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Theowyn
Looney

1078 Posts

Posted - 05/31/2007 :  00:38:54  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Chapter 28 is now up.

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"Always"

Edited by - Theowyn on 05/31/2007 00:43:04
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Krabat
Giddy

Germany
40 Posts

Posted - 05/31/2007 :  05:24:34  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Spoiler Warning for the new chapter!

I just finished reading and I'm still shocked (in a positive way). There are so many things in this chapter that I'll just start in the beginning. Another great episode of the defence practicum. Snape puts his finger directly on Harry's greatest weakness, and how great a weakness it is we see at the very end of the chapter. It seems to be the basic question of this chapter. How much of our own identity and our beliefs do we have to sacrifice for a higher goal? By the way, I really enjoy the Snape characterisation. He is a master not only in duelling, but also in observation and an excellent judge of character, as he demonstrates by finding the weak points of every student. He preaches ruthlessness, but he is not as sure about it as he makes others believe, as shown by the impact of Harry's comment about selling his soul to darkness. This also illustrates that Harry does not understand Snape's greatest fears (yet).
The way Harry's closest friends react to the practicum hints at their fear that rather than helping Harry they might add to his burdens. Perhaps this realisation lead to Ron's solo adventure.

By the way, there is a mistake in the sentence when Harry tells his friends about the danger Snape was in because of their Dorset disaster."He would have been tortured him to death"

O.k., now to the big revelations in this chapter. The idea of the chained soul spell is great. My first ideas of why Voldemort survived (before we knew about Horcruxes) was also that he has to draw on other peoples life force. Since he didn't really live but rather his soul did not leave, your idea is loads better. I'm not really convinced of your explanation why he used it on Harry, though. I think there was no time for a complex spell the moment the killing curse rebounded, more so since it came as complete surprise. But I liked the explanation why the bond didn't take. This explanation made me think on the life debts between Snape and Harry. How will they influence what happens between them?

Now, on to the dark mark. I think it is the logical pool of people for Voldemort to draw on. One question though? Many of them , also Snape, got their mark before Harry was attacked. But at the time the spell wasn't yet completly developed. So did Voldemort use the crude form on his longtime death eaters or did he improve their marks later on?

I wondered a bit about Harry's reaction to the revelation that all the death eaters would be killed in his fight with Voldemort. We don't know yet how the drawing on their souls will be manifested in Voldemort's mind. Perhaps Harry has to face their souls there, and then it would be a very real form of killing dozens (hundreds?) of people. That he doesn' think of Snape as a death eater shows again that there is a strong bond between them underlying all their surface difficulties. So, here we come back to the beginning, Harry's biggest weakness. So if Dumbledore knew about the spell, and it seems he has known for a long time, why did he try to push Snape and Harry together? He must think that both of them benefit of it, and that leads to his conversation with Severus. I'm more than a little curious. What else is Snape hiding that concerns Harry so much? He already confessed that he was involved in the murder of Harry's parents. Perhaps there is still more to his relationship to Lily.

While reading the last pages I could deeply sympathise with Snape. He faces certain death and Dumbledore is only talking about Harry. For Snape it must be the story of his life. It's never himself who is at the center of concern. Dumbledore might be certain that talking to Harry will laso benefit Severus, but psychologically it certainly is not the best approach to someone who believes himself of much less importance than Harry anyway. I couldn't imagine how you would get Snape to talk to Harry in a believable way, Theo. But the end of the chapter pointed towards a way to do it. If Harry's desperate actions once and for all bring home to Snape how much Harry cares, he will perhaps offer something in return.
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sunsethill
Confunded

USA
653 Posts

Posted - 05/31/2007 :  10:47:57  Show Profile  Visit sunsethill's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Oh, man! I am blown away. I was reading the chapter while eating breakfast at Subway and crying like a baby. I am hanging on to your statement that you have ideas for the next story, Theo.

The chained soul idea is wonderful--what a creative use of the dark mark and what we know of Voldemort. And I think I have a dim idea of how the battle will play out, but I know it will be really intense.

The defense lesson was a great set up for the end of the chapter, but I can't help but believe that Harry will find a way to save Snape. His heart is actually his strongest defense and Snape in some ways has become almost more important to him than his friends. He meets so many needs--mentor, age-mate friend, father-figure.

I was too busy to review chapter 27 which was also awesome. I found several typos, etc., in a few sections but have lost my notes. Has anyone else pointed them out? If not, I will reread and send you the corrections.

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Theowyn
Looney

1078 Posts

Posted - 05/31/2007 :  12:29:59  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
I really enjoy the Snape characterisation. He is a master not only in duelling, but also in observation and an excellent judge of character.
As every great spy must be.

quote:
He preaches ruthlessness, but he is not as sure about it as he makes others believe, as shown by the impact of Harry's comment about selling his soul to darkness.
Yes, Snape's demons are really hounding him.

quote:
The way Harry's closest friends react to the practicum hints at their fear that rather than helping Harry they might add to his burdens. Perhaps this realisation lead to Ron's solo adventure.
Absolutely! They had to sit through that practicum too and to see the torture Harry went through really brought home to them how terrible Harry's burden really is.

quote:
I'm not really convinced of your explanation why he used it on Harry, though. I think there was no time for a complex spell the moment the killing curse rebounded, more so since it came as complete surprise. But I liked the explanation why the bond didn't take. This explanation made me think on the life debts between Snape and Harry. How will they influence what happens between them?

