Monday, June 21, 2010

The Secret of Harry

After spending a week reading criticisms and critiques of the Harry Potter series, I must confess myself shocked that the obvious truth behind the books has not so far been stated in any prominent place. It is one of the more astonishing features of this series that it has been able, by dint of some slight and subtle misdirections of the author (aided, one must assume, by a willing media) that these books have not been unmasked before.

I owe a debt of gratitude to Professor John Granger (not his real name; for reasons that will become obvious later the identities of the sources in question must remain secret), who recognized the latent Anti-Americanism in the scene where Harry Potter blows up his Aunt Marge. “In permitting Harry to exercise what she sees as a legitimate anger upon his despicable relation, Ms. Rowling has inadvertently shown where her true principles lie. ‘Marge’ is obviously short for ‘Margaret’; Aunt ‘Marge’s’ pet of choice is a bulldog.” Granger (not his real name: see note above) goes on to explain that the link between “Margaret” and “bulldog” indicates that Rowling meant the offensive “Aunt Marge” to stand for Margaret Thatcher. Granger (see note above) explains that Rowling, herself an unwed mother, “no doubt took offense at the social conservatism espoused by the Thatcher regime;” revenging herself upon Miss Thatcher after the time-honored method of Dante, Shakespeare, and Voltaire.

I was intrigued by Granger (see above)’s illuminating reading of the text; but my immediate reaction was that he had not taken this reading far enough. If we are to see a political meaning in Aunt Marge’s name, why are we not to look further for more evidence of Rowling’s obvious interest in the sphere of government? Surely further name analysis along these same lines is in order. I immediately turned to the books’ central trio, Harry, Ron, and Hermione, for enlightenment.

The answer was blindingly clear—you might say it jumped off the page at me. Ron! Of course; what famous politician of Thatcher’s era went by the nickname “Ron”? That’s right, none other than President Reagan himself. Yet Rowling apparently positions Ron Reagan in no relation to “Marge” Thatcher. Clearly there is something afoot here.

I looked to the names “Harry” and “Hermione”. “Harry” is full of meaning, and Granger (see) suggests. Obviously the best reference is to Henry Monmouth, the future Henry V of England, who was said to provide “a little touch of Harry in the night.” “Harry” being a “comfort word”, the proper interpretation of this phrase is clearly “a little touch of comfort in the night.” Since Harry is one of the “Eastcheap gang”, a group of inveterate thieves, “touch” is most likely a euphemism for thievery. We recall of course, that Harry protects the Hostess and Doll against the false fat man Falstaff, much as Rowling must have wished to be protected against Thatcher and Reagan. Moreover, Harry Monmouth, like Harry Potter, is an inveterate liar and deceiver. Clearly Rowling intended Potter to be a modern Henry V, a son she never had, who might have protected her from the wiles of overly virtuous politicians, providing a dole Robin-Hood-like by hook or crook—mostly the latter.

This will no doubt be a disturbing picture of Harry for the parents of many young readers. I was already shuddering as I imagined the headlines. But what of “Ron”? What of the impossible Ron-Marge connection?

Ron Weasely has an obvious crush on Hermione, so no doubt the secret of her identity is to be found in his. Since there are only two women upon whom Ronald Reagan doted, the answer is easy. There is no similarity between the names “Nancy” and “Marge”, but there is between “Hermione” and “Marge.” “Hermione”, a reference to the god Mercury or Quicksilver, represents a smooth, shimmering surface, poisonous to drink. Likewise, “Margaret” is a reference to the semi-precious stone called a pearl, a smooth and shimmering stone, which legend tells us was dissolved by Cleopatra in vinegar and fed to Mark Anthony, driving him mad with love for her. (The similarity between the insanity-inducing pearl potion and the shimmery Quicksilver led to those who worked with Quicksilver being suspected of madness; hence the expression “Mad as a Hatter.” Hence Tim Burton’s brilliant interpretation of the Hatter’s actually being in love with Alice.) Furthermore, Hermione’s last name is actually “Granger”, which is clearly an imperfect anagram for “Marge” (the n and r elide to produce an m). By linking Hermione Granger twice to the vicious “Aunt Marge”, Rowling makes it clear that their resemblance is no accident, and simultaneously demonstrates that she has “doubled” the character: i.e., the same person is represented twice under two forms: the one evil but defeated, the other inoculated and harmless.

