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Thread: Character Essay: Body, Mind and Spirit

  1. #11
    Seventh Year Ravenclaw
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThessalyRose
    Here was my question about the fourth category.

    Here was my question about the fourth category.

    Now, for discussion: Two of the trios I mentioned above actually have fourth members: Wormtail and Slytherin. What do you think they represent? Do Harry, Ron and Hermione have a fourth cohort who falls into this category?

    You had said earlier that you didn't think it was a fourth category, but a flawed situation where four people were trying to fit into a three-part soul. But I don't know about that. Dumbledore says all the houses need to unite, and that includes Slytherin, which means that Slytherin is a part of the whole as well. But what part?
    Okay, thanks for reminding me! So a fourth category to go with Mind, Body, Spirit then? I get what you are saying now. When it comes to Hogwarts, there are four Houses, not three, and I think the obvious comparisons would be Gryffindor = Spirit, Ravenclaw = Mind, and Hufflepuff = Body. So like you said, where does that leave Slytherin? I don't know. I still think when it comes to the Maruaders that Peter was that extra person trying to squish into a three-part soul formed by James, Sirius, and Remus. This flaw ultimately destroyed them. As for Slytherin, perhaps it was a similar situation, and that's why he left.

    You mention this fourth category being that of one's fallen nature, which is really interesting. It could be more of a shadow than a fallen nature, though. Perhaps Slytherin (and Peter) represent the shadow of the unified three part soul, that polar opposite. I believe the Shadow is a Jungian archetype, the dark mirror image of the Hero archetype. So perhaps this fourth person is the Shadow of these famous trios.

    Hm, that is very interesting to me, I may have to think about that more!

    I still don't think Harry/Ron/Hermione have such a person, such a shadow, though. I think they are stronger and more evolved and will succeed because of this.

    Of course, it you wanted to stretch things, you might be able to make an argument for Snape as this fourth element, the Shadow of our Golden Trio. But I'm not up for that right now, too much deep thinking already. O.o

    Thanks again for clarifying!
    ~Gina

  2. #12
    Vorona
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    Shadows...

    Another area that I'm more comfortable in!

    I think that makes a lot of sense actually! And I do think shadows are necessary. You do need the balance. For example, what Dumbledore does at the end of the first book as far as the points go. He picked a *terrible* time to do that! I know we're not supposed to like Slytherins, but can you imagine -- you're sitting at the table, everything's in your colours, and suddenly the Headmaster just takes it away, and for what? Yes, everyone knows what happened, and yet, couldn't those points have been given *eariler*?

    Having Slytherin in the school *is* necessary to preserve the balance. It reminds people that no one, not even Dumbledore, is perfect.

    And I think the suggestion that Snape might be the shadow of the trio makes a lot of sense in that perspective: as long as Harry & Co. continue to pretend they don't have any responsibility for the consequences of their actions (Dumbledore's state after the cave, Sirius' death, etc.), and if Harry, in particular, keeps blaming Snape for all the things that are at least partly his fault (watch, now that he knows it's Snape's book, he can say it's Snape's fault that he cast Sectumsempra on Draco!), I think it's going to be very unbalanced. I think a soul-trio that accepts, and *respects* the shadow would be more evolved than one that doesn't.

    I have a feeling Wormtail might not have turned if he felt included/respected by the other Marauders. And as for Slytherin -- if he had to leave, he clearly wasn't included either, perhaps because he wouldn't include them... either way, because of the breach, it's no longer a cohesive whole.

    This is still really fascinating!

  3. #13
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    Wow, this is a very deep and interesting conversation. It is interesting to see how the different trios do have the three dimensions represented.. Mind, Spirit, and Body.

    I have studied Chakra and the Native American Medicine Wheel to a certain extent, and that learning has me wondering if the 4th demension isn't Emotion. The four main areas of the Medicine Wheel are Mind, Body, Emotion, and then Spirit. There are bridges between each of those that count for just as much time, but those are the main focuses of the wheel.

    Peter seems to be the Marauder most often overlooked. We have also had it indicated that at some point he was just as important as the other three. It is only in fanfiction that he is kept apart and put into the background. He might have originally been included in pity, but I truly think that he was just as active and involved in the group of friends as Remus, Sirius, and James. The other thing to remember, Sirius was convinced it was Remus, and not Peter who was the betrayer. To me that proves Peter had more import then he is given credit for. The same can be said of Slytherin and the founders. Just because he later leaves in a passion (goes great with emotion, doesn't it?), doesn't mean he had always been like that. Fanfiction loves to make him evil or always at odds with the other three. That couldn't be the case or he would have never started the school with them. We put Harry's and Hagrid's feelings for the Slytherins onto the entired house, which also has us using that against Salazar Slytherin.

