Harry Potter has often been praised for its profound study into important sociological dilemmas like racism and elitism, but the way J.K. Rowling goes about spinning this narrative into existence raises a few questions as to whether Hogwarts — the beating heart of the Wizarding World — has hypocritically fueled these contentious philosophies through the way it has treated students for a millennium.
One of the first things we learn about Hogwarts is that students get sorted into four different houses, with the magical Sorting Hat determining where each student can thrive given the stereotypical characteristics that go along with the history of each house.
At its heart, Harry Potter seems to be favoring the opinion that it doesn’t matter where you come from or what people say about you. In the end, what matters is what you decide to do, or so we think…
I mean, the folks who get thrown into Slytherin aren’t inherently evil, right? Except for the fact that almost every douchebag you meet in the 7-book series is from Slytherin, chief among them Lord Voldemort himself. Even Draco Malfoy who gives our titular protagonist grief from the get-go becomes a leading figure in House Slytherin. So, what gives?
That bias is something that hasn’t gone unnoticed through the years, but it looks like even more Potterheads are beginning to realize something is really paradoxical about the way Rowling writes about the issue. Take this new Reddit thread, for instance, which has been picking a lot of heat and puts forth a very compelling theory.
It’s also possible that Rowling purposefully alluded to the inherent prejudice in Hogwarts as the main influence behind the rise of villains such as Voldemort, since Draco, too, came awfully close to succumbing to the darkness proper.
Then again, the issue remained unaddressed and unresolved by the end of the story, so that puts a dent into our hypothesis there.