If then Ron is Ronald Reagan and Hermione is Lady Thatcher, who is Harry? Rowling’s son, of course; but who else?

Setting aside this puzzling question for the time being, I looked to Rowling’s other symbolisms. There is a clear obsession in the books with red, white, and black, which Granger (s.) mistakenly attributes to Rowling’s interest in alchemy. This is clearly a Lewis Carroll chess/cards reference, as is clear from the “Hatter” associations mentioned in the previous paragraph. Since Rowling is obviously obsessed with chess (one of her books actually concludes with a human chess contest), it is not going to far to assume that she has an interest in the works of Vladimir Nabakov. In fact, despite her avowed fondness for Jane Austen and Dickens, it is easy to see that she has far more in common with Nabokov, Saul Bellow, etc. (Her naming of the cat “Mrs. Norris” is a subliminal suggestion that Austen, whom she imagines herself to like, is in her unconscious mind “catty”; a common enough accusation against that writer. No doubt it is Miss Austen’s obvert social conservatism that rankles.) Rowling’s jelly-bean humor (again, an obvious reference to Reagan), her deep interest in WCs, and her characters’ abiding issues with anger and truth management all point her out as a decidedly modern writer.

But the plot thickens. Nabokov is a Russian name. Rowling is, as we have said, absorbed with red and white. Is it going to far to see her works as dealing in some way with the struggle between Red and White Russia?

I think not. After all, Ronald Reagan is a character in them.

The next question must be, whose side is Rowling on? This is more difficult to answer. While we have the (fairly positive) portraits of Reagan and Thatcher found in Ron and Hermione, we also have the (blatantly negative) portrait of Thatcher found in Aunt Marge. Further clues can be found when we look for Ron’s double who, I would suggest, must be the half-giant Hagrid. Hagrid, like Reagan, is not supposed to be particularly bright. Hagrid’s abnormal height also matches nicely with Reagan’s, since the latter was known as a rather tall man. Furthermore, Hagrid is associated with redness (remember that Ron has red hair), just as Reagan was.

Looking for further “red” images in the books, one need go no farther than Gryffindor’s heraldic red lion. This lion has been compared to the “Lion of Juda” and the lion Aslan in C.S. Lewis’ Narnia Chronicles; but might not a better comparison be to the vicious beast described by David? “They have opened their mouths against me, as a lion ravening and roaring.” (Psalm 21:14.) Likewise, the apparently beneficent figure of the unicorn is linked to the “horned beast” mentioned in the prophecies and the Apocalypse. Clearly, Rowling is engaged in some heavy lifting here.

I am inclined to disregard the apparently fruitful speculations of Abog Crick, who asserts on the basis of these verses that the whole series is a perverse allegory of the Book of Job. Crick suggests that Snape stands for Job, while Ron, Hermione, and Harry, his “tormenters” (Crick’s word) stand for his false comforters, with Harry obviously standing for Eliu, the last and falsest of them all. Crick admits that a logical extension of his reading would suggest that Voldemort is the Almighty and Dumbledore the Adversary, although he does not insist that Rowling’s impiety extends this far.

Whether we choose to reject or accept Crick’s suggestions, it is amply clear that Rowling is anti-Bible, i.e., anti-Bible belt—anti-conservative.

But what of that tawny owl that appears in the books, bringing aid and comfort to Harry? Surely this is a sign of Rowling’s commitment to Disney principles; indeed, she has made no secret of her alliance with Warner Bros. Many have speculated that the owl is actually a refugee from one of Walt’s less successful films, the stunningly syrupy feature entitled The Sword in the Stone (not to be confused with Mary Poppins, despite the fact that the actress portraying Ms. Poppins is actually the same one who played Guinevere in the musical adaptation of T.H. White’s novel of the same name). But while many have noted these connections, none have seen the more sinister link between Disney’s breakthrough movie Bambi and Rowling’s obviously communistic leanings.

