Sluggish Shooting Star


This comment is one of many that indicate Ron's underprivileged status.  In a family that struggles to make ends meet, Ron is the youngest of six boys, and he receives almost exclusively secondhand items, whether handed down from his brothers or purchased from a thrift shop.  His strong sense of humor does not always mask his clear feeling of burdensome deprivation.  His secondhand books and robes and even pet rat, combined with his mother's unfortunate tendency to provide him with things she forgets he dislikes, e.g. corned beef sandwiches and maroon sweaters, make it difficult for him to be friends with Harry at times.  Harry is twice given the most luxurious broomstick on the market as a gift, has enough gold to buy out the trolley of sweets on the Hogwarts Express, and is able to afford nice dress robes that bring out the color of his eyes.  Ron doesn't always recognize the many intangible ways in which he is more fortunate than Harry.  Consequently, when Ron is appointed the Gryffindor Prefect and is allowed to ask his mother for a reward, it makes sense that he would ask for a new broom.  With his new Cleansweep, he is able to try out for the Gryffindor Keeper position.  When he looks into the Mirror of Erised with Harry in their first year, he sees himself as Quidditch Captain, among other prestigious titles that follow in the footsteps of his older brothers.  With the Cleansweep, he inches closer to the type of son and person he most wants to be--and further from the boy being outstripped by butterflies.


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Tags: disparity flying fortune money old privilege slow wealth