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Molly Weasley: Character Analysis



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  #521  
Old July 20th, 2012, 8:11 pm
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Re: Molly Weasley: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by Divvie View Post
Well, based on JKR's comments on Pottermore, the Malfoys came out of the whole situation rather undamaged. Lucius didn't even have to go to Azkaban because he testified against other Death Eaters. So, lack of moral fibre obviously isn't a factor in doing well.

No, but it is realistic. Innocent people suffer, guilty ones get away with their crimes - it's not nice, but it is realistic. JKR didn't tie everything up in a neat little bow where the only people to suffer were the villains.

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However, this probably belongs to a Malfoy instead of a Molly Weasley thread, but the point I was making is that Molly and her family are a deliberate juxtaposition to the Malfoys, and this point imo still stands as seemingly acceptable positions in JKR's narrative, regardless of personal preferences.
Yes, there is a juxtaposition - fanatic murdering bigots compared to good, decent people who oppose said terrorists. Molly compared to Narcissa - it has nothing to do with money and everything to do with how these two women treat others, their values and priorities.

Money does not come into it. Harry is wealthy, yet he is not portrayed as a villain. Sirius is wealthy, yet he is not portrayed as a villain. Greyback doesn't seem to have two Knuts to rub together and yet, he is most certainly portrayed as a villain. Marvolo Gaunt was dirt poor, and I haven't seen anyone say he was one of the good guys. IMO, it is simplistic and "tying everything up in a neat bow" to say that JKR wrote wealthy villains and poor good guys.


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  #522  
Old July 20th, 2012, 8:23 pm
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Re: Molly Weasley: Character Analysis

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Money does not come into it. Harry is wealthy, yet he is not portrayed as a villain. Sirius is wealthy, yet he is not portrayed as a villain. Greyback doesn't seem to have two Knuts to rub together and yet, he is most certainly portrayed as a villain. Marvolo Gaunt was dirt poor, and I haven't seen anyone say he was one of the good guys. IMO, it is simplistic and "tying everything up in a neat bow" to say that JKR wrote wealthy villains and poor good guys.
Actually, I think it does when looking at the main characters.
Harry was initially poor - until he found out he was the Potter heir with a big Gringott's vault. He hardly counts as someone growing up with riches.
I doubt we would agree on Sirius, because to me he's hardly the "good guy", although I suspect you see him differently.
We don't know much about Greyback - apart from that he's essential inhuman, so again he doesn't quite qualify as a base for comparison.
As for the Gaunts - they were poor, but the Riddles weren't. Tom obviously managed to do well for himself - whatever tricks and ploys he used for it.

Dumbledores, McGonnagals, Grangers and Lupins certainly weren't perhaps downright "poor" but not really rich/aristocratic either. They were - from what little description has been available, were at least lower middle-class, perhaps - but not certainly - more.

Imo, by and large the "good" side represented the relatively disenfranchised (either by money, by class, or by blood) - whereas the "have it alls (money, class, blood) were shown to be the "baddies". If there is one or the other exception, it's just the exception to the rule, not a matter of irrelevance ...

The Weasleys fit the bill because they were poor (they wouldn't have been disenfrenchised by blood, although perhaps by class); I agree that this isn't the only criterion - however, it is one symbolic element of "the good" vs. "the bad" imo.


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  #523  
Old July 20th, 2012, 8:57 pm
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Re: Molly Weasley: Character Analysis

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She chose what made her happy - she enjoyed what she did with her life. Personally, I would consider that a feminist decision. Otherwise, feminist decisions are limited to what some women think every woman should choose. Which is constraining and throwing choice out the window once again. "A woman can choose what she wants, but it's only feminist if she chooses what we think she should choose"? .
In my opinion, that shows a lack of regard for others. We have a lot of remarks about second hand books and robes; blowing away money on a vacation that put them back in their same predicament afterward; Ron hating the fact that they're poor (he's the only one it seems to have an effect on), etc. If she really did forsake work because it made her happy, is that really feminist when it came at the expense of others? I only disagree with her decision to remain a caretaker of the house and children because of these things. If we knew more about welfare in the Potterverse, I'd change my opinions swiftly.


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  #524  
Old July 20th, 2012, 9:16 pm
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Re: Molly Weasley: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by HMN View Post
I've just started listening to Mugglenet's Academia podcast, and in the second episode there is a good discussion about Molly - basically if young women read her as a feminist.

And it got me thinking about her. I use the quotes above, because they really sum up why Molly is a feminist. I think if Molly was only a housewife, with no other abilities or aspirations, she would be the stereotypical American 50's housewife with no options for doing anything other than taking care of house and family. We see that if Molly wanted to, she could go out and get a job and support the family financially. But she chooses to sacrifice (a whole lot) to be home and raise the kids and be part of their lives. And we see as the books move on, her work for the Order increases more and more as the situation becomes more dire. When she's needed to help outside of the home, she steps up and does it.

It's interesting that JKR moves the series along in a way that Molly doesn't need to get involved in the war until her youngest is out of the home. Just when Molly has all of her kids in school or working, is when she's called into the 'working world' to contribute to Dumbledore's mission. And part of what motivates her to leave the happy housewife mode is because of her love for Harry and her children which she has already sacrificed so much for.

There's an article that has been circulation lately about American, upper-middle-class, educated women and the myth that they can 'have it all.' I see Molly falling in this category - that she could be going out and having a high powered job, but she chooses to stay home with her kids, because that's where she feels like she is needed most.
Very well said. I completely agree. And thanks for posting that article - it was an interesting read.

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Originally Posted by FurryDice View Post
Molly was on guard duty at the Ministry for the Order - which would suggest that yes, she is competent and skilled at magic. Do we honestly need to see her killing other Death Eaters to believe her capable of killing Bellatrix? We did not see Neville learning to use a sword, but nobody has any problems seeing his killing of Nagini as credible.
That's a good point. Harry thinks about Neville improving over the course of the DA meetings, but none of that was actually shown on page. And when it came down to wire in OOTP, Harry didn't demonstrate a lot of confidence in Neville's abilities when they went to the DoM. Neville survived that, but we aren't presented with a shining example of magical skill - his wand is broken and he was ultimately unable to successfully cast any spells because his broken nose prevented him from correctly articulating the incantations necessary. Still, none of that precludes Neville actually being skilled because it is the circumstances presented that prevent his skills from being shown rather than Neville himself.

