Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Hermione

Hermione is a character that a lot of Harry Potter fans tend to identify with, and not just the girl fans. Rowling has hinted that she saw herself in Hermione, and perhaps that is why she is so recognizable. In some ways she is the most heroic character of the series. Harry is fated to greatness, so not many can truly identify with him, and Ron is a bit useless, so we don’t want to see ourselves as him that often. Hermione, on the other hand, is smart and resourceful.

True, she starts out as annoying and a bit of a nag. She is the “goody two shoes” that we don’t want to like. But as her character grows she learns to distinguish between right and good and that is an important thing that not a lot of people manage to grasp. Along the way she shows more than any other character a desire to do what is good and not just accept things that good people have grown to accept in her culture, like slavery.

Where Hermione truly gets to shine, in both the books and movies, is when she is faced with a choice between right and good that costs her. When she must choose to either: hide and not do evil (like a lot of wizardry) or fight and risk her life, she chooses to not just do right. She joins the fight. It is a huge sacrifice. Not only will she be placing herself in danger, but everyone she loves as well. So, she effectively erases her existence from her family’s history.

This is a choice that most in our culture today are not prepared to accept. There is nothing so important that we would be willing to cut ties or limit our access to family. We could never recognize a cause so vital that we would drag our children away from family and home. Or, not many of us could. That is what makes Hermione such a heroic character, and in some ways more so than any other in the Harry Potter universe.




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