Tuesday, December 13, 2016

What Secrets are Hiding in Modesty Barebone's Hopscotch Chant? Day 2 of the 12 Days of #FantasticBeasts

On the second day of Fantastic Beasts, my true love said to me... A witch flying on a switch is about to die!

The second day of the 12 Days of Fantastic Beasts is here! I hope you caught yesterday's character analyses of Modesty Barebone. Today we continue with the clues hiding in her hopscotch chant. All of these are excerpts from my clue book: Fantastic Secrets Behind Fantastic Beasts (releasing this week!).


Niffler by Kayla Perkinson

Now, let's continue...In a couple of different scenes in the Second Salem Church, we see Modesty skipping through chalked blocks, singing:
My momma, your momma,
gonna catch a witch,
My momma, your momma,
flying on a switch,
My momma, your momma,
witches never cry,
My momma, your momma,
witches gonna die! (p. 52)
Take out the repetitive “my momma, your momma,” a hint as to who the witch is, and we have:
gonna catch a witch,
flying on a switch,
witches never cry,
witches gonna die!
Question—Why is the witch flying on a switch instead of the classical broom? Of course, a broom is a type of thick switch, but more likely, Rowling is hinting at the switch used by parents to spank children.

And who is the momma we see spanking a child in Fantastic Beasts? Mary Lou’s preferred weapon, however, is Credence’s own belt. She was also dead before the end of the film.

Mary Lou was a witch in both mannerisms and heredity. As the descendant of Scourers (see her character entry), she had a witch or wizard in her family tree. Through her myopic view of people different from herself and her mistreatment of the children who should be under her love and protection, she is presented as a cruel, abusive woman, hearkening back to an older understanding of witch.

So, Mary Lou, flying on her switch of a belt, never cried in her abusive treatment of Credence and died at the end of Fantastic Beasts.

We'll continue with the second half of Modesty's chant tomorrow to see what hints Rowling might be hiding for the whole series. Be sure to come back for all 12 days!

Have you seen the film yet? What did you think of the Second Salemers? Did Modesty's chant surprise you?

Be sure to check out the other 12 Days of Fantastic Beasts!

About the Book:

Fantastic Secrets Behind Fantastic Beasts

Explore JK Rowling's secrets, one clue at a time!

Fantastic Secrets Behind Fantastic Beasts is THE guide for all Fantastic Beast and Where to Find Them fans eager to experience anew the excitement of of finding clues and sharing speculation, just like they enjoyed during the height of the Harry Potter series. New fans will be amazed at the secrets lurking underneath the surface of Rowling's newest film. Diving deeply into the story's mysteries, S.P. Sipal offers a detailed analysis of the analogies, myths, and clues JK Rowling hid on screen and on page to charm her fans once again.

Discover and explore such questions as:
  • Is there an Animagi hidden in the story?
  • Why will there be FIVE movies?
  • What secret is Modesty hiding?
  • Did Frank wipe out ALL the memories from that fateful night?
  • And was Grindelwald already in possession of the Elder Wand?

S.P. Sipal has analyzed the mysteries behind the Harry Potter series for over a dozen years. A sought-after presenter at fan, writing, and academic conferences both at home and abroad, her books have also delighted writers, teachers, and fans alike. Now she turns her expert attention to investigating the beginning of Rowling's exciting new series. Join her as she prepares you to dig into the layers of subtext yourself to claim what treasures await...before the Niffler beats you to it!