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Author Topic: Love Wins  (Read 744 times)

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December 04, 2013, 12:45:32 AM

HealerOne

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Love Wins
Exploring the Theme of Love in CoS

“I definitely know that love is the most powerful thing of all.”
JK Rowling in the Oprah interview Oct 1, 2010

From the ‘horse’s mouth’ so to speak – JK Rowling has stated without reservation that love “does come through strongly in the Potter books.”(Oprah interview as above.) So let’s take some time to delve into this theme as seen in the Chamber of Secrets.

Love is a pretty big topic and as a theme it can take several forms. Love encompasses a variety of meanings from the platonic type love that we have for friends to the overwhelming love that comes from romantic love, or, from the perspective of the Potter books, the amazingly selfless love that causes one to sacrifice themselves for others.

In Chamber of Secrets we see a variety of  love themes: friendship love; familial love; narcissistic love – to name a few. So let’s begin our discussion with some questions that pertain to the theme of Love in Chamber of Secrets.

~ Dobby is the first character that demonstrates the theme of love in CoS. How is love characterized by Dobby?

~ The family love that we see in CoS – the Dursley’s, the Weasley’s, the Malfoy’s – what is universal to it? What can you see that is different about each family’s love for one another?

~ Love of self is important to being healthy, but what characters exemplify an unhealthy love of self? Are their differences in self-love, that makes one character a buffoon and another an evil git?

~ Gilderoy Lockhart appears to be in love with himself, can the same be said of Tom Riddle?  What’s the difference in their self-love?

~ How does Hagrid’s concept of love differ from that of others?

Bonus Questions:

~ How is the platonic friendship love that we see in the Trio, deepened in this book? What critical events happen that change their friendship ‘love’ relationship?

~ How is the relationship between Harry and Ginny changed during this book? Is this ‘Puppy love’?  During this book, what kind of feelings do you think each has for the other and how do they change?


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December 17, 2013, 04:05:09 AM
Reply #1

HealerOne

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This book to me exemplifies the chapter about love in 1 Corinthians 13 so I am sort of surprised that no one has replied in this thread so I will start off the discussion -

~ Dobby is the first character that demonstrates the theme of love in CoS. How is love characterized by Dobby?
Dobby's love for Harry is very much like a child for a hero, but to expand that - Dobby realizes that Harry's ability to live when Voldie targeted him was a game changer. Somehow Harry thwarted the evil one and in doing so, things became better for most house-elves because things got better for all of wizard-kind. This hero worship stuff that Dobby first demonstrates in the book grows into a very different love by the end of the book. Dobby is overwhelmed by the unselfish act that Harry does to free him. After all Harry didn't have to do that at all - the book could have stopped as Dobby and Malfoy walked out of DD's office - but it didn't - we see a side of Harry that totally endeared him to me. He quickly leaped to a plan to free Dobby and then he just bravely did it! That was out of pure love for Dobby. Dobby had actually been a pain in Harry's side! But Harry saw a being that was living as a slave - not much differently than he had lived at the Dursley's (Yes, maybe even harsher than what Harry had to put up with) and so he thought freeing him would be the best thing ever for Dobby because it had been for him.

"When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me."  "Do unto others what you would want done unto you ..."


~ The family love that we see in CoS – the Dursley’s, the Weasley’s, the Malfoy’s – what is universal to it? What can you see that is different about each family’s love for one another?
The universal thing I see is that in each family - love of a child (children) was seen. Albeit that in the Dursley family and the Malfoy family it was not exactly a pure thing. In a lot of ways I feel both Vernon and Lucius loved their boys as an extension of themselves - they wanted them to be just like them so they pounded into their heads what their version of the world looked like. They praised and encouraged Dudley and Draco for behaviors that exemplified things that they (Vernon and Lucius) felt were what they would do, rather than for anything independent either of those two boys could do. 

"Love is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth."


~ Love of self is important to being healthy, but what characters exemplify an unhealthy love of self? Are their differences in self-love, that makes one character a buffoon and another an evil git?
Lockhart is the moniker for narcissism. I can't remember another character in literature that is so thoroughly in love with himself! Lockhart has actually believed his own PR! He is a buffoon because his ridiculous love of self blinds him to any good in anyone else. While Voldemort has no love whatsoever, I really have a hard time thinking that Voldie/Tom ever loved himself. I think his apparent self-love is really a way to deceive himself that he is worthy of admiration and being followed by others. When you do evil things to make others follow you to the death, that is false love: that's self destructive behavior - As we see time and again with Voldie.

"Love doesn't envy or self boast. Love is not proud. If you speak in tongues. if you have great knowledge, if you can do great feats (of magic) but have not love you are nothing. "


~ How does Hagrid’s concept of love differ from that of others?
Ah Hagrid - his ability to love all creatures great and small makes him an unusual man. We eventually find out there are people that Hagrid doesn't love, but not creatures! He seems to be able to see the very essence of a creature and this is what he seems to love - that part of a creature that is fundamental to all beings. It takes a very special person to be able to see through everything else and connect with that. He sees creatures as following their own needs and is quick to forgive when a creatures just does what they were made to do. Yet he is able to be kind and loving enough to creatures that they respond in kindness to him.
"Love attracts love. Love is kind; it does not dishonor others.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes. Love never fails."

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