• ack

    I loved this post. I am a huge HP fan, and it’s really nice to see the feminist analysis of Hermione’s character gain traction. The books have a lot of social justice themes, and she’s at the forefront of a lot, if not most, of them. Obs, the last book in the series was epic, but both the directors and Emma Watson did a great job of portraying her maturation and commitment. What an amazing series!

  • arekushieru

    Do you know what I liked most about this series, ack?  The whole not-blaming-the-victim theme.  Which, kinda, ties into the whole reproductive rights/feminist issue.  Since, anti-choicers are, essentially, blaming the woman for the way her body was developed or for being raped when they say fetal life trumps a womans bodily autonomy.  And, here, in HP, we have the exact opposite. 

    On a side note:  Also one of the reasons why I love Sara Douglass so much!

  • ack

    Exactly. The commentary on oppression was amazing. No one was expected just to accept the fact that Muggle-borns were “less than,” and those who perpetuated that belief were the villians. The house elf subplot was incredible (although I freely admit that Dobby reminded me of JarJar from Star Wars and I was frequently annoyed). But everyone had a role to play, no matter how seemingly bumbling or crazy or thoughtless. We are what we are, once we’re old enough to sort of know what we are. Our “destiny” is happenstance.

     

    Anyhoo, without spoiling too much, I’m really glad to find another HP fan on this site. It has major social justice messages that can be explored with kids who don’t have the language yet, so I want to encourage people to read it with their kids!

  • lories

    I agree with your analysis, and putting the shine on hermione has been great, but i still can’t get over that her charcater is whiny, patronizing and slightly manipulative. ugh that whine. its really ruined her character for me in movies 1-6. With this focus on her in 7 though, she has been able to slightly reduce the whine and turn it into action.  Which leads me to say that her whininess and patronizing tendencies in the books and movies impede her character from being the full leader that she could have been. sure she is a leader in the sense that she always, always stands up for what she believes in and fights for what she knows is right, but her ability to get people behind her and to take her lead just wasn’t written into the character. she would always wind up doing everything herself, typically by herself and feeling misunterstood in the process. which i don’t feel that is such a good quality. and in book 6, harry, who isnt a good leader at all was able to steal the leader shine when he began teaching the dumbledore’s army classes. Yes, he was good at the spells because he had to use them in life threatening situations, but him being a teacher and leader, it was a little too contrived and should have been a place where hermione could have stepped into a leadership role big time. but i guess harry’s character was so rough around the edges in 6, that they have to have some redeming qualities for him.

     

    so yes, we can chalk this up as a small win, but it could have been better…

  • arekushieru

    I am a huge follower of the X-Men.  My favorite literary character of all time is Jean Grey.  Of course, I detest the character that is presented as sort of an anti-Jean Grey, Emma Frost.  The biggest reason I detest her character is her lack of real character development, over the course of several years.  Either there is no forward movement or there is a one step forward, two steps back, kind of deal, there.  With Hermione and Harry, I see it very differently.  To me, the development of their characters is being taken in a plausible direction and these stories are being told in a context where the process of learning (emotional maturity, responsibility, problem-solving skills, etc…) is still ongoing, unlike in the case of Emma.  Over the course of several years within the book, Hermione’s character has mellowed, somewhat and Harry has, who is actually still not quite comfortable with it all, learned to adapt to the situations he has been forced into.  And I think that is what all the books were about.  Focussing on all the angst and growing pains involved in the pre-teen and adolescent stages of development. 

  • julie-watkins

    please delete.

  • julie-watkins

    In CGG. And it’s a comment on how popular culture. The editor of the newsmagazine said he used to read comic books to his kids, his daughter liked FF best, but she wasn’t into comics in high school — oh, well

    OK, college. Dad gets a phone call from Daughter: “What happened to Fantastic Four!?! Susan Richards isn’t saying anything!!” Daughter had checked out or bought a back issue volume and the stories weren’t how she remembered. Well Dad, reading the stories to her, had noticed Susan was just standing there not contributing and that wasn’t the role-model he wanted for his daughter, so he had been rearranging the dialog.

    Is that not the coolest Dad thing to do, or what?

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