WHY I HATE HARRY POTTER

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WHY I HATE HARRY POTTER

Post by capnnerefir » Sun Sep 28, 2008 11:23 pm

Let me begin by stating that this is not up for debate. Normally, I am all for people arguing with me; I encourage it because it helps me to refine my opinion. However, there is absolutely no point in doing it here because absolutely nothing will make me change my opinion. Even if KAA herself argued with me, I would still stick to my belief on this. So don't bother posting arguments because I won't even bother to read them. I realize that this will make HP fans angry, so here's my solution for you: DON'T READ THIS!

I also want to take a moment to make clear what I mean by the word "hate." Hitler hated Jews. I hate Harry Potter (the series and the character, but at the moment, I'm only talking about the series).

REASON 1 WHY I HATE HARRY POTTER: ALLEGORY
Harry Potter is completely, 100%, allegorical. Those of you who don't know what I mean by that should get either a dictionary or a thesaurus. There can be no denying that every single character in Harry Potter is allegorical. Good characters are good and evil characters are evil. Any other time I use the words "good" and "evil" I put them in quotes because I don't believe in fixed ideals like "good" and "evil". I would say, for example, that the Animorphs are "good" and the Yeerks are "evil"; and you all know how relative those terms are in the (beautifully non-allegorical) universe of the Animorphs.
In Harry Potter, such quotes are not needed because Rowling's ideas of good and evil are fixed and do not change. No good character ever does anything even remotely evil. Sure, a few of them (i.e. Fred and George) engage in some harmless mischief from time to time; the operative phrase being "harmless mischief". That is certainly not evil by any stretch of the imagination. The worst thing any good character in Harry Potter does is skip a few classes and get busted by a teacher who always happens to be a villain; the good teachers let the good characters off the hook.
Let us look at some of the evil deeds of the Animorphs (I do not mean to turn this into a comparison of the two series, but Animorphs is an example everyone here can understand and it is, as I said, beautifully non-allegorical). They killed countless innocents (like when they
Spoiler:
blew up the Yeerk pool, killing innocent hosts and helpless Yeerks
in book 52.) Then, there was the time they resorted to illegal Chemical Warfare (the oatmeal escapade of book 17). They resorted to blackmail (book 53), espionage (too many to count), lies (again too many) torture (book 31), and even several assassination attempts (books 8 and 37 come to mind)! And, of course, there was the entire David scenario. Those are deeds that very few sanction, even under the circumstances of that terrible war.
This is, of course, to illustrate the differences between an allegorical work and one that is not allegorical. Would anyone in Harry Potter's universe resort to, say chemical warfare or assassination? Of course; but only Voldemort or those who served him. None of the good characters would have; not even close.
One may be tempted to point out Draco Malfoy, who apparently went to the good side at the end. Let me just say that such a thing was a clear example of Deus ex Machina, a device a writer uses when he or she writes him/herself into a corner or wants to force an event to occurr, as Rowling did with Malfoy. However, there is absolutely nothing in the background of that character (nothing organic at least) to show that he would ever even consider such a thing. His actions were supported only by artificial juxtapositions by Rowling because (again) she wanted to force the event to occur.

If the above does not enrage you nearly as much as it does me, it can only be that you do not see why allegory is a bad thing. That is, of course, why I am here. Allegory, to put it simply, is the laziest and lowest form of writing. In an allegorical work, one does not have to think about the actions of a character. There are no moral quandaries, no real dilemmae. It is always clear, at least to the writer, what a character will do in any situation. This removes the entire thinking process from the writing. If Rowling does not want to put any thought into her books, that is, of course, entirely up to her. I, however, find it insulting that she thinks that she can write such refuse and have me buy it. It take that as an affront to my dignity and a metaphorical slap in the face.
But worse, by far, than the insult is the sickening (and I do mean that this makes physically ill) fact that the masses flock to read this trash. They can't get enough of it! Every turn of the page is a deeply personal insult, a mockery of your intelligence. And they eat it out of her hand! This drives me to an almost murderous rage.
And I believe, furthermore, that Rowling is perfectly aware of this. She has shown (with her shrewd manipulation of the market, which is another rant entirely and will be posted in due course) herself to be an intelligent woman. As such, she could not possibly actually believe this black and white world view she purports in her books.
She has consciously chosen to put no effort (or, should I say, thought) into these books. Why bother? She could (and did) churn out complete and total trash for years and made millions off of it. I could respect her for that if she was not single-handedly lowering the bar set by the authors of old (which, once again, is a different rant).

