Genealogy and Social Class: Prejudice in Harry Potter Sample

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While composing the best seller Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone J. K. Rowling was fighting on public assistance in a java store. Like Rowling. the heros in her novel are societal castawaies. Harry is an orphan ; Ron comes from poorness ; and Hermione comes from a non-wizard household. Harry grows up in the non-magical universe. raised by non-magical common people. He is maltreated because he is different. and to an extent an uninvited portion of the household. The existent universe exhibits biass due to race. faith. gender and societal category on an mundane footing. Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone is set in a fantasy universe that is far from the ordinary universe readers are used to. nevertheless ; bias is a subject that is dealt with throughout the whole narrative. much like in existent life. In her book. Rowling clearly illustrates how prejudice due to genealogy and societal category is frequently unreasonable and ever ignorant.

From the beginning of the narrative. readers are introduced to prejudice by the manner Vernon Dursley behaves toward those he sees inferior to his ego induced. inflated societal category. When he encounters people dressed in cloaks readers see that “Mr. Dursley couldn’t bear people dressed in amusing clothes” ( 8 ) . In his head they are “weirdos” . immature. and second-class citizens. Harry is raised in this manner ; the Dursleys hate anyone who is different from them. and Harry is really different. This is why he is forced to populate in a closet under the steps. wear Dudley’s scruffy hand-me-downs. remain in concealing when visitants come over. and be Dudley’s human pluging bag.

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Readers shortly discover that the Dursley’s hatred for Harry comes from him holding wizard blood. Uncle Vernon swore “when [ they ] took him in [ they’d ] put a halt to that trash. Swore [ they’d ] stomp it out of him” ( 43 ) . The Dursley’s take pride in their “normality” and anything that doesn’t fit their mold must be altered. this is what they tried to make with Harry. but could non. Aunt Petunia shows her bitterness for aces when asked by Harry if she knew he was a ace: “Knew! Of class we knew! How could you non be. my dratted sister being what she was? I was the lone 1 who saw her for what she was – a monster! … And of class I knew you’d be merely the same. merely as unusual. merely every bit – as – abnormal” ( 44 ) . Because of the Dursley’s perceived high quality to aces. it took Harry 11 old ages to happen out the truth about his parent’s decease and his built-in gift of genius. They tried to model him into a “normal” male child. one that fits their hyperbolic values but it did non work. He is inferior in the Dursley’s eyes and this is why he was treated in such a barbarous mode.

If prejudice from non-magical common people exists. so must prejudice from charming common people. Non-magical people are called “Muggles” by the ace community. There are no negative deductions to the word. unless there is purpose. Draco Malfoy is a male child who comes from a pure ace household who uses the term “Muggle” in a negative intension ; to him anyone who is non pure-blood is inferior. Readers are foremost confronted with bias in this signifier when Harry meets Malfoy in Diagon Alley and is asked about his household: “…they were our sort weren’t they? … I truly don’t think they should allow the other kind in bash you? They are merely non the same. they’ve ne’er been brought up to cognize our ways” ( 60-61 ) . Anyone who is non of charming descent in Malfoy’s position is inferior and unworthy of non merely come ining Hogwarts but of interacting with aces at all.

Readers shortly see that there is category battle even within charming common people. Once Malfoy finds out Harry is friends with Ron he tells him: “You’ll shortly happen out some wizarding households are much better than others. Potter. You don’t desire to travel doing friends with the incorrect kind. I can assist you there” ( 81 ) . Even within the charming universe there are certain categories. Malfoy and Ron both come from ancient ace households. but Malfoy believes he is superior to Ron because the Weasley’s “have more kids than they can afford” ( 81 ) . Malfoy’s ego produced high quality wrongfully makes him believe Harry who is celebrated in the ace universe will be friends with him. alternatively of the “inferior” Ronald Weasley.

The assorted houses as Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry have a category system in topographic point every bit good. There are four houses: Gryffindor. Hufflepuff. Ravenclaw. and Slytherin. Each have a category intension attached to it ; Gryffindors are courageous and loyal ; Hufflepuffs are true and good-natured ; Ravenclaws are witty and extremely intelligent ; Slytherins are cunning and underhand. Rowling creates societal deductions of being in each house. Hufflepuff seems to be the weakest of the houses and when Harry exclaims to Hagrid that he will likely be in Hufflepuff. Hagrid exclaims: “Better Hufflepuff than Slytherin… there’s non a individual enchantress or ace who went bad who wasn’t in Slytherin” ( 61-62 ) . Slytherins have a negative intension about them. it seems that all of them have an built-in evilness about them. Slytherins see themselves as superior to all other houses yet when Harry is soothing Neville after an affray with Malfoy he tells him: “You’re worth 12 of Malfoy…the Sorting Hat chose you for Gryffindor. didn’t it? And where’s Malfoy? In stinking Slytherin” ( 160 ) . Harry makes Neville experience better by indicating out that he was chosen for Gryffindor. while Malfoy was chosen for Slytherin. the lowest house in Gryffindor’s heads. Rowling creates category battle even in the houses of Hogwarts. you can clearly see the bias and gulf that even brave Gryffindors exhibit.

Another bias in the wizarding universe is illustrated when Neville. who comes from an ancient wizarding household. negotiations about his household experience. There seems to be disappointment. disapproval. concern. anxiousness and great embarrassment in wizarding households who have a comparative. like Neville. who seems to hold no charming powers:

Well. my nan brought me up and she’s a witch… My Great Uncle Algie kept seeking to catch me off my guard and coerce some charming out of me – he pushed me off the terminal of Blackpool wharf one time. I about drowned but nil happened until I was eight. Great Uncle Algie came unit of ammunition for dinner. and he was hanging me out of an upstairs window by the mortise joints when my Great Auntie Enid offered him a meringue and he by chance let travel. But I bounced all the manner down the garden and into the road… you should hold seen their faces when I got [ to Hogwarts ] they thought I might non be charming plenty to come. ( 93 ) Cruel ways of coercing the thaumaturgy out of them are absolutely acceptable every bit long as they become a ace or enchantress.

Rowling clearly shows how these biass are unreasonable and nescient. Coming from a pure-blood wizarding household makes no difference and does non do you superior to person who comes from a Muggle household. For illustration. Neville. who comes from a pure-blood household can hardly stand on his pess. Meanwhile. Hermione who comes from a Muggle familyis the top of her category and can execute any enchantment assigned. By demoing how incorrect bias is in Harry’s fantasy universe. Rowling draws a analogue to the readers universe. One can see how incorrect bias on the footing on race. faith. category position. age. or gender is. The characters in this book trade with the same type of favoritism and hatred that still exists in the reader’s mundane life. Rowling clearly illustrates how bias is frequently unreasonable and ever ignorant.

Work Cited

Rowling. J. K. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. London: Bloomsbury. 1997. Print.

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Genealogy and Social Class: Prejudice in Harry Potter Sample. (2017, Jul 31). Retrieved from

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