Monday, 19 December 2016

Ecofeminism in Mass Media Imagery

Reading Mass Media Imagery: Ecofeminism

It is normal practice to associate female imagery whenever mass media deals with Nature. The mass media is all about popular, shallow and superficial human psychology. It deals with what is popular and at superficial shallow level of memory. At this conscious level of memory, people readily accepts imagery which are floating at upper surface of memory. That is the reason why nature is so easily and conveniently associated with female. Without any question, it is readily accepted by the people of all cultures.

That is the reason that this political newspaper print advertisement gets accepted without any question.



Who will help us to critically examine this and similar mass-media imagery where female is equated with nature (and sometimes children too - the innocence of children is also exploited in similar manner in mass media imagery. Here both images are used)?
Well, let us quote Richard Kerridge at length to contextualize this hypothesis in proper theoretical framework.
"In 1974, an influential essay by Sherry B. Ortner, 'Is Female to Male as Nature Is to Culture?', sought to explain, in terms of structuralist anthropology, the presence in diverse cultures of the idea that women were subordinate to men. The underlying idea, Ortner discovers, is that woman is closer to nature. (Buell, Lawrence, The Environmental Imagination). This helps to explain the acquiescence (agree to something passively: to agree or comply with something in a passive or reserved way) of women in their own subordination: they accept the general logic of human domination of nature.Beliefs that legitimate the oppression of women also legitimate environmental degradation. This is ecofeminism's key insight. Certain fundamental binary oppositions fit neatly over one another, creating the ideological basis for both sorts of harm:
Male     |    Female
Culture  |      Nature
Reason    |    Emotion
Mind    |     Body" 
(Kerridge)


Sherry Ortner concludes the essay with remarkable observation wherein she brings out the debate of Nature vs Culture equating it with Female vs Male:
"Ultimately, it must be stressed again that the whole scheme is a construct of culture rather than a fact of nature. Woman is not “in reality” any closer to (or further from) nature than man – both have consciousness, both are mortal. But there are certainly reasons why she appears that way, which is what I have tried to show in this paper. The result is a (sadly) efficient feedback system: various aspects of woman’s situation (physical, social, psychological) contribute to her being seen as closer to nature, while the view of her as closer to nature is in turn embodied in institutional forms that reproduce her situation. The implications for social change are similarly circular: a different cultural view can only grow out of a different social actuality; a different social actuality can only grow out of a different cultural view. It is clear, then, that the situation must be attacked from both sides. Efforts directed solely at changing the social institutions – through setting quotas on hiring, for example, or through passing equal-pay-for-equal-work laws – cannot have far-reaching effects if cultural language and imagery continue to purvey a relatively devalued view of women. But at the same time efforts directed solely at changing cultural assumptions – through male and female consciousness-raising groups, for example, or through revision of educational materials and mass-media imagery – cannot be successful unless the institutional base of the society is changed to support and reinforce the changed cultural view. Ultimately, both men and women can and must be equally involved in projects of creativity and transcendence. Only then will women be seen as aligned with culture, in culture’s ongoing dialectic with nature."
In short, we must be absolutely clear about what we are trying to explain before explaining it. We may differentiate three levels of the problem:
1. The universal fact of culturally attributed second-class status of woman in every society. Two questions are important here. First, what do we mean by this; what is our evidence that this is a universal fact? And second, how are we to explain this fact, once having established it?
2. Specific ideologies, symbolizations, and social-structural arrangements pertaining to women that vary widely from culture to culture. The problem at this level is to account for any particular cultural complex in terms of factors specific to that group-the standard level of anthropological analysis.
3. Observable on-the-ground details of women’s activities, contributions, powers, influence, etc., often at variance with cultural ideology (although always constrained within the assumption that women may never be officially preeminent in the total system). This is the level of direct observation, often adopted now by feminist-oriented anthropologists.
Three types of data would suffice: (1) elements of cultural ideology and informants’ statements that explicitly devalue women, according them, their roles, their tasks, their products, and their social milieux less prestige than are accorded men and the male correlates; (2) symbolic devices, such as the attribution of defilement, which may be interpreted as implicitly making a statement of inferior valuation; and (3) social-structural arrangements that exclude women from participation in or contact with some realm in which the highest powers of the society are felt to reside.2 These three types of data may all of course be interrelated.
It all begins of course with the body and the natural procreative functions specific to women alone. We can sort out for discussion three levels at which this absolute physiological fact has significance: (1) woman’s body and its functions, more involved more of the time with “species life,” seem to place her closer to nature, in contrast to man’s physiology, which frees him more completely to take up the projects of culture; (2) woman’s body and its functions place her in social roles that in turn are considered to be at a lower order of the cultural process than man’s; and (3) woman’s traditional social roles, imposed because of her body and its functions, in turn give her a different psychic structure, which, like her physiological nature and her social roles, is seen as being closer to nature.
Kolodny's The Lady of the Land examines the way in which colonial nature writers in the USA represented the land as female. Louise Westling's The Green Breast of the New World (1996) extends this analysis to twentieth-century novels. 
Some may argue that the use of female imagery in this ad along with female Chief Ministe of the state (West Bengal) Mamta Banerjee is to display female as source of strength and power.
Some ecofeminists also argue that the identification of women with nature should now be seen as a source of strength. But this sounds double trap for women. Thus, Janet Biehl Finding Our Way: Rethinking Ecofeminist Politics (1991) and others are wary of any strategy that, by accepting women as essentially less estranged from nature than men, and problematizing rationality too prohibitively, risks leading women back into the old cultural spaces.
Isn't it time for our ad makers to awaken their gender conspicuousness or read more into the theories of gender studies to sensitize their creative genius?
The Ministry of HUman Resource and Development which heads higher education institution in India, comes up with various schemes to sensitize students towards gender issues. But the fact remains that our political leaders are still not aware about new though and concepts regarding gender issues. Our creative geniuses in mass-media caters what is popularly consumed by mass.

