Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: [mythsoc] Fairness for Harry Potter critics?

Expand Messages
  • Steve Schaper
    ... ^some^ ... The first two seem harmless to me, Rowling has a couple digs at her critics in book three, as far as I got (wasn t my copy to keep and finish,
    Message 1 of 47 , Aug 8, 2000
    • 0 Attachment
      At 11:01 PM -0400 8/8/00, Stolzi@... wrote:
      >
      >But the most serious challenges come from conservative Christians who object

      ^some^

      >to the images and themes of witchcraft found throughout Harry Potter's
      >exploits. Some parents have characterized the books as "evil."

      The first two seem harmless to me, Rowling has a couple digs at her
      critics in book three, as far as I got (wasn't my copy to keep and
      finish, and would rather have it in the Queen's English anyway) I
      didn't enjoy them, but I understand why she was tempted to put them
      in.


      >
      >1) Don't overreact.

      Sensible, you always catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.
      >
      >
      >2) Listen to what's really being said.
      >
      >
      >But fear of the occult is not entirely unfounded in a society where every
      >kind
      >of "religion" imaginable is practiced -- including religions that are
      >sometimes
      >violent, occult and dangerous.

      It isn't clear that that is what Rowling is actually doing, however.
      She might be moving in that direction, but certainly not in the first
      two books, and if she does move in that direction, reaction to her
      critics might even have been the cause.


      >
      >
      >These parents aren't against stories of imagination and adventure. But as one
      >critic asked, would public schools allow teachers to assign the Narnia tales
      >by
      >C.S. Lewis and discuss the Christian symbolism with the class?

      Or perhaps 'also allow' Things do seem very one-sided in that
      sector, but I don't think that it has to be that way.

      >
      >3) Try to respond with fairness and respect.
      >
      >Start by making sure that parents are familiar with the books that are
      >assigned
      >or read by teachers. Informed parents tend to be far more supportive than
      >parents who feel like outsiders.

      Key.


      >
      >Be sure to let parents know that they may request to have their child excused
      >from a particular reading if the assignment violates their religious
      >convictions. But if the parents still insist that the book be removed
      >entirely,
      >follow a fair, consistent process for addressing the issue. A broadly
      >representative group of parents and educators should be at the table, with
      >the
      >school board making the ultimate decision.

      yep.

      >
      >A final word of advice:
      >
      >This challenge is an opportunity to re-examine the curriculum as a whole.
      >Make
      >sure that a variety of perspectives and worldviews are represented.

      And that the books used are well-written enough and interesting
      enough to cultivate a real love of reading in the students.

      >
      >If Rowling is read, how about including selections from C.S. Lewis, J.R.R.
      >Tolkein and others? Are all of the assigned stories secular, or are some
      >drawn
      >from various religious and cultural traditions? Designing a curriculum that
      >is
      >fair and balanced takes work.

      I think it can be done.

      IMHO, of course,
      Steve

      ====================================

      sschaper@...
      members.delphi.com/sschaper/web/sschaper.html
      ====================================
    • Wayne G. Hammond
      ... So publishers may think, narrow-mindedly. I like to think that even Americans might find a phrase like philosopher s stone intriguing rather than
      Message 47 of 47 , Aug 15, 2000
      • 0 Attachment
        >I read that the publisher thought that Americans wouldn't buy a book,
        >especially for children, if it had "philosopher's" anything in the title.
        >Alas! Probably too close to the truth.

        So publishers may think, narrow-mindedly. I like to think that even
        Americans might find a phrase like "philosopher's stone" intriguing rather
        than off-putting. I do, and certainly children are attracted to such
        things, even if some adults are not. I first read about the Philosopher's
        Stone in Flash comics in the 1960s, when DC were throwing all sorts of
        education at its young audience without us realizing, and liked the sound
        of the words as much as the concept.

        Rowling's publishers, both of them I gather, of course also felt that no
        boy would read a book by a female author, hence "J.K." rather than
        "Joanne". It never bothered me as a young reader who wrote a book as long
        as it was good, and there can be few male Harry Potter fans now who don't
        know that Rowling is a woman.

        Wayne Hammond
      Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.