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URL:  https://boards.fool.com/i-love-the-series-but-i-do-find-the-whole-house-19242877.aspx

Subject:  Re: Potter (Spoilers) Date:  6/26/2003  9:58 AM
Author:  ROKO2 Number:  2039 of 3347

I love the series, but I do find the whole house elf thing to be a bit of a sore spot. I'm curious to know how she will resolve it. Some of you will groan for me saying this, but the whole "happy slave" thing is not cool with me. "I is going to do this for Master" sterotypical slave talk bothers me as well. Though I read one article that suggests Rowling is trying to play on mainstream America's (former?) perception of slavery - that slaves wanted to be both ignorant and slaves......laura

You bring up a very good point of this story. And one that may be overlooked by the stronger characters of HP and those fighting the Dark One.
We may have to look at the house elf dilemma through the lens of the British 'upstairs/downstairs' perspective (rather than from the American slavery issues.) While very cute and appealing, Nobby isn't really human. (Of course, the Black race in American history was not accorded full 'human' status, at one time, either.) So one doesn't know whether her direction for this issue - and she does make it an issue with Hermione championing their cause - will be emancipation or simply a recognition that every sensient being deserves the dignity of respect. Oddly, the very act of giving them decent clothing also gives them freedom.

Yuck. In this respect, I am rooting for Hermione, and I'm irritated that no one else will take her seriously. Dumbledore says that the house elfs are what their owners made them to be, so they want to be slaves because their masters want them to be? Well then, let's not want them to be slaves anymore.

The problems in tossing them out of slavery are immense if there is no infrastructure there to catch them, so perhaps the question Hermione needs to address is "What is the consensus of 'house elves' as to their destiny??" It matters little what 'we' want, if it doesn't make them happy or fullfilled.
But I do thank you for bringing in an awareness of an issue that young people need to pursue.
roko2


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