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Minerva McGonagall: Character Analysis



 
 
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  #41  
Old November 23rd, 2007, 9:50 pm
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Re: Minerva McGonagall: Character Analysis

Sorry Hes - I was clarifying my own post . Didn't mean to imply that you thought he was a teacher during Vold War I - the books are quite clear that he wasn't .

The contrast to Flitwick - who's also clearly on the Order's side but not in the order - does lend some credence to the suggestion that McGonagall forced her way into the Order by sitting at 4 Privet Dr. I know that it was a gap of 14 years or so before she had to take action again, but she showed her willingness then - and never wavered.


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  #42  
Old November 23rd, 2007, 10:10 pm
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Re: Minerva McGonagall: Character Analysis

Quote:
Originally Posted by chparadise View Post
Sorry Hes - I was clarifying my own post . Didn't mean to imply that you thought he was a teacher during Vold War I - the books are quite clear that he wasn't .
I must have been hit by what Luna calls a wackspurt, which makes my brain go fuzzy thus misinterpreted your post

Quote:
The contrast to Flitwick - who's also clearly on the Order's side but not in the order - does lend some credence to the suggestion that McGonagall forced her way into the Order by sitting at 4 Privet Dr. I know that it was a gap of 14 years or so before she had to take action again, but she showed her willingness then - and never wavered.
True, loyalty is in my view her biggest strength. If she believes in something she sticks with it, that's why she was always so though on her own Gryffindor students. Loyalty to the school and Dumbledore.

I wonder how much she was genuinely hurt by Dumbledore's lack of trust concerning his plans for Harry. Or did she accept it and pushed it away because of her unwavering loyalty.


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  #43  
Old February 26th, 2008, 1:53 am
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Re: Minerva McGonagall: Character Analysis

McGonagall is my she-ro!!! She's exceptionally fair and when its time to handle business, this lady ain't no joke!!! I believe her astrological sign would be a capricorn. She harbors all the traits of one. I believe her loyalties lie with both Hogwarts and The Order. I love the way she keeps her composure amidst certain company, very professional and classy. I fell in love with McGonagall after she took 4 blasts to the chest and simply stumbled. She's strong in more ways than one. Her strength is what makes her who she is. She doesn't fall to pieces like Molly, I'd say she's like Bellatrix, but with a more sophisticated air about her.

She is not to be underestimated and she's slick with her vocabulary. Knows exactly what to say and when to say it with sincerity and sarcasm. She exemplifies a true lady. Her mannerisms, strategy, and composure.

Furthermore, when its time to fight she has proved that she is not a "prissy" lady when its time to get down and dirty. When War was declared at Hogwarts she was the commander in chief and shot caller. Also she dueled with Voldemort herself the most so called feared wizard of all time and she was getting hers in with him.

She is one of my most loved favorite characters in the whole Harry Potter series.


  #44  
Old February 29th, 2008, 5:44 pm
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Re: Minerva McGonagall: Character Analysis

Quote:
Originally Posted by witchntr8nyn View Post
She is one of my most loved favorite characters in the whole Harry Potter series.

Same here. (Great post btw even though I didn't quote it all)

I've always loved McGonagall. She's tough, won't take any nonsense from anyone but she is fair and loyal. She was always the character I relied on to sort things out! No messing. I always remember being outrages when she got stunned in OOTP. And I think she had a great deal of affection for Harry.

She would make a great headmistress


  #45  
Old March 19th, 2008, 6:35 am
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Re: Minerva McGonagall: Character Analysis

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hes View Post
I wonder how much she was genuinely hurt by Dumbledore's lack of trust concerning his plans for Harry. Or did she accept it and pushed it away because of her unwavering loyalty.
I think she accepted it because I think that she understood Dumbledore and what he was doing. He had many reasons for not filling her in. 1)She was nearly motherly, dare I say, to Harry in many instances. Imagine if she ever got too attaced to Harry only then to find out he was a "lamb to the slaughter"? She never would have allowed it. 2)What Dumbledore's main reason was is to keep her focused on the school. Especially when Dumbledore figured out the Horcruxes he knew that he would not be able to devote his attention to the school and would need someone who could run the school in his stead.


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  #46  
Old March 20th, 2008, 8:03 pm
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Re: Minerva McGonagall: Character Analysis

Being in the Order means you have to do a lot of work outside of your regular job. It doesn’t just mean you support Dumbledore and the cause. Perhaps McGonagall is the only professor willing to do the extra work.


