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Wolf in professor's clothing: J. K. Rowling's werewolf as educator.

MONSTERS, IN GENERAL AND BY THEIR VERY NATURE, ACT AS EDUCATORS. Through them, in Asa Mittman's words, the "audience is invited to adopt temporarily the perspective of people more marginal than themselves" (107-08). Although the educational value of adopting different perspectives is rather obvious, occasionally stating the obvious can be helpful. The marginalization Mittman discusses is doubly true of the werewolves in J. K. Rowling's work. Initially, these representatives of the shadow and shape-shifter archetype are marginalized as part of a special sub-community and world, that of the wizards and witches. Even in that already marginal (if somewhat elite) community, they are further marginalized and pushed to the fringes by both popular fears and legal statutes. From the marginal position, Remus Lupin steps forward, temporarily centralized, to teach other characters and Rowling's readers three lessons about their world and themselves: overcoming intolerance of the racial Other, accepting the incurably ill, and abandoning moral binaries in favor of a more nuanced morality.

Such scholars and non-scholars as Heather Arden, Kathryn Lorenz, Amanda Cockrell, and David Colbert have noted that Rowling's invented world owes a considerable debt to medieval and early modern sources. Her werewolves, especially Lupin, are no exception. In her novels, Rowling draws upon the medieval sympathetic werewolf tradition exemplified by Marie de France's "Bisclavret" (c. 1190), William of Palerne (a fourteenth-century translation of a twelfth-century French romance), and "Arthur and Gorlagon" (fourteenth-century). These werewolves were presented as figures deserving of sympathy and concern rather than as vicious monsters. Marie especially makes this position clear as she starts her lai with a description of the monstrous, garwulf, tradition found in the folklore of her period before introducing her hero, the sympathetic, bisclavret, figure. "Arthur and Gorlagon" records a similar tale in which a nobleman is trapped in wolf-shape by his wife, although with considerably different details. William of Palerne presents a related tale, but one in which the werewolf, Alphouns, is technically a minor character. This situation is very much related to Lupin's position in Prisoner of Azkaban: like Lupin, Alphouns appears in a romance named for another character, but without the werewolf, the narrative collapses and would have a very different outcome. (1) Even non-literary medieval authors discussed the sympathetic werewolf tradition upon which Rowling draws. One such nonliterary text is Gerald of Wales's History and Topography of Ireland (1183), which includes a tale of two werewolves cursed by a saint and seeking last rites. Although Lupin owes a debt to these medieval sources, Rowling's other major werewolf, Fenrir Greyback, recalls later sources, notably Charles Perrault's "Little Red Riding Hood." Like the wolf in the familiar fairy tale, Greyback appears as a threat to children and as a representation of Jung's shadow. Each of these early sources has a significant impact on Rowling's conception of werewolves, from fear responses to their place on the margins of her invented society. Moreover, the medieval construct of sympathetic versus monstrous werewolf forms a lens through which Rowling discusses Lupin's lessons as well as a historical connection to our literary past.

In Rowling's work, the primary werewolf--Lupin--serves to directly educate key characters, especially Harry, Ron, and Hermione, as their instructor in Defense Against the Dark Arts, while indirectly signaling to the audience lessons about a variety of subjects via his role as the first werewolf schoolteacher. On one level, the werewolf speaks to intolerance, prejudice, and racism. This particular lesson becomes more overt through Hermione, Ron, and Lupin. The werewolf is only a facet of Rowling's discussion of that issue, but it is one that is commonly overlooked or dismissed. (2) Connected to this discussion is the use of werewolves to talk about incurable diseases, including HIV/AIDS (the most common scholarly interpretation), some forms of cancer, epilepsy, or multiple sclerosis (to which Rowling lost her mother). The difference between these two issues/lessons is a thin line that Rowling continuously crosses over. Due to Lupin's position, both as a teacher and a friend of Harry's parents, the werewolves, true to the shape-shifter archetype, also present lessons about morality and apparent moral paradoxes. The latter, Lupin and Sirius Black join to explain, are generally discussed in terms of a moral continuum rather than binaries, a fact that may have contributed to the number of attempts to ban the books on moral grounds.

