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Molly Weasley: Character Analysis



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  #541  
Old July 23rd, 2012, 11:56 pm
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Re: Molly Weasley: Character Analysis

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I have a friend who homeschools - it's intense. As much as I love my kids, I don't think I could do it.
It's intense because it's difficult to do without training. Even the people with advanced degrees in various fields may not be able to handle it. I'd like to say the same is for those in Wizarding World. However, we don't know what is taught in the WW prior to Hogwarts. It is safe to assume Molly knows basic arithmetic and that appears to be something she taught them given that they can count and recognize that they're poor (Ron).



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  #542  
Old July 24th, 2012, 3:37 am
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Re: Molly Weasley: Character Analysis

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Your food example doesn't work because it can be replicated if you have some. The shelter was initially inadequate because she kept having children, like many housewife stereotypes do, and therefore had to make more room.
The point is, there was always food to begin with. Molly grew vegetables in their garden (they may have also had chickens laying eggs, I don't recall) -- and she also went to market. The fact that Molly used magic in preparation/increasing is not a problem, as obviously lots of magic folk do that or there wouldn't be a spell for it. As far as a "stereotype", I don't see any in the books. The fact that they add on space isn't unusual. They live in a rural cottage area, not London.


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They are so poor they barely have savings. They have to have second hand clothes. Hand me downs. Books that must be mended by spell-o-tape. Wands too. In fact, they do what many poor people do: spend an acquired small fortune immediately instead of saving it. Granted, it's likely to cover bills, but we don't know if they even have bills in the WW. instead, it was for a vacation instead of saving the money. That was selfish, in my opinion.
I believe Ron indicated that some of the money went to pay bills, and getting Ron a new wand. Molly likely made the decision with Arthur about the vacation -- which was a learning experience as well -- and everyone seemed to enjoy the trip a lot, including Ron. There is value in saving money & using it frugally -- which Molly does very well -- however, there is also value in expanding your view of the world and learning things first-hand. I think that's what drove Molly's & Arthur's decision. And I don't think that you can classify the family as poor, because there was never anything lacking. Lots of families in our world grow up with all the basics provided and very little savings, and there's nothing wrong with that in my opinion. Poor families often lack basics, and that's not the case with the Weasleys.

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What grinds my gears is that we know there's a fund for students who lack the means to go to Hogwarts. But is that fund only available to the absolute worst that poverty brings or can it be used for those who would benefit immensely from welfare.
I don't see how this applies to Molly's character analysis. Plus, the fund is literally for those without any money, like orphans whose parent(s) died in poverty (like Tom Riddle). Molly's family had what they needed, they just weren't wealthy.


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  #543  
Old July 24th, 2012, 3:44 am
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Re: Molly Weasley: Character Analysis

Why is it always assumed the Weasleys spent the entire Lottery prize on the Egypt trip? I thought it was obvious they first used the money to fix up any major problems/liabilities they had at the time (Ron's wand, any other things) and then used what was left for the Egypt trip.

The trip was obviously for Ginny's sake, after what happened to her in CoS she was in need of anything to make her feel better and she idolized Bill so clearly the trip to see him was for her benefit.


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  #544  
Old July 24th, 2012, 3:44 am
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Re: Molly Weasley: Character Analysis

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It's intense because it's difficult to do without training. Even the people with advanced degrees in various fields may not be able to handle it. I'd like to say the same is for those in Wizarding World. However, we don't know what is taught in the WW prior to Hogwarts. It is safe to assume Molly knows basic arithmetic and that appears to be something she taught them given that they can count and recognize that they're poor (Ron).
I'm sure Molly taught them everything she knew before they went to Hogwarts. They could all read and write, knew some magical history, could fly well enough to play quidditch at home. I think the remark about Ron "can count and recognize that they're poor" is rather exaggerated. They simply are not wealthy. None of the other Weasleys seem to have as big a problem as Ron does with not having a lot of money -- and that's likely tied to his low self-esteem, he worried about how it would look to others to not have brand new clothes and whatever their hearts desired. It wasn't Molly's (or Arthur's) "fault". It was Ron's perception that is the problem here, not actual poverty.


