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Kerowyn
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2011 3:58 pm    Post subject: Don't want to talk about Snape? Discuss Elves! Reply with quote

Mod's Note: Someone suggested we start discussing something or someone other than Snape. This is your chance. Fall in!

Getting away from Snape is not that hard, actually. Very Happy

Here are two of the threads I (under my FleurduJardin username) started on CoS that were fairly successful. They're all the more interesting that at the beginning, Minisinoo was still an active member of CoS (wisely she left before they could ban her for her forthright opinions and her insistence on talking about the personal life of JKR to explain some of the slants in the writing of the books) and her insights are very thoughtful and profound indeed.

One of the threads is "What book was the turning point in the series?" - My contention was CoS, but there were a lot of dissenting opinions. You can take a look and take it from there, please start a whole new thread if you do so. This one is just for suggestions.

http://www.cosforums.com/showthread.php?t=111969

One of my other successful threads had to do with SPEW - whether it was a good and noble idea or paternalism - or, in this case, maternalism, since it's Hermione's idea.

The debate was rather active and lively here too, with strong opinions on both sides of the issue. It's the thread on which the poster called Meesha on CoS and I joined up against a rather narrow-minded member of Amnesty International (I don't have anything against AI, mind you, they do good work, but some members are too much in the frame of mind of "I'll give you what I think is best for you whether you want it or not"). Meesha and I even got slapped by the Mods because we started discussing that guy in our public profile pages.

Here too, if the subject is of interest to you, look at the CoS thread and, if you're so inclined, open your own here.

Hmm... I can't find my own thread and, being banned, I can't go to "Threads started by FleurduJardin" - nor can anyone else. It's too bad, because there too, Minisinoo made some very insightful contributions, making comparisons with the American Indians situation - how, with the best intentions in the world, well-meaning white people come in and try to impose their values on the "natives", the "oppressed" and, in this case, the House Elves - with results that are sometimes funny and sometimes disastrous.

The nearest I could find to this was this thread:
http://www.cosforums.com/archive/index.php/t-114386.html

So - if any of those subjects inspire you, fire away!!!

I hope they didn't zap my SPEW thread, it had some really excellent posts. Those of you who're not banned, could you try to find it again? Search for posts by Minisinoo. She made few enough that those on that thread should be easy to find. Thanks. Very Happy
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Romione



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2012 9:12 am    Post subject: Dumbledore Reply with quote

I think they did zap the paternalism thread - which is a shame because there were some really great posts there. I was looking for that thread a couple of weeks ago for a private discussion about house-elves - I wanted to cite the story about the American Indians and I couldn't find it anywhere. That would definitely be a good discussion.

Another thread on COS that had a lot of activity recently was the Elder Wand thread - specifically in context of Dumbledore's plan to break the power of the wand and why he went about it the way he did. It's died down at the moment, but it was an interesting discussion. But that does include Snape because of the impact Dumbledore's plans had on him.

I think Dumbledore himself is fascinating - as are the plans he made and how they changed as events unfolded in the story. His past with his family and the situation with Grindelwald added a lot of depth to his character. And there is some disappointment there with the mistakes he made - particularly in the information that he didn't give Harry.

I've always enjoyed discussions about the relationships. The shipping wars got rather unpleasant in the end, but there were some good discussions as well.

I also like character analysis in general - HP has a lot of wonderful characters to discuss. And with new information coming from Pottermore, there's more to explore there.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2012 10:30 am    Post subject: My SPEW thread on CoS Reply with quote

Romione wrote:
I think they did zap the paternalism thread - which is a shame because there were some really great posts there. I was looking for that thread a couple of weeks ago for a private discussion about house-elves - I wanted to cite the story about the American Indians and I couldn't find it anywhere. That would definitely be a good discussion.

Yes, it's a pity, it was a great thread with lots of insightful inputs, especially from Minisinoo. Her Indians and indoor plumbing story was so great.

That's also the thread you and I got rapped by the Mods about, remember? Because we were discussing that idiot Wimsey and his paternalistic and patronizing attitude on our profile pages instead of doing it by owl, LOL. That's when we started emailing each other instead.

Funny that I got friends with at least two of you - inkling and Romione - after the CoS Mods went after us.

