Dumbledore Votes For Gay Marriage?

Joanne Rowling’s new book, Tales of Beedle the Bard (BTB), argues via satire that homosexuals should be allowed to marry and that those who deny them this right are politically dangerous, even evil.

I have very little time this morning so this will be a hurried explanation of the satirical allegory implicit to Dumbledore’s commentary on the tale, ‘Fountain of Fair Fortune’ and of the upside and downside of this argument in story, with a rushed review of how Harry Haters, Harry Hallowers, LeakyMug Fandom, and HogPro AllPros will almost certainly react to this news. Forgive me the haste and typos, please.

(For the best discussion of the five Beedle Tales, as mentioned yesterday, go to The Hog’s Head where there are threads dedicated to each story!)

First, the satire:

In his commentary on ‘Fountain,’ Dumbledore relates that:

more than one parent has demanded the removal of this particular tale from the Hogwarts library, including, by coincidence, a descendant of Brutus Malfoy and one-time member of the Hogwarts Board of Governors, Mr. Lucius Malfoy. Mr. Malfoy submitted his demand for a ban on the story in writing:

“Any work of fiction or non-fiction that depicts interbreeding between wizards and Muggles should be banned from the bookshelves of Hogwarts. I do not wish my son to be influenced into sullying the purity of his blood-line by reading stories that promote wizard-Muggle marriage.”

My refusal to remove the book from the library was backed by a majority of the Board of Governors. I wrote back to Mr. Malfoy, explaining my decision:

“So-called pure-blood families maintain their alleged purity by disowning, banishing, or lying about Muggles or Muggle-borns on their family trees. They then attempt to foist their hypocrisy upon the rest of us by asking us to ban works dealing with the truths they deny. There is not a witch or wizard in existence whose blood has not mingled with Muggles, and I should therefore consider it both illogical and immoral to remove works with the subject from our students’ store of knowledge.”

This exchange marked the beginning of Mr. Malfoy’s long campaign to have me removed from my post as headmaster of Hogwarts, and of mine to have him removed from his position as Lord Voldemort’s Favorite Death Eater.

This story doers not scream, “Gay Marriage!”, of course. It is not on the surface or even moral layers of meaning but at the allegorical in which that message is given. The surface level gives us important back story for the events of Chamber of Secrets, in which book, Lucius Malfoy hides Riddle’s diary, an obviously evil book, inside one of Ginny Weasley’s seemingly benign textbooks and this book-with-an-agenda hidden in a book possesses Ginny’s soul, turns her against the beliefs of her parents, and results (temporarily) in Dumbledore’s dismissal as Headmaster. We are left to speculate about how Dumbledore began work on supplanting Malfoy with another in the Dark Lord’s inner circle; I’d assume he means his grooming Severus Snape as a Death Eater double agent, capable of becoming Voldemort’s most trusted servant because of his access to valuable information from the Order of the Phoenix.

Beneath this surface meaning, we have the moral one. Dumbledore is not bullied by Malfoy and his prejudices against Muggles. He stands his ground on principle with the backing of a select group (the Hogwarts Board) in the face of what is obviously a vociferous group against wizard-Muggle “interbreeding” and marriage. The group may even constitute a majority of wizards or among powerful wizards. Dumbledore stands his ground for truth, virtue, and plain dealing in the fostering of both these qualities in the hearts and minds of young wizards.

If you allow that there are meanings beneath the surface and moral layers, per Aquinas, Dante, Ruskin, Lewis, and Rowling (see the discussion on the four layers of meaning and Rowling’s depiction of same in the interpretation of the Hallows symbol in my The Deathly Hallows Lectures), the first layer to be unwound beneath the relatively obvious is the allegorical. The evident point-to-point allegory in the Malfoy story is not gay marriage but book banning. Rowling, through Dumbledore, seems to be bashing Harry Haters like Laura Malory (sp?) in Georgia who worked so hard (and unsuccessfully) through the courts to have the Harry Potter novels removed from public schools.