Monstrosity in all its forms, across every century, has been tied to questions of racial and/or ethnic identity. As Joseph Andriano says, "the myth of the beast-monster involves the question--indeed the very definition--of race," in that many of the monstrous races imagined from the earliest days of writing or storytelling stand in for foreign otherness (xv). For example, Rowling's house-elves are often interpreted as pre-abolition African slaves (in the US or Britain), and her goblins can easily be read as standing in for pre-Holocaust stereotypes of Jewish moneylenders.

The discussion of racial prejudice is no less apparent with the case of Rowling's werewolves. Initially, Rowling treats these figures as possibly sentient beings but not necessarily so. They are discussed as "things," and the students are set to copy "different ways of treating werewolf bites" in class (Sorcerer's Stone 220). But they appear to have some capacity for rational thought, as evidenced by an early mention of the "1637 Werewolf Code of Conduct" (Sorcerer's Stone 263). Even when Lupin is first introduced, the question of sentience is unresolved, in part by Severus Snape's assigning "an essay [...] on the ways you recognize and kill werewolves" (Azkaban 173). This seemingly innocuous assignment, given that Lupin had been teaching the class about dealing with various "Dark" creatures, takes on a very different tone when the characters and readers discover that Lupin is a werewolf.

The reader quickly becomes aware that Snape's professed view of werewolves is not unique. The evidence comes not from his Slytherins, whom the reader comes to expect as his support, but from Ron and Hermione. While Draco Malfoy responds to Lupin with, "Look at the state of his robes [...]. He dresses like our old house-elf (Azkaban 141), Draco focuses, in typical Malfoy fashion, on socio-economic class, in contrast with the overt racism he displays in Chamber of Secrets through repeated use of the derogatory and highly insulting term "mudblood." One would expect his inherent racism to carry over across species. However, as Elaine Ostry notes, it is another pureblood, Ron, who acts as "the mouthpiece of common prejudices" and shrinks back from Lupin, a teacher he previously respected (95). Ron is the one who spits out, "Dumbledore hired you when he knew you were a werewolf? [...] Is he mad?" (Azkaban 346). This move, switching the roles the reader assumes for her protagonists and antagonists, is characteristic of Rowling's writing and is rather subtle in this case. The reader's eye easily skims over this passage and accepts it, in part, I think, because Ron and Hermione are Harry's (and the reader's) primary source of information about, and interpretation of, the wizarding world. Since the two of them react strongly, Ron characteristically more than Hermione, and they have been trustworthy throughout the series, the reader is led to accept their reactions. Here, the shape-shifter appears in order to cross the boundaries between characters and parts of society in that the otherwise good, positive characters display less positive qualities. The werewolf temporarily demonstrates the inadequacy of social binaries by showing the generally good character in a negative light. Snape, however, like Draco, remains true to form in his relations with Lupin. As readers tend to do with all of Snape's reactions, we wonder where exactly he falls. Initially, Lupin appears correct in asserting that Snape is holding on to an old childhood grudge. This assumption, of course, paints the Potions Professor as a petty individual. However, Snape later states: "[Dumbledore] was quite convinced you were harmless, you know, Lupin [...] a tame werewolf (Azkaban 359) and "Don't ask me to fathom the way a werewolf's mind works" (Azkaban 361). These two brief statements recall Ron's socialized or nurtured racism, which serves to further confuse the reader's already uncertain perspective on Snape and his motives. Lupin appears resigned to this sort of intolerance as he tells Harry that parents "will not want a werewolf teaching their children" (Azkaban 423). To unpack this particular statement, we have to consider both the idea of lycanthropy as a disease that Lupin could easily pass on to any number of children and the terror created by the actions of Greyback and his followers. Since Rowling has established that Greyback targets children as a form of terrorism and encourages his followers to do the same, the parents of Hogwarts students are likely to think that any werewolf must be an equal threat.