The same is true for Molly, IMO. It is the circumstance presented that prevent Harry from seeing Molly in that context prior to the final battle. Nobody in the Order was going to take Harry along to observe their missions - they were trying to keep him out of such things after all. However, Harry is told about these things - along with Molly's inclusion - and that is sufficient evidence for Molly being a skilled and capable witch in regards to fighting and defense, IMO. I think what Harry does observe supports that because he does see that Molly is very powerful magically, is very protective by nature, and was asked to join the Order by Dumbledore personally.

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Personally, I think it's feminist because Molly chose what she wanted to do. She had other options, but she chose what made her happy. Why should that not be feminist? Is it only feminist if a woman chooses a career outside the home?

She chose what made her happy - she enjoyed what she did with her life. Personally, I would consider that a feminist decision. Otherwise, feminist decisions are limited to what some women think every woman should choose. Which is constraining and throwing choice out the window once again. "A woman can choose what she wants, but it's only feminist if she chooses what we think she should choose"?
Exactly.

The significant factor for me is that Molly - along with other female characters - made their own choices based on what made them happy. They could think for themselves and acted on their own terms rather than blindly following along with what someone else felt they should think or how they should act.

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Is there anything to say that the other Weasleys are ashamed of being poor? Perhaps she had other priorities - it's likely that Molly home-schooled the children before they went to Hogwarts.
According to Jo, Molly did home-school her children before they went to Hogwarts. That was the standard practice in the wizarding world actually - they don't have primary schools according to Jo. Hogwarts, Beauxbatons, and Durmstrang were all they had in terms of education. In Europe anyway.

I think what matters most there is that the Weasleys did have what they needed. They were poor, but they were not destitute. Sometimes they had to struggle to make ends meet, but they did make those ends meet and that's what counts at the end of the day, IMO. They had a decent home, plenty of food, and were able to provide their children with everything they needed for school on their own. They were able to reward their kids when it was warranted - i.e. Percy getting his own owl and Ron getting a new broomstick. They might not have been able to buy expensive things and sometimes they had to buy things second hand, but ultimately, what matters is that they managed to provide everything their children needed, IMO.

I think realizing that was part of Ron's journey rather than Molly's. Sure, Ron sometimes got embarrassed because he didn't have new things and that was particularly true about his dress robes in GOF. However, it wasn't the fact that he had second hand dress robes that prevented Ron from having a good time at the Yule Ball - the dress robes ended up not mattering at all because he was more upset about Hermione being Viktor Krum's date. Ultimately, Ron learns that there are a lot more important things than money, IMO.

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I don't think the Weasleys are held up as a role model rather than the Malfoys because they're poor. Personally, I would be extremely, massively disturbed to read a series where a family of murderous bigots were held up as role models. It isn't to do with money - it's to do with right and wrong and where each family stands morally. The Weasleys have moral fibre, the Malfoys do not. Therefore, the Weasleys are portrayed positively and the Malfoys are not.
Agreed.

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Originally Posted by FurryDice View Post
No, but it is realistic. Innocent people suffer, guilty ones get away with their crimes - it's not nice, but it is realistic. JKR didn't tie everything up in a neat little bow where the only people to suffer were the villains.
Agreed.

Quote:
Yes, there is a juxtaposition - fanatic murdering bigots compared to good, decent people who oppose said terrorists. Molly compared to Narcissa - it has nothing to do with money and everything to do with how these two women treat others, their values and priorities.

Money does not come into it. Harry is wealthy, yet he is not portrayed as a villain. Sirius is wealthy, yet he is not portrayed as a villain. Greyback doesn't seem to have two Knuts to rub together and yet, he is most certainly portrayed as a villain. Marvolo Gaunt was dirt poor, and I haven't seen anyone say he was one of the good guys. IMO, it is simplistic and "tying everything up in a neat bow" to say that JKR wrote wealthy villains and poor good guys.
That is a good point. There was no juxtaposition of all rich people being bad and all poor people being good from what we're shown. Sirius was very wealthy, but he was a good man who fought against the tyranny and oppression people like Voldemort wanted to enact. Harry may have inherited his wealth, but having money didn't change the fact that he was a good person. Aunt Muriel was wealthy and, while she wasn't a particularly nice person, she did care about her family and gave them refuge so I would say she was a good person overall.

Another example would be James and Lily - that is where Harry inherited his wealth from after all. James and Lily used their wealth to help others - i.e. supporting Lupin - and that enabled them to devote themselves to fighting with the Order full time since neither of them needed a paying job to support their family. I would also include Augusta Longbottom in that - she was presented as being wealthy and part of the social circle the Draco bragged about his family being part of, but she was definitely not a villain, IMO.

On the flip side, there were actually quite a few Death Eaters that appear to be poor. The Carrows did not strike me as wealthy or socially affluent people. Nor did those who were employed as Snatchers - most of which were human. Macnair worked for the Ministry in a lower level job from what we're shown - and it did not appear he was independently wealthy either.


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  #525  
Old July 20th, 2012, 10:03 pm
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Re: Molly Weasley: Character Analysis

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Personally, I think it's feminist because Molly chose what she wanted to do. She had other options, but she chose what made her happy. Why should that not be feminist? Is it only feminist if a woman chooses a career outside the home?