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  #545  
Old July 24th, 2012, 11:34 am
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Re: Molly Weasley: Character Analysis

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Why is it always assumed the Weasleys spent the entire Lottery prize on the Egypt trip? I thought it was obvious they first used the money to fix up any major problems/liabilities they had at the time (Ron's wand, any other things) and then used what was left for the Egypt trip.

The trip was obviously for Ginny's sake, after what happened to her in CoS she was in need of anything to make her feel better and she idolized Bill so clearly the trip to see him was for her benefit.
I don't believe anyone said entire, but most of it certainly was, and that's completely irresponsible in my opinion given the family's finances, which is quoted later in my post. I figured Molly would know how to save money given that she appears to be frugal. There's no evidence that the trip was done for Ginny. If there is, would you mind showing me?

Prisoner of Azkaban, pg. 9, US EditionI couldn’t believe it when Dad won the Daily Prophet Draw. Seven hundred galleons! Most of it’s gone on this trip, but they’re going to buy me a new wand for next year.


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Originally Posted by HedwigOwl View Post
I'm sure Molly taught them everything she knew before they went to Hogwarts. They could all read and write, knew some magical history, could fly well enough to play quidditch at home. I think the remark about Ron "can count and recognize that they're poor" is rather exaggerated. They simply are not wealthy. None of the other Weasleys seem to have as big a problem as Ron does with not having a lot of money -- and that's likely tied to his low self-esteem, he worried about how it would look to others to not have brand new clothes and whatever their hearts desired. It wasn't Molly's (or Arthur's) "fault". It was Ron's perception that is the problem here, not actual poverty.
Prisoner of Azkaban, pg. 9, US EditionHarry couldn’t think of anyone who deserved to win a large pile of gold more than the Weasleys, who were very nice and extremely poor.


If you disagree with this textual evidence, I'm going to have to finally bow out of the discussion.



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  #546  
Old July 24th, 2012, 11:48 am
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Re: Molly Weasley: Character Analysis

Harry's stinking rich, and even while at the Dursleys he never experienced an impoverished lifestyle. We can't really take his opinion on the matter as utter fact because he just doesn't know what it's like to live like the Weasleys.


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None of the other Weasleys seem to have as big a problem as Ron does with not having a lot of money -- and that's likely tied to his low self-esteem, he worried about how it would look to others to not have brand new clothes and whatever their hearts desired. It wasn't Molly's (or Arthur's) "fault". It was Ron's perception that is the problem here, not actual poverty.
It's most likely because he hangs out with someone so rich he never would have to work a day in his life (Harry) and someone from a (at least) middle-class family that wants for nothing (Hermione). If he hung out with people who were more in the "normal income" zone then he wouldn't feel so bad about his own financial status. It's just relative to his surroundings he feels poor and this is also why his siblings aren't as vocal about it either, they aren't in his situation with Harry and Hermione.


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Old July 24th, 2012, 11:56 am
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Re: Molly Weasley: Character Analysis

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Harry's stinking rich, and even while at the Dursleys he never experienced an impoverished lifestyle. We can't really take his opinion on the matter as utter fact because he just doesn't know what it's like to live like the Weasleys..
Really? He was starved quite a bit. He knows what it's like to not have food. he was given tattered clothes. he was kept in a cupboard undfer the stairs. He doesn't know what an impoverished lifestyle is? He never knew what it was like to have money, especially when Dudley got it from his parents.

Sorcerer's Stone, pg. 76, US EditionHe didn’t have to know how many Galleons there were to a pound to know that he was holding more money than he’d had in his whole life — more money than even Dudley had ever had.


But does a person really have to experience poverty to understand what it means? Bill Gates would disagree as would many other millionaires who constantly give to charity to ease that burden. I think Harry has the knowledge to know that the Weasleys are extremely poor.

My final note: Harry's words on matter is acceptable for some issues but not here. Yeah. I'm out. Words on page aren't evidence at times, which I find extremely odd. It has been fun, but do carry on. I wouldn't bother responding to me because I'm not going to read it. I have things to do.