Now, on to the dark mark. I think it is the logical pool of people for Voldemort to draw on. One question though? Many of them , also Snape, got their mark before Harry was attacked. But at the time the spell wasn't yet completly developed. So did Voldemort use the crude form on his longtime death eaters or did he improve their marks later on?
I probably haven't explained this well. The final version of this spell, Morsmordre, was completed years ago and that is the spell that has been used on every DE. But the night Voldemort tried to kill Harry, something very unusual happened. In the chaos of the killing curse backfiring and the tremendous release of magical power that destroyed the Potters' home, Voldemort reacted instinctively to the unexpected mortal danger. Without thought or incantation, he projected as a defense the one bit of magic that is most a part of him - the soul-binding spell.

This spell is Voldemort's greatest creation. He spent years developing it. Everything he is and hopes to be depends upon it. But since he didn't consciously employ it against Harry, the spell that manifested wasn't the sophistocated Morsmordre, but the much earlier and simpler version.

quote:
I wondered a bit about Harry's reaction to the revelation that all the death eaters would be killed in his fight with Voldemort. We don't know yet how the drawing on their souls will be manifested in Voldemort's mind. Perhaps Harry has to face their souls there, and then it would be a very real form of killing dozens (hundreds?) of people.
Well, Harry hasn't really thought this through...

quote:
So if Dumbledore knew about the spell, and it seems he has known for a long time, why did he try to push Snape and Harry together?
And here is the million dollar question. Thank you, Krabat, because this really is the key. Dumbledore knows Snape and Harry, their strengths and weaknesses. He knows Tom Riddle, too. And he knows better than anyone just how daunting a task Harry faces. Everything Dumbledore has done, has been designed to give Harry the advantage when he comes to the final battle with Voldemort. But Dumbledore does not rely only on strategic ploys. In the end, he is counting on those involved to be true to themselves and to act accordingly.

quote:
I'm more than a little curious. What else is Snape hiding that concerns Harry so much?

You already know the answer to this. You just don't realize it.

quote:
While reading the last pages I could deeply sympathise with Snape. He faces certain death and Dumbledore is only talking about Harry.
Poor Snape. He really does get a raw deal here. But he would be just as pragmatic and insensitive if he were in Dumbledore's place.

quote:
Oh, man! I am blown away. I was reading the chapter while eating breakfast at Subway and crying like a baby. I am hanging on to your statement that you have ideas for the next story, Theo.
SH, you poor dear! Here, take my handkerchief and see my above comment about Dumbledore.

quote:
The defense lesson was a great set up for the end of the chapter, but I can't help but believe that Harry will find a way to save Snape. His heart is actually his strongest defense...
Which gets directly back to the exchange between Snape and Harry:

“Your chief weakness is that you care too much.”
“Funny, Dumbledore thinks that’s my greatest strength.”

This is a key point, because both Snape and Harry are correct. This also touches on the question Krabat raises: How much of our own identity and our beliefs do we have to sacrifice for a higher goal? Wisdom comes in figuring out the answer to this. Harry has to be able to recognize when love is a strength and when it's a weakness. And he has to decide where he's going to draw the line in compromising what he believes to be right.

And yes, everyone please point out any corrections that need to be made. As many times as Myf and I go over these chapters, it's still impossible to catch everything.

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"Always"

Edited by - Theowyn on 05/31/2007 12:33:56
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Siobhan
Chief Healer

USA
2157 Posts

Posted - 05/31/2007 :  12:40:33  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
OK, I'll regret this, I'm sure, but I'm going to post before reading the newest posts.

This one made me cry, Theo. I hope you're happy! As soon as Dumbles mentioned the other souls, I knew it was the Dark Mark and that Snape would have to have his soul "used up". Yuk.

My guesses for where Harry went are: 1.) Spinner's End 2.) Godrick's Hollow 3.) His Mum's girlhood home-- in that order with lots of emphasis on Spinner's End (the other two are just throw ins). What better place to be alone. Snape should realise this-- even lacking the knowledge of what went on in the Legillimency lessons.

*Responding as reading posts*
quote:
He preaches ruthlessness, but he is not as sure about it as he makes others believe, as shown by the impact of Harry's comment about selling his soul to darkness. This also illustrates that Harry does not understand Snape's greatest fears (yet).

It also illustrates that Snape does not understand Harry completely. Selling one's soul to darkness doesn't have to mean Voldemort, as Snape seems to think. He's actually sold his soul to the darkness of despair, loathing, and guilt.
quote:
While reading the last pages I could deeply sympathise with Snape. He faces certain death and Dumbledore is only talking about Harry. For Snape it must be the story of his life. It's never himself who is at the center of concern. Dumbledore might be certain that talking to Harry will also benefit Severus, but psychologically it certainly is not the best approach to someone who believes himself of much less importance than Harry anyway.
It seems, to me, that Dumbledore is expecting Snape to act like an adult (or parent). Yes, Snape has always longed to be important. But when he finally is, he doesn't recognise it, or even particularly want it because it is from Harry. Most adults or parents want what is best for children and are grown up enough to realise that they need to sacrifice of themselves sometimes to achieve that. It's a selflessness that doesn't always come easily-- especially to someone who has been denied that brand of selflessness in their own lives. Snape has always believed himself to be forfeit in the war, so that is not truly a sacrifice. The true sacrifice of his life will be to do what is best for himself and Harry. That means letting go of his entire purpose for living-- guilt.

This leads almost full circle to Spinner's End. Snape will have to find Harry, therefore it has to be a place Snape and Harry both know of. A place of life significance linked to Snape for Harry, considering his mental state and the knowledge he has just received. I just hope Snape gets there before any DE's find Harry. They will have to have it out between them-- and what a show it should be (nothing ever comes easily for these two).

