The Bright Side of Life
An original editorial by Tammy Nezol
...Harry frequently heard students saying things like, "Honestly, some days
I just feel like jumping on my broom and leaving this place," or else, "One
more lesson like that and I might just do a Weasley..." (OotP p676, US version)
I have yet to meet someone that does not love the characters of Fred and
George Weasley. Why do we love them? Is it because they are rebellious or
funny? Perhaps we enjoy their team spirit or easy going attitude? Whatever
it is, there is something about these boys that draws us to them. We love
to hear about their latest invention, trick, or rule breaking scheme. We
laugh when they knock authority off of its feet. But what does all of this
One of the great things about all the Weasley children is that they are all
different. We have the opportunity to see how much their choices affect
their lives and how important upbringing can be. Fred and George are almost
indistinguishable as twins, but together they teach us some amazing lessons. They are faced with many of the same questions Percy is faced with, yet come to very different conclusions. Last month, I discussed how Percy naively believes that those who have power and follow the rules are upright and honest men. If anything, Fred and George are the antithesis to this line of thought. They recognize the invalidity of some rules, the need for laughter and enjoyment over hard labor, and they go to great lengths to
invent new lives that are far from the status quo society wants them to follow. Whereas society teaches us to compete as individuals to make it up the ladder and improve ourselves, Fred and George teach us the power of two people over an individual, and the joy in helping those in need.
This is why I believe we love them, or at least why I do. Beyond being
funny or creative, Fred and George generally love their lives. Though they
don't get high grades or work for the ministry, or do anything else society would
claim is essential for a good life, they are happy. I think we all can look
at Fred and George and say to ourselves, I wish I could do that or why
can't more things make us smile?
It is true that there is danger in defying the regulations to the extreme
that Fred and George take it. I think that graduating will prove more
useful in their futures than they realize, but I fully support them opening
a joke shop (as inventing is clearly what they do best). How far Fred and
George take things can be too much and hurt others. Look at poor Ron who
feels helpless in standing up to his brothers because sometimes they can be
mean and overbearing (even if they think it is only a light joke).
Realizing that Fred and George are story characters and that reality
can be held on hold for a while, I dream of having the guts Fred and George
are willing to show. Who didn't cheer when they flew from their broomsticks
away from Hogwarts, turning their backs on a corrupt bureaucracy and going to
chase their own dreams? Who didn't laugh when they
made Dudley's tongue grow? Granted, it was cruel and they
probably shouldn't have done it (even if it was to Dudley), but it sure was
That is the place that Fred and George, my two favorite twins, hold in this
story. They make us laugh, and they make others laugh. They find the new
in the old, teaching us to chase our own dreams and work together. They
are always willing to help when others are in a bind, and they sometimes do
so by creating large, hilarious distractions. When death is lurking in the
background, and evil is increasingly showing its face, Fred and George scare it away
with a smile. For even when times are hard, everyone needs to laugh. The
twins teach us the importance of enjoying life, even when things are hard.
A little laughter can go a long way.
Percy may be losing himself because he cannot lighten up. He doesn't really
laugh, he turns his back on his family, and even power and prestige seem to
escape him. Yet, the two boys that do everything wrong in Percy's eyes are
the two that end up with everything that truly matters. They do laugh, they have close
familial relations, and they have some power and prestige: the exact
opposite of what society would have told them would happen.
Now Fred and George are finding their fortune in the very thing that makes
us love them. They are bringing laughter to a world that lives in terror.
They shine as a light that things will improve. They teach us that even in
the darkest times we all need to smile. They show us the importance of
really living life, not just following a straight course. For this we love