Reviews for Through A Looking Glass, Darkly
steelydan3 chapter 1 . 1/25/2010
By the way, to lifeisawesome: this is an essay, it does belong here. The subject doesn't matter and this is not a fanfic.
wikus chapter 1 . 1/25/2010
First of all, it's a very good essay - well written, and the points are explained and justified properly. I also completely agree with you.

I'd like to add something: Snape's years in Hogwarts along with the Marauders is an even more explicit situation of injustice and self-fulfilling prophecy. Snape is described as noisy and cruel, althought all we actually see is someone who resents his colleagues and has a naturally strict personality (which doesn't make him evil and does not justify how the Marauders judge him). He was tricked by Sirius Black into a joke that would get him killed, wasn't for James Potter. He was constantly harassed by the Marauders, suffering a varity of humiliations in front of the entire school. One would think the Headmaster would take his side, seen as he wasn't breaking any rules nor being morally questionable. But instead, Dumbledore shows much more affection towards the Gryffindors, and we don't know of any serious punishments that Sirius may have had to endure for his actions.

I believe anyone in Snape's shoes would eventually resent the actions of his colleagues as well as the people he was supposed to trust and count on (the teachers and Dumbledore himself). Yes, Dumbledore eventually comes to absolutely trust Snape and help him in many ways, but he often treats him with disrespect, denying his right as a teacher of punishing students accordingly, and more than once humiliating him in front of Harry, Ron and Hermione. In the third book, Remus Lupin (who had been a Griffyndor and was definetely in Harry's side) holds crucial information about Sirius Black, in the time believed (including by Dumbledore) to be a dangerous criminal. Out of cowardice and self-interest, he ommits the fact that Sirius was an unresgistered Animagus, and suffers no punishment for this, nor does Harry or anyone thinks less of him for it. At the same time, they are quicky to judge Snape, who had never done anything but constantly try to save them.

Of course, the children's hatred for Snape is justified by the fact that he's an extremely unfair teacher himself; but Dumbledore's indirect encouragement is not. The Headmaster has always deliberately frustrated Snape and amused himself at this.

Don't get me wrong, I love Dumbledore, Sirius and Remus, but I know that if I were Snape I'd feel extremely resented at how everyone treats him, and how people people like Remus are never questioned, even thought they've done so much (perharps much more) to deserve suspicion.

Anyway, the House Cup situation in the first book was the first thing to actually alarm me. I read this book as a kid, but even then I knew that was extremely wrong of Dumbledore as an authority figure. I did think Slytherins were all bad at the time, but I knew that, disregard their personal morals, Dumbledore had no right to, with absolutely no subtlety whatsoever, take away the prize they had earned.

I do think at the end of the books, this was all sorted out and Rowling makes a good point out of it, but it's something worthy analysing.

Now, I partially agree with Subconscious-Flirt about the less in the fist book. Partially because, in a way, Harry was being braver than everyone else and actually doing the right thing. It's like what Hermione means at the end of the book, when she says Harry is such an amazing wizard - he is. But, in the other hand, you have to realize that Harry WAS breaking the rules, and no one even CONSIDERS punishing him for it, or even tries to UNDERSTAND what had happened. He didn't have to explain that he was trying to help Neville, he was simply rewarded with no questions asked.

I also agree with Subconscious-Flirt that there IS a reason as to why Slytherins are seen as bad people, and that it's not entirely a self-fulfilling prophecy - but I also partially disagree. The thing is that Slytherin is a house for people with certain qualities, qualities that are pronunciated in those who are greedy, selfish or even cruel. You have to remember that Slytherin himself was considered a dark wizard. It's no coincidence so many people who are sorted in his house follow a similar path. But the fact that people have POTENTIAL to become dark wizards doesn't mean they will, and I think the way they're treated by the other students and the teachers certainly encourage them to.

Ok, I've said too much already. Loved the essay, it's a very interesting point to make.
EstrellaPedwar chapter 1 . 1/6/2010
Hey, I LOVE this. Amazing. I've always been a bit against the Slytherins Suck thing, lol. The amount of effort you put in is... wow. Love the series, and you've done a lot of research :)
HentaiZaru chapter 1 . 7/31/2009
I completely agree with your point, and it was something I noticed many times. You have even pointed out several things I didn't even remember, such as the House Cup being taken away in the beginning, which is very true.
Maria chapter 1 . 7/5/2009
You made good points in this essay. It definitely made me think, and I found myself agreeing with you a majority of the time. I would only like to comment on the structure of it, because it seemed a bit messy and a few points at the end seem more like afterthoughts. Try to work on transitioning from one point to another. When you began talking about the lesson on gossip in the book, I thought you were starting something completely different from the rest of the essay before it. Tying your ideas together and adding some more examples would make for a stronger argument, I think.
Subconscious-Flirt chapter 1 . 6/22/2009
Hm... I don't know about this. It's definitely an interetsing viewpoint, and nicely worded, but, I just don't know. I mean, all rumors usually have some base to them. And while they do say that gossip is wrong (or at least imply it), and show the harmful effects of it, they point out that everyone does it anyway. There must have been some truth to the rumor about the Slytherins all going bad, just as there was some truth to the rumor that harry was the heir of slytherin )in that he speaks parseltongue)... And I don't think they really say that all slytherins are evil, either. Or that it's their fault. They're just ambitious, I think.

