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Do you think Slytherin deserves its bad rep?
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PostSubject: Do you think Slytherin deserves its bad rep?   Tue Sep 25, 2012 6:27 pm

Simple poll here...

I think yes because otherwise McGonagall wouldn't have told someone (can't remember who) to take the Slytherins away when Harry returned to Hogwarts in Deathly Hallows.

What do you think?
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PostSubject: Re: Do you think Slytherin deserves its bad rep?   Thu Dec 06, 2012 1:07 pm

I think yes; nearly all the dark wizards were from Slytherin, and in the 7th book everyone but the Slytherins were willing to help Harry.
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PostSubject: Inherently, no, but with their pureblood association record...   Fri May 24, 2013 1:16 am

Long ranting essay time! Twisted Evil

The traits that define Slytherin house are cunning, resourcefulness and ambition, not "evil evilness". Sure, those traits could be used to achieve evil ends, but evil does not define the house. There are plenty of protagonists that display these traits in literature, and are defined as good people by most readers e.g. Terry Pratchett's Dodger, the protagonists of the Hunger Games. There are also various times in the series when the forces of good use these skills to survive their trials e.g. Snape's double-agency. I'd cite Snape and Pettigrew as examples of how Slytherin is not always evil/worse than Gryffindor, but Pettigrew shows a distinct lack of courage throughout the series while Snape is shown to have been exceptionally brave.

However, it's shown that the characters can influence their Sorting through their wishes and house preference. Most of the Slytherins we see greatly value their house - we can probably assume that they wanted to be in Slytherin badly. Their preference likely stems from Salazar's pureblood philosophy, which has nothing to do with cunning, ambition or resourcefulness (unless it was a master plot on Salazar's part to ensure that his pureblood descendents would retain their status in society. If it was, it didn't exactly work too well for the Gaunts and their impoverished lifestyle). This is most evident in Crabbe and Goyle, neither of whom express any of these traits in great amounts. They probably wished in the same way that Harry wished to be in Gryffindor.

By the looks of it, the House of Slytherin itself isn't evil and isn't designed to churn out evil: it's the pureblood fanatics that populate the house that make the place seem like it. Harry's generation was filled with pureblood children from families like Malfoy's that wished ill upon Muggles and Muggleborns. It's unlikely that they were brought up with a healthy philosophy about life or allowed to decide for themselves in this matter. Thus, a new generation of pureblood fanatics is sent to Hogwarts, told by their parents that Slytherin is the best house of them all. They put the Sorting Hat on, fervently wishing to be put in Slytherin, and even though they're not all that cunning, ambitious or resourceful... Meanwhile, any "good" people with these traits like Harry wish with all their might not to go to the house that made pretty much every evil wizard and witch in existence. Thus, you end up with the House of Slytherin: not evil in itself, but full to the brim with pureblood fanatics.
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