Harry Potter, Radical Feminism, and the Power of Love

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Book Chapter

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Love is a force in the Potter universe that crosses hierarchical boundaries and defeats the powerful. And, curiously, love is most efficacious in combating evil in J. K. Rowling’s world when it makes no attempt to compete at all. Self-sacrifice and kindness bring unexpected rewards; love and compassion overwhelm greed and ambition, overcoming them without attempting to defeat them. In other words, Rowling’s world resonates with the values of radical feminism. Perhaps that sounds strange. So, to demystify this claim, we’ll begin with a survey of contemporary feminist scholarship on Harry Potter en route to an understanding of radical feminism, culminating in an examination of the role of love in the Potter books.


From The Ultimate Harry Potter and Philosophy : Hogwarts for Muggles, edited by William Irwin, and Gregory Bassham, John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated, 2010.

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