Genealogy and Social Class: Prejudice in Harry Potter Essay

Words: 1293
Pages: 6

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 can help you there” (81). Even within the wizard world there are certain classes. Malfoy and Ron both come from ancient wizard families, but Malfoy believes he is superior to Ron because the Weasley’s “have more children than they can afford”(81). Malfoy’s self produced superiority wrongfully makes him think Harry who is famous in the wizard world will be friends with him, instead of the “inferior” Ronald Weasley. The various houses as Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry have a class system in place as well. There are four houses: Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, and Slytherin. Each have a class connotation attached to it; Gryffindors are brave and loyal; Hufflepuffs are truthful and good-natured; Ravenclaws are witty and highly intelligent; Slytherins are cunning and sneaky. Rowling creates social implications of being in each house. Hufflepuff seems to be the weakest of the houses and when Harry exclaims to Hagrid that he will probably be in Hufflepuff, Hagrid exclaims: “Better Hufflepuff than Slytherin... there's not a single witch or wizard who went bad who wasn't in Slytherin”(61-62). Slytherins have a negative connotation about them, it seems that all of them have an inherent evilness about them. Slytherins see themselves as superior to all other houses yet when Harry is comforting Neville after an altercation with Malfoy he tells him: “You're worth twelve of Malfoy...the Sorting Hat chose you for