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Old May 17th, 2007, 7:44 pm
MarieNC  Undisclosed.gif MarieNC is offline
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Join Date: 10th May 2007
Age: 40
Posts: 83
Re: Clues From JKR's Favorite Books

Jane Austen's books have a lot of self-delusion, and I'm reminded of them often in Harry Potter. In Jane Austen books, the heroine spends half the book with a deluded belief (Darcy is bad, Churchill is good) and then, in the final act, the truth is revealed. (Darcy good, Churchill a jerk). I think the Harry Potter books actually have a similar structure to Pride & Prejudice and Emma. In the same way, Harry is very emotional, and often makes snap judgments about people that turn out to be incorrect. (In each book - Snape, Draco, Sirius, etc.) I think that JKR is interested in our capacity for self-deception, and this theme looms especially large in HBP. She's said that Book 6 & 7 are two parts of the same story - I think the first half is the deception, and the second is the truth. This pattern mirrors the structure of Pride & Prejudice - in which the heroine spends the first half of the book believing that Darcy is a villian, and then realizes that the villian is actually a hero. She spends the first half of the story in a state of self-delusion, and in the second she finally sees the truth.

If this is true, when book six sets Snape up as the "villian", book seven will eventually reveal that he is a heroic figure. The internal debate that the reader has over Darcy's character is very similar to the debate people have over Snape's character - he's cold, rude, cutting, yet there are also clues that indicate he may be a good person at heart. From the very first book, Harry disliked him, and that dislike colored his perceptions, in the same way that Lizzy's dislike colored her perceptions of Darcy. I think, in the last book, we will finally learn the truth about Snape's character, and it will be very different from what Harry believes now.


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