Representations of Knowledge – Ignorance Binary Opposition in the Text of the Harry Potter Series by J. K. Rowling and in Fairy Tales
Iliyana Benina

The present paper explores and compares the representations of knowledge - ignorance dichotomy in the text of the Harry Potter series and in classic fairy tales. In the novel the binary opposition undergoes complicated development in the direction of deconstruction. The concept of the “right school” represented by Hogwarts, the school of Witchcraft and Wizardry is subjected to a process of gradual subversion through the representation of: some of its rules as absurd or “senseless”; penalties of students used by some teachers as a means of personal revenge; some characters of incompetent and/or vengeful teachers. The strongest undermining of the dichotomy comes from the fact that both systematic and empirical knowledge could be used for evil purposes. In fairy tales the category of knowledge is limited to the knowledge achieved empirically. The knowledge - ignorance opposition is usually contained both in some archetypal characters and in the moral at the end of the tale, which in concentrated form represents the message of the “correct” / “incorrect” behavior as a result of following of or deviating from the requirements of the patriarchal society and its ideology. The binary opposition remains intact in fairy tales.

Full Text: PDF      DOI: 10.15640/ijll.v3n1a17