English 2092F/G Lecture Notes - Lecture 10: Places In Harry Potter, Lord Voldemort, Morality Play

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HP – Final Week – Allegory 00:02
The Pardoner’s Tale
What are stories for?
Pass the time
Produce a mood
Learn wisdom
oAll focus on the listener / audience
Host asks for a funny story because he is so upset from the sad story and may have a
heart attack
Others disagree because they think a funny story will be a crude / dirty story
Chaucer was associated with linking and tailoring his stories to the listener
Pardoner  a pardoner absolves people of their sins
Works for Roman Catholic church
Would travel from place to place with letters from the Pope
These letters were indulgences from the Pope that would let the person spend
less time in Purgatory if they made a large donation to the church
Pardoner is corrupt
Pockets most of the money and only gives a bit to the church
Spends money on alcohol and prostitutes
His stories are specifically designed to manipulate listeners and make money
from them  all his stories focus on the sin of greed of money
oFocused on his own selfish ends
Carries around pig bones and tells people that they are religious relics  people
can buy them or pay to touch or kiss them and it will cure the sickness of their
livestock, etc.
Says at the beginning that his story will be one that proves that greed is a terrible sin
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Story normally elicits generous donations but does not this time
Instead Host tells him that he’ll cut off his testicles instead
Audience all laughs
Many references to alcohol and swearing
“He over whom alcohol has power can keep no secret”  the Pardoner was so
drunk that he told the people his underlying scheme before he tells the story!
Obvs they didn’t donate after this
Pardoner ends up being the butt of the joke  told a story that exposes his own
flaws; not only his greed but alcohol, prostitutes, his lifestyle, etc.
What could the pilgrims be gaining from this story?
Significant sin that the Pardoner has left out of the story  don’t KILL people!
If your goal is to defeat Death, violence probably isn’t the answer and neither is
killing your best friend
Rowling used this story as inspiration for “The Tale of the Three Brothers”
Rowling does not focus on greed (which is the Pardoner’s main focus), but her
main focus is death
If the Pardoner has been successful in getting donations, it was probably due to
“mortality salience”  that you could die at any time without warning
Giving money to church is a way of connecting themselves to something that will
go on living once they are dead
Rowling focuses on the central issue of death
Pg. 94: Dumbledore says the moral could not be clearer and that those who
attempt to overcome death will always be disappointed (or something like that…)
 a warning that no matter how hard you try, you’re not going to be able to live
forever
Rowling’s version can also be about greed (not money but selfish desires that are
motivating them) because the older two brothers want to humiliate death and be
the most powerful wizard in the world
In Pardoner’s Tale, mother told her son that he should be ready to meet Death at all
times
Child thought Death was a person!
Three brothers leave to meet Death  they think he’s a person because a child comes
up to them in a tavern and tells them that Death has been killing a bunch of people
Come upon an old man who says he’s waiting for Death  brothers think he is affiliated
with death in some way
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Man tells them to go to the tree and that’s where they’ll find the treasure 
Never consider that this man could be Death!
Assume man is very powerful so they don’t think the man is Death  going off of
their assumptions of power
How you die comes down to how you respond to temptation (treasure)
Deathly Hallows
Allegory calls attention of symbols to the reader
What is the goal of interpretation?
Trying to understand Dumbledore’s will
Reading the eulogy and stories about Dumbledore
Trying to figure out who Dumbledore actually was
First time that fiction is read throughout the series  Tales of Beedle the Bard
Trying to interpret stories and figure out their underlying meaning
Pg. 336: Hermione says “it’s just a morality tale, it’s obvious which gift it best and which
you’d choose”  then they all said a different gift
Hermione thought it was so obvious and it wasn’t
After discussion, they each understand themselves and their friends better  can
provide self knowledge and knowledge of others as well
Dumbledore greets Death as an old friend and Hans Hubermann kind of does the same
thing
Nothing in the Three Brothers actually references treasure  pg 266: reference to
treasure on Arianna Dumbledore’s grave, “where your treasure lies, you lie also” (?)
Hans has been invested in people rather than things  makes his soul lighter
Greed involves caring too much about things that rust can destroy
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