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Slytherin House: Poor development?

ShadowKisses IF-Dazzler
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Posted: 05 August 2008 at 4:38pm | IP Logged
Slytherin House: A Case of Poor Development?
 
To judge someone at the age of 11, to judge them, to set their future course so young, seems to me to be a very harsh thing to do. And it doesn't take into account the fact that we do change and evolve. A lot of people are, at 40, what they weren't at 11.
- Joanne Rowling in MN/TLC chat.
 
Jo once said that not all Slytherins are bad/evil. And that annoys me to no end because if that is indeed the case, why is it that a good - or even not-so-bad Slytherin (that isn't madly in love with a GryffindorDead) never makes an appearance in the books? There's no one in Slytherin who's not unpleasant in some way. For me, the statement by Jo, that not all Slytherins aren't evil, bears little consequence if canon contradicts it, and how!
 
In the books we see Slytherin from a very biased point of view, I acknowledge that. One of the first things we (& Harry) hear about Slytherin is "there wasn't a single witch or wizard who went bad who wasn't in Slytherin". While Hagrid is very lovable, he isn't exactly what you call the brightest crayon in the box. Hagrid is being extremely judgmental when he tells Harry this and he should know it - considering who he thinks, at the time, betrayed James and Lily and then went on to commit a mass killing of several muggles is definitely NOT a Slytherin. Grindlewald couldn't have been in Slytherin and look how he turned out.
 
Prof. McGonnagall - touted to be the most unbiased and non-judgmental teacher - told the Slytherins that it was time to choose their loyalties and yet on Pansy's behaviour, she practically threw the Slytherins out. A whole House's allegiancecan NOT be based upon a few people's actions. If that were the case, I might as well judge the Gryffindors on the behaviour and actions of one Peter Pettigrew and prove that all Gryffindors are evil. Just making a point. The other Houses reaction (lining up against Harry, drawing wands against the Slytherins was so cliched and downright unbelievableSleepy) highlights the extreme prejudice that exists towards Slytherins. Who can blame them for self-preservation when the rest of the Houses hate them, so vehemently?
 
One recurring theme throughout many of the books is how you treat people (whether or not you trust them) has a huge impact on that person & they way they treat you. Slytherin's are not trusted, or liked by the other houses; what would that be like? How would it affect their view of others? They are often accused of prejudice, but you could argue that they are the ones that suffer from it the most. I'm tempted to argue that one of the reasons that there are no Slytherin banners in the RoR is that no one in DA would have trusted them enough to recruit them or let them into their only sanctuary. This says as much about DA as it does about Slytherin.
 
My main complaint is that there was SO much scope for character development. Every one in Slytherin, from the Malfoys to Theodore Nott was left biting the dust when it came to characterization. Blaise Zabini, whose mother's rich husbands disappear mysteriously, especially; His mysterious character had a lot of potential and Draco, whom we were led to believe post-HBP would play a larger role in DH, wasn't fully exploited. The Slytherins, as a whole, were alienated - by the other three houses, by Harry AND by JKR. The 'good' Slytherins are far too few. No major redemption. The main thing the HP series seem to be claiming is Gryffindor = Good. Slytherin = Bad. Ravenclaw/Hufflepuff = If they support Gryffindor, then good. If Slytherin, then bad. What threw me in a splitting rage was Dumbledore ambiguous quote regarding Severus that "perhaps [we] sort too soon". It indirectly indicates that DD doesn't believe a Slytherin can be brave and fight for what he believes in.
 
See, Slytherin is a house that goes deep with its own concerns, questions and, good and wrong decisions. In fact, not just Slytherin, Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff too face these concerns. However, its not in the books, it's just the potential that remains unused. It irks me that Jo would talk about the potential of what a Slytherin could have been - but seems that she just forgot about it or was playing it safe. Blurred boundaries between good and bad, perhaps?
 
Quintessentially, interhouse unity is an over-stretched utopia she's talked about but not shown. Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw are one-dimensional and reduced to sidekicks. The book is all about Gryffindors, shiny knights in bright armours who need their public fixation and their tales sung. All the cliches other houses are telling about Gryffindor are extremely true. They crave to be in the spotlight and the Harry Potter books are finally, all about Gryffindors, their lifes and lies, victories and defeats. With one exception - Severus Snape. But then again, he was in love with a Gryffindor (that's hard to stomach!!) and that's been his motivation. Dead That ruined his character for me, forever.
 
