Having staggered home from the cinema in tears twice this week, I have finally ‘accepted’ that the Harry Potter franchise has reached its final film installment.
Harry Potter has played a massive part in my life, and ultimately helped me start writing. My undergrad dissertation was on feminism in children’s literature, including Northern Lights by Philip Pullman, The Story of Tracy Beaker by Jacqueline Wilson, Twilight by Stephenie Meyer (don’t get me started), and much to my glee, The Goblet of Fire.
Earlier this week I came upon this article on Hermione Granger and thought it raised some very interesting points.
In my essay I focused mainly on the patriarchal hierarchy of the school and the times Hermione is seen as having “wept”, “squealed” and “cried” – weak actions in a very masculine setting. However, the Ms article really made me think of the possibilities that the character of Hermione has opened up to a generation of young women. She is described here as a “prominent social-activist”, a “passionate” woman and working in “true feminist fashion”. J.K. Rowling has helped create a feminist ideal where equality is the top priority: in interviews Rowling has stated that after Hogwarts, Hermione enters a career in Magical Law Enforcement, specialising in the equal treatment of muggle-borns and all magical creatures.
Perhaps I’m being nostalgic about my favourite childhood character, but I think that Hermione sticks out as important figure in a world populated by Bella Swans and Sleeping Beauties.
Hermione Granger, the brightest witch of her age: I salute you!