Deliberatley causing mayhem in Snape's Potions class.
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Theowyn
Looney

1078 Posts

Posted - 05/31/2007 :  14:13:16  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
This one made me cry, Theo.
This one was a bit of a tear-jerker it seems.

quote:
Selling one's soul to darkness doesn't have to mean Voldemort, as Snape seems to think. He's actually sold his soul to the darkness of despair, loathing, and guilt.
Excellent point and a very important one.

quote:
It seems, to me, that Dumbledore is expecting Snape to act like an adult (or parent). Yes, Snape has always longed to be important. But when he finally is, he doesn't recognise it, or even particularly want it because it is from Harry. Most adults or parents want what is best for children and are grown up enough to realise that they need to sacrifice of themselves sometimes to achieve that. It's a selflessness that doesn't always come easily-- especially to someone who has been denied that brand of selflessness in their own lives. Snape has always believed himself to be forfeit in the war, so that is not truly a sacrifice. The true sacrifice of his life will be to do what is best for himself and Harry. That means letting go of his entire purpose for living-- guilt.
Snape's main problem here is that he really doesn't understand, much less want to face, emotions - either his own or Harry's. Snape would do anything for Harry. He would suffer torture or death without hesitation. But, as you say, it is his guilt that truly horrifies him and he doesn't understand how facing it would do anyone any good. It's hard to face your worst fear and make an agonizing sacrifice when you can't see any benefit to it.

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Edited by - Theowyn on 05/31/2007 14:14:55
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Eeyore
Barmy

USA
311 Posts

Posted - 06/01/2007 :  01:05:17  Show Profile  Send Eeyore a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
I'm re-reading. Laura stayed till 3 am--it was a good visit. But then I read through the chapter--and cried. (I cried at the end of the last one as well, along with Harry.)

Anyway, I'm on p. 8, and there's a spelling error, I think. Isn't Snape going to take a sleeping "draught", instead of a drought?

Back to reading, then I'll be back. Really good comments, everyone.

Eeyore

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Theowyn
Looney

1078 Posts

Posted - 06/01/2007 :  01:46:58  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Eeyore

I'm re-reading. Laura stayed till 3 am--it was a good visit. But then I read through the chapter--and cried. (I cried at the end of the last one as well, along with Harry.)

Anyway, I'm on p. 8, and there's a spelling error, I think. Isn't Snape going to take a sleeping "draught", instead of a drought?

Back to reading, then I'll be back. Really good comments, everyone.

Draught it is! Thanks. *Sets out a fresh box of tissues*

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Eeyore
Barmy

USA
311 Posts

Posted - 06/01/2007 :  03:16:27  Show Profile  Send Eeyore a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
OK, once again it's late and I'm tired. I'm not quite finished re-reading--had to stop and fold up the laundry.

But they've just got back from Dorset and here's where I have a problem. Harry is told that the scar he has was intentionally given him from Voldemort and that it's purpose is to bind Harry to him, so that as long as Harry lives, so will Voldemort. Did I get that right?

But then why, if Voldemort knows how that scar works, even if it's the original crude version, would Voldemort want to kill Harry, thereby making himself mortal again. I'm not following that, unless Lawrence is wrong and the information that he has given Harry is not correct. The other thing is that Harry now thinks that it means that his and Voldemort's souls are one. But Dumbledore checked on that back at the end of OotP, with his little smokey serpent that split into two, and he said something to the effect that they were still separate. (I think the other reason I have trouble with this, is that it seems to support the Harry-is-a-Horcrux theories, and JKR will have to do some fancy writing for me to be OK with that one--maybe she can, but I'm not convinced that that's the reason for the mental connection between Harry and Voldemort.)

Anyway, that was the part last night that I had trouble with, but then the end of the chapter works out something entirely different as Voldemort's means of immortality, which is good and entirely plausible almost. Only thing there is that he has killed or had others kill some of those Death Eaters--like Regulus and Karkaroff, and there have been hints that there have been others as well. So I'm still not seeing why he would kill them off if their being alive gives him more immortality.

It sounds like I didn't like the chapter, but I really did--just that little bit that I'm still puzzling over, and perhaps that will be resolved in the last chapters--you're very good at that.

The defense practicums are marvelous--well, a bit painful this time for Harry and for poor Ron. But it does set up that question again of whether it's OK to do something horrible to win a war--we're back to the end justifying the means, and clearly, Snape is trying to teach them that if you win the war then anything you did to get there was necessary and OK. Ron, as Hermione said, is just too obsessed with Quidditch, and that's likely to be his weak point that Snape picks on. I'm curious what he has in store for Hermione. Hmmm.

But I was glad to see that Harry was willing to still do what he could to protect his friend. It doesn't necessarily prove, as Snape thinks, that Harry is doomed if he isn't willing to sacrifice everyone else. It just means that Harry is going to have to find another way to fight Voldemort without giving him the chance to use his friends against him. Not easy, by any means. And of course now, it's not Ron that Harry's going to have to worry about, but Snape. And Voldemort already knows that Harry cares what happens to Snape after last year. And he's probably figured out, even though Snape hasn't yet, that Snape really cares what happens to Harry.

I don't see a happy ending shaping up for this one. But then I don't see a happy ending shaping up for Deathly Hallows either.

******

EDIT: I've now finished the chapter again--and cried some more. Thanks for the tissues, Theo. And I see that you've explained why Harry is not controlled by Voldemort, but did Voldemort understand that it didn't work the way the ones did on his first victims? I don't see how he would know that it hadn't worked--he tends to forget little details like the way certain unusual spells work. Hmmm, still thinking.

And I can't think where Harry would go--he doesn't exactly have a lot of options. It's unlikely he'd go back to Privet Drive. But I suppose he might go to the Burrow, but not if he doesn't want to be found. But he's never really been any place else where he could go and hide from all of them.

*****

Another EDIT: I like Siobhan's idea that Harry will go to Spinner's End. I hadn't thought of that. And Snape should figure it out. He'll know that any of the other places Harry might go to are too public and not safe for him. Though Spinner's End probably isn't that safe either.