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  #47  
Old September 28th, 2009, 3:49 pm
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Re: Minerva McGonagall: Character Analysis

Discussion brought over from the Snape analysis thread, v. 13.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pearl_Took View Post
(Frankly, I think Minerva should have been more sympathetic to Neville too. She gets there in the end, in OotP.)
I feel strongly that the Wizard World we are shown is one in which modern Muggle child psychology and theories of education are not known. And thus I find that "should have" is problematic.

Especially as I do not see the evidence that Neville was damaged by his school experiences. He was not successful in Potions or Transfiguration, but he did manage enough OWLs to have worthwhile NEWT classes to take, and he grew as a person.

I do agree that Minerva had a responsibility towards Neville which Severus did not have, as she was his Head of House, the closest thing to a surrogate parent for him at the school. However, it is my opinoin that she discharged it, if not personally. I think she was well aware that there was a teacher with whom Neville had a close, supportive relationship, and in whose classs he was succeeding brilliantly. Namely, Pomona Sprout. "Moody" picked up on this early in GoF, which suggests,a s he was new there, that it was common knowledge.

Recogniziong that Pomona was more personally suited to help Neville and leaving her to it, seems a reasonable approach to me.


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  #48  
Old September 28th, 2009, 4:19 pm
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Re: Minerva McGonagall: Character Analysis

Quote:
Originally Posted by arithmancer View Post
I feel strongly that the Wizard World we are shown is one in which modern Muggle child psychology and theories of education are not known.
Which is a big problem I have with it, I have to confess.

Not in literary terms, obviously. The story is what it is.

But I wouldn't want to live in the Potterverse. It's rather ... regressive.

Quote:
Especially as I do not see the evidence that Neville was damaged by his school experiences. He was not successful in Potions or Transfiguration, but he did manage enough OWLs to have worthwhile NEWT classes to take, and he grew as a person.
Sure.

Quote:
I do agree that Minerva had a responsibility towards Neville which Severus did not have, as she was his Head of House, the closest thing to a surrogate parent for him at the school. However, it is my opinion that she discharged it, if not personally. I think she was well aware that there was a teacher with whom Neville had a close, supportive relationship, and in whose classs he was succeeding brilliantly. Namely, Pomona Sprout. "Moody" picked up on this early in GoF, which suggests, as he was new there, that it was common knowledge.
Recognizing that Pomona was more personally suited to help Neville and leaving her to it, seems a reasonable approach to me.[/quote]

Oh, I like Minerva a lot, and find her to be very fair pretty much most of the time.

One of my favourite Minerva passages is when she is counselling Harry not to antagonise Umbridge in OotP. The conversation ends with her saying brusquely, "Well, thank heaven you listen to Hermione Granger, at least," or words to that effect.

And her putdown of Umbridge, when she is giving Harry careers advice on becoming an Auror, is delicious.


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  #49  
Old September 28th, 2009, 5:41 pm
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Re: Minerva McGonagall: Character Analysis

I think McGonagall lacked patience with children like Neville and Peter - but I don't feel that her behavior ever crossed the line to the extent of bullying or mistreating them. Nonetheless, I do think there was room for improvement in her teaching - I think she could have worked on being more patient and empathetic with this type of student.


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  #50  
Old September 29th, 2009, 4:13 pm
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Re: Minerva McGonagall: Character Analysis

Quote:
Originally Posted by wickedwickedboy View Post
I think McGonagall lacked patience with children like Neville and Peter - but I don't feel that her behavior ever crossed the line to the extent of bullying or mistreating them. Nonetheless, I do think there was room for improvement in her teaching - I think she could have worked on being more patient and empathetic with this type of student.
With Minerva I don't think it was a problem of patience. My impression, is that she intended to treat her whole class equally. A bright student (i.e Hermione), like an average one (i.e Harry) like a weak student, (i.e Neville). Personally, I find this way of teaching, a really good one, as long as she was being fair with the three types of students. She was a capable teacher. Which makes me that think her teaching methods would be enough to help weak students and raise their self-confidence. Not to mention that being treated the same way as a bright student would help weak students alot. I spotted some compassion in her as well. In HBP, I was suprised by how kind she was to Neville, when he couldn't achieve a good grade to carry on studying her subject. The way I saw it, her manner didn't make him hurt or feel tardy. On the contrary, she tried to boost his ego, by saying that; while he wasn't so good at transfiguration, he could certainly perform admirably in other magical areas. I admired Minerva's strictness, too. Being strict was the way to help average students like Ron and Harry. Students who could perform very well, as long as they concentrated on their work.

