December 13, 2017, 01:00:28 PM

Author Topic: Chapter Three: The Invitation  (Read 1012 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

September 12, 2014, 06:16:45 AM

HealerOne

  • Staffer
  • *****
  • Posts: 913
    • Chasing the Tale
Chapter Three: The Invitation
(Chap Summary by twiddlethosedials )


The Invitation by travelingpantscg
The Dursleys and Harry starve themselves in keeping with Dudder's new diet and Vernon gets a letter from Mrs. Weasley. He orders Harry into the living room and reveals the Weasleys are inviting Harry to come with them to see the Quidditch World Cup! Harry plays his cards masterfully and gets Uncle Vernon's permission to go. Forget about the scar and the dream - Harry's got cake and his freedom.

A few questions to get you started:
1) Seems like Petunia goes from one extreme (giving Dudley anything and everything he wants) to another (actually starving the entire family). What do you make of her parenting style?

2) What does Harry's subtle manipulation of Vernon tell us about the Boy Who Lived?

3) In what ways has Harry's relationship with the Dursleys and attitude toward them changed since we first met them?


Logged
September 13, 2014, 10:58:39 PM
Reply #1

roonwit

  • *****
  • Posts: 476
1) Seems like Petunia goes from one extreme (giving Dudley anything and everything he wants) to another (actually starving the entire family). What do you make of her parenting style?
Petunia won't starving the family because she is following the diet set by the school nurse, which will be healthy but rather minimal and possibly dull. I imagine Harry has had worse at times, though clearly he is thankful for the extra supplies provided by his friends.
2) What does Harry's subtle manipulation of Vernon tell us about the Boy Who Lived?
Harry is now able to outsmart Vernon which, given the way they would otherwise treat him, is a good thing.
3) In what ways has Harry's relationship with the Dursleys and attitude toward them changed since we first met them?
Harry's magical circumstances have given him an advantage that has evened up the relationship.
Logged
September 14, 2014, 07:12:02 AM
Reply #2

Eva Hedwig

  • Kwite the Kwizzikal Kwiz Kween
  • *****
  • Posts: 30
1) Seems like Petunia goes from one extreme (giving Dudley anything and everything he wants) to another (actually starving the entire family). What do you make of her parenting style?
Petunia seems to like the extrems and has a hard time to go the "middle way". But whatever she does, she has the need to let Harry know that he deserves less of the "good things" and more of the "bad things"

2) What does Harry's subtle manipulation of Vernon tell us about the Boy Who Lived?
the boy who lived, is a Qudditch fan and as any fan, he will do anything to go to the event.

3) In what ways has Harry's relationship with the Dursleys and attitude toward them changed since we first met them?
Harry has more options to socialize and is away from them during ten months of the year, this certainly helps. He now knows that he can stand up and fight for his right to have friends, a school of his choice, and most important, he now knows much more about his parents and the world he belongs to. This gives him indentity and self esteem.
Logged
September 18, 2014, 06:19:34 AM
Reply #3

HealerOne

  • Staffer
  • *****
  • Posts: 913
    • Chasing the Tale
1) Seems like Petunia goes from one extreme (giving Dudley anything and everything he wants) to another (actually starving the entire family). What do you make of her parenting style?
Petunia seems to like the extrems and has a hard time to go the "middle way". But whatever she does, she has the need to let Harry know that he deserves less of the "good things" and more of the "bad things"
When I read this chapter, I always think about Mr. Dursley in the first book visiting the bakery across the street from his work - so we know that he certainly won't starve! One does have to feel a bit sorry for the spoiled Dudley as he is finally put on a rather severe diet. It must have been a shock to his system. He, like Harry, finds ways to thwart the diet by getting candy - and you have to wonder if his mates - like Harry's - snuck him extra food. 