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  #548  
Old July 24th, 2012, 12:11 pm
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Re: Molly Weasley: Character Analysis

Well, I suppose I will agree with you then. The Weasleys are poor, although given how most other pureblood are rich it's kind of strange. I wonder what happened that made them poor to begin with compared to their counterparts.


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  #549  
Old July 24th, 2012, 12:26 pm
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Re: Molly Weasley: Character Analysis

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Well, I suppose I will agree with you then. The Weasleys are poor, although given how most other pureblood are rich it's kind of strange. I wonder what happened that made them poor to begin with compared to their counterparts.
According to Pottermore, the Malfoys at least had a history of associating with rich, well placed Muggles and earned their money through that way, until the Decree.

I think much of being poor is based one's perception. Molly seems to have wanted a large family and to stay at home to raise them, and it appears Arthur agreed with this. This would mean they would have to live off one income, It was a struggle, but they knew they'd manage. To me, she appears to have been successful - the family had food, shelter, clothing (even if it was hand me downs) and all the basic necessities for life. They seemed able to keep up with the bills. They also seemed to have some form of health care - Arthur's hospital stay didn't seem to be a burden on the finances. What Molly couldn't give her children, esp. once they were all in school, was many brand new items.

I support Molly's choice to spend the money on a vacation - that's a once in a lifetime experience. New robes will wear out. Wands will break. The money will run out, and Ron will feel poor again. But with the trip, she could spend time with her son, the family would be together, and the memories would last a lifetime. And, to me, those values are more important to Molly that the accumulation of new things, which i think is why she wanted a large family to begin wth.


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Old July 24th, 2012, 1:03 pm
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Re: Molly Weasley: Character Analysis

Still, it's somewhat jarring given how the Malfoys, the Blacks, the Potters, even the Longbottoms are all wealthy high-society types. Made me wonder if the Weasleys used to be more rich and powerful but lost it in some old war or something.


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Old July 24th, 2012, 1:09 pm
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Re: Molly Weasley: Character Analysis

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Still, it's somewhat jarring given how the Malfoys, the Blacks, the Potters, even the Longbottoms are all wealthy high-society types. Made me wonder if the Weasleys used to be more rich and powerful but lost it in some old war or something.
I think it's based on what they valued. In order to have gold and status, you have to focus on and work towards obtaining anf maintaining them. Molly, I think, valued people and relationships more. I see a prime example in how she saw Harry as a human being, first and foremost, rather than as "He Who Lived." I'm guessing this was the attitude handed down.


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Old July 24th, 2012, 1:11 pm
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Re: Molly Weasley: Character Analysis

But that's just the current generation, and there's nothing to imply their poverty is anything new. It has to go back further than anything Molly and Arthur did, likely generations.


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Old July 24th, 2012, 1:13 pm
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Re: Molly Weasley: Character Analysis

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But that's just the current generation, and there's nothing to imply their poverty is anything new. It has to go back further than anything Molly and Arthur did, likely generations.
Perhaps the values were handed down as well. It's hard to say.


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Old July 24th, 2012, 3:57 pm
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Re: Molly Weasley: Character Analysis

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It's most likely because he hangs out with someone so rich he never would have to work a day in his life (Harry) and someone from a (at least) middle-class family that wants for nothing (Hermione). If he hung out with people who were more in the "normal income" zone then he wouldn't feel so bad about his own financial status. It's just relative to his surroundings he feels poor and this is also why his siblings aren't as vocal about it either, they aren't in his situation with Harry and Hermione.
This is a really good observation. It makes me wonder if Ron was always embarrassed about the family's financial situation - or if it was only once he got to Hogwarts. But that is probably a discussion for another thread.

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It is safe to assume Molly knows basic arithmetic and that appears to be something she taught them given that they can count and recognize that they're poor (Ron).
Wow, bitterness. Perhaps a thread to discuss Socioeconomic Status in the Wizarding World would be more to your liking?

I'd say Molly knows more than her fair share being that most of her children ended up being Prefects and Head Boys. They may not have had magical training at home, but they did absorb a lot of knowledge about how magic is performed and the nuances of what magic can do. I'd think she gave them good study habits and enough knowledge to succeed at Hogwarts.

