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Sirius Black: Character Analysis v.4



 
 
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  #1501  
Old May 27th, 2012, 5:04 am
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Re: Sirius Black: Character Analysis v.4

Quote:
Originally Posted by mirrormere View Post
But Kreacher does behave this way:
DH: Kreacher's Tale— and the locket, Master Regulus’s locket, Kreacher did wrong, Kreacher failed in his orders!”

Harry reacted instinctively: As Kreacher lunged for the poker standing in the grate, he launched himself upon the elf, flattening him. Hermione’s scream mingled with Kreacher’s, but Harry bellowed louder than both of them: “Kreacher, I order you to stay still!"
I don't think the Malfoy's made Dobby punish himself--we see a few instances, after he is free, where he tries to punish himself for some imagined offense. I think it's just their nature.

At the same time, DD says that Kreacher played a bit loose with the rules when Sirius told him to get out and he liberally interpreted that to mean out of the house.
That was when Harry was his master - not Sirius. Harry was used to that type of behavior from Dobby - he expected it. Plus, Kreacher is reacting to his failure to follow the last order Regulus - his former master - had given him. Regulus may have required Kreacher to punish himself like that - we don't know. Kreacher never did anything like that when Sirius was his master. He never physically harmed himself on page and he was never shown to have any physical injuries or bandages that would suggest such punishment. No matter how badly Kreacher behaved or even when he disobeyed, the worst Sirius ever did was yell at Kreacher and make him leave the room.

From what we are shown, the house-elves at Hogwarts were never required to punish themselves like that either. Same goes for Winky. They were treated very well. Even when Winky had failed to keep Crouch Jr. in the tent, Mr. Crouch didn't force Winky to physically harm herself - nor did she attempt to do so on her own. He punished her by forcing freedom on her when she did not want it. Dobby's circumstances were presented as being an extreme situation due to the Malfoys being cruel people and requiring him to physically harm himself, IMO. Dobby even tells Harry that the Malfoys often reminded him to do extra punishments.

Quote:
Originally Posted by willfitz View Post
Dobby states that the Malfoy's did make him do 'extra punishments.' The way he speaks makes it seem, to me at least, that they ordered him to punish himself for any disobeying.

That said, I do believe that house-elves seem to want to punish themselves for any misbehaviour naturally, so long as they want to serve a given master, and I think your example with Kreacher supports that point well.

I think the relevant point is whether Sirius ever took advantage of his position of power over Kreacher- whether he abused it in any way. For the most part, Sirius treated Kreacher almost as an equal. He had the power to make Kreacher punish himself for any rude language or behaviour; he had the power to starve him or make him stay perfectly still, but the worst he ever did was make him leave. At worst, he treated him like an unruly child. At best, he treated him as an unpleasant room-mate.
Exactly.


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  #1502  
Old May 27th, 2012, 5:25 am
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Re: Sirius Black: Character Analysis v.4

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Originally Posted by willfitz View Post
I think the relevant point is whether Sirius ever took advantage of his position of power over Kreacher- whether he abused it in any way. For the most part, Sirius treated Kreacher almost as an equal. He had the power to make Kreacher punish himself for any rude language or behaviour; he had the power to starve him or make him stay perfectly still, but the worst he ever did was make him leave. At worst, he treated him like an unruly child. At best, he treated him as an unpleasant room-mate.
Well...Sirius was a bit meaner than that:
OotP:The Noble and Most Ancient House of BlackAt which Sirius, ignoring Hermione’s protests, seized Kreacher by the back of his loincloth and threw him bodily from the room.
Not what I would quite call being treated as an equal. And they got into several nasty conversations as well.


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  #1503  
Old May 27th, 2012, 5:27 am
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Re: Sirius Black: Character Analysis v.4

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Originally Posted by mirrormere View Post
Well...Sirius was a bit meaner than that:
OotP:The Noble and Most Ancient House of BlackAt which Sirius, ignoring Hermione’s protests, seized Kreacher by the back of his loincloth and threw him bodily from the room.
Not what I would quite call being treated as an equal. And they got into several nasty conversations as well.
Yeah, I guess that goes on the "unruly child" end of the spectrum. Still a long way from ordering Kreacher to iron his hands. Nasty conversations, of course, take two willing combatants.