It seems odd that Petunia, who for years has put a blind eye to Dudley's spoiling and excessive eating, should suddenly 'see the light' and put him and the family on a diet. One wonders who finally talked her into that? I can't imagine a nurse's note was enough to convince her? Unless perhaps the nurse talked not just of his not having proper clothes to wear but of some of the other medical problems that could come of childhood obesity like diabetes? Perhaps the experience with Aunt Marge last year (blowing up) also weighed on her mind as to what might happen if Dudley got any bigger?

Whatever it was that set Petunia on this course it had to be rather drastic, because up until this time she had spoiled Dudley 'rotten'! It seemed as if she gave into his every whim in the first 3 books. Perhaps now that he actually was growing up, Petunia wasn't happy with the boy he was becoming and decided on a last ditch effort to at least make him look a bit better, even if he didn't act much better. So not only is this a pivotal book for Harry, but the same might be said for Dudley? What do you think?
Logged
September 22, 2014, 03:34:04 PM
Reply #4

paint it Black

  • Notorious Mass Murderer OR Innocent Singing Sensation
  • Forum Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 697
It seems odd that Petunia, who for years has put a blind eye to Dudley's spoiling and excessive eating, should suddenly 'see the light' and put him and the family on a diet. One wonders who finally talked her into that? I can't imagine a nurse's note was enough to convince her? Unless perhaps the nurse talked not just of his not having proper clothes to wear but of some of the other medical problems that could come of childhood obesity like diabetes? Perhaps the experience with Aunt Marge last year (blowing up) also weighed on her mind as to what might happen if Dudley got any bigger?

I wonder if part of the reason that Petunia finally took action here was that people noticed how abnormally large Dudley was, noticed enough to contact them directly about it, and that they'd have to deal with more people who'd know that Dudley was abnormal if they had to get an extra-large school uniform specially made for him.  Just like Uncle Vernon in this chapter was so upset that the postman noticed the abnormally large amount of stamps on Mrs. Weasley's letter, I think the Dursley's would be hyper-conscious about anyone thinking that their Duddykins was abnormal.   :shake:

Whatever it was that set Petunia on this course it had to be rather drastic, because up until this time she had spoiled Dudley 'rotten'! It seemed as if she gave into his every whim in the first 3 books. Perhaps now that he actually was growing up, Petunia wasn't happy with the boy he was becoming and decided on a last ditch effort to at least make him look a bit better, even if he didn't act much better. So not only is this a pivotal book for Harry, but the same might be said for Dudley? What do you think?

I hadn't thought about that, but it makes sense!  In OotP, Dudley has turned from a corpulent boy into a bulked-up boxer.  By DH he no longer thinks that Harry is a waste of space.  :o He surely does grow throughout the series, and perhaps this year when he starts to lose his "puppy fat" is indeed a pivotal year for him.

Cuppa is discussing Harper Lee's Go Set a Watchman.  Please join us!
Logged
September 22, 2014, 10:02:23 PM
Reply #5

roonwit

  • *****
  • Posts: 476
It seems odd that Petunia, who for years has put a blind eye to Dudley's spoiling and excessive eating, should suddenly 'see the light' and put him and the family on a diet. One wonders who finally talked her into that? I can't imagine a nurse's note was enough to convince her? Unless perhaps the nurse talked not just of his not having proper clothes to wear but of some of the other medical problems that could come of childhood obesity like diabetes? Perhaps the experience with Aunt Marge last year (blowing up) also weighed on her mind as to what might happen if Dudley got any bigger?

I wonder if part of the reason that Petunia finally took action here was that people noticed how abnormally large Dudley was, noticed enough to contact them directly about it, and that they'd have to deal with more people who'd know that Dudley was abnormal if they had to get an extra-large school uniform specially made for him.  Just like Uncle Vernon in this chapter was so upset that the postman noticed the abnormally large amount of stamps on Mrs. Weasley's letter, I think the Dursley's would be hyper-conscious about anyone thinking that their Duddykins was abnormal.   :shake:
I think that must have been at least part of it. The nurse would have had to have worded the message carefully to get through the Dursleys' blindness to Dudley's failings, but proof in the lack of a uniform big enough, and the requirement to have a non-standard uniform would have helped to get through to them.

