Kevin's Watch Forum Index
 HomeHome   MemberlistMemberlist   RegisterRegister   SearchSearch   ProfileProfile   FAQFAQ   StatisticsStatistics  SudokuSudoku   Phoogle MapPhoogle Map 
 AlbumAlbum StoresStores   StoresItems Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Dissection: SS/PS ~ Chapter Ten Halloween

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Kevin's Watch Forum Index -> The Library -> J.K. Rowling Forum
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Zahir
Malkavian Primogen


Joined: 02 Dec 2002
Posts: 1302

Thanks: 7
Thanked 34 Times in 29 Posts

Location: Los Angeles, CA
4921 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:


PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2007 8:24 pm    Post subject: Dissection: SS/PS ~ Chapter Ten Halloween Reply with quote

To some extent the whole Harry Potter series is a bit of wish-fullfillment. The orphan learns he is indeed special, there is a family of sorts waiting to welcome him with open arms. We learn, with Harry, that instead of being a poor relation we're actually rather wealthy. And our school, rather than being a grim institution of frigid rules, is a magical wonderland of talking paintings and friendly ghosts.

Chapter Ten begins with just such a fantasy fullfilled. Who has not been the victim of a bully? And who has done dreamt of having the bully's most vicious little scheme result in a total turnaround? Not expelled, but lauded! Given special privileges! The look on Malfoy's face! Twisted Evil Especially in the wake of Professor McGonagall's gift of a brand new Nimbus Two Thousand broomstick!

(Parenthetically--literally--one might want to make a point here about the Head of Gryffindore House. Professor McGonagall is a tough old bird, to be sure, but more than anything else that seems to be reaction to a tendency towards letting emotions carry her away. She is clearly breaking all sorts of rules here, and does so again on many occasions. Once you get past all that armor she really is an old softie--but that armor is sharp and dangerous. As violators of certain rules find out.)

All this of course is in the wake of the Adventure of the Three Headed Dog, which has had an interesting effect on four characters we will get to know well. Harry and Ron, let us face it, are being quite juvenile about a stunt that easily could have gotten themselves--and others--killed horribly. Neville, trying to get along, wants nothing to do with a monster (quite sensible, when you think about it). Hermione, holding fast to written rules, refuses to speak with Ron or Harry--which shows, incidentally, they both get under her skin rather easily.

This chapter also gives us our first real description of Quidditch, from the mouth of that sports fanatic Oliver Wood. Haven't we all met someone like him? People who treat football or baseball or some other ball-related activity as on par with winning a shooting war? Literally? I'll admit, upon learning the rules of Quidditch for the first time my own reaction was WTF? Seems like you could eliminate everyone except the Seekers and get the same result! But then it was eventually explained to me that Quidditch is a game about rankings--your total scores over the course of a season. Thus the actions of Chasers and Keepers with the Quaffle actually do have a direct impact upon the status of the team. Herein endeth that lesson.

Later, we get some more hints and nuances about the Trio which is at the heart of the series. Ron and Hermione are paired together in Charms Class (to their mutual--an interestingly intense--disgust). Of course Hermione outshines Ron, which is exactly the kind of wound Ron doesn't like having poked. She is thrilled, even smug, about being right and is deeply hurt at Ron's words. Interestingly, it is Ron at this point who can actually bring tears to Hermione's eyes.

Then, a Troll in the dungeon. Percy gets to tell people what to do (you can so imagine him puffing himself up at that point) but Harry immediately shows some traits we'll get to know more and more intimitely as the books go on. He sees something others have missed. The Sorting Hat was right--not a bad mind at all. And rather than foist the decision onto someone else, he instantly decides to act. He also seeks help from his best mate, Ron. At this point neither one of them really like Hermione, but both rush into danger to save her. It is fun to speculate what they'd've done if it were Draco Malfoy in danger. Myself, I like to imagine they'd look at each other for a moment, sigh, then go save him anyway...