This hatred of allegory is not mine and mine alone. All of the truly great authors agree with me on this. The lesser known geniuses like Jordan and Herbert (who, as those of you who have read my booklist know, I admire greatly and consider to be among the best who ever lived) fought against this for their entire lives. K. A. Applegate certainly disagreed with any even semi-allegorical view of the world, as we all know so very well. And if she does not share my hatred in this aspect, it is only because it is beneath her notice.
But aside from them, there is the opinion of the man who inspired millions; indeed, the one who inspired both K. A. Applegate and J. K. Rowling: John Ronald Reuel Tolkien (A.K.A. J.R.R.Tolkien, the father of fantasy and creator of Middle-Earth). His influence was so great that Applagate and Rowling both have chosen his pattern as the way of authoring their books (i.e. with initials and surname). Tolkien, of course, did not begin this trend (as we can see from the writings of his good friend C.S. Lewis) but he was certainly a massive influence on Rowling (and on anyone who writes in that genre) and Applegate (again, see my booklist).
Tolkien himself says (in a foreword to the Fellowship of the Ring, a foreword that at this very moment sits in my lap), "...I cordially dislike allegory in all its manifestations, and always have done so since I grew old and wary enough to detect its presence. I much prefer history, true of reigned, with its varied applicability to the thought and experience of readers. I think that many confuse 'applicability' with 'allegory'; but the one resides int he freedom of the reader, and the other in the purposed domination of the author." Aside from this example, Tolkien's hatred of allegory was well know to all and, as common knowledge, does not need to be cited.

All this has been to show, summarily, that the Harry Potter series is indeed purely allegorical and that allegory is, it is believed by any with true skill, a terrible thing. Tolkien believed, and who are we to argue with such a man, that it served in the purposed domination of the author. This cannot be contested. In using allegory, Rowling is attempting to force her world view on us. And most, like the sheep before the slaughter (or, to use an example with which I am certain you are all familiar, the cattle in book #38) walk ignorantly to this end.
Applegate certainly despised allegory. Her "good" characters ran the gamut from the pacifist (Cassie) to the almost insane warrior (Rachel) to the cold tactician (Marco) to the ruthless leader (Jake) to the arrogant, dutiful soldier (Ax) to perhaps the only character who believes that a course of action is morally reprehensible but does it anyway (Tobias). Even Applegate's usual enemies (the Yeerks) are not all "evil", and her heroes (the Andalites) are certainly far form "good." Even her archetypes of "good" and "evil" (Ellimist and Crayak, respectively) far from fill allegorical positions. The Ellimist was a shameless, ruthless puppet master who tore families apart (for example, Elfangor, Loren, and Tobias), not some benevolent creature concerned with life and happiness. And Crayak was a cold perfectionist. Inhumane, certainly, but far from evil as it is presented in an allegory.
To neatly summarize for those of you who have had the courtesy and intellect to read this entire speech, I have established (if not irrefutably than at least credibly) that Harry Potter is an allegory; indeed, it fills a dictionary definition of the role. And I have also established that anyone whose opinion on the subject is worth noting despises allegory, even (perhaps especially) our beloved K. A. Applegate. For these reasons, allegory is the greatest reason I hate Harry Potter.

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Re: WHY I HATE HARRY POTTER

Post by darkflame91 » Mon Sep 29, 2008 11:46 am

Wonder why no one's replied to this one. Maybe because everyone else are the HP worshipping sheep.

