POSTS TO HPFGU
2002-2003
     
       
       
HPfGU #52633

Ginny's invisibility

RE: Ginny's invisibility


David wrote (of Ginny's lack of development):

I think the starting point is that the series is a bildungsroman, so Harry is developing. As part of that, JKR is bringing in themes that tie in with Harry's increasing awareness and maturity. One of those themes that has received very little exposure is the nature of feminity and the role of the feminine in life.

I agree with David, and I also see in GoF many signs that suggest to my mind that the feminine archetype which I see as represented by both Ginny and Lily is likely to take far more precedence in future volumes.

As I read GoF, it is largely concerned with the developmental concerns of adolescence: separation from parental protections, rivalry with the negative or devouring paternal archetype, individuation. It is also the volume in which Harry's libido first really starts coming into play as a motivating factor in his decision-making (he is beginning to emerge from latency in PoA, but only just; it's really only in GoF that I start perceiving him as truly pubescent).

By the end of GoF, Harry has passed this hurdle. He has lost the maternal protections of childhood, and he has been recognized by Dumbledore as having behaved admirably by the standards of the adult, not merely the schoolyard, world. It is really only now that he is ready to start dealing with the feminine as a sexual or romantic force, as opposed to a maternal one.

It also seems to me significant that it is really only in GoF that we first begin to see eros set forth as a motivating factor for the adults surrounding Harry. The Dursleys seem happily married in their own horrid way, but there is no tinge of romantic devotion in Harry's perception of them. The same goes for Arthur and Molly pre-GoF. The adult characters of the Potterverse up until GoF seem to exist in a strangely sexless state, which I believe reflects Harry's own state of latency.

That changes in Book Four. In GoF, suddenly we begin to see signs not only that adults have sex lives, but that Harry is becoming aware of that fact. We learn of Arthur and Molly's Hogwarts courtship. Hagrid develops a romantic interest on Madame Maxine. Crouch's marital devotion to his wife is spoken of with envy and resentment by his son; it is a different type of love: "he loved her as he had never loved me." Eros starts making its appearance in the adult world of the Potterverse just in time to coincide with Harry's entry into adolescence. I agree with David in thinking that this is a reflection of Harry's maturing POV, as well as a reflection of the series' structure as a bildungsroman. The Potterverse is a mirror; it reflects Harry's own developmental concerns.

I am neither seer nor prophet, and I make no claims to be any good at predicting JKR's intentions. But I am expecting to see more of Ginny in OoP. I am also expecting to learn more about Lily. It does seem to me that on the thematic level, GoF has cleared the path for those plot developments to occur.

—Elkins

Posted February 20, 2003 at 7:29 pm
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