Additionally, all the Slyherins end up being bullies - at least to Harry and Ron and Hermione and a bunch of the others. It does seem like they put all the mean kids in one house... but you're saying that the reason they're mean is because they got sorted into that house... But if the house is known to turn out evil wizards, you have to ask why they would be sorted into it if they didn't have at least a bit of that quality. I mean, there's Draco, who's obviously vicious but ends up having a good Crabbe and Goyle, who are really evil but are just to stupid to fight it. That's also the point I think Rowling was trying to make - that it's not really just GOOD or just EVIL. Like Snape. He was kind of a bitch, star star, but he had lvoe in his heart. And that love redeems people, or whatever. They certainly DO make the point that not all slytherin's are bad, that the sorting hat makes mistakes. After all, it was going to put Harry in Slytherin. He could have easily wound up there, so obviously they weren't saying all Slytherins were horrible.

Eh, I'm confusing myself.

Wow, look at me. I'm practically writing an essay myself.

But about the bad lessons, I think I have to disagree. Like with the broomstick, he's standing up for his fellow classmate, not letting the bully - Malfoy - win (who originally broke the rule in the first place just to torture Neville), which, instead of disregarded rule-breaking, shows just who Harry is, in that he risks his own safety and future to help someone else, standing up for what is right despite the risk. Did you ever watch Queer as Folk? Because there's this whole episode of that about risking everything for what is right - sometimes you have to do it, and I think that's what Harry was doing. J.K. Rowling WAS making the point that he was lucky to get off without any trouble - Harry seemed pretty frikkin sure he was gonna get beaten. As for the example it sets for kids, I think maybe it shows them not that rule breaking goes unpunished, but that sometimes you have to be brave and think about someone else's safety other than your own.

This is really fun. It's like arguing. Although I'm sure you know this already, because, c'mon, it's Harry freaking Potter, so obviously it's a harmless kids book that is teaching kids about love and friendship and all that.

As for the car thing, that was just stupid. But seriously, they were preteen boys, you can't expect too much deep thinking. And that was pointed out to them by a lot of smart people, like Mcgonagall and hermione, for god's sake, who's like the smratest person on the planet, and they DID get punished, I can't remember how, but I'm sure they did, even though they weren't expelled.

As for Dumbeldore being wrong, of course he's wrong sometimes, everybody's wrong sometimes, and in the last book of course they make a point of the fact that good or evil isn't exactly one way or the other, like i said before. Dumbeldore had mega issues as a child, you know, cuz he and his man-crush were plotting to take over the world and he might have accidentally killed his sister. Dumbeldore DOES seem to favor Gryffindor house a little bit more than the others, but it's because the Gryffindors were his own house, and because he loves Harry and stuff. And, of course, it's a kids book, so there has to be a defining group of good people, and a defining group of bad people. In the first few books, obviously the gryffindors are favored and the slytherins are looked down on. But when the books get more complex, like the seventh, with a generally older audience, they make a point of the fact that people aren't always just one way or the other. Wow. Is that my third time saying that?

Anyhow, I've pretty much lost my train of thought. If any of the above made sense, I hope I've at least amused you or made a good point or two.

Very nice essay, though.
lifeisawesome chapter 1 . 6/11/2009
No offence or anything, but this doesn't belong here. It's quite good and all- you make great points, but this story belongs on . This isn't a fansite, but a site for our own thoughts. Please, I think you're right in thinking it's illogical for prejudices to exist, but not here please.

Also, I would like to point out that Harry Potter is a children's book. Without a definate bad guy- the Slytherines- a child won't read the book. Simple as that. It will be too boring, and unreadable. While this could have been done a different way, without making the Slytherines "evil," it wasn't.

Also, I never liked Harry much anyway- really annoying, you know? But he is the main character, so...

