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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The magic of Hogwarts : a critical examination of teachers in Harry Potter Wong, Einar Christopher


While there have been many young-adult and children’s novels and stories published that deal with school and teachers, there have been comparatively few studies done that analyze the messages these novels contain about formal classroom education, specifically about teacher characters. As well, the subject of school has been a relatively consistent theme for Hollywood movies and media geared towards teenagers and children, but, like their novel counterparts, analysis has been relatively light. J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series places itself in a very unique position in popular culture as the highest-selling book series and highest-grossing film series of all time; a series that mainly focuses on an education system, albeit for wizards and witches rather than muggles. Nonetheless, this thesis proposes to examine the professors at Hogwarts and to show whether or not Rowling has created a series of complex teacher characters; characters that are usually not a source of complexity in young adult or children’s literature. Additionally, this thesis will also examine how these characters have been adapted from the page to the screen and whether or not the movie versions of these teacher characters have retained any complexity found in Rowling’s novels. As Petra Rehling writes, “without question, Harry Potter has become the figurehead of our time” (249), and I firmly believe that this figurehead is worth examining and analyzing for its portrayals and representations of real-world teachers, people who are arguably one of the largest influences on children and teenagers during their early lives.

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Attribution-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada