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Chapter 2: Spinner's End

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Chapter 2: Spinner's End

Post by DADAProfAE on 2011-06-02, 19:30

With this chapter, Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince stands out for having done something no other book in the entire series has done before (or even after, with Deathly Hallows). It presents us with a second chapter minus the perspective of our boy Hero. In fact of the 7 books, only Books 1, 4, 6 and 7 start with a chapter with a limited omniscient perspective that is not Harry’s, but ONLY Book 6 follows the opening chapter with yet another character’s perspective. Talk about a 1-2 punch, eh?

We see the sisters Narcissa and Bellatrix apparating in the middle of some magic-forsaken town, as if looking for something (or someone) in particular. They arrive at the doorstep of a forlorn looking house, only to be met by *gasp* Prof. Severus Snape and his new "assistant", the ratty Pettigrew.

Narcissa, in agony, unloads her burden to Severus, completely believing his every word about being faithful to the Dark Lord (Severus seems to explain A LOT in this chapter), while Bellatrix continues with her snide remarks, still unable to trust Snape. We also learn about what happened to Lucius, after his blunder at the Ministry of Magic a few months back (see OotP discussion) and how the Dark Lord seems to be bent on punishing the Blacks by giving a difficult task to Draco.

In the end, Snape proves his allegiance to the Dark Lord and his allies by performing the Unbreakable Vow with Narcissa (as egged on and witness by Bellatrix who acted as the binder).

Questions:

1. Do you think having two chapters minus Harry’s perspective was clever as a narrative device or do you think it was tedious and unnecessary? What is the purpose of putting this chapter early on in the entire narrative (at the expense of having Harry relegated to the 3rd Chapter)?
2. Were you surprised to see Wormtail sharing domicile with Prof. Snape? Why/why not?
3. Finally we get to see Narcissa in action. We’ve only seen her once before, in Goblet of Fire (see World Cup chapter) but she didn’t do anything substantial or made a significant impression on Harry save for her appearance and demeanor. Now it’s a whole new ballgame. What is the function of Narcissa in this chapter aside from obviously being one of the two who shared the Unbreakable Vow?
4. Do you think Narcissa believed that her son Draco will ultimately fail in the task given to him by the Dark Lord, hence the 3rd part of the Unbreakable Vow?
5. When I first read the book, I remember wondering if Prof. Snape was really in the loop, meaning to say, if he really knew the task given to Draco even before Narcissa came to him to beg, or if he was just being a good actor (in Tagalog parlance, nanghuhuli [fishing expedition, Severus?]), and merely piecing bits and pieces from Narcissa’s sob story and Bellatrix’s snide remarks. What were your thoughts about this?
6. What do you think is the significance of the title? Does it just refer to the place, or could it be a metaphor for something?
7. Snape’s sitting room is described as being filled with books of various kinds. If he read Muggle authors’ books, what kind of books do you think Severus would’ve preferred? Thriller like Stephen King’s? Legal stuff like Grisham’s books? Historical novels? Comedies? Tragedies? Sci-fi?

Fire away!
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Re: Chapter 2: Spinner's End

Post by lianne on 2011-06-02, 23:45

I haven't gone through the rest of the questions yet but I really have to reply to question #5!

I was thinking the exact same thing! When I first finished the book and looked back at this scene, I was so sure that Snape didn't know at this point what Draco was really supposed to do. Thus, the rash (up for debate) decision to make the unbreakable vow. I just couldn't accept the fact that Snape, knowing the task, will make that promise. Sad
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Re: Chapter 2: Spinner's End

Post by DADAProfAE on 2011-06-03, 08:28

^Mizmo! At dahil alam na din natin na mahusay sa legilimency itong si Prof Snape, maaari din nating itanong kung sinubukan kaya niya na "basahin" ang iniisip ni Narcissa tungkol dito? Maaaring sa ganitong paraan ay nagkaroon kahit paano ng konting impormasyon si Snape tungkol sa mga pangamba ni Narcissa.

Ngunit alam din naman natin na asawa at kapatid ng Death Eaters itong si Narcissa kung kaya't hindi din naman malayo na mahusay din siya sa Occlumency. Maaaring may mga balakid sa kanyang isipan na magiging sadyang mahirap para kay Snape na basahin ang kanyang mga iniisip. Ngunit sa kanyang kasalukuyang mentalidad na halos kumapit na sa patalim at nagmamakaawa, sa inyong palagay ba ay makukuha pa ni Narcissa na gamitin ang Occlumency bilang depensa laban kay Snape?
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Re: Chapter 2: Spinner's End

Post by elletoxicity on 2011-06-03, 11:01

1. I thought the first 2 chapters were unnecessary, I was impatient back then, itching to just find Harry's chapter. But because of those chapters, mas naramdaman ko 'yung lawak at tindi ng terror na nagawa ni Voldemort sa mga tao. It's like martial law back in the 1970s (though I doubt JK knew about it). People did not know when would be their death day or what would cause it. The second chapter made me more curious about Snape. I was thinking

2. I was surprised kung bakit nandun si Wormtail, naisip ko, maybe Snape asked especially for him para maging utusan niya. or Voldemort made Wormtail a spy on Snape and Snape, knowing it through Legilimency, took a chance para paglaruan si Wormtail. hindi makapalag si Wormtail because Voldemort gave him a task to spy on Snape.