She chose what made her happy - she enjoyed what she did with her life. Personally, I would consider that a feminist decision. Otherwise, feminist decisions are limited to what some women think every woman should choose. Which is constraining and throwing choice out the window once again. "A woman can choose what she wants, but it's only feminist if she chooses what we think she should choose"?
I think everyone should choose to do what makes them happy so that's not an issue here. My point was that in a feminist world a woman does not have to choose between career and family, she can have both. Regarding the article that was posted, I personally don't see how it applies to Molly as there is no indication that she even considered doing anything else besides being a wife and a mother. Not to be off topic but I found the article rather misguided. It blames feminism for giving women fales hopes instead of placing the blame on the society which limits women's ooportunities and in women's own reluctance to ask their men for help when it comes to household chores and childrearing.

Back to Molly. Whether the choice is a career or a life as a stay at home mom the point remains that Molly made a choice while Arthur didn't have to make any choice and could both be a good father and pursue his interests and a career. Now, we don't know whether or not Molly actually wanted to do anything other than what she is doing. If she didn't then that's okay. If she did and chose to do what she is doing then that's okay as well. But I think it shows that there is a lack of equal opportunities in the wizarding world, if that is the case. Or it could also be that she never had any other aspirations so the choice was easy to make.


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  #526  
Old July 21st, 2012, 5:07 pm
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Re: Molly Weasley: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by Divvie View Post
Actually, I think it does when looking at the main characters.
Harry was initially poor - until he found out he was the Potter heir with a big Gringott's vault. He hardly counts as someone growing up with riches.
I doubt we would agree on Sirius, because to me he's hardly the "good guy", although I suspect you see him differently.
We don't know much about Greyback - apart from that he's essential inhuman, so again he doesn't quite qualify as a base for comparison.
As for the Gaunts - they were poor, but the Riddles weren't. Tom obviously managed to do well for himself - whatever tricks and ploys he used for it.

Dumbledores, McGonnagals, Grangers and Lupins certainly weren't perhaps downright "poor" but not really rich/aristocratic either. They were - from what little description has been available, were at least lower middle-class, perhaps - but not certainly - more.

Imo, by and large the "good" side represented the relatively disenfranchised (either by money, by class, or by blood) - whereas the "have it alls (money, class, blood) were shown to be the "baddies". If there is one or the other exception, it's just the exception to the rule, not a matter of irrelevance ...

The Weasleys fit the bill because they were poor (they wouldn't have been disenfrenchised by blood, although perhaps by class); I agree that this isn't the only criterion - however, it is one symbolic element of "the good" vs. "the bad" imo.
I will respond to this post in the Heroes and Villains thread.

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Originally Posted by SnapesBane View Post
In my opinion, that shows a lack of regard for others. We have a lot of remarks about second hand books and robes;
blowing away money on a vacation that put them back in their same predicament afterward;
Or perhaps Molly and Arthur had the radical notion that people are more important than things. They visited their son, whom they rarely saw. Ginny had suffered an horrific ordeal and a holiday would have done her good -especially visiting an older brother she looked up to so much. Perhaps they considered Ginny's recovery more important than buying material goods. I fail to see how that's a lack of regard for others. IMO, that is parenting with priorities in the right place - the wellbeing of their children was more important than buying shiny new things.

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Originally Posted by meesha1971 View Post
The significant factor for me is that Molly - along with other female characters - made their own choices based on what made them happy. They could think for themselves and acted on their own terms rather than blindly following along with what someone else felt they should think or how they should act.
I agree. Molly chose based on her values, her principles and her priorities. She didn't care about idiots going on about "blood traitors", or about blood purity.


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I think what matters most there is that the Weasleys did have what they needed. They were poor, but they were not destitute. Sometimes they had to struggle to make ends meet, but they did make those ends meet and that's what counts at the end of the day, IMO. They had a decent home, plenty of food, and were able to provide their children with everything they needed for school on their own. They were able to reward their kids when it was warranted - i.e. Percy getting his own owl and Ron getting a new broomstick. They might not have been able to buy expensive things and sometimes they had to buy things second hand, but ultimately, what matters is that they managed to provide everything their children needed, IMO.
I agree. Molly and Arthur were able to take care of their children financially. They couldn't buy everyone lots of shiny new things, but none of their children went without. They had their priorities in the right place, IMO.


Quote:
That is a good point. There was no juxtaposition of all rich people being bad and all poor people being good from what we're shown. Sirius was very wealthy, but he was a good man who fought against the tyranny and oppression people like Voldemort wanted to enact. Harry may have inherited his wealth, but having money didn't change the fact that he was a good person. Aunt Muriel was wealthy and, while she wasn't a particularly nice person, she did care about her family and gave them refuge so I would say she was a good person overall.

Another example would be James and Lily - that is where Harry inherited his wealth from after all. James and Lily used their wealth to help others - i.e. supporting Lupin - and that enabled them to devote themselves to fighting with the Order full time since neither of them needed a paying job to support their family. I would also include Augusta Longbottom in that - she was presented as being wealthy and part of the social circle the Draco bragged about his family being part of, but she was definitely not a villain, IMO.

On the flip side, there were actually quite a few Death Eaters that appear to be poor. The Carrows did not strike me as wealthy or socially affluent people. Nor did those who were employed as Snatchers - most of which were human. Macnair worked for the Ministry in a lower level job from what we're shown - and it did not appear he was independently wealthy either.
I will respond in the Heroes and Villains thread.


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Originally Posted by Sereena View Post
I think everyone should choose to do what makes them happy so that's not an issue here. My point was that in a feminist world a woman does not have to choose between career and family, she can have both.
That doesn't mean every woman should want both. Some women want both, some women want only a career, some women want only a family. All are equally valid. If a woman only wants one of these, it is not less feminist than wanting both. Wanting only a family is not less feminist than wanting only a career. Molly chose what made her happy.

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Regarding the article that was posted, I personally don't see how it applies to Molly as there is no indication that she even considered doing anything else besides being a wife and a mother.
There is no indication she didn't, either - we don't hear anything about Molly's Career Discussion with her head of House. We don't hear anything about Arthur's either - or any of the other adult characters. We don't hear much about Molly's childhood and adolescence.