I, for one, totally agree with you on this one. THIS should be the reason people are trying to ban HP, not those silly claims about books with demons filled in 'em...
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Re: WHY I HATE HARRY POTTER

Post by capnnerefir » Mon Sep 29, 2008 6:18 pm

Honestly, I didn't expect to meet with a lot of support, so thank you. Mods against HP!

What should my next speech be about?
  • Selling Out?
  • Lowering the Bar?
  • Abuse of Archetypes?
  • Pervasive Immaturity?
Someone decide for me!

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Re: WHY I HATE HARRY POTTER

Post by darkflame91 » Tue Sep 30, 2008 11:05 am

Pervasive Immaturity!! :D
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Re: WHY I HATE HARRY POTTER

Post by capnnerefir » Wed Oct 01, 2008 4:25 pm

Pervasive immaturity it is, darkflame.

Now, don't expect this one to be as epic as my allegory speech. The reason that one was so good was because it is the absolute number one reason for my hatred. Pervasive immaturity, though, is certainly on the list.

And so help me God if anyone tries to correct my spelling, I will ban you (unless, of course, I can't). I don't have the spellings of these proper nouns memorized; why would I?

Let's fact it. In the first three books, the kids in Harry Potter are, well, kids. They talk like kids. They use words the way kids use them. Their lexicons are lacking, their behavior immature, their beliefs childish. But in the 4th ,5th,6th,and 7th books...actually NOTHING CHANGES!

One would think that, over the course of seven years, a character might experience some growth and change. They might undergo some sort of personal journey, leaving them different from when they started. Nothing even close to that happened at any point in the Harry Potter series. Not a single character grew or changed. All of them started out as stupid children and that was how it ended.

Where is my evidence for this, you ask? Here it is, I answer, throwing THE ENTIRE SERIES at you. Let us look, for a moment, at the main character. Even if the secondary and lower characters did not change, even if the supporting protagonists didn't change at all, surely the main character, the one into whose life Rowling put so very much 'effort', should show some mental, social, spiritual, or emotional growth. But he doesn't. Not in a single one of those aspects.

Mental: Oh, sure, he acquired some knowledge. There can be no denying that. But that hasn't increased his mind at all. He still has the same decision-making process that he had when he was 11: "Will this please my surrogate parental figures?" Never once did he decide to make a decision on his own. When he was told "Hey, dude, Voldemort's around," did he question it? Absolutely not. Did he think that maybe, just maybe, Voldemort had a point? That the world would be better without us muggles ruining things? Nope; he just did as he was told.

Social: Not a single change here either. Friends always just seemed to fall into his lap, of course. "But capnnerefir," you might say (not you, darkflame), "doesn't that show that he was a mature social creature?" To which I reply, "You must suffer from fetal alcohol syndrome." having the capacity to make friends by no means demonstrates any sort of social maturity. Rather, let us look at Harry's social tenancies. He was loved by everyone in House Girffindore. But he despised everyone in Slytherin for no other reason than that they were from Slytherin. That, in and of itself, shows an incredible, lack of social maturity. And it isn't like he went out of his way to befriend the other two houses, Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff. No, no, no. They weren't worth his time. He's little more than a child who thinks himself in a special club.

Spiritual: This is not far from his mental deficiencies. His world view, his way of interpreting life, never changed from the allegorical beliefs of a young child. It is all well and good to see the world as "good" and "evil" when you are an ignorant child who has truly experienced neither. But after seven years it is inconceivable that someone would still believe this. And yet, not only does Harry never once so much as consider the possibility that his spiritual elders (i.e. Dumbledore and the other good characters; again, I am disgusted at the lack of necessity over using quotations) just might be incorrect.