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  #1504  
Old May 27th, 2012, 1:18 pm
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Re: Sirius Black: Character Analysis v.4

I apologize if I was OT, it was not my intention, my post was to explain why the role that the character of Sirius has been in Deathly Hallows has disappointed me. I tried to summarize the various arguments that explain why, in my opinion, him role has lost enormously in importance, and he was excessively reduced. And if I may, I would just add a few things to answer to those who has been kind to respond to my post.

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Originally Posted by ignisia View Post
And Harry can love Sirius while still understanding that Sirius did not always behave nobly or intelligently. I don't think it's a part of love to pretend the loved one has no flaws or that those flaws are something to emulate.
I agree that is wrong to idolise people and that to love them with their faults is true love, but that's not the point. Is not that what Harry says about Sirius, but how he says it.
In dialogue with Remus is dismissive, arrogant, speaks of Sirius without the slightest trace of affection and respect. If he had said the same thing without sounding dismissive and disrespectful (as if he makes fun of Sirius, and he was using him to insult, hurt and provoke Remus) would have been different. And we must remember that Sirius should be the person who Harry loves as a parent, and who died for him.

When he thinks he is becoming as reckless godfather as Sirius, seems like Sirius is reduced just this: a reckless godfather. And in the Harry’s thoughts seems almost a shame for him to be on track to become like him.

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  #1505  
Old May 28th, 2012, 2:47 pm
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Re: Sirius Black: Character Analysis v.4

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Originally Posted by meesha1971 View Post
I think the question would be what bias did Sirius have? Sirius had no bias against house elves in general as far as we're shown. He disliked Kreacher because they had a history - a very negative history - between them and Kreacher was always very antagonistic towards Sirius as well as the people he cared about - calling them mudbloods, blood traitors, and filth naturally made Sirius and others angry, IMO.

What stands out more to me is the fact that - in spite of Kreacher's insolence and antagonistic behavior - Sirius never forced him to physically harm himself. Poor Dobby was constantly forced to do things like iron his hands or shut his ears in the stove for even the slightest infraction when he belonged to the Malfoys and he always had bandages on because of this. We never see Kreacher with such injuries or any bandages. The worst Sirius ever did was yell at Kreacher and throw him out of a room for being rude and antagonistic.

Likewise, Sirius showed some compassion towards Kreacher when Hermione suggested he be freed. Sirius told Hermione that being forced into freedom and forced to leave the house would kill Kreacher - in which case, it wouldn't have mattered what Kreacher knew. But as much as Sirius disliked Kreacher because of his behavior and their negative history, he didn't want to physically hurt him or kill him, IMO.
I too do not necessarily believe that Sirius wished to abuse Kreacher physically. However, I do not think that this expresses any lack of bias on Sirius' part. I believe bias is a term that can be applied beyond the range of a strong tendency to favor/disfavor a group, or a generalized opinion of that group. I think it can easily be applied to an individual. With regards to Kreacher, Sirius was determined to dislike his presence, not only because of his comments, but because of Kreacher's association. I believe bias can be defined by an inability to consider a question with an unprejudiced view. This could apply to Sirius ignoring Dumbledore's advice, and opting instead to let his hatred at Kreacher's existence prevail. While Sirius may be justified in his dislike, I do not believe that this factor can completely refute any prejudiced opinions he may have harbored.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Verena View Post



I agree that is wrong to idolise people and that to love them with their faults is true love, but that's not the point. Is not that what Harry says about Sirius, but how he says it.
In dialogue with Remus is dismissive, arrogant, speaks of Sirius without the slightest trace of affection and respect. If he had said the same thing without sounding dismissive and disrespectful (as if he makes fun of Sirius, and he was using him to insult, hurt and provoke Remus) would have been different. And we must remember that Sirius should be the person who Harry loves as a parent, and who died for him.