No doubt there is some of that there, but it’s a weak analogy and allegory. Like the Christian Harry Haters, Lucius is arguing for a book ban. But, beyond his efforts, too, proving unsuccessful, the similarities end there. Malfoy is not arguing from devotional or revealed principle and tradition; that would be impossible in a sub-creation like Rowling’s without formal religious structures or scriptures.

And Malfoy is talking about marriage and the relationships of wizards and Muggles.

Wizard-Muggles relations in Harry’s world are an allegory about racism, for the most part. Interpreted as both an argument against anti-semitism and contra discrimination against the racial ‘other,’ the war between Death Eaters and Dumbledore’s Armies is offered as something very much like the war against the Jew-baiting Nazis and cross burning Klansmen. Both of these latter groups opposed exogamy and miscegenation (inter-racial marriages) and it is to these groups and their position that Malfoy’s stance contra wizard-Muggle “interbreeding” and marriage are most closely correspondent.

Is Ms. Rowling saying the Laura Malorys of the world and their attempts to ban books make them Nazis and Klansmen? That’s a stretch. Not only is that a failed analogy and risibly uncharitable in its hyperbole (for a very charitable woman, however acerbic), it is also out of all measure and balance with the effect of Harry Hating protests, all of which have come to nothing in the public square.

Using Malfoy’s position as a Harry Hating straw man would also be to kick that dead horse twice; Dumbledore has already beaten up the bowdlerizing, sentimental church ladies who want to remove the Gothic horror and witchcraft from Harry Potter specifically and children’s stories in general. His comments about Beatrix Bloxam’s misgivings about Beedle were more than sufficient as payback or slapdown to Harry Haters.

Most people miss both the theological and political allegories, obviously. Despite Ms. Rowling’s evident disdain for the press in her Daily Prophet and Rita Skeeter, for example, Fleet Street loves her. Despite the overwhelmingly traditional Christian imagery and anagogical meaning of her books, Rowling’s fiercest critics still are those Harry Haters living in Christian culture war ghettos. Though harder for the casual reader to get, however, I don’t think that there is any denying that these allegories are there.

But gay marriage?

The allegory in Dumbledore’s comments about ‘Fortune’ is about Proposition 8 because (1) Malfoy is talking about marriage, (2) Ms. Rowling has “always thought of Dumbledore as gay,” and (3) this is the point of conflict in the political-social sphere at the moment. Proponents of gay marriage rights in California argue from historical analogy that being against gay marriage is “just like” the large majorities of American voters who for decades opposed inter-racial marriage. Dumbledore makes it clear that Beedle’s Muggle-loving moral in ‘The Wizard and the Hopping Pot’ was decidedly out of step with his contemporaries in a time when Muggles were enthusiastically persecuting witches and wizards.

It is a heroic author and tale-teller, then, who stands against the tide of prejudices in his or her times. For Ms. Rowling, to whom moral courage is the most important virtue, that means taking her place alongside the minority in California in favor of gay marriage and with the courts also in this camp (corresponding to the Hogwarts Board of Governors). Opponents of gay marriage rights, I presume to include the President-elect, are offered as Malfoy resonances, i.e., the politically dangerous and morally evil Death Eaters.

So what?

There is an upside, a downside and a predictable result to this argument via satire.

The upside is that readers again have the opportunity to reconsider their comfortable positions about Ms. Rowling’s purpose in writing the Harry Potter novels. For some, this might be the first time they have experienced Ms. Rowling as a satirist writing on levels beyond entertainment and training in the stock responses. I have to hope that these readers and others will read my new book, Harry Potter’s Bookshelf: The Great Books Behind the Hogwarts Adventures as well as The Deathly Hallows Lectures, to gain an appreciation of Ms. Rowling as a Cruikshankian satirist and Coleridgean artist in symbol and fantasy.

