Up@dawn 2.0

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Harry Potter houses, and how they are supportive! Holly Aslinger, H01-3.

So, my first post was on the philosophical aspects of the role that violas play in an orchestral setting. Violas, as I elaborated in the post, typically support other instruments and provide the canvas, the background music, for others to play their melodies over. I also mentioned that violas are not always background, and that given the chance to shine, viola soli and solo sections are remembered throughout the ages, like in the love theme from Romeo and Juliet. I argued that people should be like violas in the orchestra, and strive to be as supportive as they can be to others, and that it is beneficial for both parties, as violas also get good opportunities to showcase their talents.
From here I would like to segue into how students of different Hogwarts houses (from Harry Potter, of course) can be and are supportive of one another, beginning with Gryffindor, then Ravenclaw, then Hufflepuff, and finally, Slytherin. No one house or set of house qualities is greater than the other, and there are many different ways that the different sets of house qualities are applicable in supporting others.

Gryffindor house (I am a Gryffindor, you know) emphasizes courage, daring, nerve, bravery, strength of will, and chivalry. In the Harry Potter series, Gryffindor is the most romanticized house because Harry is a Gryffindor. In the story, when Gryffindors are put into a negative light, they are characterized as just kind of boisterous and just generally cocky, overconfident jerks. However, in times of trouble, Gryffindors have the nerve and the chivalry to protect and defend their friends. Though, Gryffindors do not always act in others’ interests, as we find with Gilderoy Lockhart, who is narcissistic and vain and who only wanted attention, and Peter Pettigrew, who betrayed his friends—so this trait is not true for everyone. Often Gryffindors commit brave acts of chivalry and courage simply to be the hero and glorify themselves. In the Battle of Hogwarts, not all Gryffindors stayed to defend the school and life as they knew it. Some stayed to support others, and some stayed to glorify themselves in battle, but some did not. This is a less glorious trait of Gryffindors, but even still, some would argue that the motive of the action is not what determines the morality and the goodness of the action. Regardless of the motive and the action, even if it is partially to glorify yourself, you should defend your loved ones in the way that Ron Weasley defended his own friends in all sorts of confrontations, and in the way that Hermione Granger stood up for the rights of the house elves. Ron risks his life so that Harry and Hermione may advance towards the Sorcerer’s Stone, and he defends Hermione from the berating of Professor Snape before he even knew her. Gryffindors are supportive in that they are loyal, and will likely risk their lives to help their friends.

Ravenclaw house emphasizes intelligence, wit, wisdom, creativity, originality, individuality, and acceptance. In the academic sense, Ravenclaws are fiercely competitive and even prone to backstabbing. Where Ravenclaws are supportive, they are supportive of individuality, and they celebrate each other’s differences. A fantastic example of this is Luna Lovegood. Luna, a social outcast herself, is perhaps one of the most supportive characters in the series. She provides support and understanding to Harry when Umbridge takes over the Defense Against the Dark Arts program, and when Harry decides he must train others to defend themselves against dark wizards. When Luna is imprisoned at Malfoy Manor with Dobby the house elf, she treats him with as much respect as she would anyone else, as well as Ollivander, a very elderly man who may not have survived imprisonment had Luna not been there to help him and to talk to him and keep his spirits up. Luna is an unusually kind human, and her case is not a common one among Ravenclaws, except in the fact that she is accepting. Luna’s unconditional acceptance of others, no matter who they are—no matter what species or race or age—is reflective of her belonging to Ravenclaw house. Ravenclaws support others by accepting them for who they are, unconditionally.
Slytherin house emphasizes resourcefulness, cunning, ambition, leadership, self-preservation, fraternity, and power. Slytherins are often placed in a negative light, given that many of the main antagonists in the series have strong connections to Slytherin. However, though they may isolate themselves from the other houses and though many of them are antagonists, in their own right, they are supportive of their loved ones. For example, in order to bring his master back to power, Peter Pettigrew (who is technically a Gryffindor but, let’s be honest, he’s basically a Slytherin) actually cuts off his hand to complete the brew that would bring his master to full power. Narcissa Malfoy, in order to protect her son as best as she could, persuades Professor Snape to make an unbreakable vow with her that if her son does not complete the task Voldemort has set him to, that Snape will do the job. So here we see familial loyalty and servile loyalty. The fact that fraternity is one of Slytherins’ defining qualities also shows that they are supportive in that they will do whatever it takes to advance themselves as individuals and as a group. They will cheat on tests and in games, and they will help others of the house do so, as long as it keeps them on top and in power. Slytherins are thus supportive, but are very selective about who they support, in that they typically keep only to their group.
Hufflepuff house emphasizes dedication, hard work, fair play, patience, and kindness. In many ways, I believe that the Hufflepuffs as a group are more supportive and loyal than any other house. Different houses certainly have different connotations, and Hufflepuff’s is its general goodwill towards others. Hufflepuff house has produced fewer dark wizards than any other house, and such persons as Cedric Diggory are Hufflpuffs. Cedric was the Hogwarts representative at the Tri-Wizard Tournament in 1994, but when Harry’s name is also ejected from the Goblet of Fire as a result of foul play, Cedric does not blame Harry for having to share the title, nor does he believe ill of him the way the rest of the school does. Cedric and Harry even help each other to survive the tournament, but unfortunately [spoilers] Cedric does die at the end of the book at the hands of Voldemort. Many believe that it is a disgrace and a disappointment to be a Hufflepuff because they feel that Hufflepuff is the house where people who do not have any particularly prominent personality traits end up. Hufflepuff is, as they believe, where the people who weren’t smart enough to be a Ravenclaw, brave enough to be a Gryffindor, or ambitious enough to be a Slytherin end up. This is not the case. Hufflepuffs are those whose most prominent personality traits are as listed at the beginning—they are kind, they are hard-working, and they are patient. Where Gryffindors may be show-boaty and “anything you can do I can do better,” and where Ravenclaws are fiercely competitive, and where Slytherins will do whatever it takes to achieve their ends—and I mean whatever it takes—Hufflepuffs are humble and helpful and fair. During the Battle of Hogwarts, all of the Hufflepuffs stay to fight the forces of evil. They support the rest of the school with their willingness to put themselves in danger to preserve Hogwarts and to preserve life as the Wizarding World had begun to know it (until Voldemort came back, of course). Hufflepuffs are supportive in that they are kind to all and that they are loyal to the end.

Thus concludes my spiel on Harry Potter houses and how they differ in the ways they support others!

1 comment:

  1. A quick search of our site reveals several of your CoPhi predecessors also finding philosophical relevance in Harry Potter world, Holly, but I think you're the first to make the viola connection!