July 2nd, 2005

walk in the woods

[essay-a-thon entry] Dumbledore’s Decisions and the Vulnerability of Authority

This is my attempt to respond to storyteller's questions about Dumbledore’s actions following the Potters’ deaths at Godric’s Hollow. All quotations come from the Scholastic version of the Harry Potter books. I apologize for any mistakes or typos.

Dumbledore’s Decisions and the Vulnerability of Authority in the Harry Potter Series

After the release of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Albus Dumbledore’s reputation within fandom seemed to have hit an all-time low. Long gone was the kindly grandfather figure whose cryptic advice and odd behavior added mystery and color to the series. In his place stood, at best, a well-intentioned puppet master or, at worst, an evil manipulator. Granted, many fans began to suspect Dumbledore of dastardly things after Goblet of Fire when Rowling described the “gleam of something that looked like triumph” in Dumbledore’s eyes (GoF, 696). But for many fans, myself included, those moments at the end of Order of the Phoenix truly shook our faith in the great Albus Dumbledore. It seemed as if the sum total of Dumbledore’s decisions regarding Harry had resulted in that heart-wrenching moment near the end of the book when the Boy-Who-Lived wanted nothing more than to die.

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MCU + Clint Colourful Shot Lined Up
  • saeva

[Essay-athon: for Parallactic: What Motivates Ron Weasley...]

A Rat, a Ferret, and a Weasel Walk Into a Bar…

… And it’s full of chickens. That doesn’t seem like a very funny joke, really, does it? Much like the state of Ron Weasley’s life the punch line falls flat and often incomprehensible. Sure, there’s an connecting thread, which anyone who’s read a book of fables would recognize, but it presumes too much about the reader while giving too little and leaves a general feeling of, well, ‘WTF was the writer thinking there?’ around it.

Or at least it does to me, but then? I’m not a Ron fan. So, what follows is the examination of the question ‘What motivates Ron Weasley?’, as posed by parallactic, as written by a non-Ron fan. You’ve been warned.

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Commentary is welcomed. Flames? Not so much.

- Andrea.
candy lips

[Essay-a-thon Entry] Concerning Prejudice & the Weasleys

This is written for alchemyangel351, who wanted an exploration of whether the Weasleys were really models of non-prejudice. I assumed you meant towards the Muggles, but my apologies if you wanted me to approach prejudice towards other aspects.

“There is no prejudice so strong as that which arises from a fancied exemption from all prejudice.”

- William Hazlitt

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Any errors are completely mine. All criticisms and comments are welcome.

essay-a-thon assignment

For elsie. Her request was: Describe and discuss the ways (plot devices, characterization, creating character histories, etc.) that slash fanfic writers bring Harry and Draco together as a couple, and evaluate the effectiveness of these methods.

This essay has somehow become heavily Draco-centric, with only sporadic comments on Harry. I’ll try to explain why; still, if this isn't what you expected, don't kill me. :)

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Dylan Thomas

Essay-a-thon: Ron Is Hated. Only, not really.

Written for beyond_pale

I have yet to read one intelligent "Ron-bashing" essay; I'm just itching to (and planning on) writing an inordinately massive defence of him, but the reasons why people dislike him seems intangible, irrational, and emotional that it's really hard to identify any without resorting to infantilism and name-calling. So, what's the problem with Ron? Why does he seem to be so (almost universally) hated by Potter fandom?

Dear beyond_pale,

I thought about your question and it strikes me as remarkably problematic for an essay. You don't ask about Ron's failures as a character or why people continue to point out those failures, but you ask me to explain an emotional response I don't even feel. You ask me on behalf of a very large fandom. You ask me to explain an emotion without resorting to emotion. You want a rational explanation of something irrational.

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books and lamp

[Essay-a-Thon] Suffocating Love as a Theme in the Harry Potter Universe

This was written for saeva, who requested that I explain how the theme of love as suffocation affects the plot structure and characterisations of the HP universe.

I was unable to address this exactly, as my view of "theme" is something that grows from character and plot and not the other way 'round, so I took this topic to mean, simply, "Address the theme of love as suffoction in the Harry Potter universe." If this essay isn't along the lines of what you had in mind, Saeva, I'd be more than happy to add more to this essay in order to address more specifically what you wanted me to write about.

Suffocating Love as a Theme in the Harry Potter Universe

Love is a force to be reckoned with, especially within the Harry Potter books. It was his mother’s love that saved Harry Potter as a baby and continued to protect him throughout his childhood; it was the force of love that kept Voldemort from possessing Harry in the Department of Mysteries; and it is love that is “the power the Dark Lord knows not” – the power that will presumably have some role to play in Voldemort’s eventual defeat. Love, perhaps more than any other force, is considered Good – and in fact, it usually is a powerful force for the good. But even love, like all else in this world of grays and shadows, can be misguided. Rowling portrays love as the ultimate in good – but she does not neglect to portray as well its shadow, love misused. Collapse )

Comments are welcome. :)