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Re: Harry Potter discussion questions

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  • Morgaine StormDancer
    Okay, I ll start... but I better hear some chiming in! THE question - Is Snape evil or good? Let s have your opinion! ... I m still of the opinion that Snape
    Message 1 of 5 , Jul 2, 2007
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      Okay, I'll start... but I better hear some chiming in!


      THE question - Is Snape evil or good?  Let's have your opinion!
       
      I'm still of the opinion that Snape is good, although Rowling has been *extremely* careful in making sure there are arguments both ways.  Dumbledore trusts him, even though Harry (and we as readers) don't know the "ironclad" reason yet.  The biggest reasons I think Snape are innocent are actually in Half Blood Prince.  But I'll bring them up now, since by the time we're discussing HBP, we'll already know Snape's true colors!  1) the argument Hagrid overhears between Dumbledore and Snape indicates that they have a plan that Snape doesn't want to go through with   2) Snape goes out of his way at the end of the book to NOT harm Harry, prevent others from harming him, AND is practically giving him lessons while Harry is trying to jinx him
       
       
      Harry's occlumency lessons with Snape are a disaster.  Who do you think holds the blame here?
       
      I think Harry, Snape and Dumbledore all hold some responsibility here.  Harry is to blame because he really doesn't want to close his mind, because he WANTS to know what's behind the door in his dreams.  Snape can't get over his grudge for James Potter and is a pretty poor teacher - he gives Harry his expectations but very little direction on how to accomplish it.  And of course, Dumbledore should have known Snape teaching Harry was a bad idea.

       
      In OOTP, we meet Kreacher - a house elf very different from Dobby.  Let's talk house elf rights!  Would you be a member of SPEW?  Why or why not?
       
      This gets a bit tricky because one could see it as a metaphor for slavery - and "slavery" is how Hermione sees the status quo.  But the house elves themselves believe that their whole purpose for existence is to serve wizard families.  Is this brainwashing or culture?  I tend to think closer to culture in that it is part of what makes a house elf a house elf.  But I do think that the treatment of house elves is something that needs to be improved.  So if SPEW changed its focus from trying to "free" elves who don't want to be free to improving their welfare in general, then I would join.  :)
       
       
      Do you think Sirius is dead?  What would you speculate is beyond the veil?
       
      All the adults in the book insist Sirius is dead, but we never get any explanation about what the doorway with the veil leads to.  It might be too simple just to say it leads to death or the land of the dead (which was my first assumption).  We know that Harry could hear whispering and had a strong sensation that there was someone standing behind the veil on the other side of the doorway.  But why was Ginny also "entranced" by it whereas Ron and Hermione were not?  Rowling has actually said that Sirius is dead (but we are talking about a magical world here).  One thing we don't know for sure is whether Bellatrix's blast or the veil itself caused Sirius' death.  Could "death" also just mean that he is physically not in the world of the living?  Similarly, its still in the realm of possibility that Dumbledore's death in HBP could be a phoenix-style death;  a phoenix DOES die, but is reborn.  Hmmm...

       
      Does your opinion of Dumbledore change by the end of the book?
       
       
      Hard for me to answer this one because I really like Dumbledore, but throughout the book, I did start to feel like Harry - wondering where Dumbledore was the whole time.  The chapter where he explains everything is one of the most emotional ones in the whole series, IMO.  Dumbledore admits he's made mistakes, yet it was out of a desire to protect Harry because he cared about him.  So now he isn't exactly as infallible character as he seemed like before; yet, his acting out of love for Harry is characteristic of him.  So my answer is kind of, but not really.



      Becky
    • potionsmastersnape2003
      I am not sure that it is a question of good or evil; only of where his loyalties lie. Rowlings herself has addressed the issuse of good and evil in her first
      Message 2 of 5 , Jul 5, 2007
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        I am not sure that it is a question of good or evil; only of where
        his loyalties lie. Rowlings herself has addressed the issuse of good
        and evil in her first book when Voldemort tells Harry
        "There is no good or evil, only power and those too weak to use
        it."
        Of course like all of Rowlings material, that quote is lifted from
        another literary source and my apologies for not having the original
        quote or the author at my fingertips.

        It will be interesting to see what she reveals in the last book.

        Jade


        --- In pathofthecraft@yahoogroups.com, "Morgaine StormDancer"
        <MuseofOrpheus@...> wrote:
        >
        > Okay, I'll start... but I better hear some chiming in!
        >
        >
        > THE question - Is Snape evil or good? Let's have your opinion!
        > >
        >
        > I'm still of the opinion that Snape is good, although Rowling has
        been
        > *extremely* careful in making sure there are arguments both ways.
        > Dumbledore trusts him, even though Harry (and we as readers) don't
        know the
        > "ironclad" reason yet. The biggest reasons I think Snape are
        innocent are
        > actually in Half Blood Prince. But I'll bring them up now, since
        by the
        > time we're discussing HBP, we'll already know Snape's true colors!
        1) the
        > argument Hagrid overhears between Dumbledore and Snape indicates
        that they
        > have a plan that Snape doesn't want to go through with 2) Snape
        goes out
        > of his way at the end of the book to NOT harm Harry, prevent others
        from
        > harming him, AND is practically giving him lessons while Harry is
        trying to
        > jinx him
        >
        >
        > >
        > > Harry's occlumency lessons with Snape are a disaster. Who do you
        think
        > > holds the blame here?
        > >
        >
        > I think Harry, Snape and Dumbledore all hold some responsibility
        here.
        > Harry is to blame because he really doesn't want to close his mind,
        because
        > he WANTS to know what's behind the door in his dreams. Snape can't
        get over
        > his grudge for James Potter and is a pretty poor teacher - he gives
        Harry
        > his expectations but very little direction on how to accomplish
        it. And of
        > course, Dumbledore should have known Snape teaching Harry was a bad
        idea.
        >
        >
        > > In OOTP, we meet Kreacher - a house elf very different from
        Dobby. Let's
        > > talk house elf rights! Would you be a member of SPEW? Why or
        why not?
        > >
        >
        > This gets a bit tricky because one could see it as a metaphor for
        slavery -
        > and "slavery" is how Hermione sees the status quo. But the house
        elves
        > themselves believe that their whole purpose for existence is to
        serve wizard
        > families. Is this brainwashing or culture? I tend to think closer
        to
        > culture in that it is part of what makes a house elf a house elf.
        But I do
        > think that the treatment of house elves is something that needs to
        be
        > improved. So if SPEW changed its focus from trying to "free" elves
        who
        > don't want to be free to improving their welfare in general, then I
        would
        > join. :)
        >
        >
        > >
        > > Do you think Sirius is dead? What would you speculate is beyond
        the veil?
        > >
        >
        > All the adults in the book insist Sirius is dead, but we never get
        any
        > explanation about what the doorway with the veil leads to. It
        might be too
        > simple just to say it leads to death or the land of the dead (which
        was my
        > first assumption). We know that Harry could hear whispering and
        had a
        > strong sensation that there was someone standing behind the veil on
        the
        > other side of the doorway. But why was Ginny also "entranced" by
        it whereas
        > Ron and Hermione were not? Rowling has actually said that Sirius
        is dead
        > (but we are talking about a magical world here). One thing we
        don't know
        > for sure is whether Bellatrix's blast or the veil itself caused
        Sirius'
        > death. Could "death" also just mean that he is physically not in
        the world
        > of the living? Similarly, its still in the realm of possibility
        that
        > Dumbledore's death in HBP could be a phoenix-style death; a
        phoenix DOES
        > die, but is reborn. Hmmm...
        >
        >
        > > Does your opinion of Dumbledore change by the end of the book?
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > Hard for me to answer this one because I really like Dumbledore, but
        > throughout the book, I did start to feel like Harry - wondering
        where
        > Dumbledore was the whole time. The chapter where he explains
        everything is
        > one of the most emotional ones in the whole series, IMO.
        Dumbledore admits
        > he's made mistakes, yet it was out of a desire to protect Harry
        because he
        > cared about him. So now he isn't exactly as infallible character
        as he
        > seemed like before; yet, his acting out of love for Harry is
        characteristic
        > of him. So my answer is kind of, but not really.
        >
        >
        >
        > Becky
        >
      • Morgaine StormDancer
        That s an excellent point. Moral ambiguity definitely becomes more of a theme in the later books and not just with Snape. For instance, Harry having a
        Message 3 of 5 , Jul 5, 2007
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          That's an excellent point.  Moral ambiguity definitely becomes more of a theme in the later books and not just with Snape.  For instance, Harry having a certain vision of his father, then learning that he was a bully while in school.  And Draco, although he's made a lot of bad decisions, is not necessarily "evil", as he is unable to kill Dumbledore.
           