    The person I would say represents the Emotion for the current Trio would be Ginny. She has become more and more a part of the what the trio does.

    Many religions work from the body to the mind to the spirit, like you said. Emotion is often looked at as unneccessary or evil. We are taught to ignore emotion. I think that is often why the 4th person ends up overlooked or turning against the other three. It is because they get denied. So far Ginny has not been denied. Harry locking her out at the end of HBP might not have been a great idea though.

    In my Chakra work I have learned that though the spirit is higher then the mind which is higher then the emotion which is higher then the body, all are needed in order for our total health. Lots of people block one, and that weakens all the rest... it is like pulling a brick out of the foundation one at a time. Eventually the entire thing will fall.

    I hope that I have brought a few new ideas into this conversation.

    Cyns


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  4. #14
    Vorona
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    Those are definitely interesting thoughts! I'm afraid I don't have anything to add on them...

    However, as I was thinking about how to deal with the huge plot problem that is my current work in progress, I thought, well, what if Ron used the Imperius Curse on Voldemort, while Snape was trying to destroy the scar Horcrux (still haven't decided even if *that's* going to happen), and somehow, began thinking of this discussion, and how it would make more sense for Hermione, the Mind character, to be casting Imperius...

    And then I realized that there *are* three Unforgivables, and they do rather match these categories:

    Avada Kedavra -- spirit
    Cruciatus -- body
    Imperius -- mind

    With emotion as a fourth, I can see Dementors in that area, but I'm not really sure...

    And with the Death Eaters, we have a trio that fits well with these curses:

    Bellatrix - Cruciatus
    Lucius Malfoy - Imperius
    Voldemort - Avada Kedavra

    Does this mean that in the final battle Hermione's going to take out Lucius and Ron, Bellatrix?

  5. #15
    ThessalyRose
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    Hey, I just thought of a better way to articulate my theory of the relationships between these three character types. I said before that I didn't think it was an evolution. It's more like this: you have to have discipline (humility) and faith (courage) in order to be a Spirit character. If you're missing faith, you're a Mind character, and if you're missing discipline, you're a Body character. It's not a hierarchy, because if Ron were to develop self-discipline, he wouldn't become a Mind character, he'd become a Spirit character. Likewise, Hermione must develop faith (which Ron already has) in order to become a Spirit character.

    That presents a possible identity for the fourth category: if Mind and Body are actually mirrors of each other, then Slytherin is a mirror of Gryffindor. But what trait, exactly, does it mirror? We know Harry's got faith (in himself) and discipline (or he'd be a lousy Quidditch player) but what is he lacking? What's his greatest weakness? I suspect the Mirror of Erised has something to do with it (after all, the Mirror didn't affect Ron the same way as it affected Harry) and maybe the Dementors do, too. I just haven't put my finger on it yet.

    And then I realized that there *are* three Unforgivables, and they do rather match these categories:

    Avada Kedavra -- spirit
    Cruciatus -- body
    Imperius -- mind
    That is BRILLIANT. Cruciatus put Neville's parents out of their minds forever, while Crouch Jr., who was under the Imperius curse for years and years, spent months in someone else's body. I agree that Mind characters would be better at using Imperius and Body characters at using Cruciatus, but do you think they would be less susceptible to the effects of one or the other?

    And your classification of the Death Eaters is great too; Bellatrix and Lucius are obviously body and mind characters, respectively, and Voldemort a spirit character. This is just what I wanted to learn from this thread!

    I would argue, though, that Hermione is more likely to defeat Bellatrix and Ron to defeat Lucius, because you want to pit the strength of one against the weakness of the other. However, I believe that JKR has set Neville up to defeat Bellatrix, for the sake of poetic justice.

    On the other hand...what if Neville represents Discipline, the trait that Body characters struggle with? That would mean that if he teamed up with Ron, they could probably do anything, once Ron accepts him. So maybe it'll be Ron and Neville against Bellatrix while Hermione and Luna (Luna represents the Faith that Hermione lacks) neutralize Lucius.

    Neville might be Wormtail's mirror, you know. JKR made a point of associating the two of them (in Harry's mind, in PoA). They could both represent discipline, but Neville has succeeded in acquiring it while Wormtail failed. I wonder if Luna mirrors somebody, then. Lily Evans, maybe?

    --Thess, who flees before this post gets any longer!

