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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Harry Potter and Tolerance! Big Subject to Consider!

Short Title: Prejudice in Harry Potter
Full Book Title: Prejudice in Harry Potter's World: A Social Critique of the Series, Using Allport's "The Nature of Prejudice"
Genre: Commentary on popular culture and literature; Literary Criticism
ISBN-10: 1602641536
ISBN-13: 978-1602641532
Author's Website:


Prejudice in Harry Potter's World is a very readable academic study and a social commentary which the author discusses the discrimination issues raised in Rowling's series. All types of societal prejudices are metaphorized through Rowling's subplots: For example, the conditions in which werewolves live is a social parallel for disability prejudice in the modern world. And, of course, the Mudblood subplot teems with racial and anti-Semitic overtones. There are many other examples, all of which are highlighted and explained in Brown's work. These Harry Potter-related issues have so far been ignored or glossed over by the mostly-mainstream Harry Potter audience, commentators and literary critics. Of all the companions, study-guides, commentaries, etc., that have been written about the Harry Potter books, none have dealt with its social themes in depth until now. Brown's study is therefore the first of its kind, and a very worthy piece of scholarship.

Comments made by Erin Jade on Book-Related Discussion Topic (This is NOT an Amazon review):

"I actually just finished writing an essay on this very subject for a British Lit class. I always thought Rowling's themes about prejudice, racism, and discrimination were very clear, but discussing the books with others they always said they "hadn't thought about it," which I found disturbing. In searching for sources for my paper, I only found a few sites/books that mentioned it at all (and I must admit, I checked our library for your book, but with no luck). I think that it's partly because people are afraid, but also because the topic makes most people very uncomfortable.

One thing I pointed out in my essay is that Rowling has characters that are both good and bad display prejudice and discrimination, because we are ALL prejudiced in one form or another, and I believe that having to think closely about their own prejudices makes people horribly uncomfortable."

(Source: )

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