          It's not entirely implausible that Snape is only loyal to himself (playing both sides for now) to see how things turn out.
           
          Welcome to the group, Jade!
           
          Becky
           
          On 7/5/07, potionsmastersnape2003 <potionsmastersnape2003@...> wrote:

          I am not sure that it is a question of good or evil; only of where
          his loyalties lie. Rowlings herself has addressed the issuse of good
          and evil in her first book when Voldemort tells Harry
          "There is no good or evil, only power and those too weak to use
          it."
          Of course like all of Rowlings material, that quote is lifted from
          another literary source and my apologies for not having the original
          quote or the author at my fingertips.

          It will be interesting to see what she reveals in the last book.

          Jade

          --- In pathofthecraft@yahoogroups.com, "Morgaine StormDancer"


          <MuseofOrpheus@...> wrote:
          >
          > Okay, I'll start... but I better hear some chiming in!
          >
          >
          > THE question - Is Snape evil or good? Let's have your opinion!
          > >
          >
          > I'm still of the opinion that Snape is good, although Rowling has
          been
          > *extremely* careful in making sure there are arguments both ways.
          > Dumbledore trusts him, even though Harry (and we as readers) don't
          know the
          > "ironclad" reason yet. The biggest reasons I think Snape are
          innocent are
          > actually in Half Blood Prince. But I'll bring them up now, since
          by the
          > time we're discussing HBP, we'll already know Snape's true colors!
          1) the
          > argument Hagrid overhears between Dumbledore and Snape indicates
          that they
          > have a plan that Snape doesn't want to go through with 2) Snape
          goes out
          > of his way at the end of the book to NOT harm Harry, prevent others
          from
          > harming him, AND is practically giving him lessons while Harry is
          trying to
          > jinx him
          >
          >
          > >
          > > Harry's occlumency lessons with Snape are a disaster. Who do you
          think
          > > holds the blame here?
          > >
          >
          > I think Harry, Snape and Dumbledore all hold some responsibility
          here.
          > Harry is to blame because he really doesn't want to close his mind,
          because
          > he WANTS to know what's behind the door in his dreams. Snape can't
          get over
          > his grudge for James Potter and is a pretty poor teacher - he gives
          Harry
          > his expectations but very little direction on how to accomplish
          it. And of
          > course, Dumbledore should have known Snape teaching Harry was a bad
          idea.
          >
          >
          > > In OOTP, we meet Kreacher - a house elf very different from
          Dobby. Let's
          > > talk house elf rights! Would you be a member of SPEW? Why or
          why not?
          > >
          >
          > This gets a bit tricky because one could see it as a metaphor for
          slavery -
          > and "slavery" is how Hermione sees the status quo. But the house
          elves
          > themselves believe that their whole purpose for existence is to
          serve wizard
          > families. Is this brainwashing or culture? I tend to think closer
          to
          > culture in that it is part of what makes a house elf a house elf.
          But I do
          > think that the treatment of house elves is something that needs to
          be
          > improved. So if SPEW changed its focus from trying to "free" elves
          who
          > don't want to be free to improving their welfare in general, then I
          would
          > join. :)
          >
          >
          > >
          > > Do you think Sirius is dead? What would you speculate is beyond
          the veil?
          > >
          >
          > All the adults in the book insist Sirius is dead, but we never get
          any
          > explanation about what the doorway with the veil leads to. It
          might be too
          > simple just to say it leads to death or the land of the dead (which
          was my
          > first assumption). We know that Harry could hear whispering and
          had a
          > strong sensation that there was someone standing behind the veil on
          the
          > other side of the doorway. But why was Ginny also "entranced" by
          it whereas
          > Ron and Hermione were not? Rowling has actually said that Sirius
          is dead
          > (but we are talking about a magical world here). One thing we
          don't know
          > for sure is whether Bellatrix's blast or the veil itself caused
          Sirius'
          > death. Could "death" also just mean that he is physically not in
          the world
          > of the living? Similarly, its still in the realm of possibility
          that
          > Dumbledore's death in HBP could be a phoenix-style death; a
          phoenix DOES
          > die, but is reborn. Hmmm...
          >
          >
          > > Does your opinion of Dumbledore change by the end of the book?
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > Hard for me to answer this one because I really like Dumbledore, but
          > throughout the book, I did start to feel like Harry - wondering
          where
          > Dumbledore was the whole time. The chapter where he explains
          everything is
          > one of the most emotional ones in the whole series, IMO.
          Dumbledore admits
          > he's made mistakes, yet it was out of a desire to protect Harry
          because he
          > cared about him. So now he isn't exactly as infallible character
          as he
          > seemed like before; yet, his acting out of love for Harry is
          characteristic
          > of him. So my answer is kind of, but not really.
          >
          >
          >
          > Becky
          >


