Harry Potter and the Consumerism of Azkaban

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Andrew Streeter
Bryson Newhart
English 2010
22 September 2012

Harry Potter and The Consumerism of Azkaban
It gets interesting when you examine the Harry Potter series through the aspect of commodity culture within the franchise. In her article, Harry Potter and the Technology of Magic, Elizabeth Teare aims to illustrate to her readers that while J.K. Rowling tends to poke fun at consumer culture in her novels, she takes equal measures in real life encouraging children to participate as consumers. Numerous examples from the books, contrast, and comparison to other works are techniques Teare skillfully uses to create a strong and convincing article. The main claim of Teare's article is that rhetorical underlying of the Harry Potter franchise is directly linked with the reader’s understanding of commodity culture. Commodity culture is more or less the idea of consumerism as a culture, the idea that it is necessary to buy things if they are associated with something you like. In her article, Teare examines the American Girl franchise, which began as a series of books, but after gaining a sense of popularity among children, began selling dolls as well as furniture, clothing, and other various accessories for said dolls. The article then thoroughly examines the Potter franchise in association with consumerism. Teare recalls the release of two books, Quidditch Through the Ages, a faux textbook that claimed to be the property of Hogwarts and included a long list of infamous “borrowers” such as Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger, and Cedric Diggory (all popular characters in the series), as well as the book Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, another imitation school book stating it is the property of Harry Potter himself. Inside Fantastic Beasts, we find that Dumbledore, the headmaster of Hogwarts, has written a foreword assuring the reader that they are holding Harry Potter’s own copy of the book. Throughout the book, Harry doodles and annotates within the...
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