Part II: Themes and Structures in the Harry Potter Series in:

Marion Gymnich, Hanne Birk, Denise Burkhard (ed.)

"Harry - yer a wizard", page 119 - 180

Exploring J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter Universe

1. Edition 2017, ISBN print: 978-3-8288-4035-5, ISBN online: 978-3-8288-6751-2,

Series: Wissenschaftliche Beiträge aus dem Tectum Verlag: Anglistik, vol. 6

Tectum, Baden-Baden
Bibliographic information
Part II: Themes and Structures in the Harry Potter Series Michèle Ciba Conspiracy, Persecution and Terror: Harry Potter in a Post-9/11 World “Perhaps Harry Potter has the potential to orient us in disorienting times; perhaps, literature has the power to change the world” (Lacassagne 332). I. Introduction Terrorism. This is a word we all know well. It is a common topic in today’s media, but also a source of a widespread sense of anxiety, bad memories and fear. Hearing this word, we can immediately relate it to numerous incidents, whether it is 9/11, the 7/7 London bombings, the Paris attacks, the Brussels bombings, the recent Manchester attack and many others. To many, terrorism at this point in time seems like a constant threat. We all know that feeling in the pit of our stomach when we hear of another attack and possibly wait for news of what really happened, how many died and what consequences there may be. We know this fear, we have felt it ourselves. What does this have to do with Harry Potter? The fear of terrorism is nothing new. The incidents of the 11th of September 2001 may have triggered a movement known as the ‘War on Terror’, but the threat of unsuspected attacks on random groups of people is of course a much older phenomenon, which has played a role not only in public discourse but also in media, art and literature for a long time. In the past as well as in the present one way of dealing with fear, especially of a kind that can be both personal and public, is to work through it. Times that are influenced by specific fears tend to show an influx of related topics in literature, in film and photography, and many other cultural artefacts. One main reason for this is that they help us deal with our anxieties. How can this be achieved? Entering into a creatively constructed encounter with difficult topics offers readers or viewers the possibility of a safe space in which fears can be confronted, examined, even played with. Literature often provides far removed worlds, places, and characters which give writers and readers the necessary distance to handle difficult topics whilst still remaining able to relate aspects of stories to their own circumstances. Examples of this can also be found in the Harry Potter series. One intriguing fact when looking at themes related to terrorism in Harry Potter is that the first four books were published before the 9/11 attacks, the last three books afterwards. One could most assuredly argue that aspects of terrorism or at least the fear of it can be found in all seven books. However, it is equally safe to say that the last three novels, featuring a ‘reborn’ Voldemort, focus more specifically on terror, fear and conspiracy. This paper will discuss book seven of the novel series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (2007), i.e., the book that deviates most strongly from the traditional ‘one year at Hogwarts’ setting. It will begin by addressing the three themes of conspiracy, persecution and terror, examine how these themes feature in book seven and explain how they are relevant to the overall plotline. This paper will further argue that the Harry Potter series relates to fears of terrorism in the ‘real world’ and that it may help readers in coping with their apprehensions. MICHÈLE CIBA 122 II. Conspiracy Conspiracy themes and scenarios have long since been popular both in fiction and film. The construction of conspiracy narratives may even be found in works by Ancient Greek authors or even older texts. Although types of plots and intrigues may vary and the intentions behind these may range from resolving love triangles to reaching world domination, the idea of people coming together to collude amoral or criminal actions has been a common theme in all kinds of fiction (cf. Wisnicki 1-2). This makes the definition of conspiracy fiction particularly difficult. For the purposes of this paper, however, it is merely important to outline the general pattern of such narratives and to show that aspects of these can also be found in the Harry Potter series and specifically in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Thus this section will first give an overview of important elements of conspiracy narratives and apply them to Voldemort’s covert actions in book seven of the series. It will then go on to examine the fears evoked by such plot lines and explore their relation to ‘real world’ fears as well as their effect on choices the characters make. Generally speaking, conspiracy fiction focuses on big secret plots which the protagonists uncover, explore and aim to dismantle. Often there is an in-depth investigation, which has to take place secretly, and the complot is revealed to go ‘all the way to the top’. Drawing on Wisnicki (cf. 9), common aspects of conspiracy fiction, or, as he calls them, ‘conspiracemes’ further include a conspiracy theorist (a subject who either tries to know or knows about the secret plot) and an ‘Inaccessible Authority’ (an oppressive but elusive group). Focusing on accounts which portray an Inaccessible Authority in terms of “conspiratorial-like bureaucracies” (ibid. 113), these kinds of narratives can be seen as anti-establishment and criticising governments working in the dark. In terrorism fiction, in contrast, the focus lies on nongovernment organisations responsible for violent attacks that draw attention to the perpetrator. Nevertheless, the fear and paranoia evoked by the threat of a conspiracy or by terrorism is similar, which is why the two are often combined. Wisnicki further points out that “the narratives focus on the fear of their protagonist(s) that a conspiracy, often one of immense proportions, might exist” (3, original emphasis). Frequently, in both conspiracy and terrorism fiction there is a secret plan of action that the protagonists aim to expose and prevent. The threat of the unknown is omnipresent. Often the claims of the conspiracy theorist are dismissed as being paranoid, which not only hinders further investigations but may also lead to the conspirators’ success. These are precisely the plot lines that resonate in books five through seven of the Harry Potter series. When relating Wisnicki’s ‘conspiracemes’ to the Harry Potter series, it becomes clear that Harry and his friends can be read as conspiracy theorists, while Voldemort can be seen as an Inaccessible Authority. After the rebirth of Voldemort at the end of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2000), Harry and his friends as well as Albus Dumbledore try desperately to convince the wizarding community of Voldemort’s return. Yet the Ministry of Magic along with the wizarding public do not believe them. The media, represented by the Daily Prophet, are portrayed as the main tool of a smear campaign against Harry and Dumbledore. Although Voldemort’s return is revealed to numerous Ministry officials at the end of book five and henceforth accepted to be true by the community, the conspiracy theme remains strong up to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Still Voldemort is working in the shadows and has by now infiltrated the Ministry of Magic. The wizarding world’s knowledge of his rebirth does not seem to have impaired his quest for power nor his plans for the Ministry, Hogwarts and the world at large. The exposure of his return therefore did not suffice to thwart his plans. The question of where Voldemort is, what he is planning and what possibilities there may be to HARRY POTTER IN A POST-9/11 WORLD 123 defeat him remains open although the wizarding community is now aware of the threat he presents. In this sense, Voldemort continues to represent an Inaccessible Authority. Having related common conspiracy themes to the Harry Potter series, it can also be seen that fears and anxieties connected to Voldemort’s actions influence the plot of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows heavily, even though the covertness of his plans varies throughout the story. While book seven does not feature a classic conspiracy plot, apprehension is a common thread throughout the book, drawing also on fears familiar to the reader. The fears that are evoked include those of an unexposed threat and distrust of the authorities and their methods as well as those of intruders, in this case Death Eaters, being among the Ministry’s employees or even of officials being influenced by Voldemort by means of the Unforgivable Curses. These fears are not unfounded. The covert influence of Voldemort on the Ministry of Magic shows clear parallels to ‘real world’ threats of cyber terrorism. Today computer systems rely heavily on security protocols as protection against hacking. There are countless narratives engaging with the danger of government servers being hacked, not only to gain information but also to gain control of lock down procedures, electrical grids, transport links, etc. In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows the Unforgivable Curses, especially the Imperius Curse, are used to gain access to and control of the Ministry by using officials as puppets. In a world that does not rely on technology it is not a computer system, but the minds of the Ministry officials that are being ‘hacked’. Thus, the anxieties evoked by the conspiracy plot lines relate directly to fears and threats readers know about or may even experience themselves. A further function of fears connected with conspiracy in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is their power to affect characters’ choices and therefore also plot developments. Among other things, it is because of the uncertainty about Voldemort’s rising influence that the Order of the Phoenix keeps itself apart from the Ministry 1 as do Harry, Ron and Hermione, who choose to fight Voldemort on their own. If they had not been afraid of Voldemort’s covert actions and the strong possibility that even under Scrimgeour’s leadership the Ministry was compromised, some decisions would have been made differently. Once Voldemort’s coup is successful and he gains control of the Ministry, his influence grows stronger and leads to persecution, which will be discussed in the following section. III. Persecution There are several occasions in the Harry Potter series where persecution takes place in one form or another, whether it is Harry as a baby being pursued by Voldemort or Sirius Black being hunted by the Ministry of Magic. The first instance of large-scale, organised persecution, however, can be observed in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Thus this section will discuss the characteristics and effects of persecution in the seventh novel of the series, its parallels to real occurrences and the resulting criticism of government practice. In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows persecution takes on a much larger scale than before. It is no longer an individual that is being targeted, but groups of people with specific markers, for example Muggle-born wizards and witches. Other groups also experience more ill-treatment and discrimination, for example house-elves and goblins. These groups are not persecuted for any individual feature, such as a crime they committed, but for their physical 1 From the perspective of the Order of the Phoenix people working for the Ministry are mainly suspicious because their allegiance can be unclear: “‘Were they Death Eaters or Ministry people?’ interjected Hermione. ‘A mixture; but to all intents and purposes they’re the same thing now,’ said Lupin.” (Hallows 169) MICHÈLE CIBA 124 or magical make-up. Even people outside of these groups who take an active stand against the Ministry of Magic, now controlled by Voldemort, will equally be targeted. This is the case with Harry and Ron and a number of members of the Order of the Phoenix, who may technically fall under the label of ‘pure-blood’ or ‘half-blood’, but who, due to their rejection of the ‘blood purity’ doctrine, are instead labelled ‘blood traitors’. Bethany Barratt points out that while ‘pure-bloods’ or ‘half-bloods’ who sympathise with Muggles or Muggle-borns “face little official sanction, they do suffer some of the same kinds of informal abuse that Muggleborns do” (76). Accepted ‘blood status’ alone, therefore, does not protect witches or wizards from abuse, even if they will not be officially discriminated against for rejecting the ‘blood status’ doctrine. This rejection may however attract the attention of the authorities and therefore risk any other non-conforming actions coming to light, as is the case with Arthur Weasley, who is being tracked by the Ministry due to his “unacceptable pro-Muggle leanings” (Hallows 207). The extent of the now institutionalised persecution continuously adds friction within the layers of secrecy in the world of Harry Potter. The former status quo consisted of the wizarding world acting in near-complete secrecy alongside or even within the Muggle world. The Statute of Secrecy was highly important to wizarding legislation and social practice and presumably mostly accepted among the magic community. Below this level of secrecy, however, Voldemort’s covert actions to gain control and overturn the system of secrecy constitute another level. This covert affair, or rather conspiracy as outlined previously, is discovered by Harry and his friends as well as by the Order of the Phoenix and other characters who eventually make up the resistance movement. The conflict between Voldemort’s followers and the resistance becomes more visible during Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2003), Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2005) and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows the conspiracy is to some degree revealed as more and more members of the wizarding community become aware of this conflict and realise that Voldemort has surreptitiously taken over the Ministry. The readers may assume, however, that a number of wizards and witches remain ignorant of Voldemort’s power until he is defeated, continuing to believe Pius Thicknesse to be responsible for the changes in government policy (cf. ibid. 171-72). The layer of secrecy dividing the Muggle world from the wizarding community is equally challenged, although never lifted, as the Statute of Secrecy remains intact and acts of violence against Muggles are masked as accidents or natural catastrophes (cf. Prince 16). Although Voldemort is successful in securing power over the wizarding community, the conflict with the resistance splits the magic society into people following the powers at large and thereby Voldemort’s regime (whether they are aware of his role or not) and people openly or covertly supporting the resistance. However, Voldemort seems to gain a firmer footing among the general population than the resistance. Lacassagne attributes this reaction to the spreading of fear: When Voldemort takes over the Ministry, he establishes a totalitarian regime and institutes racial laws. […] And like in reality, a resistance movement emerges with the Order of the Phoenix. As in reality, the new regime first advances slyly, practising an incremental policy of repression, as Hitler did. The goal of that manoeuvre is of course to provoke apathy among the people; when they wake up, it will be too late. People, paralysed by fear, are in denial and consider the Order alarmist. People believe in the propaganda diffused by the Daily Prophet; they refuse to admit that the newspaper has become a propaganda instrument. […] The few massacres and murders of muggles during the slow takeover are considered unfortunate accidents. When people can no longer remain in denial, when totalitarianism is installed, the resistance gets bigger, but it is more difficult to organise. Fear is everywhere (328-29, original emphasis). HARRY POTTER IN A POST-9/11 WORLD 125 Despite the fact that fear is everywhere, or maybe even because it is everywhere, the aforementioned split creates great friction within the wizarding community and causes the society to become unstable. It is this instability that largely drives the story in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by making it necessary for characters to pick sides. Although Harry, Ron and Hermione are affected by the changes in their society and specifically hunted by Voldemort and his followers, their position in the fight against Voldemort has long since been clear. It is the story of other characters which is primarily driven by their unstable society and the ongoing persecution, whether they themselves are persecuted or not. Examples include the stories of Dean Thomas, who is on the run from the Ministry due to the uncertainty regarding his ‘blood status’,2 Xenophilius Lovegood, who changes his allegiance due to the threats made towards his daughter,3 and those of the Hogwarts students in general. They experience a harsh change in school dynamics after the arrival of the Death Eater siblings Amycus and Alecto Carrow. Due to their cruel regime and the counteractions by Dumbledore’s Army,4 led by Neville, Ginny and Luna, the students are forced to pick sides, but they also gain the chance to act as part of the resistance, especially during the last battle of Hogwarts. It is interesting that Rowling chooses a school as the site of this last battle, with numerous students, often still of a young age, as the fighters and also the victims. Drew Chappell argues that in this Rowling takes a more post-modern approach to her representation of child protagonists: “Rowling’s novels imagine a culture in which child resistance is possible. Although Harry and his friends are ‘heroes’ in the sense of taking action and facing adversity, they are also builders of context, awakening their fellow students (and readers) to the network of ideologies in which they navigate” (292). For the child characters in particular it is not only important to take an active stand against the oppressive system they face, as Dumbledore’s Army does, but also to question that system and to give other students the opportunity to reach a more informed decision when picking sides. This, more than their initial pranks, is the main reason for the growth of the D.A., which, at the time of Harry’s return to Hogwarts, has a large number of members living secretly in the Room of Requirement (cf. Hallows 464-66). On a larger scale, the dynamics of active resistance and pointing out the injustices of the system also hold true for the wizarding community in general and specifically for the actions of the Order of the Phoenix, including the Potterwatch programme. Thus, the underlying plotline of Voldemort’s rise to power is strongly influenced by themes of persecution and resistance. Contrary to many other novels of the fantasy genre, the two fractions of Voldemort and the resistance are not portrayed as purely ‘good’ or ‘evil’. As Sirius explains to Harry, “‘the world isn’t split into good people and Death Eaters’” (Phoenix 271). Rowling refrains from painting a purely ‘black vs. white’ picture of the conflict between state authority and resistance. Both the groups of the persecuted and the government officials or Death Eaters feature 2 The following quotes illustrate Dean’s unsettledness and the despair of his family: “‘My dad left my mum when I was a kid. I’ve got no proof he was a wizard, though’” (Hallows 234); “‘ If Dean is listening, or if anyone has any knowledge of his whereabouts, his parents and sisters are desperate for news’” (ibid. 356). 3 The double bind he finds himself in is described in the following passage: “‘They took my Luna’, he whispered. ‘Because of what I’ve been writing. They took my Luna and I don’t know where she is, what they’ve done to her. But they might give her back to me if I – if I –’ ‘Hand over Harry?’ Hermione finished for him” (Hallows 340). 4 Dumbledore’s Army (D.A. for short) is a secret student organisation which was founded by Harry, Ron and Hermione during their fifth year at Hogwarts. Its original intent was for students to teach themselves Defence Against the Dark Arts (cf. Phoenix 303); later it developed into being more openly resistant against Voldemort’s regime (cf. Hallows 463). MICHÈLE CIBA 126 characters which contradict the ‘good vs. bad’, ‘black vs. white’ distinction, for example Mundungus Fletcher, Percy Weasley, Draco Malfoy and Severus Snape.5 Lacassagne describes this as follows: But what is remarkable is that she [Rowling] avoids the trap of traditional fairy tales and binary dichotomies. All the characters have complex personality structures (even Voldemort, while in Hogwarts, was a ‘good’ boy); she shows the ambiguities and nuances of personalities, thus illuminating how difficult it is to maintain the balance between self-control and external constraints (321). The ambiguity of her characters is one point for which Rowling is often praised and which also complicates conflicts depicted in her series; in consequence the plots appear to be more realistic. It renders it more difficult for the reader to form an opinion on Rowling’s characters and also makes the story more relatable to the reader’s experiences. A number of real world parallels to Rowling’s themes of persecution can be found. One obvious analogy can be drawn to the Nazi regime and their persecution of Jews. Muggles are portrayed by Voldemort’s followers in phrases which are reminiscent of how Jews were described in Nazi ideology: “‘Alecto, Amycus’ sister, teaches Muggle Studies, which is compulsory for everyone. We’ve all got to listen to her explain how Muggles are like animals, stupid and dirty, and how they drove wizards into hiding by being vicious towards them, and how the natural order is being re-established’” (Hallows 462). As can be seen in Neville Longbottom’s comment, Death Eaters begin to teach young witches and wizards as part of obligatory education that Muggles are more like animals than humans, thus undermining their human rights and using imagery that can be found in Nazi propaganda. There are also references to the prejudice that Jews achieved any sort of wealth through devious means. Along those lines, the Ministry of Magic suggests that Muggle-born wizards and witches stole their magic (cf. ibid. 172). The aforementioned doctrine of blood status is reminiscent of the Nazi regime’s ‘Rassenhygiene’. There are certainly many more examples that reference Third Reich practices.6 Further parallels may also be drawn to the search for terrorists by governments today. Harry and his friends as well as the Order of the Phoenix and Dumbledore’s Army could be seen as enemies of the state. Scrimgeour already begins treating Harry, Ron and Hermione as such in bending the law to hold back artefacts willed to them by Dumbledore. Once the Ministry is taken over, Harry and his friends indeed become enemies of the powers at large and are thus persecuted with the full force of the state. Although the underground resistance is portrayed as being on the ‘right’ side of the fight of good vs. evil, it nevertheless remains an anti-government organisation. One could, however, question the claim to rule by Voldemort’s government, since it gained power through a coup. This illegitimate gaining of power calls into question the morality or legitimacy of state persecution. Throughout the series, Voldemort is portrayed as strong and dangerous, seeking power and constituting a threat to anyone opposing him. After his return in book four he targets specific people to further his aims. In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, however, his actions gain legitimacy after having attained control of the Ministry. Now his persecution is an act of government, sanctioned in the public eye. He even arranges for the necessary legislation, such as the Muggle-born Registration Commission. This shows that state persecu- 5 The ambivalence of these characters is impressive: Mundungus Fletcher shows cowardice in fleeing during an attack and leaving Moody to die (cf. Hallows 70); Percy Weasley sees the Ministry as infallible and takes their side against Harry and Dumbledore (cf. Phoenix 69) but ultimately joins the battle against Voldemort (cf. Hallows 486-87); Draco Malfoy acts in accordance with Voldemort’s teachings yet does not have the heart of a killer (cf. Prince 546-56); Severus Snape, though often portrayed as cruel, ultimately acts out of love for Lily Potter (cf. Hallows 593). 