2.04.2014

Harry Potter Book Club: Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 10

Apologies for the lateness of this blog post. In the past day and a half, I've submitted one university application, put together and sent off one résumé and two writing samples for a job, planned and directed the first men's chant schola rehearsal, attempted to play "Aeris' Theme" and "Clair de Lune" for my fantastic new piano teacher, and (barely) survived the requisite anxiety attacks for all of the above. Also, Hermione and I are having the same kind of week:
Professor Lupin smiled at the look of indignation on every face. 
"Don't worry. I'll speak to Professor Snape. You don't have to do the essay." 
"Oh no," said Hermione, looking very disappointed. "I've already finished it!"
This conversation happened yesterday morning:
Me: "...but I do have my GED, I got it way back in 1996, and I'm scheduled to take the SAT on..." 
Very Nice Admissions Advisor: "How old did you say you were?" 
Me: "Thirty-six." 
Anxiety: "Do they not accept students who are this old?" 
Very Nice Admissions Advisor: "The reason I ask is because if you're over 25, you're not required to take the SAT." 
Me: "!!!"
Of course, I've already paid for it and begun re-learning all that math, so I might as well.

Now, Harry! Masha posted this week, mostly about Lupin's response to Harry:
I thought Rowling said the Dementors represented depression, not fear. Two very different emotional experiences. So if Harry feared the dementors themselves, wouldn't he be more afraid of despair than fear?
I also enjoyed BTanaka's response:
No, his advice doesn't really make sense. The real answer, of course, is "that suggests what you fear most is hideous demons that destroy all happiness and can eat your soul. Very wise, Harry."
:D

Christie has yet to post, but I'm sure she will soon, so we're moving on!

* * *

This Week in Reading Harry


Read: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, chapter 10

Potential Discussion Points:


1. Harry's mother's voice. You're an orphan, raised by people who hate you. You can't remember your parents at all. Not till you were eleven did you even see pictures of your parents, and then you saw a mirror-image of them specifically designed to drive you mad with longing. Eventually you run into demoniac, soul-sucking creatures that mess with your mind in horrible ways till you lose consciousness—and in that state, as your mind goes black, for the first time in your life, you hear your mother's voice. Screaming. As she's about to be murdered for protecting you.

There aren't words.

Art by bananacosmicgirl

2. The Marauder's Map. This is one of Rowling's great inventions, and it raises so many questions that I just can't stand it. How did Fred and George ever figure out how to work it? Did Messrs. Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot, and Prongs use the exact same phrasing? And of all things, well—I could probably never work it, because I'd have to say:

Source.

Source.

Source.

Source.

Source. And the list goes on...

and I just can't solemnly swear that...! (Shocker revelation: I'm kind of an uptight person.)

Did Hermione ever use it? Because she strikes me as too conscientiously law-abiding. If there's a record of her working the map in the books, I've forgotten it. Feel free to remind me. Avowal of personal mischief is obviously not a problem for Fred, George, or Harry, of course.

This also raises the question of how serious you have to be about the words you use in Potter magic. Harry's not "up to no good" when he's using the map to watch over SPOILER in book seven.

3. What Harry overhears. So, yeah, eavesdropping is a bad idea. I can't say more than that without SPOILERS. But it is a convenient plot device, and Harry really gets an earful here. Mass murderer Sirius Black was his dad's best friend. Black is in Azkaban, not just for murdering thirteen people, but for betraying James and Lily and Harry to Voldemort.

Art by ditraveler

As we've noted a few times, this book is full of strong contrast between darkness and light, and we get a bit of it in this chapter, which is right in the middle of the book: the darkness of Harry's dementor-inspired memory of his mother's death, followed by humor and comfort from Professor Lupin; the trip through the dark tunnel followed by a sweetshop and swirling snow; and then, in reverse pattern, the warmth of Harry's brief Christmastime moment in The Three Broomsticks with Ron and Hermione and his first taste of butterbeer, followed by a trip under the table where he hears dark things about Sirius Black and his parents' death.

I'm trying not to question the believability of a scene in which the Minister of Magic and Professor McGonagall gossip with Hagrid and a barmaid. The idea of Hagrid himself gossiping on several pints of mead is no big stretch, of course. Good old careless, reliable, affectionate Hagrid.

Your turn! Now I want to make some more butterbeer.


4 comments:

  1. Jenna said, "1. Harry's mother's voice. You're an orphan, raised by people who hate you. You can't remember your parents at all. Not till you were eleven did you even see pictures of your parents, and then you saw a mirror-image of them specifically designed to drive you mad with longing. Eventually you run into demoniac, soul-sucking creatures that mess with your mind in horrible ways till you lose consciousness—and in that state, as your mind goes black, for the first time in your life, you hear your mother's voice. Screaming. As she's about to be murdered for protecting you.

    There aren't words."

    And Rowling says it's Ron & Hermione who would need counseling...

    ReplyDelete
  2. Everybody at Hogwarts should get free counselling for life. :(

    ReplyDelete
  3. George, totally.

    And I'm glad to hear those comments of Rowling's were Skeetered up, because they seriously hacked me off.

    Laura, even without the Voldemort wars, I could see the everyday consequences of magic being a bit hard on the psyche!

    ReplyDelete
  4. wait..so the comments weren't what they appeared to be???

    drama....

    ReplyDelete

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