It is interesting that Petunia's now failing excuse that Dudley was big-boned is later echoed by Madame Maxime to explain her unusual size.
Logged
September 23, 2014, 12:57:47 PM
Reply #6

Hermione P

  • *****
  • Posts: 208
    • My Tumblr page
3) In what ways has Harry's relationship with the Dursleys and attitude toward them changed since we first met them?
This already happened at the end of PoA, but the Dursleys now know that Harry has a legal guardian in the magical world in the form of Sirius. So they are no longer the only people Harry have in the world.
Logged
November 06, 2014, 08:31:03 PM
Reply #7

Evreka

  • Quibbling Queen
  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 1700
    • Try & Trix
1) Seems like Petunia goes from one extreme (giving Dudley anything and everything he wants) to another (actually starving the entire family). What do you make of her parenting style?
Well, this summer did not turn out like dudley wanted it to, which was an experience that was long overdue!

I think it is horrid that she forces the small and skinny boy in her care to not only share Dudley's diet, but to give him even less to eat than her son who is broader than he is tall!

Petunia won't starving the family because she is following the diet set by the school nurse, which will be healthy but rather minimal and possibly dull.
On the other hand, this is a diet to make a person described as being broader than he is tall, loose some weight. And Petunia makes sure that Harry gets distinctly less to eat than the person the diet was designed for! Unlike Dudley, he does not have a lot of kilos to loose.

One does have to feel a bit sorry for the spoiled Dudley as he is finally put on a rather severe diet. It must have been a shock to his system. He, like Harry, finds ways to thwart the diet by getting candy - and you have to wonder if his mates - like Harry's - snuck him extra food.
I'm not so kind I feel sorry for him, but yes it must have been a huge chock! This is the second time in his life when he can not get his parents to change their mind by throwing tantrums: the first is when Vernon forces the family to vacate the house to avoid the letters in PS/SS.

And I like the idea that Piers, Malcolm and others gives him candy when Mum and Dad aren't looking. On the other hand he might have to pay for it. I doubt that group of friends are as supportive of each other as the trio are. Would Dudley really ask them for help?  :-\


It seems odd that Petunia, who for years has put a blind eye to Dudley's spoiling and excessive eating, should suddenly 'see the light' and put him and the family on a diet. One wonders who finally talked her into that? I can't imagine a nurse's note was enough to convince her?
I think it says in the book that it was the fact that there were no knickerbockers in his size, and I suppose he could not come back to Smeltings without the correct school uniform. So either he had to go on a diet, or leave that school! And most likely there were few other school's uniforms that could be had in those sizes either. So they had no choice.


Whatever it was that set Petunia on this course it had to be rather drastic, because up until this time she had spoiled Dudley 'rotten'! It seemed as if she gave into his every whim in the first 3 books. Perhaps now that he actually was growing up, Petunia wasn't happy with the boy he was becoming and decided on a last ditch effort to at least make him look a bit better, even if he didn't act much better. So not only is this a pivotal book for Harry, but the same might be said for Dudley? What do you think?
I hadn't thought about that, but it makes sense!  In OotP, Dudley has turned from a corpulent boy into a bulked-up boxer.  By DH he no longer thinks that Harry is a waste of space.  :o He surely does grow throughout the series, and perhaps this year when he starts to lose his "puppy fat" is indeed a pivotal year for him.
I think it's Dudley's experience with the Dementors in OOP that is the true turn around point in his character. I think I remember Jo saying at some point that Dudley saw himself as he truly is in that instance and that it shocked him profoundly. Also, Harry saved his life there, which I guess is why he changed his opinion on Harry.

The bulked up boxer... I wonder if maybe Dudley had to get involved in some sports to loose weight and boxing was the sport that he liked the most so he picked it. Seeing as he started training as a small boy on Harry, it ought to be a sport he might enjoy...

