|Warrior Girl's homemade wands.|
Masha began the conversation on classism in the story, with the probability of much more to come (yes, Masha and Seth wrote in one post together, so the wands and classism commentary are at the same link):
Harry is somewhat outside class - as lost in suburbia as he would be along side Draco, watching with longing the pleasantly proletariat Weasleys knock about at the train station. It’s an opportunity to set him up to do ‘great things’ formed either by a connection to and welcoming of the good that can grow in all of the classes he can see - but never belong to; or else a rejection of these pockets of belonging and all the people who fit easily in one or the other. I don’t know that Rowling managed either in the end..but right now, Harry is still in formation - full of potential and the loneliness it brings.Christie talked about expectations:
So what is a boy to do? When he is already "known" by a whole class—no, a whole world—of people, yet still inherently unknown? How does he establish himself as an individual? And how does he climb out from under the shadow of such a daunting figure, someone he can't even be allowed to name in order to stand against face-to-face and ask, "Who are you? And, more importantly, who does that make me?"And there's magic to be had over at Kelly Orazi's, too, as she discusses similarities between Mr. Dursley and Uncle Andrew from The Chronicles of Narnia:
While the others are able to hear beautiful music and understand the language of animals, [Uncle Andrew] and Jadis (the White Witch of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe) cannot and will not understand. The narrator states, "For what you see and hear depends a good deal where you're standing: it also depends on what sort of person you are" (125). Like Mr. Dursley, Uncle Andrew talks himself out believing what he is seeing and hearing...And now, witches and wizards and Muggle ladies and gentlemen... are you ready for Chapter 7? This is a big chapter.
* * *
Read: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Chapter 7: The Sorting Hat
All right, firs' years! Which House are you in?
I know where I belong.
I'm Hufflepuff and I'm proud
Yeah, I'm not one of the crowd
I'm in the right House, baby, I was Sorted this way*
Did you know that Hufflepuff has produced the fewest Dark wizards of any Hogwarts House? That you get doused in vinegar if you try and get into our dormitories without knowing what you're doing? That our dormitories are a lot like hobbit holes—round, underground, comfortable, and with easy proximity to the kitchens? That Professor Sprout keeps lots of interesting plants in the common room, some of which sing and dance? That, like the badger which serves as our emblem, we're quiet but extremely tenacious?
|Okay, so that one's mostly aimed at Slytherin.|
But Slytherins are the ones who mostly treat us like idiots, so, yeah.
|Also, we got Edward Cullen. *grins*|
Composite by loveeisGonee.
Potential Discussion Points:
Discussion could go a million ways, but here are the dividing lines, as they ostensibly stand:
|Shields via the Harry Potter Lexicon|
GryffindorValues: Courage; "daring, nerve and chivalry"
Elemental correspondence: Fire
Colors: Red and gold
Head of House: Minerva McGonagall, Transfiguration Mistress
Ghost: Nearly Headless Nick
Teaches: Standing up for others, and for what is right
Weaknesses: Seeks glory, tends to believe itself to be the best of the bunch
Slytherin:Values: Ambition, cleverness, status
Elemental correspondence: Water
Colors: Green and silver
Head of House: Severus Snape, Potions Master
Ghost: The Bloody Baron
Teaches: Cunning, competition
Weaknesses: Arrogance, slyness, sometimes meanness
Ravenclaw:Values: Intelligence, wit, ready mind
Elemental correspondence: Air
Colors: Blue and bronze
Head of House: Filius Flitwick, Charms Master
Ghost: The Grey Lady
Teaches: Logic, reasoning
Weaknesses: Snobbery, "know-it-all" tendencies
Hufflepuff:Values: Loyalty, hard work, inclusiveness
Elemental correspondence: Earth
Colors: Yellow and black
Head of House: Pomona Sprout, Herbology Mistress
Ghost: The Fat Friar
Teaches: Work ethic, kindness, universal dignity
Weaknesses: Often low achieving, over-simplistic
All that should be something to start from, in symbolism studies and sources of rivalry.
2. Harry gets his first sight of several important people in this chapter. Among them are:
- Albus Dumbledore, whose hilarious opening speech is the introduction to a supremely clever wizard who has learned not to take himself or anyone else too seriously.
- Severus Snape, who obviously hates Harry from the outset—an unfortunate position for a teacher to take—and who seems somehow connected to Harry's past.
- The pain in his own scar. Anything more than that, and we're straight into spoiler territory.
- Peeves the poltergeist. With Peeves, Rowling proved her imagination to be wickedly funny. I'm glad he doesn't haunt my house, but he's one of the details that makes Hogwarts seem not only real but well worth visiting.
3. All right, this might not make much of a discussion point, but I love that the ceiling of the Great Hall is enchanted to look like the sky—full of stars, when Harry first sees it. If I were a Hogwarts student, the Astronomy classes would definitely be among my favorites.
* I love this Not Literally song. Advisory: being a Gaga parody, that is not a modestly-dressed bunch of girls in the music video. Fair warning! But the song is awesome. If you want to check out Not Literally's other House songs, here are their Gryffindor, Slytherin, and Ravenclaw anthems.
P.S. Don't look too closely at my wand. It has a sneaky habit of taking the form of a knitting needle.