Check Your Magic


Muggle-born students of Hogwarts are an underprivileged class, while magic-born students enjoy unquantified privilege, argues Sarah Seltzer over at Flavorwire. Rowling creates a world where privilege and power are coupled together, just as wealth and race have allowed certain classes greater access to power in the real world:

Rowling isn’t arguing that a wand is directly comparable to a tennis racket but instead making the point that magic (like certain kinds of privilege) is a form of power, one that can be used for both evil and good. And in her final volume, her ultimate message is that destroying evil power is better than amassing good power (Horcruxes, not Hallows). You could argue that this is a fairly radical message.

Ian MacAllen is the author of Red Sauce: How Italian Food Became American (Rowman & Littlefield, April 2022). His writing has appeared in Chicago Review of Books, Southern Review of Books, The Offing, 45th Parallel Magazine, Little Fiction, Vol 1. Brooklyn, and elsewhere. He tweets @IanMacAllen and is online at More from this author →