And isn't that description of the Troll really vivid? I feel vaguely naseous every time I read it.

Given a chance to shine, of course, Ron seizes the opportunity with both hands. What he lacks in scholarship, athletics, style, glamour or leadership (at least in his eyes as compared to his elder brothers) he equals or excells in that quality we may as well call Heart. How many eleven year olds would instantly hurl insults at a twelve-foot-tall monster?

Then--it is really Ron who saves the day. What's more, he does it using magic perfectly, ever superlatively, saving the life of the girl who bested him with exactly the same spell EARLIER THAT DAY!

Is it any wonder he feels something deeply positive about Hermione from that moment on?

When the teachers arrive, they of course behold quite a sight. Possibly the most startling one from their pov (certainly from Harry's and Ron's) is perfect student Hermione Granger admitting/lying about being so irresponsible as to go looking for a Troll! But then, once you consider it, that is supremely in character. Hermione has a fondness for rules, for the security of knowledge and clear answers. But she obsesses in that direction to fill a void in her life. Quite simply, she is lonely the way very many super-bright children often are. Of course, flaunting your knowledge and smarts doesn't help, but then we're talking about a child here. Children cannot be expected to create very many sophisticated, mature decisions about life. They are children, after all! But here she is, feeling vulnerable enough to cry, and she's attacked by a monster in the very place where you should feel most safe--the girl's bathroom. And the very boys who said how much they disliked her showed up, risking their own lives to save hers! That must have been a shock down to the bone--and a pleasant one. She acted immediately in loyalty to her deepest unmet desire--friends. Methinks that was probably the first time she'd ever gotten the chance to do so much for someone else. Is it any wonder she feels something deeply positive about Ron and Harry from that moment on?

Which isn't to say the basic ingredients of this Trinity weren't already there. But you can't make an omelet by putting eggs, cheese, milk, cooking oil and chopped up bits of bacon in the same room together. You've got to heat the pan, crack open the eggs, whisk, pour, add, flip, etc. Then you get an omelette.

That is what this chapter does. It takes the ingredients of what potentially to be a great trio of friends, and starts the process. None of their lives will ever be the same again. And the whole world will be better off--not least because when the crunch came, each of these three young people instantly acted in a way that showed their souls.

Harry saw a danger and acted upon it. He could easily have tried to go tell Percy or a teacher.

Ron rose to the occasion brilliantly. He might easily have failed or not tried hard enough in the face of real danger.

Hermione allowed herself to respond in kind, with generosity and loyalty. She might easily have told the truth, won sympathy and praise from the teachers while getting a tiny bit of revenge on the boy who made her cry.

But they did. And they didn't. So the world was saved.
_________________
"O let my name be in the Book of Love!
It be there, I care not of the other great book Above.
Strike it out! Or, write it in anew. But
Let my name be in the Book of Love!" --Omar Khayam
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Phoogle Map
Thanked by: I am not Joan
Menolly
Gravin Threndor, how I love thee.

FemaleRanyhyn
Joined: 19 May 2005
Posts: 22702

Thanks: 32
Thanked 83 Times in 82 Posts

Location: Harper Hall, Fort Hold, Northern Continent, Pern...
147501 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:
1 Pantheon Veteran1 2008 Watcher of the Year1 Furls Fire


PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2007 8:33 pm    Post subject: Re: Dissection: SS/PS Chapter Ten "Halloween" Reply with quote

Zahir wrote:
Which isn't to say the basic ingredients of this Trinity weren't already there. But you can't make an omelet by putting eggs, cheese, milk, cooking oil and chopped up bits of bacon in the same room together. You've got to heat the pan, crack open the eggs, whisk, pour, add, flip, etc. Then you get an omelette.

That is what this chapter does. It takes the ingredients of what potentially to be a great trio of friends, and starts the process. None of their lives will ever be the same again. And the whole world will be better off--not least because when the crunch came, each of these three young people instantly acted in a way that showed their souls.