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But I think it shows that there is a lack of equal opportunities in the wizarding world, if that is the case. Or it could also be that she never had any other aspirations so the choice was easy to make.
Personally, I think the wizarding world is more open to equal opportunities than the Muggle world - at least in terms of gender. If Molly had wanted to have a career outside the home, she could have done so.


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  #527  
Old July 21st, 2012, 6:56 pm
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Re: Molly Weasley: Character Analysis

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Or perhaps Molly and Arthur had the radical notion that people are more important than things. They visited their son, whom they rarely saw. Ginny had suffered an horrific ordeal and a holiday would have done her good -especially visiting an older brother she looked up to so much. Perhaps they considered Ginny's recovery more important than buying material goods. I fail to see how that's a lack of regard for others. IMO, that is parenting with priorities in the right place - the wellbeing of their children was more important than buying shiny new things.
Ron's emotional well being certainly doesn't appear to be given an inch of thought when they remain in poverty through choice, in my opinion. New clothes aren't shiny things. Decent books aren't shiny things. New wands aren't shiny things. Also, do we have textual evidence that the holiday was taken because Ginny needed a break? I would rather not deal with this through inference and supposition, but rather through documented proof that the holiday was taken because of the events during the school year prior.

Molly is not a feminist, in my opinion. She was delegated to fit the homewife stereotype and a stereotype that that I hope is completely eradicated in the future.


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  #528  
Old July 22nd, 2012, 2:40 am
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Re: Molly Weasley: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by FurryDice View Post
Or perhaps Molly and Arthur had the radical notion that people are more important than things. They visited their son, whom they rarely saw. Ginny had suffered an horrific ordeal and a holiday would have done her good -especially visiting an older brother she looked up to so much. Perhaps they considered Ginny's recovery more important than buying material goods. I fail to see how that's a lack of regard for others. IMO, that is parenting with priorities in the right place - the wellbeing of their children was more important than buying shiny new things.
Completely agree with you on that. On of the most important things any parent can do for their children is spend time with them, IMO. I think taking a vacation to spend time together as a family was the best thing they could have done - especially after the events of COS - and a great deal more important than shiny new material goods. The trauma Ginny suffered and the impact that had on the rest of the family warranted some quality family time, IMO. And not only was that trip a great opportunity for them to spend some time together as a family, it was also educational.

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I agree. Molly chose based on her values, her principles and her priorities. She didn't care about idiots going on about "blood traitors", or about blood purity.
Agreed.

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I agree. Molly and Arthur were able to take care of their children financially. They couldn't buy everyone lots of shiny new things, but none of their children went without. They had their priorities in the right place, IMO.
I agree. It makes no difference to a child's education if their textbooks are used or brand new. It only matters that they have the correct textbook assigned by the teacher. A decent textbook doesn't have to be brand new after all. In college, I bought used textbooks whenever possible - and it was really disappointing when used books were not available because the new ones were ridiculously overpriced.

Likewise, being unable to afford to buy the latest fashions or brand new clothes does not make someone a bad parent. Ron may have hated his dress robes, but ultimately, that was not what prevented him from having a good time at the Yule Ball - and he eventually learned that such material things were not important in the long run. Molly and Arthur were always able to provide what their children needed - and to reward them when they had earned it. That's what matters in the long run, IMO.

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That doesn't mean every woman should want both. Some women want both, some women want only a career, some women want only a family. All are equally valid. If a woman only wants one of these, it is not less feminist than wanting both. Wanting only a family is not less feminist than wanting only a career. Molly chose what made her happy.
Exactly.

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There is no indication she didn't, either - we don't hear anything about Molly's Career Discussion with her head of House. We don't hear anything about Arthur's either - or any of the other adult characters. We don't hear much about Molly's childhood and adolescence.
That's a good point. Jo never gave a lot of extraneous details regarding the adult characters. She covered what we needed to know in regards to the story. Personally, I don't think details like that make any difference - what matters is that Molly was a strong, capable women who thought for herself and made her own choices, IMO.

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Personally, I think the wizarding world is more open to equal opportunities than the Muggle world - at least in terms of gender. If Molly had wanted to have a career outside the home, she could have done so.
That's what is presented on page, IMO. The founders are the best example I think. Jo created a world where women were considered equal to men and not only allowed to be educated, but capable of founding and running a school on equal terms with their male counterparts during an era where, in the real world, women were not even allowed to be educated at all. Women are capable of achieving high level positions of authority - including being Minister of Magic. No one is ever shown to question anyone's abilities or skills based on their gender in the Potterverse. Millicent Bagnold was actually much more respected and admired as Minister of Magic than Fudge was.

In that respect, I would say Molly had the same opportunities as everyone else. She received the same education at Hogwarts - and as far as we're shown, there are no universities in the wizarding world. There is no reason to assume that Molly was not capable of working outside the home if she chose to - or that she never did, IMO.


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  #529  
Old July 22nd, 2012, 3:40 am
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Re: Molly Weasley: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by SnapesBane View Post
Ron's emotional well being certainly doesn't appear to be given an inch of thought when they remain in poverty through choice, in my opinion. New clothes aren't shiny things. Decent books aren't shiny things. New wands aren't shiny things.
Molly saw to it that everyone had whatever they needed; poverty implies there is not enough -- not enough food, clothes, inadequate shelter, no money for school books, etc. The Weasleys aren't in poverty. Molly is frugal with household money because it's a big family, and hand-me-downs from siblings and used books are common in large families unless there is also great wealth.


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  #530  
Old July 22nd, 2012, 4:58 am
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Re: Molly Weasley: Character Analysis

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Molly saw to it that everyone had whatever they needed; poverty implies there is not enough -- not enough food, clothes, inadequate shelter, no money for school books, etc. The Weasleys aren't in poverty. Molly is frugal with household money because it's a big family, and hand-me-downs from siblings and used books are common in large families unless there is also great wealth.
Your food example doesn't work because it can be replicated if you have some. The shelter was initially inadequate because she kept having children, like many housewife stereotypes do, and therefore had to make more room. They are so poor they barely have savings. They have to have second hand clothes. Hand me downs. Books that must be mended by spell-o-tape. Wands too. In fact, they do what many poor people do: spend an acquired small fortune immediately instead of saving it. Granted, it's likely to cover bills, but we don't know if they even have bills in the WW. instead, it was for a vacation instead of saving the money. That was selfish, in my opinion.

