Saturday, June 23, 2007

BBC: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Can you believe only 26 days before Deathly Hallows?!? :D *Snoopy dance* Owki, before I start gibbering about the near—and yet so far *sigh* (cue dramatic music...)—July 21st without sounding like a total cuckoobean, here are the questions for our Goblet of Fire discussion:
  • Is Hermione correct in her crusade against poor living conditions for house-elves? What other greater struggles does Hermione’s struggle for house-elf liberation parallel?
  • We learn that when Voldemort killed Harry’s parents, Harry survived the attack due to his mother’s loving sacrifice. Voldemort explains that “His mother died in the attempt to save him—and unwittingly provided him with a protection I admit I had not foreseen... I could not touch the boy.” As a result of surviving that attack Harry is labeled a great wizard, but has Harry truly earned that title? To what extent would you say that Harry is not so much “great” as lucky? In all that Harry does, how much is he acting of his own free will, and how much is he simply living out what from his birth has been his destiny?
  • The Goblet of Fire, the halfway book in the series, leaves readers anticipating the conflict that will surely erupt between the Dark Lord and his forces and those who would oppose him. At the end of the book, Dumbledore begins to rally those who would fight against Voldemort, telling the students at Hogwarts to “Remember Cedric. Remember, if the time should come when you have to make a choice between what is right and what is easy...” With that statement, Dumbledore appears to be saying that what is right and what is easy are not the same. Do you agree with this? Think of examples from your own life where making the right choice was difficult.


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15 comment(s):

Blogger Lily Moon said...

Finally I'm first! I want to start BBC this time hahaha... I'll be back with my answers.

6/23/2007 11:43:00 PM  

Blogger Lily Moon said...

1. I think Hermione's crusade for house-elves is right. She's doing a conscious-raising for slavery and oppression of lesser beings and that is something. But I'm afraid she's campaigning for something that will never happen because the resistance comes from the house-elves themselves.

Instead of freedom, house-elves see a work-free day/retirement as something of a chaos. Look at Winky, she becomes depressed because her identity is tied to her job.

SPEW is a good progress from Hermione's work on Buckbeak's case. Her political awareness is widening. It coincides with her encounter with wizards from other countries and the death eaters.

2. I used to think Harry has all the luck. He has friends who are always willing to help him (even in the TriWizard competition) and wizards who will help him get through his tasks. But despite that, I think Harry is a great wizard. That shows as he grows older. A lot of times he has to make difficult choices that if done unwisely and differently would cause great damage to everyone.

3. To make the right choice means to take the difficult path. That way we'll be able to learn and grow mentally, physically, and emotionally.

There are times when we have to take drastic measures, sacrifice a lot of things, to do what we believe is right. The consequences are painful but the rewards are always worth it.

6/24/2007 01:11:00 AM  

Anonymous Gabrielle said...

Um I dont know about Hermione. She frustrates me with her persistance. Some House Elves are happy in their positions so she shouldnt try to do something that they dont even want. I know where she is coming from but shes judging the house elves by her own standards and beleifs with fully taking into consideration their opinions or thoughts on the subject. And that in itself kind of contradicts the whole liberation of the house elf thing.

Harry has gotten lucky a lot. But i dont think its just about him being a great wizard. He is truly a strong person. He goes through so much and you just ahve to admire him because of his strength *sigh* :D
But then again Harry is kind of a great wizard as well. You think of all the stuff he does and that has to have some talent. He rocks at DADA and can produce a coporeal partonus at only 13. Thats a feat in itself.
Like Lily Moon said, Harry has had to make some tough choices and you have to appraciate the way he makes them.

Oooooo this is a tough one. I agree with Lily Moon.Dumbldore is very right in this instance. I cant think of examples right now but I know there have been plenty of times in my life when I have to do something hard and difficult but I know thats its the right thing to do.

6/24/2007 02:25:00 AM  

Anonymous Gabrielle said...

Just a quick edit

I meant WITHOUT when talking about hermione... lol

6/24/2007 02:36:00 AM  

Blogger Lily Moon said...

Gabrielle, that's a good point about the house elves. But do house elves think of themselves as a person or a property? If property, do they see themselves as extensions of their masters? I think Dobby thinks he's a person and that he has rights as well, which is right but, well, he's a rebel. Winky doesn't. She sees herself as without meaning without a master. She's the Crouch house elf and has no sense of self as Winky. I agree with Hermione that maybe if the other elves see how happy Dobby is, they would at least think of their role in the wizarding world.

6/24/2007 03:41:00 AM  

Blogger michael said...


6/24/2007 04:14:00 AM  

Anonymous Gabrielle said...

Hmmmmmm..... Lily Moon, I dont think that they see themselves as either. I think they see themselves as house elves and only house elves and I dont think that falls into either category. House elves (exc Dobby) dont know anything better than what they experience. Change is foreign to them and it makes them scared (I think) so what Hermione is trying to do is seen as almost dangerous.
Dobby is another case entirely. He loves being a house elf but didnt want all the restrictions and slavery. Dobby was with the Malfoys so anyone can understand why he wanted to escape to badly. No one should be treated like that or have to punish themselves for speaking ill of their 'masters' but if we go by the way Dobby acts, its been like that for ages.

