Why all the hatred for snakes?

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling.

Just wondering. I mean there’s lots of mythological evidence to suggest that people should really hate snakes, but you know – they are mostly myths. I’ve also heard a lot of (extremely) feminist theory that snakes were used in very, very old religions as a symbol of Mother Earth and that’s why patriarchal religions are always villain-ifying the poor guys. I suspect that’s a very simplified reading of history but anyway.  I guess it’s ’cause they have no legs. Things without legs are scary when they move.

Anyway, time to ignore an intertextual analysis of Harry Potter and major western (ish) religions starting with the Greeks. I’d really have to do a lot of research before I could make it good and it’s the first day it’s rained in the whole month of July, so I feel more celebratory than research-y. Plus it’d be boring to anyone who isn’t me.

Okay! Harry Potter.

Chamber of Secrets was one of my lesser favourites the first time I read them but I think that’s partly because Philosopher’s Stone was so excellent and Prisoner of Azkaban was my most favourite. I just read it and had no idea what my twelve year old self had against it.

Again, I feel like there’s no point it summarizing Harry Potter. It is one of the short, lighter Harry Potters but we’re starting to see the connections between Harry and Voldemort which will be so important later. We see the beginning of Ginny and Harry (but luckily for all of us, that story gets more complicated and Ginny out grows her uselessness and crushing and becomes awesome!). We see the first Horcrux, not that we know what it is at the time, and get a touch of the tension between Dumbledore and pretty much all the other wizards in the world. Just like rereading each book I’m noticing the little bread crumb trail of clues J.K. is leaving for us, while rereading the series knowing the end I’m picking up on story lines that are actually longer than I realized. The last time I read them all I kind of felt there were moments that J.K. was just throwing stuff together as she went along, but maybe I was wrong about that.

Anyway, I don’t really have that much to say about this (I’m sure it’s all be said) but I do really, really like this quote:

“It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” (pg 245)

Isn’t that an awesome thing to tell children? Isn’t that an awesome thing to tell anyone really?

Okay, I’m off to enjoy how much it rained last night!

Last movie I watched: Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. All I can say about Half Blood Prince at this moment is poor, poor, poor Snape. I kind of love him.

Last TV show I watched: The Listener. Again, Canadian show (I’ve only got two channels and they have to air a lot of Canadian content) but it was actually a pretty good episode. Lots of thinking, less mind reading. And it was filmed in my old neighbourhood. I miss my old neighbourhood.


4 thoughts on “Why all the hatred for snakes?

  1. readallnight says:

    I love that quote…

    You defend the snakes but not the spiders? What about all the gigantic, ferocious spiders?

    • devonkw says:

      Me too.
      I am more afraid of spiders than snakes, but yes, they also have a really long, interesting mythological history.

      But there’s more about how evil snakes are in this book than spiders. Like, only dark wizards can talk to them ever. That’s harsh right?

      • readallnight says:

        As I recall (it has been I while since I read the books) Parseltongue is not uniquely a bad guy trait. It’s just that the most famous one was Mr. V himself.

  2. devonkw says:

    And Slytherin.
    I don’t know, I feel like there was a lot of stuff about how Parseltongue is a trait of evil wizards and how it shouldn’t have been Harry’s power at all, distancing him from it.
    I have observed. I could be wrong.

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