "lisping", "stammerer", which I found
        hilarious since Zabini seems to think very highly of himself: maybe
        he has a hidden Achilles' heel we'll find out later. Besides, Blaise
        was the name of a famous mathematician, Blaise Pascal, which fits
        well a person I see as very calculating, at least very careful about
        what he shows of himself. And Blaise/blaze can be another fire
        connection too"
        Temple Richmond wrote:
        "Blaise Zabini: the name makes me think of the French word now used
        as a standard English word which is a near homonym for his first
        name. It means to be rather bored and contemptuous of others, and
        to perceive others as beneath one's status, which is the way Zabini
        carries himself. He is cool and distant, not impressed with any
        proceedings. That would be: blase, with the acute mark on the
        final e, so pronounce blah ZAY. "

        Me:

        I agree with what you say, and I add my two knuts. In French classic
        literature, Blaise is also a traditional name for valets. It's even
        a kind of cliché in our 19th century's literature. For example, you
        find it in Victor Hugo's famous play "Ruy Blas". "Blas" is the
        Spanish version of "Blaise". Hugo used it in combination with "Ruy",
        that comes from "Rodrigo", to name the main character of the play, a
        servant who becomes minister, and to show the hiatus between his
        humble condition (Blas the servant) and his noble soul (Rodrigo is
        traditionally a noble first name; in Spain it was the name of the
        Cid). Our Blaise behaves like an aristocrat, but he is also one of
        Draco's subalterns.
        From a phonetic perspective, Blaise Zabini is a very nice name for a
        Slytherin boy. There's in "Blaise Zabini" a nice lisping
        alliteration: "ZZZZZ", and it's a very snake- like sound.
        And finally, Italian patronymics were also clichés in our 19th
        century' literature. You can't imagine how many traitors,
        conspirators, poisoners, swordmen… have Italian patronymics in the
        novels by Alexandre Dumas and other romantic authors. It bothers me,
        as I'm myself half Venetian, but that's the way it is.
        Blaise's mother had seven husbands, all dead in strange
        circumstances. We can imagine that she, like Catarina di Medici, a
        poisoner. In that case, Blaise Zabini could be connected to another
        important theme: potions.

        End of the post. I wish you all a very happy and peaceful New Year.
        Amicalement,

        Iris

        OT post scriptum
        Hans wrote:
        "I don't know why people find Daniel's acting poor. I would rather
        say his acting is very subtle. He acts with his eyes more than
        anything. Have you noticed how expressive they are? This is exactly
        what made David Heyman want Daniel for the role. Once again a small
        act can have great consequences. If he and Steve Kloves hadn't gone
        to a play all those years ago and seen Daniel sitting in the
        audience we'd have had a different Harry Potter. Sounds like Fate to
        me. »

        I totally agree with you, Captain!
      • littleleahstill
        ... image. ... of ... Several ... game. (massive snipping, sorry) ... Leah: So many interesting posts, so little free time! I am very quickly replying to
        Message 3 of 3 , Dec 31, 2005
          --- In harrypotterforseekers@yahoogroups.com, "iris_ft"
          <iris_ft@y...> wrote:
          >
          >
          > Hi Seekers,
          >
          > Here are some comments about chapter 7:
          >
          > Aldo wrote:
          >
          > "Harry's obsession with learning what Draco leads him into rash
          > actions and into `trouble' towards the end of the chapter."
          > <snip>
          > "As the title suggests, professor Slughorn wastes no time in
          > establishing his `elite' club of favourite students."
          >
          > Audrey wrote:
          > "Slughorn offers pheasant to the students: that's interesting
          > because, traditionally, the pheasant is bound to the phoenix
          image.
          > In alchemy, the "Pheasant of Hermes" also represents the "mercury
          of
          > the wise", bound to the White Process, again..."
          >
          >
          > Me:
          > In this book, like in CoS, there are references to hunting.
          Several
          > characters try to corner others, and in a way, treat them like
          game. (massive snipping, sorry)
          >

          Leah:

          So many interesting posts, so little free time! I am very quickly
          replying to Iris' post, because it was something I hadn't 'caught',
          but which immediately made sense. I just wanted to add that the
          hunting theme is introduced at the end of OOTP, when Luna and her
          father go to hunt for Crumple-horned Snorkacks, and is reintroduced
          almost at the beginning of HBP, when Bellatrix pursues Narcissa
          through the maze of streets to Snape. The book's climax is Harry's
          hunt of Snape and Draco through the Forest. The hunt can be general
          spiritual metaphor, I think: "As pants the hart for cooling
          streams", and the 'Hound of Heaven' by Francis Thompson come to
          mind. I will try and find out more, but no doubt there are people
          out there who might be able to add to this. Finally, hunting was
          traditionally a 'princely' pursuit. Happy New Year to everyone.
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