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The Battle of the Women: A Critical Look at the Molly/Bellatrix Duel (Rebuttal)

Bellatrix Lestrange

Fan Essay Rebuttal by Brian Read “The Battle of the Women: A Critical Look at the Molly/Bellatrix Duel” here. I’ll be brief: There are some who would ascribe anti feminist associations to what many feel is an exciting and important event in the Harry Potter saga: the final duel between Molly Weasley and Bellatrix Lestrange. While I can’t speak precisely to someone else’s viewpoint, I would assume this feeling is based around the idea that Bellatrix, a fierce and independent witch, is defeated by Molly, who seems to represent the more traditional values of a jobless woman at home raising her children. I’m not going to go so far as to say I feel bad for those who hold this view, but I will say that I wish they could see the more positive message that this battle delivers. The battle between Molly and Bellatrix is not so much one of Working Woman vs Stay At Home Mom as it is of a troubled and misguided female who is being taken advantage of vs a strong female role model who is the glue that holds together those around her. Bellatrix Lestrange—a married woman—is presented as worshipping a “man” who is ... Read More »

The Purity of Harry Potter

Hogwarts Castle

By Brandon Smith Abstract: Discussing the dangers of pushing J.K. Rowling to continue writing Harry Potter-related novels. The last 12-16 years have been a wonderful journey for us all. Midnight releases, parties, conventions, podcasts, and websites. The magic of Harry Potter has changed our lives, and the majority of us would agree that it’s been for the better. We have met life-long friends from all over the world, and many of us have gained an appreciation and understanding of literature, as well as a love for reading. J.K. Rowling’s magical world has inspired us to find the magic in our own lives, and to fight our own battles against tyranny and evil, for the sake of love, peace, and friendship. With all that said, how can we not be mournful seeing the trio’s happy faces as they watch the Hogwarts Express pull out of King’s Cross (our last glimpse of the world we’ve come to love and aspire to)? We want it to keep going! Why not follow Albus Severus into his first year, or even go decades back to the era of the Marauders? It would be fun…it would feel so right. And there is no doubt that if ... Read More »

Quibble of the Week: A critical look at the infamous Molly/Bellatrix duel

minalima-quibbler

This week's Quibble of the Week comes to us from the MuggleNet Academia section. Inspired by Lesson 2 of the MuggleNet Academia podcast, entitled "Harry Potter and the Sexual Innuendos", user Sophie_atHogwarts has written an in-depth look at the infamous duel that occurs between Molly Weasley and Bellatrix Lestrange during the Battle at Hogwarts. Read More »

Quibble of the Week: “The Seven Wonders of the Weasleys”

The Weasleys

This week's Quibble of the Week comes to us from LumosNight3, and it's straight out of our Alohomora! section. It features a close examination at everybody's favorite wizarding family - the Weasleys. Read More »

Quibble of the Week: “The Secrets of the First Smashed Prophecy”

Prophecy_copy

This week's Quibble of the Week comes to us from Katy, whose essay focuses on an area of the series that is never short on mysteries. Read More »

Sirius Black versus Kreacher: Who’s to blame?

Kreacher

By Ebrosnan Summary: Sirius Black died a debatable death. Most people point the finger at Kreacher, his unwilling house-elf, but I don’t think the creature is all to blame. True, he did betray Sirius’ great love of Harry, but perhaps had Sirius shown the elf more respect Kreacher wouldn’t have done it. In this quibble, I am going to delve deeper into what happened and how it all went wrong. Sirius Black is portrayed half hero, half tyrant. Harry has only ever seen the heroic streak, but Snape the monster side alone. Pettigrew also gets a terrible blast of his temper in the Prisoner of Azkaban, and Mrs Weasley occasionally gets a dousing. Sirius is also reckless and would die saving or refusing to betray his friends, as he did. Sirius doesn’t believe in the persecution of the innocent, and despises the “purebloods only” idea. Through this, he grows to hate his pureblooded parents, who thought Voldemort was fine, and his brother Regulus. Sirius also detested Slytherins, the first Black to be a Gryffindor, truly different to his forefathers. He could be touchy, at the mentions of his cousins the Malfoys and Lestranges especially, despite his good heart underneath. However, ... Read More »