Emotional: "Surely he grew up emotionally," you might say (again, not you, darkflame). "After all, by the end, he had a girlfriend. At the end of the series, he even had a wife and children." To which I reply, "So what? That shows no emotional growth whatsoever? Why not? I'm glad you asked." The fact is that all of his relationships were plot contrivances. None of them (were there 2 or did he make it all the way to 3?) had any real substance. They, as well as all the romantic relationships in the series, were mere fabrications for a convenient plot. How do I know this? Because they never displayed any real qualities of a relationship. Perhaps Rowling forgets what it is like to be a teenager, but I do not; I am living it right now. I grew up along with the series. I was always within a year or two of the characters in the book; I knew what life was like at those ages because I was living it. Trust me, Harry Potter did not have any age appropriate relationships. He, apparently, did not have even the slightest interest in girls until the age of 14, when he had a crush on some Chinese girl. believe me, any normal teenage boy is interested in girls by age 12 at the latest. And when he was older, say 15, 16, and 17, his relationships did not grow up at all. No matter how 'noble' or some such notion a teenage boy has, he still wants sex. Not only is a socio-cultural thing, it is also biologically built into the male body. The male body reaches physical maturity (and thus sexual reediness) at the age of 15; at that point, because of pure biology, he has only one thing on his mind. This is a scientifically proven fact. I find it impossible to believe that Rowling was unaware of this; of course, what else could explain this lack of interest in Harry? Bad writing, perhaps? Or perhaps those rumors of homosexuality that circulate about the character are indeed true. Rowling certainly wasn't opposed to homosexuality. She even had a homosexual in her book. She tells us. We'll have to take her word for it, since there is absolutely no evidence of it anywhere in any of her books. The basic point of this particular section of my rant is this: his relationships never progressed beyond those of a young boy. Anyone who tells you that sex is not part of a mature relationship is someone who has either never had sex or who wants to keep you from having it. Yes, it is possible to have a mature relationship without sex; but not a realistic one. Not one that feels as though it has any backbone to it. As a "writer" (and I put that in quotations because Rowling is a "writer' in the same manner that the Ellimist is "good"), Rowling should have been aware of this. Don't tell us that Harry is in a mature, adult relationship; prove it!!! The only reason she was unable to do this is because A.)Rowling is a hack, B.)Harry never grew up, C.)Rowling is a hack and Harry never grew up, or D.)Harry never grew up because Rowling was a hack. The choice is entirely up to you.

By this point, it is undeniable that Harry Potter never grew up. And I feel it is completely unnecessary to list the ways in which the Animorphs changed by way of comparison. That may have been necessary to demonstrate the difference between an allegory and something with substance, meaning, and realism, but such a comparison is not needed here by any stretch of the imagination. If you can't see for yourself how every one of those characters grew and changed, you should probably just get the hell off of this forum now because your opinion on anything is not worth hearing. I say this not as a means of insulting you but, rather, to protect you from the unrestrained stream of criticism you will doubtlessly receive from me if you post such worthless opinions anywhere I may find them (and I will find them).

Back to the subject at hand, though. Harry never grew or changed. He remained the same immature child he was at the beginning of the series. And if the main character, the one about whom the series is so focused that it draws its very name from him and is concerned solely with his thoughts, feelings, and worldviews that, despite it's third-person narrative style, it never follows any action that does not involve him in some way, if he does not change, we know without even looking that none of the other characters showed any change whatsoever.

Throughout the entire series, which should have developed with its readers, not a single character showed any sort of personal growth at any point. They remained the same immature, ignorant, idiotic children throughout the series. And I guarantee that if Rowling writes another book in this series (which I believe she will; she would squeeze the udders of a dead cow if she thought she might still find milk), these characters will not have changed. This sort of immaturity, not only in the characters but in Rowling's ability to write (which, of course, is reflected through the characters) pervades the whole of the series. There is no escape from it but to put the books to flames (or, as I did, some unpleasant part of your body to show your distaste). I would have been amongst the proud few who stood outside of bookstores on the night of a books' release, bought said book, ruined the ending (which I needn't do because it could be predicted by a mentally defective three-year-old with a magic 8 ball) and burnt the books in front of the brainwashed masses. The only reason I did not was because I refused to buy the book; Rowling is not getting a cent of my money.