4. Yes, I think Narcissa, as a mother, believes that her child (only about sixteen years old) is not yet as evil as her husband and sister to do anything so dreadful. But I never thought it would be as dreadful as murdering someone.

5. I think hindi rin talaga alam ni Snape 'yung plan and baka "sinasakyan" lang ni Snape at Voldemort ang isa't isa.

6. Title of the chapter (Spinner's End)? Maybe what it meant is that the double-crosser made a mistake to do the the Unbreakable Vow.

7.I think tragedies of Shakespeare. Pride and Prejudice of Jane Austen din siguro. Smile

---pasensya na po if my answers aren't good or satisfying.

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Re: Chapter 2: Spinner's End

Post by lianne on 2011-06-03, 12:57

Mas gusto kong isipin na alam talaga ni Snape kung ano yung nangyayari at ginagawa nya. Alam nya kung ano yung pinasok nya. Kasi parang wala sa kanyang pagkatao yung basta na lang sumugod sa laban ng walang kaalam-alam.

Sa una pa lang, alam nya na namamatay na si Dumbledore. Alam nya rin kung ano pinagagawa ni Voldemort kay Draco. So hindi malayong pinagpasyahan na lang nyang akuin ang responsibilidad. Bagay na mapapaisip ka. Iniisip din pala ni Snape ang kapakanan ng iba. Ano ba naman ang relasyon ni Draco kay Lily diba?


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Re: Chapter 2: Spinner's End

Post by DADAProfAE on 2011-06-03, 18:13

elletoxicity wrote:

7.I think tragedies of Shakespeare. Pride and Prejudice of Jane Austen din siguro. Smile

---pasensya na po if my answers aren't good or satisfying.

Austen?!!!! Bloody brilliant!! I never thought of that. I mean, yeah, quite possible. Austen has a knack for language, and the tension in the dialogues, the romance, the character development, the love-hate relationship, the snide remarks. . . .all very British. . . all very Snape indeed!

5 points to you, elletoxicity for posting not just first, but for posting well. Good job!
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Re: Chapter 2: Spinner's End

Post by DADAProfAE on 2011-06-03, 18:18

lianne wrote:Mas gusto kong isipin na alam talaga ni Snape kung ano yung nangyayari at ginagawa nya. Alam nya kung ano yung pinasok nya. Kasi parang wala sa kanyang pagkatao yung basta na lang sumugod sa laban ng walang kaalam-alam.

Sa una pa lang, alam nya na namamatay na si Dumbledore. Alam nya rin kung ano pinagagawa ni Voldemort kay Draco. So hindi malayong pinagpasyahan na lang nyang akuin ang responsibilidad. Bagay na mapapaisip ka. Iniisip din pala ni Snape ang kapakanan ng iba. Ano ba naman ang relasyon ni Draco kay Lily diba?



Ako din. Ang hirap isipin ang isang walang muwang na Snape. Lagi siyang "in control" sa mga sitwasyon (maliban sa ilang pangyayari na maisisiwalat pa sa susunod na nobela). Isa siyang Slytherin; hindi pumapasok sa isang sitwasyon na walang sapat na impormasyon. Cunning talaga.

At kung talagang alam niya ang pinasok niya, maituturing talaga natin siya na marangal na nilalang dahil hindi ito naging hadlang para isaganap niya kung ano man ang sadyang nararapat. . .
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Re: Chapter 2: Spinner's End

Post by geewitch on 2011-06-05, 10:19

Spot on! I love the idea of Snape sitting alone reading Austen. Smile I'd award you points but DADAF beat me to it. Keep it up!

Keep on reading, guys and share your thoughts - in English or Tagalog.

Prof G

DADAProfAE wrote:
elletoxicity wrote:

7.I think tragedies of Shakespeare. Pride and Prejudice of Jane Austen din siguro. Smile

---pasensya na po if my answers aren't good or satisfying.

Austen?!!!! Bloody brilliant!! I never thought of that. I mean, yeah, quite possible. Austen has a knack for language, and the tension in the dialogues, the romance, the character development, the love-hate relationship, the snide remarks. . . .all very British. . . all very Snape indeed!

5 points to you, elletoxicity for posting not just first, but for posting well. Good job!
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Re: Chapter 2: Spinner's End

Post by doc_ardyey on 2011-06-05, 12:51

Snape might have been reading the Art of War? Specially Chapter 13: The Use of Spies...

It would really be hard if you don't have any background on what you're supposed to do....