“MuggleNet Editorials” got a face lift

mugglenet2

You may have noticed that for the past few months, MuggleNet has been slowly morphing into a different kind of website. With a desire to return to our favorite book series, the hardworking staff of the site have developed two new podcasts - MuggleNet Academia and Alohomora! - to lead a new wave of Potter conversation and critical discourse around the world. Read More »

Narcissa Malfoy and Regulus Black and the Downfall of Voldemort

Narcissa Malfoy

By Hannah Abstract: While at first glance Sirius Black and Andromeda Tonks appear to be the most admirable of the Black cousins, it can be argued that Regulus and Narcissa achieved more for their cause than their relatives who spurned the Black family. Sirius and Andromeda both rejected the Black doctrine to join the anti-Voldemort movement, whereas Regulus and Narcissa did not. However, it was this conformity that allowed them to ultimately ensure Voldemort’s downfall. In this essay, the characters of Regulus and Narcissa are examined to form a picture as to what led to their decisions to betray Voldemort and how they were in a position to be able to achieve this. Regulus Arcturus Black – 1961-1979 Regulus Arcturus Black is originally introduced in the series as a younger son who ultimately fails in his childhood ambitions to serve his family and Voldemort. According to Order of the Phoenix, Regulus parroted the Black family beliefs in the importance of pure-blood and the dark arts (“‘My parents, with their pure-blood mania, convinced that to be a Black made you practically royal… my idiot brother, soft enough to believe them’” Sirius Black to Harry Potter, Order of the Phoenix, British First ... Read More »

Quibble of the Week: ‘Narcissa Malfoy and Regulus Black and the Downfall of Voldemort’

voldemort-wand-dh

Our next Quibble of the Week comes to us from Hannah, who explores two members of the Black family that are often disregarded: Narcissa Malfoy, and Regulus Black. Hannah writes: While at first glance Sirius Black and Andromeda Tonks appear to be the most admirable of the Black cousins, it can be argued that Regulus and Narcissa achieved more for their cause than their relatives who spurned the Black family. Sirius and Andromeda both rejected the Black doctrine to join the anti-Voldemort movement, whereas Regulus and Narcissa did not. However, it was this conformity that allowed them to ultimately ensure Voldemort’s downfall. Hannah’s essay poses an interesting question. Certainly, Narcissa’s and Regulus’s ultimate actions serve as redemption for their respective characters – but were these actions truly more admirable than those of Sirius Black and Andromeda Tonks? We would also like to congratulate Hannah for having her essay submitted as the 100th quibble! To read more exciting and interesting quibbles like this one, or to learn how you can submit one of your own, head over to the MuggleNet Essay Section. Read More »

Quibble of the Week: ‘Philosophers and Sorcerers: Was it really a prudent move to change the name?’

philosophers_stone_rgb

Our next Quibble of the Week comes from Buckbeak, who finds one small feature of the Potter series to be “infuriating”: the title change from Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. The infamous name change argument is one that has been brought up many times, from U.K. and U.S. readers alike. Many have wondered what the reasons were for the name change and whether or not these were truly legitimate. Buckbeak’s essay certainly provides a sound case in favor of the book’s original title. Do you agree that it should have been left as it was? To read more exciting quibbles, or to learn how you can submit one of your own, head over to the MuggleNet Essay Section. Read More »

Can We Trust the Sorting Hat?

Harry's Sorting

By Allie Summary: Can we really trust this hat to be able to make such a critical decision in a person’s life? Is there a better system we should be using? “Though condemned I am to split you Still I worry that it’s wrong, Though I must fulfill my duty And must quarter every year Still I wonder whether sorting May not bring the end I fear…” Excerpt of song from Order of the Phoenix The sorting hat is not ignorant. It has been around for longer then any human, and it has seen more history then anyone can imagine. It knows, because it has seen mistakes made in the past, that people must unite together in order to accomplish anything. The Sorting Hat was made for one purpose only, to sort, so it will not just give up on its duty. Yet it seems to know the wrong it is doing. Isn’t it better to have something that knows the faults of what it is doing to do the task, rather then something that thinks the system is perfect? I think we can trust the Sorting Hat on what it is meant to do, sort. It isn’t the hat’s ... Read More »

Is Sorting Students a Flawed System?

