The Ethical Expectations Of A House-Thief In Harry Potter
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House-elves are magical creatures found throughout the Harry Potter series (1997-2007). They serve witches and wizards and must do everything that their Masters command unless they are freed by being presented with an item of clothing. The first mention of House-elves appears in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (1998) with the introduction of Dobby and therefore the concept and practicalities of House-elves’ servitude. This chapter will look at two opposing ideas of what is expected of a House-elf through an analysis of Dobby and Winky and how these two contrasting House-elves demonstrate the master-slave dialectic.
House-elves are a different species to other magical creatures in Harry Potter and thus are marginalised. Besides their…show more content… Owing to the cruelty of his situation, he goes with his better judgement and against his desire to be a faithful servant to try and save Harry Potter’s life by using the information he has received from his Masters, that the Chamber of Secrets has been opened, and attempts to prevent Harry from going to Hogwarts. The sympathy Dobby receives from Harry because of this condition causes Harry to ultimately release Dobby from his servitude. The consequences of Harry releasing Dobby, where Dobby is looked down apon by other House-elves, does not become evident until Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire…show more content… Hermione’s response is clear “Slave labor… That’s what made this dinner. Slave labor” (Rowling, 2000; 202). Readers come to the understanding that even though some House-elves are in servitude to the Dark Arts and powerful families, they are also at the heart of wizard institutions. We also learn that Dobby is the odd one out among House-elves and Winky is the normal one. When Harry, Hermione and Ron enter the kitchens, where Dobby and Winky are employed, they discover that Dobby is looked at as an embarrassment by Winky and the other House-elves. He talks of his freedom and desire to be paid and the other House-elves view his behaviour as a mortification. Winky, however, believes that being paid is beneath her, she is ashamed of being set free and is still loyal to her former Master, Mr. Crouch. This reinforces the idea that Dobby’s explanation of his master-slave relationship with the Malfoy’s is