When he thinks he is becoming as reckless godfather as Sirius, seems like Sirius is reduced just this: a reckless godfather. And in the Harry’s thoughts seems almost a shame for him to be on track to become like him.
I would generally agree. As I do not have a book with me, forgive me if I am completely incorrect, but perhaps this reckless godfather that Harry fears that he will become is less focused on Sirius' behavior towards Harry. It could very well be that Harry is afraid of endangering himself constantly, thereby potentially affecting his godchild in the same way that Sirius' recklessness affected him. Harry was constantly worried for Sirius' well-being, he put himself at risk for Sirius' sake. Maybe his thoughts are such because he does not want his godchild to feel compelled to rescue him, just as he did for Sirius? I think these statements speak towards the similarities between Sirius and Harry more than anything else.


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Last edited by JohanT; May 28th, 2012 at 3:01 pm.
  #1506  
Old May 28th, 2012, 5:13 pm
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Re: Sirius Black: Character Analysis v.4

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Originally Posted by JohanT View Post
I too do not necessarily believe that Sirius wished to abuse Kreacher physically. However, I do not think that this expresses any lack of bias on Sirius' part. I believe bias is a term that can be applied beyond the range of a strong tendency to favor/disfavor a group, or a generalized opinion of that group. I think it can easily be applied to an individual. With regards to Kreacher, Sirius was determined to dislike his presence, not only because of his comments, but because of Kreacher's association. I believe bias can be defined by an inability to consider a question with an unprejudiced view. This could apply to Sirius ignoring Dumbledore's advice, and opting instead to let his hatred at Kreacher's existence prevail. While Sirius may be justified in his dislike, I do not believe that this factor can completely refute any prejudiced opinions he may have harbored.
The thing is, it's impossible to to make the claim, in my opinion, that Sirius held any type of bias with regards to Kreacher given there is no standard by which to measure him- we never see him interact with creature when Kreacher is being anything other than a disdainful little monster. I think bias, and especially prejudice, may be the wrong words for what you are trying to get at. It would be like saying that the Order were biased against Voldemort. Sirius knew what Kreacher was like and firmly disliked him for that; at worst, he was guilty of being less than compassionate, but no bias is present, in my opinion.


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Last edited by willfitz; May 28th, 2012 at 5:56 pm.
  #1507  
Old May 28th, 2012, 5:43 pm
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Re: Sirius Black: Character Analysis v.4

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Originally Posted by willfitz View Post
The thing is, it's impossible to to make the claim, in my opinion, that Sirius held any type of bias with regards to creature given there is no standard by which to measure him- we never see him interact with creature when Kreacher is being anything other than a disdainful little monster. I think bias, and especially prejudice, may be the wrong words for what you are trying to get at. It would be like saying that the Order were biased against Voldemort. Sirius knew what Kreacher was like and firmly disliked him for that; at worst, he was guilty of being less than compassionate, but no bias is present, in my opinion.
That makes sense. Yes, I think you're right, it is the wrong word. I'm not entirely sure how else to explain what I am attempting to say, but I would usually use the definition of bias that I obtained from the dictionary, dictating that bias is "a particular tendency or inclination, especially one that prevents unprejudiced consideration". I suppose what I am trying to bring across is that Sirius already had a predisposition for disliking Kreacher, for reasons involving Kreacher's abysmal behavior, one that seemingly gets in the way of Dumbledore's and the Order's best interests. Perhaps I am reading the definition entirely wrong, though .


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  #1508  
Old May 28th, 2012, 6:34 pm
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Re: Sirius Black: Character Analysis v.4

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Originally Posted by JohanT View Post
That makes sense. Yes, I think you're right, it is the wrong word. I'm not entirely sure how else to explain what I am attempting to say, but I would usually use the definition of bias that I obtained from the dictionary, dictating that bias is "a particular tendency or inclination, especially one that prevents unprejudiced consideration". I suppose what I am trying to bring across is that Sirius already had a predisposition for disliking Kreacher, for reasons involving Kreacher's abysmal behavior, one that seemingly gets in the way of Dumbledore's and the Order's best interests. Perhaps I am reading the definition entirely wrong, though .
I wouldn't call it a predisposition because Sirius and Kreacher had a history. It wasn't a situation of Sirius thinking all house-elves were rude and antagonistic and assuming Kreacher would be because of that. It wasn't about Kreacher being a house-elf at all. Sirius grew up in that house with Kreacher. It's likely that Kreacher had duties involving taking care of Sirius and Regulus when they were children. Sirius expected Kreacher to be rude and antagonistic because that's what Kreacher had always done with him. It's not bias when it's true, IMO.