The downside is that this revelation, much like the Carnegie Hall comments about Dumbledore’s sexuality, will at least for a spell probably become the tail wagging the dog of Potter criticism. Because Dumbledore suggests this dispute with Malfoy is about prejudice against people with homosexual orientation, popular discussion may be hijacked from the four ‘lines of sight’ Ms. Rowling has stated explicitly are the most profitable for understanding Deathly Hallows and the series as a whole. The implicit message here, because the satire touches on such an explosive political-social issue, will obscure the larger meaning at the fourth layer and her greater artistry for some time.

Watch for Harry Haters to rejoice because this gay marriage position, as with Dumbledore’s sexuality, confirms their belief that Ms. Rowling has an anti-Christian agenda and her books are unsuitable for children. It won’t matter that this Beedle revelation is extra-canonical , which is to say “not anywhere in the seven books.” Rowling is dangerous and evil as they always knew.

Watch for LeakyMug Fandom to rejoice, too, as they did as well when Dumbledore was outed at Carnegie Hall. Sharing Ms. Rowling’s relatively liberal political views, the Memerson crowd, ironically, will celebrate this as confirmation of their pigeonholing Ms. Rowling as believing everything they believe.( I say “ironically” because they make odd bedfellows with the Harry Haters.)

The Harry Hallowers who believe that Ms. Rowling only writes theological allegories and that the books are evangelical tracts disguised as children’s adventure stories will find a way to duck this. “It isn’t canon!” will be one defense to maintain the wish-fulfilling delusion that Ms. Rowling is strictly a devotional Christian apologist rather than a Christian author. “It’s about the Harry Haters, not gay marriage!” will be another.


Looking at Ms. Rowling as a writer rather than a propagandist for either side in the culture war requires knowledge of the four levels of meaning on which writers operate as well as the traditional ends of means of better writers. Beyond the surface and moral meanings of her books, Ms. Rowling delivers allegorical and anagogical substance that is both profoundly Christian and politically liberal. If you think Margaret Thatcher saved the UK from Fabian socialism and the abyss, you won’t like the political commentary written between the lines of her books. If you believe Christians are bigots and morons, you won’t care for the brilliant alchemical and Dantesque artistry of Rowling’s gothic Public School fantasy.

The Harry Potter novels are books that could only have been written by a Christian and one with liberal political beliefs. They include elements that should make the Harry Haters, Hallowers, and the Unchurched all decidedly uncomfortable, albeit in different ways, for different reasons. Agree or disagree with any of her messages and meaning, though, and you are obliged to reconsider your beliefs, examine them in light of her story arguments and your experience of that story, and choose once again for or against.

This is postmodern gothic literature doing its job. If you’re not squirming, the author missed her target. Ms. Rowling as a subversive symbolist, a la George MacDonald and Eric Blair, is here to rattle your cage and beliefs, not make you feel at home in your Faith Club. I expect her subtle championing of gay marriage rights will make her harder to pigeonhole for more thoughtful readers, which, in sum, is a good thing.

I welcome your comments and corrections, as always. If you want to share your thoughts on gay marriage, Proposition 8, and political arguments from historical analogy, though, please go to sites devoted to that sort of thing, e.g., the Corner, daily Kos, Mark Shea’s Catholic and Enjoying It, or Rod Dreher’s blog at Belief.net. This site is not a culture war forum but is a place reserved for discussion of Potter as literature and cultural phenomenon.

I look forward to reading your reflections.


  1. I wouldn’t doubt that there is deeper meaning to those comments; Rowling knows how to pack it in! But I never seem to see as much into these things as you do, so I’m somewhat doubtful on the gay marriage issue. I think Rowling is somewhat torn on the issue; on the one hand, I think she has a more ‘liberal’ (or, perhaps more rightly, ‘libertarian’) view on the issue, but on the other hand, her sole, confirmed homosexual character lives a life of chastity that is rather antithetical to gay rights movements and the support of homosexual marriage.

    So, it may well be there, but I am uncertain as to how important that is. Whatever she may be saying in her books, a great theme is that one should approach all things critically, and not simply accept what people say — not even her novels. And in the end, well, I doubt there’s anyone who would agree with any author entirely on their stance (I was going to write a rather snarky remark here, but I’ll refrain).