The theme continues throughout the series with characters expressing their prejudice and intolerance in the language of racism. Talking about Hagrid's revelation that he is a half-giant, Hermione says, "It's the same sort of prejudice that people have toward werewolves" (Goblet 434). Hermione and Kreacher both couch the issue firmly in racial terms. She further states, "it's the same kind of nonsense as werewolf segregation, isn't it?" (Phoenix 170). The sentiment is important since it ties the anti-werewolf prejudice in Rowling's world to racism. Likewise, Kreacher's statement about "Mudbloods and werewolves" connects interspecies transformation with miscegenation: both are seen as forms of impurity (Phoenix 107). Karin Westman has noted from similar statements "that [Ron's] prejudice against werewolves is not isolated but of a piece with other cultural fears against non-wizard species" (323). As if to add subtle insult to injury, we discover in book five of the Harry Potter series that this prejudice came to Ron through another likeable character: his mother. Upon learning that a werewolf is sharing a hospital ward with her injured husband, she asks, "A werewolf? [...] Is he safe in a public ward? Shouldn't he be in a private room?" (Phoenix 488). Her concern comes after years of knowing Lupin, the clearest exception to the prejudicial stereotype, and at a time far removed from a full moon.

The source of this prejudiced view, and its racial connotations, is nowhere more evident than in the words of Dolores Umbridge, who tells a class of students that they have been taught by "extremely dangerous half-breeds," meaning Lupin (Phoenix 243). The clearest explanation is offered by Black when Hermione asks about Umbridge's racism. He simply states that she is "Scared of them, I expect [...]. Apparently she loathes part-humans" (Phoenix 302). This fear is understandable, to some extent, in the representatives of government. Historically, governments have done their best to "protect" their societies from perceived outsiders, whether these outsiders are Jews, gypsy wanderers, Viking raiders, Irish laborers, or African ex-slaves. The fact that Rowling's werewolves, half-giants, and half-veela, at least, can blend in with the general populace only makes them a greater threat to the social order because they do not stand out, or at least the werewolves do not most of the time. However, according to Rowling, and presumably most readers, the fact that the prejudice is understandable does not excuse it. Rather, being understandable only makes it worse because it becomes insidious: the same heroic characters who take a stand against Voldemort and his Hitlerian program against Muggles and non-pure-bloods generally have no problems with the treatment of werewolves and other part-humans. Of the two, this makes Umbridge a much more fearsome and, in some ways, more realistic villain than Voldemort could ever hope to be.

We learn of Umbridge's role in changing the legal status of werewolves when Black discusses her, saying she wrote laws that made it "almost impossible for [Lupin] to get a job" (Phoenix 302). Because of such treatment, the werewolves have "shunned normal society and live on the margins, stealing--and sometimes killing--to eat" (Half-Blood Prince 334). The reader immediately learns from these figures, prejudices can be self-fulfilling: because of fear that the sub-community will be violent, it is legally marginalized, in turn causing it to become violent in order to survive.

Dumbledore stands in opposition to Umbridge by challenging the racist position that she espouses. One of the more important, and easily overlooked, examples of Dumbledore's stance regarding Lupin comes in a discussion that the werewolf and Harry have after Ron and Hermione are made prefects. Both Lupin and Black note that James was never a prefect either; instead, Dumbledore gave the position to Lupin. Ironically, the werewolf, the supposedly poor role model, received the position of authority and rule enforcement. An additional irony comes from the fact that it is neither Black nor James Potter, the pure-blood wizards, who receive the honor, but rather the half-blood and, in fact, "half-breed" (to use Umbridge's term) character. Lupin has previously stated that Dumbledore "gave me a job when I have been shunned all my adult life, unable to find paid work because of what I am" (Azkaban 386). More pointedly though, Lupin, Giselle Anatol argues, "serves as a racialized Other; he has been 'passing' for human at Hogwarts in order to achieve acceptance" (178fn). In his position as Other, Lupin works to complicate the readers' moral interpretation of other characters--specifically Draco Malfoy, Snape, and Ron--as will be discussed later.

