Life in (an)other world : issues of otherness and magic in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
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AbstractGraduation date: 2013
Access restricted to the OSU Community at author's request from June 18, 2013 - June 18, 2014
My thesis is comprised of two articles, titled "Journeying Through (An)Other World: Examining the Role of Magic and Transformational Otherness in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight" and "Magic, Muggles, and Mudbloods: Examining Magical Otherness in J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter Series." The introduction frames the thematic, theoretical, and critical connections between these two articles. My first article argues that magic works as a catalyst for the moral and ethical transformations of Sir Gawain and Arthur's court, respectively. I support this position by examining the romance in four parts: the effect of the introduction of magic on Gawain and the court, Gawain's journey and shift to being an Other, Gawain's moral transformation, and the court's reintegration of Gawain and societal transformation. My second article examines magic in J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series and argues that Rowling's use of blood status in the books is her way of addressing issues of cultural otherness, but that while she promotes the defeat of discrimination, her ending is problematic for its support of assimilation over acculturation. A close examination of the public ideology Rowling constructs for the Wizarding world demonstrates the way language, such as the use of the term "Mudblood," can help promote discriminatory ideology to the point that ideology transforms into institutionalized policy.