Title of Oral/Poster Presentation

The Problematic Capitalistic World of Harry Potter

Presenter Information

Lee JohnsonFollow

Class

Article

Graduation Year

2017

College

College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Department

English Department

Faculty Mentor

Christine Cooper-Rompato

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Abstract

According to Capitalism: A Very Short Introduction, the definition of capitalism is “essentially the investment of money in the expectation of making a profit.” If we take a walk down Diagon Alley, we see many stores selling their wizarding products. Consumerism is at its finest when students at Hogwarts are allowed to go to Hogsmeade on the weekend, which is basically the equivalent of a mall. This is constantly one of the things the students forward to the most, and a big part of that is spending their money. It’s easy to see that this wizarding world is capitalistic, and Rowling recreates in her fantasy world the first stage of capitalism, or "anarchic" capitalism. Rowling has unresolved issues with her monetary system, the most important of which are the treatment of the Weasleys, the Malfoys’ assets, the unknown tuition of Hogwarts, how house elves are essentially willing slaves, the role of monopolies, and what denominations are worth. These discrepancies expose what Rowling was and wasn’t willing to consider when creating her capitalistic society, which feels unquestioned by everyone in the novels.

Location

North Atrium

Start Date

4-13-2017 12:00 PM

End Date

4-13-2017 1:15 PM

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Apr 13th, 12:00 PM Apr 13th, 1:15 PM

The Problematic Capitalistic World of Harry Potter

North Atrium

According to Capitalism: A Very Short Introduction, the definition of capitalism is “essentially the investment of money in the expectation of making a profit.” If we take a walk down Diagon Alley, we see many stores selling their wizarding products. Consumerism is at its finest when students at Hogwarts are allowed to go to Hogsmeade on the weekend, which is basically the equivalent of a mall. This is constantly one of the things the students forward to the most, and a big part of that is spending their money. It’s easy to see that this wizarding world is capitalistic, and Rowling recreates in her fantasy world the first stage of capitalism, or "anarchic" capitalism. Rowling has unresolved issues with her monetary system, the most important of which are the treatment of the Weasleys, the Malfoys’ assets, the unknown tuition of Hogwarts, how house elves are essentially willing slaves, the role of monopolies, and what denominations are worth. These discrepancies expose what Rowling was and wasn’t willing to consider when creating her capitalistic society, which feels unquestioned by everyone in the novels.