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Re: Chapter 2: Spinner's End

Post by DADAProfAE on 2011-06-05, 13:29

Or what about Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë? I read in an essay somewhere that Snape, being the Byronic hero that he is kind of exemplifies Heathcliff. Do you agree? study

According to the University of Houston-Clear Lake coursesite, the Byronic Hero has the ff characteristics:

Qualities associated with the Byronic Hero:

dark, handsome appearance; brilliant but cynical and self-destructive

"wandering," searching behavior

haunted by some secret sin or crime, sometimes hints of forbidden love

modern culture hero: appeals to society by standing apart from society, superior yet wounded or unrewarded

If you scroll down the page, you'd even see a photo of Alan Rickman as Prof. Snape. Smile
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Re: Chapter 2: Spinner's End

Post by geewitch on 2011-06-08, 12:38

6. What do you think is the significance of the title? Does it just refer to the place, or could it be a metaphor for something?

I love this title because it is so rich with metaphors and perhaps a premonition of what is to come.

Spinner - pwede bolero or someone who weaves tall tales. So katapusan ng mga pambobola or panlilinlang ng isang tao.

Spinner's end could also be the unraveling of events. When I visualise the title, I think of a ball of yarn being unraveled by a very curious child. In this instance, we are that child unraveling the mystery wrapped within the book.
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Re: Chapter 2: Spinner's End

Post by tanglewood14 on 2011-06-14, 22:12

1. Do you think having two chapters minus Harry’s perspective was clever as a narrative device or do you think it was tedious and unnecessary? What is the purpose of putting this chapter early on in the entire narrative (at the expense of having Harry relegated to the 3rd Chapter)?
The first two chapters were clever because I think it allowed the readers to know what's going on in the story that Harry himself does not know is going on. If the chapter on the Unbreakable Vow had not been show, how would it be further proven that Snape is not the coward that Harry later accused him to be?

2. Were you surprised to see Wormtail sharing domicile with Prof. Snape? Why/why not?

I wouldn't call myself "surprised". I would rather say I was a bit confused what Wormtail would be doing with Snape.

3. Finally we get to see Narcissa in action. We’ve only seen her once before, in Goblet of Fire (see World Cup chapter) but she didn’t do anything substantial or made a significant impression on Harry save for her appearance and demeanor. Now it’s a whole new ballgame. What is the function of Narcissa in this chapter aside from obviously being one of the two who shared the Unbreakable Vow?

Narcissa functioned here is as the Death Eater (wife and mother of a Death Eater?) who turns out to not completely share the Dark Lord's intentions or beliefs. She functioned as the mother who deeply cared for the welfare of her son and who would do anything she can to protect her son, even going as far as making the Unbreakable Vow to make sure that that happens.

4. Do you think Narcissa believed that her son Draco will ultimately fail in the task given to him by the Dark Lord, hence the 3rd part of the Unbreakable Vow?

I think only a part of her only believed that Draco will fail in the task. He's only a young boy and does not share the same sinister mindset with the Dark Lord, so I think Narcissa did not believe that Draco could fulfill the task.

7. Snape’s sitting room is described as being filled with books of various kinds. If he read Muggle authors’ books, what kind of books do you think Severus would’ve preferred? Thriller like Stephen King’s? Legal stuff like Grisham’s books? Historical novels? Comedies? Tragedies? Sci-fi?

Poe, perhaps? I'm sort of kidding. The description brings to mind Poe's narrative poem "The Raven", where the speaker "pondered, weak and weary/ Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore -"

@DADAProfAE: do you have a link po to the Byronic Hero description? Very Happy
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Re: Chapter 2: Spinner's End

Post by DADAProfAE on 2011-06-15, 08:21

tanglewood14 wrote:
7. Snape’s sitting room is described as being filled with books of various kinds. If he read Muggle authors’ books, what kind of books do you think Severus would’ve preferred? Thriller like Stephen King’s? Legal stuff like Grisham’s books? Historical novels? Comedies? Tragedies? Sci-fi?

Poe, perhaps? I'm sort of kidding. The description brings to mind Poe's narrative poem "The Raven", where the speaker "pondered, weak and weary/ Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore -"

Hmm. . . Interesting. Good call. The persona in Poe's poetry illustrates the suffering of a man who lost a beloved (Lenore). One of my favorite lines from the poem:

`Wretch,' I cried, `thy God hath lent thee - by these angels he has sent thee
Respite - respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore!
Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe, and forget this lost Lenore!'
Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'

The persona, in his moment of grief, thinks the raven is taunting him. That no matter how hard he tries to forget the tragedy of Lenore's passing, (in the succeeding stanza he even asks, "Is there balm in Gilead?"), the raven speaks of it's impossibility. Nevermore, it says, quite persistently. That sorrow and pain will hound the speaker all the days of his life, clouded by the air of Lenore's absence.

Very Severus, indeed!

@DADAProfAE: do you have a link po to the Byronic Hero description? Very Happy

If you click on University of Houston-Clear Lake coursesite I provided in my previous post, you will directed to the Byronic Hero description. Smile
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Re: Chapter 2: Spinner's End

Post by tanglewood14 on 2011-06-16, 18:57

Oh, I didn't see the link there, sorry for that. Very Happy

And as I read the page, I actually see that Poe is a Byronic author in Am Lit... I didn't know that as I came out with my Poe answer up there.
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