Harry saw a danger and acted upon it. He could easily have tried to go tell Percy or a teacher.

Ron rose to the occasion brilliantly. He might easily have failed or not tried hard enough in the face of real danger.

Hermione allowed herself to respond in kind, with generosity and loyalty. She might easily have told the truth, won sympathy and praise from the teachers while getting a tiny bit of revenge on the boy who made her cry.

But they did. And they didn't. So the world was saved.


Brilliance!!!
_________________
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website MSN Messenger Phoogle Map
storm
Cassiline in Training

Male
Joined: 14 Aug 2005
Posts: 395

Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

Location: Michigan
765 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:
1 Member of THOOLAH1 Forestal


PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2007 10:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice work...I think you totally nailed what this chapter did. This was definitely one of my favorites in the first book. Interestingly enough, this is probably also the chapter that spawned the "shippers" around the world to bemoan incessantly about who would hook up with hermione...harry or ron.
_________________
May you be in heaven half an hour before the devil knows you're dead.

F.E.M.A. "Ferocious Educational Medical Aptitude" -Esmer

"Honestly; by the end of the Chronicles Lord Foul isn't going to be the Despiser anymore (we all knew he had to come to an end), however I find it vexing that the only reason is because he feels unworthy of the title and resigns to let Linden take his badge, Illearth Stone, and the keys to Linden's Creche."-Revan
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address Phoogle Map
Cameraman Jenn
Arch Pimpager

FemaleRanyhyn
Joined: 19 Oct 2006
Posts: 13226

Thanks: 6
Thanked 36 Times in 36 Posts

Location: Albuquerque NM (The Land of Enchantment)
622827 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:
3 Sandgorgon2 Ur-vile1 Waynhim


PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2007 10:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice dissection!
_________________
Now if I could just find a way to wear live bees as jewelry all the time.....

www.fantasybedtimehour.com
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Yahoo Messenger MSN Messenger Phoogle Map
Seafoam Understone
Haruchai

Male
Joined: 19 Sep 2003
Posts: 673

Thanks: 1
Thanked 6 Times in 6 Posts

Location: Tennessee
382 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:


PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2007 12:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cameraman Jenn wrote:
Nice dissection!
Nice? That was (using Ron's -- and Menolly's words) Bloody Brilliant!
A great dissection and worth chewing over on various points.

Yes, it would be interesting to speculate if Ron and Harry found out that Malfoy was in danger and what they would've done. I agree that they probably would've done as you said... sighed and gone to help anyway. At least in the aftermath they could rub it in to the creep's face later.

Your insight into McGonagall was very good. Nuff said on that.

Quote:
Harry and Ron, let us face it, are being quite juvenile about a stunt that easily could have gotten themselves--and others--killed horribly.
Well they ARE kids aren't they? Bold and adventurous at that age and as long as they got out of it alive and unhurt what do they care about possible consenquences? Did you with any of the stunts you pulled at 11? Prolly not.
Spoiler:
Interesting to note about Neville on how later in the series he shines through with bravery... enough to actually face Voldemort and kill his snake single-handedly. Reading him now you just wouldn't get that at all.

Nice insight on Hermione as well. Made me giggle.

You gotta admit Quiddich is a very original idea for a game... too bad just not possible outside the realm of the book(s). Yeah going through the halls of memory I've known a few Woods here and there in the various schools I've gone to. Some guys just take their loved sport a bit too seriously I think. But that's the charm of the lad.

Ron and Hermione... did it occur to anyone at this point that they'd end up together in the long run? He was mean, callous and rude when he first met her but saves her life anyway and rather fiercely at that. Then Hermione standing up and breaking just about every facet of her being to pieces by lying outright about what happened and taking the blame and giving full credit to Harry and Ron (rightfully of course). Indeed, she was probably mulling over the fact that she is the reason she doesn't have friends and probably before the appearance of the Troll had decided to make a change. The Troll it seems cemented her resolve as well as the heroic efforts of Harry and Ron. She's a fast thinker to be sure and came to all that realization and fateful decision as soon as the Troll hit the floor.