More ever, what is interesting is to see the way she comes to this conclusion. We may agree or disagree with the conclusion but the process of questioning in the essay demands attentions.
The essay is subdivided in parts with sustained argument on nature as female and culture as male.
She proves Universality of female subordination with the help of these three points:
In Nature and Culture, she argues that universal devaluation of women can be explained on terms of biological / genetic determinism.

She furthers her questioning by asking: Why Is Woman Seen as Closer to Nature?
In her own words:
The discussion on following arguments is based on universal human and cultural values:
1) Woman’s physiology seen as closer to nature.
2) Woman’s social role seen as closer to nature.
3) Woman’s psyche seen as closer to nature. 
One must read an essay for detailed discussion on these arguments. Click here to read the essay.
This essay / paper provides significant insights into reading such mass-media imagery.

Feminist environmental justice campaigners, such as Vandana Shiva, points out also that women and children are disproportionately vulnerable to environmental hazards. This particular ad makes use of both mother and child.

Kolodny's The Lay of the Land examines the way in which colonial nature writers in the USA represented the land as female. () Louise Westling's The Green Breast of the New World (1996) extends this analysis to twentieth-century novels. () (Kerridge) 

Some may argue that the use of female imagery in this ad along with female Chief Ministe of the state (West Bengal) Mamta Banerjee is to display female as source of strength and power.

Some ecofeminists also argue that the identification of women with nature should now be seen as a source of strength. But this sounds double trap for women. Thus, Janet Biehl in Finding Our Way: Rethinking Ecofeminist Politics (1991) and others are wary of any strategy that, by accepting women as essentially less estranged from nature than men, and problematizing rationality too prohibitively, risks leading women back into the old cultural spaces. (Biehl)

Isn't it time for our ad makers to awaken their gender conspicuousness or read more into the theories of gender studies to sensitize their creative genius?

The Ministry of Human Resource and Development which heads higher education institution in India, comes up with various schemes to sensitize students towards gender issues. But the fact remains that our political leaders are still not aware about new though and concepts regarding gender issues. Our creative geniuses in mass-media caters what is popularly consumed by mass.


