Thursday, November 05, 2009

Harry Potter And The Muggle Struggle Part Six: Harry Luther King, Jr.

Continuing on with the hope of ending this project soon...

The series also stresses the importance of acceptance and tolerance. Hogwart's school is divided into four houses: Gryffindor, Slytherin, Ravenclaw, and Hufflepuff. Each house values different traits in its students, and thus every student is sorted into the different houses by a hat. Every year there is a friendly competition between the houses based on athletics (on the quidditch field), academics, and behavior. Over the centuries, this friendly competition has grown into a very heated rivalry between the houses, especially between Gryffindor and Slytherin. Deep feelings of distrust and animosity exist between the two houses and are displayed at times through physical--or perhaps better said "magical"--fighting. As Voldemort returns to power and prepares to wage his war, these houses will have to learn to put aside their differences and unite or they will crumble. Great emphasis is placed on this theme throughout the story. Slytherin believes in a Nazi-like pure-blood society where only magic wielders who ancestors were magic users should be allowed into the school. These "pure-blood" magic families are extremely proud of their heritage and feel that they are superior to the half-bloods (who have only one magic parent) and mud-bloods (whose parents are both non-magic folk). All sorts of symbolism can be extracted from this. Racism would possibly be the most obvious interpretation. Acknowledging the fact that there are many out there who feel that racism is good, I still will assert that it is NOT. Our society has made great leaps and bounds towards equality for all, and the best place to ensure that these steps continue is through educating our children to the ridiculousness and harm of racism. The Harry Potter series quite eloquently and vividly portrays the harm of racism, by drawing a parallel that is very easy for a child to understand. In teaching equality, Harry Potter is a great source of morality.

Previous: Part Five
Next: Part Seven