6 Cf. the article by Carsten Kullmann in this volume. HARRY POTTER IN A POST-9/11 WORLD 127 tion is in many ways more powerful and more threatening than many other forms of oppression and can also be read as a criticism of the power of the establishment. This is further underlined by J.K. Rowling in an interview she gave the team of The Leaky Cauldron: I always planned that these kinds of things [referring to Stan Shunpike’s arrest] would happen, but these have very powerful resonances, given that I believe, and many people believe, that there have been instances of persecution of people who did not deserve to be persecuted, even while we’re attempting to find the people who have committed utter atrocities (Anelli/Spartz n.p.). In questioning Voldemort’s right to target anyone opposing him, Rowling also questions today’s governments in their choices when carrying out justice. This criticism of state actions can also be seen in her earlier works. According to Ashley N. Zirkle, it is only after the 9/11 attacks, which is to say as of book five, that Rowling becomes more outspoken about dishonest governments (cf. 55-56). The connection between Rowling’s writing and 9/11 may be contested, as many scholars point to Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire being the novel in which much darker themes, such as torture and first terrorist actions, are introduced. Zirkle does not deny this, but shifts the focus away from themes directly connected to Voldemort as the “primary villain” (56) to those of the Ministry of Magic’s dysfunction. Although previous books already show harsh criticism of society (e.g. the question of house-elf rights), it is the last three novels which specifically point out the Ministry’s shortcomings and criticise its lust for power, institutionalised discrimination, elitist bias and unnecessary force and violence. Here, the reader also begins to see distinctions between different Ministry officials. It is no longer the wizarding world’s society or the system that is criticised, but specific people responsible for specific actions, such as Umbridge and her teaching methods, Fudge’s smear campaign against Harry, Scrimgeour’s lies to the public and so on. The theme of persecution enforces the aforementioned fear of government. It also draws a picture of large-scale dissidence and friction, which is often met with violence. The deviation from a ‘black and white’ struggle of good vs. evil and the often ‘grey’ portrayal of this struggle add to the realism of the plotline and may also cause the reader to feel an acute sense of anxiety. It is perhaps this theme that most strongly relates to real experiences of trauma, anxiety and fear. Rowling does not shy away from giving the reader a drastic account of violence and terror. Nevertheless, some alleviation may be found in the humour, the narrating style and other, more positive themes. IV. Terror The third theme discussed in this paper is that of terror and terrorism. This section will first offer an explanation of the difference between ‘terror’ and ‘terrorism’ before giving a working definition of the latter. It will then explore parallels between ‘real world’ terrorism and the depiction of Voldemort and his Death Eaters. Having done so it will examine the imagery of terrorism in relation to the 9/11 attacks and furthermore outline differences in the comparison between terrorism in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and our world today. As many critics of the Harry Potter series have pointed out, terror has a strong presence throughout the series. Rowling makes a point of creating harsh, drastic and dark scenes which inspire anxiety and fear. Some examples include the near-deaths and deaths of numerous characters, including Harry himself, the attack at the Quidditch World Cup, Voldemort’s rebirth, the battle in the Department of Mysteries, the cave containing the Inferi, and so on. But what turns instances of terror into terrorist acts? Charles Ruby points to a number of elements that he deems essential for an act to be classified as terrorism. Drawing on Title 22 MICHÈLE CIBA 128 of the United States Code as well as works by numerous scholars, he argues that terrorism is to be understood as violence that is politically motivated, directed at non-combatants, carried out by subnational/clandestine agents and intended to create a fearful state of mind among an audience beyond the immediate victims (cf. Ruby 10-11). Yet, as Bernd Zywietz points out, the definition of terrorism remains intrinsically problematic because it inevitably references or is even based upon other concepts, such as ‘politics’, ‘opposition’ and ‘legitimacy’, which themselves are vague and ambiguous (cf. 31).7 While aware of the difficulties in defining terrorism, it is nevertheless important to examine in what ways the elements of Ruby’s definition apply to one character in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in particular, namely Lord Voldemort. Apart from his obvious role as the villain of the story, his actions show strong parallels to terrorism. His political motivation is to gain power over the wizarding community and possibly to establish wizard rule over Muggles. Other, non-political motivations include ensuring his immortality. Most of his violence is perpetrated against non-combatants. As the wizarding community does not seem to have any standing military force, Aurors are the only armed force as they have been trained in the Dark Arts and, more specifically, in how to combat them. Although Barratt argues that any wand-carrier may be seen as a combatant because they are armed (cf. Barratt 103), I would claim that any non-Auror wizard or witch and any civilian Muggle should be seen as a noncombatant. After all, Muggles who own and carry weapons are not automatically categorised as combatants, so why should wand-carrying wizards and witches? The Harry Potter series also makes clear that nearly all wizards and witches are no match for Voldemort in any duel setting, as his magical power outstrips most others’. In addition to the more obvious violence against non-combatants, such as the Muggle killings, the destruction of the Muggle bridge in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and the torturing and killing of Charity Burbage, next to all of Voldemort’s violence is aimed at non-combatants, due to him working outside of any political legitimacy and his concomitant inability to fight a ‘state vs. state’ war. This also explains how and why his actions can be classified as subnational or clandestine. As he does not subject himself to any outward authority and even chooses his role in leading the Ministry of Magic to remain largely unknown, all his actions are carried out in a clandestine manner. Due to his infiltration of the Ministry some may argue that in doing so he is establishing legitimacy for his actions. However, since this infiltration or coup occurs in clear violation of wizarding law, any following proclaimed legitimacy would inevitably be tainted, no matter how the legislation was changed to suit Voldemort’s needs. As for the creation of a fearful state of mind, it is clear that his actions are designed to spread fear not only among his victims but amidst the wider community in order to discourage any resistance. Furthermore, his violence is not limited to any potential resistance; he also engages regularly in violence against his followers, spreading fear among them as well. Overall, Voldemort’s actions therefore show astoundingly clear similarities with terrorism. Since Voldemort can be read as acting in accordance with terrorist aims, it is of further interest to examine parallels between his Death Eaters and terrorist groups. One important aspect in this comparison is the cellular structure among the Death Eaters, which resembles that of many underground terrorist organisations today. As Barratt points out, this structure allowed many Death Eaters to go undiscovered after Voldemort’s first fall and prevented apprehended Death Eaters from giving up the names of others. More importantly, Barratt further argues that “another reason Voldemort might devise a cellular structure for the Death 7 The original reads as follows: “Zweitens ist das Etikett Terrorismus unvermeidlich unscharf, weil es sich auf selbst wiederum vage, unterschiedlich ausgelegte, konkretisierte und eingesetzte Begriffe wie ‘Politik’, ‘Opposition’ und ‘Legitimität’ stützt, auf sie verweist oder gar zurückführt” (Zywietz 31). HARRY POTTER IN A POST-9/11 WORLD 129 Eaters is that it would prevent members from coordination against him” (98, original emphasis). This again underlines not only his lust for control but also his preference for commanding loyalty through fear of punishment rather than through trust. When arguing that the depiction of Voldemort and his followers features strong similarities to terrorism, it is important to realise that images of terrorism are not universally applicable but formed by context. In today’s Western society, terrorism is often connected to images of the 9/11 attacks, which according to Jonathan Matusitz “gave rise to the Fourth Wave of terrorism” (12). The representation of Voldemort and the Death Eaters as terrorists therefore correlates with one specific view of terrorism, one that is predominantly used in today’s media. It is these particular images of terrorism, connected to the 9/11 attacks, that the Harry Potter series draws upon. Frances Pheasant-Kelly outlines how these images are also used in the Harry Potter films: Allusions to 9/11 and the war on terror occur frequently in the films, most obviously, when Harry falls under the psychic influence of his enemy Voldemort, but also in connection with memory, death, and danger […] thereby amplifying their potential emotional resonance for post-9/11 audiences. Additionally, such episodes often deploy imagery that directly pertains to 9/11 and terrorism (49). The use of 9/11 imagery connects deeply with the readers’ ‘real world’ confrontation with images of terrorism and hence relates equally to society’s fears concerning terrorism. In addition to the parallels between the Harry Potter series and terrorism, there are also differences, most importantly in the scale of success that Voldemort and his followers attain. When thinking of terrorism today, thoughts of terrorist organisations claiming responsibility for attacks and their political or religious motivations may spring to mind. Although these thoughts may strike fear within us, we generally believe our governments to be working against terrorist groups, preventing many attacks. In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the wizarding world, by contrast, experiences a loss of this protective government. If Voldemort is seen as the embodiment of terrorism, then terrorism seems more successful in this novel than it has been in our world so far. Voldemort and his followers are successful in dismantling a government that is trying, however poorly, to protect its people. Rowling paints a scenario where terrorism is so successful that it in a way becomes the norm while the people opposing it become outcasts. Ultimately, however, Voldemort still fails. Harry’s defeat of Voldemort becomes an even greater feat, considering that the reign of terror has advanced much further than terrorism in our world. This therefore begs the question of how defeating the greatest terrorist of all times was possible and, furthermore, what implications or even moral lessons a reader may derive from this story. V. Dealing with trauma There are many scholars arguing both for and against the Harry Potter series being helpful to young readers in dealing with real-life trauma. In this section the main reasons for arguing in favour of reading the Harry Potter series in this context will be outlined and it will furthermore be shown that in addition to dark themes, there are also very helpful lessons for dealing with trauma that can be learned by reading the series.8 One main target of criticism in Harry Potter is that the series is at times very explicit in its depiction of violence and terror. Since dark themes, such as conspiracy, persecution and terrorism, are indeed present and very important to the plot, I can hardly deny this point. Yet 8 For a discussion of trauma in context of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, cf. the article by Anne Mahler in this volume. MICHÈLE CIBA 130 scholars such as Taub and Servaty-Seib assert that representations of dark themes, specifically of death, are in fact helpful for child development: [T]he fact that she [Rowling] does address issues of death, dying, and bereavement is to be commended. The growing body of literature focused on the childhood experience of death is virtually unanimous in its recommendation for straightforward discussion about death at an early age, prior to the occurrence of a death-loss crisis (23). Other scholars, such as Courtney Strimel, go even further and maintain that it is the realism of these dark themes that is beneficial to readers dealing with trauma. She argues that the Harry Potter series is clearly set in a fantasy world and studies show that children are able to distinguish between reality and fantasy. Because of this, fantasy literature in general offers a suitable distance to the readers’ real experience, which enables them to deal with difficult topics such as violence and death. In addition, she points out that instances of terror in the Harry Potter novels are clearly coded as ‘magic’, which separates them from the readers’ own experiences. This gap between reality and fantasy enables readers to deal with dark and ambiguous topics and makes them capable of drawing conclusions for their own lives. From this distance, it is acceptable for even the horrors of the story to be described realistically. Strimel argues further that a realistic and often messy, ambiguous depiction with open questions and loose ends helps to validate the readers’ feelings. After all, their experiences are not ‘black and white’ either. She explains that “[o]nce children feel assured that their feelings and thoughts are reasonable, they may work to understand and cope with terror” (Strimel 44). Chappell agrees with Strimel and points out: “Viewing Hogwarts and the teaching/learning of magic as metaphor, the wizarding world becomes a reflection of our own. The events and structures in the Harry Potter novels prepare children for life as adults by teaching them about the systems inside which both children and adults function” (292). This preparation for life is highly valuable and makes a strong point in favour of recommending the Harry Potter novels to children. In making it possible to learn about the system the readers inhabit, the Harry Potter series does not merely offer an accessible depiction of difficult topics but also provides possible solutions to many moral issues. Many helpful ideas are provided by Harry’s mentor, Albus Dumbledore, throughout the series. For instance, he gives Harry insight into the power of fear: “‘It is the unknown we fear when we look upon death and darkness, nothing more’” (Prince 529). He also helps Harry in dealing with fresh traumatic experiences by encouraging him to face his pain: “‘Numbing the pain for a while will make it worse when you finally feel it’” (Goblet 695). In addition to Dumbledore, Ron and Hermione also support Harry. After realising he will have to face Voldemort again, it is their support that keeps him from despairing: “the mere fact that they were still there on either side of him, speaking bracing words of comfort, not shrinking from him as though he were contaminated or dangerous, was worth more than he could ever tell them” (Prince 97). In showing how Harry is able to deal with trauma, even when it is arduous, Rowling gives her readers hope that they may attain such support as well and learn how to manage their own difficult experiences. As Harry and his friends overcome numerous obstacles and ultimately succeed in defeating Voldemort, a number of qualities are shown to be helpful in alleviating fear: small acts of bravery, teamwork, kindness, the willingness to admit one’s own faults, loyalty, hope for a better future and friendship. HARRY POTTER IN A POST-9/11 WORLD 131 VI. Conclusion Overall this paper has shown many instances where the themes of conspiracy, persecution and terror are drawn upon in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in particular and the Harry Potter series in general. These themes are not circumstantial, but of high importance to the plot development. Without them, Voldemort would not be who he is and his reign of terror would not become as successful as it does. In embedding these aspects into her story J.K. Rowling comments on current developments. The influx of the theme of terror in her series after 9/11, though long previously planned, correlates with a general influx of this topic in media and culture. In referring to current issues, presenting them in an accessible way and showing possible defences against a controlling sense of fear, Rowling arguably helps her readers to come to terms with the world they inhabit. Bridger emphasises this by citing an essay competition held by Rowling’s US publisher which showed that readers were inspired by Rowling’s characters, who helped them cope with varying difficult situations such as illness or bullying (cf. 10). When asked about the influence of terrorism on her writing Rowling herself answered: “I’ve never thought, ‘It’s time for a post-9/11 Harry Potter book,’ no. But what Voldemort does, in many senses, is terrorism” (Anelli/Spartz n.p.). In Harry Potter J.K. Rowling engages with the highly debated and difficult topic of the impact of terrorism. She succeeds in not only creating a thrilling story but also inspiring many readers to keep hope amidst the ongoing ‘War on Terror’. Works Cited Anelli, Melissa, and Emerson Spartz. “The Leaky Cauldron and MuggleNet interview Joanne Kathleen Rowling: Part Two”. The Leaky Cauldron, 16 July 2005. Last access: 19 May 2017. Barratt, Bethany. The Politics of Harry Potter. Palgrave Macmillan, 2012. Bridger, Francis. A Charmed Life: The Spirituality of Potterworld. Doubleday, 2001. Chappell, Drew. “Sneaking Out After Dark: Resistance, Agency, and the Postmodern Child in JK Rowling’s Harry Potter Series.” Children’s Literature in Education 39.4 (2008): 281- 93. Lacassagne, Aurélie. “War and Peace in the Harry Potter Series.” European Journal of Cultural Studies 19.4 (2016): 318-34. Matusitz, Jonathan. Terrorism and Communication: A Critical Introduction. Sage, 2013. Pheasant-Kelly, Frances. Fantasy Film Post 9/11. Palgrave Macmillan, 2013. Rowling, J.K. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Scholastic, 2000. ---. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Bloomsbury, 2003. ---. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Bloomsbury, 2005. ---. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Bloomsbury, 2007. Ruby, Charles L. “The Definition of Terrorism.” Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy 2.1 (2002): 9-14. MICHÈLE CIBA 132 Strimel, Courtney B. “The Politics of Terror: Rereading Harry Potter.” Children’s Literature in Education 35.1 (2004): 35-52. Taub, Deborah J., and Heather L. Servaty-Seib. “Controversial Content: Is Harry Potter Harmful to Children?” Critical Perspectives on Harry Potter, edited by Elizabeth E. Heilman, 2nd edition, Routledge, 2009 [2003]. 13-32. Wisnicki, Adrian S. Conspiracy, Revolution, and Terrorism from Victorian Fiction to the Modern Novel. Routledge, 2008. Zirkle, Ashley Nicole. “Harry Potter and the American Response: Persecution and Popularity of the Boy Who Lived.” MA Thesis, Grand Valley State University, 2015. Zywietz, Bernd. Terrorismus im Spielfilm: Eine filmwissenschaftliche Untersuchung über Konflikte, Genres und Figuren. Springer, 2016. Carsten Kullmann Of Muggles and Men: Identifying Racism in the Harry Potter Series I. Introduction: When Harry met Draco… When Harry visits Diagon Alley with Hagrid for the first time, he buys his first set of Hogwarts school robes, amongst other things. In Madam Malkin’s Robes for All Occasions he meets a snobbish young aristocrat who rambles on about his views on who should and should not be admitted into Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry: “‘I really don’t think they should let the other sort in [...] I think they should keep it in the old wizarding families’” (Stone 84, emphasis added). In this scene, Draco Malfoy introduces Harry to issues of race and racism in the wizarding world, and little does Harry know that this encounter, emblematic for his and Draco’s differing world views, marks them as adversaries for their entire school career. In the Potterverse, it is blood lineage which stirs discrimination against “the other sort”, even constituting for some fanatics the basis of their racist ideology. Generally, prejudice based on ‘bloodedness’ runs deep in the entire society and surfaces every so often when wizards and witches are confronted with issues evolving around the questions of descent and the origin of magical abilities. Broadly speaking, racial prejudice can be sorted into two categories: firstly, prejudice against non-human beings of magical origin, such as house-elves, goblins, centaurs, or giants. Secondly, within the category of humans, a distinction is made between pure magical and Muggle descent. Since the former issue has already been examined thoroughly in academia,1 this paper will focus on the latter. As the origin of magic is unclear and the hereditary laws in the Potterverse are never specified, racial prejudice against people from a Muggle background has a longstanding tradition in the wizarding society. Historical accounts lead to the idea that these prejudices originated in the Middle Ages, around the time of the witch hunts. In The Tales of Beedle the Bard, Dumbledore’s notes on “The Wizard and the Hopping Pot” inform readers about the history of Muggle-wizard relationships: as a result of Muggles’ persecution of witches and wizards, anti-Muggle sentiments enjoyed heightened popularity in the Middle Ages, and “[by] the seventeenth century, any witch or wizard who chose to fraternise with Muggles became suspect, even an outcast in his or her own community” (15). Extreme pro-wizard propaganda, such as that found in the magazine Warlock of War, edited by Brutus Malfoy, perpetuated the stereotype that “any wizard who shows fondness for the society of Muggles is of low intelligence” (Tales 16). However, while general blood prejudice is continually, though latently, present throughout the Harry Potter novels, its extent varies. The extreme stance represented by Brutus Malfoy’s association of Muggle origin with lower intelligence developed into a full-fledged ideological system that sought to discriminate systematically against Muggleborn witches and wizards. In Harry’s time, the most prominent advocate of this racist supremacist ideology is, of course, Lord Voldemort. His ideology propagates the division of the wizarding society into several hierarchical classes according to purity of blood. The troublesome issue of racist thinking and practices produced by this hierarchy runs as a central motif 1 For detailed analyses of this issue, see Ostry (2003) and Horne (2010). CARSTEN KULLMANN 134 through the series and the corresponding ideology in its extremes remains associated with the series’ villain(s). In presenting Harry and his friends in clear opposition to the forces of evil, Rowling does not only depict the typical fairy-tale good vs. evil struggle in her Harry Potter series. Throughout the novels, the boundaries between good and evil are blurred; characters that started out as presumably evil turn out to be on the good side. Vice versa, being good is not mistaken for being flawless and infallible. Even Harry and Dumbledore, who may perhaps be considered two of the most benevolent characters in the saga, are shown to have their dark sides. Still, in associating Voldemort and his followers with supremacist racial ideology, their viciousness is constantly underscored. Besides displaying despicable character traits, they pose a threat to society at large. What ultimately enables Harry to remain victorious is not some sort of divine goodness inherent to his character, but rather his strict adherence to a core set of moral values and his ability to remain free to choose his actions. Therefore, this paper argues for the Harry Potter heptalogy to be read as an allegory that promotes these morals and the importance of free choice as universal weapons for the fight against evil on a greater scale. The representation of racism in the series caters to the depiction of Voldemort and his supporters as agents of quintessential evil, which is stressed by deliberate allusions to a historical period that has come to signify evil: Nazism in Third Reich Germany from 1933- 1945. II. Preparing the ground: theories of racism Turning to the theoretical preliminaries necessary for identifying racist supremacist ideology in the Harry Potter series, it soon becomes clear that every attempt at defining the terms will inevitably be confined to just that – a mere attempt without any claim to be exhaustive. The term ‘racism’ is too fuzzy, too complex, and too historically loaded at this stage. Already the etymological origin of the word ‘race’ is anything but clear; various theories trace it back to Arabic, Latin or Old French. The earliest uses of ‘race’ can be identified in Spanish (‘raza’) and Italian (‘razza’) between 1300 and 1450 to denote the notion of ‘species’ as well as ‘lineage’ or ‘origin’ (cf. “Race” n.p.). While the idea of different human races is already present in Antiquity, the concept of racism develops in the context of the Enlightenment in Europe. The social and political upheavals of the French Revolution as well as the beginning of colonialist and imperialist expansions of Central European nations confronted the mostly aristocratic ruling elites with two issues both at home and abroad: firstly, their formerly inherited privileges were endangered by the awakening of the ideals of equality and (political) freedom, and secondly the increasing economically motivated exploitation of Indigenous peoples in the newly discovered colonies needed ideological justification in the face of these emerging ideals of human equality. As Patrick von zur Mühlen remarks, Europe was relatively homogeneous in terms of ethnic diversity at the time of the emergence of racial theories (cf. 11). Thus, the increasing appeal of racial theories needs to be seen as the attempt to counter social conflicts as well as the endangering of established privileges of the ruling classes. The idealisation of nobility and aristocracy as ‘master race’ secured the rights of their members against the aspiring bourgeoisie. Consequently, racial theories in this sense first emerged in post-revolutionary France among the old elites: Count Joseph Arthur de Gobineau is generally credited with the dubious honour of being the ‘father of racism’. His Essai sur l’Inégalité des Races Humaines (1853- 55) marks the first of two broader branches of racial theories. Gobineau understood ‘race’ as an essentialist, innate characteristic of human beings and divided humanity hierarchically into three