18 July 2005


Spoiler warning - I'm about to reveal a plot thread in the latest Harry Potter novel. So read no further if you don't want to know.

Okay ... You've been forewarned. So ... if you're still reading, you do so at your own risk.

In the latest Harry Potter novel, ("The Half Blood Prince") we begin to learn some of the things that motivate the evil villain, Lord Voldemort. I guess in this we also learn something of what the author, JK Rowling, believes about evil in the world. In any case, during his life Voldemort had learned about these rather interesting magical devices known as "horcruxes". They were never spoken of at the magical school he (and all the other characters in the novel) attended, because these are part of the "Dark Arts" ... the darkest in fact. Horcruxes are devices in which a witch or wizard might contain a piece of her or his soul. You learn this in early in the last third of the book. Of course that immediately raises the question, how does one go about breaking one's soul up into pieces so that it might be put into these containers? And what is the purpose of so doing? Well, the reader is informed, the purpose is to attain immortality. It is only when all the pieces of the soul are killed that a witch or wizard is finally dead. Wow, I think as I read this ... that is heavy ... and how do I process this with 11 yo LightGirl? But the real kicker is yet to come ... the way in which the soul is broken is to commit murder and during the act of murder to speak a particular spell. Worse yet, Lord Voldemort reveals his desire to split his soul into not just 2 pieces, but into 7 pieces because that would make him more immortal. And, I thought to myself as I read this, that does indeed tell me what the author thinks about evil in the world.

I understand it now and I have a sense of how this book is going to end and I'm not sure I can read the rest of it. I have to, but I'm not sure I want to and it's going to raise some ugly things with my daughter that she will have to deal with sooner or later in life. Maybe it will be easier for her dealing with them in fantasy land and moving to reality as she gets older. Maybe this is a good thing. And I just need to move one step at a time. I need to remember my own advice, to just answer the questions she asks and not the questions that I imagine her to have ... to let her control the conversation, so that she controls how much she knows or wants to know or wants to imagine.

So I will go on reading. But I will be reading much more slowly now. Because I am finding that there is a lot here for me to process and chew on. And that has been a surprise.


Blogger kate said...

I'll have you know, Sonja -- I signed up for a blog largely so I could post on your site. (for that matter, I hope you don't mind if I do post on your site! I have yet to read Miss Manners' Guide to Blog Etiquette.)
I'd love to hear further thoughts about the newest Potter sometime. As you may recall, I haven't read them, but I'm not dead set against them or anything. And I don't mind being spoiled.

7/26/2005 03:53:00 PM  

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