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It is. I home-schooled my kids when we lived in Ohio - there is a lot of work involved. Bill was born in 1970 and Ginny started at Hogwarts in 1992 so, if they started at a kindergarten level around the age of 5, Molly would have been teaching from around mid 1975 or 1976 to mid 1992.
First off, wow, I'm impressed. Secondly, that means Molly was teaching for about 16 years for her own kids. When you put it like that, Molly is much more educated than she is perceived to be.

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And that's on top of all the other professions incorporated into being a mother - healer, financial manager, personal shopper, cook, maid, travel agent, creative advisor, party planner, crisis/hostage negotiator (absolute necessity with more than one child - especially with kids like Fred and George ), law enforcement - even wedding planner. A mother wears a lot of professional hats even if she doesn't earn a salary.
Exactly. I'm exhausted even thinking about it.

In the Women of HP video, Jo makes a comment that Molly would 'mother the whole world if she could', but at the battle of Hogwarts she proves herself equal to 'any warrior on that battlefield.' I love that contrast in her personality.


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  #555  
Old July 24th, 2012, 5:22 pm
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Re: Molly Weasley: Character Analysis

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I know plenty of stay at home dads. It's not always the mother who chooses to stay home, but women may be more biologically compelled to take that path.
I'm not sure about this considering the fact that most women in the Western part of the world at least, are not housewives.

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Well, Arthur has the freedom to pursue his interests because 1. the kids are older and don't need constant babysitting, and 2. he has Molly to take care of the house and meals while he's at work.
Well yes, but my point was that Molly could have had time for her own interests (whether those were work outside the home or perhaps a hobby) had the family divided their responsibilities in a more equal manner.

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It's hard to speculate what the wizarding world has for childcare options. It's such a small community, and knowing that many homeschool, I'd have to say childcare outside of the home doesn't exist. Perhaps there are places in bigger cities like London, but where the Burrow is, I would think Molly had it all on her shoulders.
That's an interesting point and I think it further goes to show that the wizarding world is less than egalitarian when it comes to gender. Providing day care for children is an important part of giving women the opportunity to return to work as quickly as possible if they so desire yet the wizarding society lacks that. This would indicate that like Molly herself, many witches had to stay home and homeschool their children, probably not having time for work outside the home. Though, of course, the fathers could also be home and take care of the children but seeing as we don't see that happening...

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Originally Posted by ShadowSonic View Post
Still, it's somewhat jarring given how the Malfoys, the Blacks, the Potters, even the Longbottoms are all wealthy high-society types. Made me wonder if the Weasleys used to be more rich and powerful but lost it in some old war or something.
Don't forget the Prewetts, Molly's family. It doesn't seem like Molly was rich or inherited anything either. She probably grew up poor as well.

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In the Women of HP video, Jo makes a comment that Molly would 'mother the whole world if she could', but at the battle of Hogwarts she proves herself equal to 'any warrior on that battlefield.' I love that contrast in her personality.
It's not much of a contrast though, in my view, she was mothering Ginny after all. It's just a different aspect to motherhood as it shows the ability and instinct to protect your child but it's still maternal. So it stays true to Molly's character.


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  #556  
Old July 24th, 2012, 5:32 pm
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Re: Molly Weasley: Character Analysis

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That's an interesting point and I think it further goes to show that the wizarding world is less than egalitarian when it comes to gender. Providing day care for children is an important part of giving women the opportunity to return to work as quickly as possible if they so desire yet the wizarding society lacks that. This would indicate that like Molly herself, many witches had to stay home and homeschool their children, probably not having time for work outside the home. Though, of course, the fathers could also be home and take care of the children but seeing as we don't see that happening...
Perhaps this is exactly the life that Molly wanted. She doesn't seem to me to resent it in any way. Maybe she never wanted a career.

We see other female characters who didn't seem to choose to have children - McGonagall, for example. Plus, Tonks chose to fight along side Lupin during the final battle, even though they had a young child. The wizarding world doesn't appear to judge any of them for those choices, IMHO (although there is a thread here which discusses Tonks' decision).