6/24/2007 04:24:00 AM  

Blogger mallymoodle said...

Hi Bitches (in a totally friendly way!). I’m a lurker who’s finally been inspired to participate in these BBCs and would have participated in the Bronze Horseman ones if I knew about you guys at the time.

1. Hermione’s attempt to improve the living conditions of the House elves at the time of reading reminded me of various religious missionary movements or colonial attitudes to ‘native’ populations. On one hand, this is the result of her belief that what she is doing is making them aware of their rights in the wider world and improving their situation, which in itself is a noble reason. However, her insensitivity to the house elf-societal structure means that her attempts are met with the resistance that the rest of the Hogwarts elves and, when forcibly applied, result in personal, and by extension, social, chaos.
Dobby is a positive result; he develops self-respect and self-value, becoming aware of himself as an individual with special abilities/capabilities on whom the wizarding world depends. This makes him even more useful to his allies as he has access to information and places not available through the normal avenues. In contrast is Winky, who no longer knows what she is, and even though she is given another post, completely loses her identity. Forced from her post, she does not see herself as having a function in the wizarding world.
2. It is easy to disregard Harry’s considerable skills as a wizard when you consider the calibre of the wizards on his side. In that respect, he is extremely lucky to have them help out when it is needed. At the same time he wouldn’t have that luck if he were not willing to open himself to other people and take advice when he knows it is needed regardless of how everyone else may regard the source (e.g. approaching Neville about the waterweed). On the flip side we have Draco Malfoy who retains his close-world mindset and is drawn into the activities that occur in Half-Blood Prince.
3. I agree that what is always right is not always easy. If we did everything that was easy, who knows? The greater world might now be in the grip of Nazism. Personal story - I once spoke up against a friend in defence of someone else. That friend turned on me. But the good thing is that it showed me who I needed to weed out of my life (including the boyfriend of the time - spineless jerk).

6/24/2007 05:12:00 AM  

Blogger Vicious Trollop said...

Hi molly and welcome! :D

Trust me guys, I know how hard it is for us lazy folks to sit down and answer these questions, but as soon as I start thinking and writing my hands take a life of their own and before I know it, I've answered everything and a lot of it LOL

Anywho, working on thesis which is to be handed in tomorrow. *scared* but will take a moment to say something:

1) Not even finished re-reading HP2 but will catch up this week with 3 and audio of 4.
2) HP2 was my least favorite in the series, but have learned SOOOOOOOO much from the characters re-reading.

My answers:

1)Hermoine and SPEW. I think its bloody funny!!!!! Her attempts crack me up. I totally understand what JKR wants to convey with this, equality and freedom for everyone and so on, but she makes it so difficult to understand why they should be freed when they themselves love what they do. It seems to me, that freeing some of these elves would be taking a fish out of water and wanting it to learn to live in sand.

Still, I guess that after years of freedom the other generations will learn to love and understand equality better. Anywho, find Hermoine and her efforts to include Harry and Ron in SPEW hillarious!

2)In HP2 both the sorting hat and Dumbledore tell Harry that he is meant for incredible and great things. I think Harry is awfully talented and luck is just a part of life. Someone else less talented or brave could have the same luck and not act the same way. As dumbledore tells Harry at the end of HP2 "It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities".

3) I think JKR must be an incredibly wise woman. What is right, is not usually what is easy and I think all of us over the age of five have learned that LOL

On another note, read this last night in HP2 and very worried now.

Dumbledore to Harry: "unless I;m much mistaken, he [voldemort] transferred some of his own powers to you the night he gave you that scar. Not something he intended to do, I'm sure..."

Harry: "Voldemort put a bit of himself in me?"

Dumbledore: "It certainly seems so."

What the fuck?!?! I don't want to believe Harry is a horcrux. I'm totally against that idea but this confused me :/

6/24/2007 09:44:00 AM  

Blogger Harlot said...

1. I'm afraid Hermione is fighting a losing battle. But i have to agree with Lily. Hermione shouldn't force her beliefs on the elves but i think she is right in pursuing SPEW. She's raising awareness. All their lives, generation to generation, house elves know nothing else but slavery. They have been handed the belief that their only purpose is to serve others. Simply put, they DON'T know any different! They're resisting because freedom is an unknown matter to them, slavery is all they know.

I suppose it's the same as a child prostitute. Raise a little girl to sell herself for money. She grows up and has come to love her profession (because she knows nothing else). That doesn't mean no one should tell her there are other ways she could live her life. Hermione might be stubborn and persistent but i think she's doing the right thing.

If Hermione were to keep up her movement, she may have elves who will discover that they'll be happier being paid and having some freedom. Of course it's possible that serving others is just the house elves nature, that they're not capable of doing any different. But then again, look at Dobby! Dobby shows that it's possible for house elves to stand up for his rights, even in minor ways.

