The Psychology of Harry Potter

The Psychology of Harry Potter: An Unauthorized Examination of the Boy Who Lived is a book filled with essays written on numerous topics in relation to Harry Potter. Each essay is written by varying academics and discusses thought-provoking topics – one in particular being the use of self-harm within the series and another being a scathing report on what students are actually learning in Hogwarts classes.

I would not hesitate in using this book as a resource for an essay as not only is it comforting to see that the writers of the essays are academics, but the content is very insightful and the sources quoted within the essays are of a reputable and well researched level, making the text very trustworthy.

I find that the resource compliments The Hooded Utilitarian well as similar ideas are discussed in an essay named ‘Harry Potter and the Word That Shall Not Be Named’, written by Mikhail Lyubansky, within the book. Both sources mention the concept of colour-blindness and how this arguably takes place within the series (Lyubansky also makes a comical comment on how Rowling places more importance on ginger hair than on race).

Lyubansky’s footnotes also echo Richard Dyer’s opinions on the matter of whiteness (in his collection of essays White) and therefore is useful in regards to potentially leading you towards more areas of discussion such as the treatment of white people within Harry Potter or fantasy genres in general rather than predominantly focusing on people of colour.

Overall, I found this source the most useful for its abundance of criticism on various dimensions of the series – and I feel would be an excellent catalyst to promote further research into the discussion of Harry Potter.

Sources Mentioned:

Dyer, Richard. (1997). White. London: Routledge.

Mulholland, Neil (ed. by). (2007). The Psychology of Harry Potter: An Unauthorized Examination of the Boy Who Lived. Dallas: BenBella Books.


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