Thursday, July 26, 2007

Literary Characters and Likability

This is a thought continuing from the Harry Potter discussion two posts back. Again, I'm limiting the details to the comments box in order to avoid spoilers for those who haven't yet read/finished the book.


Love2Learn Mom said...


Consider yourself warned.

Love2Learn Mom said...

I've really been enjoying the Harry Potter discussion so far - thanks so much for sharing your thoughts on this!

I haven't had a lot to contribute regarding the details of the story a) because my books 6 and 7 are lent out and b) it's been so darn long since I read book 6 that I can't remember a lot of the details.

Actual point in the next comment...

Love2Learn Mom said...

While thinking about our HP discussion, it occurred to me that it might be interesting to look at the basic question of Dumbledore from a slightly different angle.

My concerns about Dumbledore aren't so much a concerted effort to discredit the book, overanalyze, or whatever, as a simple acknowledgement that a) I've come to appreciate Dumbledore as an interesting and intriguing character in an engaging story and b) I suddenly find him less likable when he starts spouting things like moral relativism.

I like lots of people (and books for that matter!) that are flawed and imperfect. This aspect of Dumbledore came as a bit of shock to me, though. I felt like I knew him and suddenly I couldn't respect him or at least it seemed inconsistent with his character. Do you see what I'm getting at?

Anyway, I think looking at the question from this angle might be interesting. I also think the idea of a character becoming "real" to us and how his actions affect the way we think about him might be fun to discuss.

Matilda said...

This is funny. I had the opposite experience. I have always felt that D. was one of her less fleshed out characters. He always seemed very 2 dimensional to me. Or rather, that he was 3 dimensional, but she only let us see 2 of those and never the third. It frustrated me that you never knew what he really would have seen in the Mirror of Erised or that he kept himself so guarded and closed to not just Harry, but everyone else to. Regarding Harry it was understandable if he guessed that Harry was a horcrux.

I didn't like anything about him in the movies either except for what the incomparable Michael Gambon brought to the character, not what JKR supplied.

Anyway, I felt like the final book actually revealed him and made him seem more real even though it was a side to him that most people didn't like what they saw.