Friday, October 29, 2004

In reviewing the latest Harry Potter movie, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, I decided that the movie was not as unfaithful to the spirit of the books as I once believed. Sure, Cuaron definitely does not share my particular outlook on what is the spirit of Book Three, but now I can see his point of view. More than this, I believe that Cuaron hinted at the answer to what lies behind Harry having his mother's eyes. I talked about this a little bit earlier, but I think I would like to rebegin this discussion with a clearer idea of what is important.

First of all, I do not believe that the color of Harry's eyes are as important as the soul that lies behind them. The concept that eyes can be a window to the soul is not one unfamiliar to literature or the real world. There are people who's eyes exude the peace of the soul within them while others' eyes may exude the darkness consuming them. Those that carry the eyes of the prior usually give off some sense of love and hope. Love and hope transcend all hate and despair. In a world consumed with fear, love and hope are precious commodities.

So what does all of this have to do with Lily? Cuaron's Lupin gave Harry a speech about his mother, a speech that made many believe that maybe Lupin had feelings for Lily. However, I disagree that this is what Cuaron was getting at. Rather, I believe that Cuaron was revealing the secret of Lily's eyes. Lupin points out that Lily always had the ability to see the good in people, even if they couldn't see it themselves. He talks of her highly as someone he looked up to and someone who did good. It is easy to interpret all of this as feelings for Lily, but maybe it is simply an observation of the joy that Lily brought in her path. For all the dark that any of them had to face, Lily was there with her loving eyes to bring that hope and joy that so many needed.

We see evidence of this version of Lily within the Harry Potter books. I don't have them infront of me, so I will be working this part by memory. Book Three was a book about despair and pain. The pain that Harry had to live with haunted him through the guise of the dementors, threatning to destroy him with his own despair. And all the while, everyone is there to tell Harry that he has his mothers eyes. Each time their tone suggests reverence and joy. She has touched each of their hearts and remembrances of her are found through Harry's eyes. Even as they remind Harry of her eyes, they are bringing a sense of love to Harry who has been forever touched by her sacrifice.

In Book Five, we see Lily show off this same love through Snape's memories. She defends Snape against her future husband, perhaps recognizing a good in Snape that Snape never recognized in himself. From this part, many have surmized that Snape may have been in love with Lily, but I wonder if it just comes back to the same reasoning I have with Lupin. Such love lies behind her eyes, revealing the pure love of her soul. She recognizes that Snape may not be the nicest character, but she still will defend him for humanities sake. (Kind reminds me of Jesus eating with tax collectors and sinners.) Perhaps part of what bothers Snape so much about Harry is that love that shines through his eyes, as they did through hers. For how could a man with so much hate bear to face such love?

For Lily sacrificed herself for Harry.

When people look into Harry's eyes they see the amazing love that was left there by his mother. Where before she had offered so much good to others, now she has offered her very life. Her sacrifice was that of a sacrificial love that saved not only Harry, but brought in the hope that would defeat the darkness. Voldemort was stripped of his power and wizard kind was freed from the bonds of terror that held them prisoner for so many years. Sure the battle wasn't completely won, and many knew that Voldemort would return and his followers would rise up once more, but there was hope. And this new hope was in the form of a baby boy. The boy who lived though faced with an incarnation of evil.

So Harry grows up forever touched by this amazing love. He carries her eyes so that each time someone looks at him, they too can feel the love that Lily had passed on to so many. And Harry himself must now show his own love to the world by fighting against Voldemort. As Jesus prayed in Gethsemene not to have to face the cross and the burden that would come with it, so does Harry wish he were as any other boy without a heavy burden. But as Jesus accepted his cross, so Harry accepts his and four times thus far defeats Voldemort. Each defeat is more hope left to a world forever threatened with despair.

Now many of you may ask, so what? We could have surmized much of this without having to resort to Lily's eyes. Why are they eyes important? Again, I say the eyes are only as important as they are a window to the soul. But the consequences to the book are enormous.

The carrying on of Lily's eyes into that of Harry's is a reminder to all that love will never truly die. It is passed through each generation to the next and that love will be the savior to all. In Book Three the path is set for the love to transcend all the darkness through one man that is lost in the darkness, Peter Pettigrew.

In Book Three, Harry saves Pettigrew's life. Not for Pettigrew's sake. Unlike his mother, Harry does have some difficulties seeing the good in all. He is still a child growing to learn right and wrong. He does, however, still know love and he does know to share it. Although he saves Pettigrew for Lupin and Sirius' sake, Harry still saves the rat's life. Pettigrew, a powerful wizard (make no mistake), was in Harry's debt from that moment on. Dumbledore explains this a little bit in Book Three, but Harry has a hard time understanding it.

And Pettigrew rejoined Voldemort.

