I have an early memory of my dad reading Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone to my brother and I, one chapter a night, until I got frustrated at the slow pace and started reading it myself. I’m sure my family would agree I became borderline obsessed with the Harry Potter series, both the books and the subsequent film series. I was always really into reading books and would read adult fiction when the rest of my classmates weren’t even close to that level. I think this is why I found the character of Hermione Granger, one of Harry Potter’s best friends, so engaging.
Throughout the books, Hermione is portrayed as very smart, passionate, and dedicated to not only learning, but to her friends. What I found most refreshing about her character is that although she was bookish, she wasn’t quiet but very outspoken and opinionated. I think it’s often easy for writers to succumb to a stereotypical image of a young girl who is smart, as being unattractive or even friendless. However, Hermione was a strong female character who succeeded academically, more often than not, triumphed over her male classmates. She also had several romantic interests throughout the series, although these relationships never defined her, which I found particularly inspiring and important. In the film series, Hermione is played by Emma Watson, who succeeds in bringing this powerful female role to life.
It certainly helped me, in a world where women have been silenced or expected to ‘dumb down’, to be a Hermione Granger!
Girl Museum Inc.