What grinds my gears is that we know there's a fund for students who lack the means to go to Hogwarts. But is that fund only available to the absolute worst that poverty brings or can it be used for those who would benefit immensely from welfare.



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Old July 22nd, 2012, 1:35 pm
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Re: Molly Weasley: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by HedwigOwl View Post
Molly saw to it that everyone had whatever they needed; poverty implies there is not enough -- not enough food, clothes, inadequate shelter, no money for school books, etc. The Weasleys aren't in poverty. Molly is frugal with household money because it's a big family, and hand-me-downs from siblings and used books are common in large families unless there is also great wealth.
Good point about poverty. We are never shown any of the Weasleys having to go without anything they needed. They have a decent home, plenty of food, decent clothing, and always manage to get all the school supplies required on their own. Hogwarts has a fund for students who can't afford school supplies, but the Weasleys never had to use it from what we're shown. They were never shown to be destitute or living in poverty, IMO. Being poor never prevented Molly from being able to make sure her kids had everything they needed.

Buying things second hand and hand-me-downs are excellent ways to save money - a lot of parents do that. I certainly do. Why waste money on a brand new set of school robes if you already have perfectly good robes on hand or can get used robes at a lower price? That would be wasteful, IMO. It's not like the school robes every change - they all wear plain black robes. Second hand books contain the same information as a brand new copy. Wands can be reused by family members - which we see with both Ron and Neville. And it wasn't actually an issue of money for Neville - Augusta Longbottom was shown to be fairly wealthy and part of the same social circle as the Malfoys after all. Really, the only time buying second hand clothes was shown to be an issue was with Ron's dress robes - but even there, it wasn't the dress robes that prevented Ron from being happy or having a good time. Ultimately, I think that was a good lesson for Ron - having shiny new material things is not what matters in the long run. Money can't buy happiness.

I admire that about Molly. She was frugal and managed to do a lot with the money they had. Her children never went without anything they needed from what we're shown. I think she gave her family what is most important - her love and her time - and taught them that family and friends are a great deal more important than money or shiny new material things. That's what matters in the long run, IMO.


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Old July 22nd, 2012, 2:32 pm
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Re: Molly Weasley: Character Analysis

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That's what is presented on page, IMO.
Not really, IMO. We see with the Black family that women were not allowed to inherit property, or they could only inherit it if all the males in the family were dead. And that's just one example. Considering how many women are housewives in the HP world and that we don't hear of any men staying home to raise their children I would say the wizarding society probably encourages women to stay home. That would make Molly less of a free thinker and more of a norm follower.

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I admire that about Molly. She was frugal and managed to do a lot with the money they had. Her children never went without anything they needed from what we're shown. I think she gave her family what is most important - her love and her time - and taught them that family and friends are a great deal more important than money or shiny new material things. That's what matters in the long run, IMO.
I agree that she attempted to teach her children that but as to how well she managed to actually pass on those values to them-- that's debatable. After all, all her children look forward to the day when they get to move out and start making money. The twins' succesful business being one example, another example being Percy. I would even argue that Molly herself didn't see poverty as much of a virtue really. She feels ashamed of being poor and seems to long for a better income. She lives the way she does because of Arthur, IMO who doesn't see money as an issue.


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Old July 22nd, 2012, 4:53 pm
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Re: Molly Weasley: Character Analysis

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I agree that she attempted to teach her children that but as to how well she managed to actually pass on those values to them-- that's debatable. After all, all her children look forward to the day when they get to move out and start making money. The twins' succesful business being one example, another example being Percy. I would even argue that Molly herself didn't see poverty as much of a virtue really. She feels ashamed of being poor and seems to long for a better income. She lives the way she does because of Arthur, IMO who doesn't see money as an issue.
I don't think teaching your children to economize means that you're teaching them to like being poor. Nor do I think that, for a child to want to make money and stand on his own feet, he needs to forgo the kind of values that Molly taught her children. Nobody likes being poor - and that's not a sin. It's the way you deal with your money and ambitions or lack thereof, that determine the kind of person you are, IMO.

Fred and George sure did have ambitions, but they are shown to always have their priorities straight. They come and stand by their family when the time comes and that, I think, is strong enough evidence of Molly's success as a parent. Percy, on the other hand, was just the "bad egg", as Aunt Marge would put it. But he, too, ultimately was able to realize that having integrity and friendship while being poor was the better path than having no integrity and no friends but lots of money and status. And why was he able to come to this realization? Because of the values that his parents brought him up with and continued to stand for, IMO.


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Old July 22nd, 2012, 5:58 pm
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Re: Molly Weasley: Character Analysis

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I don't think teaching your children to economize means that you're teaching them to like being poor. Nor do I think that, for a child to want to make money and stand on his own feet, he needs to forgo the kind of values that Molly taught her children. Nobody likes being poor - and that's not a sin. It's the way you deal with your money and ambitions or lack thereof, that determine the kind of person you are, IMO.
I don't see Molly as wanting to teach her children to economize or even enjoying doing it herself. At times, she was even ashamed of being poor and even when her children (Ron for example) complained about being poor her answer wasn't that there are more important things than material ones but rather that she accepts the situation and so should he because Arthur's salary is the way it is. That's the thing with Molly, in my opinion, she is unhappy with the family's finance but lives on Arthur's terms.

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Fred and George sure did have ambitions, but they are shown to always have their priorities straight. They come and stand by their family when the time comes and that, I think, is strong enough evidence of Molly's success as a parent. Percy, on the other hand, was just the "bad egg", as Aunt Marge would put it.
Percy may have been a bit overzealous in his respect for authorities (especially political ones) but I don't think he was a bad egg at all. He was right about most things and I can completely sympathize with his anger at his family. Having a parent like Arthur would drive me nuts (not to mention a husband like him).