As with nearly everything in Rowling's world and involving the shape-shifter archetype, characterizing Lupin's lycanthropy as only a race issue is an oversimplification. On the surface, the aforementioned statements from Ron Weasley, Snape, and Umbridge combine with European tradition and common pop cultural thought to create what seems to be a discourse of racism within Rowling's wizarding community. Ostry and Westman point directly to the racism interpretation, stating: "Rowling protests racial intolerance by showing how such creatures as giants [...], werewolves, and elves are treated" (Ostry 95). Furthermore, "[t]he tensions [...] among werewolves [...] and wizards echo the fervent tensions between race and class in the 'real' contemporary British politic" (Westman 306). From this perspective, Rowling certainly voices her position against racial intolerance, through the evolving views and general reactions of Harry, Ron, Hermione, Dumbledore, Black, and the Weasleys in their relationships with Lupin. Not only does Rowling incorporate this theme, but she does so through the example of an educator who serves as the focus of racial scrutiny.

That said, Rowling's language frequently points away from a racial interpretation of lycanthropy. When Lupin describes his origins--"I was a very small boy when I received the bite. My parents tried everything, but in those days there was no cure. The potion that Professor Snape has been making for me is a very recent discovery" (Azkaban 352)--he uses the language of illness and disease. Lupin was not born a werewolf. In fact, it appears that none of Rowling's werewolves were born that way despite passing references to werewolf cubs (Azkaban 311; Deathly Hallows 10). Because of transmission via bite and the fact that Lupin cannot be cured, the reader is left wondering whether lycanthropy is a sort of retrovirus affecting the genetic code; a disease like HIV/AIDS, as a handful of critics have suggested; or a disorder comparable to cancer, epilepsy, or MS. Among these is Westman who theorizes that "Lupin's status as werewolf [...] could represent contemporary prejudice against homosexuals or those infected with HIV" (323). Anatol likewise wrestles with the question of race or disease, making the same suggestion of equating lycanthropy with HIV/AIDS. Thus, Lupin's role is also to function as a teacher who suffers from an incurable illness, in the process teaching the other characters and the audience about accepting and dealing with such ailments.

Rowling herself seems unclear as to whether her lycanthropes are a race or a group of diseased individuals. We should expect this sort of ambivalence regarding categories in reference to an archetype that implicitly resists categorization. At some points, she uses the language of racism, as previously noted, and at others, she shifts into the language of disease--other children being "exposed" to Lupin, a potion or medication that causes his problem to go into temporary remission, discussions of curing lycanthropy, or Lupin's own statement that "Tonks deserves somebody young and whole" implying that he is not well (Half-Blood Prince 624). At a presentation in 2003, Rowling stated that Lupin was afflicted with a "contagious disease" ("Remus Lupin"). This explanation only works with some of the language she employs when discussing his character, so we can only accept it to a limited extent. In Order of the Phoenix, Rowling primarily uses the vocabulary of race relations with Lupin, specifically in references to his social life, Hermione's S.P.E.W., and Umbridge's comments, as noted. But, in Half-Blood Prince, the language changes to that of disease, largely in discussing Greyback, the Wolfsbane Potion, and Bill Weasley's bite (612, 613, 622). Deathly Hallows returns to racial language, coming primarily from Voldemort.

As Chantel Lavoie contends, Lupin, rather than being ostracized due to his race or illness, acquires respect from his friends because his "affliction is seen very much as a handicap, difficult to overcome. It requires a special sort of courage-one in which he must hurt himself to protect others" (43). The others recognize this characteristic and respond to it, pushing themselves to match the courage they respect in him. In this way, Lupin shows that nurture can overcome nature and that this discipline allows for a better, more psychologically complete individual. The other characters come to learn that he is a better person because he demonstrates an identity that lacks rigid, limiting boundaries and is therefore healthier psychologically. For instance, recapitulating the earlier friendship among Lupin, Black, and James Potter, Harry and Lupin's relationship is strengthened after the lycanthropy revelation to the point that Harry unconsciously echoes his father, saying, "But you are normal! [...] You've just got a--a problem" (Half-Blood Prince 335).