This means that Voldemort has in his ranks a man that has been saved by love, touched by love, and is in debt to Harry. Sure, Harry didn't think of saving Pettigrew as an act of love, but it did save Pettigrew and Pettigrew is touched by that. It is a form of love, even if the bearer cannot see that. Pettigrew is a servant to Voldemort, but now that love has touched him it will stew in his soul as a powerful potion, and Pettigrew will eventually be so touched by it that it will change him.

There is no way to truly know how this Pettigrew situation will play out. But I believe it is a large key to how the books will end. The stories began with the birth of hope and the promise of darkness. Lily Potter sacrified herself for the world and Harry was forever marked by this love. Harry was then called to bring this love out into the world, to be a warrior against the darkness. In saving Pettigrew, he was acting on that same sacrificial love that had marked him as a child. Where he had wanted vengence, he had sacrificed this vengence for his friends souls. And this sacrifice touched Pettigrew which will in turn lead Pettigrew to help finish the circle of sacrifice. Not that Harry's path is over, far from it. He will have to sacrifice much more as he stands as a light for all the people. But the key to victory was placed when he saved Pettigrew.

And Voldemort rose because of Pettigrew.

By saving Pettigrew, Harry provided the means necessary for Voldemort to rise again. But in saving Pettigrew, Harry also provided the means in which Voldemort could be destroyed. Harry blamed himself at the end of Book Three, believe he had done damage. But Dumbledore tells him that he did as he should. It's a hard concept to understand or accept, but it is the very concept that allows for hope.

Voldemort would have one day risen, with or without Pettigrew. He had the patience and all of eternity to figure out how to do it. But by rising through Pettigrew's hand, he signed his own death warrant. In the Ministry of Magic, Dumbledore told Voldemort that there were much worse thing than death. To never know love is the first thought that passed through my mind. Voldemort's weakness is that he does not know love, that he cannot be near it. Harry was protected by his mothers love, and his own love is now set to protect the world. And this same love now lies dormant in Pettigrew.

And all the while the mark of love shines through Harry's eyes as a beacon for all to see.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

New Political Corner

With the American election brewing and everyone out there with strong opinions and intellect, I've created a Politics Corner on the Forum known as The Ministry of Magic. Come and share your ideas.

If you are interested in a book discussion, I am trying to start one in the Literature discussion section. A couple people mentioned that they might enjoy one.

Lily's eyes post will be coming... really... really...

Thursday, October 14, 2004

And the Election Fraud continues

I was reading The Register Guard today and there was a story in there from the Associated Press about the recent groups trying to get young people signed up to vote. Apparently one of the groups was led by an association that allegedly destroyed "Democrat"registrations by shredding or other means. They also told many people that they could not register to vote unless they registered as a Republican.

So yeah, that pisses me off. Especially since the two states named in the article were Nevada and Oregon, both swing states. One is even my home state! Grrr.... BTW, last presidential election many ballots from "latinos" got thrown out (just like the whole Florida thing, I've give the links in last months archives to reputable papers that covered the stories). I mention this because I find it fishy that I, as a latino, recieved a letter saying my vote didn't count because my signature didn't match (a likely story).

As for the political debates, anyone else notice that the third debate was rather uninformative and badly debated from both sides? I almost felt it was a waste of my time watching it. I like how with the first debate Bush seemed caught off guard by almost every question as if he were completely uninformed. It sounds like he finally got updated somewhat, but he still lacked answers last night.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Sooooo Busy!

Ack, things are crazy here. I need to write my third article, write that Lily's eyes post, go to work and school. Right now I'm in work and school straight from 8 am to 6 p.m. and then I have about 2 hours of homework a night. Eeeeek! Oh well, I'm enjoying math and I am learning.

Sorry that I haven't posted anything new in a while. You can always come and discuss your own ideas on the Forum. I know a lot of you have some great ideas out there. Meanwhile, I'll get something up as soon as I can.

Monday, October 04, 2004

Ack, another day and I still don't have the post I promised. Sorry. I will do my best to get it up, really!

For now: A New Literature Discussion Book Club is taking place on the forums! Come and check it out. This months book is Starship Troopers by Robert A. Heinlin.

Saturday, October 02, 2004

First of all, I do have today off and I will write the Harry's eyes post unless something happens that prevents me from being able to do so.

Second of all, GREAT NEWS! I finally got a job that I really want! This means I am now working two jobs with a total of 20 hours a week. This means I am no longer dirt poor! Wahoo! I'm excited. My janitor job is great, but I am now proud to say I have been hired by the University of Oregon as a Math tutor! Wahoo. Kinda scary though. They will have me leading six-people study groups for three different classes, helping in a math lab environment, and also individual tutoring. It is going to be a busy year for me! I guess I will find out how well I can teach math?