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UBC Theses and Dissertations

"What's in a name?" : an examination of meanings and symbolic use of the names in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Valleau, Geneviève Mai Yuhk

Abstract

J.K. Rowling has been accused by critics such as Jack Zipes and John Pennington of being a simplistic writer, but my examination of the fifth novel of the series, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, shows not only that she is creating complex characters but that she is also working with and against character stereotypes to craft intricate worlds and challenging ideas. More specifically, Rowling meticulously researches names and uses them to reveal aspects of her characters' personas and attributes. By analysing the meaning and symbolic use of the characters' names in Rowling's fifth novel, I will demonstrate how she uses names, and how she has created schemas that strengthen the link between and among the characters, their names and their roles in her work.

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