The Two Face of Draco Malfoy

1174 Words5 Pages
Every good book series has a character that is such a polar opposite of the main character that they make the main character seem better than they are. These characters are known as literary foils. In the Harry Potter series, that role is assumed the sole purpose of Draco Malfoy’s character, but when both characters are, further analyzed one can see that might not be true. The many differences between the characterization of Draco Malfoy and Harry Potter in J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter book series can portray Draco only as Harry’s literary foil; however, when the overall story arch of the Harry Potter series is considered Draco can also double Harry through the expectations and outside pressures put upon them. Throughout the entire book series, J. K. Rowling develops Draco Malfoy as Harry Potter’s literary foil, starting with which house they are put into. In Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone [Sorcerer’s Stone], Harry Potter chooses to be put into the Gryffindor house despite his potential to be housed into the Slytherin house, due to his foreseen ambition, with Draco Malfoy (Rowling). The house of Gryffindor is known for their bravery, while the house of Slytherin is known for their ambition. Harry exemplifies the trait of bravery in every book through his face-offs with Voldemort, and the Hogwarts’s head master, Dumbledore, even recognizes Harry for his bravery. At the end of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Dumbledore says to Harry, “You have shown bravery beyond anything I could have expected of you. I ask you to demonstrate your courage one more time. I ask you to tell us what happened” (Rowling 695). Harry’s bravery can be seen as him utilizing his ambition for the greater good of those around him. The constant ... ... middle of paper ... ...ypically being viewed as Harry Potter’s literary foil, the nonexistent choice each has about their future, and the expectations that accompany them, exhibits a side of Draco that is seen in Harry. On the surface level of each of their characters, Draco is seen as the coward and a bully, while Harry is the boy who continuously saves the day. However, if the characters are more deconstructed, there is a side of Draco Malfoy that mirrors the struggles faced by Harry Potter. Intentionally creating the perfect foil to the main character is commonly seen in book series. What is not seen is giving the character foil a personality complex that ultimately defines the main character. This complex might be why so many fan fall in love with Draco despite his foul nature. They finally see the morality of Draco’s character and connect to fear of disappointing their parents.
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