The ambiguity surrounding her werewolves is typical for Rowling's characters, especially Lupin, and translates itself into the realm of morality as well. Lupin functions to instill a more nuanced morality in the other characters and the audience. In Lupin's case, the morality also carries over into his own action since he stands as an example of a complex but positive moral stance. Greyback, his mirror image, enforces social morality through providing a negative example intended to cause fear of transgression, taking the traditional role of monsters. Of the two, Lupin's positive reinforcement is clearly the more effective due to his frequent contacts and positive relationship with the protagonists throughout the series.

Readers can see Lupin fulfilling the shape-shifter archetype's and educator's role as a moral guide in several ways. The most subtle is during the scenes in which he shares the stage with boggarts--twice in Prisoner of Azkaban and once in Order of the Phoenix. In all three cases, the boggart, a being that turns into that which the viewer most fears, becomes "a silvery orb hanging in the air in front of Lupin" (Azkaban 138). Just as Harry's dementor-boggart is interpreted by Lupin as representing a fear of fear, Lupin's has a subtext beneath the werewolf's obvious fear of the transformative full moon. Since the transformation becomes less painful with the potion, what the full moon represents for Lupin is the loss of social acceptance, the loss of control, and through the latter, the possibility of inadvertently harming others, including his friends and their families. This, in turn, suggests that what Lupin most fears is amorality and, if we define morality as a social construct, antisocial behavior. If that is the case, then Lupin's attempts to keep his temper and the tempers of others under control make sense as a moral action. His attempts focus on discipline, which Ellen Goldner argues, "appropriates the conspicuous body, redefining it as hideous; it makes of that body a mere (pre)text for the painful production of the private soul," in the case of monstrous beings (31). Lupin's private soul, tempered by torment and struggle, then becomes the rock of morality with which he works to guide others.

The other characters see Lupin's unrestrained identity, respect it, and therefore attempt to achieve a similar state. This fluidity of identity is especially important for Harry as the repository of one-eighth of Voldemort's soul, which manifests itself in shadow-like ways that disturb Harry throughout the series. In situations that threaten to get out of hand or reach a violent level, this werewolf, because of his own level of self-control, steps in to defuse the situation before it escalates too far. One of the clearest examples occurs when Harry's wish for information initiates an emotionally explosive scene between Mrs. Weasley and Black. Before the situation completely devolves and while the other characters simply watch, Lupin raises his voice to sharply state, "Molly, you're not the only person at this table who cares about Harry [...]. Sirius, sit down [...]. I think Harry ought to be allowed a say in this [...]. He's old enough to decide for himself (Phoenix 90). Brought back to at least a grudging peace by their ordinarily quiet and calm companion, the others settle down. This role, in part, continues from his place as the civilizing force, much like Bisclavret, Gorlagon, and Alphouns who enforced social codes as knight, king, and prince respectively. This part of Lupin's peacemaking role is certainly an extension of the self-control he requires to keep from devolving into a character like Greyback. In this case, the two aspects of the archetype work together as a reminder that a lapse of control and character could easily turn the educator and moral guide into the slavering beast. Greyback, once he finally appears, is thus both Lupin's antithesis and that which Lupin could easily become.

Another early, key moment in which Lupin establishes himself as a moral guide comes when he and Harry discuss dementors. After Lupin explains that these creatures feed on their victims' souls, Harry blurts out that Black would then be getting what he deserved for betraying the Potters. To this, Lupin simply asks, "Do you really think anyone deserves that?" (Azkaban 247). The question causes Harry to rethink what he knows and what he agreed to. In the process, his mind is changed as he moves toward a more morally positive path, incidentally closer to that which Dumbledore would advise as well.