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  #557  
Old July 24th, 2012, 6:02 pm
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Re: Molly Weasley: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by HedwigOwl View Post
The point is, there was always food to begin with. Molly grew vegetables in their garden (they may have also had chickens laying eggs, I don't recall) -- and she also went to market. The fact that Molly used magic in preparation/increasing is not a problem, as obviously lots of magic folk do that or there wouldn't be a spell for it. As far as a "stereotype", I don't see any in the books. The fact that they add on space isn't unusual. They live in a rural cottage area, not London.
I agree. Fleur mentioned the chickens in HBP and Harry mentioned them in DH. The Burrow is unusual in appearance due to how they added on to it, but it's a decent home where people feel comfortable and welcome. They owned the surrounding land - including the grove where the kids played Quidditch - and the house they built on it. I don't really see where adding on to their home would be a bad thing either. Lots of people add on to their homes.

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I believe Ron indicated that some of the money went to pay bills, and getting Ron a new wand. Molly likely made the decision with Arthur about the vacation -- which was a learning experience as well -- and everyone seemed to enjoy the trip a lot, including Ron. There is value in saving money & using it frugally -- which Molly does very well -- however, there is also value in expanding your view of the world and learning things first-hand. I think that's what drove Molly's & Arthur's decision. And I don't think that you can classify the family as poor, because there was never anything lacking. Lots of families in our world grow up with all the basics provided and very little savings, and there's nothing wrong with that in my opinion. Poor families often lack basics, and that's not the case with the Weasleys.
Ron didn't actually mention bills, but he did tell Harry they were going to get him a new wand - and he showed Harry his new wand when they met up in Diagon Alley. They had enough money left after the trip to purchase all the necessary school supplies and get rooms at The Leaky Cauldron so they could spend the last night of the summer holiday with Harry and take everyone to Kings Cross the next day.

The Weasleys are poor, but they are shown to be what would be referred to in the US as the "working poor". They have income coming into the household and it is sufficient to provide for the family's needs. They might live paycheck to paycheck, but they are not destitute from what we're shown. Molly is not be able to afford to buy the kids $100 jeans at The Gap, but she is able to provide decent clothing for them to wear - both the muggle clothes they wear during the holidays and the robes they need for school. She is always able to buy all of the school supplies they need - even when Lockhart assigned 7 of his own books instead of a single textbook and she was buying supplies for 5 children.

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I don't see how this applies to Molly's character analysis. Plus, the fund is literally for those without any money, like orphans whose parent(s) died in poverty (like Tom Riddle). Molly's family had what they needed, they just weren't wealthy.
Agreed.

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Originally Posted by HedwigOwl View Post
I'm sure Molly taught them everything she knew before they went to Hogwarts. They could all read and write, knew some magical history, could fly well enough to play quidditch at home. I think the remark about Ron "can count and recognize that they're poor" is rather exaggerated. They simply are not wealthy. None of the other Weasleys seem to have as big a problem as Ron does with not having a lot of money -- and that's likely tied to his low self-esteem, he worried about how it would look to others to not have brand new clothes and whatever their hearts desired. It wasn't Molly's (or Arthur's) "fault". It was Ron's perception that is the problem here, not actual poverty.
I agree. Basic math was likely part of what Molly taught them - though I doubt it was necessary to go beyond that since we have learned on Pottermore that wizards have spells for more complex math. Reading, writing, and history were definitely included in their lessons - reading and writing were particularly important since the majority of their homework at Hogwarts depended on those skills.

And to be fair, the only time being poor was a major issue even with Ron was in GOF - specifically the dress robes. He didn't like being poor, but most of the time he didn't make a big deal about it. That was part of Ron's journey and, ultimately, he realized that money was not the most important thing in the long run - and not the key to being happy. Molly and Arthur set a good example for their children in that respect, IMO.

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Originally Posted by MerryLore View Post
I support Molly's choice to spend the money on a vacation - that's a once in a lifetime experience. New robes will wear out. Wands will break. The money will run out, and Ron will feel poor again. But with the trip, she could spend time with her son, the family would be together, and the memories would last a lifetime. And, to me, those values are more important to Molly that the accumulation of new things, which i think is why she wanted a large family to begin wth.
Exactly.

