Re: [mythsoc] AS Byatt disses Harry
- I'm still only halfway in book 5.
Throughout the earlier HP books, I was mildly appalled at what a loose ship
Dumbledore runs, allowing students to be put in needless danger, coddling
incompetent teachers, and so on. Hagrid makes a wonderful friend, but he's
a really bad teacher: no lesson plan, no safety considerations, doesn't
even really know his own material, and so on. I kept wondering why more
parents didn't withdraw their students from the school.
So, nasty as Fudge and Umbridge are - and as appalling as they are in other
ways - I think they have a point. The main reason my sympathies stay as
strongly with Dumbledore as they do is because on the big issues, he's
right and Fudge is not only wrong but wilfully blind. But how do we know -
besides what the characters say - that this is so? Because, uh, Rowling
tells us so.
Far more than with a Sauron's-eye view of LOTR, HP needs a Ministry's-eye
view rewrite. To be fair, Rowling gives them their say. If they were
right, and the others wrong, about Voldemort, their punishments would be no
less justified than Dumbledore's sloppiness.
One stylistic note I find clashing in this book is the way the adults refer
to each other by first names even when talking to the children, who are
nevertheless expected to call most of them by last names. (This is more
obvious in the Order than among the teachers.) I keep having to remind
myself who this "Molly" is; I know her as Mrs. Weasley. Most of my
friends' children know their parents' friends by first names; but when I
was a child, and called my parents' friends by last names, they and my
parents were all quite consistent in using those last names in talking to
me, and used first names in my presence only when directly addressing each
other. Only after I became an adult did I switch to first names. Both
these systems are consistent; Rowling's strikes me as inconsistent and
- David Bratman
- In a message dated 7/7/2003 12:49:14 PM Central Daylight Time,
> Far more than with a Sauron's-eye view of LOTR, HP needs a Ministry's-eyeIf you feel this way, you definitely need to read the URL I gave from
> view rewrite.
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