The Sorting Hat

By Abbii A question put to the users of MuggleNet is whether the Sorting process is inherently flawed. To look at this question, we must consider the drawbacks and the influences that Sorting has upon the young witches and wizards of Hogwarts, looking at examples of those who have either flourished (for good or for evil) or struggled in the environment the Sorting provided them. Firstly, we must consider how Sorting works. The Sorting Hat – usually in the space of under a minute – picks out one quality which it perceives to be more important than the rest in an individual, and puts that child with other young people of a similar calibre. People in Hufflepuff could be brave or academically able, for example, but the Sorting Hat would see the individual’s kindness, loyalty or tolerance (qualities it determines as inherently ‘Hufflepuff’) as more significant than these other traits, and would therefore put them in Hufflepuff. This seems a rash way to judge people; asking if this process is inherently flawed means questioning the morality of judging people’s personalities a) in such a short space of time; b) under fairly flimsy specifications; and c) without taking into account other ... Read More »

Trip Down Memory Lane

Deathly Hallows

By Maggie Abstract: One day shortly after seeing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1, I felt the need to take a little detour out of my day-to-day routine and talk about this movie, and more particularly, the Harry Potter series and how it has effected my life. “Forgive us now for what we’ve done. It started out as a bit of fun. Here, take these before we run away The keys to the gulag. Here comes Frank and poor old Jim They’re gathering round with my friends. We’re older now, the light is dim And you are only just beginning. O Children Lift up your voice, lift up your voice Children Rejoice, rejoice” ~Nick Cave, “O Children” For the Harry Potter fanatics of my generation (young adults in their early to mid twenties), the series holds a special place in our hearts. Yes, the story is incredible, the plot meticulously detailed and thought-out, and the characters seem so alive that you’d swear they were out there walking amongst us, but for us it’s about something even deeper than that. It defines our childhood and youth in a way that is hard to explain to someone outside of the ... Read More »

Case Defending Lord Voldemort

Voldemort

By Wajeeha Abstract: This was written by me in January 2011 for a class assignment in which we had to defend the villain of a story. I chose Harry Potter because I am a huge fan and wanted to see if I could make Voldemort look good. Of course I support Harry Potter in the story like all the other fans and think that JK Rowling is a genius. All the points raised are purely for fun so please don’t take them as my actual opinion. JUDICIARY OF THE ORDER OF MERLIN – FIRST CLASS WIZARD COMMUNITY OF UNITED KINGDOM CASE 156 Your Honor, Judge Fiddlewood, respected jury members and the prosecuting party, I, Wajeeha, Attorney for Defense present to you the following defending points as a nine point justification, for my client, Mr. Tom Riddle aka Lord Voldemort. 1. As a child, Voldemort was extra-ordinary and talented. Due to his supreme fear of Death, the boy wanted to live forever and was interested in the idea of eternity. Noted names that did the same are Mr and Mrs. Nicholas Flamel and the youngest brother from the story in Beedle the Bard. He asked his teachers about it and thus ... Read More »

Harry and Me: The Effects of Harry Potter

Harry Potter

By Mouad Abstract: This is the story of my voyage to America, the sacrifices my parents made including giving up seeing their family for over 11 years, and how Harry Potter aided me through my struggle with the burden that was placed on me. This essay depicts the life lessons I was taught and the light I discovered within myself. Harry Potter has helped me in ways no one can even begin to imagine. How has Harry Potter effected your life? Before I delve into the immense impact that Harry Potter has had on my life, I must explain my background. I come from a country where things like food are scarce – a life unlike the luxury America provides – instead a country that hardens the heart and demonstrates how harsh the world can really be. This country lacks numerous things but most of all a voice for its people. Hovering over my people much like The Party in George Orwell’s 1984, our monarchial government defines everything a country shouldn’t place in a position of power. Understanding the lack of success I would achieve there, my parents made a pact to bring me to the most remarkable country on ... Read More »

Harry Potter and the Formation of Fan Identity

Deathly Hallows Book Cover

By Ali Abstract: The writer works to figure out just what it is about the Harry Potter series that resonates with so many fans, and goes on to describe the complexity and influence of the fandom. The energy in the air was palpable; you could almost taste the anticipation. Every nerve was on end, like an electric current was coursing through my entire body. Why was I so excited? It was only a book. From our place on line we could see the white boxes from Scholastic, colossal red letters reading, “DO NOT OPEN UNTIL JULY 21, 2007″ stamped across the sides. It was almost time. The moment that I had waited on line almost 9 hours for was going to be here in a matter of minutes. I tugged on my scarlet-stripped polo shirt and inhaled the smell of books and carpet cleaner, familiar and yet chemical in my nose. My friends and I were standing now, a few of us rolling up onto the tips of our toes to get a look at the line winding throughout the store and, by that point, onto the street. Behind us were people of all ages dressed up as characters from ... Read More »

