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Minerva McGonagall: Character Analysis



 
 
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  #81  
Old February 7th, 2011, 8:53 pm
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Re: Minerva McGonagall: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by arithmancer View Post
If McG had acted as I propose, this would have been clear to the students of Slytherin House.
I don't see that it wasn't clear to the members of Slytherin House. The students were all looking at "Pansy" when they drew their wands, not "Slytherins". I just don't see that Slytherins were run out at wandpoint with McGonagall's endorsement.


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  #82  
Old February 7th, 2011, 8:53 pm
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Re: Minerva McGonagall: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by arithmancer View Post
Yes, I think if someone had pointed this out to her she would have agreed Slytherin students could stay if they chose. But I also think you are right, and she was not expecting any to stay.
:e laugh:
whew!!!!! I'm so relieved and glad that this argument ended at a point where we both agree...!!!
It was really nice talking with you, arithmancer


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  #83  
Old May 19th, 2011, 1:13 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 she is pretty fair. She obvioulsy has a closer bond with the Gryffindor students but she treats them as she would treat anybody else.

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

I think she would be suitable but she is quite old so maybe somebody new to the school would be better.

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

I think her main loyalty is Hogwarts and by extension Dumbledore. She is also loyal to the order however.

4 Has her character changed through the series? How?

I don't think her character has changed hugely. I definitely think she is closer to Dumbledore and Harry towards the end of the series however.

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

I don't think she has had a huge impact on Harry. She definitely encouraged him to follow his aspiation as an auror though.

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

Its hard to tell since we didn't really "see" Hogwarts. I think she would have though. When Harry enters the castle she does come over to the Ravenclaw common room to find out what the carrows are up to. I think Snape held more control over the carrows.


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  #84  
Old July 3rd, 2011, 7:03 pm
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Re: Minerva McGonagall: Character Analysis

I really admire McGonagall. She's definitely my favourite out of the Professors at Hogwarts. There was no question in my mind about her loyalty and her trust in Dumbledore and the Order. When I saw some theories which questioned her loyalty in MuggleNet just before the DH release, I think I screamed "blasphemy" at the computer screen. I just could not imagine McGonagall as a spy for the Death Eaters.


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  #85  
Old July 8th, 2011, 9:07 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 she, like every other teacher, obviously had students that she liked more than others. I dont think she ever took this into consideration when punishing/awarding students. I think she was always fair and would give one of her favourites the same punishment that she would give a student she disliked (eg when she gives neville/harry/hermion and draco the same punishments even though it set her own house back hundreds of points).

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

Definitely, more so than any of the other teachers including Snape. Very clever, magically powerful and extremely fair. I always saw her as DD's deputy in every sense, his natural successor. I do feel that as a charector she was massively underappreciated in the series. Always coming accross as a prodigously gifted witch, yet we only really see this in the battle of Hogwarts. She even commands the respect of high up ministers and even the DE's daren't pick too much of a fight with her.

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

I think this is where hers and Snapes charectors and loyalties to DD difer. Even though she was a member of the order, I never saw her as a key member. The school seemed to be her main priority always, and I think that's the way DD liked it. Having a deputy at the school who wasn't as heavily involved in the order's activites. What would have happened to Hogwarts if all the teachers were killed in the Order's activities? Snape was always lower ranked than her at Hogwarts, yet higher up with the Order because he was needed to play the double agent. Another example of DD not putting all his trust into one individual, such a clever bloke.

4 Has her character changed through the series? How?

I think we see a natural progression with the charector. As a younger child I disliked the stricter teachers, however as I got older I got along with them a lot better because I understood why they were being strict and that if you showed them respect and gave your best to school they were fine with you. I think it's the same with Minerva, Harry and company saw the less strict side to her as they grew up because they were more mature than the earlier years. She always was a different type of strict to Snape, she only punished and scorned when she needed to. Otherwise she showed humour and understanding to her classes.

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

I think Harry had a massive amount of respect for her, she was someone that he knew he could always rely on. Examples of this were his disgust when she was attacked by the aurors on Umbridges command while she was barely ready to duel (I love madame pomfreys comment about how they'd have never stood a chance against Minerva McGonagall in the light of day and in a fair duel) and when he attacks Carrew when he spits at her. However, I always felt it was hermione who was most influenced by MM. It seems that she is a hero to Hermione like how DD is to Harry, in a way.