Another thing that this diet leads to is for Harry to survive nearly all summer on vegetables and cakes! What a combination!  :o And as he refers to his cakes as being "increasingly stale", not even the latter can have been too good to survive on... Am I the only one who wonders how Harry managed to keep the cakes in edible condition under a floorboard in his bedroom (and not in the refridgerator) in the middle of summer?!? Are they preserved by some freezing Charm or other magic? Or is he lucky to not get food poisoned?


2) What does Harry's subtle manipulation of Vernon tell us about the Boy Who Lived?
That he is intelligent as he doesn't overuse it to get everything he could have pointed at, but uses it only for things that he would be granted without question in a normal household: To be allowed to keep his things in his room, do his homework over summer, keep up a mail conversation with his friends and Godfather and get to leave the house early to get a once in a lifetime treat for free without any inconvenience for the Dursleys (presumably).

Harry is now able to outsmart Vernon which, given the way they would otherwise treat him, is a good thing.
Precisely.  :thumbup:

3) In what ways has Harry's relationship with the Dursleys and attitude toward them changed since we first met them?

I think the main difference is that they are now weary of mistreating him as much as before due to believing there is a lunatic mass murder on the run, who cares about Harry. To save their own skins they have to be more civil to him - although it doesn't stop them from starving him!


Harry has more options to socialize and is away from them during ten months of the year, this certainly helps. He now knows that he can stand up and fight for his right to have friends, a school of his choice, and most important, he now knows much more about his parents and the world he belongs to. This gives him indentity and self esteem.
Eva Hedwig has a good point. It must be easier to take the way he is treated in the summers (horrid as it is) knowing that in September he goes back to the world that is truly his. It also gives him more space to grow in, and he has now held his own in very dangerous situations thrice that he can remember. He isn't as dependent on them as he once were, although they can still make his life thoroughly miserable for the duration of summer.


I love that letter from Molly! Anything that aggrieves the Dursleys is fine by me...  ;) You've all got a point on how Dudley's bulk being abnormal might have got the Dursleys attention, seeing how Vernion reacted to this letter. On the other hand, they claim they send their nephew to St Brutus's Secure Centre for Incurably Criminal Boys, and how normal is that?  :mcgonagall2: Why do you think this does not bother them?


Quote
[Harry in Chapter 3]
She did put enough stamps on, then.
:fredgeorge: I love this line, so wonderfully dry and ironic!

What is your favourite line from this chapter?
Logged
November 06, 2014, 10:25:09 PM
Reply #8

roonwit

  • *****
  • Posts: 476
I love that letter from Molly! Anything that aggrieves the Dursleys is fine by me...  ;) You've all got a point on how Dudley's bulk being abnormal might have got the Dursleys attention, seeing how Vernion reacted to this letter. On the other hand, they claim they send their nephew to St Brutus's Secure Centre for Incurably Criminal Boys, and how normal is that?  :mcgonagall2: Why do you think this does not bother them?
Quote
[Harry in Chapter 3]
She did put enough stamps on, then.
:fredgeorge: I love this line, so wonderfully dry and ironic!
I think these are both examples of how the Dursleys overreact in an attempt to appear normal.  They could have chosen a less extreme supposed school for Harry, say one for special educational needs. The many stamped envelope could be brushed off by saying that it was probably about his nephew who has some strange friends.
Logged
November 07, 2014, 04:00:24 PM
Reply #9

HealerOne

  • Staffer
  • *****
  • Posts: 913
    • Chasing the Tale
Quote
[Harry in Chapter 3]
She did put enough stamps on, then.
:fredgeorge: I love this line, so wonderfully dry and ironic!

What is your favourite line from this chapter?
I have to admit I read the whole chapter again and couldn't find any quote that was as worthy as Harry's 'innocent' question about the stamps! I have to laugh every time I read that! However a second-in-line (sorry about the pun) would be Harry's jab at Dudley when he says:

"That was an excellent breakfast, wasn't it?" said Harry. "I feel really full, don't you?"