On Whether Harry Potter Actually Happened

King's Cross

By Ben Abstract: The author reflects on Potter and its meaning in his own life. Something occurred to me last night, during the midnight showing of the final installment in the Harry Potter film series. I think it happened when we saw Severus Snape standing in front of the great hall, acting as headmaster, ordering students to bring Harry Potter forward or face punishment. Or rather, a moment later, when professor Minerva McGonagall jumped forward to duel with him, hatred burning in her eyes. It was an epic setup for a duel, and initially everyone cheered for McGonagall. But slowly, we each remembered the history that we all knew – the knowledge of the plot that we all suspended in order to enjoy the moments of tension, uncertainty, and danger. We remembered that Severus Snape was not an evil man, and that we were watching him selflessly sacrifice his reputation and his safety for the sake of a boy who hated him, and for that boy’s dead mother. The cheering faded, and there was a complex tension in the cold air of the theatre, and I remember thinking, “This is so interesting, being in a room full of strangers, but ... Read More »

Help! I’m a Hufflepuff!

Hufflepuff

By Emilia Abstract: Pottermore: the chance for all of us to be officially sorted into one of the four houses through a quiz made by J.K. Rowling herself. But what happens when you’re in the opposite house from what you thought you’d be in? It happened to me. Finally. After staying up all night for the clues, waiting a day for the confirmation, and another month or two for the welcome e-mail, I finally log into Pottermore and am ready to be sorted into my house. This is the final word: years of discussions, guessing, and online quizzes all lead up to this, the quiz made by J.K. Rowling herself. Into which house will I be placed? I’m sure to be a Ravenclaw; everyone I know agrees. Even so, as I see the first question, I am no longer a girl shut up in her bedroom staring at a computer screen. I am eleven years old again, and I am walking up the steps into the Great Hall and placing the Sorting Hat on my head. There are butterflies positively living in my stomach. Has my whole life led up to this? My reputation, my dignity, everything relies on the ... Read More »

The ‘Harry Potter’ Generation

Harry Ron & Hermione

By hidingfromsomeone Abstract: How has growing up with Harry Potter affected our generation? And how has JK Rowling succeded where others have failed in delivering her message to young readers? I will preface this by saying that writing about target audiences is possibly one of the dullest things you can be asked to do as a student of literature. However, when that target audience is, well, us; now that puts a different spin on things. As fans, we continue to proclaim: ‘we are the Harry Potter generation’. But what does that actually mean, and how has it affected us? I was born in 1986, making me eleven years old when Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was published in 1997 and assigned by my Year 7 English teacher to read for homework. It was a story I grasped tightly in both hands and clung to, at the same age as Harry and attending a drab comprehensive school in suburban England, the grandeur and magic of Hogwarts was thrilling. Of course, by the time Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was released in 2007 we had deviated from the intended release of one book a year, but that wasn’t enough for ... Read More »

Muggles’ Prejudice: Why Harry Potter Shouldn’t be Considered Only as Children’s Literature

Harry Potter Adult Covers

By Gilles Abstract: Here is the essay I wrote about why Harry Potter is litterature that can be appreciated by adults as well as children. In modern society, Harry Potter is often perceived as children’s literature and a lot of people who did not read any of the novels couldn’t see that this kind of book could contain interesting and philosophical ideas. However, this is exactly what we could understand as a prejudice because the opinion that someone has on a book he did not read can hardly be relevant. In fact, the series is full of interesting questions and does give importance to the main subjects of ethics and philosophy, specifically questions of what is good and what is evil. For instance, in Order of the Phoenix Sirius says: “The world isn’t split up between good people and death eaters, people have both light and dark inside them, what matters is the path we choose to act on.” This quest to find the “right path” is exactly what the entire saga is about, which is why the general opinion that stipulates that Harry Potter is not for older readers can be questioned. In this essay I will try to ... Read More »