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

I think she really showed who was DD's second in command during the battle, to think Kingsley was present who was the future revolutionary minister for magic and out of the two I'd say she was the leader present. Magically I think she out did herself dueling Snape (although to be fair he was hardly gunna kill her was he? ) and then having the guts and magical prowess to stand against old Voldy before Harry turns up to finish him off. The magical world was lucky they were left with MM to pick up Hogwarts and sort it out after the war while Kingsley/Harry/The Order went about sorting the ministry out. I think this may have been how DD visualised things, making sure that MM was there to pick up the pieces of Hogwarts when all was said and done. After all he pretty much predicted everything else.


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  #86  
Old July 13th, 2011, 6:56 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
no i don't believe so, the most you could say is that in the first book she allowed harry to be seeker but that was because the gryffindors didn't have one and he's boy wonder but aside from that and like one other thing i believe she is overall fair
2 Do you think she is the right person to become Headmistress? Why?
yes, she doesn't have favorites wich wasn't the case with dumbledore everyone was his favorite, especially harry, but she was a wise choice she is good with the rules and plays fairly,
3 Where do you think her main loyalty lies?
- The school
- The Order
- Other
the order is a little above the school, if u remember in the fifth book she inactivley protested at umbridge who ran the school at one point but if the school is by the right people she may lie with them but then they'd be with the order anyway so the order is probly a stronger allegance to her.
4 Has her character changed through the series? How?
no i don't see how, maybe she has seemed to grow softer and more caring towards harry but other than that i don't see a big change.
5 What, if any, has her impact on Harry been?
a good one, that he can't always get his way, and that there will always be a place for him at hogwarts, that she does care for him as a son possibly, maybe more. but those are the things that stick out most,
6 What do you think of her role in DH? Do you think she was effective in protecting students from the Carrows?
yes slightly though it could have been better if it where a different teacher like snape or dumbledore in charge of proteciton. but snape was part of the other side and dumbledore was kinda dead so she had to do it. lupin probly wouldve been equally adequate or better even as well.


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  #87  
Old August 12th, 2011, 5:22 am
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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


In all capacities, she is relatively impartial. She took 150 points from Gryffindor in one night. I do think, however, she has a soft spot for Harry. At its best: she warns him of Umbridge; allows him to play Quidditch; etc.
At its worst: she bought him a Nimbus 2000. I've just always found that so dumb...

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

Yes. Besides the logical ascent of Deputy Headmistress to Headmistress, McGonagall's no-nonsense manner lends itself to running an institution such as Hogwarts. Flitwick couldn't see over the desk; Sprout thrives in her greenhouses; Trelawney would consult her Inner Eye to make any decision.


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


McGonagall's loyalities lie to goodness -- of which the school and the Order are subsets.

4 Has her character changed through the series? How?

Naturally. JKR really fleshes out her character throughout the series. When she catches Ron and Harry trying to visit Hermione in CoS, we observe Minerva's well-shrouded humanity. OoTP is a McGonagall festival. "It unscrews the other way" - we learn that she, like Hermione, might bend a rule here or there. Racing out in the middle of the night and taking four stunners for Hagrid speaks volumes of her loyalty. She and Hagrid don't always see eye-to-eye (no pun intended! see SS/PS 1), yet she goes out to his defense. And not to mention coaching Harry nightly to be an Auror (I have a Sue Sylvester-esque image...sweat suit, sneakers, whistle )

It has been a pleasure to see McGonagall's role evolve from that of a crabby schoolteacher to a devoted, formidable witch.

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

She has been Harry's teacher, Head of House, associate through the Order...by the Battle of Hogwarts, they seem to be speaking as two adults "on the same playing field," so to speak. Not to mention Harry using Cruciatus on the Carrow who insulted McGonagall. I'd say he's devoted!

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

This is difficult to answer because we see so little of McGonagall in this capacity. I do, however, hazard a guess that she did everything within her power. Her speech in the Ravenclaw Common Room, I think, confirms that she'd had it, and was ready to fight for her students.


  #88  
Old August 12th, 2011, 1:23 pm
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Re: Minerva McGonagall: Character Analysis

As far as impartiality goes I never saw a classroom situation where McG show preference to the Gryff's students over any others. She may have been closer to Gryff student due to them specifically being in her charge while they are at Hogwarts.

Telling Pansy she can be the first to go was perfect, this was a war, a battle, no spies or traitors in the camp.

And I seem to be in the minority saying that I feel McG greatly impacted Harry's life. Harry used a Unforgiveable curse to defend McG's honor and to protect her. (top five favorite scene in the series)
And let us not forget the heart wrenching mournful sound Minerva makes when she thinks Harry is dead, a sound to rival Ron/Hermione.