This is the greatest disappointment I had after I finished re-reading all the books. There are houses with different interesting characters - Zacharias Smith in Hufflepuff, is an example - who should unite forces against Voldemort but they don't and we're left in the dark as to why. Baring one or two lines in the last chapter of the last book, which IMO isn't much to brag about, the series strongly resonate the feeling that Gryffindor = Good while Slytherin = Evil.
 
Here's hoping ASP was sorted into SlytherinWink. That'd be a slap in the face to Harry & Co.


Edited by ShadowKisses - 05 August 2008 at 6:14pm

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ProdigalStudent

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Posted: 05 August 2008 at 8:28pm | IP Logged
well well well i dnt ever thought tht way but im impressed its true tht all the series of HP r abt gryffindors n slytherin but slytherin in a bad view while gryffindor as good n as far as snape is concernd 4 me he z one of the gr8est wizzard nt bc he z a slytherin or loves a gryffindor bt bc the way he showed his sincerity to DD or hogwarts, the way he spied in the whole series n last but nt the least his eternal love.........it ws just amazing
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Posted: 06 August 2008 at 11:15am | IP Logged
I agree..in the books, slytherin has always been shown as an evil house, even though they are "The Evil & Cunning Ones"..
 
I guess what she meant by that was, some were forced into being Slytherins because of their family, like Snape...even Harry was almost put into Slytherin, even though he's "good"..
 
I've always liked Syltherin, it's my favorite House..but I always despised the way it was portrayed!
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Posted: 06 August 2008 at 2:22pm | IP Logged
Ya but of course there are good ppl frm slytherinConfused...i dont understand why it is portrayed in such a negative lightOuch
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Posted: 08 August 2008 at 8:28am | IP Logged
^Yea there are, such as Regulus, Andromeda and Severus but these people are too few. Out of the 300+ people in Slytherin, - not all of whom are pureblood elitists or Voldie supporters - not one Slytherin has a good bone in their body?
 
Originally posted by cezzurockz

well well well i dnt ever thought tht way but im impressed its true tht all the series of HP r abt gryffindors n slytherin but slytherin in a bad view while gryffindor as good n as far as snape is concernd 4 me he z one of the gr8est wizzard nt bc he z a slytherin or loves a gryffindor bt bc the way he showed his sincerity to DD or hogwarts, the way he spied in the whole series n last but nt the least his eternal love.........it ws just amazing
  
No doubt he's a fine wizard but I'd like his character more if he did all that he did making a conscious decision with his life, rather than devoting his life to/ or being motivated by the unrequited love of a Gryffindor, IMO. What exactly is JKR trying to say? That a wizard/witch can't be "good" unless they're connected in Gryffindor, albeit by unrequited love, in some way?
 

Originally posted by -Krupa-

I agree..in the books, slytherin has always been shown as an evil house, even though they are "The Evil & Cunning Ones"..
Not evil, per say. They're ambitious :P which isn't really an "evil" trait. Sure it can be taken in a negative way, if you take it out of context, but then so can the traits of the other houses. Dumbledore himself has committed some actions that would do Slytherin proud.  I think the Slytherins act as Anti-Mary Stu's. Their main purpose in the whole series is to make the protagonist (Harry & Co.)  look better.


Edited by ShadowKisses - 08 August 2008 at 8:41am

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ProdigalStudent

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Posted: 09 August 2008 at 10:50am | IP Logged

You r right. All the books ptray slytherin as bad and gryffindor as great. And JKR hv made only a few slytherins good only 3 with Andromeda good from the very beginning. I love Severus 4 being soooooooo loyal to DD and hogwarts, his eternal love 4 lily...... and the way he threw his life at risk and helped Harry&co and helped protect the hogwarts in DH was simply marvellous and BRAVE. But JKR shuold hav made all the 4 houses equal. Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw hardly has any importance! And Slytherin is always EVIL. Slytherin could be with the most evil people but with a few more good characters. And gryffindor could also do with a few bad characters- nothing can ever be perfect.Dead

Anyways I m not critisizing JKR, these r just my opinions.Embarrassed

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Posted: 09 August 2008 at 9:15pm | IP Logged
There's even Slughorn!..he was a slytherin too..
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Posted: 14 August 2008 at 2:07pm | IP Logged
I think that maybe JKR wanted to portray them that way..
 
anyways I love to hate the Sylthernis..lol except some.but my most fav is Draco obviously

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