While the Harry Potter novels are full of magic and things that don’t exist in our world, J.K. Rowling included some parallels to our world as well. One of these parallels is discrimination. This is shown mainly through the Dursley’s mistreatment of Harry. They are always extremely mean to him for what appears to be no reason other than the fact that he is a wizard. They hate him for being what he is. The Dursleys always refer to wizards as “your lot” when they talk to Harry about them. The Dursleys, being Muggles who know about the existence of wizards, may hate them out of fear for the powers that they possess. Aunt Petunia has a prejudice against wizards because her sister was gifted with the ability to perform magic and she was not. Aunt Petunia’s sister (Harry’s mother) got to go off to Hogwarts while Petunia had to live a normal Muggle life. It is because of these things that the Dursleys treat Harry so poorly. It is kind of like a way to lash out at the wizarding world.
Another example of prejudice in this book is the way werewolves are treated. This form of discrimination is interesting because it exists in the magical world. Professor Lupin tries to keep his being a werewolf a secret but when he is discovered at the end of the novel he has to leave Hogwarts. It is not Lupin’s fault that he is a werewolf but he still has to deal with the mistreatment. Professor Snape hates Lupin for being a werewolf because when they were in school Sirius tried to get Snape to enter the shrieking shack on a full moon while Lupin was transformed. Lupin really hasn’t done anything to bring on the hatred for being a werewolf except for being a werewolf.