That would be like saying Harry was biased or prejudiced because he always expected Hermione to know the answers he needed or at least have a good idea where to find them. Harry expected that from Hermione because he knew her - he knew she studied extensively, that she always went above and beyond what they were expected to learn for their classes, that she studied ahead - i.e. studying NEWT level spells in her fifth year - and that she was always reading some kind of reference book. His expectation wasn't a bias or prejudice because it was true - the majority of the time Hermione did know the answer or have a good idea where to find it.

The same is true for Sirius, IMO. He knew Kreacher believed his parents' views about pureblood ideology because he grew up in that house with Kreacher. Sirius knew Kreacher would be rude and antagonistic because he always had been towards him and anyone else his parents would have considered "blood traitors" or "mudbloods". He knew what Kreacher thought of him because he had heard all of that before. The same as Kreacher knew that Sirius was a "blood traitor" - by his understanding - who had turned his back on his family and escaped from Azkaban. That's what made it pretty much impossible for Sirius and Kreacher to have ever come to terms with each other - there was too much history between them. They knew each other too well and had never liked each other. Kreacher's behavior in the current situation only exacerbated issues that had always existed, IMO.


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  #1509  
Old May 28th, 2012, 6:40 pm
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Re: Sirius Black: Character Analysis v.4

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Originally Posted by meesha1971 View Post
I wouldn't call it a predisposition because Sirius and Kreacher had a history. It wasn't a situation of Sirius thinking all house-elves were rude and antagonistic and assuming Kreacher would be because of that. It wasn't about Kreacher being a house-elf at all. Sirius grew up in that house with Kreacher. It's likely that Kreacher had duties involving taking care of Sirius and Regulus when they were children. Sirius expected Kreacher to be rude and antagonistic because that's what Kreacher had always done with him. It's not bias when it's true, IMO.

That would be like saying Harry was biased or prejudiced because he always expected Hermione to know the answers he needed or at least have a good idea where to find them. Harry expected that from Hermione because he knew her - he knew she studied extensively, that she always went above and beyond what they were expected to learn for their classes, that she studied ahead - i.e. studying NEWT level spells in her fifth year - and that she was always reading some kind of reference book. His expectation wasn't a bias or prejudice because it was true - the majority of the time Hermione did know the answer or have a good idea where to find it.

The same is true for Sirius, IMO. He knew Kreacher believed his parents' views about pureblood ideology because he grew up in that house with Kreacher. Sirius knew Kreacher would be rude and antagonistic because he always had been towards him and anyone else his parents would have considered "blood traitors" or "mudbloods". He knew what Kreacher thought of him because he had heard all of that before. The same as Kreacher knew that Sirius was a "blood traitor" - by his understanding - who had turned his back on his family and escaped from Azkaban. That's what made it pretty much impossible for Sirius and Kreacher to have ever come to terms with each other - there was too much history between them. They knew each other too well and had never liked each other. Kreacher's behavior in the current situation only exacerbated issues that had always existed, IMO.
I meant predisposition as in, because of their history, he feels this way. To state again, I think that bias can be applied to an individual, not just a group, to go along with the definition I presented. In addition, when I say "bias", I mean Sirius' determination to distrust and put down Kreacher, for good reasons, in the reader's eyes, but also in a stance against what was suggested by those who did not hold such strong judgements against the house elf. Sirius refuses to treat him as Dumbledore suggests, refuses to comprehend the benefits of doing so, because Kreacher is, quite simply, Kreacher. He cannot look at the circumstances from an unprejudiced point of view, because of the rotten history they shared. Likewise, I do believe that the terms "bias" and "prejudice" have more than one meaning. But, I suppose, I don't think the truth of the matter is important where bias is concerned. If we were to go by this, I would say that Sirius was justified in his feelings, but that they hindered him from approaching the situation in a rational manner. Similar things could be said of the pure-blood fanatics, as morality is relative.