You said that we already know what it is that Snape is still hiding from Harry. I think it has to be the reason that he kept Lily's letters, and the reason that he returned them to Harry. Eh?

Eeyore

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Edited by - Eeyore on 06/01/2007 04:15:02
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Theowyn
Looney

1078 Posts

Posted - 06/01/2007 :  04:11:52  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Just to clarify the whole binding-spell business, here's the progression. When Riddle left school he began working for Borgin and Burkes and used his position there to find leads on the search for an immortality spell that he and his mates were working on in Dorset. After Albert was Kissed by a Dementor, Tom quit his job and moved his operation to Wales.

This is the beginning of the period where he dropped out of sight for about 10 years. He spent a good deal of this time developing Morsmordre, first in Wales and later elsewhere. But the spell was complete by the time he resurfaced in the mid to late 50s.

What Lawrence tells Harry is that he recognizes Harry's scar as the mark of the early version of the binding-spell and therefore that Harry's soul has been bound to Voldemort's.

This is absolutely true as far as it goes. But Lawrence knows nothing of the circumstances surrounding Harry's scar. Dumbledore explains why the spell (which Voldemort cast unintentionally) didn't work properly and he explains that this crude version was substantially improved upon after Riddle and Thane left Lawrence. Lawrence knows nothing of the slick Morsmordre which was developed a couple of years later.

As to why Voldemort is trying to kill Harry, he knows that he has inadvertently bound Harry to him. He too would have recognized the scar along with the mental connection between GoF and OotP. And he also knows that this bond is corrupted and dangerous to him because it was not made intentionally nor 'consummated' by Harry's consent.

As to the other DEs he's killed, this isn't an issue because he has dozens of DEs and as long as even one of them is alive, he remains immortal. Remember that Lawrence said that Tom killed all of their subjects because they were unworthy. Voldemort can recruit more DEs. He's not going to suffer traitors or cowards.

quote:
The other thing is that Harry now thinks that it means that his and Voldemort's souls are one.
No. He only thinks that their souls are bound together - which is true. "We’re connected – not just mentally. Our – our souls are." This is different from their souls being one.

quote:
But I was glad to see that Harry was willing to still do what he could to protect his friend. It doesn't necessarily prove, as Snape thinks, that Harry is doomed if he isn't willing to sacrifice everyone else. It just means that Harry is going to have to find another way to fight Voldemort...
Yes, Harry is willing to work harder, suffer more and take greater risks in order to do what he believes is right.

quote:
And I can't think where Harry would go--he doesn't exactly have a lot of options. It's unlikely he'd go back to Privet Drive. But I suppose he might go to the Burrow, but not if he doesn't want to be found. But he's never really been any place else where he could go and hide from all of them.
You're right. Harry really doesn't get out much.

quote:
I don't see a happy ending shaping up for this one. But then I don't see a happy ending shaping up for Deathly Hallows either.
I also suspect that DH is going to be grim... but I'm not JKR.



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Edited by - Theowyn on 06/01/2007 04:14:30
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Eeyore
Barmy

USA
311 Posts

Posted - 06/01/2007 :  04:27:51  Show Profile  Send Eeyore a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks, Theo, that does clear some things up. I think we were posting at the same time, and I stuck another edit on there about where Harry would go--I like the idea that he'd go to Spinner's End. And I think what he's still not told Harry has to do with the letters from Lily and why he saved them and why he subsequently returned them to Harry. Even though Snape is a thoroughly dislikable git sometimes, it's so heart-wrenching to see someone in so much pain and despair. Not only has poor Snape been tortured by Voldemort and whatever it is that haunts him, he's being tortured by our lovely Theo who put him in all that misery.

(I've been reading a really cool book by Thomas Foster, "How to Read Literature Like a Professor". He goes through all the things that authors use to get their point across in their story, and you're doing a brilliant job. I particularly liked the image of Snape standing looking at the dark cold fireplace after Dumbledore told him what his fate is. Nice one, Theo.

Eeyore

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Krabat
Giddy

Germany
40 Posts

Posted - 06/01/2007 :  04:54:28  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I also like Siobhan's idea of Harry going to Spinner's end. But he shouldn't travel by magical means if he wants to stay hidden. Perhaps he is looking for the old warehouse where Severus used to brew his potions.

I thought some more about all the different bonds Theo introduced in the story. One of them was the Healer's Gamble. That would be another life debt, but perhaps it's even more. I remember Dumbledore saying something like it being very powerful like all blood magic. Perhaps the strength of the many debts and bonds between Harry and Snape plus the familiarity of their minds attained in the occlumency lesssons and lastly the connection between Voldemort and Snape via the Dark Mark will allow Snape to follow or at least aid Harry in the fight in Voldemort's subconscience.

Finally some speculation on what Snape is still hiding from Harry. Theo said we already know what it is. I really like how Theo works in the facts given in Half-blood Prince. So, perhaps here Snape was also the one giving the first part of the prophecy to Voldemort. I reread the chapter of HPEW with Snape's confession. He only mentions a spy overhearing the prophecy and Lucius knowing about it and telling him. That doesn't preclude the possibility of him being the one who overheard it. On the other hand, he is saying the prophecy was the reason he fround the strength to leave Voldemort, since there was hope of someone being able to defeat him. But still.
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Theowyn
Looney

1078 Posts

Posted - 06/01/2007 :  11:22:30  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Eeyore
Even though Snape is a thoroughly dislikable git sometimes, it's so heart-wrenching to see someone in so much pain and despair. Not only has poor Snape been tortured by Voldemort and whatever it is that haunts him, he's being tortured by our lovely Theo who put him in all that misery.
Wasn't it JKR who said that authors have to be cold-hearted?

quote:
I've been reading a really cool book by Thomas Foster, "How to Read Literature Like a Professor". He goes through all the things that authors use to get their point across in their story, and you're doing a brilliant job.
Thank you! Since I've been writing fanfiction I've heard a lot about the hero's journey, mythology, etc. There's a whole language for discussing this sort of stuff and apparantly a lot of books on the subject. What I find amazing though is how much of this is simply engrained in our collective conscience. I've never studied any of this stuff. I'd never even heard of the hero's journey until about a year ago. I've simply read enough to have internalized these themes, symbols, etc, and I think anyone who reads at all has done so unconsciously. After all, if most people didn't instinctively recognize the meanings behind the symbols and metaphors, then these wouldn't have the power they do.

