An Analysis of the Symbolism of Bacon in Harry Potter
Taking Jenna Sottle up on her offer was just a little sarcastic, but I couldn’t resist. I did a comprehensive study (by which I mean flipping through the books looking for times they mentioned breakfast), and I came to the conclusion that Harry prefers toast to bacon.
Mentionings of the flattest of meats and the crunchiest of carbs:
- PS/SS: Aunt Petunia tells Harry not to burn the bacon on Dudley’s birthday.
- CoS: Dudley asks Harry to pass the bacon. Harry tells him to use the “m” word.
- PoA: Harry helps himself to toast when the Dursleys are too absorbed in the report of Sirius Black to offer it to him.
- GoF: Harry is grateful when Hermione brings him toast the day after his fight with Ron.
- OotP: Mrs. Weasley offers Harry bacon and eggs, among a few other complicated choices. Harry declines in favor of “just toast”. Harry gives his bacon rinds to Hedwig.
What does this mean? Well, I see bacon as representing extravagance. Dudley seems enamored with it (even if there is something wrong with eating one’s relatives). Harry, like me, prefers the simple and wholesome option of toast.
Do I have a point? Just this: J.K. Rowling has spent years on these books. She’s so thorough, she gives the characters favorite breakfasts.
EVERYTHING contributes to one central characterization. In short, there is no such thing as overanalyzing the “tedious details of the books.” Lots and lots of little details add up to something big in the end.