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  #1510  
Old May 28th, 2012, 8:38 pm
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Re: Sirius Black: Character Analysis v.4

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Originally Posted by JohanT View Post
I meant predisposition as in, because of their history, he feels this way. To state again, I think that bias can be applied to an individual, not just a group, to go along with the definition I presented. In addition, when I say "bias", I mean Sirius' determination to distrust and put down Kreacher, for good reasons, in the reader's eyes, but also in a stance against what was suggested by those who did not hold such strong judgements against the house elf. Sirius refuses to treat him as Dumbledore suggests, refuses to comprehend the benefits of doing so, because Kreacher is, quite simply, Kreacher. He cannot look at the circumstances from an unprejudiced point of view, because of the rotten history they shared. Likewise, I do believe that the terms "bias" and "prejudice" have more than one meaning. But, I suppose, I don't think the truth of the matter is important where bias is concerned. If we were to go by this, I would say that Sirius was justified in his feelings, but that they hindered him from approaching the situation in a rational manner. Similar things could be said of the pure-blood fanatics, as morality is relative.
I think the significance is that Sirius was right about Kreacher and was responding to Kreacher's behavior. Prejudice and bias are rooted in ignorance - not fact. He wasn't just yelling at him because he didn't like him or assumed he was bad without basis. Sirius yelled at Kreacher to reprimand him for his antagonistic behavior. Kreacher was antagonistic - Sirius responded to that. Giving Kreacher a cookie for calling Sirius and the people he cared for "blood traitors and mudbloods and filth" wasn't going to change Kreacher's behavior. Kreacher wouldn't have responded to Sirius being nice to him anymore than he responded to Hermione being nice to him - that offended him and made him even more antagonistic. In this instance, Dumbledore was wrong. There was nothing that Sirius could have done to change Kreacher's behavior from what we're shown.

Harry didn't get through to Kreacher by being nice to him. Harry got through to Kreacher by promising to help him complete Regulus' dying order - to destroy the Horcrux and giving Kreacher Regulus' locket to keep. Kreacher was loyal to Regulus and he changed his attitude for Harry only because Harry was going to destroy the locket. Sirius wouldn't have been able to do that because he didn't know what happened to Regulus. He didn't know about the Horcruxes or the locket or that Regulus had charged Kreacher to destroy it. Dumbledore didn't know about Regulus either. Harry was the only one to find that out because he had the note from the locket and realized that Regulus was R.A.B.


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  #1511  
Old May 30th, 2012, 8:11 pm
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Re: Sirius Black: Character Analysis v.4

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Originally Posted by JohanT View Post
I would generally agree. As I do not have a book with me, forgive me if I am completely incorrect, but perhaps this reckless godfather that Harry fears that he will become is less focused on Sirius' behavior towards Harry. It could very well be that Harry is afraid of endangering himself constantly, thereby potentially affecting his godchild in the same way that Sirius' recklessness affected him. Harry was constantly worried for Sirius' well-being, he put himself at risk for Sirius' sake. Maybe his thoughts are such because he does not want his godchild to feel compelled to rescue him, just as he did for Sirius? I think these statements speak towards the similarities between Sirius and Harry more than anything else.

To be honest, I also thought something like that (or maybe I hoped it to be so), even if I think more what I expressed in my previous post, and this is because I under the impression (well... I'm sure) that Rowling did not loves so much Sirius, so the most of the things he writes about him in Deathly Hallows must always be interpreted negatively against him, by the readers. Maybe it’s this my defect that makes me misunderstand about some things in the book.



Last edited by Verena; May 31st, 2012 at 12:52 pm.
  #1512  
Old May 30th, 2012, 9:23 pm
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Re: Sirius Black: Character Analysis v.4

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Originally Posted by Verena View Post
...I under the impression (well... I'm sure) that Rowling did not loves so much Sirius,...
She actually said that?