categories according to skin colour: white, yellow, and black. Amongst the white race, IDENTIFYING RACISM IN THE HARRY POTTER SERIES 135 he saw what he called the ‘Aryan race’ endowed with a natural predisposition to rulership. Departing from the a priori concept of human inequality, Gobineau identified the contemporary social upheavals as results of racial miscegenation, which had supposedly compromised the ‘Aryan’ elements of French society. Concluding with a pessimistic view of the future, Gobineau proclaimed the end of humankind as a result of continuing miscegenation and, concomitantly, racial degeneration (cf. zur Mühlen 62). The second branch of racial theories developed soon after the publication of Charles Darwin’s The Origin of the Species (1859) and The Descent of Man (1871). Transferring Darwin’s principles of natural selection and the survival of the fittest to society, Social Darwinists, as they were soon called, alienated the biological findings of Darwin and used them for their own political ends. Contrary to Gobineau’s idea of a priori inequality of human races, the strictly selectionist Social Darwinist approach assumed a theoretical equality of races which shifts as a result of the unrestrained competition among races. In consequence, a Social Darwinist understanding of race did not submit to Gobineau’s pessimism, but translated the alleged dangers of progressing miscegenation into active politics. The result was the eugenic movement, which took the theoretical idea to a practical level, suggesting social action for eliminating the ‘unfit’ and preventing society from increasing degeneration by racial mixture. These developments were brought to an unspeakably savage conclusion by the Nazi Regime in Germany in the 1930s and 1940s. The National Socialists took a supposedly natural racial superiority of the so-called Aryan race as a justification for cold-blooded industrial murder. Lord Voldemort’s understanding of race, and consequently his racist practices, show characteristics of both Gobinean and Social Darwinist ideologies. His syncretic approach unites Gobineau’s idea of race as an essentialist and unchangeable characteristic with the Social Darwinist consequences of eugenic practices. Similar to the Nazis, who followed the same syncretism in their ideology, which ultimately led to the Holocaust, Voldemort overlooks the theoretical inconsistencies that result from such a unity of two contradictory concepts. In summary, more than two hundred years of racial theory have failed to produce a single, comprehensible definition of their subject. The contradictory syncretic ideologies used by Voldemort in the Harry Potter novels and the National Socialists in Third Reich Germany gloss over their theoretical imperfections with large-scale propaganda. However, they do not bear up against thorough and critical scrutiny. Therefore, as any attempt at properly defining race and racism has failed so far, there is no illusion that the issue can be solved within the limited frame of this paper. Instead of trying to reach a concise working definition, several characteristics of racism and racist practices can be identified which will constitute the toolbox for analysing Voldemort’s racist ideology in the Harry Potter saga. His ideology shares characteristics with two historical instances of state-induced racism: Third Reich Germany’s antisemitism and the Apartheid regime in South Africa. A closer analysis of both regimes’ legislative means of ousting the respective ‘other’ from society reveals four categories on which these practices are based: xenophobia, ethnocentricity, endogamy, and pure-blood mysticism (cf. Geiss 27-28). All four criteria can be found in Voldemort’s racist supremacist ideology. Ethnocentricity and xenophobia constitute two sides of the same coin: the fear of everything ‘foreign’, which when talking about racism applies to the enmity felt towards entire ‘races’, emphasises particular in-group features in order to bolster one’s own identity and vice versa. A functional in-group identity can only be defined by setting it off from the out-group, the ‘other’ (cf. ibid. 28-29). Similarly, endogamy and pure-blood mysticism are closely connected. The perception of race as a fixed criterion links the transfer of both despised characteristics of the ‘other’ and the glorified ‘goodness’ of one’s own race to mechanisms of heredity and, consequently, to blood. Blood allegedly ‘transports’, so to speak, characteristics CARSTEN KULLMANN 136 that are allocated to the particular races and, thus, plays a central role in racism. In consequence, the purity of blood that needs to be preserved constitutes a full-fledged mysticism, which forms the centre of racist ideology. Endogamy is the means by which this purity is preserved; members of the in-group are forbidden to ‘sully’ their blood by mating with members of the out-group. The essentialist understanding of race, marked by the purity of blood, provides Voldemort and his followers with a universal and unchanging trait on the basis of which they can divide fellow wizards and witches into those who belong and those who do not belong to society. Voldemort makes use of this basic distinction and links the innate characteristic of nonmagical blood with other character traits such as lower intelligence and less skill. These stereotypes are attributed to the entire out-group regardless of intra-group variation. Wizards and witches with Muggle ancestry are perceived as one homogeneous group, compromised by their non-magical descent. This process of stereotyping was first described by Stuart Hall: while we constantly categorise the world around us, stereotyping is the negatively connoted practice of reducing persons or groups to a few simplified and exaggerated characteristics that are presented as unchangeable and natural (cf. 15-24). Stereotypes imply that they convey all necessary information about that person or group. The essentialist, generalising notion accounts for “the belief that certain groups are distillable to a core set of common fixed traits, cultural values, or identities whilst any variation across the group is considered secondary” (Quraishi/Philburn 22). In the same sense, Steve Garner proposes the ‘triad’ of racism (cf. 11): a hierarchical power relationship allows those with more power to naturalise and, therefore, racialise certain characteristics; these criteria are then transformed into a set of ideas, an ideology, that grants legitimation for the third step, forms of discrimination and discriminatory practices that are based on the constructed ideology. Racism, therefore, is always connected to power (cf. Memmi 96). Accordingly, Voldemort’s racist ideology becomes infinitely more threatening after his ascent to rulership, when he has acquired the means to implement his practices into active politics on a large scale. Eventually, the process of defining basic, innate characteristics as criteria of difference and allocating to them certain negative, stereotyped attributes leads to the construction of the undesired group as fundamentally different. Members of that group are presented as being opposed to the ‘self’ and therefore perceived as ‘other’. Hence, the identity of the ‘self’ is constructed in binary opposition to the ‘other’; ‘self’ and ‘other’ are mutually exclusive. However, the ‘self’ needs the ‘other’ in order to define itself; the image of the ‘other’ serves as the antithesis to the image of the ‘self’ (cf. Holz 45). In this sense, the construction of Muggle-born witches and wizards as ‘others’ serves two concrete purposes: firstly, their social and political de-legitimation strengthens the in-group identity of Voldemort’s pureblood fanatics and, thus, their claim to power. Secondly, it legitimises any action undertaken against the ‘other’. Denying Muggle-borns the right to use magic, regardless of their ability, constitutes an act of dehumanisation and, therefore, justifies actions that aim at their extermination. III. ‘You’ll be next, Mudbloods!’: the racist ideology of Lord Voldemort In the Harry Potter series, one can easily see how these theoretical preliminaries apply to Lord Voldemort’s racist practices. He only regards wizards and witches of pure magical descent as worthy members of society. The perception of his ‘self’ is strictly demarcated from anyone who does not fulfil this basic criterion. Allocating a supreme significance to blood means that witches and wizards with Muggle ancestry as well as Muggles themselves are regarded as inferior to pure-bloods, which allows for discrimination against the ‘other’. The IDENTIFYING RACISM IN THE HARRY POTTER SERIES 137 discriminatory practices of Voldemort’s followers range from pejoratives, such as ‘Mudblood’ (taking the idea of soiled blood very literally), to outright physical violence. In the following, two examples will be examined in order to demonstrate the development of discriminatory action based on racial supremacy: firstly, in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (1998), the Basilisk is set free by the Horcrux diary to continue Salazar Slytherin’s work of purging Hogwarts of Muggle-borns. Therefore, already the second instalment of the series addresses the deadly consequences that can result from thinking along the lines of racist ideology. Although the fatal danger of the Basilisk is toned down and students are merely petrified, the looming imminence of death hangs over the entire term like the sword of Damocles. Secondly, after Voldemort’s return in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2000), the threat he poses to non-pure-bloods becomes increasingly pressing with his ascent to power, culminating in the takeover of the Ministry of Magic in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (2007). The new regime immediately sets up a Muggle-born Registration Commission, aiming at surveying how Muggle-born wizards and witches obtained their magical power. The concomitant obligation for everyone under survey to prove wizarding ancestry is gruesomely reminiscent of the Nazis’ introduction of the Aryan certificate. The connection of both examples illustrates the step-by-step progression of racist supremacist ideologies in the Potterverse: while initially the actions of the Horcrux diary are confined to the grounds of Hogwarts, Voldemort relentlessly implements his pure-blood fanaticism into active policy after his return. In their increasing ruthlessness, the examples will illustrate the dangers that emanate from pursuing racist ideologies. Apart from Draco Malfoy’s constant association with pure-blood ideology, the issue of race does not feature prominently in the series until Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Throughout the second term, students are attacked by the Basilisk on grounds of their Muggle parentage. Once the Chamber has been opened, the first message on the wall reads “‘Enemies of the heir, beware’” (Chamber 146). Right from the beginning, those targeted by the Basilisk are constructed as ‘enemies’ – a notion that mirrors typical stereotyping practices by demonising the ‘other’. By invoking alleged danger stemming from these enemies, one’s own actions are legitimised as preventive or even counter-active. Further clarification on who is meant by “‘[e]nemies of the heir’” (ibid.) is provided by Draco Malfoy, who upon reading the first message immediately bursts out: “‘You’ll be next, Mudbloods!’” (ibid. 147) Known for his affiliation with pure-blood supremacy, he immediately springs to Harry, Ron, and Hermione’s mind as the possible culprit. His commitment to racial purity is emphasised time and again by means of his frequent use of the pejorative ‘Mudblood’ throughout Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: “When Malfoy calls Hermione ‘You filthy little Mudblood’, he is then tapping into a deep vein of cultural division and emotion. His taunt has the cultural shock of the word ‘nigger’ in contemporary America, as seen by the response his ‘Mudblood’ comment elicits” (Westman 314). The attacks on Muggle-borns at Hogwarts mirror the heightened attention that is given to the issue of blood purity and the fear of miscegenation. The continuing assaults and the threatening atmosphere already foreshadow what is to become Voldemort’s political agenda once he has seized power: “The petrification of the Mudbloods”, Julia Eccleshare claims, “has sinister overtones. The idea that some individuals are being picked off in what initially seem like unrelated attacks is very scary to an enclosed community. When they discover the link between the victims, it is even more horrific [...] [making] it a convincing parallel to the persecution of any minority within a society” (79). Shortly after the first attack, in one of Professor Binns’s more interesting classes, it is revealed that the Chamber of Secrets was built by Salazar Slytherin. Disagreeing with the other three Hogwarts founders on the question of who was and who was not worthy of being taught magic, Slytherin left the school in a bad temper after constructing a secret chamber for his CARSTEN KULLMANN 138 heir to open and to continue the work of purging Hogwarts of the ‘unworthy’. Ergo, Salazar Slytherin must be regarded as one of the forerunners of racial supremacy in the Harry Potter universe. Not shying away from drastic methods, he was willing to go to the ends of ethnic cleansing to implement his ideas. As the plot continues, it becomes evident that Slytherin’s heir is none other than Lord Voldemort. Voldemort, therefore, is linked with Slytherin’s racist ideology already in the second instalment of the series, even before his direct descent from Slytherin is further elaborated on. Once more, however, Harry thwarts his plans, slays the Basilisk and destroys the Horcrux diary. As the series’ hero, he not only battles Lord Voldemort himself but, by extension, also his fundamentally racist ideology targeted against Muggles as well as wizards and witches with Muggle ancestry. With the horrors of the second year defeated, the issues of race and racism fade from the plot in Harry’s third year at Hogwarts. They return, however, with one of the perhaps most gruesome scenes in the entire series. At the beginning of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, celebrations of the Quidditch World Cup are grimly cut short when a masked wizard lynch mob turns the festivities into what Mary Pharr calls “holocaustic gateways for the return of the Dark Lord” (16). Abusing their magical powers, Death Eaters terrorise the Muggle owners of the campsite, floating them in mid-air like marionettes. Sickly, the trio watches “the smallest Muggle child, who had begun to spin like a top, sixty feet above the ground, his head flopping limply from side to side” (Goblet 102). As Suman Gupta notes, “[t]he manner in which the crowd grows and cheers marks this demonstration as a popular one” (102). This scene signifies the transition of racially motivated assaults from the confined area of the Hogwarts grounds to the public sphere. The foreshadowed return of Lord Voldemort prompts his followers to leave their hiding places and to openly display their ideologically motivated hatred for all non-purebloods. Voldemort’s actual return fully completes this transitory stage. After the Dark Lord’s return at the end of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, the situation for Muggle-borns deteriorates increasingly. Although the protagonists are still protected at Hogwarts from the worsening political environment until the end of their sixth term, Voldemort’s mounting power in the wizarding world eventually leads to the invasion of Hogwarts and the murder of Albus Dumbledore. Deprived of a sphere of safety and conscious of their moral obligation, Harry, Ron, and Hermione decide not to return for their final year in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and face the world outside school. Here, they experience an increasingly hostile environment for those who do not comply with Voldemort’s ideology. This alarming political development reaches its climax with the fall of the Ministry of Magic. As Voldemort rules wizarding Britain, racist thinking also enters official legislature. The Ministry subsequently passes a bill that calls into existence a Registration Commission for Muggle-borns. Additionally, minors are now obliged to attend Hogwarts if they are given ‘Blood Status’ – that is, if they can prove their wizarding ancestry. At Hogwarts, Muggle Studies are made mandatory for every student, transforming the subject into learning “‘how Muggles are like animals, stupid and dirty, and how they drove wizards into hiding by being vicious towards them, and how the natural order is being re-established’” (Hallows 467). Moreover, so-called Snatchers form quasi-militias aiming at hunting down Muggle-borns on the run who were unable to prove their wizard descent. Clearly, the wizarding world transforms into a totalitarian society that rests firmly on the ideological foundation of pure-blood supremacy. Muggle-borns are increasingly ostracised as they represent the ‘other’ within society. Their ‘mongrel’ status contradicts the pure-blood mysticism at the heart of Voldemort’s supremacist ideology that is just about to become official state racism. Their otherness is met with xenophobia, an anxiety resulting from the fear of the natural order’s collapse, and transforms into unmitigated hatred (cf. Geiss 45). The excessive ethnocentricity of Volde- IDENTIFYING RACISM IN THE HARRY POTTER SERIES 139 mort’s fellowship, based on the identity-constituting notion of pure-bloodedness, at the same time fuels and is driven by the xenophobic ousting of the ‘other’ within their own society: witches and wizards of Muggle descent whose mixed blood contradicts the doctrine of racial purity and testifies to sin against this doctrine. IV. Depicting evil: allusions to Third Reich Germany Within most of Voldemort’s political actions the collective memories of fascist Europe in the middle of the 20th century resonate. Overall, there are remarkable similarities between the construction of Voldemort’s pure-blood supremacy and his policy in the Harry Potter series and historic accounts of the practices that were order of the day in Nazi Germany. Purity of blood becomes the essential, defining characteristic that qualifies a person as a worthy member of society. All those who do not fulfil this criterion are, step by step, ostracised, rounded up, and ultimately eliminated. Memories come back of the Third Reich, where the defining characteristic for belonging was not magic but ‘Aryan’ blood. Just as the Jews in Germany, “‘Muggle-borns are being rounded up’” (Hallows 169), which is legitimised by the Ministry’s new motto: ‘Magic is Might’.2 The Muggle-born Registration Commission requests Muggle-born wizards and witches to prove their wizard descent as to avoid prosecution for allegedly obtaining magical power by force or theft. Similar genealogy measures were undertaken by the Nazis; in order to become a full-fledged member of society, one had to prove ‘Aryan’ ancestry by certificate. The sub-divisions of Blood Status categories – pure-blood, half-blood, Muggle-born – also closely resemble the categorisation of blood lineage that was introduced by the Nuremberg Laws. The obsession with preserving blood purity is at the centre of the fanatics’ concern and adds to the blood-mysticism which marks their racist practices. Endogamy among purebloods is the logical consequence and mixed marriages are openly despised: Sirius’ mother, Walburga Black, a devout pure-blood fanatic who held dear the family’s motto ‘Toujours pur’, mutilates the living-room tapestry depicting the family tree after her niece Andromeda married a Muggle, removing her for not making a “‘lovely, respectable pure-blood marriage’” (Phoenix 104). The actual removal of Andromeda from the family tree tapestry symbolises the elimination of objectionable elements from the Black family, a family Sirius describes as thinking “‘Voldemort had the right idea, they were all for the purification of the wizarding race, getting rid of Muggle-borns and having pure-bloods in charge’” (ibid. 103) and which is thus emblematic for the wider appeal Voldemort’s ideology held in the wizarding society. In the Potterverse, the new supremacist ideology is both taught at school and conveyed to the public. At Hogwarts, Muggle Studies are made compulsory for all students, as was mentioned above. The subject now intends to brain-wash them by proclaiming natural inferiority of Muggle blood to magical blood. A claim to power is deduced from this alleged natural superiority, which is represented as the ‘natural order’. As Aida Patient and Kori Street have observed, “there is a clear connection between the learning outcomes of Muggle Studies and the racial paradigm expressed in the pamphlet used to teach German children about Jews” (226). At the Ministry, in turn, pamphlets are produced intended to inform the public about 2 The new motto is visualised by a new statue in the Ministry’s Atrium: the Fountain of Magical Brethren is replaced with a witch and a wizard sitting on “hundreds and hundreds of naked bodies, men, women and children, all with rather stupid, ugly faces, twisted and pressed together to support the weight of the handsomely robed wizards” (Hallows 196). Engraved in the statue, the new motto ‘Magic is Might’ seems like a distorted perversion of the Nazis’ ‘Jedem das Seine’, which was displayed over the entrance of Buchenwald concentration camp. CARSTEN KULLMANN 140 ‘Mudbloods and the Dangers They Pose to a Peaceful Pure-Blood Society’. These pamphlets again stress the allusion to Nazi propaganda, which depicted Jews as harmful elements to German society and claimed that they needed to be ‘exterminated’ in order to maintain ‘the natural order’. The more powerful Voldemort becomes, the more his racist, supremacist ideology transforms into state policy. The atmosphere in the wizarding world after the fall of the Ministry is shaped by anxiety, fear of terror, and mutual distrust, guaranteeing that no one dares to challenge the system of rule (cf. Staab/Malcher 227). Voldemort’s war against political enemies like Harry and ideologically stigmatised outsiders, i.e., the Muggle-borns, recreates images of Third Reich state terror. Snatchers and dementors, hunting those on the run, serve as the Dark Lord’s executive militias and bear in their political function similarities to Hitler’s Schutzstaffel. The symbol used by the powerful to identify like-minded individuals emphasises this historical connection: Voldemort’s Dark Mark is strikingly reminiscent of the SS Death’s Head Units skull insignia (cf. ibid. 231). The Death’s Head Units were responsible for administering the concentration camps and overseeing the ‘extermination’ of Jews and others whom the Nazis considered ‘Untermenschen’ in the death camps during the Second World War. In associating Voldemort and the Death Eaters with Third Reich Germany, they are constructed as the series’ unadulterated evil. Besides the personal feud between Harry and Voldemort that is tied to the prophecy that neither can live while the other survives, Voldemort also poses a threat to the entire wizarding society. Patient and Street note in this regard that “Hitler, the Nazis, and the Holocaust have come [...] to epitomise evil. They have become the quintessential or archetypal metaphor for evil” (202). Similarly, Stefan Hirt considers Hitler a ‘pop-icon’ which is used for “his ideological otherness and role as absolute evil in moral discourses and popular culture” (501). By alluding to Nazism and the Holocaust, most prominently in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Rowling depicts Harry’s arch-nemesis as evil on a greater scale, conveying “an immediate understanding of evil to modern audiences by referencing what we think we know about that past” (Patient/Street 204). However, it is important to note that there are no exact parallels between the world of the Harry Potter series and the events during the period of Nazi rule; rather, the novels “are transcoded with historical references, albeit reductive ones, to a particular historical period that has come to represent evil” (ibid. 205). These encoded images stir in the reader the access to cultural memory images of the historical period of 1933-1945 and serve as a kind of surrogate lieu de mémoire (Pierre Nora). The allusion to the unparalleled cruelty and abomination of the Holocaust resonates with the references to this particular past in Harry Potter and lends to Voldemort a notion of evil that sets him apart from all the other villains in the series, marking him as the ultimate embodiment of evil. V. Conclusion: ‘It’s our choices […] that show what we truly are’ Harry, on the contrary, will have nothing of Voldemort’s ideological fanaticism. Himself a half-blood, he befriends a ‘blood traitor’ and a Muggle-born witch, and together the trio ultimately succeeds in overthrowing the Dark Lord. Accordingly, what prevails over evil is a specific set of moral codes and values: loyalty, solidarity, compassion, friendship, and love. In the face of bigotry and racism, Harry, Ron, and Hermione remain virtuous and claim the moral high ground, which enables them to be victorious. As Eliana Ionoaia correctly observes, Harry makes this conscious choice very early in his wizarding career, urging the Sorting Hat to put him into Gryffindor instead of Slytherin. From the beginning, “he chooses to distance himself from a group of people unhindered by morals, choosing a life of morality and virtue” (Ionoaia 61). After all, believing in morality and virtues and being willing to act IDENTIFYING RACISM IN THE HARRY POTTER SERIES 141 on them is essential for making the world a better place. This contradiction in terms of Voldemort’s supremacist ideology and Harry’s empathy and belief in free choice finds its literal expression at the end of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix: realising that he cannot