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View Diary: Five Mistakes Filmmakers Make in Depicting Racial Dynamics (41 comments)

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  •  Errr.... (4+ / 0-)
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    CatM, Wee Mama, G2geek, Amayi

    Maybe it's diff in the movies, but the final potter book does redeem draco, and slytherin in general as a concept but not many of those individuals in specific. Snape, in specific, is redeemed and becomes known as the martyr hero that he was all along.

    •  Redemption (1+ / 0-)
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      The last HP film hasn't been made yet, but they all follow the books very closely.  Point taken about Snape (the only character I found remotely interesting), but he was revealed to have been working for Dumbledore all along.  That is, he doesn't actually change or unlearn racism during the course of the stories.  It's true that he was a Slytherin, and Rowling therefore shows us that they are not all evil -- just 99% of them.  There's always room for an exception -- even for racists.

      As for Draco...he was just revealed to be in over his head.  Will he now turn against Death Eaters and be Harry's ally?  I wouldn't think so, but I concede that there is room for a different interpretation.

      •  While we don't see Snape Change (1+ / 0-)
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        Wee Mama

        We do not know that he did. You can't argue on one hand that people are sorted into Slytherin because they are of a certain character (evil) and then contradict yourself by saying, Well, okay, maybe Snape was an exception to that rule.

        We really do not know everyone in Slytherin. Maybe there were other exceptions. Or maybe Snape was sorted into Slytherin because he was "evil" and then his feelings for Lily Potter changed that in him.

        We're not given enough information to know.

        •  Good points (1+ / 0-)
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          Thanks for the comment.  I like being pushed to defend my thesis :)

          It's fun to imagine different what-if scenarios, and there's a very active fan fiction culture that has a lot of fun doing just that, but I proceed under the assumption that in the course of the seven books Rowling gave us all the information that she wanted us to have.  In other words, if it's not in the books, then she didn't deem it important.

          And yes, we can have rules and then make occasional exceptions.  This isn't a contradiction.  It's the way racism often operates...which is why it's not unusual to hear "I'm not racist...I have friends who are [insert racial outgroup]"

          But I can make the argument without any exceptions.  There are 4 Houses at Hogwarts.  Why is it that (even though not all Slytherins are Death Eaters), all the Death Eaters are Slytherins?  

          •  Remember that Harry was being considered by (1+ / 0-)
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            the hat for Slytherin, but the hat took into consideration Harry's rejection of Slytherin. Perhaps all the Death Eaters are there because that's where they want to be.

          •  Why are all death eaters slytherins... (0+ / 0-)

            You don't know that to be a true statement. And, considering that there are book editors involved in the publishing process, you also leave yourself reasonably unsupported in the assumption that we have all that she would intend for us to have. Moving onward...

            Gryfindor was known for bravery, IIRC. But there is no reason some misguided pro-pureblood gryfindor wizard could not attempt to bravely stand up for wizard's rights. The membership in grifindor is the bravery, not the cause for which the bravery is being exercised.

            It's been quite a while since I've pulled the potter books off of the shelf, but IIRC slytherin was not about racism or evilness, but more about the personality/skillset that uses manipulation, and should not be condemned outright. For good or ill, manipulation is merely a tool to be used. Using manipulation to ensure that your small child does not get into a car with a stranger is good. Using manipulation to get someone's small child into a car is bad.

            The slytherin house itself, by its ties to that skillset, was more vulnerable to being a deatheater than the others.
            Much like hufflepuff, being focused on scholarliness IIRC, would be more vulnerable to the failing of inaction.
            Much like brave gryfindor is not exactly the most scholastically-driven of the four, hermione notwithstanding as she would be quite an outlier.

      •  In the epilogue it appears that Draco has (1+ / 0-)
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        grown up into a moderately reasonable adult - lots of scope there for follow up books (hint, hint, JKR!!).

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