Works Cited

Biehl, Janet. Finding Our Way: Rethinking Ecofeminist Politics. Montreal: Black Rose Books, 991.
Buell, Lawrence. The Environmental Imagination. Cambridge, Mass. and London: Harvard University Press, 1955.
Danone. "Vandana Shiva: an ecofeminist environmental activist." n.d. http://downtoearth.danone.com/. Danone.com. Web. 12 Dec. 2016. <http://downtoearth.danone.com/2013/07/19/vandana-shiva-an-ecofeminist-environmental-activist/>.
Kerridge, Richard. "Environment and Ecocriticism." Literary Theory and Criticism. Ed. Patricia Waugh. New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2007. 530-543.
Kolodny, Annette. The Lay of the Land: Metaphor as Experience and History in American Life and Letters. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1975.
Ortner, Sherry B. "Is female to male as nature is to culture?" Woman, culture, and society. Ed. M. Z. Rosaldo and L. Lamphere. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1974. 68-87. Web. 12 Dec. 2016. <https://www.uio.no/studier/emner/sv/sai/SOSANT1600/v12/Ortner_Is_female_to_male.pdf>.
Westling, Louise. The Green Breast of the New World : Landscape, Gender, and American Fiction. University of Georgia Press, 1996.

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Snooker

Learning #snooker at Sir Bhavsinhji Tennis Club, Bhavnagar

Apart from Snooker, also tried these features of Google Plus Photo editing tools. This vidoe and the collage of image is created on Google Plus Photo App. Withing no time, one can create, add background music and upload video on YouTube.



Saturday, 5 November 2016

Friday, 4 November 2016

Harry Potter Film Series: Mini Reviews

Mini Reviews of Harry Potter Film Series

1) Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone


 Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (released in some countries as Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone) is a 2001 British-American fantasy film directed by Chris Columbus and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. It is based on the novel of the same name by J. K. Rowling. The film, the first instalment in the Harry Potter film series, was written by Steve Kloves and produced by David Heyman. The story follows Harry Potter's first year at Hogwarts as he discovers that he is a famous wizard and begins his magical education. (Wikipedia).



Mini Review: 

In a 2000 interview with the BBC, J.K. Rowling described Lord Voldemort as a self-hating #bully:"Well I think it is often the case that the biggest bullies take what they know to be their own defects, as they see it, and they put them right on someone else and then they try and destroy the other and that's what Voldemort does."

Impressions:

  • Children's literature looks better with gothic element. Owl, cat, night, uncanny old Dumbledore and monstrous Hagrid makes for an ideal gothic environment at the beginning of the film.
  • Putting little child (Harry) in the custody of maternal aunt-uncle by the trio of Dumbledore, Mcgonagall and Hagrid reminds of the birth of Jesus Christ and three Magi.
  • Magic can be seen as metaphor for knowledge.
  • However gifted one may be, struggle, pain, agony, sorrow, anxiety can never be avoided by magical wand. They are to be faced and won over.
  • Feminist reading may create doubt at the positive connotation of the term 'Wizard' and derogatory and negative connotation for 'Witch'.
  • Similarly, even though Hermione Granger is intelligent, saves day for the male counterparts, yet she remains 'bookish' and not having 'practical and worldly sense'. She herself says: "Books, cleverness. . . that's okay. There are more important things. Friendship, bravery". She seems to be incapable of sacrifice of Ron and bravery of Harry. She is good in the class and library work but not on the field - cannot perform well with broom and during Quidditch, she is mere spectator. This portrayal is highly problematic for feminist readers.
  •  The Sorting Hat finds Harry talented, good mind, and thirsty to prove himself. However, Snape snaps at him - 'Fame isn't everything'. One needs to prove one's worth. Harry reads newspaper while others read letters from family members.
  • Magical objects in this film - Stone (can make elixir of life to make one immortal), Cloak of invisibility, Mirror (one can see one's deepest desires, dreams and wants. Happiest one will see himself.
  • Political / Foucauldian discourse: There is no good or evil. There is only power: Voldemort.
  • Purity of Blood: "It is in your blood" - this is what makes Harry youngest seeker in the game of Quidditch. Well, that's not enough as Harry has to struggle to prove his worth. Harry makes 'choices'. He controls his destiny. That's why even Sorting Had cannot put him in Slytherin House and he, by sheer will-power, gets sorted for Gryffindor House. This 'making choices' and will-power is more important than blood.
  • Foreshadowing: Voldemort, in shape of smoke, passes through the heart of Harry Potter.
  • Moral Lessons: Only those who want but do not want to use for their personal benefit gets the stone (power, gift, geniusness); LOVE is one of the most powerful force in the universe. If this love is displayed along with 'sacrifice', it has power to make one immortal or save life from utmost dangers. Harry's mother Lily sacrificed herself for the sake of love for Harry. Ron is ready to sacrifice himself in the game of chess for good of others. At the end of the day, what makes one win is the combination of cool use of intellect (Hermione), ready to sacrifice everything (Ron), stand up against friends (Neville) and pure nerve & outstanding courage (Harry).

2) Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets movie.jpg
By Source, Fair use, Link

 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is a 2002 British-American fantasy film directed by Chris Columbus and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. It is based on the novel of the same name by J. K. Rowling. The film, which is the second instalment in the Harry Potter film series, was written by Steve Kloves and produced by David Heyman. The story follows Harry Potter's second year at Hogwarts as the Heir of Salazar Slytherin opens the Chamber of Secrets, unleashing a monster that petrifies the school's denizens. (Wikipedia)

Mini Review:

#ChildrensLiterature is accused of being replete with racism,xenophobia and conventional cultural overtones. J.K. Rowling plays safe and thus portrays her protagonists belonging to lowly births (Harry Potter is #HalfBloodHermione is #MudBlood) and villains and side-kicks wither of #PureBlood or shown craving for world order based on the #MasterRace(The master race was a concept in Nazi ideology in which the Nordic race—a branch of what in late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century taxonomy was called the Aryan race—represented an ideal and pure race.


Impressions:

  • The gothic characteristics of children's literature is maintained. Especially in Diagon Alley, when Harry mistakenly enters frightening alley, the people are frightening in looks, stare and behaviour.
  • Feminist critics may find more to criticise. Hermione is more capable in 'knowing' things and is capable to repair Harry's specs which can be read as 'she being his eyes/vision, without her, he in not capable to accomplish great deeds. However, she is also abused by Draco for being Mudblood / Dirty blood. Even the moanings of Myrtle and her infatuations for Harry may not go well with feminist critics. Most of the children's literature are boy-centric.
  • The concept of Purity of Blood gets stronger is very vocally voiced by Lucius Malfoy and Draco Malfoy, Weasleys do not discriminate. Ron's father Mr. Weasley is in trouble in Ministry for his liberal outlook. They are insulted by Malfoys for being liberal towards entry of Mudbloods in the school. This voice for purity of wizardry blood started with Salazar Slytherin and is carried forward by Voldemort and Malfoys. The main theme of this book / film is also to 'purge Hogwarts of muggle bloods'. As soon as the Chamber of Secrets is opened, the muggle bloods will be killed and only pure blood wizards will study in the school.
  • Voldemort is present in this book/film as 'memory / past' and his device is Diary. TOM MARVOLO RIDDLE is I AM LORD VOLDEMORT.
  • The power-politics operates in form of suspension of Albus Dumbledore and Hagrid sent to the prison of Azkaban.
  • The archetype of princess-abducted-by-monster-saved-by-Prince-Charming is narrated in Ginny's abduction and Harry's adventure to save her.
  • Harry and Voldemort are alter-ego, aks of each other. In determination, resourcefulness, disrespect for rules - they are similar.Voldemort's power is transferred to Harry when he gave scar to him. Though their abilities are similar, they are not similar as their choices are different.
  • Moral lesson: 
    • "Fame is fickle. Celebrity is as celebrity does" - Gilderoy Lockhart - Prof of Defence against Dark Arts.
    • "Help will be given to those who ask for it" - Dumbledore.
    • "Loyalty helps" - Phoenix 'Fawkes' comes to help Harry as he is loyal to Dumbledore.
    • "It is not our abilities, it is our choices that makes us what we are". Dumbledore to Harry.

3) Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is a 2004 British fantasy filmdirected by Alfonso Cuarón and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. It is based on the novel of the same name by J. K. Rowling. The film, which is the third instalment in the Harry Potter film series, was written by Steve Kloves and produced by Chris Columbus (director of the first two instalments), David Heyman, and Mark Radcliffe. The story follows Harry Potter's third year at Hogwarts as he is informed that a prisoner named Sirius Black has escaped from Azkaban intending to kill him. (Wikipedia)

Mini Review:

If this film has @JKRowling's didacticism ("#Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light" . . . And . . . "It is only we who can help us, there is nothing/nobody outside of this world who can help us") at its best, at the same time, it is darker than earlier films. Even Harry Potter's dark side, first time, is visible: "I hope Sirius Black finds me, when he does, I am going to kill him".
Well, it's fine to show the struggle between the good and and the evil. It works in children's literature. In 'real' literature , the struggle is Not with evil power but with the power which turns the victim into evil.