  6. #16
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    Cheshlin - I love the chakra references, as you might imagine. The idea of the fourth character/category representing emotion is a good one as well. If we wanted to disassociate from the mind/body/spirit mentality, it could also be fate: one could argue that Slytherin, Peter, and Neville were all entwined by fate in very specific ways. But I still like the shadow theory better.

    I like the connection with the Unforgivables as well, and giving Ron the Cruciatus and Hermione the Imperius makes sense. But I agree Neville will have something to do with Bellatrix's defeat as opposed to Ron, simply for poetic justice.

    Hey, I just thought of a better way to articulate my theory of the relationships between these three character types. I said before that I didn't think it was an evolution. It's more like this: you have to have discipline (humility) and faith (courage) in order to be a Spirit character. If you're missing faith, you're a Mind character, and if you're missing discipline, you're a Body character. It's not a hierarchy, because if Ron were to develop self-discipline, he wouldn't become a Mind character, he'd become a Spirit character. Likewise, Hermione must develop faith (which Ron already has) in order to become a Spirit character.
    I like this very much! It becomes more of a pyramid then, with mind and body forming the bottom supporting corners and spirit at the top pinnacle. You pinpointed the missing element from both Ron and Hermione's character very well!

    That presents a possible identity for the fourth category: if Mind and Body are actually mirrors of each other, then Slytherin is a mirror of Gryffindor. But what trait, exactly, does it mirror? We know Harry's got faith (in himself) and discipline (or he'd be a lousy Quidditch player) but what is he lacking? What's his greatest weakness? I suspect the Mirror of Erised has something to do with it (after all, the Mirror didn't affect Ron the same way as it affected Harry) and maybe the Dementors do, too. I just haven't put my finger on it yet.
    I think you are right about that fourth category being a mirror more than anything. I think I mentioned shadows already, and I'm sticking to that. Slytherin is the shadow element of a three part soul, a corruption of perfection. So is Peter. I don't see this working for Neville because I still think Harry/Ron/Hermione are missing that element in their relationship because they have evolved past the flaws of their ancestors. Yes, that fourth category could be emotion, or fate, but when looking at Slytherin and Wormtail something negative seems in order, something that disrupts the connectedness of mind/body/spirit, and I think a shadow reflection is the most likely.

    Neville might be Wormtail's mirror, you know. JKR made a point of associating the two of them (in Harry's mind, in PoA). They could both represent discipline, but Neville has succeeded in acquiring it while Wormtail failed. I wonder if Luna mirrors somebody, then. Lily Evans, maybe?
    Yes, what JKR did in PoA is the one argument against my theory in the last paragraph. In PoA Harry really does think Neville is that fourth person who might turn against him; but that is only Harry's paranoid thoughts, built on the history of his parents. There are really no active elements in the story to support this.
    However, by OotP, we sort of see a new trio emerging to fight alongside Harry, Ron and Hermion: Ginny, Neville, and Luna. So maybe that's the role he plays. He seems less of a loner or extra wheel as time goes on and seems to come into his own by book six (particularly represented by his own wand). I would wonder whether Wormtail did. In this new trio Ginny represents Spirit (and she is spirited, look at book six!), Neville the body, and Luna the mind. . . albeit it in a completely different way than Hermione. Okay, feel free to poke holes in that last bit. But Luna does live in the mind, just not the studious, bookish, logical part: she lives in the faith based part, in her imagination, and really it guides her almost as well as Hermione's guides her.
    *ducks*
    And I don't think Luna mirrors anyone either. I think JKR put her there soley for Hermione's sake:
    JKR: "Luna is the anti-Hermione because Hermione is so logical and so inflexible whereas Luna is the one who is prepared to believe a thousand mad things before breakfast." Quote from Royal Albert Hall, 2003
    Anyway, does anyone else wonder if we are skirting the edges of seeing nargles that aren't really there?
    I wonder, but then I realize that JKR is a good writer who planned much of this; and then I realize that she is also a very well-read, well-educated writer and that her subconscious is probably drawing a lot of the more subtle connections.
    Either way, it's fun.
    ~Gina

  7. #17
    Vorona
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    No, I agree about Neville and Bellatrix... I was having this discussion without thinking about the rest of the book, and just focusing on the trio thing. A sort of what if moment... Anyway.

    The pyramid thing makes sense, but I still don't like it, because I really *don't* think that Harry is more evolved than Hermione and Ron, nor that Ginny is more evolved than Neville or Luna. In the latter case, I think we have *seen* more of Neville's evolution, but it's clear that Ginny has as well, after being abducted by Tom and rejected (initially) by Harry, and Luna as well -- having to deal with everything everyone says about her.