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And why was he able to come to this realization? Because of the values that his parents brought him up with and continued to stand for, IMO.
I agree that the Weasleys taught their children good values in general but I don't see them, and especially Molly, as having succeeded in teaching the children that money are not important. For all I can tell, Molly didn't even try to teach them anything like this since she wasn't content with the family's economic situation either.


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Old July 22nd, 2012, 8:10 pm
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Re: Molly Weasley: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by StarryVeil View Post
I don't think teaching your children to economize means that you're teaching them to like being poor. Nor do I think that, for a child to want to make money and stand on his own feet, he needs to forgo the kind of values that Molly taught her children. Nobody likes being poor - and that's not a sin. It's the way you deal with your money and ambitions or lack thereof, that determine the kind of person you are, IMO.

Fred and George sure did have ambitions, but they are shown to always have their priorities straight. They come and stand by their family when the time comes and that, I think, is strong enough evidence of Molly's success as a parent. Percy, on the other hand, was just the "bad egg", as Aunt Marge would put it. But he, too, ultimately was able to realize that having integrity and friendship while being poor was the better path than having no integrity and no friends but lots of money and status. And why was he able to come to this realization? Because of the values that his parents brought him up with and continued to stand for, IMO.
I agree. Fred and George are excellent examples of that, IMO. While they certainly had ambitions with starting their own business, it wasn't about the money for them. It was about having a career doing something they both enjoyed. It was fortunate for them that their shop was such a huge success, but from what we see of Fred and George, I'd say they would have been thrilled with running the joke shop even if they barely managed to break even because they enjoyed the work. Still, family always came first for Fred and George - and that's something we see with them from the start. While Molly naturally had concerns about Fred and George making such a risky venture in starting their own business, she was also extremely proud of what they accomplished with it.

I wouldn't say Percy was a "bad egg" - not entirely anyway. His ambitions led him down the wrong path for a while, but he figured things out and redeemed himself. In the end, we see that his family was more important to him than his career. Ultimately, I think all of the Weasley kids learned good values and understood the importance of family because they had such a good foundation and good parents to teach them these lessons. I would also say that the twins probably learned good time management and budgeting skills - important to running a successful business - from Molly's example.


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Old July 22nd, 2012, 10:04 pm
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Re: Molly Weasley: Character Analysis

So much to respond to in this thread!

I think many of you have it right - there is nothing to show that the Weasleys were at the poverty level. They were clearly poor, but aside from luxury items, not shown to be wanting.

Yes, Ron is embarrassed and uncomfortable with the lack of money the family has. BUT we see in DH how incredibly worried he is about his family. Did Molly's dedication to her family have an effect on how much they all cared about each other? I think so. Even Percy who shuns the family for the time comes back around and realizes family and love is more important than power and position.

I think we see Molly's power come from the love of her family - the Boggart in OotP being the prime example. Molly wasn't after social position, wealth, or power, she just wanted a loving family.


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Molly is not a feminist, in my opinion. She was delegated to fit the homewife stereotype and a stereotype that that I hope is completely eradicated in the future.
I think unless you are a mother, and are in the position to make the choice between career, which means hiring child care, or put the career on hold to raise your kids, it's hard to judge. Before I had kids I thought I'd be a high-powered career woman, and then biology and hormones kicked in and I realized the time I have with my kids is fleeting, and there will be decades to work on career when they are out of the home. I had a biological need to stay home with my kids that I can't explain. So I sympathise with Molly - her family is everything to her, and she has dedicated years of her time and love to them.

Which is why my earlier post pointed out that it was interesting that Molly joined up with the order once her youngest was in full time care at Hogwarts - It freed her up to take on work outside of the home. I would have liked to know what she did post Battle of Hogwarts to see what path she took.

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That's what is presented on page, IMO. The founders are the best example I think. Jo created a world where women were considered equal to men and not only allowed to be educated, but capable of founding and running a school on equal terms with their male counterparts during an era where, in the real world, women were not even allowed to be educated at all. Women are capable of achieving high level positions of authority - including being Minister of Magic. No one is ever shown to question anyone's abilities or skills based on their gender in the Potterverse. Millicent Bagnold was actually much more respected and admired as Minister of Magic than Fudge was.
And don't forget Quidditch. How many professional sports exist in the real world where men and women compete on the same team?

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Originally Posted by HedwigOwl View Post
Molly saw to it that everyone had whatever they needed; poverty implies there is not enough -- not enough food, clothes, inadequate shelter, no money for school books, etc. The Weasleys aren't in poverty. Molly is frugal with household money because it's a big family, and hand-me-downs from siblings and used books are common in large families unless there is also great wealth.
Right. We never see the Weasleys asking for financial help. We see Arthur as a hard working professional who gets passed over for promotions (until he is finally promoted) but we never see them needing additional funding. Harry comments at one point that he would give the Weasley's some of his gold, but he knew they would never take it. I think they took responsibility for the number of children they had and made their income work for them.


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Not really, IMO. We see with the Black family that women were not allowed to inherit property, or they could only inherit it if all the males in the family were dead. And that's just one example. Considering how many women are housewives in the HP world and that we don't hear of any men staying home to raise their children I would say the wizarding society probably encourages women to stay home. That would make Molly less of a free thinker and more of a norm follower.
First off, we see a family tradition in the Malfoys that is not equitable, but that follows their personal beliefs as well. I don't think the Malfoys can be used as an example of what is the norm.

I don't know how many family situations we actually know about to say what the norm is. Neville, Luna, Hagrid are all raised by one parent because the other died. Hermione, we don't know what her parents do. Marietta Edgecombe's mother and Susan Bones' Aunt both work at the Ministry - but those are the only characters aside from the Creevy dad (a milkman) where I can think that a profession is mentioned.