        • SeverusSnape
          Thanks. I had not thought of the possibility of Snape being loyal only to himself. That is an interesting possibility that deserves pondering. Although I am
          Message 4 of 5 , Jul 6, 2007
          • 0 Attachment

            Thanks.
             
            I had not thought of the possibility of Snape being loyal only to himself.  That is an interesting possibility that deserves pondering.  Although I am willing to bet that will not be the case.  Rowling follows the classical style of writing in that her plots take predetermined twists and come out with the usual endings.  That is not necessarily a bad thing, we are all programed to think in those terms from early childhood by the stories we are told.  Her magic comes from her wonderful ability to take those predictable characters and plots and dress them up in a new style that keeps us coming back for more. 
             
            Jade
            Morgaine StormDancer <MuseofOrpheus@...> wrote:
            That's an excellent point.  Moral ambiguity definitely becomes more of a theme in the later books and not just with Snape.  For instance, Harry having a certain vision of his father, then learning that he was a bully while in school.  And Draco, although he's made a lot of bad decisions, is not necessarily "evil", as he is unable to kill Dumbledore.
             
            It's not entirely implausible that Snape is only loyal to himself (playing both sides for now) to see how things turn out.
             
            Welcome to the group, Jade!
             
            Becky
             
            On 7/5/07, potionsmastersnape2 003 <potionsmastersnape2 003@yahoo. com> wrote:
            I am not sure that it is a question of good or evil; only of where
            his loyalties lie. Rowlings herself has addressed the issues of good
            and evil in her first book when Voldemort tells Harry
            "There is no good or evil, only power and those too weak to use
            it."
            Of course like all of Rowlings material, that quote is lifted from
            another literary source and my apologies for not having the original
            quote or the author at my fingertips.

            It will be interesting to see what she reveals in the last book.