defeat Dumbledore in this moment, Voldemort attempts to possess Harry, aiming at tempting Dumbledore to kill the ‘Boy Who Lived’ and to drive out evil. However, the Dark Lord does not succeed; he is ultimately driven out of Harry’s body as he cannot bear the boy’s range of positive feelings: “And as Harry’s heart filled with emotion, the creature’s coils loosened, the pain was gone” (Phoenix 751). The Harry Potter series portrays a world that is modelled on our own and troubled by similar problems. In the end, it “provides not only the promise of triumph over evil, but also guidance on how to meet it through thoughtful attention to right and wrong” (Kern 26). The typical fairy-tale ending of the triumph of good over evil is hard fought for and the way to victory leaves the reader with a moral lesson that can be transferred to their own lives: “despite its dark recesses, the world is good, and people can overcome their difficulties and find joy” (Black 238). The novels suggest that adhering to the values Harry, Ron, Hermione, Dumbledore, and all the others who fight on Harry’s side cherish and promote will help readers “to critically engage with power structures in their lives and become architects of their own agency” (Chappell 282). Assuming then, as many scholars do, that “the preoccupation with blood as signification of magical races, and the identifiably fascist politics of the Magic world associated with that, cannot but resonate with the politics of race in our world” (Gupta 103), the allegory that love beats racism can be transferred to our own practices. In cherishing the values and morals that ultimately prevail in the Harry Potter saga, everyone, like Harry, can make our own muddled Muggle world a better place. The novels’ targeting of “the formation and replication of ideology rather than prejudice per se [...] show[s] how contemporary cultural opinion becomes naturalized as truth, as well as how that ‘truth’ can change” (Westman 315) and they leave their readers with the unspoken assignment to follow Harry’s example in challenging the naturalised ‘truths’ of their own world. The subliminal call to political action can be understood as the series’ most lasting impact. Depicting the modern world as deeply fractured by political beliefs and competing ideologies, the Harry Potter saga “offers [its] readers the opportunity to ponder on their own ideas for healing those fractures. Some ignore the opportunity – but others have leapt upon it” (Pharr 15). In the light of the recent political shift to the right as well as the unwelcome revival of racism, nationalism, misogyny, hatred, and bigotry, not only in Europe but around the globe, it is timelier than ever to be aware of these fractures and competing ideologies, and to reflect on the values promoted by the Harry Potter series. Firmly believing in solidarity and loyalty, friendship and trust, empathy and love, as well as the willingness to act on those beliefs will help us preserve freedom and democracy in times of crisis. They will help us stay openminded and open-hearted, and to leap upon the opportunity to heal the fractures of our world. Naturally, in all his wisdom, Albus Dumbledore was aware of the importance of such moral integrity and love. In the series’ greatest moment of crisis, immediately after Voldemort’s return and the murder of Cedric Diggory, he calls upon the students at the leaving feast: “‘We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided. [...] We can fight [discord and enmity] only by showing an equally strong bond of friendship and trust. Differences of habit and language are nothing at all if our aims are identical and our hearts are open’” (Goblet 608). CARSTEN KULLMANN 142 Works Cited Black, Sharon. “The Magic of Harry Potter: Symbols and Heroes of Fantasy.” Children’s Literature in Education 34.3 (2003): 237-47. Chappell, Drew. “Sneaking Out After Dark: Resisting, Agency, and the Postmodern Child in JK Rowling’s Harry Potter Series.” Children’s Literature in Education 39 (2008): 281-93. De Gobineau, Joseph Arthur. Sur L’Inégalité des Races Humaines. Firmin Didot Frères, 1855. Eccleshare, Julia. A Guide to the Harry Potter Novels. Continuum, 2002. Garner, Steve. Racisms: An Introduction. Sage, 2010. Geiss, Imanuel. Geschichte des Rassismus. Suhrkamp, 1988. Gupta, Suman. Re-Reading Harry Potter. 2nd edition, Palgrave Macmillan, 2009. Hall, Stuart. Representation: Cultural Representations and Signifying Practices. Sage, 2002. Hirt, Stefan. Adolf Hitler in American Culture. Schöningh, 2013. Holz, Klaus. “Die antisemitische Konstruktion des ‘Dritten’ und die nationale Ordnung der Welt.” Das bewegliche Vorurteil: Aspekte des internationalen Antisemitismus, edited by Christina von Braun, Königshausen & Neumann, 2004. 43-61. Horne, Jackie C. “Harry and the Other: Answering the Race Question in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter.” The Lion and the Unicorn 34.1 (2010): 76-104. Ionoaia, Eliana. “Moral Fibre and Outstanding Courage: Harry Potter’s Ethics of Courage as a Paradigm for the Muggle World.” Harry Potter’s World-Wide Influence, edited by Diana Patterson, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2009. 49-76. Kern, Edmund M. The Wisdom of Harry Potter: What our Favourite Hero Teaches us about Moral Choices. Prometheus, 2003. Memmi, Albert. Rassismus. Hain, 1992. Ostry, Elaine. “Accepting Mudbloods: The Ambivalent Social Vision of J.K. 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Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Bloomsbury, 2003. ---. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Bloomsbury, 2007. ---. The Tales of Beedle the Bard. Bloomsbury/Lumos, 2008. Staab, Katharina, and Johanna Malcher. “‘For the Greater Good’: Die filmische Adaption faschistischer Elemente in Harry Potter.” Harry Potter Intermedial: Untersuchungen zu den (Film-) Welten von Joanne K. Rowling, edited by Tobias Kurwinkel, Philipp Schmerheim and Annika Kurwinkel, Königshausen & Neumann, 2014. 225-39. Westman, Karin E. “Specters of Thatcherism: Contemporary British Culture in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter Series.” The Ivory Tower and Harry Potter: Perspectives on a Literary Phenomenon, edited by Lana A. Whited, University of Missouri Press, 2002. 305-28. Zur Mühlen, Patrick von. Rassenideologien: Geschichte und Hintergründe. Dietz, 1977. Sarah Hofmann ‘Can someone just explain what that skull thing was?’: The Workings of Capital in the Wizarding World I. Introduction J.K. Rowling’s fantasy series about a young wizard who courageously fights evil had fans all over the world on the edges of their seats. Harry Potter, who had previously lived with his non-magical aunt and uncle, Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, as well as their son Dudley, is suddenly plunged into a world in which most things, if not all, are magical and sometimes very different from what he knew before. In a world which is neither completely removed from our world nor entirely the same he learns that he is famous for something he does not even remember. He makes friends at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, learns spells, incantations and brewing potions and navigates his way to defeating evil. In short: Harry finds his place in the wizarding world, which – despite features such as wands, flying broomsticks and talking hats – shows a remarkable number of similarities to the world that Rowling’s readers know. These similarities are particularly apparent if one focuses on the underlying social structure of the wizarding world. In “Forms of Capital” (1986), the French sociologist and intellectual Pierre Bourdieu elaborates on the idea that capital manifests itself not only in the restricted economic sense of material wealth, but also in social interactions and cultural production. Especially in its immaterial forms of cultural and social capital, capital plays an essential part in furthering the plot of Rowling’s Harry Potter series. As Rowling’s readers accompany Harry, his friends, and his enemies through the years, they get a unique insight into the characters’ accumulation of the various forms of capital within the magical world. This paper aims at examining capital, as defined by Bourdieu, in terms of its structure and distribution in the wizarding world in order to gain a deeper understanding of the inner workings of the wizarding society and culture. By having a closer look at features such as Death Eaters, wands and other magical objects, I will attempt to apply Bourdieu’s concepts in order to examine how the different kinds of capital are constructed and how they may be converted into one another, while taking the specific conditions of the wizarding world into account. II. The social field and economic capital In explanations of the functioning of society (both in reality and in fiction), the fact that capital is not confined to the economic sphere but extends to the social field as well needs to be taken into account. During their lives, individuals navigate through different social fields, with specific goals in mind, almost like playing a game.1 Our actions as well as the material 1 In her essay on Bourdieu’s notion of the ‘social field’, Patricia Thomson explains the concept like this: “According to Bourdieu, the game that occurs in social spaces or fields is competitive, with various agents using different strategies to maintain or improve their position. At stake in the field is the accumulation of capitals: they are both the process in, and product of a field” (Thomson 67). To put it in simple terms, the game itself is not the goal. Instead, the players aim at reaching higher scores than other players and, ultimately, playing on the winning team. SARAH HOFMANN 146 things we use in our daily lives do not derive meaning from any inherent properties that these actions and things possess, but only through their relation to one another in a social field, which we share with others. One can think of the social field in terms of rules of the game, which are constantly revised and developed as the game is being played and are adhered to by the players according to their abilities and strengths. Patricia Thomson remarks that “there is no level playing ground in a social field; players who begin with particular forms of capital are advantaged at the outset because the field depends on, as well as produces more of, that capital” (67). This means that not all individuals in the game play according to the same rules, and it also means that not all rules apply to all players. There are different starting positions, which may change during the game, but which do not necessarily have to change.2 Individuals are likely to get along well with others who play similar positions in the game. Will Atkinson explains that this is the case because “[t]hose in similar positions within the social space, with similar levels and types of capital, share similar conditions of existence” (65). When the composition of individuals’ capital is similar enough, these individuals will identify with each other; thus, capital, in all its forms, constitutes the social field (the game) and helps navigate through it. Bourdieu identifies three major kinds of capital: economic capital, cultural capital, and social capital. Economic capital, which includes one’s total wealth, income and property ownership, is more apparent than the other two forms of capital distinguished by Bourdieu, because capital that takes this form can be more easily assessed than the other two types, which do not necessarily appear in material forms (cf. Atkinson 62). Still, according to Bourdieu, “[t]he different types of capital can be derived from economic capital, but only at the cost of a more or less great effort of transformation, which is needed to produce the type of power effective in the field in question” (Bourdieu 252, original emphasis). In other words: while economic capital is at the root of all other kinds of capital, and cultural and/or social capital may under differing conditions be converted into economic capital, economic capital itself is not enough to get ahead in the game, so to speak. One also needs to use it in order to improve one’s social and cultural capital and in order to gain social power. An example from our world illustrating this mechanism is an economically wealthy person who buys a football club in order to be able to exert control over the players in the team as well as over the sports market. An equivalent of this conversion of economic capital into immaterial capital in the Harry Potter series is the strategy pursued by Lucius Malfoy. He is a very wealthy man, who strategically uses his wealth to put pressure on and influence others, especially the employees of the Ministry of Magic and the Hogwarts Board of Governors. Thereby he increases his social capital and that of his family as well as their cultural capital because a larger social network will possibly provide the Malfoy family with insider information regarding the Ministry. When he buys new brooms for the Slytherin Quidditch team, he ensures Draco’s position on the team and makes sure that the players are able to fly faster than those of the Gryffindor team, which illustrates how money can be used and converted into power and social capital in the wizarding world. 2 Nick Crossley describes these ‘positions’, as I just called them, in this way: “Every individual, on Bourdieu’s account, has a portfolio of capital. They have a particular amount or volume of capital, and their capital has a particular composition” (87). To illustrate this, one might think of the different positions of Harry and Draco, who are both in possession of large sums of money, i.e., economic capital, but make use of their economic capital in very different ways. In Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (1997), for example, readers get to know that Draco wants to buy a racing broom for himself, whereas Harry finds delight in buying sweets from the trolley lady and sharing them with Ron (cf. 88, 113). THE WORKINGS OF CAPITAL IN THE WIZARDING WORLD 147 III. Social capital, the wizarding society, and Death Eaters Social Capital, as defined by Bourdieu, is “the aggregate of the actual or potential resources which are linked to possession of a durable network of more or less institutionalized relationships of mutual acquaintance and recognition” (Bourdieu 248). Thus, social capital consists of all the social networks an individual is part of and entails potential access to the various kinds of capital that the other members of these networks bring with them. The social networks are not divided by pre-determined boundaries, but instead in perception – not necessarily coherently by any means – through associating certain symbols with certain names through experience. This can take the form of the explicit discourse of ‘classes’, but it can also work through similar terms which do exactly the same job of representing a section of social space and symbolic space, including that which one sees oneself as in (Atkinson 72). This perception of different networks and of the individuals who are part of these bears the potential for conflicts. For example, the origins of conflicts between pure-blood wizards and witches and those who are Muggle-born lie mainly within the ways social capital is negotiated within the wizarding community. Susan Hall notes that “[t]he wizard world is intensely hierarchical. Magical beings other than ‘pure’ wizards are treated to greater or lesser degrees of discrimination, amounting to open persecution at times” (153). Already in his first encounters with the wizarding world, Harry learns from Draco Malfoy that some believe there are different kinds of wizards: those to whom Draco refers as “‘our kind’” (Stone 89, original emphasis), by which he means ‘pure-blooded’ wizards and witches, and “‘the other sort’” (ibid.), e.g., Muggle-born witches and wizards. In some respects, the social system of the wizarding world echoes the class system of Muggle Britain. They are similar in that they are based on a hierarchical structure. The wealthy, old pure-blood families of the wizarding community are the counterpart of the aristocrats of Muggle Britain. The Malfoys clearly fit into this category and are very proud of that. They were born to wizard parents and possess wealth (considerably as liquidated money). In Harry’s case the situation is a bit more complicated; he has inherited “a small fortune […] buried deep under London” (ibid. 85), but at least his mother was Muggle-born, which undermines his credentials from the point of view of people like the Malfoys. The Muggle middle class corresponds to characters such as the Weasley family. They are also of pure-blood descent, but because the wizarding community – much like Muggle Britain – is biased to favor wealthy people over poor ones, the Weasley family has little chance of upward movement, unless they should happen to somehow increase their economic capital on a longterm basis. Additionally, at least the Malfoys see the Weasleys as “‘a disgrace to the name of wizard’” because the latter are known to side with Muggle-born witches and wizards (ibid. 89, cf. Chamber 71). Characters such as Hagrid and Professor Lupin represent the lower social classes within the wizarding society. They are both members of the wizarding community, yet ostracized and shunned by the rest, because of their status as half-giant or werewolf respectively. Though both are friends of Albus Dumbledore, which provides them with a certain amount of social capital, they seem to possess neither much social capital beyond that nor much economic capital. Moreover, Hagrid, due to having been expelled from Hogwarts and thus having been unable to finish his education, lacks cultural capital (cf. Chamber 270). A special caste within the magical community is that of the house-elves, who have magical abilities that go beyond the abilities of some witches and wizards, but who are kept in a state of slavery. Lower in status than centaurs but living in wizard families to serve in their households, they raise interesting questions about the wizarding community’s definition of what exactly constitutes “a ‘being’ – that is to say, a creature worthy of legal rights and a voice in SARAH HOFMANN 148 the governance of the magical world” (Fantastic Beasts 2001, xix), as ‘Newt Scamander’ puts it in his introduction to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. There are other magical creatures within the wizarding world that also inhabit ambiguous positions in between the human and the inhuman ‘Other’. The aforementioned centaurs, for example, feature in several of the books and are apparently highly intelligent creatures who speak the human language (English) and are excellent seers, who can read the future. Nonetheless, they are not considered as human beings. The Ministry seeks to limit their territory to the deeper parts of the Forbidden Forest, and Dolores Umbridge, who is after all a Ministry official, refers to them as “‘half-breeds’” and quotes Law Fifteen ‘B’, according to which they are “‘creatures who [are] deemed to have near-human intelligence’” (Phoenix 828). At one point, even Hermione calls the newly appointed centaur-Divinations teacher Firenze a ‘horse’ (cf. ibid. 659), clearly dismissing him as somehow less than human. Muggles constitute another interesting case because they are recognized as humans by the wizarding community but are largely ignored by wizarding law.3 They seem to be regarded as equals in that they are also human, but are kept at a distance from the wizarding world. Until the moment a child with magical abilities is born to Muggle-parents, Muggles are kept in ignorance of the existence of magic and are only introduced to some aspects of the wizarding society when their children receive their Hogwarts letters. These children, while accepted into the wizarding community, have to work hard to integrate into wizarding society and thus acquire social capital. Hermione Granger, for example, has to prove her status as a witch multiple times throughout the series. Despite their magical abilities, Muggle-born witches and wizards are seen by pure-blood witches and wizards as lacking some inherent magical traits. The social system described so far creates the basis for a discourse of Otherness which underlies all social relations and interactions between witches and wizards. There are more privileged groups, which, by means of excluding those they perceive to be ‘below’ or, for some reason or other, to be too different from themselves, exert a kind of symbolic violence through this discourse of Otherness.4 In this way, the Harry Potter books “portray privilege and exceptionalism, not in the sense of ‘elitism’ but in a specifically hereditarian context which protects some while exposing others” (Mendlesohn 384). Yet social relations are also always a question of agency and choice, which can be seen in Harry’s overt rejection of Draco’s offer of friendship, or at least companionship, in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone; instead, Harry befriends Ronald Weasley and later on Hermione Granger (cf. Stone 120). This example shows that social relations within the wizarding world are not entirely pre-determined and are thus subject to continuous negotiations. Membership in a group or social network guarantees the company of like-minded wizards and witches, while also keeping outsiders at bay. In other words, social capital describes the “actual or potential resources which are linked to possession of a durable network” (Bourdieu 248), providing each of its members with certain credentials. Membership in a group endows both the individual member of the group as well as the group as a whole with credentials. This concept is exemplified and enforced in the Sorting Ceremony, during which new Hogwarts students are divided up into family-like structures according to their personality traits. Like- 3 There are, however, a few exceptions, for example the International Statute of Wizarding Secrecy and the Muggle Protection Act. 4 Symbolic violence here describes a sort of discrimination. It occurs when people find themselves in situations in which they do not have the various forms of capital needed to function effectively (cf. Schubert 191). Symbolic violence is not expressed through overt physical aggression; instead, many different insults tend to be at someone’s disposal to pick on people who belong to a supposedly different social category. Sexist insults or racist denominators are still commonly used to dismiss other people. In the wizarding world, the insult ‘Mudblood’ assigns people to a supposedly lower social category. THE WORKINGS OF CAPITAL IN THE WIZARDING WORLD 149 wise, Death Eaters form an elite social network united by their allegiance to the Dark Lord and his policies. The Death Eaters are a select club, deliberately organized by the Dark Lord in order to concentrate social capital and increase his own power in doing so. Here, too, hierarchical structures abound: on top of the hierarchy stands the Dark Lord himself, followed by those members of the group he believes to be most valuable to him and his cause. Prime examples for this top of the pyramid include the Malfoy family and Bellatrix Lestrange. They are followed by general supporters of pure-blood supremacy who have not necessarily been initiated as Death Eaters. The Dark Lord chooses wizards and witches eligible for this high status as his close confidants, depending on whether the witch or wizard displays characteristics and traits the Dark Lord desires. These are, among others, a pure-blood heritage, economic wealth, connections to high-ranking officials in wizarding institutions such as Hogwarts or the Ministry of Magic, loyalty and dedication, as well as great magical skills. However, a group member does not have to fulfill all of these characteristics, if they can somehow compensate for deficits, for example by demonstrating exceptional loyalty. This shows that in the wizarding world, even seemingly clear-cut groups are constructed in ways that are somewhat arbitrary or inconsistent. Bourdieu states that “[t]he reproduction of social capital presupposes an unceasing effort of sociability, a continuous series of exchanges in which recognition is endlessly affirmed and reaffirmed” (Bourdieu 250). For example, Peter Pettigrew, also known as Wormtail, whose blood status is unclear and who does not have much influence, wealth or magical skill, returned to the Dark Lord and nursed him, before performing the ritual that gave him back his physical form and even sacrificing his hand in this ritual, thus proving recognition and loyalty to Voldemort. Wormtail is later rewarded by the Dark Lord, who gives him a new hand made of silver, thus recognizing Wormtail’s efforts (cf. Goblet 703). IV. Cultural capital and the acquisition of knowledge Material objects and the cultural capital that is needed in order to be able to interpret them aid in the construction of social networks. This touches upon what Bourdieu calls ‘cultural capital’. A shared set of signs can unite a group; a diverging interpretation of signs possibly separates groups from one another.5 For the Dark Lord and his Death Eaters, wands symbolize the supremacy of wizards and witches over Muggles, while they are a threat from the point of view of the New Salem Philanthropic Society, which is introduced in the movie Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016). Culture-specific knowledge, respectively a lack thereof, in this case has a huge impact on social relations and politics. In much the same way, the Dark Mark that hovers over the Quidditch World Cup camping site after the terror attack incites very different reactions within Harry’s travel group alone. Those who know the meaning the Dark Mark acquired during the First Wizarding War are deeply concerned, while others, like Harry and Ron, do not immediately draw the connection, which prompts them to ask the question which eventually has become the title of this article (cf. Goblet 158). This incident is not only a significant turning point in the series; it also gives readers a glimpse at the acquisition of cultural capital. Having grown up with the Dursleys, Harry was at first deprived of what Bourdieu calls the “domestic transmission of cultural capital” (Bourdieu 244) concerning the wizarding world. 