JK Rowling Makes it Cool to be a Strong Witch

As one of the most popular women writers of modern fiction our generation has ever known, it is no surprise that JK Rowling reflects many strong and independent women in her text.  The masterful development of her beloved characters, across the span of seven series, is partly due to the way in which she opposes her leading ladies with men who bring out stereotypical traits in one another.  For example; headmaster Dumbledore is seen as the stereotypical wizard who is depicted very similar to that of the famous Merlin while his direct counterpart Professor McGonagall represents the media’s common depiction of what a witch looks and acts like I had always imagined a typical witch to be, “she transformed herself in front of their eyes into a tabby cat with spectacle markings around her eyes.”(121), along with her connection to the classic familiar  Minerva McGonagall is given the name of the Greek goddess of wisdom and reason which her character embodies.  Dumbledore and Minerva are the two figures that the young Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, and Hermione Granger look up to.  This brings me to Hermione, and how Rowling brings her personality to the forefront of this story. Her eager thirst for knowledge and her ability to keep up with her curious and at times reckless companions, Harry and Ron, molds her into a person that the author’s readers want to be.  At the beginning of the novel we learn that Hermione has chosen to take on more courses than a student at Hogwarts is required to, simply because she can never get enough knowledge; “ ‘Well, I’m taking more new subjects than you, are’ said Hermione. “Those are my books for Arithmancy, Care of Magical Creatures, Divination, the Study of Ancient Runes, Muggle Studies’”.(97)  Rowling utilizes this to support her character profile.  Hermione is described as “the cleverest witch in Harry’s year,”(8) and time and time again proves her worth by being the brains behind many of the trio’s hi-jinks.  She serves to act as the logical voice of reason and as they mature together Hermione grows into not just the bookworm but she becomes the feminine touch in their friendship. This contrast may not be obvious but it does hold a valid point because of how the balance of stereotypical gender roles in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban does not leave women out of the picture, JK Rowling puts a positive spin on strong women.







One response to “JK Rowling Makes it Cool to be a Strong Witch

  1. I agree with your argument. It seems as though all the women in the novel(s) are seen in a positive way.(except for the Dursley’s) J.K Rowling gives many different views through the different male characters.

    Without hermione, the three friends wouldn’t have been able to go far.

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