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Feminism in Harry Potter

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Harry Potter series basically deal with a binary opposition between good and evil. The protagonist of the series: Harry Potter “is a representation of all the best qualities in our society: courage, intelligence, athleticism, and loyalty. He is the standard Classic Hero, the best of the best, the cream of the crop. The guy everyone knows will succeed.”(joe bunting).. A major role is played by his friends Ron and Hermione(especially) to get him through the tough times. To emphasize girl power, banners of slogans like “Without Hermione, Harry would have died in book one”(the rowling library, 2017) flooded over twitter. But are women in the novels are really self-sustained and benevolent as represented in the world outside the fiction?

First impressions are not the last impressions . In her first appearance in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Hermione fixes harry’s spectacles with a spell. She does this in a supercilious way that intimidates both Ron and Harry. However, they all become friends and towards the end of the book, she confesses “Books! And cleverness! There are more important things- friendship and bravery”(granger, 308). Similarly, Luna Lovegood, appears to be eccentric and unconventional when we are introduced to her in Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix. Others would call her loony lovegood perhaps because “The girl gave off an aura of distinct dottiness…had stuck her wand behind her ear for safekeeping, or that she had choosen to wear a necklace of butterbeer corks, or that she was reading a magazine upside down” (pg 168,hp5)* yet to be cited{4} but towards the end of the book, she comes of as a female warrior fighting death eaters and supporting harry through her not-so-loony talks.

Harry would get most of the credit for defeating bad guys. This is evident throughout the series. Harry potter, the boy who lived, lived because his mother, lily potter sacrificed her life in order to save him. Harry did not even move his little finger and he became an idol in the wizarding world, the boy who caused the fall of the dark lord. In book four: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, harry is selected as a competitor to take part in the quinquennial triwizard tournament. Throughout the tournament, he is constantly helped by his teachers, friends (especially Hermione), and fellow competitors. But in the end harry gets to take all the credit.

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Hogwarts has a self-sustained independent culture. The sorting hat sorts all the newcomers, conforming to their caliber, into four different houses : Gryffindor, Slytherin, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff. On the surface, Hogwarts seems like an ideal place without any shortcomings. However, students of muggle or non-magic lineage, face a lot of racism from the upper strata or the pure-bloods. The slytherin house is known to be the epicenter of the pure-bloods like Draco Malfoy leave no chance to humiliate his muggle born counterparts like Hermione granger by calling her mudblood on several occasions. Moreover, in the fourth book: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, it was bought into light that the whole Hogwarts is managed by house-elves: little, grubby-looking creatures, very loyal to their masters, and brainwashed.

Minor women characters are shown playing authoritative and influential roles contrary to their supposed gender roles. This notion is manifested in Luna Lovegood’s character. She is introducted in the fifth book for the first time. Initially, She is seen as a soft, essentially feminine character by the readers. However, if we analyze her character extensively, she is no less than a warrior. By the end of the fifth book, she joins Dumbledore’s army and eventually fights the death eaters…… similarly, Dolores umbridge, a middle-aged Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher and probably the most hated character, has played a powerful role in hp5 and hp7. She is hated by all because of her manipulative and strict methods. She is extremely fond of pink. Everything from her attire to the quills she write with, is pink. Her character is actually inspired by a real life teacher of J.K. Rowling. She describes her as:

“Someone whom I disliked intensely on sight…The woman in question returned my antipathy with interest. Why we took against each other so instantly, heartily and (on my side, at least) irrationally, I honestly cannot say,” Rowling continued, noting the woman’s “pronounced taste for twee accessories”, including “a tiny little plastic bow slide, pale lemon in colour”, which the novelist felt was more “appropriate to a girl of three” (flood)

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Feminism in Harry Potter. (2022, November 25). Edubirdie. Retrieved December 10, 2023, from
“Feminism in Harry Potter.” Edubirdie, 25 Nov. 2022,
Feminism in Harry Potter. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 10 Dec. 2023].
Feminism in Harry Potter [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Nov 25 [cited 2023 Dec 10]. Available from:
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