5 Will Atkinson explains this connection as follows: “Bourdieu argued this is the nature of human perception: we carve up the world into categories and groups, name them and associate them with things, oppose them to other categories, define their features, gather with people we consider to be in the same category as us and sometimes even represent them and fight for them against others” (72). SARAH HOFMANN 150 Usually the transmission of cultural capital begins at home, even before socialization in school sets in. In Harry’s case, there was no transmission of cultural capital, at least with respect to the wizarding society, before he started to attend Hogwarts. Up until the beginning of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2000), all that Harry knows about the history of the wizarding world, and even about his own family history, he has learned during his first three years at Hogwarts. Aside from people at school, Harry at first does not have a contact person to tutor him on these matters, thus, “ignorance becomes Harry’s defining condition” (Hopkins 25). Unlike Harry, his friend Ron Weasley has grown up in a fairly privileged position concerning matters of wizarding history, given that he is part of a pure-blood wizarding family and both of his parents have lived through the First Wizarding War. Yet, he, too, is clueless concerning the meaning of the “‘shape in the sky’” (Goblet 158) even though his father works for the Ministry of Magic and many of his relatives have experienced the First Wizarding War first hand. It is Muggle-born Hermione Granger who – though equally deprived of access to knowledge about the wizarding world as Harry during the first years of her life – is able to grasp the significance of the sign in the sky. She has actively pursued the acquisition of knowledge beyond the bare minimum required by her teachers and thus has accumulated cultural capital. To Harry and Ron, the Dark Mark is a shape in the sky, nothing more. Hermione has understood the political implications lingering behind its appearance because she knows that the sign was used by the Death Eaters to mark the murder of an opponent. This knowledge is what Bourdieu calls the ‘embodied state of cultural capital’.6 For a short time during this incident, Harry and Ron, even though both of them have two wizard parents and thus supposedly have a higher status in the wizarding hierarchy, are the outsiders. Only through Hermione’s explanation are they reaffirmed as members of the group. Similar to a sign like the Dark Mark, names in the wizarding world hide a great deal of embodied capital. Harry’s name is known throughout the entire wizarding world for something that Harry can barely even remember, namely the downfall of the Dark Lord. A lot of capital is also associated with the name of the Dark Lord, or, more specifically, its omission. Lord Voldemort, the name the Dark Lord fashioned himself, elicits such fear in members of the wizarding community that many choose to replace it by ‘He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named’ or ‘You-Know-Who’, instead of pronouncing the name. Only very few members of the wizarding community dare to speak the Dark Lord’s name and call him Voldemort. Not even the Death Eaters dare to speak their leader’s name. This omission of the name ‘Voldemort’ was taken to extremes when a taboo spell was put on it during the time the Dark Lord was in power. This spell reveals the location of the person speaking the taboo word, making it more easy to find and arrest witches and wizards who oppose the Dark Lord, since these are most likely to pronounce Voldemort’s name (cf. Hallows 430). Those who speak his name dare to question structures of authority; Professor Dumbledore, one of the few who dare speak the Dark Lord’s chosen name, even dares to call Voldemort by his birth name: Tom Riddle. In doing so, he actively defies the narrative Riddle invented for himself when he changed his name before his ascent to power. 6 Cf. Bourdieu: “in its fundamental state, it [cultural capital] is linked to the body and presupposes embodiment. The accumulation of cultural capital in the embodied state, i.e., in the form of what is called culture, cultivation, Bildung, presupposes a process of em-bodiment, incorporation, which, insofar as it implies a labor of inculcation and assimilation, costs time, time which must be invested personally by the investor” (244). THE WORKINGS OF CAPITAL IN THE WIZARDING WORLD 151 V. Wands and cultural capital Bourdieu further subdivides cultural capital into ‘objectified cultural capital’ and ‘institutionalized cultural capital’.7 This distinction proves to be very fruitful for a discussion of the ways in which wizards engage with wands. The possession of certain objects, which qualify as ‘objectified cultural capital’ adds to a person’s overall capital. Yet, objects turn into culturally significant artifacts in the first place because they are interpreted according to an individual’s embodied capital, i.e., the knowledge of a person. Thus, embodied cultural capital is always needed to make use of material objects in a culturally relevant manner. This means that objects, much like texts, have to be ‘read’ in order to be understood properly and to manifest their full potential in terms of capital. Cultural capital is often sanctioned academically by means of legally guaranteed qualifications, which are formally independent of a person or a bearer. A degree from a renowned (Muggle) university attests the bearer competence in the specific area which they have studied; in the same way, an ‘Outstanding’ in Potions attests that Hogwarts students have acquired the knowledge and skill to move on to more difficult potions. Wands inhabit a peculiar place in wizarding society. A wand is one of the most powerful objects a wizard or witch can own, and it is used to channel magic. A wand is made of wood, with a magical substance at its core, such as unicorn hair, for example. Some wizards can do magic without wands, and some magical creatures like house-elves and goblins do not need a wand to do magic at all. It must be noted, though, that house-elves and goblins are not allowed to carry a wand, at least not in Great Britain. Wands are neither a necessity (as wizards have been known to perform magic without wands), nor a luxury, as most wizards and witches own and use wands. Arjun Appadurai proposes a definition of luxury goods that is useful to describe the position of wands in the wizarding society and that should therefore be quoted in its entirety: I propose that we regard luxury goods not so much in contrast to necessities (a contrast filled with problems), but as goods whose principal use is rhetorical and social, goods that are simply incarnated signs. The necessity to which they respond is fundamentally political. […] The signs of this register, in relation to commodities, are some or all of the following attributes: (1) restriction, either by price or by law, to elites; (2) complexity of acquisition, which may or may not be a function of real ‘scarcity’; (3) semiotic virtuosity, that is the capacity to signal fairly complex social messages […]; (4) specialized knowledge as a prerequisite for their ‘appropriate’ consumption […]; and (5) a high degree of linkage of their consumption to body, person, and personality (38, original emphasis). The right to carry a wand, which is restricted to wizards and witches, is institutionalized capital and amounts to establishing an elite by wizarding law, namely by being registered as human and educated wizards and witches. The only British wandmaker mentioned in the Harry Potter series is Mr. Ollivander, whose shop is in Diagon Alley in London, which makes the acquisition of a wand somewhat difficult, since it requires travelling. Harry Potter paid seven Galleons for his first wand, which, theoretically, could further restrict wandownership to those witches and wizards who have enough economic capital to be able to 7 For a definition of the different types of cultural capital, cf. Bourdieu: “Cultural capital can exist in three forms: in the embodied state, i.e., in the form of long-lasting dispositions of the mind and body; in the objectified state, in the form of cultural goods (pictures, books, dictionaries, instruments, machines, etc.), which are the trace or realization of theories or critiques of these theories, problematics, etc.; and in the institutionalized state, a form of objectification which must be set apart because, as will be seen in the case of educational qualifications, it confers entirely original properties on the cultural capital which it is presumed to guarantee” (243, original emphasis). SARAH HOFMANN 152 afford buying a wand (cf. Stone 96). Since all Hogwarts students need a wand, this hypothetical restriction seems to be fairly negligible though. Wands are capital in its objectified state, but embodied capital is needed to use them properly. While magical abilities per se are something witches or wizards may have inherited from their parents, the ability to do magic is not enough to master this gift. Magic has to be learned and practiced for a long period of time. Learning how to use magic involves studying proper wand movements and incantations as well as being aware of their possible consequences. Most witches and wizards visit schools where they are trained in the various magical arts and acquire the specialized knowledge necessary to use a wand properly. After having passed their O.W.L. exams, they are allowed to carry their wands at all times and perform magic outside of school, though not in front of Muggles, as that would be a violation of the International Statute of Wizarding Secrecy, which is another facet of institutionalized capital. The MACUSA even hands out wand permits, without which the possession of a wand in the United States is illegal for foreigners (cf. Beasts 44). During the Second Wizarding War, when the Ministry of Magic has been taken over by Death Eaters, witches and wizards with half-blood wizarding ancestry or whose parents did not have any magical blood at all, are questioned about their possession of a wand. It was assumed that they must have stolen their wand and were not its legitimate owners, and by extension not even a legitimate wizard or witch (cf. Hallows 290). This shows that there are many different ways to institutionalize objectified capital, but embodied capital is always required in order to properly obey the laws of capital or, as in the example of the Second Wizarding War, interpret existing laws accordingly. In the wizarding world, another remarkable mechanism is at work with respect to wands, as Mr. Ollivander explains to Harry: ‘The wand chooses the wizard. That much has always been clear to those of us who have studied wandlore [...] if you are any wizard at all you will be able to channel your magic through almost any instrument. The best results, however, must always come where there is the strongest affinity between wizard and wand. These connections are complex. An initial attraction, and then a mutual quest for experience, the wand learning from the wizard, the wizard from the wand’ (ibid. 543). If the wand chooses the wizard, and thus acts like a sentient entity, it follows that wands build social networks. Muggles might find the idea of an object choosing them rather than them choosing the object a little odd, but there are in fact several other objects in the Potterverse that can act on their own accord. Cases in point include the Sword of Gryffindor, which will appear to ‘true Gryffindors’ (cf. Stone 130, Chamber 343) in need of help, and the Sorting Hat, which famously assigns students to their Hogwarts houses and which once even has a chat with Harry in Dumbledore’s office. Wands which share a core, like the wands of the Dark Lord and Harry Potter, both of which have phoenix-feather cores that came from the same bird, recognize each other and have been known to refuse to fight against each other. Such wands are called ‘brothers’ by Mr. Ollivander, evoking the idea that objects in the wizarding world can have a ‘family’ with which they have a connection that might resemble human emotions (cf. Stone 96). This raises the question of how objects in the wizarding world achieve sentiency and whether sentiency is a trait that is perhaps inherent in all objects used by witches and wizards. Apparently, “in the magical world, functioning life is almost always present in the objects of magic” (Oakes 125, emphasis added). Some objects, such as wands, clearly possess sentiency as an inherent trait. Other objects, like the relics that have been turned into Horcruxes, seem to have had sentiency thrust upon them through magical bewitchment. This also seems to be true for Mr. Weasley’s Ford Anglia, which was a Muggle-object in the first place. “Thus, while Muggles may impose an imagined consciousness on some of the more advanced items THE WORKINGS OF CAPITAL IN THE WIZARDING WORLD 153 in our world, the wizarding inhabitants must face real consciousness and volition in almost every ordinary object” (ibid.). One specific wand plays an important part in furthering the story: the Elder Wand, which is made of elder wood, with a core of Thestral’s hair. It is mentioned for the first time in “The Tale of the Three Brothers”, a fairy tale which is part of The Tales of Beedle the Bard. While it is initially thought to be just a story for children, Harry and his friends gradually discover that the tale is at least partially true. An old legend says that he who possesses all three Hallows, i.e., the Elder Wand, the Resurrection Stone and the Cloak of Invisibility, shall be the true master of Death (cf. Hallows 453). Of course, no one can master Death, not even in the Potterverse, but Harry and his friends discover that the objects mentioned in the tale really exist and can use them to gain a small advantage over the Dark Lord. Interestingly, the Elder Wand seems to be the one Hallow that Voldemort is most interested in. This is not so much due to what it does (after all, any wand can potentially channel magic), but rather a consequence of its social history. It even seems appropriate to speak of the Elder Wand as having a ‘cultural biography’ along the lines outlined by Appadurai: “The social history of things and their cultural biography are not entirely separate matters, for it is the social history of things, over large periods of time and at large social levels, that constrains the form, meaning, and structure of more short term, specific, and intimate trajectories” (36). The wand’s previous owners, as well as all the magic performed with it, have left a mark on the Elder Wand. Supposing the Elder Wand has been in use for most of its ‘life’, it must have had an excellent and unusual magical ‘education’, starting with the moment it came into existence, having been fashioned by Death himself, and potentially culminating in the uses the Dark Lord may find for it. The bloody trail that the Elder Wand has supposedly left throughout history adds symbolic intensity to this education. Yet, the Dark Lord reads the Elder Wand in the wrong way: the previous owner does not have to be killed; instead, a common disarmament charm or simply stealing the wand suffice to make the wand switch allegiance. The Dark Lord’s insistence on killing Severus Snape not only shows how little regard Voldemort has for members of his network, but also eradicates any chance he might have had to find out the truth. This lack of embodied cultural capital on the part of the Dark Lord has a significant impact on the ending of the series. Had he understood this detail concerning the Elder Wand, he might have had a chance to win the fight. In contrast to Voldemort, Harry and his friends understood that the Elder Wand does not belong to the Dark Lord, even if he kills Snape. The Elder Wand will always respect its true master, but it seems as though it also expects to be respected in return. In the movie, Harry destroys the Elder Wand so that no one may ever feel tempted by its power again. In the novel, by contrast, Harry uses the Elder Wand to mend his own wand, which was made of holly and phoenix feather, before burying the Elder Wand with Professor Dumbledore so that the powers of the wand may die with him, when he (Harry) dies of a natural death. This shows that the way one uses the Elder Wand has an impact on whether it has the power to determine its owner’s destiny. The level of insight he displays in this context shows that Harry would be a worthy owner of the Elder Wand. It also shows that the accumulation of embodied and social capital makes it possible to use cultural capital in constructive instead of destructive ways. VI. Conclusion This paper has shown that Bourdieu’s concept of different kinds of capital can be applied to the wizarding world. The application reveals many parallels between the wizarding society and the Muggle world as far as the accumulation of social capital or the organization of SARAH HOFMANN 154 institutionalized capital are concerned, for example. Despite many similarities between the magical and the non-magical society, at least one remarkable difference emerges as well, which contributes very much to the unique nature of the wizarding world. In the Potterverse, objects can be sentient, and even establish their own social capital, both with wizards and witches and with other objects, as the example of ‘brother’ wands, which have a similar magical core, illustrates. In such cases, it seems wise to heed the advice offered by Mr. Weasley, who once told his daughter Ginny to “‘never trust anything that can think for itself’” (Chamber 354) if one cannot see where it keeps its brain. 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Daniel. “Suffering/Symbolic Violence.” Pierre Bourdieu: Key Concepts, edited by Michael Grenfell, Routledge, 2014. 179-94. Thomson, Patricia. “Field.” Pierre Bourdieu: Key Concepts, edited by Michael Grenfell, Routledge, 2014. 65-80. Anne Schneider Is Harry Potter a Criminal? Some Thoughts on Magical Criminal Law I. Introduction Since the publication of the first Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, in 1997, the stories about Harry Potter and his friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger have been among the most popular works of fiction in the world (cf. Thomas 429). One of the attractions of the Harry Potter books is that Rowling has created an entire magical world (cf. Joseph/Wolf 194). This world resembles the Muggle world, but has its own distinct features, which are at least in part a consequence of the presence of magic. The richness of Rowling’s magical world also includes legal topics (cf. ibid.). The books contain detailed information about the law and legal institutions in the magical world, in particular about criminal law. While the first books do not explicitly address the subject of the law, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (cf. 634-48) and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (cf. 126-38) both describe criminal trials. It has even been suggested that Rowling implicitly addresses lawyers in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (cf. MacNeil 545) and that the whole Harry Potter narrative is “a story about law” (Schwabach, “Norm-formation, Inconsistency and the Rule of Law” 310). Whether this is the case or not, it is certainly true that the Harry Potter books have caught the attention of legal scholars (see, e.g., the collection of essays by Thomas et al. and Thomas/Snyder). This paper follows in this tradition by raising the question of whether Harry Potter – the hero of the narrative – is, in fact, a criminal (for a similar approach, see Watson 103 ff.). In order to answer this question, it is first necessary to define what Magical Criminal Law is. Then, the paper will focus on the Unforgivable Curses and analyse Harry’s use of them. At last, possible justifications for Harry’s behaviour will be examined. II. Magical Criminal Law When trying to determine whether Harry Potter is a criminal, it is necessary to be clear about which law this assessment refers to. As Harry is part of the wizarding world and falls under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Magic, the applicable criminal law is the Magical Criminal Law of the wizarding community. However, the scope of Magical Criminal Law is not perfectly clear. 1. Personal Scope It is apparent from the text that the rules of the wizarding world apply to all witches and wizards who are aware of their magical abilities. The Ministry of Magic is mentioned for the first time by Hagrid after he has given Harry the letter offering him a place at Hogwarts (cf. Stone 74-75). Everybody accepts the separation of the wizarding world from the Muggle world and the need for a separate magical government. When Harry is wrongly accused of having used a Hover Charm outside school, he does not even think about questioning the ANNE SCHNEIDER 156 authority of the Ministry of Magic (cf. Chamber 21). This shows that the Ministry’s authority is in principle accepted. Magical Law also seems to apply to other creatures with human-like intelligence such as giants, werewolves, house-elves, and goblins. The werewolves in the story either support Dumbledore (Remus Lupin) or Voldemort (Fenrir Greyback), but again fully accept Magical Law. House-elves are forbidden to carry wands under Magical Law and seem to follow this rule in general (cf. Goblet 148-49), as do goblins, albeit reluctantly (cf. Hallows 395). The giants have been driven away from Britain but are regarded as valuable allies by both Voldemort and his opponents (cf. Phoenix 374 ff.). However, it is not clear at what age people become subject to Magical Law. We know from the texts that Harry and Tom Riddle performed magic as children without being aware of their magical abilities (cf. Stone 31 ff., Prince 254), but the Ministry does not seem to react to this use of magic at all. Neither are Muggles protected from Riddle’s abusive use of magic, nor are Muggle memories altered or is magic reversed in these cases. This indicates that witches and wizards who are raised in the Muggle world do not have to follow Magical Law until they are notified of its existence. From a legal point of view, this makes sense because one can hardly expect people who do not even know that magic exists to control their magical abilities. It is not clear whether the same is true for wizard-born children. Apparently, young children cannot control their magic sufficiently (cf. Hallows 455); so it is up to their parents to prevent them from doing magic. It might even be the case that children under the age of 11 are not governed by Magical Law at all. Yet the Dumbledore family was afraid that Ariana, who refused to learn how to use magic, would be sent to St Mungo’s Hospital as a “serious threat to the International Statute of Secrecy” (ibid.). We do not know if the Ministry would have considered this right after the attack on Ariana by three Muggle boys, when she was six years old (cf. ibid. 454), or only later when she would normally have attended Hogwarts and would have been expected to control her magic. Considering that many wizarding families live in places that are removed from the Muggle world and therefore are not subject to Muggle laws, it is more likely that Magical Law applies to all such places. 2. Territorial Scope Similarly to the Muggle World, the wizarding world has states that are sovereign entities. We know from the movie Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016) that these wizarding states each have their own laws. Again, this is similar to the Muggle world. However, there seem to be some differences regarding the state territories. In the Muggle world, the United Kingdom consists of different nations, each of which has its own legal system. Accordingly, it is common practice to distinguish between the laws of England and Wales, Northern Ireland, and Scotland. In the wizarding world there seems to be no distinction between the applicable law in Surrey or London, i.e., England, and Hogwarts and Hogsmeade, which are situated in Scotland (cf. Schwabach, “Norm-formation, Inconsistency and the Rule of Law” 341). Thus, the Magical Law referred to here can be classified as British Magical Law. In addition, there is some evidence that Ireland is not independent from the rest of Britain in the wizarding world. In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Ireland plays Bulgaria in the finals of the Quidditch World Cup. The Bulgarian Minister for Magic is present for the match, but there is no Irish counterpart. Instead, the British Minister for Magic, Cornelius Fudge, seems to represent Ireland. This indicates that Ireland is part of Britain (cf. ibid. 339-40). A reason for this difference could be that the magical community is much smaller than the Muggle community and therefore might be too small to form a government of its own (cf. IS HARRY POTTER A CRIMINAL? 