I wonder why they zapped that thread. It wasn't offensive or anything. But they seem to have zapped a number of threads, not to mention social groups, that Bill and I started. Like Bill's "The Funnies" group, that had a lot of funny stuff. On the other hand, they're leaving the Never-Ending party thread way past the regulatory 1,500 posts. It's past 1,600 now and still going. Go figure.
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Wildflower



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2012 12:06 pm    Post subject: Minisinoo's American Indian story Reply with quote

As a reminder - or FYI if you didn't see the story on CoS before they zapped my thread on SPEW - this is what Minisinoo told us to illustrate how, with the best of intentions (but a paternalistic attitude) your "good deeds" can be counter-productive.

There was this group of white do-gooders visiting the reservations and being appalled at the lack of indoor plumbing. They had to bring sanitation to the poor Indians, right? So, without consulting the interested parties, they went and bought some toilets and pipes and had them installed in the hogars. Knowing that they meant well, the Indians let them have their way, without telling them that for them, it is anathema to defecate inside the house, it's soiling it beyond redemption. So they thanked the white do-gooders, waved them on their way, and the minute they were off, they tore the toilets off and threw them away. A lot of money and good will wasted.

That attitude "We know what's good for you even if you don't, and we'll give it to you whether you want it or not" is one of the drawbacks of charitable organizations like Amnesty International, and it's Hermione's attitude towards the House Elves when she created SPEW. I also remember Meesha posted several long posts on the matter, which Minisinoo thought great. It's really a pity the whole thread was deleted.

In her fan fic "Finding Himself", Minisinoo has Cedric tell Hermione how arrogant she's being, and she doesn't take it well - but slowly comes to see his point.

Like Romione, I'd like to know what changed Hermione's mind in canon and made her realize she was on the wrong track. In DH, she has no trouble having Kreacher wait on them, cook and clean for them, take their coats when they come in from outside, etc. Very different from the Hermione who went on a hunger strike after she learned that the Hogwarts kitchens were staffed by House Elves.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2012 3:03 pm    Post subject: Re: Minisinoo's American Indian story Reply with quote

Wildflower wrote:
In her fan fic "Finding Himself", Minisinoo has Cedric tell Hermione how arrogant she's being, and she doesn't take it well - but slowly comes to see his point.

In that fan fic, Cedric also makes her reverse the hex on Marietta, which was a good thing.

Quote:
Like Romione, I'd like to know what changed Hermione's mind in canon and made her realize she was on the wrong track. In DH, she has no trouble having Kreacher wait on them, cook and clean for them, take their coats when they come in from outside, etc. Very different from the Hermione who went on a hunger strike after she learned that the Hogwarts kitchens were staffed by House Elves.

Same here. See my post in the favoritism thread. Very Happy
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Romione



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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 6:46 am    Post subject: Re: Minisinoo's American Indian story Reply with quote

Wildflower wrote:
As a reminder - or FYI if you didn't see the story on CoS before they zapped my thread on SPEW - this is what Minisinoo told us to illustrate how, with the best of intentions (but a paternalistic attitude) your "good deeds" can be counter-productive.

There was this group of white do-gooders visiting the reservations and being appalled at the lack of indoor plumbing. They had to bring sanitation to the poor Indians, right? So, without consulting the interested parties, they went and bought some toilets and pipes and had them installed in the hogars. Knowing that they meant well, the Indians let them have their way, without telling them that for them, it is anathema to defecate inside the house, it's soiling it beyond redemption. So they thanked the white do-gooders, waved them on their way, and the minute they were off, they tore the toilets off and threw them away. A lot of money and good will wasted.

That attitude "We know what's good for you even if you don't, and we'll give it to you whether you want it or not" is one of the drawbacks of charitable organizations like Amnesty International, and it's Hermione's attitude towards the House Elves when she created SPEW. I also remember Meesha posted several long posts on the matter, which Minisinoo thought great. It's really a pity the whole thread was deleted.


Thanks for posting the story - I was looking for that a while back. It is a very good example of how people can go wrong in trying to help people - especially when they don't take the time to learn about the people and their culture. I do think Hermione's heart was in the right place and she genuinely wanted to help the house-elves, but she went about it the wrong way. By assuming that the house-elves had simply been brainwashed and never bothering to get their side of the story, Hermione ended up offending them more than she helped them. She focused too much on what she thought they should want instead of trying to learn about them and what they actually did want for themselves.

