Literary Criticism I Feminist Criticism theory in the novel “Harry Potter” by J. K. Rowling Introduction According to Peter Barry’s book, Feminism was born because of women are disadvantaged by comparison with men and the unequal treatment towards women by men. Women ask for their rights, because they believed that they deserve equality. In this paper I will analyze the feminist approach through Harry Potter Novels by J. K. Rowling. As we all know, Joanne Kathleen Rowling a. k. a J. K. Rowling is a female British novelist.
These Harry Potter and his adventures novels have gained worldwide attention, won multiple awards, sold more than 400 million copies to become the best-selling book series in history and been the basis for a popular series of films, in which Rowling had overall approval on the scripts as well as maintaining creative control by serving as a producer on the final installment. Rowling conceived the idea for the series on a train trip from Manchester to London in 1990. I’m lucky to have an incredible female writer for this analysis, but I won’t analysis this paper on the writer’s point of view or experience.
I will challenge the representation of women as ‘Other’, as ‘lack’, and as part of ‘nature’. Harry potter is the story about wizard community. The main character is a male, but there are many parts in the story where the character female give big contributions. The first until the seventh book is the story about the adventure of Harry Potter to defeat Lord Voldemort. Where the female characters show the feminism because they play important roles and described to be as powerful as well. The analysis As I mention above, I will challenge the representation of women as ‘other’, as ‘lack’, and as part of ‘nature’ through these Harry Potter novels.
The main characters of this story, well, of course, is a man called “Harry”. Harry has a close friend named Hermione Granger. Hermione’s described as “she has a bossy voice, bushy brown hair and large front teeth” in the first novel, the first impression of Hermione Granger shifts away from female stereotype of beauty. The next thing I know, Hermione is an intelligent woman. She had practice some simple spell and it worked for her where there is no one in her family have magic ability at all and Ron the other Harry’s close friends failed to use the spell.
The other scene from Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s stone novel is when Harry has to depend on Hermione when they have to pass the obstacle to find a stolen stone. According to traditional stereotype, women are always associated as emotionally weaker that men, which leads to the assumption as ‘lack’. However, in this scene, Hermione shows that she uses logic and act rationally that reveal her intelligent when there is no wizard (men or women) has uses logic to pass this obstacle before, even Harry the major character who is supposed to have more logic since he is a man, depends on her.
In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Hermione establishes S. P. E. W, S. P. E. W stands for “the Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare”, she shows us that women also have equivalent in social power as men have. She concerns about the house-elves fate to serve the wizard family for lifetime without being paid. For her, it is slavery, although in this case the house-elves accept and understand their fates. Hermione decides there is a way to make a stand about elf-rights. Harry and Ron do not really support her actually for this movement, but Hermione doesn’t care.
She struggles like what feminist do. She does the campaign that follows feminism general goal to bring positive changes in the society. Not only that, women reveals that they are weak in science and math, but great in language and art. But Hermione shows that she is not only capable in Ancient Rune (some kind of language subject at their school), history of Magic, but also Herbology (some kind of Biology subject), Potion (some kind of Chemistry subject), and Aritmanchy (some kind of Mathematic subject).
She is even good in all subjects because she is the most brilliant student of the year, despite the fact that she is a muggle-born, which means she is not supposed to have Magic, but she has great ability in Hogwards. Hermione beats the ‘other’ concept as a woman. Next magnificent moment from Hermione is in Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s stone when she manages to free herself and releasing the boys from the plant which snares them until they cannot breathe. She performs her human duty to help each other, she shows us that she strong enough to depends on herself and helps her friends at the same time.
Hermione, as a woman has part of human ‘nature’ that a man has. In Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix, Hermione also saves her friends in the very urgent situation. When they are caught for using Umbrigde’s heart to communicate, Umbridge forces them to say with whom they are communicating. She almost forces Harry to answer with Cruciatus Curse to torture him. Fortunately, with her ability to control emotion and doesn’t get panic, Hermione pretends to give up and will give honest answer to Umbridge. So she creates a story about weapon to trick Umbridge and bring her into The Forbidden Forest.
This idea leads them into freedom. It shows Hermione’s ability to think clearly under pressure and does not let her emotion control her. Conclusion In conclusion, based on the analysis of challenging the representative of women as ‘Other’, as ‘lack’ and as part of ‘nature’, Hermione has broken the concept as ‘Other’ and as ‘lack’ that put women in negative sides and proven themselves as equal to men. She also shows us that women are part of ‘nature’; it shows how women have balance roles with men in the society. They have their own roles that as important as men.
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