Krabat, as always you have some very perceptive thoughts which you listed in your last post. Let me say in particular that it is definitely worthwhile to think about all the different sorts of bonds that show up in the story. It really is about how we connect to one another and what forms the strongest connections.

PS: Has no one picked up on my inside joke on page 8?

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Edited by - Theowyn on 06/01/2007 11:27:54
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Siobhan
Chief Healer

USA
2157 Posts

Posted - 06/01/2007 :  12:29:20  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
What, the sine qua non?
Yeah, I had a chuckle at that, but was so engrossed in the story that I forgot.

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Theowyn
Looney

1078 Posts

Posted - 06/01/2007 :  12:37:49  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Siobhan

What, the sine qua non?
Yeah, I had a chuckle at that, but was so engrossed in the story that I forgot.

Oooh, engrossed! What a lovely thing to say.

Yes, I had to slip in sine qua non since this was probably the last time we're going to notice anyone giving passwords for such things. It also seemed particularly appropriate since Hermione was in the middle of explaining why she didn't think that Snape had been completely out of line.

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Eeyore
Barmy

USA
311 Posts

Posted - 06/01/2007 :  20:47:18  Show Profile  Send Eeyore a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Theowyn

quote:
Originally posted by Eeyore
Even though Snape is a thoroughly dislikable git sometimes, it's so heart-wrenching to see someone in so much pain and despair. Not only has poor Snape been tortured by Voldemort and whatever it is that haunts him, he's being tortured by our lovely Theo who put him in all that misery.
Wasn't it JKR who said that authors have to be cold-hearted?


Yes, I believe she did, and it's a credit to you that you are able to do the same, though somewhat disturbing.

quote:
I've been reading a really cool book by Thomas Foster, "How to Read Literature Like a Professor". He goes through all the things that authors use to get their point across in their story, and you're doing a brilliant job.
quote:
Thank you! Since I've been writing fanfiction I've heard a lot about the hero's journey, mythology, etc. There's a whole language for discussing this sort of stuff and apparantly a lot of books on the subject. What I find amazing though is how much of this is simply engrained in our collective conscience. I've never studied any of this stuff. I'd never even heard of the hero's journey until about a year ago. I've simply read enough to have internalized these themes, symbols, etc, and I think anyone who reads at all has done so unconsciously. After all, if most people didn't instinctively recognize the meanings behind the symbols and metaphors, then these wouldn't have the power they do.

PS: Has no one picked up on my inside joke on page 8?



Mmmm, yes, I noticed the inside joke as well. Nice one.

Actually, the whole ingrained in our memories thing is one of the big things that Foster talks about throughout his book. And it's the sort of thing that is very disturbing when you see schools leaving out big portions of the older myths/legends/classics in literature classes and only focusing on modern literature. The richness of a book lies in all that collective knowledge and memory that we all have and that authors employ, whether intentionally or not. And it's one of the things that makes it difficult to actually pin down when we are trying to figure out where JKR--or you-- are going with the story. Is the author following something intentionally or subconsciously? Either way, when a story resonates with the reader, it's because of those connections to all the old myths that are part of our culture and collective understanding of stories. Surprisingly enough, it adds to a story when we see the familiar, rather than taking away from it.

So, hats off to you, Theo, for tapping into all of that, and even better that you are doing it without really intending to do it. I think that what we see with JKR is a combination of both--where she talks about the compost heap of all the things she has read being the unconscious influence in her story, but her literary training in the classics probably lends itself to some very intentional choices in the direction the characters and the plot are going.


**Edited to correct the author's name.

Eeyore

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Edited by - Eeyore on 06/04/2007 06:30:58
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Theowyn
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Posted - 06/02/2007 :  00:25:46  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by EeyoreActually, the whole ingrained in our memories thing is one of the big things that Thomas Foster talks about throughout his book. And it's the sort of thing that is very disturbing when you see schools leaving out big portions of the older myths/legends/classics in literature classes and only focusing on modern literature. The richness of a book lies in all that collective knowledge and memory that we all have and that authors employ, whether intentionally or not.
With two boys in high school now, I have been shocked at how little students read in English classes these days. It is appalling! So much emphasis is placed on teaching grammar and vocabulary by rote, which of course is agony all around. Yet, if only they read half a dozen books in a semester, the kids would pick up the vocabulary and grammar naturally while learning the literary canon our culture is built on.

quote:
And it's one of the things that makes it difficult to actually pin down when we are trying to figure out where JKR--or you-- are going with the story. Is the author following something intentionally or subconsciously?
To be honest, I'm not sure the author always knows either and more often than not it's probably a blend. You can't write naturally if you're trying to plan ahead to use a particular symbol of metaphor. Rather, when you come to the moment you pick the symbolism that works. Perhaps a character is feeling depressed and so there are oppressive clouds hanging in the sky to emphasize that. The clouds weren't planned, they just appeared because the hero was feeling down. And while the author is fully aware of the symbolism, I would bet that in the vast majority of cases, the instinct to write of clouds comes first - maybe only a split-second before the conscious choice - but still first. You have to feel the rightness of the mental picture you're painting.

