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The Trio - Group Character Analysis



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  #141  
Old August 21st, 2013, 10:58 am
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Re: The Trio - Group Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by HedwigOwl View Post
As to your remark on my comments on the article, my post very clearly says that while it's possible it was down to being muggleborn, I also say that it's admittedly too vague to be certain.
The thing about her being Muggleborn is pretty much a missed occassion to give more depth to her character, IMO. I'm not talking about her studies here but rather about the war and her participation in it as a fighter on the good side. We know why Harry fights and it's mostly because he knows he has to be the one to kill Voldemort. Ron is a pureblood but his family are considered blood traitors so they would be in danger in Voldemort's regime. But with Hermione, I got the feeling that she was in the war mainly out of loyalty to Harry which is admirable of course but I would have liked to seen her have a more personal reason to fight as well. She's, after all, Muggleborn and basically it is people like her which are the main cause of the war since Voldemort and his cronies don't think they belonged in the wizarding world. But to Hermione, it's almost like this is just something secondary to helping Harry with his hero quest.

The only time that I can remember that she identifies as a persecuted Muggleborn is after she is tortured at the Malfoy Manor. But that's it. We aren't told much about her feelings when she sees what is happening at the Ministry, when she sees the fountain for example. You'd think something like that would scare and traumatize her or enrage her. But she's more concerned about house elves. So I don't know, but her role as a Muggleborn could have been emphasized more and it would have given her more depth.


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  #142  
Old August 21st, 2013, 3:19 pm
HRW  Male.gif HRW is offline
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Re: The Trio - Group Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by HedwigOwl View Post
Sorry, but did you take the time to read JKR's quote about Hermione's insecurities in the link I posted? She specifically says that Hermione was most secure in the classroom which would seem to indicate she wasn't really worried about her studies. She was worried that she wouldn't measure up somehow. Memorizing the entire coursework for all subjects BEFORE school, and says "I just hope it's enough" -- sounds like insecurities to me.

As to your remark on my comments on the article, my post very clearly says that while it's possible it was down to being muggleborn, I also say that it's admittedly too vague to be certain. So I don't know where you get the idea I said the article proves it, because I say the exact opposite, that it can't be assumed.
I read the quotes you posted, yes. And what JKR says seems inconsistent because Hermione did worry a lot over her results. Reading the entire coursework and saying what she did might be down to her insecurities but it also tallies with Hermione's general behaviour of wanting to be very thorough with everything she did and not wanting to be caught unawares with anything and this was her heading into a complete unknown. So yeah I think that was general Hermione behaviour.

You started the entire discussion saying it was CLEAR that Hermione had insecurities due to being muggleborn when in truth there's not the slightest bit of evidence in the books of that being the case.


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  #143  
Old August 22nd, 2013, 3:29 am
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Re: The Trio - Group Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by HRW View Post
I read the quotes you posted, yes. And what JKR says seems inconsistent because Hermione did worry a lot over her results. Reading the entire coursework and saying what she did might be down to her insecurities but it also tallies with Hermione's general behaviour of wanting to be very thorough with everything she did and not wanting to be caught unawares with anything and this was her heading into a complete unknown. So yeah I think that was general Hermione behaviour.

You started the entire discussion saying it was CLEAR that Hermione had insecurities due to being muggleborn when in truth there's not the slightest bit of evidence in the books of that being the case.
I agree. In the books, Hermione never demonstrates any insecurity about being muggleborn at all. She never had any reason to. When she told Harry and Ron about memorizing all of her course books, she didn't even know there was any prejudice towards muggleborns or that people like the Malfoys considered them inferior. By the time she found out in COS, she was already top of their year and knew Draco well enough to not care what he thought about her blood status. Hermione was presented as the type of person who would have felt it necessary to memorize all of her books for any school. My impression was that she had always done that sort of thing for school.

Hermione was insecure about herself as a person and I think Jo's response in that interview makes that very clear. Plain looks and not fitting in don't have anything to do with magic or being a witch or being muggleborn. Those are typical things teenagers worry about. Wanting to fix her teeth and dolling herself up for the Yule Ball was all about her looks and trying to fit in with the other girls - and she gave up on that after all the unflattering jaw dropping shock reactions to the drastic change in her appearance. Though I still think that was more about Ron not reacting the way she wanted him to more so than anyone else. Hermione often put on a false bravado about her appearance and claimed it didn't matter, but there were a lot of little things she did that demonstrated that it did matter to her. Insults about her appearance hurt her more than she let her friends see - and her reaction to Snape's cruel insult about her teeth when she was hexed shows how sensitive she actually was about that, IMO.