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  #89  
Old August 12th, 2011, 7:46 pm
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Re: Minerva McGonagall: Character Analysis

Quote:
Originally Posted by GryffSolider View Post
As far as impartiality goes I never saw a classroom situation where McG show preference to the Gryff's students over any others. She may have been closer to Gryff student due to them specifically being in her charge while they are at Hogwarts.

Telling Pansy she can be the first to go was perfect, this was a war, a battle, no spies or traitors in the camp.

And I seem to be in the minority saying that I feel McG greatly impacted Harry's life. Harry used a Unforgiveable curse to defend McG's honor and to protect her. (top five favorite scene in the series)
And let us not forget the heart wrenching mournful sound Minerva makes when she thinks Harry is dead, a sound to rival Ron/Hermione.
I stand proudly with you in that minority! I completely forgot about how McGonagall screamed when she thought Harry was dead - tearjerker!


  #90  
Old August 12th, 2011, 10:11 pm
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Re: Minerva McGonagall: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by GryffSolider View Post
As far as impartiality goes I never saw a classroom situation where McG show preference to the Gryff's students over any others.
There's a good reason for that - for 5 books, we only see her teach Gryffindors. She has no opportunity.


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  #91  
Old August 12th, 2011, 11:49 pm
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Re: Minerva McGonagall: Character Analysis

While I agree that she had a much more limited opportunity to show bias she did still managed to do so - a few example that spring to mind include that she let Harry get way with serious misbehaviour on several occasions (one time she even rewarded his misbehaviour with a recommendation to the house quidditch team!), bought a present for Harry that was forbidden for any of his year, Harry even notices that she chooses not to give homework to a Gryfindor class when there are members of the quidditch team in that class and they need extra time to practice for an important match - she does show a strong preferance to her house. I think that she is often viewed as being unbiased is due to several factors; mainly that she is likable and she is 'one Harry's side'.

Given her limited opportunity to show bias - she managed to show quite a lot imo


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  #92  
Old August 13th, 2011, 12:48 am
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Re: Minerva McGonagall: Character Analysis

McGonagall bent the rules with regard to the broom, yes. But she was not the only teacher to take Quidditch seriously and bend the rules when it came to Quidditch. McGonagall gave her players homework off, but she did not ignore reports of people hexing opposing team members. McGonagall gave her players homework off, but she did not over-rule a pitch booking in favour of her House team. I think all the Heads of House took the Quidditch matches seriously. It does not mean McGonagall was biased or played favourites.

Also, in regards to more serious matters, McGonagall did not make allowances. She punished students from her own house when they did wrong. She liked Harry and Hermione, and she punished them when they were caught doing wrong. McGonagall did not turn a blind eye to misbehaviour of her students. She punished students who broke the rules, whether they were Gryffindors or from another House.


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  #93  
Old August 13th, 2011, 2:52 am
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Re: Minerva McGonagall: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by kittling View Post
While I agree that she had a much more limited opportunity to show bias she did still managed to do so - a few example that spring to mind include that she let Harry get way with serious misbehaviour on several occasions (one time she even rewarded his misbehaviour with a recommendation to the house quidditch team!), bought a present for Harry that was forbidden for any of his year, Harry even notices that she chooses not to give homework to a Gryfindor class when there are members of the quidditch team in that class and they need extra time to practice for an important match - she does show a strong preferance to her house. I think that she is often viewed as being unbiased is due to several factors; mainly that she is likable and she is 'one Harry's side'.
I was responding to a quote that referred to her lack of bias in classroom situations. Since for some reason Transfiguration (unlike, e. g. Potions and Care of Magical Creatures) is never a "double" class when Harry takes it, we only ever see her teach Gryffindors, until HBP and NEWT level Transfiguration (in which, unless my memory fails me, non Gryff students are not even mentioned by Harry, though they must presumably be present...)

I agree with your point, in fact. I was pointing out the defense "she never favors Gryffindors in class" is not saying much, since we never see her teach mixed classes, for us to observe any differential treatment by House of the sort readers sometimes ascribe to other teachers.

I also think she tries to be fair, and some of her apparent unevenness in this area may be her trying to compensate (e. g. her big taking of points in PS/SS regarding the Norbert Affair, which contrasts with other situations in which she seems to disregard infractions of comparable seriousness).


