Deconstructing Harry Potter

Note: This is an old post that for some reason never made it out of “draft” form. Publishing it now.

We’ve been re-reading The Deathly Hallows this past weekend, and having some interesting conversations about what the series seems to be say about morality and good/evil, things like that.

What I see most of all is the impact of class. Maybe it’s because the author is British, and people in the UK have suffered as result of class differences even more than people in this country.

Voldemort and Harry Potter both grew up without parents, and had mixed relationships with their caregivers in their life. But Harry was left a lot of gold, and this allowed him to have material things. Despite all the crap Harry put up with at the Dursleys, it was still a relatively well-off family in a safe neighborhood, whereas Voldemort grew up in an orphanage in a rough part of London, all alone in the world. Harry’s family may not have been great, but they were at least family.

It occurred to me at one point that a very clear comparison emerges between boys I worked with over a decade ago at the Parry Center. One was 12 when I last knew him, we’ll call him A. A. had no family – no one came to visit him, despite having 2 parents who he had seen once or twice around town, still using heroin. He was hopeless, angry, and depressed, and burned out more than a few staff who tried to care for him. Eventually, however, a miracle happened – a family that runs a small “group home” for 2 or 3 boys adopted him. A former co-worker saw him in high school years later, and he was happy, getting all A’s and B’s, doing well.


~ by realsupergirl on April 30, 2015.

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