Quote:
Like Romione, I'd like to know what changed Hermione's mind in canon and made her realize she was on the wrong track. In DH, she has no trouble having Kreacher wait on them, cook and clean for them, take their coats when they come in from outside, etc. Very different from the Hermione who went on a hunger strike after she learned that the Hogwarts kitchens were staffed by House Elves.


I really wish Jo had included something about this on page. It would have been interesting to see what finally got through to Hermione and made her realize she was on the wrong track. Personally, I think it was the moment that Dobby showed up to warn the DA about Umbridge. He was wearing all those hats she had knitted and I think Hermione would have noticed that. I don't think she would have thought about it at that exact moment - Umbridge being on her way was the primary concern there - but I think she would have remembered that later on and would probably have assumed that Dobby taking all those hats prevented other elves from being free.

What stands out for me with all of that is that Hermione really did seem to believe that the hats being gone meant that the house-elves were grateful to her and wanted to be free. She thought her plan was working and that the house-elves were choosing freedom by taking the hats. I always felt that Harry should have told her that Dobby was taking all the hats and other clothes she knitted for himself and Winky and that the other house-elves were so offended by her leaving those things laying around that they refused to clean Gryffindor tower. Hermione needed to know that what she was doing was only offending the house-elves - letting her believe that it was working didn't do Hermione any favors, IMO. Likewise, I think it stands out that Hermione stopped knitting hats and other clothes and wasn't leaving things like that laying around in HBP. In fact, she never even mentions that - or really say much about SPEW - in HBP at all.

That's why I think that moment with Dobby was probably the catalyst. I can see Hermione being angry at first - thinking Dobby was preventing other house-elves from being able to choose freedom. In which case, I can also see her going to the kitchens to talk to Dobby - or even waiting up in the common room for him - and confronting him about taking the hats. That would have led to Dobby telling her the same thing he had told Harry - the other house-elves were offended by it and refused to clean Gryffindor tower. Her plan to trick them had not worked at all - no other house-elf had taken any of her hats or clothes because they did not want to. Of course, Hermione is also very stubborn so I don't think she would have simply taken Dobby's word on that. Ultimately, I think that would have led to Hermione actually talking to the house-elves in the kitchen herself. And that is something she should have done from the start.

I think that's why there is such a dramatic change in Hermione's behavior regarding the house-elves between OOTP and HBP. It doesn't actually come up in HBP, but it is noticeable that she has stopped trying to convince everyone to join SPEW and she wasn't leaving hats and clothes laying around anymore. Still, it is in DH where it comes up and Hermione actually shows the change with what she tells Harry about Kreacher. She has come to understand house-elves and looks at that situation from Kreacher's perspective instead of just assuming he was brainwashed. She understands that Kreacher does not want freedom - he simply wants to be treated with kindness and respect.

That's not to say that there were not problems with the system. There were and changes certainly needed to be made to protect the house-elves - particularly from people like Lucius Malfoy who would abuse them But it wasn't an issue of wages or paid vacations - house-elves did not want or need that. The issue was in how they were treated and the system allowing people like Lucius Malfoy to abuse house-elves. That's what Hermione needed to focus on, IMO.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 9:12 am    Post subject: JKR Reply with quote

Personally I think that Jo was getting rather fed up with all the expectations for her Harry Potter stories - she now had a new life and two more young children to worry about so wrote the last 5 books (at least) with perceived haste and with her family in the forefront (which as it should be) and therefore failed to satisfy her fans with the details which unfortunately for her they have all picked to pieces. I suppose that when she started writing this series she did not foresee the sucess it would be or that she would find happiness with a man and have two young children with him that naturally she would prefer to spend her time with. Especially over her Harry Potters stories and therefore make fans of the series dissatisfied with the way she ended the series.

Myself? Well I would rather she put the wellbeing of her two youngest offspring (and oldest offspring) over books she was writing - as would any loving mother...... Pressure of publishers can be rather off putting IMO.
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2012 2:11 pm    Post subject: Freeing House Elves Reply with quote

There's another point that was addressed on the CoS thread that we haven't here: A big point is that only their master/mistress can free Elves. Hermione wasn't the Hogwarts Elves' mistress. They belonged to Hogwarts, so the power to free them would reside with whoever managed the school: the headmaster or headmistress, in this case Dumbledore. He was the one who could make the decision to hire Dobby and Winky.