157 Anon. n.p.). Moreover, the religious quarrels that have led to Irish independence are of no importance in the wizarding world, where the Christian religion as such is not followed.1 3. Criminal Law Finally, the rules of law that will be looked at in this paper are only those that belong to criminal law. Criminal law is “enacted to preserve the public order by defining an offense against the public and imposing a penalty for its violation” (Gifis 365). A typical penalty of criminal law is imprisonment, but other penalties are possible. Criminal punishment shows strong disapproval of the forbidden conduct and criminal punishments are usually the harshest sanctions available in a society. This is why criminal law tends to be used as ultima ratio, i.e., as the last resort to influence a person’s behaviour if nothing else works. This is what makes criminal law a good subject of law and literature studies: because criminal law is reserved for the most severe violations of law, it can easily raise moral questions. In the Harry Potter series, there are different forms of punishment (see, in more detail, Fishman (a) 452 ff.). Nonetheless, this paper will concentrate on rules that apply throughout the whole magical society. This excludes violations of school rules and punishments in the school settings, which are common in boarding school stories (cf. ibid. (a) 453). Even considering this restriction, there are still numerous examples of Magical Criminal Law in the books. The earliest ones the readers encounter are the Decree for the Reasonable Restriction of Underage Sorcery, 1875, Paragraph C and section 13 of the International Confederation of Warlock’s Statute of Secrecy (cf. Chamber 21). One of the best examples of Magical Criminal Law are the Unforgivable Curses. These are the Cruciatus Curse (incantation: “Crucio”), which causes unbearable pain, the Imperius Curse (incantation: “Imperio”), which puts the victim under the caster’s control, and the Killing Curse (incantation: “Avada Kedavra”), which kills the victim instantly (cf. Goblet 234-37; see also Schwabach, “Norm-formation, Inconsistency and the Rule of Law” 313 ff.). The curses are described for the first time in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire when Barty Crouch Jr., posing as Alastair Moody, talks about them in the Defence against the Dark Arts class (cf. 234-37). From what he explains, the British Magical Law on the Unforgivable Curses could state something like that: Unforgivable Curses (1) The use of an Unforgivable Curse on another human being is punished by lifetime imprisonment (in Azkaban).2 (2) Unforgivable Curses are the Cruciatus Curse, the Imperius Curse and the Killing Curse. As Crouch explains, these curses are the ones that are most severely punished in British Magical Law (cf. Goblet 233). This means that the use of an Unforgivable Curse is one of the severest crimes in British Magical Law. Therefore, the curses are a good starting point for exploring the character’s view on Magical Criminal Law. 1 Cf. the contribution by Vera Bub in this volume. 2 Muggle criminal codes do not name specific prisons. However, considering that there is only one prison for wizards and witches in contemporary magical Britain, it is possible that the prison would be explicitly named in the Statute. ANNE SCHNEIDER 158 III. Harry Potter and the Unforgivable Curses In the following part, Harry’s relationship to the Unforgivable Curses will be examined. Having been raised by Muggles, Harry is first told about the Unforgivable Curses by Crouch Jr. in the lesson on Defence against the Dark Arts (cf. Goblet 233 ff.). However, it soon becomes clear that Harry is not as strongly affected by the Imperius Curse as others and can resist it at least twice, i.e., when Crouch Jr. and later Voldemort put him under it (cf. ibid. 255, 716-17). What is more problematic from the point of view of criminal law is that Harry himself uses the Unforgivable Curses several times in the novels. 1. Harry’s use of Unforgivable Curses The first time when Harry uses an Unforgivable Curse is during the battle at the Department of Mysteries, right after Sirius was killed and has vanished behind the veil. Harry pursues Bellatrix Lestrange, his godfather’s killer: Hatred rose in Harry such as he had never known before; he flung himself out from behind the fountain and bellowed, ‘Crucio!’ Bellatrix screamed: the spell had knocked her off her feet, but she did not writhe and shriek with pain as Neville had – she was already back on her feet, breathless, no longer laughing (Phoenix 715). She then goes on to mock Harry for his inability to use an Unforgivable Curse and lectures him that he really has to want to cause pain. The second time Harry tries to use the Cruciatus Curse is when he pursues Snape after the latter has killed Dumbledore. Each time Harry tries to utter the incantation he is interrupted at ‘Cruc’ by Snape (cf. Prince 562). Although Snape also mocks Harry for being unable to perform Unforgivable Curses, in hindsight the readers realise that Snape is no Death Eater anymore at this point and thus assume that he probably tries to prevent Harry from committing a crime. The next Unforgivable Curse used by Harry is the Imperius Curse. When Harry, Ron and Hermione enter Gringotts in disguise in order to break into the Lestranges’ vault, Harry puts the goblin Bogrod under the Imperius Curse twice (cf. Hallows 428-29). Later, he also uses the Imperius Curse on the Death Eater Travers (cf. ibid. 430). From a legal point of view, it is doubtful whether both uses carry the same weight because goblins and humans might have a different status as victims (see infra 2.a). The last instance of Harry using an Unforgivable Curse is at Ravenclaw Tower before the Battle of Hogwarts. Amycus Carrow, who has replaced Snape as teacher of Defence against the Dark Arts, argues with McGonagall and spits in her face. Harry gets out from under his Invisibility Cloak and addresses Carrow: ‘You shouldn’t have done that.’ As Amycus spun round, Harry shouted, ‘Crucio!’ The Death Eater was lifted off his feet. He writhed through the air like a drowning man, thrashing and howling in pain, and then, with a crunch and a shattering of glass, he smashed into the front of a bookcase and crumpled, insensitive, to the floor. ‘I see what Bellatrix meant,’ said Harry, the blood thundering through his brain, ‘you need to really mean it’ (Hallows 477). The reference to Bellatrix’ words in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix shows that Harry has learned a lesson: he is now able to use the Cruciatus Curse effectively. Nevertheless, despite the reader’s wish to see Harry triumphant, his reckless use of Unforgivable Curses creates a dilemma. On the one hand, the Curses are most severely punished in the magical world; on the other hand, they are used by Harry and other positive characters, such IS HARRY POTTER A CRIMINAL? 159 as McGonagall, without any reprehensions (cf. Schwabach, “Unforgivable Curses” 73). Considering that the readers know the use of these curses to be criminal offences, how can they justify Harry’s actions (cf. Schwabach, “Norm-formation, Inconsistency and the Rule of Law” 315)? 2. Justifications within British Magical Criminal Law First, I will examine whether the British magical legal system contains rules or legal concepts that can justify Harry’s actions. According to general criminal law doctrine, a criminal offence consists of two parts: the actus reus and the mens rea. Moreover, the defendant can rely on defences in order to justify his or her wrongdoing. a) Actus reus It is clear from the text that Harry has committed the actus reus of the crime of using an Unforgivable Curse; i.e., he has committed the “physical acts that may amount to a crime” (Hall 155). However, not every instance when Harry uses an Unforgivable Curse is necessarily wrongful conduct. According to what the readers hear from Crouch Jr., it is only the use on a “fellow human being” (Goblet 239) that is considered to be unforgivable. Apparently, the use of the curses on spiders for educational purposes is not unforgivable (cf. Schwabach, “Norm-formation, Inconsistency and the Rule of Law” 312). The readers do not know whether the cursing of goblins is prohibited by Magical Criminal Law or carries a lesser penalty. Considering the severe discrimination that goes on in the wizarding world, cursing goblins might even be legal (on the discrimination issues, see Hall 155-56; Loffredo 167 ff.). In any case, it is not the same actus reus as in the other cases. The readers do not know either whether and, if so, to what extent the attempted use of the curses is punishable under Magical Criminal Law. When Harry runs after Snape and tries to curse him, he is interrupted before finishing the incantation. Cases where the conduct that constitutes the actus reus has remained unfinished can be punishable, e.g., in German Muggle Criminal Law, but the same might not be true for British Magical Criminal Law (see, on British Muggle Criminal Law, s. 1 Criminal Attempts Act 1981, ch. 47; Williams 225 ff.). This means that the readers can only be certain that the curses affecting Bellatrix Lestrange, Travers and Amycus Carrow fulfil the actus reus requirement. b) Mens Rea It is not clear whether Magical Criminal Law requires mens rea, i.e., a certain mental attitude such as the intent to commit a crime (for a more detailed definition, see Gifis 312). On the one hand, the readers know that, after Voldemort’s fall from power, wizards and witches have claimed that they were forced to commit crimes while under the Imperius Curse (cf. Goblet 234-35). Apparently, this is a valid argument in Magical Criminal Law, as, indeed, it would be in Muggle Criminal Law. On the other hand, the treatment of house-elves shows that their lack of free will does not necessarily exclude criminal responsibility (cf. Hall 155-56). As Hall has noted, in a world where “magic itself can work on the mind, will, and memory, [there are] serious difficulties in assessing mens rea” (155). In any case, Harry fully intended to use the curses without being under anyone’s control and thus would fulfil the mens rea requirement if it was necessary. ANNE SCHNEIDER 160 c) Defences In Muggle Criminal Law, there are several general defences that can justify crimes. Unfortunately, the readers do not know whether Magical Criminal Law recognises any defences for the use of Unforgivable Curses. Aurors are licensed to use the curses on suspects (cf. Goblet 573) – but Harry is only a schoolboy, not an Auror. The readers also know that the Decree for the Reasonable Restriction of Underaged Sorcery allows the use of magic in the presence of Muggles in circumstances of self-defence (cf. Phoenix 135). Hence, it can be assumed that self-defence is a valid defence in Magical Criminal Law. However, there are several problems with this defence: when Harry uses the Imperius Curse on Travers, there is clearly no imminent attack on Harry, which excludes self-defence (cf. Gifis 463). In the cases of Bellatrix Lestrange and Amycus Carrow, Harry might have been in danger of being attacked. However, this was due to the fact that he willingly made himself visible to his attacker by leaving his hiding place (cf. Phoenix 714-15) or by taking off his Invisibility Cloak (cf. Hallows 477). This might count as provocation and thus limit his right to self-defence (cf. Gifis 463-64). In any case, although the Cruciatus Curse probably prevents an attack, Harry knows curses that can achieve the same end without causing pain, such as the Stunning Spell or the Body-Bind Curse (cf. Schwabach, “Norm-formation, Inconsistency and the Rule of Law” 314), which are also easier to use. Therefore, Harry could have defended himself more effectively by using another curse that would have caused less harm. The use of the Cruciatus Curse is excessive and thus not self-defence. Another defence that might be worth considering is insanity. Insanity is known in the wizarding world, as we can see from the cases of Lockhart and the Longbottoms (cf. Phoenix 450 ff.). Whether it is a valid defence in Magical Criminal Law is unclear. Even so, although Harry was harbouring a tiny piece of Voldemort’s soul and thus could be considered as ‘possessed’, there is no evidence that he was insane when using the curses. In all instances, he is either trying to take revenge or following a logical plan. These are not actions of an insane person. Accordingly, Harry could not defend himself with insanity. d) Mitigating Circumstances Although Harry’s crimes cannot be justified within the story, there are some mitigating circumstances that the reader could take into account on Harry’s behalf. First, in the three instances where Harry’s conduct definitely constitutes the actus reus, all the victims (Bellatrix Lestrange, Travers, Amycus Carrow) were Death Eaters and therefore criminals themselves. Secondly, nobody was actually seriously hurt by Harry. Travers was told to hide and keep out of harm’s way while under the Imperius Curse. The Cruciatus Curse on Bellatrix Lestrange did not much more than wipe away her smile (cf. Phoenix 715). Only in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows does Harry manage to use the Cruciatus Curse effectively: he lifts Amycus Carrow in the air and makes him howl in pain (cf. 477). However, this pain is cut short when Carrow smashes against a bookcase and becomes unconscious. The lengthy torture for which the Cruciatus Curse is apparently used by the Death Eaters is thus not undertaken by Harry. Thirdly, Harry is somehow provoked to use the Cruciatus Curse, since Bellatrix Lestrange has just killed Harry’s godfather. This puts Harry under a lot of emotional distress and can to some extent explain his wish for revenge. In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Amycus Carrow has insulted McGonagall, which makes Harry use the Cruciatus Curse in revenge. This reaction, which McGonagall calls “‘foolish’” and “‘gallant’” (ibid., original emphasis), seems disproportionate considering that McGonagall has not been hurt and is fully capable of defending herself. While emotional distress due to the death of a father figure such as Sirius IS HARRY POTTER A CRIMINAL? 161 Black is understandable, the painless insult of a teacher is something that Harry, who has suffered a lot of insults in his life, should be able to witness without great emotional turmoil. 3. Justifications by the Right to Resistance As Magical Criminal Law apparently does not justify Harry’s crimes, it should be considered whether there are justifications outside British Magical Criminal Law that apply in this context. The most relevant one is the right to resistance or right to revolution. The right to resistance is internationally recognised as a general principle of law (cf. Marsavelski 266). It can justify “actions against a legal order that is perceived as being unjust and therefore both – illegitimate and illegal” (Gesk 1075). This means that the right to resistance can justify crimes even if the applicable legal order does not. Although the reader does not know whether the concept of a right to resistance is known in the wizarding world, Harry was apparently never prosecuted for what he did while trying to overthrow Voldemort. This suggests that the idea of a right to resistance is not foreign to the wizarding world. In order to justify the use of force, i.e., criminal conduct, by this right, four requirements have to be met (cf. Marsavelski 278-79): the majority of people must support the use of force (or would support it if they knew the circumstances), the use of force must be the last resort and not excessive, the cause of the use of force is the government’s oppression, and the use of force has to be directed against the oppressive government. a) The Just Cause for Resistance – Flaws in the Magical Legal System The most important requirement for giving rise to the right to resistance is the just cause. The existing government must be oppressive; i.e., it must substantially violate the constitution or fundamental human rights. In the case of Harry Potter, there are two different governments, the Ministry of Magic under Fudge and Scrimgeour and the Ministry of Magic under Thicknesse, which is controlled by Voldemort. Both of these governments are oppressive and give rise to a right to resistance. The many flaws of the magical legal system before Voldemort’s interference have been listed elsewhere (cf. Barton 33 ff., Joseph/Wolf 193 ff., Hall 147 ff., Ligugnana 419 ff.). Only a few examples will be given here. Overall, one has to say that the political system lacks all principles of a modern democracy. There is no separation of powers (cf. Ligugnana 420 ff.). Legislation is drafted within the Ministry of Magic, which is the only executive power (cf. Hall 149, Ligugnana 420). The Wizengamot, the court for criminal procedures, is situated within the Ministry of Magic (cf. Phoenix 124-25). High Ministry officials act as chief prosecutors and judges (cf. Ligugnana 422). There is no evidence of elections (cf. Barton 42). Fudge is “‘sacked’” (Prince 20) and replaced by Scrimgeour, but the readers do not know how this was done. What the readers get to know about criminal proceedings is even worse. Sirius Black was sent to Azkaban for murder without a trial (cf. Goblet 572). It later turns out that he was innocent, but there seem to be no procedures for contesting a wrongful conviction (cf. Rapp 97). In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Hagrid is sent to Azkaban on suspicion of having petrified several students without any judicial procedure. This seems to be due to political reasons rather than a conviction of Hagrid’s guilt (cf. Schwabach, “Norm-formation, Inconsistency and the Rule of Law” 343-44). Generally, the Minister for Magic seems to have total discretion in deciding whether to prosecute an offender. When Harry accidentally blows up Aunt Marge in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Fudge genially drops all charges (cf. 38-39). In contrast, he later decides to hold a full criminal trial for “‘a simple matter of ANNE SCHNEIDER 162 underage magic’” (Phoenix 137). Moreover, judicial review does not seem to play an important role in the Magical legal system. When Harry receives an official warning for having performed a Hover Charm, he is not informed about any way to challenge this decision (cf. Hall 155). There are also severe human rights problems in the magical world. The prison conditions at Azkaban are atrocious (see Fishman (b) 124, Joseph/Wolf 197). Having to stay in close proximity to dementors makes the prisoners go mad – a treatment that qualifies as torture under International Law (cf. Hall 158). Moreover, the wizards and witches seem to be under constant surveillance while they are underage; after all, the Ministry knows when they perform magic due to ‘the trace’. What is also obvious is that the magical society is based on discrimination and even allows the enslavement of house-elves (cf. Joseph/Wolf 198 ff.). This aspect of the magical society becomes even more obvious in the new government controlled by Voldemort, which distinguishes between pure-blood and Muggle-born wizards. These examples show that the Ministry of Magic was – even before Voldemort – a government that could be rightly resisted. b) The Use of Force by Harry Even so, the actual use of force must be proportionate and help the goals of resistance, which means that it should be directed against the government. This is only true for the use of the Imperius Curse on Travers, because this is part of a plot to gain a Horcrux and thus to become able to kill the unofficial head of the new government, i.e., Voldemort (cf. Schwabach, “Unforgivable Curses” 73). Of course, this conclusion is based on the assumption that Travers is part of the new government or at least associated with it, which seems rather likely. However, the use of the Cruciatus Curse is a different matter. The cursing of Bellatrix Lestrange is certainly not directed against the government, which is at that time led by Cornelius Fudge. More to the point, the curse is completely useless as a measure of resistance. Whereas the Imperius Curse helps Harry to gain a weapon against Voldemort, the Cruciatus Curse has only the function to cause pain. It does not help to overthrow the government or to improve the existing legal system. Therefore, the use of the Cruciatus Curse must be called excessive and thus cannot be justified. IV. Conclusion Is Harry Potter a criminal? In the light of the analysis above, the answer is ‘yes’. Neither British Magical Criminal Law nor the general principle of the right to resistance justify the use of the Cruciatus Curse. In contrast, the use of the Imperius Curse can be justified as resistance against an oppressive government that disregards human rights. In this context, it is important to utter a caveat: what works for Harry can as easily work for Voldemort. It is difficult to distinguish rightful resistance from terrorism (cf. Gesk 1075). If Harry can claim to have used the Imperius Curse on Travers ‘for the Greater Good’, who can prevent Voldemort from claiming the same right for his use of the Imperius Curse for gaining control over the Ministry? The Ministry’s failure to build efficient legal structures makes it an easy target for anyone who wants to overthrow the existing legal order (cf. Schwabach, “Normformation, Inconsistency and the Rule of Law” 350). This is the lesson that can be learned from the Harry Potter series. IS HARRY POTTER A CRIMINAL? 163 Works Cited Anon. “Is Ireland still under British rule in the magical world?” Last access: 15 May 2017. Barton, Benjamin H. “Harry Potter and the Half-Crazed Bureaucracy.” The Law & Harry Potter, edited by Jeffrey E. Thomas and Franklin G. Snyder, Carolina Academic Press, 2010. 33-47. Fishman, Joel. “Punishment in the Harry Potter Novels.” (a) Texas Wesleyan Law Review 12 (2005): 452-56. ---. “Punishment in the Harry Potter Novels.” (b) The Law & Harry Potter, edited by Jeffrey E. Thomas and Franklin G. Snyder, Carolina Academic Press, 2010. 119-27. Gesk, Georg. “Right to Resistance and Terrorism – The Example of Germany.” German Law Journal 13 (2012): 1075-94. Gifis, Steven H. Law Dictionary. 4th edition, Barron’s, 1996. Hall, Susan. “Harry Potter and the Rule of Law: The Central Weakness of Legal Concepts in the Wizard World.” Reading Harry Potter: Critical Essays, edited by Giselle Liza Anatol, Praeger, 2003. 147-62. Joseph, Paul R., and Lynn E. Wolf. “The Law in Harry Potter: A System Not Even a Muggle Could Love.” University of Toledo Law Review 34 (2002/2003): 193-202. Ligugnana, Giovanna. “An Invented Executive: The Ministry of Magic in Harry Potter.” Fables of the Law: Fairy Tales in a Legal Context, edited by Daniela Carpi and Marett Leiboff, De Gruyter, 2016. 419-33. Loffredo, Benjamin. “Harry Potter and the Curse of Difference.” The Law & Harry Potter, edited by Jeffrey E. Thomas and Franklin G. Snyder, Carolina Academic Press, 2010. 167- 77. MacNeil, William P. “‘Kidlit’ as ‘Law-and-Lit’: Harry Potter and the Scales of Justice.” Law and Literature 14 (2002): 545-64. Marsavelski, Aleksandar. “The Crime of Terrorism and the Right of Revolution in International Law.” Connecticut Journal of International Law 28 (2012/2013): 243-95. Rapp, Geoffrey Christopher. “Sirius Black: A Case Study in Actual Innocence.” The Law & Harry Potter, edited by Jeffrey E. Thomas and Franklin G. Snyder, Carolina Academic Press, 2010. 91-101. Rowling, J.K. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Bloomsbury, 2000 [1997]. ---. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Bloomsbury, 1998. ---. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Bloomsbury, 1999. ---. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Bloomsbury, 2000. ---. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Bloomsbury, 2003. ---. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Bloomsbury, 2005. ---. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Bloomsbury, 2007. ANNE SCHNEIDER 164 Schwabach, Aaron. “Harry Potter and the Unforgivable Curses: Norm-formation, Inconsistency and the Rule of Law in the Wizarding World.” Roger Williams University Law Review 11 (2005/2006): 309-51. ---. “Harry Potter and the Unforgivable Curses.” The Law & Harry Potter, edited by Jeffrey E. Thomas and Franklin G. Snyder, Carolina Academic Press, 2010. 67-90. Thomas, Jeffrey E. “Introduction: The Significance of Harry Potter.” Texas Wesleyan Law Review 12 (2005/2006): 428-31. Thomas, Jeffrey E., et al. “Harry Potter, Law, and Culture. Harry Potter and the Law.” Texas Wesleyan Law Review 12 (2005/2006): 427-84. Thomas, Jeffrey E., and Franklin G. Snyder, editors. The Law & Harry Potter, Carolina Academic Press, 2010. Watson, Geoffrey R. “The Persecution of Tom Riddle: A Study in Human Rights Law.” The Law & Harry Potter, edited by Jeffrey E. Thomas and Franklin G. Snyder, Carolina Academic Press, 2010. 103-18. Williams, Glanville. “Criminal Law – A Fresh Start with the Law of Attempt.” Cambridge Law Journal 39 (1980): 225-29. Denise Burkhard Secrets and Forbidden Places in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone I. Introduction Secrets and mysteries are central motifs in children’s literature that are often intimately connected with themes such as individual identity or family history and inheritance. They also feature prominently in Joanne K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series and already play a central role in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (1997). The mystery revolving around Harry’s identity as a wizard, which makes him a part of a hitherto unknown wizarding world, and the secret surrounding the titular Philosopher’s Stone lie at the core of the first novel. Throughout the story, Rowling uses secrets as a crucial plot device and, as I will argue in the following, often links secrets and mysteries with the representation of the spatial in Gothic(ised) or otherwise dangerous and unfamiliar places. The connection between secrets and forbidden places in and near Hogwarts is already alluded to in Dumbledore’s somewhat cryptic announcement at the end of the start-of-term banquet, in which he utters warnings without providing further information: ‘First-years should note that the forest in the grounds is forbidden to all pupils. And a few of our older students would do well to remember that as well. [...] And finally, I must tell you that this year, the third-floor corridor on the right-hand side is out of bounds to everyone who does not wish to die a very painful death’ (Stone 94-95).1 As the announcement illustrates, places in Rowling’s Harry Potter universe typically function as more than the setting for the characters’ actions; they are an integral part of the story and are explored and revisited by the characters, can be interconnected and contribute substantially to the distinctive atmosphere created in Rowling’s novels. Clare Bradford and Raffaella Baccolini also stress the significance of places and spaces and observe that “narratives of maturation in children’s texts are commonly plotted in relation to spatiality” (40).2 Rowling’s boarding school environment – a towering castle with secret rooms, moving staircases, hidden passageways and forbidden places – permits negotiating spatiality and identity in different ways and offers a substantial number of places and spaces suitable for (re-)negotiation. As the first novel of the series, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is largely concerned with world building and introduces readers to a wide range of (magical) settings, some of them more perilous and mysterious than others. Referring to Hogwarts, Sarah K. Cantrell argues that “[t]he complexity of Hogwarts’s architecture causes no small measure of frustration and anxiety for Harry and his classmates” (200). Despite being first-year students, Harry, 1 Chris Columbus’s audio-visual adaptation of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001) excludes those parts of the announcement which refer to the use of magic between classes and Quidditch practice and introduces the students to the out-of-bounds places even before the Sorting takes place, arguably making them even more mysterious and intriguing in this way (cf. 00:39:16-00:39:48). 