My impression was that Hermione had never had any genuine friends before Harry and Ron. Her extreme lack of social skills when they first met her indicated that Hermione had always been an outcast and didn't really know how to interact with other kids, IMO. I think Hermione believed - and always had - because she was plain and didn't really fit in with others, that all she did have to offer was her brain. It seems likely that, prior to going to Hogwarts, correct answers or help with schoolwork would have been the only thing that other kids would have asked her for. Even at Hogwarts, it seems like a lot of people turned to her for help with their schoolwork and nothing else. Even Neville said he asked her to the Yule Ball because she helped him with potions. Likewise, nobody every complimented Hermione for anything other than how smart she was. I think that's why she thought she could make people like her by impressing them with how smart she was and being the best. She was terrified of failing at anything because that would take away the only thing about herself that she felt had any value, IMO. Harry and Ron prove her wrong - first in being annoyed by her efforts to impress them and then by becoming her friend after the troll incident - which I think Hermione would consider a failure on her part - not to mention sticking by her after other things she would consider failures. Still, even with that, Hermione appears to believe that her only value to her friends is her brain. Her efforts to help them in school - as well as whatever mystery they were trying to solve - were sometimes to the extreme and I often wondered if Hermione was afraid they would stop being friends with her if she wasn't useful or couldn't help them.

We can only speculate as to why Hermione felt that way because Jo didn't really develop Hermione enough to allow readers to understand what motivated her, but there are various possibilities. Her parents might have pressured her to excel in school. If the only thing other kids showed any interest in was her ability to help them, she might have always seen being the top student as the only way to have any friends - or she might have turned to her books for comfort because the other kids ignored her and being the best academically made her feel better about herself. We can't really say what the cause of that was, but we do see the results with Hermione being so insecure and having such an extreme fear of failure, IMO.


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  #144  
Old August 22nd, 2013, 3:32 am
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Re: The Trio - Group Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by ShadowSonic View Post
That whole thing about reading the books before the school year just sounds like an exaggerated workaholic, to be honest. Not much about insecurity.
It's actually her comment afterwards that is telling, not the studying itself.
"I only hope it will be enough."


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  #145  
Old August 22nd, 2013, 4:36 am
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Re: The Trio - Group Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by HedwigOwl View Post
It's actually her comment afterwards that is telling, not the studying itself.
"I only hope it will be enough."
That only tells us that Hermione worried about academics - which would apply to any kind of school she was attending from what we're shown. School and grades were very important to Hermione and, for her, it wasn't enough to just do well. She had to be the best at anything she did. If she didn't get the the top grades over everyone else, she was disappointed in herself and felt like she had failed. At that point in the story, she even considered getting expelled worse than getting killed. All of that came back to Hermione's fear of failure. That type of extreme fear doesn't just develop overnight - it develops over years. Hermione's study habits were also deeply ingrained and automatic for her - demonstrating that she had developed them years before. Those behaviors were too deeply ingrained for any of them to be new. From what we're shown, Hermione was doing what she had always done for school - memorize the books, study constantly, work ahead, etc...

The bottom line is that Hermione never expressed any concern about being muggleborn - not even when she found out that there was prejudice against muggleborns in COS. On the contrary, Hermione was very proud and excited because nobody else in her family had been magical. The fact that Hermione was so proud and so open in telling Harry and Ron that she came from a muggle family is more telling because it shows that she wasn't concerned about being muggleborn at all and she didn't expect anyone to judge her for that. If she had been worried about being muggleborn, she wouldn't have mentioned her muggle family to anyone, IMO.

It was actually Harry who was worried about that. He knew he wasn't muggleborn, but he had been raised by muggles and had only just found out he was a wizard. Unlike Hermione, Harry was aware that there was some prejudice because of his encounter with Draco in Diagon Alley. That caused him to worry that he would be way behind everyone else - though that fear was quickly alleviated once they started classes and he realized that Ron was right about everyone starting at the beginning. Hermione had no idea that there was prejudice against muggleborns so she had no reason to be concerned about it at that point. By the time she found out about that prejudice, she still had no reason to be concerned because she was the top student of their year and Draco's opinion didn't matter to her. The only thing Hermione had cause to be concerned about in terms of being muggleborn was the possibility of Slytherin's "monster" attacking her in COS and, when the war started again, the Death Eaters coming after her. Of course, by then, Hermione had loosened up a bit and changed her mind about getting expelled being worse than getting killed so she took those threats seriously.


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Reform must come from within, not from without. ~ James Cardinal Gibbons

"So, if people want information on my characters, then they have to accept that I'm going to give them the information on the characters. And if they don't like it, that's the nature of fiction. You have to accept someone else's world because they made that world, so they probably know a little better than you do what goes on there." ~ J.K. Rowling


All posts are my opinions and interpretations based on reading the Harry Potter books and interviews with J.K. Rowling.

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  #146  
Old August 22nd, 2013, 5:28 pm
GingerCat1  Undisclosed.gif GingerCat1 is offline
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Re: The Trio - Group Character Analysis

One thing I always liked was the obvious proof that Ron did not care at all that Hermione was muggleborn so much so that he did not even remember Hermione telling him her parents were not magical. I thought that exhange where Hermione tells Ron her parents are dentists was amusing.


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