No matter how many hats and socks Hermione knitted, even if the Elves picked them up, it wouldn't have freed them. Any more than picking up and delivering laundry freed them. We see in DH that Kreacher took the Trio's cloaks to hang them up when they came in from outside. That didn't free him, and by this point Hermione was OK with that, OK with Kreacher cooking and cleaning for them.

The Elves were more offended by the idea of Hermione trying to free them willy-nilly than by the idea of picking up the hats and socks. They picked up all the dirty laundry from the whole school, after all. They were making a statement. That, and refusing to clean Gryffindor Tower.

Someone SHOULD have told Hermione about that, instead of letting her go on with her delusions. It'd have been a kindness - rather than humoring her and letting her think that her "plan" worked.
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Romione



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PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2012 3:12 pm    Post subject: Re: Freeing House Elves Reply with quote

Lily_Chérie wrote:
There's another point that was addressed on the CoS thread that we haven't here: A big point is that only their master/mistress can free Elves. Hermione wasn't the Hogwarts Elves' mistress. They belonged to Hogwarts, so the power to free them would reside with whoever managed the school: the headmaster or headmistress, in this case Dumbledore. He was the one who could make the decision to hire Dobby and Winky.

No matter how many hats and socks Hermione knitted, even if the Elves picked them up, it wouldn't have freed them. Any more than picking up and delivering laundry freed them. We see in DH that Kreacher took the Trio's cloaks to hang them up when they came in from outside. That didn't free him, and by this point Hermione was OK with that, OK with Kreacher cooking and cleaning for them.

The Elves were more offended by the idea of Hermione trying to free them willy-nilly than by the idea of picking up the hats and socks. They picked up all the dirty laundry from the whole school, after all. They were making a statement. That, and refusing to clean Gryffindor Tower.

Someone SHOULD have told Hermione about that, instead of letting her go on with her delusions. It'd have been a kindness - rather than humoring her and letting her think that her "plan" worked.


I agree. The house-elves refusing to clean Gryffindor tower had more impact because Hermione didn't actually have the authority to free them. They knew it wouldn't work, but her intentions still offended them greatly. I would love to have seen Hermione's reaction to finding out about that on page.

Another point that I thought of was that the house-elves actually did have more power than Hermione acknowledged. We see that with Harry helping Dobby in COS. Harry didn't set Dobby free - he simply helped arrange the situation so that Dobby could choose freedom for himself by tricking Lucius into tossing that sock aside. Dobby had to choose to catch the sock. Dobby also knew that Lucius was not actually giving him that sock, but he was still able to use that to free himself. Lucius was powerless to stop Dobby from choosing freedom in those circumstances. Which is probably why they had always been so careful to not hand Dobby any kind of clothing. From what we see in COS, any house-elf could choose to interpret an article of clothing as freedom if they want to. Based on that, Kreacher could have chosen to free himself when Harry handed him a cloak as well, but Kreacher did not want to be free.
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Strawberry07



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PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 5:43 am    Post subject: Re: Freeing House Elves Reply with quote

Lily_Chérie wrote:
Someone SHOULD have told Hermione about that, instead of letting her go on with her delusions. It'd have been a kindness - rather than humoring her and letting her think that her "plan" worked.


Perhaps Dobby thought he was sparing her feelings by gathering them up. He could have just left them there when he cleaned Gryffindor Tower, after all.

Romione wrote:
Another point that I thought of was that the house-elves actually did have more power than Hermione acknowledged. We see that with Harry helping Dobby in COS. Harry didn't set Dobby free - he simply helped arrange the situation so that Dobby could choose freedom for himself by tricking Lucius into tossing that sock aside. Dobby had to choose to catch the sock. Dobby also knew that Lucius was not actually giving him that sock, but he was still able to use that to free himself. Lucius was powerless to stop Dobby from choosing freedom in those circumstances. Which is probably why they had always been so careful to not hand Dobby any kind of clothing. From what we see in COS, any house-elf could choose to interpret an article of clothing as freedom if they want to. Based on that, Kreacher could have chosen to free himself when Harry handed him a cloak as well, but Kreacher did not want to be free.


