Harry Potter is a humanist and thus J.K Rowling is one too

“ We are not above or below one another. Nor are we made to fight against one another because of the color of our skin, or the cultures we follow. A open mind is a perfect mind.” I have recently covered the idea that we should all be humanists. Today, I am going to delve into one of the greatest works of fiction and describe how it affronts the idea of humanism. I will be including her new book Harry Potter and the cursed child within this topic because it plays a very important role on her ideals of humanism. I am going to use Harry Potter to help guide my ideal about humanism and how this needs to spread around the world.

Let me start with the ideals about segregation that is littered within the franchise itself. J.K Rowling as a writer came from nothing to expand her universe to being a multibillion dollar writer through her words. My note here is that Harry Potter also stood for a person who came from nothing to achieve greatness. However, there were great divides between his accomplishments, and what he needed. My version of humanism states that we are not above or below one another. We can see that J.K Rowling stands for this idea based off the concept of witches, wizards, and muggles. In the wizardry world, it is wrong to look down on muggles but some witches and wizards still do. I gather the same concept is in humanism. We can look at each other as equals but there will always be some stubborn fools that believe they are above the rest of the world. In the very first book we get introduced to the boy who lived and has a scar to prove his survival against the greatest dark wizard in the world; Lord Voldemort.

The boy who lived is named Harry Potter and he is given to a family who despises what his parents were. It’s funny how there is no distinctive issue about race in the entire series. It is all focused on the wizardry community who are an assortment of skin colors but never judge each other by them. It’s odd the segregation in the entire story is based off what house in Hogwarts a person is in or what type of wizardry they practice. The series sets a perfect example of humanism in my eyes is about. We get segregation but again it’s not based off of race. The school young Harry Potter goes to is called Hogwarts and it segregates its students into four houses each house with a particular strength.

  1. Gryffindor which prides itself with courage, bravery and determination with the crest of a lion.
  2. Slytherin which prides itself on being proud, ambitious, and cunning with crest of a serpent.
  3. Hufflepuffs which prides itself on loyalty, patience, and fair play with the crest of a newt Salamander.
  4. Ravenclaw which prides itself on wit, learning, and wisdom.

Funny how her book segregates people on personality not skin color. A very human idea because we can get along better with each other if it is personality being judged versus say….illogical things like race. She preaches the idea of standing for humanity when she creates the war with Lord Voldemort who is out to kill humans and wizards alike. “We are Humanists and we need to stand for humanity. By this, I mean we need to stand against those who are killing without reason, and those that want to do bad things.

“ Lord Voldemort is the person who all of humanity is against. It’s even scarier that he has such a human redeeming quality in him that makes us love and hate him so much. He has been hurt and the hurt he has had makes him take that pain and go after all wizards. Harry is the product of surviving the evil wizard, and he is one of the only survivors. His reason for survival is due to his Uncle and sheer luck.

“Killing is not so easy as the innocent believe.” ― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

We can then gather that Harry is adopted into a human family who treats him like dirt. His room is within a staircase, and he can’t go out of the room without permission. I like to think of this as a way to show what it’s like to live in poverty by force. However, Harry did not come become a drug addict, or anything bad from living in poverty. He learned to treat the Dudley’s later in life with respect even when they did not treat him with respect. I consider this an act of humanism.

We watch Harry overcome many obstacles with the help of his two friends Hermione and Ron. We see him save the enemy, and treat people with respect who disrespected him. I mean we all hated Malfoy even though he was semi-good looking. Harry understands that humans are not by no means better than an ant. We can see from the moment that he saves the creatures in the forest in Hogwarts or how he refuses to call Hermione a halfblood.

I think that the new book Harry Potter and The Cursed child brings about a new light in Harry as an adult. A light that we see which makes him even more human with the ability to spread humanism in the wizardry world. Nineteen years later, The wizardry world considers Lord Voldemort gone, and Harry’s kids have to figure out how to live in a world that is shadowed by their day. During the script, we get Harry having his scar hurt, and Malfoy who says it’s all for attention. Malfoy considers Harry greedy for attention which would take away from the idea that Harry is the perfect humanism specimen because greed is wrong no matter who you are. Greed is keeping anything in excess that you do not need.

In this aspect, Harry is turning a tad bit greedy because of the time turner that he stole in the script. “Greatness inspires envy, envy engenders spite, spite spawns lies.” ― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

We begin to see the faults in Harry in this script but we believe he is a good man by decree. If there is one thing we can take away from Harry it is that humanism is a belief that teaches people to get along even when the other person disagrees with you. I point out again that the series never once pointed out skin color as a problem. I do not know about you but I will be spreading this series to my children because the lesson’s in it are great. Again, please spread the word of humanism, like, share, comment, donate, and make sure to offer up a topic if you want me to cover it. I do have a challenge for you folks. My first challenge is to write about something , or someone that did a humanistic act that made your heart flutter. I want you to link the post in a comment. I will take that link and link into my post. Then we can start a chain. Thank you.

“Both Rowling and Meyer, they’re speaking directly to young people. … The real difference is that Jo Rowling is a terrific writer and Stephenie Meyer can’t write worth a darn. She’s not very good.” ― Stephen King




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Jessica Cote

Jessica Cote

I am just a girl among the many fish in the sea. A writer among the many dreamers, and a socialist among others.

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