Alright, what next?
  • Selling Out?
  • Lowering the Bar?
  • Abuse of Archetypes?
I decided I'm saving Selling Out for the big finish, since it's the thing that makes all of the other things completely unforgivable.

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Re: WHY I HATE HARRY POTTER

Post by Snoopy » Wed Oct 01, 2008 6:29 pm

My goodness… you certainly do hate Harry Potter, don’t you? Well, I couldn’t really defend the series, mostly because I have never read the books. And from what I’ve heard of the series, (not just here, but other places as well), I wouldn’t want to defend the series anyway. All the same, I do have a few criticisms of your criticism.

First of all, you state that allegory is entirely evil, as well as a sloppy, lazy writing style. You go on to say that allegories were detested by J.R. Tolkien and other great writers. But you certainly cannot deny that there are people who label The Lord of the Rings as an allegory of the Bible. I do not myself, as I did not find the books running particularly parallel to the Bible at all. But what about The Chronicles of Narnia? (Books which I must say are my favorite books in the world, not only for their wonderful storylines, but also for their beautiful simplicity, [which is quite a boon to readers such as myself who do not necessarily appreciate flowery literature.]) I think you cannot deny the allegorical connections between The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Are you willing to condemn Lewis’s work with the same passion with which you condemned Rowling’s?

And secondly, I have to disagree slightly with your assessment of the maturation of emotional relationships. You state:
capnnerefir wrote:Yes, it is possible to have a mature relationship without sex; but not a realistic one. Not one that feels as though it has any backbone to it.
Well, I’m certainly no authority on this subject, but I have to say that I think it is a little bit of an exaggeration to say you cannot have a mature relationship that has a backbone without prior sexual intercourse.

Okay, that’s it. Please don’t ban me. Oh wait, you can't.
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Re: WHY I HATE HARRY POTTER

Post by capnnerefir » Wed Oct 01, 2008 7:30 pm

Snoopy wrote:My goodness… you certainly do hate Harry Potter, don’t you? Well, I couldn’t really defend the series, mostly because I have never read the books. And from what I’ve heard of the series, (not just here, but other places as well), I wouldn’t want to defend the series anyway. All the same, I do have a few criticisms of your criticism.
Firstly, good decision to stay away from HP. Secondly, I am willing to accept criticism as long as you aren't trying to get me to change my opinion on HP (which, I believe, I said I would take as a personal insult.).
Snoopy wrote:First of all, you state that allegory is entirely evil, as well as a sloppy, lazy writing style. You go on to say that allegories were detested by J.R. Tolkien and other great writers. But you certainly cannot deny that there are people who label The Lord of the Rings as an allegory of the Bible.
That is completely true. There are indeed people who label LOTR an allegory. In fact, it was exactly towards those people who Tolkien addressed that foreword, in which he specifically stated, "As for any inner meaning or 'message', [the Lord of the Rings] has in the intention of the author none. It is neither allegorical nor topical." What he means by this is two things. 1.) Obviously, he is saying that it is not allegorical. 2.)It was not topical, meaning that it had nothing to do with WWII, contrary to popular belief. The Orcs and Uruk-hai were not the Axis powers. Gondor was not England. Sauron was not Hitler, nor was Saruman.
People are free to question him, of course; at least on the first part. But it can be easily proven that the Lord of the Rings is not an allegory by looking at the characters, both at their actions and motivations.