quote:
Either way, when a story resonates with the reader, it's because of those connections to all the old myths that are part of our culture and collective understanding of stories. Surprisingly enough, it adds to a story when we see the familiar, rather than taking away from it.
Exactly! Because it expands the meaning ten-fold in an instant. We tap all of that collective understanding with various symbols that act as shorthand for the meaning we're trying to convey.

quote:
So, hats off to you, Theo, for tapping into all of that, and even better that you are doing it without really intending to do it.
Thank you. To be honest, I wish I knew more. I am in awe of JKR's knowledge. Her name choices alone prove how extensive that knowledge is and you're right; it would be fascinating to know how much of the symbolism in HP was really consciously planned in advance. Some things, such as Dumbledore's death, could just be instinctive: "The guy with the beard always dies." But the references to Alchemy can't be by chance. That has to have been planned from the start.

One thing I would hope - not only of JKR, but of every writer - is that they do not let literary analysis, archtypes and definitions of things such as the hero's journey dictate or constrain their creativity. For all that tapping into our collective understanding is essential to writing, it is equally essential to be able to step outside that box and to do something different. The guy with the beard doesn't always have to die and it is in finding the meaning and truth in alternate paths that we expand our literary horizons and deepen that collective understanding.


*edited to correct the author's name because I got it wrong when I wrote it. Ooops. --Eeyore

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Edited by - Eeyore on 06/04/2007 06:33:15
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Eeyore
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Posted - 06/02/2007 :  02:40:17  Show Profile  Send Eeyore a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
You really should get a copy of Thomas Fosters's book. I think you'd get a lot out of it, but because they are things that you have discovered on your own by writing. Still, he gives examples from different books that illustrate what he's talking about, and then he shows how another author uses the same thing or breaks the rule. JKR pops up only once in his book, but from the comment he makes, I think he's likely read more than one of her books. It has to do with giving the hero some sort of physical anomoly--is that the right word? Harry has a scar, someone else is crippled or blind or deaf--something that makes the character stand out from the rest. In real life, it wouldn't be necessary, but in literature it's something that's useful to show that this isn't just some ordinary person.

And where does that leave us with Snape and his hooked nose and greasy hair? (besides wanting to buy him a big bottle of shampoo)

But yes, I agree, it's very awkward when a writer is constrained by the symbols they chose to use when it's obvious they are trying to make all the pieces fit exactly together. That's what makes allegory rather tedious to read (IMO), while metaphor and analogy have a nicer flow. They can change throughout the story and have a much fresher feel. As you said, the clouds appear and indicate the character's mood (or the fire place is dark and cold). With an image, the reader gets the mood of the scene or the character without the need for all the words to describe it.

Back to school--I found the same thing with my daughters. Just last Christmas I gave Laura a box of books that she hadn't ever read, but that are often popping up in other books or in literary discussions--Dickens, Austen, Hardy and Bronte, and some others. I don't know what they were doing in school, but I feel like my girls really missed a lot that they should have had. There were too many oral reports and group projects, when their time would have been better spent reading another novel or play or poetry. (Personally, I loved grammar, but we spent half a year on it in 7th grade and after that it was as you said, we learned it by reading it and doing our own writing.)

Sorry for going so OT, but I've been thinking about you as I've been reading that book and just wanted to share a bit. I'll stop now.

*edited to correct the mentioned author's name--I'm not on a first-name basis with him.

Eeyore

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Edited by - Eeyore on 06/04/2007 06:35:18
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U-No-Poo
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Posted - 06/02/2007 :  05:42:03  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
"Oh god."
Indeed.
The Chained Souls... what a brilliant idea, Theo! There are many things I love about this chapter, but I'm mostly in awe of the way in which you've managed to tie up everything. I'm liking this as much as the Horcruxes (perhaps even a bit more just now, but we'll see how Deathly Hallows tips the scale ;)). And, as usual, all the emotions are perfect and all the reactions felt very real.
Also? You. Made. Me. Cry. Over. Snape.
'Nuff said, I think.

PS: Nice cliffhanger! Is this the long-awaited pilgrimage to Godric's Hollow?

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Theowyn
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Posted - 06/02/2007 :  10:40:22  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by U-No-Poo

You. Made. Me. Cry. Over. Snape.
'Nuff said, I think.

That's terrific!

Seriously, I'm very glad that you're enjoying this and the concept of the chained souls. Thanks for letting me know.

quote:
PS: Nice cliffhanger! Is this the long-awaited pilgrimage to Godric's Hollow?
I can't tell, but I must say that you guys have come up with some wonderful ideas for this.

Eeyore, I will definitely pick up a copy of Thomas's book. And if there are any others you think are worthwhile, definitely let me know. Hmmm... Maybe we could have a post over on the writing thread for resources.

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Edited by - Theowyn on 06/02/2007 10:41:06
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U-No-Poo
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Got another question. When Voldemort his followers to his own, does he leave a sort of mark in that person's representation of the soul? While it seems that the hooded figure is just Snape's tortured self, it also seems to symbolise Voldemort, overseeing everything.
Also, if Harry's and Voldemort's souls are joined, is it possible to walk from one representation of the soul to the other?

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Theowyn
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Posted - 06/02/2007 :  15:41:00  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by U-No-Poo

Got another question. When Voldemort his followers to his own, does he leave a sort of mark in that person's representation of the soul? While it seems that the hooded figure is just Snape's tortured self, it also seems to symbolise Voldemort, overseeing everything.
I thought about this quite alot when I started planning the scenes in Snape's mind. Voldemort is very intentionally missing here. His influence can be seen indirectly in the DE attacks and Snape's own guilty darkness, but Voldemort himself isn't here.

