Analysis Of The Book ' Fantastic Beasts ' And ' How They Tie Into Society 's Views Of Race And Ethnicity

Analysis Of The Book ' Fantastic Beasts ' And ' How They Tie Into Society 's Views Of Race And Ethnicity

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When Fiction Goes Too Far
Have you ever heard the saying a good story gone too far? That is exactly the view that some readers have on JK Rowling’s new piece of writing. Using the tools that I have gained in this class I have been able to fully explain and investigate both Rowling’s position and the Native Peoples’ positions and how they tie into society’s views of race and ethnicity.
JK Rowling recently wrote the first of a four part series called the History of Magic in North America and while many have supported her work: many have also criticized it (color lines article). This piece of writing is the basis of the film Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them which is a story that describes the magical new world in the 14th to 17th Centuries (Guardian News Article). Many Native American readers have voiced concerns over this work of fiction particularly in her use of the term skin walkers. In native tradition skin walkers are evil witches or wizards who are shape shifters. They can take on the form of animals, but only after sacrificing a living human being. The term skin walkers is never directly used in Rowling’s writing and rather than the “wizards” being seen as evil they are seen as healers and helpers. The need for sacrifice in order for the shape shifting to occur is left out and the term skin walkers is replaced with Animagi. Animagi are wizards who can shape shift at will. In response to this criticism Rowling reported that in her world skin walkers do not exist. (Guardian News Article). Rowling claims to have simply taken pieces of the legend and weaved them into her writing. Advocates of the Native American People retaliated saying that this is not her fictitious world it is real life. In their view she is taking c...


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...tionally. The material that I have learned has helped me to recognize when I do this to other races and given me the ability to take all aspects of situation into account. The controversy surrounding Rowling’s story is not a black and white situation. There is a lot of grey area. In my opinion Rowling should have taken more care into correctly using the tradition. This translates into society in the way that we should all take the time to fully understand the values of different racial groups. If we never take the time to understand each other then we will never know each other and the war on race will continue. Overall, in examining this piece I think that hope can be taken away. There is hope that if we are as brave as the advocates for this cause have been then a difference in the world can be made. We need to be color brave not color blind as Melody Hobson stated.

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