Article in Edited Volumes
(Book chapter)


The Diffusion of Gothic Conventions in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2003/2007)


Publication Details
Author(s): Gruß S
Editor(s): Berndt Katrin, Steveker Lena
Title edited volumes: Heroism in the Harry Potter Series
Publisher: Ashgate
Publishing place: Farnham
Publication year: 2011
Pages range: 39-53
Language: English

Abstract

In his seminal The Literature of Terror (1980), David Punter defines the Gothic novel as a genre that is characterised by “an emphasis on portraying the terrifying […], a prominent use of the supernatural, the presence of highly stereotyped characters and the attempt to deploy and perfect techniques of literary suspense”. It is quite obvious that Jeanne K. Rowling has generously borrowed from the Gothic tradition in her Harry Potter-novels – and despite the fact that Hogwarts is a more benevolent place than most Gothic castles, it does have moving staircases and ‘chambers of secret’. This essay focuses on Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2003/2007) and argues that many aspects of Rowling's adaptation of the Gothic culminate in this novel/film for the first time. The Potter-universe is strongly reminiscent of the female Gothic romance coined by Radcliffe – the Potters' dark family secrets, Harry's own fights for his moral integrity (and that of his father), the stress on the isolation of the hero(ine), and the existence of Voldemort as a threatening, transgressive male (and possibly father-figure). Even the explained supernatural is given a new twist in the presentation of magic as a skill that has to be acquired. At the same time, in their transgressions of social taboos, characters like Voldemort and Snape seem to be taken directly from the male Gothic tradition of the excessive male. I point out how both novel and film rework and combine several strands taken from the Gothic tradition.



How to cite
APA: Gruß, S. (2011). The Diffusion of Gothic Conventions in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2003/2007). In Berndt Katrin, Steveker Lena (Eds.), Heroism in the Harry Potter Series (pp. 39-53). Farnham: Ashgate.

MLA: Gruß, Susanne. "The Diffusion of Gothic Conventions in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2003/2007)." Heroism in the Harry Potter Series Ed. Berndt Katrin, Steveker Lena, Farnham: Ashgate, 2011. 39-53.

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