2 When referring to the concepts of ‘place’ and ‘space’, I use Bradford’s and Baccolini’s differentiation: “Space is generally associated with large and abstract conceptions of spatiality, place, with the local and the bounded” (37). DENISE BURKHARD 166 Ron and Hermione also encounter places in and around the castle that are more overtly linked to secrets, restrictions and dangers than Hogwarts as a whole.3 In order to highlight the correlation between secrets and places that is established in the first novel of the series, I will analyse the “dark, scary Forbidden Forest [which is] full of magical, dangerous creatures” (Bayne 264) and the out-of-bounds third-floor corridor as ‘forbidden places’ that are intimately connected with the secret concerning the Stone and are crucial in Harry’s rite of passage. Moreover, I will have a closer look at the Mirror of Erised as a spatial device and powerful (spatial) illusion that allows Harry to see his dead parents for the first time, and as the object where the Philosopher’s Stone is ultimately hidden. II. The Forbidden Forest The Forbidden Forest is one of the significant places in the story and it is the location where Harry is confronted with his nemesis Lord Voldemort in disguise for the first time at Hogwarts. Despite the fact that the forest’s “most complex aspects are revealed only in the later novels, it assumes a mysterious and menacing significance from the start” (Petrina 105). It derives an aura of mystery from Dumbledore’s brief start-of-term announcement as well as from Percy’s explanation that “‘the forest’s full of dangerous beasts, everyone knows that’” (Stone 95). From its introduction, the forest is perceived as an unambiguously threatening place that houses various fantastic creatures and has a sinister presence, which is repeatedly emphasised, for example when the Gryffindors are on their way to their first flying lesson and see the forest, “whose trees were swaying darkly in the distance” (ibid. 109, emphasis added). When Harry enters the Forbidden Forest for the first time, he follows his mysteriously hooded potions teacher, Severus Snape, who is “sneaking into the Forest while everyone else was at dinner” (ibid. 165), which strikes Harry as odd. Despite the fact that the forest is introduced as a natural and wild environment,4 whose trees are thick and dense, the focus is mainly on the conversation between Snape and Quirrell in this scene, which alludes to the advantage of choosing the forest as a meeting place: “‘ ... d-don’t know why you wanted t-t-to meet here of all p-places, Severus ...’ ‘Oh, I thought we’d keep this private,’ said Snape, his voice icy. ‘Students aren’t supposed to know about the Philosopher’s Stone, after all’” (ibid.). The function of the forest as a forbidden location is that of a place connected with secrecy, where things can be discussed even during the day that should not be overheard by students. Moreover, it is also the place where Harry hears his theory about the Philosopher’s Stone confirmed. In this context, Snape’s and Quirrell’s conversation serves as a catalyst that prompts Harry, Ron and Hermione to further actions to prevent Voldemort from obtaining the Stone. In order to receive crucial information, Harry has to violate school rules by entering the forest; he physically and symbolically transgresses the boundary of Hogwarts into an unfamiliar and perilous place. Only during Harry’s second visit the forest is genuinely introduced as a Gothic setting, where the connection of the forest with mystery and especially danger is not only drawn upon once more but even further emphasised. On the way to detention, Mr Filch reminds the four students that “‘it’s into the Forest you’re going and I’m much mistaken if you’ll all come out 3 Karen M. Bayne also sees Hogwarts as an ambivalent location: the “[c]astle itself is simultaneously a mysterious Gothic space and an everyday boarding-school, a genuine haunted castle rendered mostly unthreatening by familiarity” (264). 4 In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (1998), the forest is even more strongly presented as a wild setting: it hosts a substantial number of Acromantulas and becomes the home of Mr Weasley’s flying Ford Anglia. Upon seeing the car in the forest again, Ron remarks “‘Look at it. The Forest’s turned it wild’” (Chamber 203) and thus hints at the Forbidden Forest’s transformative impact on the car. SECRETS AND FORBIDDEN PLACES 167 in one piece’” (ibid. 181-82), indicating imminent danger and even a threat to the students’ lives. Likewise, Draco Malfoy’s objection that they “‘can’t go in there at night – there’s all sorts of things in there – werewolves, I heard’” (ibid. 182) reasserts that the forest is full of dangerous magical creatures and reiterates the connections between the forest, restriction and danger. Thus, when considering the circumstances of their didactically somewhat questionable detention, the reaction of Neville, who “clutched the sleeve of Harry’s robe and made a choking noise” (ibid.), is emblematic of the sense of fear and dread the forest evokes, which is already generated by the discussion about entering the forest. Once the group actually steps into the forest, the feelings of unease and fright are enhanced by sensory impressions, including the mysterious slithering sound Hagrid, Harry and Hermione hear, Harry’s “nasty feeling [that] they were being watched” (ibid. 186) as well as the darkness and density of the trees, which also contributes to creating a sense of disorientation. This form of psychological terror, which accompanies the group on their way through the forest, is, at least in Harry’s case, supplemented by physical pain and threat when he sees the hooded figure drinking unicorn blood. Though the encounter is brief, the searing pain of the protagonist’s scar dominates the scene, signifying that an imminent threat is at hand and reinforcing the connection between Harry and Voldemort, which is elaborated on in the later novels of the series. Even the resolution of the scene in the forest – Harry’s encounter with Voldemort and his rescue by the centaur Firenze – maintains the forest’s image as a place of danger and threat, which is emphasised by Firenze’s warning that “‘[t]he Forest is not safe at this time – especially for you’” (ibid. 187). In Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, the forest thus functions as “both a real and a symbolic landscape, a frightful but indispensable element in the hero’s development” (Petrina 106). It is real by being a physical though forbidden location in the novel and constitutes, as it does in classical fairy tales, a central place of threat. It is symbolic insofar as it is linked with Harry’s maturation process; the encounter with Voldemort prepares Harry for fighting and, at least temporarily, defeating him and encourages him to protect the Stone. Even after Hermione and Harry returned to the castle, Harry is unsettled and “still shaking” (Stone 189), he realises the significance of Voldemort’s potential return and becomes aware that fighting Voldemort will be about life and death. The episode in the Forbidden Forest thus emphasises that “the spaces that child characters inhabit in literature, and the ways in which they come to know and inhabit them, affect them profoundly and in many different ways” (Doughty/Thompson 4). In the forest, Harry does not only receive crucial information regarding the Philosopher’s Stone but also concerning Lord Voldemort, so that detention eventually helps him to put together the pieces of information and induces him to prevent Voldemort from getting hold of the Stone.5 Chris Columbus’s audio-visual adaptation of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone also renders the Forbidden Forest significant for the hero’s development by visually elaborating on the Gothic setting. Lisa Hopkins observes that “the film is clearly Gothic. Obviously, this element is already strongly present in the book, but it is considerably more developed in the film” (132). Indeed, in the adaptation, the Forbidden Forest is replete with stock Gothic elements and features; the five-minute sequence shows a forest that is enshrouded in mist, huge bare trees (whose crowns often cannot be seen and which make even half-giant Hagrid appear relatively small) and is set during the night, which enhances the group’s feeling of dread. Other than in the novel, the forest is also endowed with an alternative name, namely 5 Even from a structural point of view, the location of the chapter “The Forbidden Forest” suggests a climactic structure of the final chapters and reinforces the forest’s function as a crucial stage in Harry’s development, because it already anticipates a second encounter between Harry and Lord Voldemort and arguably also an increasing amount of danger, preparing the reader for the final chapter of the novel. DENISE BURKHARD 168 ‘Dark Forest’, which echoes J.R.R. Tolkien’s Mirkwood in The Hobbit (1937) and raises certain expectations.6 Throughout the movie, the forest remains an enigmatic setting, as the adaptation lacks the scene where Harry eavesdrops on Snape and Quirrell, so that Harry enters the forest only once and can explore merely a small part of it during his detention with Hagrid. In particular the visual and sound tracks contribute significantly to the creation of a sinister and threatening atmosphere. For instance, the howling of a wolf seems to confirm Draco’s suspicion that werewolves might be roaming the forest. Furthermore, the soundtrack accompanying the group in the forest is used to establish a sense of foreboding and to elaborate on the setting. The slow-paced music, which at first features predominantly string instruments, later joined by wind instruments in a (slightly cacophonic) crescendo, accentuates that the Forbidden Forest is a place connected with danger and the unknown. The pervasive threat already associated with the forest is further enhanced by the rustling of dead leaves while a hooded and hardly discernible figure is moving through the mist (cf. Columbus 01:41:36- 01:41:39) and evokes a sense of unease in Harry and the others. Thus the novel’s focus on Harry’s sensory impressions is transferred to the viewers of the movie and conveys the sinister atmosphere to a considerably greater extent. The 2015 illustrated edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone also visualises the Forbidden Forest in form of a two-page illustration, albeit from a different angle, which challenges the forest’s status as a forbidden location. With respect to picture books, Maria Nikolajeva argues that words and images are typically used to provide different types of information: “Images are far superior to words when it comes to descriptions of characters and settings, while words are superior in conveying relationships and emotions, as well as direct speech. Images are unsurpassed in conveying space, while words are indispensable for temporal aspects” (108). Her observation, however, does not only apply to picture books, but to text-image relationships more generally. Jim Kay’s illustrations of the first Harry Potter novel confirm this claim, because they are predominantly used to illustrate and visually introduce characters as well as to elaborate on the spatial environment in which the story is set. Since picture books require an oscillation “from the sign system of the verbal text to the sign system of the illustrations” (Sipe 102) and vice versa, both images and text are significant for the story by providing information individually as well as by means of their interaction. This dynamic relationship between word and image is also relevant when analysing a story that was originally published (in the U.K. edition) without illustrations and which now has become subject to extensive visual expansion. Given that illustrations often lend spatial depth and detail to a story, Kay’s interpretation of the Forbidden Forest is striking in various respects. The illustration features a unicorn in what looks rather like a storybook-forest at night-time in contrast to the threatening and foggy forest of Columbus’s adaptation. Despite the fact that the trees are kept in dark colours and have what seem like menacing birds sitting on their otherwise bare and almost skeletal boughs, the beams of moonlight and the bright, nearly radiant unicorn partially undermine the sinister effect. The latter aspect of the illustra- 6 J.R.R. Tolkien’s Mirkwood is, similar to the Forbidden Forest, introduced as a border and appears as “a black and frowning wall” (Tolkien 158) from the distance. The idea of blackness/darkness, inherent in ‘mirky’ already, is further elaborated on when the company consisting of thirteen dwarves and a hobbit enters the forest and realises that “[t]here was no movement of air down under the forest-roof, and it was everlastingly still and dark and stuffy” (ibid. 164). The pitch-black nights, during which the company can hardly see anything except for seemingly bodiless eyes (cf. ibid.), contributes to the Gothic atmosphere of fright and evokes the uneasy feeling of being watched and followed. Given that both Mirkwood and the Dark Forest have a connection with darkness by their names, the viewer might perhaps expect a much gloomier and denser forest than the blue-tinted forest displayed in the audio-visual adaptation. SECRETS AND FORBIDDEN PLACES 169 tion is reinforced by the fact that the unicorn is still alive and apparently completely unharmed, so that the illustration enhances the text by showing an event that chronologically precedes the events on the textual layer.7 In this context, the positioning of the illustration in the context of the chapter is crucial as it interrupts Hagrid’s graphic description – “‘[t]here’s blood all over the place, it [the unicorn] must’ve bin staggerin’ around since last night at least’” (Illustrated 203-06) – while the group is still standing at the edge of the forest; the image refrains from displaying either blood or a wounded unicorn and instead assumes an almost flashback-like quality that reinforces the aesthetic appeal as well as the innocence and purity of the creature. Focusing on the visual qualities of pictures in picture books and the relationship between word and image, Perry Nodelman and Mavis Reimer claim: “As illustrations, in fact, everything in such pictures is less important as a source of aesthetic delight than as a source of information about a story” (278, original emphasis). Pictures frequently elaborate on information regarding, for instance, objects, characters and settings as well as more abstract components, such as mood and atmosphere. Especially the latter is striking in the illustration of the Forbidden Forest, as it evokes a peaceful and melancholic atmosphere and fails to convey the threatening and gloomy mood that is created on the textual level, which is also due to the fact that the forest displays hardly any Gothic elements. These are more visible in the illustrations of Hogwarts, most notably in the castle’s Gothic architecture, which suggests that evil is lurking within the castle rather than in the Forbidden Forest.8 The depiction of the forest requires the textual layer to convey the impression that students are not allowed to enter the forest due to the dangers hiding in its depths. Thus, Jim Kay’s illustration arguably renders the forest ‘un-Gothic’ and elaborates on a revised version of the Forbidden Forest that is far from being frightening and which clearly undermines the idea of the forest as a forbidden place. By contrast, both the novel and its audio-visual adaptation elaborate on the forest as a Gothic, clearly forbidden and eerie place that is connected with secrets. III. The Third-Floor Corridor and the Philosopher’s Stone The Philosopher’s Stone, the titular secret of the first novel, is introduced and elaborated on in connection with certain places. This link can be seen already during Hagrid’s and Harry’s visit at Gringotts, where Hagrid withdraws a mysterious parcel that is referred to as “‘You- Know-What in vault seven hundred and thirteen’” (Stone 57). Gringotts, described as “‘the safest place in the world fer anything yeh want ter keep safe – ’cept maybe Hogwarts’” (ibid. 50), is introduced in relation to secrecy, safekeeping and heavy security protections.9 Simul- 7 On a basic level, Nikolajeva assumes that the interplay of words and images can be symmetrical, i.e., conveying (more or less) the same information, or complementary, i.e., enhancing each other and filling in gaps (cf. 108). 8 The chapter “The Forbidden Forest” features an illustration of the doorway to the entrance hall, which is framed by a high archway. The door is ajar and a beam of light emanates from the inside of the hall. In combination with two round windows, slightly above the door, the front of the castle is reminiscent of a face with a gaping ‘mouth’ and even slit-like ‘pupils’ in its ‘eyes’ (cf. Illustrated 202). Despite being part of the castle, the illustration of the castle’s front entrance evokes even more strongly the eerie and gloomy atmosphere the reader expects with the Forbidden Forest. 9 The references to Gringotts and Hogwarts as safe places are particularly relevant when considering that the break-in at Gringotts coincides with the day Harry and Hagrid withdraw the parcel. The break-in into the high security vault may also have fostered the trio’s decision to disregard McGonagall’s assurance that “‘no one can possibly steal it [the Stone], it’s too well protected’” (Stone 195), since the same has been claimed about Gringotts before. DENISE BURKHARD 170 taneously, the place is invested with Gothic elements ranging from twisting maze-like passages, underground lakes and darkness to the wizarding bank’s location deep below London, which makes it particularly suitable as a place to keep things secret and safe. Quite early in the novel, both Gringotts as a place and the parcel hidden in one of its vaults contribute to conveying a sense of mystery and spark Harry’s interest immediately. Upon being asked by Harry what is inside the vault, Hagrid answers: “‘Can’t tell yeh that,’ said Hagrid mysteriously. ‘Very secret. Hogwarts business. Dumbledore’s trusted me. More’n my job’s worth ter tell yeh that’” (ibid. 57, emphasis added). The unknown content of the parcel inevitably becomes a mystery, and Hagrid’s answer helps maintaining a sense of concealment, while Harry’s witnessing the retrieval of the parcel eventually contributes to making him aware of the implications of the newspaper report about the break-in at Gringotts, which might otherwise have gone unnoticed. By and large, Gringotts as a place is a significant plot element that introduces both Harry and the reader to the secret of the Philosopher’s Stone and keeps being mentioned repeatedly in the further course of the story. In the context of Dumbledore’s start-of-term announcement, not only the Forbidden Forest but also the right-hand corridor on the third floor gains significance as a perilous and lifethreatening place in the boarding-school setting of Hogwarts – one that is connected with the Philosopher’s Stone, as it is revealed at the end of the novel. Establishing a pattern that is later also used in Harry’s discovery of the Mirror of Erised, Harry, Ron, Hermione and Neville hide from the caretaker Mr Filch and accidentally stumble into the out-of-bounds third-floor corridor, which contains “a monstrous dog, a dog which filled the whole space between ceiling and floor” (ibid. 119). The presence of the dog in the corridor makes unmistakably clear that the Forbidden Forest is not the only place to host vicious beasts and creatures. The secret hidden in the third-floor corridor topples possible assumptions concerning the spatial opposition inside vs. outside, which is in line with Mieke Bal’s more general observations on the meaning of spatial oppositions: A contrast between inside and outside is often relevant, where inside may carry the suggestion of protection, and outside that of danger. These meanings are not indissolubly tied to these oppositions; it is equally possible that inside suggests close confinement, and outside freedom, or that we see a combination of these meanings, or a development from one to the other (220). The forbidden third-floor corridor is a prime example that highlights that Hogwarts castle and the forest are essentially equally perilous settings and implies that the castle, which is introduced as a home and a place of safety and comfort, combines disparate meanings. The threat that emanates from its corridor on the third floor is aptly captured in Harry impression that “he was sure he’d walked into a nightmare” and Neville’s frightened reaction of “tugging on the sleeve of Harry’s dressing-gown for the last minute” (Stone 119). Had it not been for Hermione’s keen eye and her observation skills, the trapdoor would have remained unnoticed, and her clever deduction that the dog is “‘obviously guarding something’” (ibid. 120) brings them closer to suspecting that the parcel from Gringotts is underneath the trapdoor. Even though the encounter with the massive three-headed dog caused some fright, it also sparked a sense of adventure: “Indeed, by next morning Harry and Ron thought that meeting the threeheaded dog had been an excellent adventure and they were quite keen to have another one” (ibid. 121), which initially downplays the threat connected with the corridor to some extent. Thus, the first encounter with “Rowling’s version of Cerberus, Fluffy” (Cantrell 199) on the third-floor corridor has a two-fold function: firstly, it serves as a means to introduce the students to a forbidden place that is intimately connected with utmost danger. Secondly, it functions as a means to trigger further investigation regarding the secret of the small parcel and furthers the students’ quest to uncover its content. SECRETS AND FORBIDDEN PLACES 171 The trapdoor in the forbidden corridor leads to a whole range of different, eerie places and rooms that the trio uncovers in the final chapter of the novel, which clearly are a tribute to Lewis Carroll’s Alice stories.10 While the story features a quest plot that is tied to the Stone and climaxes in the final chapter, this last chapter of the novel also includes a number of smaller quests or obstacles that have to be overcome. The protagonists’ way through the “obstacle course” (Wolosky 29) is reminiscent of the spatial arrangement of the Chocolate Factory in Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (1964), in which the eccentric Willy Wonka tests the children’s temptations and their virtues in different rooms of the factory, leading them from one room to another. Likewise, in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, the way through the individual tasks takes them to different, interconnected rooms, but requires knowledge, logical thinking and bravery to successfully overcome the riddles and obstacles contained in each room. This “obstacle course [...] tests the knowledge they have mastered in their first year at Hogwarts” (Wolosky 29), which is reflected in the fact that each teacher has provided a protection from his or her field of expertise, and also suits the individual talents of the protagonists. Simultaneously, the third-floor corridor and the subsequent rooms also feature Gothic elements, which are used to create the distinctive atmosphere of threat and danger for the final showdown and the urgency with which Harry, Ron and Hermione encounter the obstacles.11 These elements feature most strikingly in the chapter title “The Man with Two Faces”, which hints at the Doppelgänger motif from Gothic fiction, the idea of forbidden rooms, a classic Gothic motif, or in the darkness, which by and large informs the trio’s way through the subterranean rooms. Darkness is already introduced when Harry looks down the trapdoor and all he can see is a bottomless pit (cf. Stone 201) before “they land on the writhing tendrils of an anthropomorphized plant called Devil’s Snare” (Pheasant-Kelly 57), which attempts to choke them and poses a fatal danger (as do most of the obstacles). In a similar vein, Hermione’s observation that they “‘must be miles under the school’” (Stone 201) evokes the impression of claustrophobia and entrapment that is reinforced by the lack of knowledge where the rooms lead to in the end.12 The fact that the forbidden corridor and the adjoining rooms are Gothic places, linked with the secret of the Stone and part of smaller quests sets the tone of the episode and the battle between Harry and Voldemort, which is, after all, decisive for the entire wizarding world. Only the final room at the end is directly connected with the secret and also with its resolution. The other rooms are crucial in the development of the protagonists’ friendship, their courage and mutual trust, as the obstacles in the rooms demonstrate that one of them alone would not have been capable of successfully overcoming them. These rooms need to be passed and negotiated by the trio and 10 Readers of the Alice novels will easily recognise the mirror, chess pieces, anthropomorphicised plants and winged flying objects as elements taken from Through the Looking Glass (1871) that have been adopted and transformed significantly by Rowling. Moreover, Alice’s famous fall through the rabbithole in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865) is alluded to when Harry, Ron and Hermione jump through the trapdoor, while the highly elaborate potions riddle echoes the riddles with which Alice is confronted in Wonderland time and again. 