I think Dobby was freed when Lucius passed him the sock - I think it wasn't just Dobby's choice. Dobby did choose to take his freedom, but he was only able to do so because the sock passed directly from Malfoy's hand to his. The Malfoys avoided passing any clothing to Dobby, - but I'm pretty sure they didn't do their own laundry. It seems that directly passing an item of clothing to an elf frees them, whether that's the master's intention or not. It's another reason why Hermione could not have freed the elves - as well as not being their master, she did not directly pass them the items she knitted.

Considering the mistreatment of Dobby, I think Hermione was right in saying that the house elves needed to be protected. However, she went the wrong way about it.
I think that legislation to protect house-elves would be much better - legislation preventing humans from mistreating their house elves. The elves themselves seem to make nurturing and care their priority (Winky feared for Mr Crouch's wellbeing without her) and value taking care of humans more than anything else (Dobby hated working for the Malfoys because they mistreated him, but he wanted to protect Harry, and later, take care of the students of Hogwarts). Therefore, I think that if they were given protection in their jobs and the possibility to leave an abusive family like the Malfoys and settle with another, it would be a workable solution for the elves. For example, if the elves were given clothing and their freedom, but still the choice to stay with their humans.
Obviously, Hermione couldn't do much about legislation as a student, but perhaps she worked on laws to protect house elves when she worked at the Ministry.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 8:43 am    Post subject: Re: Freeing House Elves Reply with quote

Strawberry07 wrote:
Perhaps Dobby thought he was sparing her feelings by gathering them up. He could have just left them there when he cleaned Gryffindor Tower, after all.


That was why Harry never told her about Dobby taking the hats so it's possible Dobby considered that. He did hold Harry's friends in high regard.

Quote:
I think Dobby was freed when Lucius passed him the sock - I think it wasn't just Dobby's choice. Dobby did choose to take his freedom, but he was only able to do so because the sock passed directly from Malfoy's hand to his. The Malfoys avoided passing any clothing to Dobby, - but I'm pretty sure they didn't do their own laundry. It seems that directly passing an item of clothing to an elf frees them, whether that's the master's intention or not. It's another reason why Hermione could not have freed the elves - as well as not being their master, she did not directly pass them the items she knitted.


Actually, Lucius did not directly pass the sock to Dobby either - he didn't intentionally put it into Dobby's hand. They did that in the film with Harry putting the sock inside the diary and Lucius handing the diary directly to Dobby, but in the book, Harry put the diary inside the sock and handed the sock to Lucius. He forgot about Dobby in his anger at Harry and tossed the sock to the side when he pulled the diary out of it. Dobby knew Lucius was not giving him a sock - and it was obvious that Lucius did not intend for him to catch it because he was shocked to discover he had - but Dobby was still able to use that to garner his freedom.

I think that was why Hermione left the hats and other clothes laying around the common room and hid them with trash. Her intention was for the house-elves to take them - she saw that as leaving them a gift. Plus she had knitted those things specifically for the house-elves in terms of size. In that respect, Hermione was intentionally passing those things to the house-elves through indirect means. And to be fair, Jo has never been asked or mentioned whether or not Hermione's hats would have actually freed the house-elves. I don't think they would have because she was just a student, but we don't have enough information to say that for certain.

My impression was that the means did not matter - what mattered was whether the house-elf could interpret that as being given clothes to keep or not. Laundry placed in a hamper or basket with instructions to wash it and put it away could not be interpreted as a gift of clothes whereas "take this shirt" or just tossing it aside so the house-elf could catch it could be interpreted as a gift of clothes if the house-elf chose to. Likewise, specific instructions to pick up the clothes on the floor, wash them, and put them away could not be interpreted as a gift of clothes whereas a vague direction to pick up the clothes on the floor could be.