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  #94  
Old August 13th, 2011, 2:12 pm
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Re: Minerva McGonagall: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by GryffSolider View Post
And I seem to be in the minority saying that I feel McG greatly impacted Harry's life.
I think she did, too. I think after ten years with the Dursleys, Harry really needed a role model who was both strict and reasonable. In my opinion, Harry needed to see that a strict authority figure could be deserving of the respect her position bestowed upon her, and that rules themselves were not pointless and arbitrary beasts having no function than to oppress the person they were aimed at. Given what the Dursleys were and what was come with Voldemort taking over, I think McGonagall provided an important demonstration of how authority should work.


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  #95  
Old August 13th, 2011, 2:54 pm
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Re: Minerva McGonagall: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by GryffSolider View Post
And I seem to be in the minority saying that I feel McG greatly impacted Harry's life.
I’m going to join you in agreeing that McGonagall had a significant impact on Harry too. She got his Quidditch career started; she acted as his advisor in OotP and encouraged him to follow the path to become an Auror; and as OldMotherCrow said, she provided Harry with an appropriate role model for an authority figure. That’s actually something I hadn’t really thought of before, but I think it’s very true. Harry had only been exposed to people who abused authority before he came to Hogwarts. But McGonagall is much different from the Dursleys: she does punish Harry several times when it is warranted, but she doesn’t abuse her authority, and she still shows Harry on a number of occasions that she cares for him. I especially admire her in OotP, where she tells Harry in front of Umbridge that he could be an Auror, no problem.

On another note, as I was re-reading PoA, I noticed that her attitude toward Divination is similar to Professor Binns' disdain in CoS for myths and legends. I liked that she wouldn't speak ill of a colleague though, even if she didn't believe in what that colleague was teaching (knowing that Trelawney doesn't usually make true predictions on a day-to-day basis).

Also, I like McGonagall's witty sense of humor. Some examples I remember are after the class has its first Divination lesson, McGonagall puts them (and especially Harry) at ease by saying that Harry looks in excellent health, but need not hand in his homework if he were to drop dead. Then, at the Christmas dinner when Trelawney is upset about thirteen people dining and asks whether Harry or Ron stood up first, McGonagall says that unless there are any mad axe men waiting in the Great Hall, nothing's going to happen. I also love how she tells Peeves to unscrew the chandelier in OotP. She may be strict, but does let her hair down sometimes.


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Old August 13th, 2011, 4:03 pm
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Re: Minerva McGonagall: Character Analysis

I love MM. I really wish there had been more of her in all the stories.

There were a couple of times when I was very surprised by her reaction to Harry:
- Book 1 ... Harry was frantically looking for DD. But MM told Harry that DD wasn't at Hogwarts. I remember feeling Harry's frustration when I read this. And I remember that Harry did not tell MM what he wanted to tell DD. I mean, with Harry being who he is, I would have thought that MM would have been more interested in what Harry had to tell DD.

- in book 6 ... when Harry told her that Draco gave the necklace to Katie Bell. After having him as a student for 5 years, it seems to me that she would have asked more questions about how he came to this conclusion despite the fact that Draco was in detention with her. Harry's instincts seem to be right most of the time. And this time, Harry trusted MM enough to tell her ... but she didn't follow up on it or get curious about it.



Last edited by Kryscendo; August 15th, 2011 at 4:06 pm.
  #97  
Old August 15th, 2011, 5:35 pm
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Re: Minerva McGonagall: Character Analysis

This popped up in the discussion on Snape and Dumbledore: Joint Character Analysis, so I thought I would post it over here:

Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Green_Woods View Post
Even between how McGonagall and Snape are viewed. McGonagall's treatment of Neville is in my view not exactly sweet or kind (and IMO harsher than Snape's actions towards Neville ever were), but I think the one great difference between how Snape and the other teachers are viewed is Harry's opinion of them. Harry thinks McGonagall is a strict but fair teacher and her comments on Neville go unrecognised to a large extent; her partiality towards Gryffindor is seen as okay because Harry is fine with it IMO.
Your comparison with her treatment to Snape's is spot on. McGonagall critizes Neville many times throughout the books. Additionaly, she, like Snape with Slytherin, shows preferential treatment to Gryffindors, especially when it affects Quidditch, but Harry benefits so of course he is okay with it. It's interesting that we never see the Ravenclaw or Hufflepuff head of house talk about Quidditch.


