House Slytherin Archives

Posts about House Slytherin: its culture, its role within wizarding society, and reader response to its role within the series.

RE: Snape, the DEs and the Longbottoms

Snape and his relationship to his old Slytherin housemates and DE colleagues. House Slytherin's apparent emphasis on loyalty.

Posted January 22, 2002 at 4:12 am
Topics: , ,
Plain text version


RE: Real Wizards Aren't Squeamish (Pettigrew, Wizarding Culture)

Some discussion of why I find Pettigrew a more sympathetic character than Karkaroff, followed by the proposal that the wizarding world is a warrior culture, and that the members of House Slytherin are disadvantaged by the fact that their House's values are not those privileged by their own culture


RE: Snape & the DEs, Reprise

Speculation on Snape's old Slytherin housemates, including a Redeemable!Avery defense. House Slytherin's apparent emphasis on in-group loyalty, and the effects this might have had on Snape. Discomfort with the depiction of the DEs in canon. Defense of the notion that Snape genuinely favors members of his own House. Snape's relationship with Karkaroff, Lucius Malfoy, and Barty Crouch Jr. And an analysis of Snape's Sudden Movement. Also, the introduction of S.Y.C.O.P.H.A.N.T.S.

Posted February 08, 2002 at 2:36 pm
Topics: , ,
Plain text version


RE: Snape & the DEs, Reprise (With Bits of Where's the Canon?)

Snape and his narrative function: his indeterminacy, his subverting role in the text. His character: the tension between his instincts and proclivites and his moral principles. His relationship to House Slytherin and specifically to the Malfoy family. Also contains some discussion of House Slytherin in general, and passing questions as to the nature of the Dark Arts.


RE: Snape & the DEs

Snape as a principled sadist and sympathetic character. Analysis of both "The Egg and the Eye" and the end of PoA in terms of reader sympathy for Snape. Snape's divided loyalties in regard to House Slytherin.

Posted February 16, 2002 at 9:24 pm
Topics: , ,
Plain text version


RE: Draco Malfoy Is Ever So Lame. Yet Sympathetic. And Dead, Too.

Draco's inadequacies as Harry's peer rival, and other ways in which the text encourages a Redeemable!Draco reading, such as JKR's refusal to combat either Sympathy For the Devil or Hurt-Comfort when she writes the character of Draco Malfoy.


RE: Hagrid's Bigotry

A reiteration of evidence for Hagrid's tendency to bigotry, and more on the "not a single witch or wizard" comment.

Posted July 05, 2002 at 9:38 pm
Topics: ,
Plain text version


RE: Historical Analogs to the WW -- "Quaintness" and Nostalgia

Historical analogues to the wizarding world, specifically in terms of the conflict between the values of House Gryffindor and those of House Slytherin. Also, an analysis of the specific nature of JKR's nostalgia, and an argument that it is not so much focused upon the Middle Ages as it is upon the aesthetic of the Quaint, a generalized sense of "past-ness," which has more to do with the nineteenth century than it does with the Medieval period.


RE: House points and Dumbledore

On the Ever So Contentious House Cup victory scene at the end of PS/SS (commonly known on the list as the "Dissing the Slyths" scene), and on the arbitrary nature of the point system itself.

Posted January 30, 2003 at 12:22 am
Topics: , ,
Plain text version


RE: House points and Dumbledore, Authorial Intent, and A Question

More discussion of the PS/SS point award scene and the likelihood that it taught a bad lesson to the Slyth kids. Argues that since Dumbledore has been shown in canon to be fallible, a reading of this scene as one in which he chooses the wrong tactic in regard to House Slytherin is perfectly canonically defensible, followed by an explanation of why such a reading can still have value even if it is not believed to be the author's intent. Concludes by drawing a parallel between the PS/SS point award scene and the "Train Stomp" at the end of GoF, and asks how reader response to these two scenes differs - and if it does, then what this might say about the series' maturing perspective.


RE: The Train Stomp vs. Dissin' the Slyths

Suggests that by presenting events filtered through an ever-maturing moral perspective, the series is structured to actively encourage revisionist readings of the earlier volumes. Uses as example the "triumph over Slytherin enemies" scenes at the end of PS/SS ("Dissing the Slyths") and GoF ("Train Stomp").


RE: TBAY (Mild): Slytherin and the Reader -- Sympathy for the Devil vs SYCOPHANTS

House Slytherin and Reader Response. Draws a distinction between Sympathy For the Devil and the sort of 'rooting for the underdog' that leads people to identify with or like minion characters like Pettigrew, Avery and Gollum (SYCOPHANTS). Suggests that the built-in personality test of the Sorting Hat (practically an invitation to reader self-insertion!) might have contributed to the HP books' mass appeal.