Staying Strong and Feminine

One of the many reasons the characters in Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Askaban seem so realistic is because they do not consistently subscribe to the typical stereotypes seen in most fantasy novels. Examples of this can be found in her depictions of the female characters such as Hermione and Mrs. Weasley. Unlike the novels we have read in the past, the females all have strong roles while still holding onto their femininity. Hermione is the most intelligent student of the third years and seems to have a thirst for knowledge that she is determined to encourage. This is pointed out when Ron points out “‘they’ve got you down for about ten subjects a day. There isn’t enough time…how’re you supposed to be in three classes at once?’” (Rowling 122). Even though she is a strong girl, Hermione still exhibits the typical characteristic of females to be the caring one; the one who looks after Harry and Ron to make sure they are doing alright and are behaving appropriately. When Harry shows the other two the Marauder’s Map Ron’s reaction is excitement whereas Hermione is more cautious and advises Harry to “hand it in to Professor McGonagall” because “…He [Sirius Black] could be using one of the passages on that map to get into the castle,” (Rowling 247).

Mrs. Weasley also shows this nurturing characteristic but more strongly being she is the main mother figure throughout the book and in Harry’s life. This is seen when Mr. and Mrs. Weasley argue over whether or not to tell Harry everyone is so worried about him specifically when it comes to Sirius.  Mrs. Weasley is worried “‘…the truth would terrify him! Do you really want to send Harry back to school with that hanging over him? For heaven’s sake, he’s happy not knowing!’” (Rowling 81). The uncharacteristic part of this scene is that fact that Mrs. Weasley is arguing her male counterpart, supporting her side of the argument with logical reasoning and even though Mr. Weasley uses the same tactic, it is he who ends up conceding to Mrs. Weasley’s wishes. Even though he does end up informing Harry before he leaves for Hogwarts, he does so without his wife’s knowledge (Rowling 91, 92), not wanting to upset her.

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