askjellybean.tumblr.com: “I’m asking because I’m genuinely curious here: regarding your comment about Hermione being ‘coded Jewish,’ in what ways is this the case? I’m not doubting you, I’m just curious as to what you mean by it.”
“Oh boy, in what way is she NOT
In terms of physical characterisics, things like bushy hair and even brown eyes are all stereotypical “Jewish features.” Even the bad teeth thing is a not uncommon stereotype attached to Jews. (Snape also is coded Jewish, in his ~olive skin tone, lanky hair, and hooked nose. His presentation as a dangerous foreigner with uncertain loyalties is standard British anti-Jewish xenophobia as well. The goblins too also are very Jewish-coded – small hunched over hooked-nose money counters who are greedy with their posessions. Another post for another time, I think.)
Hermione’s extreme bookishness is very much “Jewish coding”, her being shrill to the point of alienating most of her peers (a big point in the first book, and touched upon continuously as the series goes on) is a direct relation to the “unnatural woman” stereotype attributed to Jewish women. (And that it took average British dude Ron Weasely to “teach her” how to tone that down says a LOT.)
And let’s not forget that Hermione faces brutal oppression for her blood – her BACKGROUND – in a racism analogue that is directly lifted from the Holocaust. JK Rowling doesn’t even try to hide it – the Nazis of the wizarding world, the Death Eaters, who are obsessed with blood purity, literally carve it into her arm in a direct analogue to the numbers tattooed on the arms of Jewish and Rroma inmates in German death camps.
JK Rowling made Hermione a Jew in all but name, but she removed all aspects of Jewishness from her. It’s an insult.”
Great post! I never stopped to think about this aspect of the characters every time I have read Harry Potter, which is a lot.
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