    I do think she is a mind character, because she's always in her mind, and she doesn't just accept what other people proclaim is the truth.

    They are evolved in different ways, I think.

    However, the idea that a body character can have what a mind character is missing fits very well with the Shadow theory -- I think the shadow character has what the spirit character is missing... and vice versa.

    Any ideas on what that could be?

  8. #18
    XpadfootxlivezxonX
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    Wow this is a lot to take in so let me get this striaght there are three types of people in a trio.. Does this work for all trios like Malfoy and the gang? Also, each person has there "Shadow" or anti-type or whatever, like luna and hermione. So does this work for all people like what would Harry's be and Ron's. Also wouldn't make sense if there shadow's are there enemies or at least they don't get along, like Luna and Hermione?

    This works in really life too! I am basically in a trio, right? So I would be the Body (although i don't have a great one!) becuase i am loyal, but not self-controlled. One of my friends would be the Mind becuase she is smart and compassionate, but struggles with what she believes sort of i dont know? Then my other friend is the Spirit becuase she is the leader of our group in a way... sort of.

    Like in Kingdom Hearts (sorry video game junky!) Sora is the Spirit and Donald is the Mind and Goofy is the Body. But, in that game you can replace them so can a trio replace a person?

    So do certain types go with others like R/H Body and Mind go together, but than in MWPP Body and Spirit are closer, so do they all need eachother to function or can they be on there own?

    Then with the shadows again Wormtail is Nevilles shadow, Ginny Lily's, then Luna wouldn't really be in this because she is Hermione's. Is there more to this than Mind, Body, and Spirit becuase you mentioned Faith too, is Faith and two other things the shadows?

    Would it be Fath, Control, and something else? Wait okay so wouldn't they not get along with the others becuase Mind and Body have what the other ones missing and Then Spirit need what the other two have?

    Okay i am finished i just confuse myself!

    Paige

  9. #19
    ThessalyRose
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    Cheslin, what's the difference between Emotion and Body? The way I was picturing it, they would be the same. And can someone give us a concise definition of a shadow character? I don't think Paige and I are following you.

    Paige, it's interesting that you bring up Malfoy. I was going to reply and say that Draco and his goons weren't a proper trio, because they seem more like a mind and two bodies, which isn't complete. But then I got to thinking about it and realized that we don't really know Crabbe and Goyle very well, do we? And aren't Ron and Harry surprised (I think it's in PS/SS) when Goyle passes his exams, but not Crabbe? So maybe Draco=Spirit, Goyle=Body and Crabbe=Mind.

    So do certain types go with others like R/H Body and Mind go together, but than in MWPP Body and Spirit are closer, so do they all need eachother to function or can they be on there own?
    I think we see in the Harry-Ron-Hermione trio that you need all three of them to function as a whole, and I think Gina is right that the Mauraders sort of self-destructed because they didn't get that figured out (However, I think it was the lack of trust between James and Sirius and Remus that was their downfall). Look at Chamber of Secrets; when Hermione is petrified, Harry and Ron nearly get killed by spiders while chasing down a dead end. It's only with the clue that Hermione provides them that they finally solve the problem.

    Gina -- I love the idea of Ginny, Neville and Luna becoming their own trio! That's really a good point. Luna is a Mind character because Mind characters struggle with Faith. That doesn't mean they don't have Faith; in Luna's case, she has Faith in EVERYTHING. I think the lesson to learn from her is that choosing to believe in the wrong things is just as dangerous as not believing in the right things.

    I would like to respectfully disagree with your comment about Harry being afraid Neville will turn against him. I don't have any books with me right now, but the way I remember it, Harry only associates Neville with Peter once, and that's before he knows that Peter betrayed anybody.

    Vorona -- Maybe Love is the key attribute we're looking for. Someone, in a fan fiction somewhere, wrote that the difference between Gryffindor and Slytherin was that Gryffindor looks outward and Slytherin looks inward, or something like that. (I wish I could remember where I read that, but I'm afraid it was in VV's In the Eyes of Others, which is really long and I don't have time to reread it now!), so maybe the key is that Gryffindors love others (which is why they're brave and loyal) but Slytherins love only themselves.

    And yes, I did wonder at first if I was seeing Nargles in the mistletoe, but go back and re-read the books with this concept in mind, and suddenly all kinds of things make sense that didn't before. What did it for me was that I realized that Luna represents Faith, and at the end of OotP, when Harry is wandering around the castle practically begging people to comfort him in his grief for Sirius, it's Luna who finally comes through, by reminding him that he'll see Sirius again. That's a truth about life (at least if you're a Christian); the only comfort in losing our loved ones is to have faith that we'll see them again someday.

