Weasley Is Our King: The Politics Behind Harry Potter

1829 words - 8 pages

No book in the 21st century has been discussed more than the Harry Potter series. J.K. Rowling’s masterpiece has been published in more than a dozen different languages and sold more than a billion copies. The film adaptations have broken box office records for the past decade and grossed over $7.7 billion dollars worldwide. Though Harry’s adventures at Hogwarts have intrigued thousands of young reader’s, it has not done so without controversy. The series has been so prevalent in our society and has made such an impact that many scholars have begun to compare is to Harriett Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin, which is believed to have fueled anti-slavery feelings that lead to the American Civil War.
When Time Magazine asked about the politics and message in Harry Potter, Rowling explained, "I wanted Harry to leave our world and find exactly the same problems in the wizarding world.” Harry and his readers can best see these similarities in the 2007 film Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. The reason for picking this film out of the other eight in the series is because there is not one element of the book that is not politically charged. Rowling places her characters in the midst of a ‘civil war’ of sorts; where their leader, Cornelius Fudge, uses the media and other means to cover up the existence of any disturbances being brought to the light by the society’s citizens. This film holds true to everything Rowling wanted it to be. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix mirrors our society in all areas of political science.
When the film opens we see Harry Potter and his muggle (non-magical) cousin Dudley Dursley being attacked by Dementors in a small London suburb. Dementors, being magical monsters, do not make their way across realms unless told to. Harry sees this as an attempt by Voldermort, the man trying to kill him, to test his strength. The importance of this scene does not lie in the attack, but in the response. When Harry confronts the Ministry of Magic (the governing body of the wizarding world) about the attack, they try to make it seem as if he is lying about the whole affair.
Cornelius Fudge, the Minister of Magic denies the fact that Harry has spotted Voldemort, an evil wizard that caused years of pain and chaos. His return would ruin the thirteen years of peace that the Ministry had worked so hard to build and maintain. According to Catherine Jack Deveal of St. Thomas University, “The fourth book leaves Cornelius Fudge, the archetypal weak administrator, denying the return of Voldemort in the face of evidence…a short angry wizard, refusing, point-blank, to accept the prospect of disruption in his comfortable and ordered world. (Deveal, 6)” The only chance Fudge has to discredit Harry is to turn the media against him. This gives way to the ‘Media Effect’ of politics.
The Daily Prophet, the New York Times of the wizarding world, launches a smear campaign against Harry and his ally and Head Master of Hogwarts Albus...

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