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Old July 22nd, 2012, 10:27 pm
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Re: Molly Weasley: Character Analysis

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I think unless you are a mother, and are in the position to make the choice between career, which means hiring child care, or put the career on hold to raise your kids, it's hard to judge.
Yet men never have to make that choice. Why isn't this strange?

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Which is why my earlier post pointed out that it was interesting that Molly joined up with the order once her youngest was in full time care at Hogwarts - It freed her up to take on work outside of the home. I would have liked to know what she did post Battle of Hogwarts to see what path she took.
Molly would have had no problem taking up work outside the home prior to that as well, IMO. The kids are gone 9 months a year anyway and considering the fact Arthur can pursue both his career and his interests and still be a good father there is no reason why Molly shouldn't have been able to do the same. Considering Molly's personality and how driven she is I think she would have enjoyed a career more than Arthur enjoys his.

Quote:
First off, we see a family tradition in the Malfoys that is not equitable, but that follows their personal beliefs as well. I don't think the Malfoys can be used as an example of what is the norm.
I was referrring to the Blacks actually and to how Bellatrix could only inherit the Grimmauld Place after the last male of the family died. I think in a gender neutral world this tradition would not exist as a person's sex would be irrelevant. In this case though it clearly isn't.

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I don't know how many family situations we actually know about to say what the norm is. Neville, Luna, Hagrid are all raised by one parent because the other died. Hermione, we don't know what her parents do. Marietta Edgecombe's mother and Susan Bones' Aunt both work at the Ministry - but those are the only characters aside from the Creevy dad (a milkman) where I can think that a profession is mentioned.
I think Hermione's parents are dentists. My understanding was that girls are more encouraged to do housework and run a household in the wizarding society than men are which is why I believe Molly also made the choices she made.


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Old July 23rd, 2012, 1:12 am
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Re: Molly Weasley: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by HMN View Post
So much to respond to in this thread!

I think many of you have it right - there is nothing to show that the Weasleys were at the poverty level. They were clearly poor, but aside from luxury items, not shown to be wanting.

Yes, Ron is embarrassed and uncomfortable with the lack of money the family has. BUT we see in DH how incredibly worried he is about his family. Did Molly's dedication to her family have an effect on how much they all cared about each other? I think so. Even Percy who shuns the family for the time comes back around and realizes family and love is more important than power and position.

I think we see Molly's power come from the love of her family - the Boggart in OotP being the prime example. Molly wasn't after social position, wealth, or power, she just wanted a loving family.
Agreed.

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I think unless you are a mother, and are in the position to make the choice between career, which means hiring child care, or put the career on hold to raise your kids, it's hard to judge. Before I had kids I thought I'd be a high-powered career woman, and then biology and hormones kicked in and I realized the time I have with my kids is fleeting, and there will be decades to work on career when they are out of the home. I had a biological need to stay home with my kids that I can't explain. So I sympathise with Molly - her family is everything to her, and she has dedicated years of her time and love to them.

Which is why my earlier post pointed out that it was interesting that Molly joined up with the order once her youngest was in full time care at Hogwarts - It freed her up to take on work outside of the home. I would have liked to know what she did post Battle of Hogwarts to see what path she took.
For me, it was the day I discovered that my babysitter had heard my youngest son's first words instead of me. That's a moment I'll never get back. I put my notice in shortly after that. Between the cost of gas to make the 35 mile drive and struggling to pay for childcare each week and realizing that I was missing all those important moments in my kids' lives, it just wasn't worth it. That article you posted before reminded me of all the problems I encountered - and I think the changes she proposed would make a big difference.

Molly had a child - or children - at home until Ginny started Hogwarts in COS. She home-schooled all of her kids before they went to Hogwarts. We don't know what Molly did during the 9/10 months the kids were at school in COS, POA, or GOF. Then again, those were not uneventful school years either. Ginny's first year was marked by students getting attacked - culminating with Ginny almost dying. POA was marked by Sirius Black escaping Azkaban - and Molly believed he was guilty until the end of GOF - culminating with Ron ending up in the hospital wing. GOF was marked by the tournament - specifically, Harry getting entered into the tournament and ending up in the hospital wing by the end. And that was after he revealed that Voldemort had returned. Molly joined the Order at that point. I agree that it would be interesting to find out what she did after the war was over.

Quote:
And don't forget Quidditch. How many professional sports exist in the real world where men and women compete on the same team?
That's an excellent point.

Quote:
Right. We never see the Weasleys asking for financial help. We see Arthur as a hard working professional who gets passed over for promotions (until he is finally promoted) but we never see them needing additional funding. Harry comments at one point that he would give the Weasley's some of his gold, but he knew they would never take it. I think they took responsibility for the number of children they had and made their income work for them.
I agree. From what we're shown, they had enough to provide for the needs of their family. Molly was frugal and budgeted their income well so the Weasley kids never had to go without anything they needed from what we're shown.

Quote:
First off, we see a family tradition in the Malfoys that is not equitable, but that follows their personal beliefs as well. I don't think the Malfoys can be used as an example of what is the norm.
We also see that with the Blacks. That appears to be more of an issue of the family name rather than gender to me. Malfoy Manor keeps that name because it always belongs to someone bearing the Malfoy name. However, I don't think two families who were presented to be nearly fanatical about their family names - as well as wealth and social position - are representative of the wizarding world as a whole. Overall, we are presented with a society that is gender neutral, IMO.

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I don't know how many family situations we actually know about to say what the norm is. Neville, Luna, Hagrid are all raised by one parent because the other died. Hermione, we don't know what her parents do. Marietta Edgecombe's mother and Susan Bones' Aunt both work at the Ministry - but those are the only characters aside from the Creevy dad (a milkman) where I can think that a profession is mentioned.
Hermione's parents were both dentists. Augusta Longbottom was a single guardian to Neville. No career was mentioned for her, but since she was his grandmother, she may have chosen to retire from a career to raise Neville - which I think would be understandable considering what happened to his parents.

