|We have to be careful, de-gnoming in town.|
The neighbors will hate me if this lands
in their yard.
Before we get up to our elbows in peony bushes, however—well, any more than I already have—we've got to cover last week's book club entries. Masha commented on Harry's lack of confidence in love:
Harry is home again, hating his family, longing for escape, and anticipating another school year with friends..but uncertain again - he never really knows where he stands in the magical world, or the hearts of his friends. He wants certainty that can’t be given in this world, he lacks trust - a faith in the goodness and consistency of those he loves. It’s sort of a common thread for Harry throughout the books - like most of Rowling’s characters, he doesn’t love confidently or consistently..there are too many doubts and resting demons he can’t overcome.To which Christie responded, among other commentary:
I remember writing early on about the horror of Harry's upbringing and my subdued surprise that it hadn't affected him more severely. Children raised in such a home, outside of the fictional world, would almost certainly have deep emotional wounds and problems with delinquency. Here we start to cast light into the deeps of Harry's woundedness, of which, so far, we have not much left the shallows.I'll be interested to see further thoughts on this as the series progresses. Harry isn't wholly child either of realism or fantasy; he's neither paragon of virtue, nor profound and pathetic victim of abuse, and yet, in some ways, he's both. The story itself sits in a weird place, really; it combines myth and humanity into a light tragicomedy that is simplistic at one moment and startlingly thoughtful the next.
It might be interesting to compare Harry to Dudley in, say, book five. And there'll be lots to talk about in book seven, of course. :)
On to this week's reading!
P.S. It's really hard to take pictures of yourself de-gnoming. I think this girl did a better job than I did.
* * *
This Week in Reading Harry
Read: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, chapters 2-3
You guys. Muggle problems!
|Referring to a different clock than the one we meet in Ch. 2.|
|Or better yet, the ability to Apparate.|
|So it's not just me?!|
Potential Discussion Points
I'm afraid that if I say anything about Dobby, there will be SPOILERS. Masha tells me that his existence, and that of his race, are problematic (see combox at the link)... and I can't argue yet, because I don't know what she means. ;) So far, however, we've got what is really a beautiful scene in retrospect—the way Harry treats Dobby, and the way Dobby responds, are quite powerful in context, but I can't describe it properly, because it would spoil half the plot of the book. Ugh. Frustrating. There's more to come when we get to socks.
|Art by mneomosyne.|
2. Uncle Vernon's racist joke (page 18; we're not told either buildup or punchline, just that it's about a Japanese golfer.) Is Uncle Vernon a racist because he's a jerk? Or because he's uneducated, or ignorant in that arena at least? Or because Rowling, like too many people from left of the political center, believes that everyone right of center is a racist? Or is it just a throwaway sign of Uncle Vernon's overall nastiness and distrust of anyone different from himself?
|Art by LMRourke.|
This artist's character sketches are sublime.
|And the other half of the pair... Art by LMRourke.|
5. De-gnoming the garden. All right, this is a funny scene, but I always feel sorry for the gnomes when they walk away with their shoulders hunched. Even though they're stupid and vicious.** Ron presumes they don't feel pain, which I might be more inclined to believe if Ron weren't so desperately prone to believing just what he wants to believe on such subjects. More on that later, too.
|Art by Rawenna.|
Update: 6. The Burrow! How did I forget the Burrow? And now I don't have any time to talk about it, except to say that this first visit to it is one of the beautifully magical parts of Rowling's worldbuilding, and I understand why Harry thinks it's the best house he's ever been in.
Also, I really want clocks like Molly's.
Anything I overlooked? Got thoughts on chapters 2-3? Put them up for discussion!
* Muggle moment: I'd as soon have gnomes as slugs.
** I've never figured out a good way to kill slugs, either.