            Jade

            --- In pathofthecraft@ yahoogroups. com, "Morgaine StormDancer"

            <MuseofOrpheus@ ...> wrote:
            >
            > Okay, I'll start... but I better hear some chiming in!
            >
            >
            > THE question - Is Snape evil or good? Let's have your opinion!
            > >
            >
            > I'm still of the opinion that Snape is good, although Rowling has
            been
            > *extremely* careful in making sure there are arguments both ways.
            > Dumbledore trusts him, even though Harry (and we as readers) don't
            know the
            > "ironclad" reason yet. The biggest reasons I think Snape are
            innocent are
            > actually in Half Blood Prince. But I'll bring them up now, since
            by the
            > time we're discussing HBP, we'll already know Snape's true colors!
            1) the
            > argument Hagrid overhears between Dumbledore and Snape indicates
            that they
            > have a plan that Snape doesn't want to go through with 2) Snape
            goes out
            > of his way at the end of the book to NOT harm Harry, prevent others
            from
            > harming him, AND is practically giving him lessons while Harry is
            trying to
            > jinx him
            >
            >
            > >
            > > Harry's occlumency lessons with Snape are a disaster. Who do you
            think
            > > holds the blame here?
            > >
            >
            > I think Harry, Snape and Dumbledore all hold some responsibility
            here.
            > Harry is to blame because he really doesn't want to close his mind,
            because
            > he WANTS to know what's behind the door in his dreams. Snape can't
            get over
            > his grudge for James Potter and is a pretty poor teacher - he gives
            Harry
            > his expectations but very little direction on how to accomplish
            it. And of
            > course, Dumbledore should have known Snape teaching Harry was a bad
            idea.
            >
            >
            > > In OOTP, we meet Kreacher - a house elf very different from
            Dobby. Let's
            > > talk house elf rights! Would you be a member of SPEW? Why or
            why not?
            > >
            >
            > This gets a bit tricky because one could see it as a metaphor for
            slavery -
            > and "slavery" is how Hermione sees the status quo. But the house
            elves
            > themselves believe that their whole purpose for existence is to
            serve wizard
            > families. Is this brainwashing or culture? I tend to think closer
            to
            > culture in that it is part of what makes a house elf a house elf.
            But I do
            > think that the treatment of house elves is something that needs to
            be
            > improved. So if SPEW changed its focus from trying to "free" elves
            who
            > don't want to be free to improving their welfare in general, then I
            would
            > join. :)
            >
            >
            > >
            > > Do you think Sirius is dead? What would you speculate is beyond
            the veil?
            > >
            >
            > All the adults in the book insist Sirius is dead, but we never get
            any
            > explanation about what the doorway with the veil leads to. It
            might be too
            > simple just to say it leads to death or the land of the dead (which
            was my
            > first assumption). We know that Harry could hear whispering and
            had a
            > strong sensation that there was someone standing behind the veil on
            the
            > other side of the doorway. But why was Ginny also "entranced" by
            it whereas
            > Ron and Hermione were not? Rowling has actually said that Sirius
            is dead
            > (but we are talking about a magical world here). One thing we
            don't know
            > for sure is whether Bellatrix's blast or the veil itself caused
            Sirius'
            > death. Could "death" also just mean that he is physically not in
            the world
            > of the living? Similarly, its still in the realm of possibility
            that
            > Dumbledore's death in HBP could be a phoenix-style death; a
            phoenix DOES
            > die, but is reborn. Hmmm...
            >
            >
            > > Does your opinion of Dumbledore change by the end of the book?
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > Hard for me to answer this one because I really like Dumbledore, but
            > throughout the book, I did start to feel like Harry - wondering
            where
            > Dumbledore was the whole time. The chapter where he explains
            everything is
            > one of the most emotional ones in the whole series, IMO.
            Dumbledore admits
            > he's made mistakes, yet it was out of a desire to protect Harry
            because he
            > cared about him. So now he isn't exactly as infallible character
            as he
            > seemed like before; yet, his acting out of love for Harry is
            characteristic
            > of him. So my answer is kind of, but not really.
            >
            >
            >
            > Becky
            >




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