Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is one of my favorite books of the series and one of my favorites of the films as well. There are many themes in the book and the film that I think are very important to think about and discuss, and which are applicable to the world today. Even today, especially in schools there are problems of scapegoating and othering. Scapegoating is the act of blaming one person for the problems of a group, or for basing one’s opinions or idea of a group based on the actions or beliefs of one member. Othering is making someone or something an outcast because of a difference to others in the group, or because the way the look or the things they say or do go against the norms established by a group. In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, we do not really see an example of scapegoating, rather Professor Lupin as a representation of a werewolf is very abnormal to the typical idea or depiction of a werewolf. Not in his characteristics as a werewolf, but because of the fact that he is an innately good human who is not on the evil side, but on the “good side.” However, we do see othering, but not until the end of the movie, when Professor Lupin resigns due to the fact that the school knows he is a werewolf, and he believes the parents of the students will be concerned to know that there is a werewolf teaching their students, even though he is good and does not give in willingly to the monstrous side of his nature. (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban)
This portrayal of a werewolf is very different to what we have seen in the other films we have watched and the texts we have read. In I Was a Teenage Werewolf, the character of the werewolf everyday becomes more and more rapid as the serum he is injected with takes effect and begins to transform him. (I Was a Teenage Werewolf) He cannot help but be returned to his “original primal state.” (I Was a Teenage Werewolf). This is very different than the character of Professor Lupin, who though he has been turned into a werewolf fights his animal instincts and does everything he possibly can to keep himself from being transformed during the full moon.
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