Re: [mythsoc] plots and pocket framistans
- From: <Stolzi@...>
> In my re-reading of HP Vol I, I got to the Sorting Hat and paused,
> by something which I believe others have criticized before me: if thebasic
> nature and aims of the witch society and of Hogwarts in particular ishas never,
> benevolent, WHY does Hogwarts perpetuate a House, namely Slytherin, which
> seemingly, attracted anyone but bad people who cause trouble?Do we know that either of these is really true? We are shown, especially in
the first 3 books, good witches/wizards as the main characters. Those who
are not good -- Voldemort and his supporters -- are clearly labeled as such.
We learn in book 4 that there are other witch schools and they're not all
run like Hogwarts. The one that reads as German (the one where the soccer
star who likes Hermione goes) teaches the dark arts as part of its normal
As to Slytherin house, I have a couple of thoughts about that. Is it book 5
where we really get the origin of the houses? When Hogwarts was first
established, it was thought that Slytherin, the man and his house, would
play nice. Obviously that turned out to not be true.
The houses all contain relatively innocuous students, I believe, that we
don't hear about. Only the more note-worthy play a part in the story.
And there's something to be said for having your enemy underneath your nose
where you can keep an eye on him. And Dumbledore clearly believes in giving
people multiple chances to redeem themselves and/or prove themselves worthy.
The sorting hat tells Harry he could go to Slytherin and do well. Probably
many Slytherins have the potential for great good or great evil. Having
these kids in the healthier environment of Hogwarts is better -- at least in
Dumbledore's eyes, I'll bet -- than having them go to a school without such
To me, asking why Slytherin house remains at Hogwarts is kind of like asking
why Jesus chose Judas as a disciple, knowing that he would betray him. There
is still tremendous potential, even after the betrayal. Judas gave up on
that potential, hanging himself, when he could have been another Peter or
Paul, remorseful over what he'd done and exhorting others to do better.
- Just saw this in today's NYTimes email (free registration required; link
isn't free in about a week):
Going at the Changes in, Ya Know, English
By EMILY EAKIN
In his new book, "Doing Our Own Thing," the linguist and
cultural critic John McWhorter paints an elaborate picture
of a culture in linguistic upheaval.
Once again, mythies are ahead of the curve!
John (lurker since the GEnie days)