2. I agree with everyone that Harry is a great wizard. He acts on his own free will and usually he has to make difficult choices. It's amazing how mature Harry is sometimes and how he's able to keep his head even when faced with overwhelming difficulties. A lesser person, a less talented wizard wouldn't survive.

Be back later for more. Very tired. Welcome Mallymoodle. That includes some besos because you love TBH too. ;)

6/24/2007 11:17:00 AM  

Blogger mallymoodle said...

Thanks for the welcome Harlot - damn straight I love TBH, I only found you guys cos I did a search for other ppl who read and loved it too!

And good luck with the thesis, Trollop, mine is due in 18 months *gulp*

6/24/2007 08:07:00 PM  

Anonymous malicious strumpet said...

I had the wonderful experience of listening to GOF on the way down (and back) to Nashville a month ago. Jim Dale rocks my face off - he does such a great job with all the different voices. Anywho, on to the questions!

1) Morally, Hermione's right, and the house elves deserve emancipation, fair wages, etc. But at the same time, they don't want it. I wonder if her campaign for emancipation would have been better if she'd educated the elves first - you know, sort of gone in softly and befriended them and heard what their lives are like and tried to figure out what their needs/wants are. Having done that, she might have met with better success. In her approach, there's a certain amount of arrogance: that she knows what's good for the elves and will give it to them, whether they want it or not.

2)In some ways, HP hasn't earned his greatness...but at the same time, part of his greatness is just in BEING who he is. In my line of work (I'm a pastor. Some of you know that - but either way, there you are), people are always trying to "DO" enough. They're busy being human 'doings' and lose the abilitity to be human 'beings' and that never ends well. Part of Harry's greatness is not in knowledge of spells, or always having the right answer, but simply in BEING who he is - someone who was loved dearly by his parents and who faced a life of hardship after their death, someone who is completely loyal to the Dumbledore. His greatness comes from his bone-deep opposition to the evil that Voldemort and his followers represent. He has the ability to weild magic that is beyond his knowledge of magic. I believe that ability comes from his BEING.

3) What's right is often not what's easy. "Nothing worth having comes without some kind of price" as Bruce Cockburn (and later, The Barenaked Ladies) once sang. I think I'm a little slow today - I'm not coming up with a personal example. I know there is one, I'm just not coming up with it right now. Sigh.

I looooove the discussions, bitches! Keep 'em coming!


6/25/2007 11:09:00 AM  

Blogger Aradia said...

Hi all! Long time, no see! This is the first discussion I can attend (not having an exam or a project!).
First, I agree with Lily moon. House elves don’t want freedom from slavery. Their work and their owners are their identity and they are happy. So Hermione should focus on giving them better work conditions and less cruelty from their owners (like having days off and holidays, the freedom to leave a heartless family like Malfoys, etc).
Second, yes; Harry has been lucky, having parents who scarified themselves for him and a wise guardian (Dumbledore) and great friends who help him. Harry is loyal, honest, modest and brave but is he a great wizard? Is he a powerful wizard? Definitely no (at least not yet!) he knows how to find and use his windows of opportunity and that is the secret to his successes so far. But why would it make him a target for some one like Voldemort? (I think that’s where JKR’s plot for the story is weak and lacking logic. Voldemort wants to kill Harry because Harry will grow up to be able to defeat Voldemort? Not good enough! If Voldemort hadn’t gone for Harry, none of these would happen….) Harry is not a great wizard because he doesn’t have a drive for knowledge and a thirst for power. But is he a great person (a great 14 years old teenager)? Yes, he is.
Third, the difference between what is right and what is easy? So far in 6books of the series most characters are doing what is easy and just a handful are looking for the truth, fallowing the right path. And, yes; for many people it is the easier path which they choose, less conflict, less challenge, a quite easy life. It goes back to how you were raised. If you’ve grown up having a strong moral compass, you will choose what is right no matter the cost.

6/25/2007 04:09:00 PM  

Blogger QB said...

I've never read any of the HP books, and I'm not sure I've even seen all the movies. That's not a criticism, they're just not really my thing.

However, as soon as I saw this
I thought of you BBs and, on the small chance you hadn't heard about it, I rushed over here to make sure you knew.

6/25/2007 07:29:00 PM  

Blogger Vicious Trollop said...

QB, I challenge you to read them and then tell me what you think. Come on, give them a chance, I swear you will not be disappointed, and if for some reason you end up not liking them, at least you'll know what they're about. What do you say? *G*

Aradia, I think that was the first reason Voldemort went to kill Harry and his parents, something that was nothing to him anyway, b/c he killed people for breakfast, lunch and dinner without breaking a step.

I think later on it becomes an obsession b/c he doesn't understand why being the most powerful wizard he can't defeat a school boy. Also, now he has to prove to his followers that he is indeed more powerful than Harry. Another thing is the prophesy (sp?) that sort of explains the need to kill him too.

Can't wait for HP5 movie! :D And the book of course.

6/28/2007 04:19:00 AM