That's because he's barren. He doesn't connect to anyone. He forms no genuine relationships. Someone like Bella would have an idealized representation of Voldemort in their mind, but even this would be little more than a caricature. While all fear him, he has never touched anyone's soul.

quote:
Also, if Harry's and Voldemort's souls are joined, is it possible to walk from one representation of the soul to the other?
Reagarding the chained souls specifically, Voldemort can draw any of them into himself so that they will manifest in his mind in much the same way that Harry does in Snape's or Dumbledore's. But they can't hop to each other's minds this way - though that would be a cool effect.

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Edited by - Theowyn on 06/02/2007 15:42:30
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Siobhan
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Is there any connection between the chained souls and why Snape doesn't want Harry to use Voldemort's name? Could the using his name be a summons of sorts-- would Voldemort be aware of it? I can see how Voldemort could use his bond to supervise any of his DE's "extracurricular" activities-- if he could remember what happened there. Can the bond act as a magnifier of sorts for Legillimency?

Oh, Theo, I started the Bookworm's Shelf over in the Quill Pen for writers' resources.

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Theowyn
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Posted - 06/02/2007 :  17:29:22  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Siobhan

Is there any connection between the chained souls and why Snape doesn't want Harry to use Voldemort's name? Could the using his name be a summons of sorts-- would Voldemort be aware of it? I can see how Voldemort could use his bond to supervise any of his DE's "extracurricular" activities-- if he could remember what happened there. Can the bond act as a magnifier of sorts for Legillimency?
I definitely think this is possible and while I haven't explicitly stated this idea in my fanfic, I've used it almost automatically. Snape insisted that Harry never use Voldemort's proper name during HPEW, when he was a spy and his life depended on not attracting Voldemort's attention. In HPCS, he let's this go early on, because his spying has been exposed so it doesn't matter.

quote:
Oh, Theo, I started the Bookworm's Shelf over in the Quill Pen for writers' resources.
Thank you!

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Edited by - Theowyn on 06/02/2007 17:31:19
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Siobhan
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Posted - 06/03/2007 :  09:33:50  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Theowyn
I definitely think this is possible and while I haven't explicitly stated this idea in my fanfic, I've used it almost automatically. Snape insisted that Harry never use Voldemort's proper name during HPEW, when he was a spy and his life depended on not attracting Voldemort's attention. In HPCS, he let's this go early on, because his spying has been exposed it doesn't matter.
...and Severus still reacts to this in a way akin to instinct? beacuse he sort of knows about the bond? Eeek. Imagine having Voldemort "present" in your soul just because you thought about him. No wonder Snape has had to keep his thoughts and emotions under such restraint. The sheer magnitude of control and focus this would require would be maddening, literally!If the bond gives Voldemort a way to check up on his DE's then couldn't it also be used to look at what the Order is up to? Does this fall under the category of complete mental control that Snape is exercising?

Oh, I meant to ask about the function of the Dark Mark. In more general terms we know that the Dark Mark "glows" black when V. calls his DE's to him. Doesn't that mean that even though Snape was discovered, barely escaping death, his mark still "works." Or do you think the mark is more individualised-- Voldemort's verion of IM where he can contact the group or an individual just by intent? If this is so, then couldn't V. continue to torture Snape via both links?


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Theowyn
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Posted - 06/03/2007 :  10:50:45  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The Dark Mark is an amazing literary device, because it can really do almost anything as long as we stay within the scope of canon which gives us quite a lot of flexibility.

Within the framework of HPEW/HPCS when if comes to what Voldemort can sense from his DEs, it works similarly to Harry's scar. He can't sense thoughts, but he can sense feelings and if his name is invoked that will trigger the connection. He'll know that someone's talking about him.

All of the DEs (at least the bright ones) are aware of this. They can't actually sense his presence, but they know he's there watching... which is creepy enough.

Because the bond works at an emotional level, Voldemort can't actually use it to spy on anyone else, such as the OotP. He can't listen in on Snape's conversations. I think it would be too much to ask even of Snape to maintain the kind of mental control such a connection would demand.

quote:
Oh, I meant to ask about the function of the Dark Mark. In more general terms we know that the Dark Mark "glows" black when V. calls his DE's to him. Doesn't that mean that even though Snape was discovered, barely escaping death, his mark still "works." Or do you think the mark is more individualised-- Voldemort's verion of IM where he can contact the group or an individual just by intent? If this is so, then couldn't V. continue to torture Snape via both links?
Yes and yes. Snape's mark still works and when Voldemort uses it to summon his DEs as a group, Snape's mark burns black as always. But I think that Voldemort can also use the mark to signal individual DEs, so there's no reason why he couldn't torment Snape with it.

This might well be the case at the end of chapter 8 when Snape is getting ready for bed and pauses to gaze at his mark which is burning. He knows this means that Voldemort is angry and he isn't at all surprised that the mark is active, so this seems to be something he's used to.

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Siobhan
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Posted - 06/04/2007 :  11:37:26  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Within the framework of HPEW/HPCS when if comes to what Voldemort can sense from his DEs, it works similarly to Harry's scar. He can't sense thoughts, but he can sense feelings and if his name is invoked that will trigger the connection. He'll know that someone's talking about him.

On the same note, if Voldemort "knows someone is talking about him" (I love that description, BTW-- reminds me of being in a large group of people and hearing your name mentioned by someone. We just naturally tune in) via the soul bond, would he also be able to sense another presence reaching out to one of his bonded souls, for example, would V. be aware of Harry's presence in Snape's subconscious mind?
Seems like Harry saying "Voldemort" would be "Ta-da! I'm here!"
quote:
Because the bond works at an emotional level, Voldemort can't actually use it to spy on anyone else, such as the OotP. He can't listen in on Snape's conversations. I think it would be too much to ask even of Snape to maintain the kind of mental control such a connection would demand.

