|I LOVE these memes!|
Jenna's recent post, thankfully, brought something to my attention though that I think would be so interesting to discuss. I think we've mentioned Rowling's successful use of place, regarding especially the Hogwart's castle. In this book we see the strength of place growing as we see both Harry and Riddle's relationship to the school. Both boys obviously see Hogwarts as home. And there is a sort of magic to home, both in the series and in reality. Being rooted to a place is powerful and leaves a mark on both the person and the place. It seems too that Dumbledore is very much at home in Hogwarts. It is his place as well. Rowling shows it best when she gives us a glimpse of the school's previous headmaster: Armando Dippet. Dippet is kind, and I'm sure very competent, but he doesn't infuse the school with his presence the way Dumbledore does. The sense is that Dumbledore's emotional connection to the school is similar to Harry's and to Riddle's. It's his place, and because it is his: emotionally as well as vocationally, the change in official status does nothing to damage his magical link to the school and it's students. It's a rich detail, I think, and one that gives a layer of tangible, natural magic to the series. And I hadn't noticed it until Jenna pointed it out.
I wondered what Dumbledore meant by asking Harry if there was anything Harry'd like to tell him. If Dumbledore does know everything that goes on in Hogwarts--which would be a natural position to assume as children looking up to their wise, knowledgeable mentor--then there is something unsettling in his allowance for things to run their course.
Christie points out that there's frustration in the role of Dumbledore so far. Rowling writes him almost omniscient and yet he watches and waits and does nothing as his students are assaulted. If I were on the board of governors, I'd be likely to want him replaced by someone with less power but more motivation. Someone who does more than watch and wait. It's a character flaw that's never really dealt with satisfactorily in the series. In part, I think because kid's books need to give the children space to save the world, and in part because Rowling's created a too-powerful character, who knows too much and is too capable to be anything but passive. But because he's so passive, he stands to lose much of his goodness.
Next week, be prepared! We're reading through darker waters, my potions are photograph-able (and load-able!) and I'll be back on a proper writing schedule! I promise.