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  #1513  
Old May 31st, 2012, 12:41 am
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Re: Sirius Black: Character Analysis v.4

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Originally Posted by StarryVeil View Post
She actually said that?
I don't remember her exact words, but I believe she did acknowledge that he had his faults.

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JK says about Sirius Black: "I do like him, although I do not think he is wholly wonderful." She says he is "brave, loyal, reckless, embittered and slightly unbalanced by his long stay in Azkaban," but his redeeming quality is the affection that he is capable of feeling. He loved James like a brother, and has attached that affection to Harry."


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  #1514  
Old May 31st, 2012, 4:28 am
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Re: Sirius Black: Character Analysis v.4

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Originally Posted by snapes_witch View Post
JK says about Sirius Black: "I do like him, although I do not think he is wholly wonderful." She says he is "brave, loyal, reckless, embittered and slightly unbalanced by his long stay in Azkaban," but his redeeming quality is the affection that he is capable of feeling. He loved James like a brother, and has attached that affection to Harry."
Oh yeah, I've seen that before but I didn't really take it as proof that she doesn't like Sirius. I mean, none of the characters in the novel are flawless, really.


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  #1515  
Old May 31st, 2012, 5:18 am
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Re: Sirius Black: Character Analysis v.4

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Originally Posted by StarryVeil View Post
Oh yeah, I've seen that before but I didn't really take it as proof that she doesn't like Sirius. I mean, none of the characters in the novel are flawless, really.
I agree. I think it's a little bit of a stretch to say that everything Jo writes about him is coloured by her dislike of him. I mean, she is the one writing the character, after all.

I think all she was referring to was whether she would like Sirius if he was a real life person.


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  #1516  
Old May 31st, 2012, 7:19 am
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Re: Sirius Black: Character Analysis v.4

Quote:
Originally Posted by StarryVeil View Post
Oh yeah, I've seen that before but I didn't really take it as proof that she doesn't like Sirius. I mean, none of the characters in the novel are flawless, really.
I wasn't using the quote to show that she didn't like him!


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  #1517  
Old May 31st, 2012, 8:06 am
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Re: Sirius Black: Character Analysis v.4

Quote:
Originally Posted by snapes_witch View Post
I wasn't using the quote to show that she didn't like him!
But that's what prompted StarryVeil to ask for the quote in the first place. See Verena's post above it.


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"The aim of argument, or of discussion, should not be victory, but progress."

"It is better to debate a question without settling it than to settle a question without debating it."
Joseph Joubert

"...He seeks to know himself and his fellow man rather than to know a god. An Atheist believes that a hospital should be built instead of a church. An Atheist believes that a deed must be done instead of a prayer said. An Atheist strives for involvement in life and not escape into death..." -Madalyn Murray
  #1518  
Old May 31st, 2012, 10:11 am
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Re: Sirius Black: Character Analysis v.4

Is JKR's perceived like or dislike of a character in any way relevant to character analysis? Please take it to owls, people, if you want to discuss thread logistics.

ETA: New thread pending.



Last edited by Moriath; June 1st, 2012 at 4:43 pm.
  #1519  
Old June 2nd, 2012, 5:02 am
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Re: Sirius Black: Character Analysis v.4

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sereena View Post
I agree with both of you. I'm currently rereading OotP and it occurs to me that JKR killed Sirius off too soon. I don't know, I just thought his character was so well developed and so interesting that it would have been nice for him to stick around a while longer. I know he had an entire book basically about him (PoA) but still... when the action finally begun he died. It was a shame IMO though I understand why it needed to be done.



Which character is that? Just curious.
Blaise Zabini, he had that same type of serious/sarcasm. The characters weren't alike, but I liked that type of bantersih writing she sometimes had both characters display.


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  #1520  
Old June 17th, 2012, 11:32 am
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Re: Sirius Black: Character Analysis v.4

New thread with shiny poll is up!

*locks*


 
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