    By the by, love the new look of the site!

  2. You can thank Mr. Prinzi for the new look of the site.

    “Thank you, Travis! Looks great!”

    Who knew the HogPro site was so ugly? Not me — at least, not until the makeover.

    (Here’s hoping Travis will explain how to make your face or just your eye appear with your name.)

  3. I think that it could have been an allegorical comment on California’s Prop 8 – except that the election in which it was passed took place on Nov. 4th, exactly one month before the book was released.

    That wounds the theory, I think, because there is no way to have made the changes to the book in that span of time and have it in the stores in the days before it was released. I just don’t see it. That said, Rowling is a very astute cultural critic, and it is possible she was anticipating it’s passage, or, more likely to my mind, it was never there to begin with.

  4. That is certainly logical, if you think she was writing specifically about Proposition 8 rather than the issue of Gay Marriage in general. If my post, in mentioning Proposition 8, gives the impression that I’m saying Rowling was writing to influence the electoral outcome on that specific ballot item in California on that date, a date as you point out she would have known would pass before Beedle’s publication, I’m sorry. That isn’t what I was trying to say.

    Rowling was writing this when every American Presidential and VP candidate had come out publicly against Gay Marriage rights, in California and anywhere in the US. She has admitted to following the American Presidential campaign obsessively. I think as a Labor Party member and political liberal, she felt the need to weigh in via Dumbledore’s commentary on her “political fairy tale.” Mentioning Proposition 8 was just shorthand for the issue, not to suggest the satire of the American political scene was date and subject specific.

  5. John,

    I didn’t feel your post came across like you thought she was trying to influence the election. I think my point could have been expressed more clearly. I took your mention specifically of Prop 8 to mean that she had somehow been upset at its passage and re-wrote the commentary in response, which, as I said, wouldn’t have worked.

    If she really was commenting about anything, I agree that it would have been the Gay Marriage rights issue in the election. That said, I will need to re-read Dumbledore’s commentary on the fairy tale (which was, admittedly, my second favorite of the lot). I suspect the book won’t make much of a splash, certainly not as much as the “Carnegie comment” (as I call it), did, purely because it is much more opaque. As you said, the commentary leans more towards interracial marriage, though her theme of “equal rights” would certainly extend to homosexual rights.

  6. esoterica1693 says

    I believe that JKR may have herself been making a comment and put it on APWBD’s lips/quill, and it certainly is consistent w/ her own values and the values of the series. But I don’t think APWBD would have himself if left to his own devices in the universe itself.

    Simply b/c, though I’m far from an expert, I don’t think ‘gay marriage’ was nearly as huge on the GLBT activism agenda ca. 1995, which is when APWBD was writing his comments, as it is now. Especially not for a wizard born in the 1880s who supposedly never had a committed relationship in his life. And he was in Scotland, not embroiled in the USA political/culture wars, in which the issue of GLBT rights is so often co-opted to stand proxy for so many other fights in state and church.

    I just don’t think that APWBD, even if he self-identified as gay and w/ the GLBT community and its issues, would have been spending enough of his energy thinking about the legal issue of gay marriage in 1995 such that he would have used the commentary as a soapbox, no matter how oblique. He was, after all, rather pre-occupied w/ a few other things at the time he was writing the commentary. Tom Riddle and Delores Umbridge, for example. 🙂

    I wonder if writing the commentary was one thing that APWBD did during his exile from Hogwarts in OotP? 🙂

  7. esoterica1693 says

    To follow on to my original comment, if Headmaster Dumbledore was concerned w/ any aspect of gay rights and activism in the 1990s, I assume it would have been w/ the efforts to repeal Section 28 of the Local Gov’t Act (section 2A in Scotland), written in 1988 and repealed in Scotland in 2000 and elsewhere in the UK in 2003 :

    “A local authority shall not: a) intentionally promote homosexuality or publish material with the intention of promoting homosexuality; b) promote the teaching in any maintained school of the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship.'”

