The Second Great War

by Sanjana

J.K Rowling is known, among other things, for the subtle nuances and important clues she drops carelessly, but carefully, through her writing. And also, for the many parallels she sets up. One of the most talked-about examples of JKR’s parallels is the Harry-Ron-Hermione-Character X quartet vs. James-Sirius-Remus-Peter group. However, one of the most obvious, but least discussed on this site, is the subject of the imminent Harry Potter war and World War II.

Yes, it’s been brought up many times, in passing. A reference here and there, but not fully explored and discovered. (By the by, I recently wrote a paper comparing William Golding’’s [excellent] novel The Lord of the Flies to World War II, which is where I got the inspiration for this article).

All right. Adolf Hitler= Lord Voldemort.

That is very easy and simple to see. Like Hitler, Voldemort is the opposite of what he preaches to be ideal–—Hitler was brown-haired and brown-–eyed, with Jewish ancestry, though he still planned to create a race of perfect blonde and blue-eyed Aryans, and wipe out Jews; Voldemort is half-blood though he seeks to eliminate all who are not pureblood- a very small percentage of the Wizarding population. This is important because we can no longer hope that the casualties will be minor. Six million Jews died during the Holocaust, and we can expect comparable damage to the Wizarding community. Also, both were very powerful and charismatic, able to woo people over to their side. As Hagrid said in PS/SS, (paraphrase) “Some went over willingly” or something like that.

Nazis/SS= Death Eaters.

Like the Nazis and SS, the Death Eaters are the instruments of their leader’s evil designs. This means that perhaps what’’s key to defeating Voldemort is to first defeat his followers. So far, the crew have only ever gone for Voldemort first, fighting through the DE only when necessary. I’’m thinking, perhaps without a following, Voldemort cannot inflict nearly as much harm. Then again, now that Voldy has his own body/physical entity, there’’s still plenty he can do–…none of it pleasant….

People who believed Hitler and allied themselves with him without overtly fighting with him= A good percentage of the Wizarding world.

I say this because there still seems to be an uncomfortable, lingering, but undeniable bias toward pureblood (therefore sympathizing with Voldemort) but they feel it’’s bad and think they know better (therefore not allying themselves with Voldy). Truly, until the Wizarding community in its entirety breaks out of this mindset, true victory cannot be achieved. [On a side note, this also reminds me of the situation of whites vs. blacks in America]

Winston Churchill= Albus Dumbledore.

All right, this one was a little tougher to come up with. I was debating between Churchill and Franklin Delano Roosevelt, then decided since JKR is British, it is more likely Churchill is Dumbledore. Although there are some glaring differences between the men, I believe their roles are similar. And that is, to defeat ‘Evil’ and restore ‘Good’ to the world.

However, this leaves me in a bit of a predicament. I have no FDR. This is a problem because the trio of Hitler-Churchill-FDR is one of the most famous group of leaders and were instrumental in WWII. Who’’s my FDR? Could it possibly be Harry Potter?

I said in an earlier paragraph that because JKR is British, Dumbledore would be Churchill–—here I am implying that JKR believes Churchill to be the ultimate hero of WWII and therefore, Dumbledore is the ultimate hero in her books. But I’’ve thought that JKR considers Harry himself to truly be the ultimate hero—that is to say, the one that embodies the most ‘good’ (because I’’m of the school that believes that the real war is between good and evil, not just people….)

But all this speculation still does not leave me with a satisfactory answer. I’’m not entirely convinced I want Harry to be either Churchill or FDR, although a small part of me is sure it makes sense. Because I can see the connection between the Second War and WWII–…but the lines aren’’t being completely tied together.

Moving on a bit, I think that Slytherin House represents the United Socialist Soviet Republic. The Soviets were at first allied with Germany, but then they changed to the Allied forces and they turned out to play an incredibly important part in turning the tide in the war. Slytherin isn’’t evil at all–—I think they’’ll change their tune soon enough. And I believe the person to help with this transformation is Draco Malfoy himself. Especially with his father an unmasked Death Eater, Malfoy just might come around. Besides, JKR needs to convert people to the ‘good’ side, and Malfoy is the perfect convert. He wouldn’’t be first–—but he’’d be close. Especially with his close relationship with Snape, whom we’re going to assume is a good character for the sake of simplicity.

What do the other houses represent? Gryffindor is most likely Britain, and Ravenclaw America, while Hufflepuff are the remaining Allied forces. I’’m not saying Gryffindor is Britain because the British were bravest during WWII—–although they did quite an admirable job—–but because they were one of the first affected, as is Gryffindor House (look at Harry Potter himself), and also they fought long and hard. Ravenclaw isn’’t America because America is the brightest, but more as a matter of convenience (for me, because I can’’t come up with any more credible evidences) and they too helped greatly in turning the war around. As I believe Ravenclaw will do. Hufflepuff is easy to see.

The Order of the Phoenix represent those who, during WWII/Holocaust, helped and hid the Jews to keep them from being killed. On the other hand, they might also be Britain/America. I’’m doubting this because the OotP are a small, covert, minority group, unlike either of the two countries.