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Alcohol in the Harry Potter Series



 
 
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  #41  
Old June 10th, 2006, 6:14 am
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Re: Alcohol in the Harry Potter Series

Quote:
Originally Posted by WickedCharm
Personally I never saw a problem with the alcohol in the book, or pondered it for long until I saw this thread. It seems realistic, unglamorous, culture based. Accusing Harry Potter books of encouraging drinking is probobly up there with all the other ludicrous things it has been accused of. I am too lazy to make an off topic list no one will read.
Same here. It doesn't bother me at all.


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  #42  
Old June 15th, 2006, 7:26 pm
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Re: Alcohol in the Harry Potter Series

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Originally Posted by LikeLuna
I could be wrong about this, but doesn't it take more alchohol to get an adult drunk than a small child? And isn't this because of the child's size? In which case, it would take much more butterbeer to get a house-elf drunk than a wizard. We haven't seen a wizard be drunk from butterbeer, have we? So I don't think there's much harm in some 13 year-olds having a slightly alchoholic drink, which is legal.
I guess your point has been proven. But maybe it could be that house elves are less 'immune' to such alchohol, even though it might not be alot...? I admit, younger children who are shown alchohol at an early age might not be too hard up in it very quickly but house elves aren't exactly human...


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  #43  
Old June 15th, 2006, 7:30 pm
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Re: Alcohol in the Harry Potter Series

Quote:
Originally Posted by WickedCharm
Personally I never saw a problem with the alcohol in the book, or pondered it for long until I saw this thread. It seems realistic, unglamorous, culture based. Accusing Harry Potter books of encouraging drinking is probobly up there with all the other ludicrous things it has been accused of.
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  #44  
Old June 15th, 2006, 7:56 pm
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Re: Alcohol in the Harry Potter Series

The general concensus seems to be that removing mention of alcohol in the books would be unnecessarily censoring otherwise wonderfully developed characters, and I agree. Having said that, however, there are children who are extremely easily influenced.

This is where good parenting comes in. Any parent of any child should be involved enough in their interests to know exactly what's going on in the Harry Potter books. (Parents should be reading them anyway.) Long before any child is old enough to start reading the HP series, parents should have had at least ONE talk with them on the topic of "alcohol is for adults only and why", and "there's a difference between fiction and reality".

This is not to say that any parent who hasn't done this yet is a 'horrible parent', but it's certainly shows a lack of responsibility. These are the types of parents who invariably blame society for their children's problems.

So no, I think none of the mentions of alcohol should have been removed. If parents don't like it, they can read these books before their children do, and prevent them from reading them. I may not agree with their stance, but at least no one can call them irresponsible.


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  #45  
Old June 15th, 2006, 8:06 pm
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Re: Alcohol in the Harry Potter Series

I dunno, I mean Harry and co will all be of age in the next book, Dumbledore giving Harry mead at the Dursley's struck me as like giving him a glass of wine- socially acceptable (in Britain you are allowed to drink a glass of wine or beer in a restaurant at 14, and JKR is British), but I do feel it was slightly irresponsible for Slughorn to give Ron and Harry mead in school. However, it happens!


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  #46  
Old June 15th, 2006, 8:31 pm
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Re: Alcohol in the Harry Potter Series

Quote:
Originally Posted by Schlubalybub
Dumbledore giving Harry mead at the Dursley's struck me as like giving him a glass of wine- socially acceptable (in Britain you are allowed to drink a glass of wine or beer in a restaurant at 14, and JKR is British)
You can have alcohol at home (as that situation was) from the age of 5.


  #47  
Old June 15th, 2006, 9:47 pm
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Re: Alcohol in the Harry Potter Series

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Originally Posted by beth83
drinking seems to becoming a centre point (wrongly or righty) in british society. mainly because the goverment decieded that lettin the pubs open 24 hours was a good idea.....
I have to disagree with you there beth83. One of the reasons that the extended opening hours were introduced was to combat the increase in alcohol related problems in Britain. The idea is to mimic continental Europe, where these problems are not experienced to the same extent. It may also prevent the streets becoming flooded with drunks just after eleven o'clock.

There has been a lot of criticism over this policy, but the idea is sound and it will be interesting to see if it works.

Sometimes, it's just about finding the right balance between liberalism and prohibition.


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  #48  
Old June 15th, 2006, 9:59 pm
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Re: Alcohol in the Harry Potter Series

Slightly off the given topic but still alcohol related - as I was reading a bit this afternoon which contained "butterbeer" in it, I just imagined it to be similar tasting to butterscotch - which certainly isn't alcoholic.


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  #49  
Old June 15th, 2006, 10:03 pm
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Re: Alcohol in the Harry Potter Series

GoF - The Chapter Where Hermione Takes Harry To The Kitchens And He Sees Dobby For The First Time In 2 Years:

Harry: But that stuff [Butterbeer]'s not strong, is it?
Dobby: 'Tis stong to a House Elf sir!

That gives the impression that there is a alcoholic subtance in the drink.


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  #50  
Old June 15th, 2006, 10:17 pm
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Re: Alcohol in the Harry Potter Series

For some reason I always Imagined Butterbear to be like a creamy / warm root bear float. If that makes sense....with a small hint of liquor (like a rum cake would have..)

Quote:
Originally Posted by GodricHollow
GoF - The Chapter Where Hermione Takes Harry To The Kitchens And He Sees Dobby For The First Time In 2 Years:

Harry: But that stuff [Butterbeer]'s not strong, is it?
Dobby: 'Tis stong to a House Elf sir!

