Coming Fast at You, Three Posts in One Day

Part Two: Expanding on My Beef with Harry Potter

That raises the question If I’m already too prejudiced against the series to give it a fair reading.  And, to be honest, I may very well be. 

There are a number of issues from my previous post on the Harry Potter series that I’ve had time to think about and wished I’d expanded upon in the earlier post. 

I have an issue with Harry being abused. Now, I understand how it was missed, or overlooked. But I still don’t like it. 

And I really don’t like the fact that Harry comes out of it as if the abuse largely never happened. I don’t like the fact that the Dursleys’ treatment of Harry is rendered comedic by the horrors of Hogwarts. I detest the fact that the Dursleys (and the neighbors of Privet Drive) allow for a bigoted narrative to have impetus. Baring the Grangers, are there any “good muggles?”

The politics of Harry Potter have been well remarked upon. Though I’m not sure how rigorous the analysis has been. 

I do know that Rowling is, herself, on the left wing of the British Labour Party. And I can accept that she intended a more left wing reading of Harry Potter, though I don’t think she succeeded. And the reasons why would make for an interesting paper.

For me, there is a marked lack of critical thinking in the series. Does Harry ever challenge Dumbledore? It’s his life being ruined. While Hermione may be brilliant, does she ever look critically at what she’s read? 

Furthermore, the issue of Dean Thomas still bugs me. I get why Rowling did what she did. Hermione has to be a muggleborn so that her brilliance can be shown and explained (she’s trying, and failing, to fit in). But I don’t like the fact that the five person band (with sixth ranger Luna) are all white. That there are only a handful people of color who only have small roles in the series just bugs me. (Yes, Shacklebolt becomes Minister and McGonagall becomes Headmistress, but that doesn’t excuse the lack of representation.)

So, what are the odds that I’m going to hate Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone? Probably very high. But I will make an effort. And blog about it. 

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Posted on August 2, 2013, in Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I often find myself looking at books and seeing the diversity, or lack thereof, as well. Even in some cases, where there is some diversity, people choose to imagine something of their own accord (e.g. Rue in Hunger Games).

    However, as a writer myself, I can say I would be tentative to write a character of different origins than me, worrying about getting the culture correct. There are so many eyes and opinions, that it could be a scary prospect for some writers without proper research. Maybe Rowling was in this boat.

    • The problem is that Rowling (at least according to the Harry Potter wiki) originally planned to do more with Dean’s character and story. But she chose to focus on Neville because his story is more relevant to the plot.
      Even the blood status politics troubles me, to be honest.

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