Monday, October 26, 2009

Chamber of Secrets Chapters 14 - 15

Why the Megaphone?

When Professor McGonagall rushes onto the Quidditch pitch to cancel the match, she uses a large megaphone. Don't we learn in the 4th book that the Sonorus can be used to magically magnify one's voice? Hmmm.

Pudgy McDunderhead

In this chapter, we get our first glimpse of Cornelius Fudge and we also get a good idea of what kind of person and minister he is. You'll notice that he cares much more about public opinion than justice. Do you think J.K. Rowling intentionally used this character to take a jab at politicians? You'll also notice that Fudge is conflicted. He likes his power and likes to please the public and those with influence, but also respects, and to a degree, fears Dumbledore. We'll see how Fudge reconciles these two conflicting views in Book 5. Fudge likes having Lucius Malfoy in his back pocket because of the influence he has, but also knows that Dumbledore is popular in the wizarding community. In this chapter, I don't think Fudge cares so much about the safety of the school as he does his own position.

Always the Gentleman

You'll find that Dumbledore rarely loses his temper. Even so, you can tell when he's at a hightened state of emotion. Rowling describes this as having a "fire" in his eyes. You'll notice that Rowling loves to use eyes as a distiguishing feature of someone. i.e. Dobby's tennisball-like eyes, Lucius Malfoy's cold, gray eyes, Harry's identical-to-his-mother's green eyes. Rowling will again use eyes to describe characters who will appear later in the series. i.e. Karkaroff's smile that doesn't quite reach his cold eyes, Mad-eye Moody's crazy eye, Voldemort's red eyes. Speaking of Voldemort's eyes, does anyone else find it ironic that Voldemort's eyes are red but his house colors were green and Harry's eyes are green, but his house colors are red?

Prophetic Words

As Dumbledore left Hagrid's cabin, he said, "Help will always be given at Hogwarts to those who ask for it." These words not only prove prophetic in this book, but in the final book when Hogwarts is at its greatest need of help. Without spoiling too much about the final book, notice that in this book, Harry's the one who needs the help at Hogwarts, but in the final book, Harry is the help that is given to Hogwarts by other who ask. Interesting, huh.


If there's any part of the series that should give you the heeby-jeebies, this should be it. I just want to applaud Rowling's creepy description of the acromantulas. yeesh!

Answer to the quiz:

1.) C.

2.) F.

3.) D.

4.) B.

5.) E.

6.) A.

Bonus: Ronald - It seems Rowling arbitrarily picked his name.

Good job Tara, you were pretty close!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Hang in There Gryffindorks!

Again, sorry for the long hiatus. The second year of dental school is by far the busiest, but that's no excuse. You'll get getting a new post shortly. In the meantime, take a whack at this trivia question:

Match these characters' names with their origins:

__1.) Albus ------------------------A.) A character from Shakespeare's "A Winter's Tale"

__2.) Argus -----------------------B.) Old Norse for "Having the Gods' Power"

__3.) Dumbledore -----------------C.) Latin for "White"

__4.) Ron ------------------------- D.) 18th century English for "Bumblebee"

__5.) Snape -----------------------E.) An English Village in North Yorkshire

__6.) Hermione -------------------F.) In Greek mythology, a watchman with a hundred eyes

(All but one of these origins are verified by JKR. In other words, the meanings were intentionally given to these characters. Bonus point to who can tell me which name's meaning was not intentionally given by JKR.)