    And, as Paige mentioned, once you get the Body-Mind-Spirit concept, you start to see it all over the place. Because it's there, in literature and popular culture and possibly even in your own writing, without you realizing it. I was quite shocked recently to discover that I had a very well fleshed out thematic structure based on the Body-Mind-Spirit triad in my original novel, even though I was completely unaware of it. Go figure.

    Thess

  10. #20
    Vorona
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    Shadows...

    Okay. The idea of a shadow is a psychological concept (I think Jungian, but I'm not 100% positive on that). Basically, we have ourself, as is. Our core identity, who we think we are, and so on. And all the stuff we think we *aren't* or that we dislike about ourself, gets bundled up and hidden away from us, so that we point at others and say "I'm not bad because I'm not like *him*"... but in reality, we *do* have those qualities.

    The goal is to integrate the shadow with the self - to admit the things we dislike about ourself and to accept our "weaknesses" as much as our strengths as being a part of us. That is because all qualities are essentially neutral, and by focusing on the negative side of a particular quality, we lose access to the positive.

    Take ambition, for example.

    Ambition is supposedly the prime quality of Slytherin. And it's seen as being that basic self-serving need to get ahead of everyone else and then lord it over them. But ambition is a lot more than that. In PS/SS, when the Sorting Hat is arguing with Harry, one of the things it mentions is "a drive to prove yourself" -- that's ambition. And the most ambitious character *I've* seen in the books goes by the name of Hermione Granger. Ambition is a drive to succeed and do more than perhaps one ought. Her taking of all those classes, organizing Buckbeak's defence and S. P. E. W., etc. That's very ambitious. But because we're taught that ambition is bad, we don't call it ambition and continue to malign all the Slytherins for the *first* version of ambition.

    I'm getting a little off-track, but the point I want to make is that ambition in itself is neither good nor bad, but if Hermione were to realize that she is ambitious (if she doesn't already) and then think "Oh, no, ambition is Slytherin and therefore evil", and stop being ambitious because of it, that would make her a far less powerful and interesting character. The same thing can be said of just about any trait. But as long as you choose not to identify with all of your traits, you will act them out without thinking about them and will therefore likely do them poorly.

    Take Harry. Harry *hates* the Dark Arts, and everything they represent. And yet, twice now, he has attempted the Cruciatus Curse, and although he felt bad briefly after cursing Draco with Sectumsempra, he didn't hesitate to try again on Snape. He is completely unaware of his dark side, and thus, has no way to control it. As long as he sees someone else as "evil", it's okay. But if he were to look truly at himself and see that he does hold grudges, that he never really *did* give Snape or Draco much of a chance (he hated Snape because Snape looked at him funny), he might be able to know when to use a Dark curse and when not to.

    To sum up, the shadow is where we throw all the stuff we hate about ourselves.

    Thus, I think Snape makes a perfect Shadow for Harry -- because Harry blames Snape for everything that has happened, *particularly* those things that were at least in part, his fault. Sirius would never have left Grimmauld Place, Snape's teasing notwithstanding, if Harry hadn't gone to the Ministry that night. And I daresay Draco, and possibly therefore Snape, would have had a different situation on their hands if Dumbledore hadn't been so weakened by the potion. (Incidentally, I think the cave scene is a mirror of the Astronomy Tower scene, but I am biased in favor of Snape, so I may be wrong there. In any case, the words "hatred" and "revulsion" are mentioned in both.).

    Let me get this straight -- on the "missing" thing:

    So, if Gryffindor has *love*, what does Slytherin have that Gryffindor is missing?

    Personally, I can't believe that - that is, that at the age of 11, a child would be destined to only love him/herself. That seems pretty drastic.

    As for inward/outward... I have a whole House system figured out, but it would completely hijack this thread, which is probably long enough as it is. I will say briefly that I agree that Gryffindor is outward, but I think Slytherin is as well. It's Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff that are more inward.

    As for what Slytherin/4th person/Shadow has that the Spirit character/house doesn't have:

    I think it's a cunning ruthlessness. We may love sweetness and light, but every once in a while, some down and dirty stuff is necessary in war. Dumbledore knew it, or he wouldn't have had a spy. Nor would he be working with Mundungus Fletcher. Yes, the Trio is willing to break rules, and Harry has shown he is willing to do Dark magic (even if he doesn't want to call it that), but I think there's going to be a need for people who are willing to be even shadier. Those who are willing to work in secret instead of in the open, sneak attacks rather than honorable duels. That sort of thing.

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