Aragorn: It is tempting to see Aragorn as the shining beacon of hope in the dark world of Middle Earth. Indeed, if we don't look into him at all, we can see him as an allegorical (or at least archetypal) hero; especially those who have only seen the movies. But there are many aspects of his character that others do not know because they didn't read the appendices in Return of the King. Did you ever wonder how Aragorn got so world-wise? He wandered everywhere and saw everything. Why? Because when Elrond (who had raised him for the most part) told him that he was the King of Gondor, that he had to stand against the growing power of Mordor, Aragorn ran away. He was terrified that he would be like Isildur; he was afraid, and ran away from his duty. Is that an allegorical hero? By no means. The true hero is the one who wants to run away but continues on. The only reason Aragorn finally decided to do as Mithrandir and Elrond demanded was because the ring appeared and everything got much more serious.

Mithrandir: He (also known as Gandalf, although his true name is Olórin [which, if you ask me, bears a striking resemblance to Alloran in pronunciation, but that is neither here nor there]) is one of the Istari, sent by the Valar and chosen by Manwë and Eru to aid the Eldar and Edain in their struggles against Sauron, the minion of Melkor.If this phrase means little to you, it is because you have not studied the past of our beloved Gandalf. He appears, at first, to be another archetype, another allegory. But this is far from so.
Mithrandir did indeed hold to the right path, as an allegorical character must. But this was not with the ease of the allegorical character. Had he chosen to, Mithrandir could have taken the ring and thrown Sauron beyond the world; he could, in fact, have accomplished this even without the ring. But it was his role only to advise the Eldar and Edain (the latter especially) against Sauron, not to fight him. Sauron and Mithrandir were alike, once; both were of the Maiar of the Valar (if I stopped to explain what all of this means, I'd exceed the post limit). The Valar feared that, after tasting power, Mithrandir would become like Sauron.
This fear was not ungrounded, of course. We are all familiar with Saruman; another of the Istari. Supposedly, he was the greatest of their order; and he turned against them just as Sauron did (Incidentally, both Sauron and Saruman were Maiar of the Vala Aulë, the same guy who forged the dwarves. For you M-E scholars out there, chew on that).

Frodo: I think I need spend only a few lines here talking about Frodo. He was, at first, the typical farm-boy turned hero archetype. And just like his allegorical role, he overcame all adversity and saved the world. Right? Wait, no, he didn't. In the end, he caved in and claimed the ring for his own. We'd all be answering to Dark Lord Baggins if Gollum hand't BIT HIS FREAKIN' FINGER OFF.

These are but three of the countless examples I could give. Believe me, I could talk about Middle Earth all day, so I'll stop now.
Snoopy wrote:But what about The Chronicles of Narnia? (Books which I must say are my favorite books in the world, not only for their wonderful storylines, but also for their beautiful simplicity, [which is quite a boon to readers such as myself who do not necessarily appreciate flowery literature.]) I think you cannot deny the allegorical connections between The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Are you willing to condemn Lewis’s work with the same passion with which you condemned Rowling’s?
Funny you should mention Narnia. Here's a little story about Lewis and Tolkien. You may or may not know this but for much of his life, Lewis was an atheist and proud of it. He and Tolkien (a strict Roman-Catholic) had many lively discussions in their favorite pub on the subject. The Chronicles of Narnia was originally conceived as satire. Lewis wrote up a rough draft and slapped it on the table in front of Tolkien and said, "This is what you believe. A story for children."
Somewhere along the lines, Lewis, as you probably know, converted. It was then that he revised The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe to be not satire but an allegory. As Tolkien tells us, the purpose of an allegory is the domination of the author. Lewis was fully aware of this and used it as a tool to spread the message of Christ to children (who, sadly, largely missed the point).