Lupin's place in this role can also turn counterproductive, as he later worries, "how can I forgive myself, when I knowingly risked passing on my own condition to an innocent child?" (Deathly Hallows 213). Fortunately, Harry has been an apt student of the moral subtext and Lupin's own relationships. He turns the student-teacher dynamic around, making himself the instructor as he deftly turns Lupin's "immoral" act into one that is less immoral than his plan to abandon his wife and unborn child. This situation allows a reversal in the relationship between Lupin and Harry. After Lupin makes what he thinks is a moral case for abandoning his family, he learns to respect Harry's judgment as well. Not only that, but he indirectly apologizes to Harry for not having that respect: "I'd tell him to follow his instincts, which are good and nearly always right" (Deathly Hallows 441). The paired scenes not only show that Harry has grown emotionally, but also that he has learned the moral lessons that Lupin and others have subtly taught him, to the point that he can act as a moral guide for them.

However, Lupin's role as an agent of morality is somewhat paradoxical because, as Katherine Grimes and Lana Whited note, "as a werewolf, he would be generally perceived as an inappropriate role model" (203) while such characters as Snape and Umbridge are held up as appropriate role models by the same characters, including Cornelius Fudge and Lucius Malfoy. Ironically, the monstrous werewolf shows a better sense of moral and character judgment than many of the other supposed moral authorities, such as Fudge who is firmly convinced of the Malfoys' good natures throughout the series.

Lupin is also a problematic moral guide because some of the morals he espouses are not immediately recognizable as socially positive. Whereas Greyback and Charles Perrault's wolf push readers toward following rules and maintaining social structures, Lupin advocates violating rules and social restrictions on several occasions. He certainly displays this authority-flouting attitude during his time as a student, roaming the school grounds with James Potter and Black while he is dangerously transformed. Not only does this oft-repeated act violate myriad rules, but it also shows a clear disregard for potential consequences that Lupin only realizes after the fact. In spite of finally understanding the possible consequences, he does not learn from this experience, or is eventually convinced to ignore the lesson, as he breaks social conventions during adulthood to marry and have a child. This particular disregard for rules, social convention, and consequences is something he implicitly encourages in Harry until the scene in which Harry reverses their positions. This is one of the more subtle morals conveyed both by Lupin and the series: that sometimes, perhaps often, disregarding rules, society, and consequences is a necessity for individual and social development. This requirement seems clear because it is only by breaking the rules and conventions of society that Lupin can self-fashion and improve his station, and thereby achieve his dream of having a family, a dream in which Harry vicariously participates.

Another key paradox that arises from Lupin's occasional bending of conventions is the role of the "inherently" violent social outsider as moral guide. Lupin brings this problem to the forefront when he tells Harry, "I'm not a very popular dinner guest with most of the community. [...] It's an occupational hazard of being a werewolf (Phoenix 94). He is simultaneously a positive and possibly destructive force. Roni Natov addresses the potential issue when she states, "Lupin, who is a werewolf, turns out to be a paradoxical figure: a force of good that can be dangerous as well" (136). The question we have to ask is: is this necessarily a paradox? After all, Dumbledore is both a force of good and a dangerous being (as both Fudge and Voldemort are well aware). Being both good (civilized, human?) and dangerous (uncivilized, bestial?) is not necessarily a paradox. Rather, as shown through medieval and early modern werewolf discussions--such as those of Marie de France, "Arthur and Gorlagon," William of Palerne, and Gerald of Wales--the combination of goodness and danger forms a tension that is a key component of human nature and one that the shape-shifter archetype is especially apt at discussing. In Lupin's case, this supposed paradox turns into a strength in that he can use his split nature to spy on Voldemort's allies and attempt to convince other werewolves to support the status quo. In like fashion, Rowling employs Lupin's dual nature in such a way that she, in Natov's words, "establishes his innocence and evokes compassion for him" while "the potentially destructive part of the werewolf is humanized and offered with understanding" (136). Because Lupin's humanity tempers his bestial impulses, the audience subconsciously adopts the underlying morality, positive and potentially negative, inherent in the character.