Hagrid was raised by his father - his giantess mother abandoned them. There's no mention of a profession for him. Luna was also raised by her father after her mother died - Xenophilius worked out of his home to publish The Quibbler so he was able to set his own hours. Tonks was an Auror prior to getting pregnant, but it's not mentioned if she kept working after. I think she probably at least took a leave of absence. I don't think Molly was the only person who chose raising her family over a career though.


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  #539  
Old July 23rd, 2012, 1:59 pm
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Re: Molly Weasley: Character Analysis

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Yet men never have to make that choice. Why isn't this strange?
I know plenty of stay at home dads. It's not always the mother who chooses to stay home, but women may be more biologically compelled to take that path.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sereena
I was referrring to the Blacks actually and to how Bellatrix could only inherit the Grimmauld Place after the last male of the family died. I think in a gender neutral world this tradition would not exist as a person's sex would be irrelevant. In this case though it clearly isn't.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Meesha
We also see that with the Blacks. That appears to be more of an issue of the family name rather than gender to me. Malfoy Manor keeps that name because it always belongs to someone bearing the Malfoy name. However, I don't think two families who were presented to be nearly fanatical about their family names - as well as wealth and social position - are representative of the wizarding world as a whole. Overall, we are presented with a society that is gender neutral, IMO.
My bad, I know you meant the Black family, but my mind equated it to the Malfoys, which seem to follow the same tradition.

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Originally Posted by Sereena
Molly would have had no problem taking up work outside the home prior to that as well, IMO. The kids are gone 9 months a year anyway and considering the fact Arthur can pursue both his career and his interests and still be a good father there is no reason why Molly shouldn't have been able to do the same. Considering Molly's personality and how driven she is I think she would have enjoyed a career more than Arthur enjoys his.
Well, Arthur has the freedom to pursue his interests because 1. the kids are older and don't need constant babysitting, and 2. he has Molly to take care of the house and meals while he's at work.

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Originally Posted by Meesha
Molly had a child - or children - at home until Ginny started Hogwarts in COS. She home-schooled all of her kids before they went to Hogwarts. We don't know what Molly did during the 9/10 months the kids were at school in COS, POA, or GOF.
Right, so Molly did have a profession - she just wasn't paid for it! How many years was she a teacher? More than a decade, and with no money to show for it. Wow.
I have a friend who homeschools - it's intense. As much as I love my kids, I don't think I could do it.

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Originally Posted by meesha1971 View Post
That article you posted before reminded me of all the problems I encountered - and I think the changes she proposed would make a big difference.
I've been reading Bringing up Bebe - a book about the differences in French and American parenting. It makes me so frustrated that a country like France has such institutional amazing child care, and the US doesn't. According to this book French women are encouraged to get back to 'regular life' (whatever that is for them) shortly after a child is born, with the help of free daycare, nursery schools, healthcare professionals and more.

It's hard to speculate what the wizarding world has for childcare options. It's such a small community, and knowing that many homeschool, I'd have to say childcare outside of the home doesn't exist. Perhaps there are places in bigger cities like London, but where the Burrow is, I would think Molly had it all on her shoulders.


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Originally Posted by Meesha
I don't think Molly was the only person who chose raising her family over a career though.
Definitely not, I was just trying to say that we don't have enough information to know if this is the norm or not.


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  #540  
Old July 23rd, 2012, 10:00 pm
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Re: Molly Weasley: Character Analysis

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Right, so Molly did have a profession - she just wasn't paid for it! How many years was she a teacher? More than a decade, and with no money to show for it. Wow.
I have a friend who homeschools - it's intense. As much as I love my kids, I don't think I could do it.
It is. I home-schooled my kids when we lived in Ohio - there is a lot of work involved. Bill was born in 1970 and Ginny started at Hogwarts in 1992 so, if they started at a kindergarten level around the age of 5, Molly would have been teaching from around mid 1975 or 1976 to mid 1992.

And that's on top of all the other professions incorporated into being a mother - healer, financial manager, personal shopper, cook, maid, travel agent, creative advisor, party planner, crisis/hostage negotiator (absolute necessity with more than one child - especially with kids like Fred and George ), law enforcement - even wedding planner. A mother wears a lot of professional hats even if she doesn't earn a salary.

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I've been reading Bringing up Bebe - a book about the differences in French and American parenting. It makes me so frustrated that a country like France has such institutional amazing child care, and the US doesn't. According to this book French women are encouraged to get back to 'regular life' (whatever that is for them) shortly after a child is born, with the help of free daycare, nursery schools, healthcare professionals and more.

It's hard to speculate what the wizarding world has for childcare options. It's such a small community, and knowing that many homeschool, I'd have to say childcare outside of the home doesn't exist. Perhaps there are places in bigger cities like London, but where the Burrow is, I would think Molly had it all on her shoulders.
From what Jo said, pretty much all of the wizarding families home-school their children because there are no primary schools. Muggle schools aren't really an option because magical children tend to have accidents - like Harry turning his teacher's hair blue and ending up on the roof of a building. Having a few muggleborns in muggle schools is a risk in regards to the statute of secrecy, but that's easier to manage because there aren't very many of them.

There's no indication of there being any daycare facilities in the wizarding world either. It seems that wizarding parents are entirely responsible for the care and education of their children until they are old enough to attend Hogwarts. Private childcare or having servants might be utilized by some families, but that would be expensive so I think that would be limited to wealthier families. Really wealthy families like the Malfoys or the Blacks would have house-elves they could assign childcare duties to as well. But the average family and those who were poor wouldn't be able to afford that.

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Definitely not, I was just trying to say that we don't have enough information to know if this is the norm or not.
I agree. We are limited to Harry's observations and he didn't really think about stuff like this the way we do.


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Reform must come from within, not from without. ~ James Cardinal Gibbons

"So, if people want information on my characters, then they have to accept that I'm going to give them the information on the characters. And if they don't like it, that's the nature of fiction. You have to accept someone else's world because they made that world, so they probably know a little better than you do what goes on there." ~ J.K. Rowling


All posts are my opinions and interpretations based on reading the Harry Potter books and interviews with J.K. Rowling.

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