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You are watching: Harry potter and the power of paranoia


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While the first three Harry Potter novels concentrated on goings-on within Hogwarts, because Voldemort’s return in Goblet of Fire there’s been a boosting emphasis on the politics of the wider Wizarding human being. This focus becomes even more influential in Half-Blood Prince, as the Ministry of Magic ultimately acknowledges Voldemort’s enhancing stamina and attempts to fight ago. However before, the Ministry’s response proves weak and inreliable, affected by paranoia and also petty individual problem and also for this reason unable to contain Voldemort and his Death Eaters. In evoking a people beset by rogue extremists and also crippled by a really flawed federal government, Rowling seems to describe the state of global politics in the wake of 9/11 – the period in which she wrote the novel. In this sense, Half-Blood Prince mirrors the tension of a culture trying to respond to new and also unpredictable threats, while protrial and error versus federal governments more came to with their very own power than the tranquility and security of their constituents.

In Half-Blood Prince, the Wizarding human being is marked by raising terror and also chaos bereason of the actions of a team of fringe extremists. In the initially chapter, Minister of Magic Cornelius Fudge and also the Muggle Prime Minister discuss a current spate of murders and also “accidents” affecting wizards and Muggles afavor, from a massive bridge collapse and “freak hurricane” leading to scores of deaths, to the deaths of 2 witches working for the Minisattempt, Amelia Bones and Emmeline Vance.

These deaths and catastrophes are resulted in by the Death Eaters: a mysterious team of terrorists motivated by a desire for power and a belief in the prominence of pure-blooded wizards. By targeting civilians rather than an army or federal government, they threaten both wizards’ and also Muggles’ feeling of personal safety and security and also confidence in public life. In this sense, they resemble the teams who attacked the World Trade Center in 2001, giving climb to new preoccupations around religious extremism and brand-new worries around everyday safety for civilians in countries like the US and UK.

Rather than being alleviated, these anxieties are only compounded by the government’s inept and also politically urged attempts to contain Voldemort and also the Death Eaters. When Fudge reveals that an extremist group is behind the current spate of disasters, the Muggle Prime Minister is involved primarily for the damage to his political reputation; he conceives of his constituents not as civilization whose security is in peril yet “voters” whose confidence in him will be undermined. At the very same time, his adversary is taking the opportunity to go on the attack, “badepend concealing his very own broad grin” as he pontificates around the state of the country.

Wizarding national politics prove similarly corrupt. Although Fudge has frequently verified pompous and inexperienced in previous books, he appears positively benign compared to Rufus Scrimgeour, that capitalizes on Voldemort’s return to push Fudge out of office and also take over the short article himself. Rather than devoting himself to pursuing Voldemort, Scrimgeour tries to persuade Harry to star in a publicity project that will raise “morale” by falsely implying the Minisattempt is successfully containing Voldemort’s climb.

In truth, the Minisattempt does bit more than stoke paranoia: as soon as it can’t apprehfinish any kind of of Voldemort’s actual followers, it scapegoats innocent civilization. Arrested after making some suspicious comments in a bar, Stan Shunpike, the innocuous driver of the Knight Bus, is thrown in Azkaban without trial. Mr. Weasley privately tells Harry that also after concluding he has nopoint to perform through the Death Eaters, the Minisattempt continues to impriboy Stan in order to “look as though they’re making some progression.”

If Voldemort’s rerevolve mirrors the troubling climb of extremist terrorism, then the Ministry’s response critiques the actions of the US and UK governments, which in the wake of 9/11 instigated mostly fruitmuch less battles in Iraq and Afghanistan, both in order to seem powerful and also to fulfill the political purposes of top leaders. Furthermore, rather of emphasizing that terrorism is attributable to fringe teams, many Western governments have actually stoked Islamophobic paranoia, which threa10s the security and also social standing of Muslim minorities to this day.

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Viewed in the light of contemporary national politics, Half-Blood Prince both shows growing anxieties about terrorism while saying versus blind trust in federal governments that are plagued by corruption and inefficiency. However, in investing Harry via the capacity to singlehandedly defeat Voldemort and put an end to this menace, Rowling wistcompletely conjures up a solution to this difficulty that can’t perhaps happen in the real human being.