Lacking humanity to temper him, Greyback is dangerous in a manner that harkens back to both Perrault's wolf and Marie's garwulf. He represents the unbridled violence and antisocial aspects of the archetype. Presented without redeeming qualities, Greyback is the shape-shifter archetype's representation of the consuming shadow and educates the reader and other characters through negative reinforcement. He espouses violence as the solution to problems, as evidenced by his attempted program of fear-based rebellion against society. He also stands for a moral code that supports vengeance, terror, and transgressively cannibalistic (and metaphorically sexual) acts. The moral code espousing terror is clearest in his desire to attack and bite children (the younger, the better) not only in order to indoctrinate them into his own army, but also because he has developed a taste for them, especially young girls. The fact that Greyback apparently survives the series and Lupin does not creates a problematic point. The positive, bisclavret, aspect of the archetype, the one that teaches the use of reason to master the bestial shadow thus making the civilized stronger, dies, but not at the hands of his opposite (his death occurs off-screen with no named killer, but seems to be wand-related as there is no description of any wounds). The negative, garwulf, aspect, the part that teaches violence, transgression, and consumption by the shadow, survives but vanishes from sight. However, in this case, based on Harry's actions, Lupin's demise and Greyback's banishment show that Harry has learned his lesson and made his choice. He has internalized the lessons Lupin taught and thus no longer needs that part of the archetype's guidance. He has also rejected the Greyback aspect, thus banishing it to the margins of the psyche and society. In spite of this marginalization, the fact that Greyback presumably survives while Lupin does not can be read as indicating that the early modern werewolf, the one that threatens punishment for transgression, is dominant. However, Lupin's instructional method is ultimately more effective in that his self-sacrifice is a core element of the lessons he is meant to teach, lessons that Greyback as the negative aspects of the archetype would not understand. Lupin never really stops being a teacher. Even after he loses his job at Hogwarts, his tone with Harry remains partially mentoring and partially didactic. He retains the student-teacher dynamic that Black never had and Dumbledore swiftly set aside. Lupin's example of self-sacrifice eventually leads Harry to his own sacrifice for the good of Hogwarts, his friends, and the larger community. This moment also leads to the ultimate downfall of Voldemort at the close of the series.

Through one of her representations of the shape-shifter archetype, (3) Rowling asks her audience to briefly adopt the position and point of view of someone on the margins of society. She does this initially with her wizards and witches, all of whom live in hiding on the fringes of mundane society. Once the audience is comfortable with that marginal culture, once it has lost its impact as a fringe society, she then introduces her first werewolf, who asks the audience to step into a position even more marginal than that of the wizarding world. In the process, especially since her sympathetic werewolf is a schoolteacher, Rowling asks her other characters and her readers to learn something more about their respective worlds and themselves with regard to racial intolerance, the incurably ill, and the subtle nuances of morality.

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--. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. New York: Scholastic, 1998.

Skeat, Walter W., ed. The Romance of William of Palerne. London: Elibron, 2005.

Westman, Karin E. "Specters of Thatcherism: Contemporary British Culture in J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter Series." The Ivory Tower and Harry Potter: Perspectives on a Literary Phenomenon. Ed. Lana A. Whited. Columbia: U of Missouri P, 2002. 305-28.


(1) In the case of Alphouns, the title character would die several times over as would his eventual wife without the werewolf's involvement.

(2) Notably Sarah E. Maier and Steve Barfield in Cynthia Whitney Hallett's Scholarly Studies, both of whom touch on issues of race in the series, but only with regard to Muggle-borns, house-elves, and giants. Julia Eccleshare is equally brief in A Guide to the Harry Potter Novels, discussing the issue, but only with Muggle-wizard relations. The same is true of Suman Gupta, who is interested in class and slavery issues, but only in relation to house-elves and the wizard-Muggle dynamic.

(3) The other being her animagi (wizards and witches who use a spell to change into animals).
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Author:Stypczynski, Brent
Publication:Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts
Article Type:Critical essay
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jan 1, 2009
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