    If he was going to use his Beedle commentary to make a point about GLBT rights, he would probably have been aiming it against Section 28/2A,which directly impacted what he could do in his school (if one presumes muggle laws influenced wizarding ones in some way). It’s obviously just another facet of the same basic issue as gay marriage, but at a much earlier stage of the fight.

    Sorry to be pedantic and nit-picking but I live in California so Prop 8 and related issues have been much on my mind of late.

  8. John, I’d be glad to explain the avatars quickly.

    If you’d like to personalize the image that goes next to your comments (and any kind of image will do – doesn’t have to be a picture of you; that’s George MacDonald in my avatar), go to http://en.gravatar.com and sign up for an account with the email address that you use when leaving comments on a blog. Then, any time you comment on a blog – if that blog has avatars enabled – your avatar will show up, as long as you use the same email address you used for your gravatar account.

    I set this site to default at those funny faces if you don’t have a personalized avatar.

  9. In the UK we do not exactly have have ‘gay marriages’. We do have ‘civil partnerships’ that convey some legal rights to same-sex relationships.

    I am not aware of there being much demand here to take matters any further. (I may be wrong about that)

    In spite of JKR’s ‘libertarian’ views and plea for greater tolerance within society, I still need more convincing that JKR is a strong supporter of ‘gay marriage’.

    From the UK government website: http://www.gro.gov.uk/gro/content/civilpartnerships/

    “The Civil Partnership Act 2004 came into operation on 5 December 2005 and enables a same-sex couple to register as civil partners of each other.”

  10. John, while you are probably onto something with thinking that JKR was trying to slip in her social views in under the radar of speaking through Dumbledore, I think we are still free to disagree with Dumbledore’s commentary. Heck, we’re free to disagree with Jo’s commentary, too, for that matter.

    Case in point, & I bring this up not to debate this issue, whether it’s right or wrong or whatever, but simply to show that disagreements can be had. Apparently, a fairly large majority of African Americans who voted on Proposition 8 voted against it. Which seems to indicate that they didn’t buy the argument that gay marriage is equivalent to interracial marriage. Which shows that people can disagree & should be able to disagree. And it also shows that just because Jo makes a connection between Muggle-Wizard marriage & Interracial marriage & Gay marriage doesn’t necessarily lead to the conclusion of “If a=b, then b must =c.” Jo’s reasoning & conclusions can be argued with & should be examined.

    I think we also need to avoid making the automatic conclusion that when Dumbledore says something that is is the exact same thing as Jo saying something. That is to say, how she writes a character may not necessarily reflect her own personal views (although in this case I think they do). But what if this commentary had been written from the point of view of Lord Voldemort & it was filled with racist & derogatory statements about Muggles? Would we automatically assume that this was Jo’s position as well or simply the voice of the character she wrote?

    I think a big problem we face in our world is that no matter what the message is we don’t spend enough time critically examining the messages we are receiving each day & grappling with them & our beliefs & modifying our beliefs where necessary & firmly holding to our beliefs when an examination has shown them to be correct or worthwhile.

  11. And when I say Jo may have been trying to slip in her views under the voice of Dumbledore, I don’t mean she’s doing anything wrong or sneaky or subliminal. But that she does what Lewis recommended, sneaking past sleeping dragons in order to get people to examine something seriously that they might never do because of their automatic filters or blocks against hearing that message.

  12. I intentionally didn’t read any of the other posts about Beedle the Bard as I hadn’t yet read it – except this one. (I’ve now read all but Babbity Rabbit.)

    That being said, I don’t see Dumbledore’s comments as anything but commentary on racism and prejudice in general. I don’t see anything there that refers to gay marriage – not in the story itself or in what follows.

    But that’s just me – I didn’t see it in the HP books either, though many said they did. And I still didn’t see it after Rowling outed Dumbledore.

    Well, I have to go put some Christmas lights on the bushes before it rains and gets dark; I was holding out for it to warm up as well, but that doesn’t seem likely.


