There is something about immeasurable hardships and patience – both of which Dobby immortalised for me in ways I never thought. If there’s one character’s death in the series that looked totally unnecessary and completely cruel, it was Dobby’s. It was watching that one person you know who has nothing but goodness in their heart, go down for the greater good. After Sirius, it was Dobby’s death that shook me hardest.
He came into our lives as the irritant who had no apparent reasons for doing all that he did, for almost ruining lives, and then gaining our sympathy with his incessant self-blame and head banging. The last not in a good way of course.
He dropped a cake on Uncle Dursley’s boss’ wife’s head, got Harry blamed for it, almost got him suspended from Hogwarts when he blocked the entrance to platform 9 and 3/4 and Harry & Ron had to fly the car there – all of this in the span of a summer vacation. He made my face wry, he made it twist into its ugliest look of irritation and disgust.
But, but, but…Dobby was the one who set the bar for the my-way-or-the-highway. I mean, look at him guys, he was THE dude when it came to getting his way, he went all out, even defying his masters for the sake of what he believed in.
Oh and let’s not forget the time he almost got dear Harry killed at the Quidditch match – for Harry’s safety of course. What a delivery under pressure! He could not practice magic without permission (his reasons do not fit the elfian clauses), it was also against his master’s wishes, in fact, a hindrance to them, and yet none of it stopped him.
Personally, he was one of the most relatable revolutionaries. He was a ‘freedom -minded’ house-elf who, kind of, brought Marxism (eh) into elfian politics. He stood for the freedom of elfves even when other elves shunned his ideas.
That tiny, adorable creature, after his ‘release‘, he kind of realised the potential of living a life of dignity. Dobby was the very first of his kind to introduce the idea of liberation. He continued with it to the very end, with no followers. He reasoned, realised why freedom and work-with-pay were not ‘lowly’ and quite unlike what the elfian race believed in. Work was more like a hobby to him. Thought hobby-meets-job could be fun, huh?
Most importantly, he persisted with unconditional honesty towards the ideal itself. He was the hero in a pillow cover who wanted to do the right thing and did it with a threat to his life, for selfless reasons, and with all his heart.
I don’t know if it was reason, a good heart, or just unfathomable amounts of Gryffindor courage, but Dobby had a clear conscience and an unbelievable will to pursue it. He continued his efforts to “protect Harry” even when Harry made it to Hogwarts. Imagine the kind of horrible things he would’ve witnessed, probably even experienced, being privy to a Death Eater. The Chosen One needed to be saved, and save him Dobby did till his last breath.
That, my friends, is perseverance elfified.
He’s symbolic of hope against hope. He’s also a revolutionary. He made us all proud.
We have more reasons to thank him than he’d have ever taken credit for.
So let’s raise our wands for Dobby, the free elf.