Impressions:

  • The major task was to clear Sirius Blake from being a murderer who has broke Azkaban Prison is on hunt to kill Harry. In fact he was a good friend and godfather of Harry.
  • This book / film is darker as compared to previous ones. Harry also is vengeful to kill Sirius without knowing the fact. It seems as if the darkness of Voldemort's power in his body forces him to be evil.
  • The way news-paper Daily Prophet keeps on spreading rumors about Sirius Blake, it becomes an example of how media is unreliable in our times.
  • Dementors are curious creatures - they are non-forgiving and can't distinguish between good and evil or protected and hunted. They suck soul and makes people energy-less to die helplessly. They are frightened by or overcome by powerful positive memory of something extremely good. Our pain, sorrow, anxiety becomes their power.
  • Pro. Lupin in new teacher of Defence against Dark Arts - he remembers Harry's mother having ability to see beauty, good and positive in all, whereas his father has excellent magical skills and also talent for trouble. Harry has both these characteristics.
  • Some interesting objects - Marauder's Map, Boggarts, Hippogriff (flying horse), Animagus and Werewolf.
  • For feminist critics, this book / novel offers something worth appreciating. Ron is in bed and Hermione is in control of situation. With the help of time-turner, she leads Harry (who follows) in revisiting and amending past actions.She know that one should be cautious and careful while meddling with time. She convinces Harry that it was not his father's charm/spell but his spell that saves Sirius from Dementors. 
  • Moral Lesson:
    • "Happiness can be found in darkest of time, if we remember to turn on the light" - Dumbledore.
    • "A child's voice, however, true, is meaningless to those who have stopped listening" - DUmbledore.
    • "It is wisest to retrace steps (go back, go back in memory, check your steps, observe your past actions), when in doubt" - Dumbledore
    • "No divine, no dead ones, no loved ones comes to save us. It is we who save us". The patronus of Doe is just an illusion of Harry. In fact, he has performed the spell to expel dementors.

4) Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is a 2005 British fantasy film directed by Mike Newell and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures.[2] It is based on the novel of the same name by J. K. Rowling. The film, which is the fourth instalment in the Harry Potter film series, was written by Steve Kloves and produced by David Heyman. The story follows Harry Potter's fourth year at Hogwarts as he is chosen by the Goblet of Fire to compete in the Triwizard Tournament. (Wikipedia)

Mini Review:

In Harry Potter series, Lord Voldemort and his followers are prejudiced against #Muggles and in 'Goblet of Fire' Hermione Granger forms a group to liberate Hogwarts' house-elves who have "been indentured servants so long they lack desire for anything else". This is not major part of this book / film. 
When asked why she explored this theme, Rowling replied, "Because bigotry is probably the thing I detest most. All forms of intolerance, the whole idea of that which is different from me is necessarily evil. I really like to explore the idea that difference is equal and good."
Bigot = somebody with strong opinions, especially on politics, religion, or ethnicity, who refuses to accept different views.
This book / film is mostly about TriWizard tournament.


Impressions:

  • This book / film deals with an interesting transition from children's literature to young adult literature.
  • This book / film sees the rise of the Dark Lord with the help of Bone of Father, unwillingly taken; Flesh of the Servant, willingly sacrifices, and Blood of an Enemy, forcibly taken.
  • Three events are played in Triwizard tournament. 
    • (1) Save the golden egg from dragon 
    • (2) Save friends from beneath the Black Lake
    • (3) Search for the Cup in the Maze
  • The growing up of all characters form childhood to teenage is captured in form of love interest and jealousy. The Yule Ball is specially for teenage sentiments.
  • The range of characters include people from black community, Patil sisters from India, Cho from China.
  • For the feminist critic, the entire concept of Ball and the way pairing happened may give some points of contention. Especially, there is more stress on the physical beauty of girls and macho-image of boys. The dark skinned girls are the last ones to be taken by boys and that too do not carry any sense of pride. The gender and racism underplays very strongly in this sequence.
  • In media studies, Rita Skeeter is introduced as a sort of Page 3 journalism - it loves to publish sensational news about people's affairs and similar fake stories.
  • Moral Lessons:
    • Harry;s priorities are to help people in need rather than to win competition.
    • Even if other students insult Harry as he competes with same school guy Cedric, he is ready to help him in the hours of need.
    • Harry also saves Fleur Delacour's 's sister from Black Lake and brings bad dead body of Cedric from the graveyard of Voldemort.
    • His outstanding moral fiber makes him stand second in second round of competition. He is certified as kind, honest, brave and true by Dumbledore.
    • No spell can reawaken the dead. Do not think that parents came to save you in the fight with Voldemort. It was in inner voice which he thought mother told to 'let go', father told to get hold of port-key and Cedric to take his dead body back to his father.
    • Difficult time comes ahead and it will be challenging to make choices between what is easy and what is right.

5) Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is a 2007 British fantasy film directed by David Yates and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. It is based on the novel of the same name by J. K. Rowling. The film, which is the fifth instalment in the Harry Potter film series, was written by Michael Goldenberg (making this the only film in the series not to be scripted by Steve Kloves) and produced by David Heyman and David Barron. The story follows Harry Potter's fifth year at Hogwarts as the Ministry of Magic is in denial of Lord Voldemort's return.(Wikipedia)

Mini Review:

Dolores Umbridge is newly appointed Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher, as a part of larger schema - from the corrupt Ministry of Magic. She comes up with new rules to 'prohibit' demonstrations and teach theoretically only. New syllabus, new books are introduced. She implements medieval discipline and punishment. The students resist. She considers resistance as disloyalty. Harry Potter openly speaks up the truth. He is forced to write on his hand that "I must not tell lies".
How interesting! Unbelievable parallels!
"There is, in fact, no need to drag politics into literary theory . . . it has been there from the beginning" ― Terry Eagleton, Literary theory: An Introduction.


Impressions:

  • This part is very meaningful from the perspective of power-politics. Dumbledore is charged with conspiracy and sedition.
  • One of the techniques used to make us feel pity for protagonist Harry is his orphanage and mother's Muggle-blood. We have seen many 'using' their lowly birth to pity self and so to generate sympathy for themselves.
  • The hearing of Harry's expulsion from school as he used magic in muggle-world is highly charged with political signs. The time of preponed, Dumbledore was not informed about timings, newspaper Daily Prophet used to malign Harry's reputation, use of rules / laws to harass those not in power.
  • Dumbledore is able to prove that Harry's use of magic in real world is pardonable under the rule of 'life-threatening' situation. Dementors' attack was life threatening.
  • 'Truth will be out'. Only truth prevails. These are the moralities of the muggles. Those who are wizards they believe that someone will have to 'act' so that truth can be out or prevail. It is not going to prevail without human efforts.
  • Dolores Umbridge is used by J.K. Rowling to attack all those regressive reformists in education system. Even if Harry is right about Voldemort, she punishes him to write 'I will not tell lies'. She discourages progress. She is for preservation of past. She believes in prohibitions, decency in cloths and behaviour. She is for theoretical exams rather than practical. It is through her that Ministry interferes Hogwarts schooling system. 
  • Harry Potter displays modesty. He told others that he is not chosen one but luck favoured him in moments of crisis and there were people who helped him.
  • Room of Requirement can be seen as metaphor of we get in the real world what we dearly want.
  • Legilimency and OcclumencyLegilimency is the act of magically navigating through the many layers of a person's mind and correctly interpreting one's findings. The opposite of Legilimency is Occlumency, which is used to shield one's mind from the invasion and influence of a Legilimens.
  • He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And if you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss also gazes into you - (Nietzsche). Harry fears becoming like Voldemort.
  • When Harry fears that he is becoming / behaving like Voldemort, Sirius Blake: "There are people who are good and those who are Death Eaters. What matter is what we choose to act on. Even those who are good are both good and bad inside / within.
  • Dolores replaces art, memory, history from the wall and the wall is full with 'rules'.
  • Prophecy (glass-globe) - It can be retrieved only by those for whom it is. "Neither cna live while other survives" - is the prophecy.
  • Harry has something which (with all similarities) Voldemort does not have - "Friends". 
  • Moral Lessons:
    • Fear makes us do terrible things.
    • Working hard is important. But there’s something that matters even more. Believing in yourself. (All wizards need to believe in themselves to make spell work and that's true of all humans.)
    • It does not matter whether we are good or bad. All are good as well as bad. What matters is what we choose to be / choose to act on.
    • Things we loose have a way of coming back to us (Self-help).

6) Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is a 2009 British-American fantasy film directed by David Yates and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. It is based on the novel of the same name by J. K. Rowling. The film, which is the sixth instalment in the Harry Potter film series, was written by Steve Kloves and produced by David Heyman and David Barron. The story follows Harry Potter's sixth year at Hogwarts as he becomes obsessed with a mysterious textbook, falls in love, and attempts to retrieve a memory that holds the key to Lord Voldemort's downfall. (Wikipedia)

Mini Review:

#Memory is tempered. It is tempered by the person whose memory it is.
But why would he temper his memory?
I suspect he's ashamed of it.
This memory is everything. Without it we are blind. Without it, we leave the fate of our world to chance. (Dialogue between Prof. Albus Dumbledore and Harry Potter.)

Impressions:


  • This book / film, prepares for the Deathly Hallows. There are lot many loose threads.
  • If half-blood is to be read as children of those parents who are not pure-blood. One of the parents is either muggle-born, then the children can be derogatorily called half-blood. Severus Snape, Voldemort and Harry Potter can claim to be titular Half-Blood Prince. However, the book which bears the name of Half-Blood Prince belongs to Severus Snape.
  •  Draco, like his father, becomes Death Eaters i.e. member of Voldemort team.
  • Memory, revisiting memory, preserving memory - one of the task of this part is to get secret from the memory of Slughorn, the prof of the Defence against the Dark Art.
  • Feminist critic may object to 'skin' reference for the beauty of Hermione and other girls.
  • The girls are reduced to 'love-object'. The role of Hermione and other girls are almost insignificant in something serious done by Harry. Petty rivalry among girls for boys.
  • Love - interest, envy, jealousy for partner.
  • Horcrux is introduced in this book. It is from the memory of Slughorn that Harry comes to know about Tom Riddle's desire to learn about Horcrux.
  • Dumbledore sacrifices his life. Snape kills him.
  • Moral Lessons:
    • Those who are ashamed of memory, temper their memories. Memory is everything. Without memory we are blind. Without memory we leave the fate of our world to chance.
    • There can be no light without dark. Slughorn.

7) 

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 is a 2010 British-American fantasy film directed by David Yates and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. It is the first of two cinematic parts based on the novel by J. K. Rowling. The film, which is the seventh and penultimate instalment in the Harry Potter film series, was written by Steve Kloves and produced by David HeymanDavid Barron, and Rowling. (Wikipedia)

Mini Review:

As soon as the new ministry of Magic (under the influence of Lord Voldemort) takes charge, they start persecuting #MudBloods. 'Mudbloods and the Dangers They Pose to a Peaceful Pure-Blood Society' is a pamphlet that was printed and distributed enmasse and contained propaganda against Muggle-borns, disparagingly referred to as "Mudbloods". The pamphlets were pink, with the title in orange letters. Beneath the title was a picture of "a red rose with a simpering face in the middle of its petals, being strangled by a green weed with fangs and a scowl". Evidently, this was the metaphor the Death Eater-controlled Ministry wanted to make regarding Muggle-borns being allowed into the wizarding world, which they believed should be reserved for pure-bloods. Presumably, the pamphlet also perpetrated the bigoted belief that Muggle-borns are inferior to those with wizarding heritage.

8) 

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2

A girl and two boys, standing outside of a building with high turrets.
By Source, Fair use, Link
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 is a 2011 British fantasy film directed by David Yates and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures.[4] It is the second of two cinematic parts based on the novel Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling.[5] The film, which is the eighth and final installment in the Harry Potter film series, was written by Steve Klovesand produced by David HeymanDavid Barron, and Rowling. It is the sequel to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1. The story continues to follow Harry Potter's quest to find and destroy Lord Voldemort's Horcruxes in order to stop him once and for all.

Mini Review:

#SelfHelp culture of our days serves as a tool of social control: it sooths political unrest . . . one blames oneself for not getting better off is society and remains in one's own pursuit of self-invention, blaming oneself for the failure rather than the systems.
The Harry Potter saga approves of this cultural phenomenon of late 20th century which continues in our days. It ends with some cliche positive attitude lessons.
"Help will always be given to those who ask for it"
This is rephrased: "Help will always be given to those who deserve it" - making it more politically correct for majoritarianism.