  13. I’m not really seeing the connection. I read the entire book last night, can’t say I noticed it as being anything more then one possible interpretation of the passage.

  14. I think revgeorge and Eeyore make good points. Just because something was on Jo’s mind doesn’t mean it was on Dumbledore’s, etc. And I agree with Eeyore that I see nothing in there but commentary on racism and prejudice in general. That would include prejudice against homosexuals to Jo’s mind – as that topic is relevant to her opinions and our cultural situation – but she has also said that gay marriage isn’t a big deal in the wizarding world and so probably wouldn’t be on Dumbledore’s mind as much as Wizard/Muggle and Pureblood/Mudblood would be.

  15. This is pretty treacherous ground, because there are three different interests involved: Beedle’s and Dumbledore’s interests as characters, which have to do with racism in the Wizarding World, and Rowling’s. She’s writing fairy tales of the past, but she’s a fairy tale writer in the present. And interracial marriage just isn’t a big controversy anymore.

    So I think John’s correct to suggest that Rowling, writing as a 21st century fairy tale teller, probably did have this on her mind. But of course she wasn’t going to write it into the story itself. It’s not an issue she’s ever raised within the Wizarding World itself.

  16. Arabella Figg says

    I simply do not see any reference to gay marriage in Dumbledore’s commentary. Zip. Although I tried really hard. Consider me obtuse.

    It’s not because of personal preference. I agree with Adam, Shan and Pat. I feel this is trying to squeeze a size 8 foot into a size 5 specifically designed shoe. And the shoe can’t hold it.

  17. Arabella Figg says

    But Travis, Dumbledore is talking about intermarriage with “the other,” not marriage of the same kind. But you and John are pretty savvy, so I’m open. She may have had this in mind, but I think a gay marriage (between “likes”) salvo would be handled differently. Your point about taking on 21st century concerns is valid. But I’d hesitate to overthink this.

    Why can I not log off this blog? I keep getting a “try again.” Help!

    But then, as the kitties would think, I’m just there to keep the food bowls full…

  18. I wasn’t going to say anything, but the shoe analogy got my attention.

    I can’t see the reference to gay marriage either. The connections you make, John are:

    1) Malfoy is talking about marriage,
    (2) Ms. Rowling has “always thought of Dumbledore as gay,” and
    (3) this is the point of conflict in the political-social sphere at the moment.

    The Malfoys and the rest of the so-called Purebloods have always deplored “mixed” marriages because they lead to half-blood wizards, who are seen as second class, or inferior. We have received this message since the beginning of the series, from the first time Malfoy called Hermione “mudblood”. But the message is not about marriage, or racial purity; it’s about racism and prejudice, and their opposite: equality and tolerance.

    Homosexuality is only one of a thousand ways human beings discriminate against each other. Race, religion, language, economic status, class, gender. In the Potterverse itself we also have many forms of discrimination: Muggle blood vs Pureblood, wizard vs non-wizard, wizard vs elf. And these forms of discrimination are explicitly named in the text. On the other hand, we have no evidence that homosexuality is discriminated against in Potterverse; mainly because JKR does not “name” homosexuality. The forms of discrimination that are identified as wrong are racial; homosexuality does not fit that description.

    Gay rights, homosexuality is a source of conflict in the human world right now. But so are many other issues. If you look around who’s killing whom most often, and for what reason, you still come up against the Hutus and the Tutsis in Rwanda and Congo, the Arabs against the non-Arabs in the Sudan, and countless tribes battling each other in Somalia. It’s tribal, racial and religious. Discrimination against gays is not up there in terms of numbers of victims.

    I think that JKR speaks against all forms of prejudice and discrimination. I think that the evidence that she speaks especially about discrimination against homosexuals in particular is not very strong.

  19. Read this blast from the barricades by the Enforcers of Political Correctness at the Harry Potter Alliance (“The Weapon We Have is Love”) and try again with the “it’s a universal, not a particular shot she’s firing.”