Indeed the world was saved.

Now imagine the vextation of Malfoy finding out that his nemisis went out and "saved the school" from a troll instead of getting killed. Not that he had anything to do with it, just the possibility would've been too delightful to bear, but it didn't happen, just the opposite. Never mind the details, the news will have been blown out of proportion all around the school by mid-afternoon. It'd be a small wonder that he just went full blown into hatred of Harry at this point.

Great job Zahir
_________________
remember the Oath Of Peace!

http://ralph.rigidtech.com


Last edited by Seafoam Understone on Tue Dec 11, 2007 12:56 am; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address Yahoo Messenger Phoogle Map
Thanked by: I am not Joan
Cameraman Jenn
Arch Pimpager

FemaleRanyhyn
Joined: 19 Oct 2006
Posts: 13226

Thanks: 6
Thanked 36 Times in 36 Posts

Location: Albuquerque NM (The Land of Enchantment)
622827 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:
3 Sandgorgon2 Ur-vile1 Waynhim


PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2007 12:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well that was supposed to be a hugely enthusiastic and somewhat awestruck version of NICE! Cool
_________________
Now if I could just find a way to wear live bees as jewelry all the time.....

www.fantasybedtimehour.com
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Yahoo Messenger MSN Messenger Phoogle Map
Zahir
Malkavian Primogen


Joined: 02 Dec 2002
Posts: 1302

Thanks: 7
Thanked 34 Times in 29 Posts

Location: Los Angeles, CA
4921 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:


PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2007 6:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For the record I quite agree that Harry and Ron were at this point kids. It is by pure good luck (or lack of enough bad luck) that most kids live to be teenagers. Not their fault. Just the way it is.

Actually, when I was reading the first book aloud to my late fiancee, I looked up somewhere around this chapter and said "Ron and Hermione--they are destined to be married." She just nodded.

Interesting--I hadn't considered what Hermione might have been thinking just before the Troll showed up. Kudos!

Methinks Draco already hated Harry Potter at this point.

Thank you all for the kind words.
_________________
"O let my name be in the Book of Love!
It be there, I care not of the other great book Above.
Strike it out! Or, write it in anew. But
Let my name be in the Book of Love!" --Omar Khayam
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Phoogle Map
Fuzzy_Logic
Woodhelvennin


Joined: 13 Nov 2006
Posts: 56

Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts


199 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:


PostPosted: Fri Feb 29, 2008 5:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's worth noting that Hermione must have endured countless insults and fights as she ame up through elementary school. yet, somehow, overhearing Ron criticize her sends her running off crying. I thinks it's worth asking, just *when* did Hermione decide Ron was the one for her? Probably a lot sooner than we noticed...
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Seafoam Understone
Haruchai

Male
Joined: 19 Sep 2003
Posts: 673

Thanks: 1
Thanked 6 Times in 6 Posts

Location: Tennessee
382 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:


PostPosted: Fri Feb 29, 2008 3:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fuzzy_Logic wrote:
It's worth noting that Hermione must have endured countless insults and fights as she ame up through elementary school. yet, somehow, overhearing Ron criticize her sends her running off crying. I thinks it's worth asking, just *when* did Hermione decide Ron was the one for her? Probably a lot sooner than we noticed...


Quote:
"And you've got dirt on your nose, by the way. Did you know?"
Right there I think was it. Though she may not have quite known the reasons why but pointing that out shows she was attracted in some way to him. Then later with the Troll I think it sealed the deal.
Of course in a woman's heart it wouldn't manifest itself til it's bursting out. Like it did in book 7.
_________________
remember the Oath Of Peace!

http://ralph.rigidtech.com
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address Yahoo Messenger Phoogle Map
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Kevin's Watch Forum Index -> The Library -> J.K. Rowling Forum All times are GMT
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by Earthpower © Kevin's Watch