We see that with how Harry handles Kreacher in HBP. Because of what happened in OOTP with Kreacher being able to use a vague instruction from Sirius to do what he wanted, Harry foresaw the danger in just telling Kreacher to follow Draco so he gives him very specific instructions that leave no loopholes for Kreacher to slip through - which annoyed Kreacher. Kreacher presents the best example of how house-elves could interpret vague orders any way they chose - giving them some power and control. I think the Malfoys did the same with Dobby's instructions when it came to the laundry - and we do know that Dobby did laundry because he mentions ironing to Harry - Dobby seems to have chosen his self-inflicted punishments based on whatever chore he was doing at the time he punished himself. In that respect, I think the Malfoys were always very careful to be specific in instructing Dobby to do the laundry and put it away - making it clear they were not giving him any clothes. Lucius was careless in tossing the sock aside - giving no instructions at all - so Dobby was able to interpret that as a gift of clothes in spite of Lucius having no intention of actually giving him the sock.

Quote:
Considering the mistreatment of Dobby, I think Hermione was right in saying that the house elves needed to be protected. However, she went the wrong way about it.
I think that legislation to protect house-elves would be much better - legislation preventing humans from mistreating their house elves. The elves themselves seem to make nurturing and care their priority (Winky feared for Mr Crouch's wellbeing without her) and value taking care of humans more than anything else (Dobby hated working for the Malfoys because they mistreated him, but he wanted to protect Harry, and later, take care of the students of Hogwarts). Therefore, I think that if they were given protection in their jobs and the possibility to leave an abusive family like the Malfoys and settle with another, it would be a workable solution for the elves. For example, if the elves were given clothing and their freedom, but still the choice to stay with their humans.
Obviously, Hermione couldn't do much about legislation as a student, but perhaps she worked on laws to protect house elves when she worked at the Ministry.


What always bothered me about Hermione's SPEW campaign in GOF and OOTP was that she didn't actually demonstrate much concern regarding abuse. She was outraged because they didn't get paid wages or have benefits like paid vacations and such. She comments on how Amos Diggory had spoken to Winky after the incident at the World Cup, but the source of her outrage appeared to primarily be the fact that Winky did not get paid. She made that her first goal with SPEW - securing fair wages for house-elves. Her secondary goal was changing the laws about wand use. Lastly, she wanted to get a house-elf in to the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures - a career I can't see any house-elf being interested in. These are human concepts and didn't fit the house-elves at all. They didn't want or need money, they didn't need wands and could do magic wizards could not without a wand, and they wouldn't be interested in Ministry careers. Hermione should have been more focused on how the system allowed for such extreme abuse - like we see with the Malfoys and Dobby.

Since clothes and freedom were things that house-elves found offensive, I don't think that would be part of the immediate solution. The majority of them would find that something to be ashamed of. They did need legislation that would protect the house-elves, but I think that needed to be framed around what they wanted and needed. The first priority would be legislation regarding how they were treated - clearly establishing what constituted abuse and giving the house-elves the right to report abuse as well as the general public - and encouraging them to report abuse if they saw it.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 10:10 am    Post subject: It's class, I tell you! Reply with quote

Hmm still smacks of class master servant abuse in Hermione's eyes to me and that did go on in the past and servants were treated like 'slaves' dare I say? However the elves just might have been given the option of accepting 'freedom' and like many slaves chose not to as they were quite happy with there lot? It seems if they were treated well like those at Hogwarts they loved their job but if mistreated like Dobby was they would take their freedom and I believe this happened in the south of the US.....
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 1:53 pm    Post subject: Freeing the Elves Reply with quote

You know, I wonder why Jo let us think for a while that Hermione leaving the hats and socks lying around would actually set free any Elf who picked them up. The fact that they refused to clean Gryffindor Tower reinforced that impression, until we realized that they were expressing their outrage, not trying to avoid liberating themselves.

It really was no kindness to Hermione to let her go on thinking what she was doing was right and was working. I wonder when it dawned on her. Probably, as Romione said, when Dobby showed up at the Room of Requirement wearing all those hats.

Yes, I, too, would have liked to see on page the evolution of her thinking on the matter. How she came from refusing to eat the Hogwarts meals to enjoying Kreacher's cooking and cleaning for the Trio at 12 Grimmauld Place.