She probably wasn't a perfect teacher. She had some flaws and mistakes, but I consider her as one of the best teachers we knew in the series


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  #51  
Old September 29th, 2009, 4:46 pm
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Re: Minerva McGonagall: Character Analysis

1 As a teacher, head of house and Deputy Headmistress.
- Is she impartial or does she show favouritism.
- Other


I think that she tries to be as impartial as possible, but she's only human. She's head of Gryffindor house so she's going to have some sort of preference to them, but she doesn't want to be seen as showing favourites (Like Snape was always known to). I think that she shows her preferences very little, but they are still there, like when she doesn't give Harry and Ron homework in the week leading up to the Quidditch match.

2 Do you think she is the right person to become Headmistress? Why?

Yes. She knows how to run the school and has done so on a number of occasions. In Harry's sixth year, we know Dumbledore to be missing from the school a lot of the time, so it's only natural that he's left the school in the capable hands of his deputy- someone who knows how to keep things running smoothly, and who is respected by (the majority of) the pupils.

3 Where do you think her main loyalty lies?
- The school
- The Order
- Other


The school. I mean the Order's important and all, but I think her main loyalty is to the school. She is, first and foremost, a teacher, and the protection and education of her students comes before anything else.

4 Has her character changed through the series? How?

I don't think that her character has changed, more like Harry's relationship with her has changed- it's the same with any teacher/student relationship. Harry's getting older, he's getting more mature, and she can see that, so she's able to react to him in a different way. She knows that he's gone through a lot more than most, and she's able to show him that she's a person, not just a teacher.

5 What, if any, has her impact on Harry been?

Well, as we see in DH, Harry has a lot of respect for her, and I think he always did. Yes, he got on the wrong side of her a lot, but that's the same with any students with their teachers- even if they're your favourite teacher/pupil, you're still going to have run-ins with them. I think that she showed a lot of faith in Harry, and what springs to mind there is Harry's career advice. I know that a lot of it was just to get at Umbridge, but I think that she really did believe that Harry could become an Auror, because she began to tell him about what he'd need to do in order to achieve it, even before Umbridge stuck her nose in.

6 What do you think of her role in DH? Do you think she was effective in protecting students from the Carrows?

As effective as she could be. I think that she may have worried that her standing up to the Carrows would have a worse effect on those they were bullying than had she said nothing. Saying that, I very much doubt that she did say nothing. I don't think that her actions would have had much effect on those two, they were very disagreeable characters, and we know that they couldn't stand her, hence the fact that Harry stood up for her in the Ravenclaw common room


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Last edited by Schlubalybub; September 29th, 2009 at 4:49 pm.
  #52  
Old September 29th, 2009, 7:12 pm
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Re: Minerva McGonagall: Character Analysis

Quote:
Originally Posted by bellatrix93 View Post
With Minerva I don't think it was a problem of patience. My impression, is that she intended to treat her whole class equally. A bright student (i.e Hermione), like an average one (i.e Harry) like a weak student, (i.e Neville).
It seemed to me, through aside sorts of mentions in the books, that McG did not treat all students equally. In particular, I believe she served as a special mentor for Hermione Granger. Little details that lead me to this conclusion include the fact that McG seeing Hermione's bad resport card was Hermione's Boggart, the fact that McG arranged for the Time-Turner in PoA, and McG's comment to Harry in OotP, that it is a good thing he at least listens to Hermione. (To know what Hermione was saying, she presumably had to have spoken to Hermione herself...)

I also think that she was not ideally suited to be a "soft, friendly" teacher for Neville specifically, in part because she would have reminded Neville of his grandmother, a person he feared almost as much as Snape based on is comments in the Boggart lesson of PoA. Like his grandmother, she is an elderly, so far as we can see single/widowed, tough, talented witch.

Then again, I do not believe that at secondary school, it is the job of every teacher to be the perfect teacher to every student. I do agree she is an excellent teacher.


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  #53  
Old September 29th, 2009, 7:56 pm
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Re: Minerva McGonagall: Character Analysis

While McGonagall definitely liked Hermione as a person I don't think she ever gave her any preferential treatment inside lessons. Unlike other teachers (excluding Professor Snape), who doted on her for her abilities. I think McGonagall only gave Hermione as much attention as anyone else in the class, making her more evenhanded. As has been mentioned above I think this made her one of the best teachers. In some ways her fairness made her a good teacher, in that no-one felt singled out or patronised. However, it didn't do as much good to students like Neville as a caring, individual teacher such as Professor Lupin.


