The Erudite Hufflepuff

2My name is Alicia Thompson and if I had gone to Hogwarts, I would have been sorted into Hufflepuff, the house of dedication, hard work, fair play, patience, kindness and tolerance.

If I had lived in the post-apocalyptic Chicago of the Divergent series, I would have chosen Erudite, the faction of curiosity, the pursuit of knowledge, of understanding how things work and how they work.

I think that most Hufflepuffs would belong in Amity, most Erudites in Ravenclaw, but here’s my reasoning.

In Harry Potter, the hat sorts at eleven. It also sorts not just according to what you have an aptitude for, but what you value and which environment will bring out the best in you.

This is why I think Hermione is in Gryffindor. She uses her cleverness for bravery, passion and courage, not just for the sake of cleverness. She values Gryffindor’s traits even though she uses Ravenclaws means to get there. Additionally, Hermione, who already tended toward the insufferable, wouldn’t have thrived as a person in Ravenclaw. She had smarts that didn’t need to be nurtured in order for her to grow. In fact, I think that Gryffindor complimented the traits that make her a rounded person. For Luna Lovegood, I think Ravenclaw was the house to do this for her. She could have made a good Hufflepuff but her eccentricity being encouraged through action might not have brought out the person that she became with her eccentricity being tempered by possibility.

When I was ten and eleven, I was in fifth and sixth grade. I was at the tail end of three years in gifted classes. I was clever, I was doing well academically, but in an environment that kept demanding my cleverness, my creativity and my curiousness, and didn’t nurture any of the Hufflepuff traits, I was bullied, sad, and being taught a very hard lesson in what makes me happy, what I value, and what environment I need to become a well rounded person. So if the sorting hat had gone on my head, it would have told me how clever I was and how that cleverness should be used for kindness, tempered by hard work. Hufflepuff!

I had had grown up in the Divergent universe, I would have been born in Amity. My father would have been Dauntless born, Amity chosen, my mother Candor born, Amity chosen. At sixteen, I was craving education, philosophy and debate. I was passionate for intellect and creativity in a way that would not have been conducive to peace. I don’t know what the Aptitude test would have said. Perhaps Amity, perhaps Erudite, perhaps both. I would have stepped up to the platform to spill my blood over water, not earth. Erudite.

I question the real value of sorting people, especially with history of being sorted in a rudimentary fashion at various points by my IQ, my sex and my talents, but that’s not the point of my post. My point is that what seems like a simple system shared in two fictional worlds isn’t. They’re divergent.

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