Even if he can't listen to conversations, he can still gauge things by the emotional response of the DE involved though, right? So, say Lucius is sent to have a conversation with Dumbledore. The details of what passed between them would not be known to V, but if the result was encouraging, Voldemort would know that things went well before Lucius reported to him. This would require knowing that a particular discussion involving particular individuals would take place, obviously. To be more generalised would be less accurate, but still possible? Could Voldemort tell how a battle was going via his connection-- as in OotP when he showed up at the Ministry rather unexpectedly, but in the nick of time? That last one you may not be able to answer, though a battle in HPCS was not what I had in mind at the time. I just wondered whether he could gauge a situation based on the emotions of his bonded souls. Another example would be Voldemort sending out feelers (eeew) regarding how the Order was doing based on Snape's feelings. If they suffered a setback, or felt they were losing ground, could Voldemort tell via Snape's emotions? This require great discernment on Voldemort's part (he is a master legillimens) to figure out which emotions related to which situation and tremendous mental effort on Snape's part (he is a master occlumens) to control the emotions that might give something of that sort away-- assuming, of course, that Snape is aware of the nature of the bond.

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Theowyn
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Posted - 06/04/2007 :  12:39:27  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
On the same note, if Voldemort "knows someone is talking about him" (I love that description, BTW-- reminds me of being in a large group of people and hearing your name mentioned by someone. We just naturally tune in) via the soul bond, would he also be able to sense another presence reaching out to one of his bonded souls, for example, would V. be aware of Harry's presence in Snape's subconscious mind?
Not in the subconscious. That's too deep and Voldemort has no way to reach there. It would certainly be possible in the conscious mind - for instance during Harry and Snape's Occlumency lessons. That's why Dumbledore didn't want to teach Harry after all. He was afraid that Voldemort would sense his presence and feelings through Harry's bond.

quote:
Even if he can't listen to conversations, he can still gauge things by the emotional response of the DE involved though, right? So, say Lucius is sent to have a conversation with Dumbledore. The details of what passed between them would not be known to V, but if the result was encouraging, Voldemort would know that things went well before Lucius reported to him. This would require knowing that a particular discussion involving particular individuals would take place, obviously. To be more generalised would be less accurate, but still possible? Could Voldemort tell how a battle was going via his connection-- as in OotP when he showed up at the Ministry rather unexpectedly, but in the nick of time? That last one you may not be able to answer, though a battle in HPCS was not what I had in mind at the time. I just wondered whether he could gauge a situation based on the emotions of his bonded souls. Another example would be Voldemort sending out feelers (eeew) regarding how the Order was doing based on Snape's feelings. If they suffered a setback, or felt they were losing ground, could Voldemort tell via Snape's emotions? This require great discernment on Voldemort's part (he is a master legillimens) to figure out which emotions related to which situation and tremendous mental effort on Snape's part (he is a master occlumens) to control the emotions that might give something of that sort away-- assuming, of course, that Snape is aware of the nature of the bond.
Theoretically this is possible and certainly if Voldemort sent a DE on a very specific mission, he might be able to monitor it's general progress by tapping into his DE's feelings. But this isn't guaranteed to be accurate - emotions are tremendously fluid and volatile and can be affected by a million things. More importantly, this takes time and concentration. Voldemort would have to focus on his DE to the exclusion of all else and that simply isn't practical most of the time. It would have to be an exceptionally crucial mission for Voldemort to put out that effort. The attempt to retrieve the prophecy qualified, but nothing else has.

This is how Snape managed to deceive him for so long. When people see what they expect to see, they tend to glance and move on. They don't really pay close attention. So as long as Voldemort saw what he expected to see on the occasions when he happened to turn his feelers towards Snape, he would never have bothered to look deeper.

The Occlumency lessons in OotP are a good example of this. Had Dumbledore taught Harry then Voldemort would have sensed Dumbledore's presence in Harry's mind and wondered why he was there - and why there was so much mutual affection between them. Normally, Hogwarts's headmaster shouldn't be prying into a student's mind on a regular basis, so this would have been a red flag and Voldemort would have gone digging for answers. By contrast, Voldemort fully expected his spy to go prowling through Harry's thoughts at every opportunity, so sensing Snape's presence in Harry's mind would have been no surprise - particularly when their mutual hated would have been so apparent. But for Harry to use Voldemort's name would have drawn his attention which would have been a disaster.

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Edited by - Theowyn on 06/04/2007 12:42:28
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sunsethill
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Posted - 06/04/2007 :  13:52:03  Show Profile  Visit sunsethill's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Theowyn
With two boys in high school now, I have been shocked at how little students read in English classes these days. It is appalling! So much emphasis is placed on teaching grammar and vocabulary by rote, which of course is agony all around. Yet, if only they read half a dozen books in a semester, the kids would pick up the vocabulary and grammar naturally while learning the literary canon our culture is built on.


I disappear for a few days and this thread explodes with great stuff. What you just mentioned, Theo, is one of the main reasons I homeschool, and use an online tutor who goes through the Great Books in high school. My kids have fabulous vocabularies because they READ! Amazing concept, huh?

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Siobhan
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Posted - 06/04/2007 :  13:59:27  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Voldemort fully expected his spy to go prowling through Harry's thoughts at every opportunity, so sensing Snape's presence in Harry's mind would have been no surprise
But sensing Harry in Snape's mind would be a surprise, yes? It should be on several levels. One, what is he doing there. Two, why is he there? Three, how did he learn to do that? and so on.

Im not trying to beleaguer the idea. It's just fascinating and a possible loophole opening that I'm trying to close in my mind.

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