11 In her analysis of the films, Fran Pheasant-Kelly also examines some of these obstacles in the context of ‘abject spaces’. For her analysis see Pheasant-Kelly (56-57). 12 This assumption is retrospectively debunked by Albus Dumbledore, who informs Harry that they have been in the dungeons (cf. Stone 214). Similarly, in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Salazar Slytherin’s hidden chamber is also assumed to “‘be miles under the school’” (Chamber 223) and Ron speculates that they are “‘[u]nder the lake, probably’” (ibid.). Given that they slide down the pipe for some time, the Chamber of Secrets can be assumed to be underneath the dungeons, which then draws on and conveys the sense of entrapment even more distinctly. For a discussion of Gothic places in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, cf. the contribution by Denise Burkhard and Julia Stibane in this volume. DENISE BURKHARD 172 function as places where they can display courage, friendship and mastery over what they have learnt at Hogwarts so far. IV. The Mirror of Erised The final task Harry faces during his quest is associated with a magical object that was already introduced earlier in the novel: the Mirror of Erised. Mirrors feature prominently in traditional fairy tales as well as in children’s literature and range from huge standing to small hand-held mirrors and even encompass shards of mirrors, all of which can have different functions in stories. David Langford asserts that, as magical objects, mirrors can be used as ‘scrying devices’ and uses Galadriel’s mirror in The Lord of the Rings (1954-55) as one of his examples, or as portals to other worlds, as can be seen most prominently in Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass (cf. 651). Moreover, Susan Reynolds observes that “mirrors and reflection are used in literature as emblematic of trickery and illusion” (285), which are functions that are, for example, drawn upon in Neil Gaiman’s Coraline (2002), in which mirrors and mirroring are used extensively. The creation of a (spatial) illusion is not only frequently used in architecture, as in the Hall of Mirrors in Versailles, but is also at the core of the Mirror of Erised in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. The Mirror of Erised is striking in its appearance and its function as a device to externalise desire by creating a spatial illusion. Using the Invisibility Cloak, an item inherited from his father, for research in the Restricted Section at night, Harry needs to evade the caretaker, Mr Filch, and Professor Snape and hides inside a seemingly disused classroom, where he finds the Mirror. The “magnificent” Mirror’s “ornate gold frame” contrasts with “[t]he dark shapes of desks and chairs” (Stone 152); it looks extremely valuable and, at the same time, genuinely out of place. Its inscription “Erised stra ehru oyt ube cafru oyt on wohsi” (ibid., original emphasis) is not only an instance of retrography but also requires a rearrangement of letter combinations in order to reveal its true meaning: ‘I show not your face but your heart’s desire’. The mirror shows the person looking at it in combination with that person’s deepest desire, which makes the experience very personal: it does not only show Harry’s family but Harry reunited with his family. Ignoring the riddle posed by the Mirror’s inscription, Harry at first does not realise why he is able to see his deceased family members in the Mirror and speculates whether he is “in fact in a room full of invisible people and this mirror’s trick was that it reflected them, invisible or not?” (ibid. 153, emphasis added). This speculation is not unreasonable when considering that Harry just used the Invisibility Cloak and has been invisible himself. Instead of reflecting invisible people, however, the Mirror of Erised creates a powerful illusion based on Harry’s desire (Harry reunited with his parents and members of his family), which originates from the absence of Harry’s biological parents and the abusive environment he has been exposed to by the neglectful and unloving Dursleys.13 An explanation for the functions of the Mirror can be found in the spatial illusion the magical object creates. According to David Langford, “[a] room’s mirror reflection seems subtly awry owing to reversal, suggesting a different room in an otherworld behind the glass, with the mirror now [serving as] a potential portal” (651). Despite the fact that Harry nearly touches his own reflection when looking at the image of himself with his family, he is not able to use it as a portal. Lucie Armitt also elaborates on the idea and speculates that “[t]he 13 Similarly, Ron also sees what he desires most in the mirror, namely (personal) success. The Mirror shows him as Head Boy and Quidditch captain, holding the Quidditch and the House Cup. When he asks Harry “‘Do you think this mirror shows the future?’” (Stone 155), he hopes that the mirror might function as a scrying device, which Harry immediately rules out as a potential function. SECRETS AND FORBIDDEN PLACES 173 new reader eagerly desires this [the Mirror of Erised] to be the doorway into an after-life that will reconcile Harry with the dead” (521), which, however, remains wishful thinking. In this respect, the impression of dimensionality the Mirror evokes is crucial, as the mirrored classroom features a reversed image of Harry and, additionally, is filled with deceased people, lending the impression that they might really exist behind the surface of the Mirror – in the mirror image of the room.14 Since Harry sees his dead relatives, the Mirror evokes the illusion of a Verzeitlichung des Raumes (‘temporalisation of space’), which Ansgar Nünning describes as the supposed presence of the past in the spatial environment, i.e., different layers of time surface in the same place evoking temporal simultaneity (cf. 410). In providing Harry with the illusion that his family is standing behind him, the Mirror shows an intersection between the past (Harry’s parents are dead after all) and the present (Harry as an eleven-year-old in front of and reflected in the Mirror), generating temporal simultaneity, which may also be one of the main reasons for Harry’s fascination with the object. In contrast to the moving paintings that feature so prominently at Hogwarts and which often contain talking and otherwise responsive images of people, the image in the Mirror is limited to the moment when Harry is looking into the Mirror, in which his family remains voiceless and restricted to waving, crying and smiling. The Mirror of Erised is paradigmatic for the intersection between space and identity, as it is in the reflection of the Mirror where Harry sees “his family, for the first time in his life” (Stone 153). The absence of photographs of both Harry and his parents (or other objects associated with them) in the Dursleys’ house renders Harry’s encounter with the Mirror even more significant. Up until this point in his life, Harry’s wizarding relatives and in particular his parents had remained a secret to him, which already highlights the Mirror’s pivotal function in secrets and mysteries. Eventually, the ephemeral image in the Mirror, which can only be seen when standing right in front of it, is fixed in the photo album containing wizard photographs of James and Lily Potter that Harry receives from Hagrid while he is still in the hospital wing recovering from his encounter with Lord Voldemort. Accordingly, “one of the great gifts he [Harry] gains when he enters the wizarding world is access to memories and traces of his parents” (Zimmerman 198) as well as to knowledge about himself and his past. Harry even follows in his father’s footsteps by becoming a player in the Gryffindor’s Quidditch team, a legacy that is pointed out by Professor McGonagall in remarking that “‘[y]our father would have been proud [...] [h]e was an excellent Quidditch player himself’” (Stone 113). Since the image in the Mirror has a significant impact on Harry’s identity formation in terms of his self-perception, Harry’s encounter with the Mirror of Erised bears a certain resemblance to the mirror stage in child development as described by Jacques Lacan. In his speech “The Mirror Stage as Formative of the I Function as Revealed in Psychoanalytic Experience” (delivered in 1949), Lacan proposes that “[i]t suffices to understand the mirror stage [...] as an identification, in the full sense analysis gives to the term: namely, the transformation that takes place in the subject when he assumes an image” (76, original emphasis). Despite the fact that Harry is not an infant when he absorbs the utopian image presented in the 14 Columbus’s adaptation Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone highlights this impression by solely showing Harry’s parents in the Mirror, which makes the experience even more personal for Harry. The reflection in the Mirror shows his parents standing right behind him and displays the three of them in a family-picture fashion, which is enhanced by the fact that Lily Potter is putting her hand on Harry’s shoulder, signaling affection (cf. Columbus 01:31:08). In addition, the fact that the Mirror is “standing on two clawed feet” and is “as high as the ceiling” (Stone 152) suggests that, from a spatial point of view, the reflection shows Harry from head to toe in the Mirror, which facilitates recentring into the image and the dream solution presented by the magical object. DENISE BURKHARD 174 Mirror, the reflection has, nevertheless, a considerable impact on his self-perception, albeit in a variation on Lacan’s mirror stage. While Lacan’s idea proposes the infant’s recognition of his/her individuality, Harry sees himself as part of a group, his deceased relatives and parents. Arguably, a transformation in Harry’s self-perception takes place in the process of identification with the people displayed in the Mirror and in the recognition that they are his family: “Harry looked into the faces of the other people in the mirror and saw other pairs of green eyes like his, other noses like his, even a little old man who looked as though he had Harry’s knobbly knees” (Stone 153). Especially, the strong focus on Harry’s parents suggests that the Mirror presents him with an idealised image of what his life could be like if his parents were still alive and, simultaneously, emphasises Harry’s loss. For quite some time, Harry “remains in front of the mirror, consumed by the prospect of ridding himself of his orphan identity” (LeFebvre n.p.), which is reinforced by the fact that Harry interacts with and absorbs the image he sees by speaking to the people as well as by “[staring] hungrily back at them” (Stone 153, emphasis added). The Mirror, thus, evokes a powerful sense of longing and burgeoning belonging in Harry and furthers his quest for his identity and the recovery of his past. Upon seeing their images in the Mirror and being completely preoccupied with this vision, both Harry and Ron start getting under its magical spell. Harry in particular seems susceptible to the Mirror’s illusion, which provokes “a powerful kind of ache inside him, half joy, half terrible sadness” (ibid.). Even though his ambiguous reaction is based on feelings of longing and loss, which are a consequence of his special situation, it arguably is also the seeming corporeality of the reflection that intrigues and fascinates Harry along with “the [Mirror’s] special power of capturing people with the fantastic pictures that they produce out of their deepest desires” (Piippo 74). His indifference towards the passing of time and towards preventing ‘Snape’ from getting past Fluffy while being enchanted with the prospects apparently promised by the Mirror is also an instance that highlights that “[a]t its most basic level Harry’s quest is deeply personal: he is an orphan whose parents die when he is too young to know them” (Campbell 177). To break free from the Mirror’s spell, Harry requires Dumbledore’s explanation that this magical object “‘shows us nothing more or less than the deepest, most desperate desire of our hearts. [...] However, this mirror will give us neither knowledge or truth. Men have wasted away before it, entranced by what they have seen, or been driven mad, not knowing if what it shows is real or even possible’” (Stone 157). It is only after their conversation that Harry is able to understand the workings of the Mirror so that he is prepared for another encounter with it. The Mirror’s impact on Harry, however, continues and transcends the room in which the Mirror stands by slipping into Harry’s dreams: “Harry wished he could forget what he’d seen in the Mirror as easily, but he couldn’t. He started having nightmares. Over and over again he dreamed about his parents disappearing in a flash of green light while a high voice crackled with laughter” (ibid. 158). Similar to his encounter with Voldemort in the Forbidden Forest, which also brings back his old nightmare, the processing of the experience implies an intersection between his (repressed) memory and his dreams that have been triggered by the mirror image. His nightmare indicates that Harry (even though he was very young) experienced a traumatic event, namely the death of his parents, which starts to resurface subconsciously in his dreams. It also highlights that the Mirror has an ambiguous impact on Harry, who longs to see his family but is simultaneously reminded that they are dead, which is a topic that Rowling made even more explicit in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (1999).15 15 With the introduction of the Dementors in the third Harry Potter novel, Rowling further elaborates on the significance of Harry’s parents, albeit from a different angle. While the Mirror of Erised externalises Harry’s deepest desire, the Dementors of Azkaban feed on happy memories, leaving their victims “‘with nothing but the worst experiences of your life’” (Prisoner 140). As soon as a Dementor gets SECRETS AND FORBIDDEN PLACES 175 In its new place, in a room down the trapdoor in the out-of-bounds corridor, the Mirror is used as a hiding place for the Philosopher’s Stone and features as the final obstacle as well as the Stone’s ultimate protection. In the last chapter of the novel, Harry encounters the Mirror again and ponders how to find the Stone: “What I want more than anything else in the world at the moment, he thought, is to find the Stone before Quirrell does. So if I look in the Mirror, I should see myself finding it – which means I’ll see where it’s hidden!” (Stone 211, emphasis added). Even though his strategy is only part of the explanation for finding the Stone, it suggests that “[l]ack can change over time, so that desires change” (Piippo 68). It is, however, rather the mixture of his intention to prevent Voldemort from rising again and the fact that the Stone’s “properties cannot fulfill Harry’s hopes and dreams” (Bayne 271), i.e., reunite him with and resurrect his family, which enables him to retrieve the Stone eventually.16 At the same time, the Mirror as hiding place for the Stone partakes in the riddles surrounding this magical object and its protection and raises profound questions regarding spatial depths and materiality that are due to the Mirror’s magical properties and the enchantment(s) bestowed upon it. In the context of forbidden places in and around Hogwarts, the Mirror occupies an ambivalent position, which is due to the object’s complex relation with spatiality. It can be analysed as an object in a ‘forbidden’ place and as an artefact that is capable of creating a spatial illusion, thus drawing on more abstract notions of space. As an object in the unused classroom and in one of the rooms down the trapdoor, the Mirror is connected with restriction on different levels. Despite the fact that the seemingly unused room is only described briefly, the location as well as the objects and their arrangements in the room are of relevance: “[t]he dark shapes of desks and chairs were piled against the walls and there was an upturned waste-paper basket” (Stone 152). The description suggests that the classroom may be used as a storeroom and is not in use anymore, which supports the idea that the room may symbolise the forgotten or repressed. Correlating the room and the Mirror, Susan Reynolds suggests: “The fact that the mirror exists in an unused classroom indicates that it is locked away because the knowledge is either outdated or forbidden, just like the knowledge contained in the Restricted Section of the library. The room is also untidy and in disorder, something one rarely encounters in the series” (285). Despite the fact that the room is not directly referred to as one of the forbidden places at Hogwarts, it is no longer in use as a classroom, appears to be out of the way and is linked with transgression and rule-breaking on a different level, since Harry violates school rules when he roams the castle at night. Even though Harry could have slipped into the room during one of his breaks between classes, his night-time visits indicate that he either may not be allowed to enter the room during daylight or has other reasons for returning at night (when he is not supposed to be away from his dormitory). Likewise, the Mirror’s new location in a room down the trapdoor on the third-floor corridor is also a place where students are not supposed to be and is out of bounds from the start. In both rooms, the Mirror receives near Harry, he “‘can hear Voldemort murdering my mum’” (ibid.), which is also part of the repressed memory of the traumatic events in which his parents died. Interestingly, Harry apparently hears Voldemort’s high voice crackling with laughter in his dreams and the death scream of his mother when he encounters a Dementor, both of which indicate the intensity of the experience. 16 The movie adaptation creates an even stronger link between Harry’s identity, his family and the Stone in the hidden chamber where the Mirror can now be found. During the conversation with Lord Voldemort, who “speaks as if out of the mirror” (Hopkins 133), Harry can see an image of his parents in the Mirror, slightly more transparent than during his first encounter with it, next to Voldemort’s face (cf. Columbus 02:05:26). In refusing Voldemort’s offer to exchange the Stone for his parents, Harry proves moral uprightness and indicates that he has recognised the threat to the entire wizarding society emanating from Voldemort’s return. DENISE BURKHARD 176 significance in relation to the places: it appears to be conveniently put out of the way in first of all a hidden place (so that Harry can nevertheless find the Mirror) and finally in a forbidden place, suggesting that the Mirror needs to be locked away. As an object capable of creating a spatial illusion, the Mirror (or rather the image created by the Mirror) is also linked with danger and the forbidden. This link is made explicit in Dumbledore’s explanation and his remark that “‘[t]he Mirror will be moved to a new home tomorrow, Harry, and I ask you not to go looking for it again’” (Stone 157), which implies that the illusion can be harmful and needs to be handled with caution. His polite warning also evokes the idea that Harry must not seek for the magical artefact again, because he should not “‘dwell on dreams’” (ibid.) that cannot come true. Both approaches highlight that it is possible to read the Mirror as both a spatial device and as an object in a place connected with the forbidden. Especially the danger connected to its spatial illusion, the fact that Harry is to keep away from the Mirror as well as the Mirror’s new location in one of the rooms down the trapdoor in the out-of-bounds thirdfloor corridor support this assumption and reinforce the Mirror’s relevance in the overall context of secrets and (forbidden) places. V. Conclusion When Albus Dumbledore explains to Igor Karkaroff “‘I would never dream of assuming I know all Hogwarts’ secrets’” (Goblet 363), he points to the omnipresence of secrets in the castle and more specifically to the room he just discovered by accident. Throughout my article, I have argued that secrets and forbidden places are a vital ingredient of Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. The places examined in this article are associated with transgression as well as rule-breaking, feature (more often than not) the characteristic night-time setting and are visited repeatedly in the course of the novel. These elements contribute to endowing these places with significance when it comes to restrictions and secrecy. The Forbidden Forest and the forbidden third-floor corridor provide crucial moments in Harry’s rite of passage by confronting him with utterly threatening and dangerous environments, but which ultimately prepare him and support him in uncovering the Stone and eventually in defeating Lord Voldemort, even if only temporarily. Both locations display the connection between forbidden place and secret most clearly and have been endowed with significance from the start. As a magical item and a powerful means of (spatial) illusion, the Mirror of Erised is clearly linked with secrets and displays a connection to ‘forbidden’ places on a more abstract level. It is crucial in establishing Harry’s sense of identity as a wizard and as a part of the wizarding world as well as in providing him with a sense of belonging to a family that Harry lacked at the Dursleys. Thus, the Mirror clearly addresses and visualises the secret revolving around his wizarding heritage while it is simultaneously intertwined with the secret of the Philosopher’s Stone. SECRETS AND FORBIDDEN PLACES 177 Works Cited Armitt, Lucie. “The Magical Realism of the Contemporary Gothic.” A New Companion to the Gothic, edited by David Punter, Wiley-Blackwell, 2012. 510-22. Bal, Mieke. Narratology – Introduction to the Theory of Narrative. 3rd edition, University of Toronto Press, 2009 [1985]. Bayne, Karen M. “Haunted Castles and Hidden Rooms: Gothic Spaces and Identity in Harry Potter.” Phoenix Rising: Collected Papers on Harry Potter 17-21 May 2007, edited by Sharon K. Goetz, Narrate Conferences, 2008. 262-72. 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Lacan, Jacques. “The Mirror Stage as Formative of the I Function as Revealed in Psychoanalytic Experience.” Écrits – The First Complete Edition in English, Jacques Lacan, translated by Bruce Fink. W.W. Norton, 2006 [1996]. 75-81. Langford, David. “Mirror.” The Encyclopedia of Fantasy, edited by John Clute and John Grant, Orbit, 1997. 651. LeFebvre, Nichole. “The Sorcerer’s Stone, Mirror of Erised, and Horcruxes: Choice, Individuality, and Authenticity in Harry Potter.” The Looking Glass: New Perspectives on Children’s Literature 13.3 (2009). Last access: 23 June 2017. Nikolajeva, Maria. “Word and Picture.” Teaching Children’s Fiction, edited by Charles Butler, Palgrave Macmillan, 2006. 106-51. Nodelman, Perry, and Mavis Reimer. The Pleasures of Children’s Literature. 3rd edition, Pearson Education, 2003 [1992]. 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J. K. Rowling’s “ Harry Potter” series (1997–2007) has turned into a global phenomenon and her Potterverse is still expanding. The contributions in this volume provide a range of inter- and transdisciplinary approaches to various dimensions of this multifacetted universe. The introductory article focuses on different forms of world building in the novels, the translations, the film series and the fandom.

Part I examines various potential sources for Rowling’s series in folklore, the Arthurian legend and Gothic literature. Further articles focus on parallels between the “Harry Potter” series and Celtic Druidism, the impact Victorian notions of gender roles have had on the representation of the Gaunt family, the reception of (medieval and Early Modern) history in the series and the influence of Christian concepts on the world view expressed in the novels.

Part II focuses on a range of prominent political and social themes in the series, including conspiracy, persecution and terror, racism as well as the role of economic, social and cultural capital. Other articles explore the concept of a Magical Criminal Law and its consequences as well as the significance of secrets and forbidden places.

The articles in Part III go beyond the novels by taking the stage play “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child”, the movie “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”, Pottermore and fan fiction into account. Main topics in this part include trauma theory/PTSD, queerbaiting, a ‘post’-colonial analysis of the representation of Native Americans in Rowling’s “History of Magic in North America” and the depiction of violence, incest and rape in fan fictions.

The concluding article highlights the diversification of the Potterverse and analyses strategies informing its ongoing expansion.