Genealogy and Social Class: Prejudice in Harry Potter Essay

1302 Words6 Pages
While writing the bestseller Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone J.K. Rowling was struggling on welfare in a coffee shop. Like Rowling, the heros in her novel are social outcasts. Harry is an orphan; Ron comes from poverty; and Hermione comes from a non-wizard family. Harry grows up in the non-magical world, raised by non-magical folk. He is maltreated because he is different, and to an extent an uninvited part of the family. The real world exhibits prejudice due to race, religion, gender and social class on an everyday basis. Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone is set in a fantasy world that is far from the ordinary world readers are used to, however; prejudice is a theme that is dealt with throughout the whole story, much like…show more content…
I was the only one who saw her for what she was - a freak!... And of course I knew you'd be just the same, just as strange, just as - as - abnormal” (44). Because of the Dursley’s perceived superiority to wizards, it took Harry eleven years to find out the truth about his parent’s death and his inherent gift of wizardry. They tried to mould him into a “normal” boy, one that fits their inflated values but it did not work. He is inferior in the Dursley’s eyes and this is why he was treated in such a cruel manner. If prejudice from non-magical folk exists, so must prejudice from magical folk. Non-magical people are called “Muggles” by the wizard community. There are no negative implications to the word, unless there is intent. Draco Malfoy is a boy who comes from a pure wizard family who uses the term “Muggle” in a negative connotation; to him anyone who is not pure-blood is inferior. Readers are first confronted with prejudice in this form when Harry meets Malfoy in Diagon Alley and is asked about his family: “...they were our kind weren't they?... I really don’t think they should let the other sort in do you? They are just not the same, they’ve never been brought up to know our ways” (60-61). Anyone who is not of wizard descent in Malfoy’s view is inferior and unworthy of not only entering Hogwarts but of interacting with wizards at all. Readers soon see that there is class struggle even within wizard folk. Once Malfoy finds out Harry is friends with

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