According To A New Study, “Harry Potter” Books Deliver Messages Of Tolerance And Acceptance To Readers

Date November 18, 2017

A new study, published in the Journal of Applied Psychology, argues that children and young people who enjoy reading Harry Potter series are becoming more tolerant and less prejudiced as far as it concerns minorities, immigration, and racial issues.

The researchers claim that the books have improved the readers’ ability to understand marginalized groups. Young children, with the help of their teacher, were also able to understand that Harry’s support of “mudbloods” was symbolic of a bigotry which exists in our society.

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“Harry Potter” might have this significant effect, because the books are extremely allegorical.

First of all, the term “mudblood”, which is used to describe Muggle-born witches or wizards, is considered very derogatory. In the books, Muggles are non-magical, regular people. So, the term “mudblood” is similar to many of hate slang words which are used towards minorities and ethnic groups.

Whenever this word is used in the series, the main characters disapprove of it and show disdain for those using it, thus, teaching children that using such words is vile and wrong.

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When the Ministry of Magic was hijacked by extremists, they started a practice known as Purity of Blood. A witch or a wizard was deemed pure-blood only if they didn’t have any Muggles in the family. This very much resembles the practice employed by Nazi’s in their classification of Jews.

So, one of the characters, Albus Dumbledore, bashed the Minister of Magic for his discriminatory values, saying,

You place too much importance, and you always have done, on the so-called purity of blood! You fail to recognize that it matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be!

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While some people might consider the series as a simple fiction, it is obvious that the books draw many parallels with our society’s flaws and drawbacks. As J.K. Rowling herself said,

The Potter books, in general, are a prolonged argument for tolerance, a prolonged plea for an end to bigotry.

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It is obvious that Harry Potter’s magic goes further away than the books’ pages. And, maybe, the messages of acceptance and tolerance are better delivered through Harry’s wise words.

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