    The Dumbledore/Malfoy battle is about marriage as a civil right. There is only one of those battles in the streets today that you read about in the papers or online every day. It’s not about miscegenation or generic prejudice.

    It’s also not anything that can be demonstrated conclusively or argued to a point of definite resolution without a statement from the author (think Severus Snape’s allegiance HP1-6 or ‘Shipping HP1-5). It resembles Ms. Rowling’s support of CHLG, which I think is her pointer for those with eyes to see to her support of a pro-choice position on abortion (it has been asserted that the cage children exist because of the prohibition on abortion and birth control in Romania before regime changes in the 90s). No one needs to talk about that unstated but implicit thumbs-up on abortion because CHLG is doing important, life-changing and life-saving work that people of different sides on the abortion issue can and do support.

    But it’s there. I’m just grateful that the author is subtle enough in declaring her political positions that it doesn’t take over the discussion of her work or obscure the value of her charitable efforts.

  20. It’s taken me a while to get into the discussion since Beedle took a while to get here.

    I agree with you John that Dumbledore’s commentary can be read as a discussion on gay marriage. This is especially true if you look at JKR’s progression on the gay Dumbledore from Carnegie Hall to now. She started out as “thought of Dumbledore as gay” and then she started to see the reaction she got and her opinion while it didn’t change it evolved. It is probably easiest to see it as commentary on interracial marriage, but that’s not the discussion of our time. As far as marriage rights are concerned, same sexed couples are topic of the day especially for progressives like Ms. Rowling.

  21. I agree with a number of the poster’s here that I do not see even a word clue to “Gay Marriage” in the commentary text by Dumbledore or the story itself.

    There is much to point out on the evils of racism, classism and when we are talking Wizard-Muggle marriage, I believe JKR is pointing to two different racial/ people groups when Dumbledore refers to “blood-lines”, which one cannot achieve between two persons of the same sex.

    The larger issue here in this commentary that I’m surprised no one has hit on yet is “censorship”. Both Dumbledore and JKR are vehemently opposed to any form of censorship either in Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry or in the Muggle city library.

  22. Yes, Great job Mr. Prinzi with the new look with John’s site,

    Gentlemen, you both make a great team within the Potter uiniverse.

  23. Literally, there is no allusion in a direct mode to gay marriage. But the text is written in the medieval manner of 4 layers (see Dante’s remarks to Can Grande here http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/jod/cangrande.english.html) or is capable of those levels of interpretation. Since JKR expects them to be read and re-read and that such rereading is stated by the author to be reward with deeper insights, I think the Professor has a point. The fairy tale that is presented will be understood in contemporary forms of the questions.

    If you do not believe this format of interpretation is true, check out the scholarship on Little Red Riding Hood from the sociological, psychological and spiritual levels; none of which require that the literal level be historically factual at any time.

    I think that choosing to focus on inter-racial marriages signals JKR’s intent that it is about something else, something more contemporary. I think the Professor is correct to so attribute – given the data that we have. His understanding of the uses of literature is as keen as his observations of symbols! JKR is “looking along” the lines of inter-racial marriage to illuminate current matters.

    That said, I think JKR does an excellent job of positively portraying heterosexual couples and the natural state of marriage as between differing sexes. To be fair, Voldemort is the product of an “unnatural love” and Harry is the product of a “natural love” and Snape is product of something in-between, a “natural love” gone unnatural. There is plenty of material for thought in the text with regard to the vagaries of heterosexual experiences of love and the outcomes to reflect on the consequences of beginning in any other place. Once again, the text comes to the rescue within the Harry Potter series.

    Though BtB is a portion of the Potterverse, it is by no means the bulk of it. Only the Tale of Three Brothers is properly canonical, after all. I think JKR exercised her authorial prerogatives very astutely to get readers to look along rather than looking at in this arena. She is not a symbolist writer only when she agrees with what I happen to think are proper interpretations of those symbols. She makes me re-think my SOP (Standard Operating Protocol) to be sure, but that doesn’t mean that I change my mind. After all, I don’t agree with every analysis of LLR either!

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