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  #98  
Old August 15th, 2011, 6:08 pm
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Re: Minerva McGonagall: Character Analysis

I wouldn't say that McGonagall shows undue preference of Gryffindor. Yes, she buys Harry a broom and allows him to join the Quidditch team in first year and she cheers for her own team harder than for others. But showing a little kindness to an orphan isn't such a bad thing for a head of house, is it? When it comes to disciplinary actions she's strict to her own house, even if that means losing points for the house cup; she cracks down hard on the trio for their midnight activities in PS. And yes, she chides Neville frequently. But, as I see it, she pushes her students in order to get improved results without threatening them. In my view, she knows where to draw the line. When she finds out about the passwords Neville carried around she seems genuinely upset and and angry because it put her whole house at risk. But she also encourages Neville when she finds out that his grandmother is patronising and bullying him in regard to NEWTS. McGonagall is protective of her house but she doesn't let things slide to make Gryffindor look better, in my view.


  #99  
Old August 16th, 2011, 1:56 pm
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Re: Minerva McGonagall: Character Analysis

I don't think McGonagall bought Harry a broom. It is never refered to as a gift in the text, or as a gift by Harry or McGonagall or any other character, in PS/SS or in any book following. I think she just arranged for Harry to have a broom because first years generally are not allowed to have one at school. There is precedence for first years to be on Quidditch teams, though, and I think it is a reasonable exception to allow a first year to have the equipment needed for their sport.

I don't think McGonagall, though strict, ever showed herself to be one who blindly follow the letter of the law at the expense of the spirit of the law. To me it seems that she takes into account the circumstances and intent around what happens (as she percieves it, anyway). When she thinks that Harry and Hermione were up on the Astronomy Tower and trying to lure Draco out of bounds with a dragon tale, she brings the House Points hammer down hard. Draco and his pals get the same treatment in PoA when they pretended to be dementors at a Quidditch match. I think she judged events like that as the kids using their talents (such as courage or resourcefulness) in frivolous and harmful ways, and sought to discourage that through harsh punishments. I think if she saw the circumstances and intent were for good reasons, she tends to be lenient, like seeing Harry stand up to a bully and save Neville's remembrall, or when Harry and Ron were caught in the corridor in CoS and lied to her about trying to go to the hospital wing to see Hermione. I think in those circumstances McGonagall is swayed by what she sees as the intent behind the actions, and because she wants to encourage kindness and courage she reacts very differently than when she sees students act with thoughtlessness or with cruelty.


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Old August 16th, 2011, 2:49 pm
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Re: Minerva McGonagall: Character Analysis

[quote]
Quote:
Originally Posted by OldMotherCrow View Post
I don't think McGonagall bought Harry a broom. It is never refered to as a gift in the text, or as a gift by Harry or McGonagall or any other character, in PS/SS or in any book following. I think she just arranged for Harry to have a broom because first years generally are not allowed to have one at school. There is precedence for first years to be on Quidditch teams, though, and I think it is a reasonable exception to allow a first year to have the equipment needed for their sport
.

Also McGonagall could see just how well Harry could fly. It wasn't like he crashed into the building or anything like that. She saw his potential as a seeker right away. I love that about McGonagall, when she spotted potential in a student she acted on it. She got the Time Turner for Hermione, she encouraged Neville to go for a different subject, she stood up for Harry to Umbridge's face and she was simply an awesome teacher in general.

Quote:
I don't think McGonagall, though strict, ever showed herself to be one who blindly follow the letter of the law at the expense of the spirit of the law. To me it seems that she takes into account the circumstances and intent around what happens (as she percieves it, anyway). When she thinks that Harry and Hermione were up on the Astronomy Tower and trying to lure Draco out of bounds with a dragon tale, she brings the House Points hammer down hard. Draco and his pals get the same treatment in PoA when they pretended to be dementors at a Quidditch match. I think she judged events like that as the kids using their talents (such as courage or resourcefulness) in frivolous and harmful ways, and sought to discourage that through harsh punishments. I think if she saw the circumstances and intent were for good reasons, she tends to be lenient, like seeing Harry stand up to a bully and save Neville's remembrall, or when Harry and Ron were caught in the corridor in CoS and lied to her about trying to go to the hospital wing to see Hermione. I think in those circumstances McGonagall is swayed by what she sees as the intent behind the actions, and because she wants to encourage kindness and courage she reacts very differently than when she sees students act with thoughtlessness or with cruelty.
She does seem to look at the whole picture and not just what fits into a rigid frame. She has a good deal of tolerance for people who need that little bit extra and she was willing to help them get it.


 
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