On the surface, the Harry Potter series is set in a world that is colour-blind, one where those of any foundation can ascend on account of their capacities alone. Underneath this surface, however, Harry Potter explores profound racial themes and, as the books go on, develops a complex and very stratified racial order; the books explicate the social and genetic predispositions of its characters. Furthermore, they highlight the revulsions propagated by individuals who seek global racial purity, i.e. Voldemort, while offering multi-layered feedback of the egregious racial stratification that is maintained throughout the books (Whited, 2006). The Harry Potter series possesses almost conventional racial attitudes through its almost exclusive portrayal of Anglo-Saxon characters, using an allegorical racial chain to portray those in the wizarding world. It is important to note that in this essay, the term “race” or “racial” in the world of Harry Potter will refer to blood lineages in reference to magic and non-magic, not phenotype.
Racial themes are noticeable in a figurative sense in the Harry Potter series, providing an almost parallel comparison to our own history. The series overtly introduces racial classifications from the second book onwards; judgement and ostracism towards certain wizarding races is depicted as coming from a standpoint of unjustified ignorance. The magical world views house-elves, who are not human, similarly to how southern Americans perceived their Black slaves prior to the American Civil War. Furthermore, Goblins seem to be socially castigated for n...
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Rowling, J.K. (2007). Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, UK.
Whited, Lana (2006). 1492, 1942, 1992: The Theme of Race in the Harry Potter Series. Available at http://www.lib.latrobe.edu.au/ojs/index.php/tlg/article/view/97/82, accessed on 13/11/2015.
Snell, J.L., 2011. The Nazi Revolution. Published by Nabu Press, USA.
Waite, R., 1969. Hitler and Nazi Germany. Published by International Thomson Publishing, USA.
Wortman, M., 2009. The Holocaust: The Final Solution of the Jewish Question. Available at http://holocaustroad.org/2010-11readings/Doc1.pdf, accessed on 12/11/2015.
Blake, H., 2010. Hitler ‘had Jewish and African roots’, DNA tests show. Available at http://www.telegraph.co.uk/history/world-war-two/7961211/Hitler-had-Jewish-and-African-roots-DNA-tests-show.html, accessed on 13/11/2015.
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