Harry Potter is a Left-winger, says French philosopher

November 14th, 2007 - 2:56 am ICT by admin  
Jean-Claude Milner, a professor of linguistics at Paris University, believes that the famous ‘Harry Potter’ book-franchise is a reaction to the free-market revolution instigated in Britain by Margaret Thatcher’s governments.

“It must be said from the start that Harry Potter is deeply political and that the books speak of today’s England,” the Telegraph quoted him as telling the Liberation newspaper.

“Reading it, one can see that J.K. Rowling — like many cultured English people — believes there was a real Thatcherite revolution, that it was a disaster, and that culture’s only chance is to survive as an occult science,” he added.

Milner made these remarks on the same day when ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows’, the seventh and final instalment of the series, was released in France.

He thinks that the boy wizard’s world of magic, especially the Hogwarts school of wizardry, has been given the setting of an elite public school as a means of resistance against a triumphant middle-class represented by the Muggles, inhabitants of the non-magical world.

“Harry’s uncle and aunt - Muggles par excellence - live like heroes of Margaret Thatcher’s world, in a neat little estate where all the houses are identical,” Milner said.

“One can equally say that modern England is a world where the Muggles have indeed taken power, first with Margaret Thatcher and then with Tony Blair - a world where the omnipotence of the middle class is given free rein,” he added.

Milner also alleged that a scene in ‘Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban’, wherein the boy’s aunt is blown up like a balloon, was a satire on Thatcher.

“Here we can see a reference to (the film) The Great Dictator by Chaplin, featuring an all-powerful middle class figure gone mad. And one cannot help but note that the aunt is called Marge - a clear allusion to Thatcher,” he said.

He further said that the use of Latin and Greek words in Rowling’s magic vocabulary was a sort of antidote against the modern British society.

“JK Rowling is a real libertarian motivated by a desire to conserve. It is as if she is saying … the real magicians are not Tony Blair’s spin-doctors but people who know Latin and Greek,” he said.

Milner said that the evil Voldemort, a wizard himself, was proof that culture alone was not enough to save the world. He said that Voldemort differed from good wizards because he lacked “nobility of soul”.

“So we have on one side the Muggles, where oppression means power over things; and on the other hand Hogwarts, where knowledge enables one to resist the materialism of the Muggles — but also opens the way to power over people,” Milner said.

“This terrible power, which Voldemort seeks and which we call tyranny, is one of the themes of Harry Potter — and indeed one of the themes of English literature since Dickens and Orwell,” he added. (ANI)

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