 I mean you just have to grin at Harry's audacity for saying that!
Logged
December 13, 2014, 06:58:56 PM
Reply #10

Evreka

  • Quibbling Queen
  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 1700
    • Try & Trix
I think these are both examples of how the Dursleys overreact in an attempt to appear normal.  They could have chosen a less extreme supposed school for Harry, say one for special educational needs. The many stamped envelope could be brushed off by saying that it was probably about his nephew who has some strange friends.
On the school, that would have made far more sense, at least to strangers on the street who didn't really know him. Class mates and old teacher's might have wondered over this sudden need after a none-too-bad learning curve in primary school, supposedly, as Harry thinks his grades aren't that bad when Hagrid says he knows "nothing", though he is referring to the magical world. What is spread instead is so gruesome, perhaps it scares people off more from inquiries of why?  :what:

As for the stamped envelope, it could have been passed off as a joke perhaps?
Logged
December 20, 2014, 01:04:09 PM
Reply #11

roonwit

  • *****
  • Posts: 476
I think these are both examples of how the Dursleys overreact in an attempt to appear normal.  They could have chosen a less extreme supposed school for Harry, say one for special educational needs. The many stamped envelope could be brushed off by saying that it was probably about his nephew who has some strange friends.
On the school, that would have made far more sense, at least to strangers on the street who didn't really know him. Class mates and old teacher's might have wondered over this sudden need after a none-too-bad learning curve in primary school, supposedly, as Harry thinks his grades aren't that bad when Hagrid says he knows "nothing", though he is referring to the magical world. What is spread instead is so gruesome, perhaps it scares people off more from inquiries of why?  :what:
I agree they might have done it to isolate Harry, but class mates would also know that Harry seemed perfectly normal and showed no signs of being criminally insane.
Logged
December 23, 2014, 01:37:30 AM
Reply #12

HealerOne

  • Staffer
  • *****
  • Posts: 913
    • Chasing the Tale
I love that letter from Molly! Anything that aggrieves the Dursleys is fine by me...  ;) You've all got a point on how Dudley's bulk being abnormal might have got the Dursleys attention, seeing how Vernion reacted to this letter. On the other hand, they claim they send their nephew to St Brutus's Secure Centre for Incurably Criminal Boys, and how normal is that?  :mcgonagall2: Why do you think this does not bother them?

I think these are both examples of how the Dursleys overreact in an attempt to appear normal.  They could have chosen a less extreme supposed school for Harry, say one for special educational needs. The many stamped envelope could be brushed off by saying that it was probably about his nephew who has some strange friends.
On the school, that would have made far more sense, at least to strangers on the street who didn't really know him. Class mates and old teacher's might have wondered over this sudden need after a none-too-bad learning curve in primary school, supposedly, as Harry thinks his grades aren't that bad when Hagrid says he knows "nothing", though he is referring to the magical world. What is spread instead is so gruesome, perhaps it scares people off more from inquiries of why?  :what:
I agree they might have done it to isolate Harry, but class mates would also know that Harry seemed perfectly normal and showed no signs of being criminally insane.

I think the Dursley's made that up about the Boy's school for Aunt Marge's sake back in PoA. Vernon was trying to think of a way to account for Harry being out of the house in a boarding school. Of course it had to be a reprehensible place to fit Aunt Marge's low opinion of Harry. Once they started with that story I think they just stuck with it for the neighbor's and everyone else. Harry's scruffy clothes and Dudley's poor reputation probably gave credence to the fact that these kids were not from the best home. But of course from Vernon's point of view, he was trying to just smear Harry's reputation. He was blind sighted when it came to his own child's need for St. Brutus. I do think you are right that Vernon was trying to scare people from asking too many questions about Harry and where he went to school. 
Logged