Race in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, by J.K. Rowling

Essay by jonirae319University, Bachelor'sA+, March 2004

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Race in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Throughout the Harry Potter series, race is an important issue that is touched upon, discussed, and glossed over in a variety of ways. In The Goblet of Fire, the fourth book in the series, the racial issues seem to multiply and stand out more than they have in the previous books. It is interesting, however, because the topic of race is not discussed in just the traditional sense. Different nationalities of race are discussed, but what seems to be more important in the book are the tensions between the different types of wizarding race, between wizards and non-wizards, and between different types or races of creatures within the wizarding world. While J.K. Rowling seems to believe in trying to teach an "everyone is equal" moral, the portrayals of race throughout Harry Potter only seem to further stereotypes, because the racial issues that we are used to encountering in the real world are played down, while the imaginary racial issues within the fictional world are stressed.

Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, where most of the story is set, is a British boarding school, of sorts, specializing in the teaching of magic. The school is multiculturally diverse--we are presented with a variety of races that all seem to live in prejudice-free harmony, even dating inter-racially without thinking twice. We are also introduced in this book to two other magic schools, Beauxbatons, and Durmstrang. Beauxbatons is Hogwart's French counterpart, and Durmstrang seems to be of German or Russian origin, though it only specifies that they come from somewhere cold. The characters from these schools are incredibly stereotypical. The students speak with heavy accents, as well as act and dress differently than the students at Hogwarts. The portrayal of these different ethnicities...