The difference between Lewis and Rowling is this: both knew exactly what an allegory was and how easy it was to use it to manipulate an audience. Lewis used his powers to try to bring people to God; Rowling used allegory to make money. That is why I condemn Rowling but not Lewis (a point which I will make more clear in my Selling Out rant.
Snoopy wrote:And secondly, I have to disagree slightly with your assessment of the maturation of emotional relationships. You state:
capnnerefir wrote:Yes, it is possible to have a mature relationship without sex; but not a realistic one. Not one that feels as though it has any backbone to it.
Well, I’m certainly no authority on this subject, but I have to say that I think it is a little bit of an exaggeration to say you cannot have a mature relationship that has a backbone without prior sexual intercourse.
My original point, I fear, was lost in my excitement. You can, of course, have a meaningful, adult, non-sexual relationship (Rachel and Tobias, for example, although I for one am not sure if that was non-sexual). But in the beginning of the series, at age 11, Harry has no sex-drive. Understandable. At the end of the series, age 17...he STILL had no sex-drive. This shows a profound lack of emotional growth. Dr. Freud would (edited for content) himself to get a chance to study such a thing.

However, back to my backbone comment, I mean that from the point of view of a writer; a vantage point that few are able to enjoy. I know what goes into creating a character and to developing one. I also know what 'feels' real and what does not. And let me tell you, as both a reader and a writer, a teenage male with no sex drive (who, indeed, shows zero desire for sex whatsoever) feels completely artificial; especially if he spends as much time making out with his girlfriend as Harry does.

Yes, Harry makes out with his girlfriend. That should be indicative of some sexual desire. But, in fact, neither of the characters seem to want to take it beyond this. Now, of course, such a decision can (and sometimes is) reached in a couple; but in a book, such decisions (which are pivotal to the romantic side-plot Rowling shoved down our throats) should be made in view of the audience, or at least alluded to. Otherwise, the audience has no choice but to assume, as I do, that the characters have no desire for more, which makes them feel artificial.
Snoopy wrote:Okay, that’s it. Please don’t ban me. Oh wait, you can't.
For the record, I only threatened to ban people for correcting my spelling.

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Re: WHY I HATE HARRY POTTER

Post by Snoopy » Wed Oct 01, 2008 7:53 pm

capnnerefir wrote:Firstly, good decision to stay away from HP. Secondly, I am willing to accept criticism as long as you aren't trying to get me to change my opinion on HP (which, I believe, I said I would take as a personal insult.).
Oh, no fear. I have no desire to convince you to like HP. (That is, Harry Potter, not to be mistaken with the quality computer manufacturer, Hewlett Packard). And I’m not going to pick up those books any time in the near future. Heck, I’ve heard so many negative things about those books, I could write a book about it. And I haven’t even read the originals.
capnnerefir wrote:
Snoopy wrote:My goodness… you certainly do hate Harry Potter, don’t you? Well, I couldn’t really defend the series, mostly because I have never read the books. And from what I’ve heard of the series, (not just here, but other places as well), I wouldn’t want to defend the series anyway. All the same, I do have a few criticisms of your criticism.
Firstly, good decision to stay away from HP. Secondly, I am willing to accept criticism as long as you aren't trying to get me to change my opinion on HP (which, I believe, I said I would take as a personal insult.).
Snoopy wrote:First of all, you state that allegory is entirely evil, as well as a sloppy, lazy writing style. You go on to say that allegories were detested by J.R. Tolkien and other great writers. But you certainly cannot deny that there are people who label The Lord of the Rings as an allegory of the Bible.
That is completely true. There are indeed people who label LOTR an allegory. In fact, it was exactly towards those people who Tolkien addressed that foreword, in which he specifically stated, "As for any inner meaning or 'message', [the Lord of the Rings] has in the intention of the author none. It is neither allegorical nor topical." What he means by this is two things. 1.) Obviously, he is saying that it is not allegorical. 2.)It was not topical, meaning that it had nothing to do with WWII, contrary to popular belief. The Orcs and Uruk-hai were not the Axis powers. Gondor was not England. Sauron was not Hitler, nor was Saruman.
People are free to question him, of course; at least on the first part. But it can be easily proven that the Lord of the Rings is not an allegory by looking at the characters, both at their actions and motivations.
Well, as I said, I agree that there is no allegory to be found in LOTR. Some people do think otherwise though.
capnnerefir wrote:
Snoopy wrote:But what about The Chronicles of Narnia? (Books which I must say are my favorite books in the world, not only for their wonderful storylines, but also for their beautiful simplicity, [which is quite a boon to readers such as myself who do not necessarily appreciate flowery literature.]) I think you cannot deny the allegorical connections between The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Are you willing to condemn Lewis’s work with the same passion with which you condemned Rowling’s?
Funny you should mention Narnia. Here's a little story about Lewis and Tolkien. You may or may not know this but for much of his life, Lewis was an atheist and proud of it. He and Tolkien (a strict Roman-Catholic) had many lively discussions in their favorite pub on the subject. The Chronicles of Narnia was originally conceived as satire. Lewis wrote up a rough draft and slapped it on the table in front of Tolkien and said, "This is what you believe. A story for children."
Somewhere along the lines, Lewis, as you probably know, converted. It was then that he revised The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe to be not satire but an allegory. As Tolkien tells us, the purpose of an allegory is the domination of the author. Lewis was fully aware of this and used it as a tool to spread the message of Christ to children (who, sadly, largely missed the point).