That gives the impression that there is a alcoholic subtance in the drink.
I always thought that the liquor in Butterbear was there for flavor and not for effect, but for House Elves, because of their size and maybe sensitivity, they were effected by the Butterbear.

Anyway, as for the alcohol in series...I never though anything of it. I know that thoughts on alcohol and drinking are looked at completely different in Europe compared to the US. No big deal really, it's part of the culture. Plus, Harry and the gang are 16 years old, and that is around the time a lot of people (even American children) start to experiment with alcohol.

Harry handled the alcohol very well IMO. Better then most 16 year olds might have.


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  #51  
Old June 15th, 2006, 10:39 pm
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Re: Alcohol in the Harry Potter Series

Well I didn't really notice the alcohol references the first time I read the books. I too thought butterbeer would be similar to root beer. I also associate wine with Europe and thought that naturally they would drink more wine there. I don't think it would really have an effect on kids... it's not mentioned very strongly and if you're going to drink alcohol, nothing's going to stop you. If you're going to wait until you're legal, you're pretty much going to wait. I think parents, family and other kids have more of an influence.


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  #52  
Old June 16th, 2006, 6:48 am
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Re: Alcohol in the Harry Potter Series

I'm pretty sure butterbeer is in fact an alcoholic drink in the series (however mild it may be).
I remember the drinkers getting a "warm feeling" from it and the house elves getting a bit tipsy from it. Plus, they would sneak the butterbeer in for celebrations in the common areas.

As far as concern for the alcoholic references - I feel perfectly fine about it and would share this book with my children without hesitation about it. Reasons follow...

1) This *IS*, after all, a book about wizards and witches. These children have a larger responsibility to worry about other than booze, and that's controlling their abilities to utilize magic.

2) This is also a book set in a country other than the USA where the tolerance for alcohol consumption among teenagers is extended in certain circumstances.

3) The people that are getting completely wasted in the series are not exactly being portrayed as "cool", in my opinion.

Long live butterbeer!!


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  #53  
Old June 17th, 2006, 11:52 pm
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Re: Alcohol in the Harry Potter Series

Quote:
Originally Posted by slinkydawg
The people that are getting completely wasted in the series are not exactly being portrayed as "cool", in my opinion.
That is for certain, though I think Professor Slughorn comes close. He is definitely enjoying his excesses, if only he lived life to such excess. He actually reminds me of Mr. Pettigrew, in that he hides his talents behind his more loathesome characteristics.

Professor Trelawny is just falling apart. The poor thing is just a stray, alone in the crowd. Another one with hidden talents, though so good, she even manages to hide them from her self.

Professor Hagrid is just an old softie that appears to get really blootered when he's upset.

Although I believe that Professor Slughorn is happy with his excessive drinking (except in the morning), all three are victims of their insecurites.

These weaknesses let them down, but also give another example of how people react to such adversity.


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  #54  
Old June 18th, 2006, 12:00 am
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Re: Alcohol in the Harry Potter Series

I really don't see alcohol being a pressing issue in the books. I've drank wine/beer/bacardi breezer at home before. I don't see it as a problem. It's not as if Harry's getting completly off his head, then going round picking fights with people "Sssay that *hic* again?! Hor*hic*crux?! You *hic* clearly can't hold your *hic* drink!"

I think it's just part of growing up. Are there any teens here who've never had so much as a sip from their parents glass?


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  #55  
Old June 18th, 2006, 2:16 am
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Re: Alcohol in the Harry Potter Series

Well, I'm not a teen since I'm 20. I've enver had a sip of alcohol in my life. None of my friends have either.

I always thought of butterbeer as non-alcoholic. To me, there is no problem with the kids having a little bit of alcohol. It does take place in the UK, and that is acceptable there. If it were to take place in the US, I would have more of a problem with it since it would be having the teachers participating in illegal activities.

It is not up to authors to give kids morals. That is the job of parents.


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  #56  
Old June 18th, 2006, 2:22 am
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Re: Alcohol in the Harry Potter Series

Dosen't bother me in the least, its not they are going out and getting drunk every night. And this magical England who's to say what the drinking age there is?


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  #57  
Old June 18th, 2006, 2:26 am
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Re: Alcohol in the Harry Potter Series

I don't honestly care that there is alcohol in the books. It's not about to go and make me want to get drunk. Also, isn't the legal drinking age in England 16? The kids are now 16...and anyways, see ADnotdead777's post.


  #58  
Old June 18th, 2006, 5:59 am
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Re: Alcohol in the Harry Potter Series

Quote:
Originally Posted by DevilishAngel
I don't honestly care that there is alcohol in the books. It's not about to go and make me want to get drunk. Also, isn't the legal drinking age in England 16? The kids are now 16...and anyways, see ADnotdead777's post.
It's 18 in England. 16 in most other European countries. lol. I visited when I was 17 and could drink in every place we visited except England. Of course, that's according to Muggle law... magical law certainly may vary.


  #59  
Old June 18th, 2006, 8:30 am
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Re: Alcohol in the Harry Potter Series

Here in our country those people who reach 18 can drink alcohol. That's our muggle law. But in Wizarding world they can only drink pumpkin juice on below 17 yrs. of age!


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  #60  
Old June 18th, 2006, 10:05 am
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Re: Alcohol in the Harry Potter Series

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dawa Lhamo
It's 18 in England. 16 in most other European countries. lol. I visited when I was 17 and could drink in every place we visited except England. Of course, that's according to Muggle law... magical law certainly may vary.
No, it's 5. You can't buy alcohol until you're 18 though.


 
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