  #54  
Old September 29th, 2009, 10:45 pm
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Re: Minerva McGonagall: Character Analysis

Quote:
Originally Posted by arithmancer
It seemed to me, through aside sorts of mentions in the books, that McG did not treat all students equally. In particular, I believe she served as a special mentor for Hermione Granger. Little details that lead me to this conclusion include the fact that McG seeing Hermione's bad resport card was Hermione's Boggart, the fact that McG arranged for the Time-Turner in PoA, and McG's comment to Harry in OotP, that it is a good thing he at least listens to Hermione. (To know what Hermione was saying, she presumably had to have spoken to Hermione herself...)
I agree and quite like the idea of McGonagall being Hermione's 'mentor' in the series. But I think this is less about McGonagall prefering Hermione, and more that McGonagall's strict style of teaching was exactly the kind of environment that Hermione excelled at, and also that McG was Hermione's Head of House. In other words, I think it was more about McG being a perfect fit for Hermione just the way she was, rather than McG giving her special treatment. Of course, their relationship changes as the books go on, but this is how I think it was initially.

Quote:
...and McG's comment to Harry in OotP, that it is a good thing he at least listens to Hermione.(To know what Hermione was saying, she presumably had to have spoken to Hermione herself...)
I always thought that this was McG being intuitive and knowing that Harry wasn't really intelligent enough to reach the conclusion (that the Ministry was interfering at Hogwarts) from Umbrige's speech.


  #55  
Old October 13th, 2009, 6:17 am
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Re: Minerva McGonagall: Character Analysis

I found McGonagall on eof the best Hogwarts teachers. She was a role model with a fierce desire to do good in the world, be extremely loyal and be a most capable teacher. Students rarely found the nerve to be particularly disobedient in her class, yet she was not cruel. McGonagall truly valued education and I believe she was skilled at spotting potential in her students.


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  #56  
Old November 10th, 2009, 4:50 am
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Re: Minerva McGonagall: Character Analysis

Quote:
Originally Posted by wickedwickedboy View Post
I think McGonagall lacked patience with children like Neville and Peter - but I don't feel that her behavior ever crossed the line to the extent of bullying or mistreating them. Nonetheless, I do think there was room for improvement in her teaching - I think she could have worked on being more patient and empathetic with this type of student.
She really pushed everyone to stirve for perfection, those who were less than average (ie neville) were pushed that much more by her. She was a very important "elder" or "mentor" type of person to Harry, but it was very much indirect than Dumbldore, Lupin, Sirius, Hargird. She was always much more in the backround, but present and influential none the less.

One of my favorite parts of book 7, a scene I am desperate and very hopeful to see in DH 2 (although very unlikley to see, due to it's direct involvment of the complex and neglected diadem plot) is when Harry does the crucio spell on one of the Carrows after they spit on Mcgonagall. It really shows the amount of underlying respect he has for her and that she has for him when she and carrow are talking just prior to the spell. The relationship betwenn Harry and Minerva was not really neglected, cause I think Jo already had a full plate of "primary" influences for Harry in Lupin, DD, Sirius ect...I would have liked to see more take place between them though. Not to mention more Mcgonagall in general.


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  #57  
Old November 11th, 2009, 10:12 am
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Re: Minerva McGonagall: Character Analysis

One of my favourite McGonagall quotes are

"But why would he be in the Ravenclaw Tower? Potter belongs to my House!"

I think it sums up McGonagall to the last 'l'.


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  #58  
Old November 11th, 2009, 10:32 am
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Re: Minerva McGonagall: Character Analysis

Quote:
Originally Posted by MC2456 View Post
One of my favourite McGonagall quotes are

"But why would he be in the Ravenclaw Tower? Potter belongs to my House!"

I think it sums up McGonagall to the last 'l'.
I wouldn't say that. Whilst the quote shows many sides to McGonagall such as her fond admiration of Harry and pride of her own house, there are still parts of her personality that are not at all sighted. McGonagall's fierce loyalty to the Order and Dumbledore as well as love of traching are not summed up in that quote.

But yes, it is a good one.


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  #59  
Old November 11th, 2009, 12:53 pm
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Re: Minerva McGonagall: Character Analysis

Quote:
Originally Posted by luvlunalovegood View Post
McGonagall truly valued education and I believe she was skilled at spotting potential in her students.
I quite agree. While she didn't expect all students to excell in her own subject, she believed that all of them had other fields and areas in which they could shine and show true skill.


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  #60  
Old July 3rd, 2010, 5:58 pm
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Re: Minerva McGonagall: Character Analysis

Quote:
Originally Posted by luvlunalovegood View Post
McGonagall truly valued education and I believe she was skilled at spotting potential in her students.
That's true. When she couldn't accept Neville in Transfiguration, she encouraged him to take Charms, because of his good grades in it, and told him "she would drop Augusta a line that just because she failed her Charm OWL, it did not mean that it was a useless subject," or something along those lines.


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