The difference between Lewis and Rowling is this: both knew exactly what an allegory was and how easy it was to use it to manipulate an audience. Lewis used his powers to try to bring people to God; Rowling used allegory to make money. That is why I condemn Rowling but not Lewis (a point which I will make more clear in my Selling Out rant.
Yes, I had heard this story. I just wanted to make sure you weren’t condemning allegories whole-sale, which I think you’ve made it clear you aren’t.
capnnerefir wrote:
Snoopy wrote:
capnnerefir wrote:Yes, it is possible to have a mature relationship without sex; but not a realistic one. Not one that feels as though it has any backbone to it.
Well, I’m certainly no authority on this subject, but I have to say that I think it is a little bit of an exaggeration to say you cannot have a mature relationship that has a backbone without prior sexual intercourse.
My original point, I fear, was lost in my excitement. You can, of course, have a meaningful, adult, non-sexual relationship (Rachel and Tobias, for example, although I for one am not sure if that was non-sexual). But in the beginning of the series, at age 11, Harry has no sex-drive. Understandable. At the end of the series, age 17...he STILL had no sex-drive. This shows a profound lack of emotional growth. Dr. Freud would (edited for content) himself to get a chance to study such a thing.

However, back to my backbone comment, I mean that from the point of view of a writer; a vantage point that few are able to enjoy. I know what goes into creating a character and to developing one. I also know what 'feels' real and what does not. And let me tell you, as both a reader and a writer, a teenage male with no sex drive (who, indeed, shows zero desire for sex whatsoever) feels completely artificial; especially if he spends as much time making out with his girlfriend as Harry does.
Well then, we agree on everything. Rats. I was almost hoping that you would go and say that you can’t have a mature relationship without sex. Then we could have argued some more. Oh well…
capnnerefir wrote:
Snoopy wrote:Okay, that’s it. Please don’t ban me. Oh wait, you can't.
For the record, I only threatened to ban people for correcting my spelling.
A thousand pardons. I beg forgiveness for my misquote. I have no intention of correcting your spelling, as I have never read the books and have no idea how those proper nouns should be spelled anyway.
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capnnerefir
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Re: WHY I HATE HARRY POTTER

Post by capnnerefir » Wed Oct 01, 2008 7:59 pm

I'm glad we could get everything cleared up. And you needn't fear that I'll begin to hate Hewlett Packard; I'm using one of their products at this very moment.

I know you said there was no allegory in LOTR; I was defending that point from the HP (not the computer) fans who might want to attack it if they dare to read this.

Well, if you ever want to suggest the topic for my next rant, feel free!

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Re: WHY I HATE HARRY POTTER

Post by darkflame91 » Mon Oct 06, 2008 1:02 am

I say Abuse of Archetypes.

I really have to read the rest of Tolkien's works. I haven't gone beyond The Hobbit and LOTR.
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