Opinion of Marx and Harry Potter

Topics: Working class, Marxism, Karl Marx Pages: 2 (449 words) Published: September 7, 2010
Karl Marx stated that the bourgeoisie are those that ‘have’ (typically business owners and such) and the proletariat is the working class. It’s similar to a couple of my favorite quotes from the Broadway Musical Sweeney Todd. One of them actually, from the song “No Place Like London”; it states that “At the top of the hole sit the privileged few making mock of the vermin in the lonely zoo…” The second is similar, stating “there are two kinds of men and only two: there's the one staying put in his proper place and the one with his foot in the other one's face” from “Epiphany”. I feel these two quotes really get Marx’s idea of bourgeoisie and proletariat.

The first way to look at this is within wizarding society. It is safe to say that those like Cornelius Fudge (the Minister of Magic) and the wealthy (and usually pure-blood) families like the Malfoys are the bourgeoisie. One of Marx’s ‘defining traits’ of the bourgeoisie is that they usually make the laws and typically those laws are meant to keep the majority of the population, the proletariat, suppressed. If the wealthy, like Lucius Malfoy, have a huge influence over the government and within it (as he does, usually by means of threats), these laws will remain suppressing.

Now, Marx also includes business owners in the category of bourgeoisie. However, I think there is a lot of room for ‘grey area’ when this comes to mind. For instance, Olivander owns his wand shop in Diagon Alley. However, we never see that he has any workers. In fact, when he gets kidnapped by Voldemort towards the end of the series, his shop is closed down. In this case, I would consider him, despite being a business owner, in the proletariat.

Aside from small business owners, it is safe to say Squibs (born to magic families with no magic gift) and the poorer families, like the Weasleys, are in the proletariat class. This would include the vast majority of wizards and witches. Muggle-borns usually appear in this class as well,...
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