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Originally Posted by HMN View Post
This is a really good observation. It makes me wonder if Ron was always embarrassed about the family's financial situation - or if it was only once he got to Hogwarts. But that is probably a discussion for another thread.
I don't know if embarrassed would be the right term. Ron didn't like being poor, but as I mentioned above, the only time that was a major issue was in GOF with the dress robes. But Ron demonstrates a more mature attitude about it in OOTP - he knew Molly couldn't get him an expensive broom and he makes a point to tell her that's okay. He didn't need an expensive broom - he just wanted a new one for a change. And he was extremely appreciative and loved the broom she picked out for him. It wasn't a Nimbus 2001 or a Firebolt, but it was his. Bringing that back to Molly - given how well she did in choosing a broom for Ron, I've always wondered if the Weasley kids inherited their talent for Quidditch from Molly. Arthur struck me as more of an observer than a player. But I could see Molly enjoying playing the game.

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I'd say Molly knows more than her fair share being that most of her children ended up being Prefects and Head Boys. They may not have had magical training at home, but they did absorb a lot of knowledge about how magic is performed and the nuances of what magic can do. I'd think she gave them good study habits and enough knowledge to succeed at Hogwarts.
I agree. The Weasley kids demonstrate a good foundation in terms of education and that would have come from Molly since she was the one who home-schooled them. Bill and Percy each got 12 OWLs along with both being prefect and Head Boy. Charlie was a prefect and Quidditch captain - we don't know as much about his grades, but it's implied he did well. The twins and Ron were more lazy about doing school work, but they all managed to get good grades - Ron actually got better grades than the twins from what we're shown. The twins were very intelligent and creative - as we see with their inventions. We don't hear much about Ginny's grades either, but she was very clever and it appeared she did well in school like her brothers. I think Molly did a good job in home-schooling them.

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First off, wow, I'm impressed. Secondly, that means Molly was teaching for about 16 years for her own kids. When you put it like that, Molly is much more educated than she is perceived to be.
Thank you and I agree. One thing I learned from home-schooling my own kids is that teaching adds to your own education. Preparing lesson plans can be just as educational as doing the lessons.

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Exactly. I'm exhausted even thinking about it.

In the Women of HP video, Jo makes a comment that Molly would 'mother the whole world if she could', but at the battle of Hogwarts she proves herself equal to 'any warrior on that battlefield.' I love that contrast in her personality.
That was a really good video. I think Jo made a really good point there. Molly was a mother, but that wasn't all she was. Choosing to raise a family instead of having a paying career outside the home did not limit Molly in any capacity. She was as much a fierce warrior as she was a nurturing mother. Such contrasts make her a very interesting character to me.


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Old February 26th, 2014, 11:59 am
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Re: Molly Weasley: Character Analysis

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Haha! I didn't, either, particularly, but I was OK with it. I must say, though, that I did dislike Julie Walters' portrayal of that moment. In my opinion, she showed too much self-satisfaction and bloodlust with that smile at the end.
I'm interested in your reasoning as to why you didn't like Molly's fight with Bella? She was defending her daughter's life (and her own) from a witch who wanted them all dead. And she had just lost a son, so I think her reaction is in line with the circumstances and her fierce love for her family. (Not referring to the movie, just the book.)


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Old March 15th, 2014, 2:46 am
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Re: Molly Weasley: Character Analysis

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I'm interested in your reasoning as to why you didn't like Molly's fight with Bella? She was defending her daughter's life (and her own) from a witch who wanted them all dead. And she had just lost a son, so I think her reaction is in line with the circumstances and her fierce love for her family. (Not referring to the movie, just the book.)
Oh, of course I have no problem with the fight. It just wasn't something I particularly cheered or felt excited about, either.


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Old April 28th, 2014, 3:05 pm
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Re: Molly Weasley: Character Analysis

IMHO, while I think JKR did extremely well at showing the randomness of war and whom defeated whom I must admit to feeling let down. For instance I would have loved to see Neville be the one to kill Bellatrix as she tortured his parents into insanity. While him killing Nagini was cool, there wasn't the payoff that I expected. To have Molly kill Bellatrix just kind of took the oomph out of it for me. Had Molly killed Greyback or Nagini I would have been fine with that. *shrug*


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