Kreacher's character analysis would be interesting too. Cooped up for years in that dreary place with just the protrait of old Mrs. Black for company, then having the place "invaded" by "blood traitors" and "mudbloods", defying and disobeying is master Sirius, even betraying him - then the turn around, after he gets Regulus' locket, and is treated kindly (not that he was ever treated unkindly, he was never abused like Dobby was), he turns into this model House Elf, all cleaned up and well-groomed, cooking and cleaning and making sure Harry eats enough. I can see him doting on Harry's kids also. "Oh, Master James, you didn't finish your steak-and-kidney pie" or "Oh Miss Lily, Kreacher has just washed and ironed that pretty dress and you got it all wrinkled again!" LOL.

One thing's sure is that Kreacher, while disobeying and using his powers to thwart Sirius when he could, never wanted to be free. He just wanted to go on serving the Blacks and their heirs. That's what made him happy.

I can't help making the comparison with women who want to stay housewives. It's their choice, and it's in fact a feminist one - doing what one wants to do. The "rabid" feminists are wrong in putting them down. It's the same thing, really, isn't it? For a lot of the ultra-feminists, the women who want to stay at home are being brainwashed by the male establishment, society and their stay-at-home mothers. It doesn't occur to them that their choice is as valid as wanting to be a doctor or a rocket scientist or whatever...

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What always bothered me about Hermione's SPEW campaign in GOF and OOTP was that she didn't actually demonstrate much concern regarding abuse. She was outraged because they didn't get paid wages or have benefits like paid vacations and such. She comments on how Amos Diggory had spoken to Winky after the incident at the World Cup, but the source of her outrage appeared to primarily be the fact that Winky did not get paid.

Excellent point. Would she have condoned Dobby staying on being abused by the Malfoys if he got paid for it, I wonder? confused
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The Shuttle



Joined: 17 Jul 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 10:35 pm    Post subject: But why be sneaky about it? Reply with quote

Romione wrote:
I think that was why Hermione left the hats and other clothes laying around the common room and hid them with trash. Her intention was for the house-elves to take them - she saw that as leaving them a gift.

You don't hide gifts in trash or under books and stuff. Deep down Hermione must have known that something was wrong, because why be so sneaky about it?

If she really thought the Hogwarts Elves wanted to be free, why not hand them the socks and hats directly? It doesn't make sense to me.
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Strawberry07



Joined: 06 Jun 2011
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 9:12 am    Post subject: Re: But why be sneaky about it? Reply with quote

The Shuttle wrote:

You don't hide gifts in trash or under books and stuff. Deep down Hermione must have known that something was wrong, because why be so sneaky about it?

If she really thought the Hogwarts Elves wanted to be free, why not hand them the socks and hats directly? It doesn't make sense to me.


I think Hermione believed she knew what was best and went behind the backs of those concerned to do what she thought was necessary - just as she did with the Firebolt. Hermione probably believed that when the elves were freed, they would see the benefits of it, even if they did not want it.


Romione wrote:

Actually, Lucius did not directly pass the sock to Dobby either - he didn't intentionally put it into Dobby's hand. They did that in the film with Harry putting the sock inside the diary and Lucius handing the diary directly to Dobby, but in the book, Harry put the diary inside the sock and handed the sock to Lucius. He forgot about Dobby in his anger at Harry and tossed the sock to the side when he pulled the diary out of it. Dobby knew Lucius was not giving him a sock - and it was obvious that Lucius did not intend for him to catch it because he was shocked to discover he had - but Dobby was still able to use that to garner his freedom.

Lucius did not pass the sock to Dobby, but it did pass directly from Lucius' hand to Dobby's. That must be enough for freedom, as Dobby was never able to interpret a laundry basket full of clothes as giving him his freedom. Clothing passing directly from master to elf must be enough. Of course, some elves would choose to ignore this, but it must work at least technically for Dobby to be able to take his freedom in this way.

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They didn't want or need money, they didn't need wands and could do magic wizards could not without a wand, and they wouldn't be interested in Ministry careers. Hermione should have been more focused on how the system allowed for such extreme abuse - like we see with the Malfoys and Dobby.

I agree that this is what Hermione should have focused on. She should have looked at what the priorities for the elves themselves were.

Quote:
The first priority would be legislation regarding how they were treated - clearly establishing what constituted abuse and giving the house-elves the right to report abuse as well as the general public - and encouraging them to report abuse if they saw it.


The problem would come if some family like the Malfoys ordered their elf not to report the abuse or to speak to anyone outside the household about it.
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