Bambi follows the age-old propaganda book in presenting the communist leader as noble and wise (the horned stag—actually a symbol of Satan, Brian Cheeliom explains. Since the “Great Satan” is the title by which the communist-supplied Middle East refers to the U.S., this is clearly another diversion on Rowling’s part). Bambi was of course translated by Whittaker Chambers, the former communist party member who admitted his misdemeanors in his testimony before Congress. What Chambers did not discuss (doubtless because he failed to realize the true impact of his work) was how his translation enabled Disney studios to arm the Green movement through their portrayal of the hapless deer defied by Western hunters. Since “yesterday’s red is today’s green”, it is quite clear on whose side Rowling, aided by Disney, actually falls.

Of course, some will make much of Rowlings’ choice to read C.S. Lewis to her young children, but not her own books. Surely this is not unusual? Spies are notorious for keeping their secrets from their own offspring. Just look at Mr. and Mrs. Grant in the film classic Little Nikita.

The evidence against Rowling is further strengthened when one considers Thadeus Misip’s invaluable description of Harry’s godfather Sirius Black as “an anti-bourgeois, anti-establishment hero”. The portrayal of the Dursleys is additional proof—as if any were needed—that Rowling harbors certain anti-bourgeois sentiments. My only remaining question is this: Does the apparently innocent Cho provide a Chinese or Manchurian connection?

Lest anyone should still be in doubt that J.K. Rowling is part of a world-wide plot to restore the Soviet Union, let me give you the clincher, hot off the press. Remember when Obama had trouble remembering how many states the Union contained? He said fifty-seven. Well, Senator McCarthy (that’s not what they call him, but we all know it’s his real name) in The Manchurian Candidate, told us that there were fifty-seven communist cells in the country. Just like Heinz ketchup. Which is also red. Like Republicans and red-necks. You see how they are attempting to corrupt our symbols! . . . Where was I? Oh, yes; so Obama obviously slipped up. He was thinking not about communist cells, but about communist books. It is a little known fact, but Rowling had initially intended not seven but fifty-seven books in the Harry Potter series. Let us thank goodness Warner Brothers had the sense to call her up and explain that the number had been used before. We can all imagine how a fifty-seven year old Daniel Radcliff would look. He’s not immortal, like Robert Pattinson. (Who’s also obsessed with red stuff. In case you were wondering.)

All of which should lead readers with even the tiniest bit of crack in their minds—I have given up hoping to find another reader whose mind is truly open—to the real interpretation of these dangerous works. Obviously the books are not at all about witchcraft, or Christian values, or work-place ethics, or anything else like that. They are a Communist plant, like the kind found in California that rots good American brains, meant to infiltrate the minds of healthy young Americans and destroy their native love for this great country. The fact that J.K. Rowling is British, and therefore sort of an ally, should not give us pause here. We all remember 1812.

I do not, like some of my fellow commentators and critics, recommend censorship, a Congressional investigation, or a book-burning in Times Square, as the antidote to this mellifluous poison. Rather, I think that by giving these books the cold shoulder, we may safely assume that their influence will pass away; that their inheritors will reap the whirlwind; that we can stand behind the torn-down wall; that the other fifty evil books of the proposed fifty-seven will not be printed; and that, in the immortal words of Harold Bloom, “Yes, everyone else can be wrong, except for me. Oh, and Shakespeare is a god.”


  1. Wow. This is an awesome satire. :)

    Do people really read that deeply into Rowling's books?

  2. Well . . . not QUITE THAT deeply.

    BTW, thanks. It was cathartic to write.

  3. Oh, my gosh.

    That's hilarious. Did you really find all these Harry criticisms to be so conspiratorial? Is something like this article going to be published in StAR eventually?

    Editorial note: Harry would be more like 68 at the end of the 47 book series, since it started when he was about 11.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Conspiratorial, no. Pretty much all the ones I've read have read too deeply, but not to the point of accusing Rowling of being a conspiratorial mastermind. And I'm not sending this to StAR! That article will be much more . . . serious?

    Good point about Harry's age. I shudder to think of the results. We can't all age like Harrison Ford.