I'll be honest. I never saw it this way. But you make valid points and accept this. I agree. Thank you for pointing such injustices out.
Lauren chapter 1 . 6/11/2009
Yeah, I agree. What really irritates me is that, in the last book, Griffindors, Hufflepuffs and Ravenclaws stay to fight the Death Eaters, yet no Slytherins do. I was thinking of a story involving a good Slytherin. I may well write it now. This essay was very good and it highlighted some important points. Well done.
LittleLoser.AndRoloLamperouge chapter 1 . 6/11/2009
You got the sides in question covered very well. Also, the issue on the rivalry of Hogwarts' houses, namely Gryffindor and Slytherin, is very interesting. You manage to see the holes. Good job.

-LittleLoser-
Kitkaht chapter 1 . 6/10/2009
First of all, I apologize for the favorite/unfavorite thing! I'm SO sorry, I just don't add anything to my favorites! It's nothing personal, I quite liked this, it's just I'm trying to keep away from a giant list of favs! (I did it on FFnet and regret it now) I meant to hit review, I'm so used to the old way of doing it D:

As for the essay, first of all, I very much like your thesis! Your examples are certainly valid and I was convinced, a sign of a good essay! Although the thesis could have been stated more clearly.

If this is a school essay my one crit would be to tighten up your structure. Just a little and I think this could shine. Not as a school essay I think it's fine and a good departure from the norm of essays. It's just I hear essay and go SCHOOL. After the horrific ones I've had to write this year I can't imagine doing one (not on slash) for fun.

I hope I don't sound too rude! Your effort does shine though, trust me! You have valid points, good examples, and a unique thesis
Amindaya chapter 1 . 6/10/2009
OMIGAWD, you know, I NEVER thought about it that way, but that is SO rotten, to take a kid's prize from him at the last minute. That is incredibly cruel, and I never even realized it. I was always focusing on the fact that the Gryffindors won.

At the same time, I feel that they learned their lesson. It made me happy when Harry told his son not to be afraid of getting put in Slytherin.
TBD chapter 1 . 6/10/2009
This is a very in-depth essay.
Jixnce chapter 1 . 6/10/2009
I love your essay. I've read all the Harry Potter books - when Dumbledore died I actually started cheering in my head. Then when Harry Potter didn't die, I was quite sad. The Slytherins are portrayed as "evil" in such a way - along with all the other houses that are portrayed in certain ways - that by the time students enter Hogwarts they know the way in which are expected to act, and not really given a chance to form their own decisions.

The sorting hat doesn't look for "evil" as a trait for Slytherin, nor even negativity really. Slytherin's characteristics are cleverness, determination, cunning, ambition, resourcefulness, and also "a certain disregard for the rules." Slytherin's reputation is evil because of the deeds of past Slytherins, including the very first - Salazar Slytherin, the House founder.

I hated the end of the first book. The Slytherin's worked hard for their House Points, and to win, then in the end the Gryffindors basically steal it away from them by receiving a large amount of points all at one time.

:P I liked your essay anyways.
Leps chapter 1 . 6/10/2009
1. I believe the sorting hat puts Slytherines in Slytherin because of their minds being somewhat 'evil'. In the first book the sorting hat does at first want to put Harry in Slitherin, which sort of provokes the idea that there is some bad in him. If the students chose themselves to go into Slytherin and were presumed evil, it'd be a different story. But they were more put in there for that reason.

Now, I don't mean all Slytherins are 'evil'... I honestly am only using that word for lack of a better one. More what I mean is more negative minds, as Draco's was, obviously. There is a reason they were put into Slytherin, and it's not a good one, therefore the assumption/stereotype that Slytherins are evil is not quite as dismissible as stereotypes in the real world. But I can, however, see where it would have a negative influence on the reader.

2. I've never met a single person who presumed Snape to be evil. In fact, most people, based on experience, see him as that 'dark but good' character that so many stories have. One can assume Snape will always be on the right side based on this assumption, and it would actually be a twist for him to end up evil, to me.

3. I believe the ending of the first was not so much to steal the win from Slytherin (though that was part of it) but to reward Harry, Ron, and Hermione for what they did earlier. To be honest I think it was extremely lame, unnecessary, and unrealistic, but for me, it made me glad to know they were getting something for it. I didn't even think about being happy that Slytherin lost the win. Had Ravenclaw or Hufflepuff 'won', the same thing were likely to have happened.

I really don't like Harry Potter that much- I've only read up to the Prisoner of Azkaban, the rest of the story was pretty much summarized for me from a friend. I do agree with most of it, including the bit about Dumbledore. I never paid much attention to him, but I do see where you're coming from there.
Nicole Harlow chapter 1 . 6/10/2009
I haven't read the series in a while but this sounds about right. I always thought it unfair that when Harry caused problems, especially after crashing the car into the tree, he didn't get into any real trouble. I think another misconception could be the fact that everyone expected Harry to be a great wizard without knowing what he was capable of and so they treated him accordingly and he got out of more trouble than anyone else would.
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