Humor Has It

Published April 1, 2014 by A. Featherquill
Sometimes, there are situations when you cannot beat your opponent through reason because they themselves choose to be unreasonable.

I think Dolores Umbridge’s attitude falls under this category. Being very loyal to the Ministry, she strictly upholds and enforces its laws even to the point of oppressing the people the institution is supposed to serve. A logical appeal does not work on her, because she has chosen to close her ears and mind, in order to not listen to the plight of her constituents. An emotional appeal also does not work because she has closed her eyes and heart and, therefore, cannot see or feel the problems of her people. An appeal which latches on one’s credibility to be Umbridge’s equal is also bound to fail, because Umbridge seems to believe that she is the embodiment of the law, making her see herself as superior to everyone else (except the Minister of Magic, of course).

In such moments, one can find power in humor.

Our birthday celebrants, Fred and George Weasley, have demonstrated this power when they left Hogwarts and defied Umbridge toward the end of ‘the Order of the Phoenix’.

The Weasley brothers need not shout, say insults, or use intimidating language to embarrass Umbridge and undermine her credibility. Knowing that it is futile, they haven’t even made the attempt to argue with her. Yet their move has proved to be very successful.

The comic attitude and unruly behavior they have expressed in this incident already serves as an effective statement against her. Humor, in this case, becomes the antithesis of Umbridge’s unreasonable prim and proper personality. Moreover, because humor does not employ ethos, logos, and pathos the conventional way, it has the chance to penetrate into Umbridge’s defenses against the use of emotion, reason, and credibility.

By using a power beyond the jurisdiction of Umbridge’s rules, the twin brothers have defeated her and exacted revenge on her in behalf of Hogwarts.

Truly, humor also plays a significant part in our lives and in Harry Potter.

Finally, because it is April Fools and the birthday of the humorous and entertaining Weasley brothers, let us have a good laugh and smile our worries away… even just for today.

Happy birthday, Fred and George! Congratulations for a battle creatively fought and successfully won!

Stay Magical,
A. Featherquil

P.S. Since it is April Fools, feel free to share your favorite prank or humorous line in Harry Potter, along with your comments.

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3 comments on “Humor Has It

  • My favourite prank in HP is without a doubt the fireworks that Fred and George set off during Umbridge’s reign 😄 And many of the funniest lines in the fifth book are contained within that scene as well.

    “As Harry watched, one of the larger Catherine Wheels seemed to decide that what it needed was more room to manoeuver. It whirled towards Umbridge and Filch with a sinister ‘Wheeeeee.'”

    “”Don’t STUN them, Filch!” shouted Umbridge angrily, for all the world as though it had been his incantation.
    “Right you are, headmistress!” wheezed Filch, who as a Squib could no more have Stunned the fireworks than swallowed them.”

    “”Dear, Dear,” said Professor McGonagall sardonically, as one of the dragons soared around her classroom, emitting loud bangs and exhaling flame. “Miss Brown, would you mind running along to the headmistress and informing her that we have an escaped firework in our classroom?””

    “”Thank you so much, Professor!” said Professor Flitwick in his squeaky little voice. “I could have got rid of the sparklers myself, of course, but I wasn’t sure whether or not I had the authority.</em." Beaming, he closed his classroom door in her snarling face."

    I also love the moment in the fifth book where McGonagall walks past Peeves as he's loosening a chandelier and mutters out of the corner of her mouth that it unscrews the other way 😄 (How does she even know??) Also from the fifth book – when Harry and Ron sit their Divination OWLs – I loved the bit that goes, "He [Harry] lost his head completely during tea-leaf reading, saying it looked to him as though Professor Marchbanks would shortly be meeting a round, dark, soggy stranger, and rounded off the whole fiasco by mixing up the life and head lines on her palm and informing her that she ought to have died the previous Tuesday."

    *dies of laughter*

    "And from now on, I don't care if my tea leaves spell 'Die, Ron, die', I'm just chucking them in the bin where they belong."

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