Perhaps the single most important political theme in Rowling’s works is the simultaneous power and danger of racial and genetic politics. In mapping this out, she draws not only from obvious examples of Nazi racial ideology and practice but from less dramatic examples of discrimination and hatred in more apparently democratic societies. We begin our journey through the political aspects of Harry’s world by delineating a typology of wizarding attitudes toward Muggles, Muggle-born wizards, and “half-bloods,” and exploring the ways in which these intangible attitudes translate into forms of legal, economic, and physical harm. We then examine how wizard society and law treats other magical creatures, a topic we began considering with our examination of elf slavery.
- Hate Crime
- Blood Status
- Magical Power
- Political Entrepreneur
- Magical Status
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First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me — and there was no one left to speak for me.
— Martin Neimoller, Protestant Pastor and Nazi Resistor
“I’d say that it’s one short step from ‘Wizards first’ to ‘Purebloods first,’ and then to ‘Death Eaters,’” replied Kingsley. “We’re all human, aren’t we? Every human life is worth the same, and worth saving.”
— Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (440)
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© 2012 Bethany Barratt
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Barratt, B. (2012). Purebloods and Mudbloods: Race, Species, and Power. In: The Politics of Harry Potter. Palgrave Macmillan, New York. https://doi.org/10.1057/9781137016546_4
Publisher Name: Palgrave Macmillan, New York
Print ISBN: 978-0-230-60899-3
Online ISBN: 978-1-137-01654-6
eBook Packages: Palgrave Political & Intern. Studies CollectionPolitical Science and International Studies (R0)