Possibly Unpopular Opinions
Episode One: Hermione is a Magical Fascist
Since I know not everyone has read the books and more people are familiar with the film adaptations of the Harry Potter series, I will base this edition of my series on the movies. Though it is safe to say, the movie did not sway too far off from how Book Hermione acted.
I can already hear the groans and moans and start of threats to my person so let me start this by making something incredibly clear: I adore Hermione Granger. Her character was a personal hero to me. Hermione proved to all of us young children that you can be smart and still make friends, be brave, and have adventures.
However, there is one thing that she does that I cannot abide as a person who welcomes ALL types of knowledge and information whether I agree with it or not. Hermione's treatment of Sybill Trelawney throughout Prisoner of Azkaban and her complete disregard for the magical art of Divination is downright appalling and fascist.
And yes, I am using the term fascist correctly here. Fascism specifically dictates a complete lack of tolerance for opposing opinions, and while in the world of Harry Potter divination is not an "opinion" it is a magical genre that Hermione has absolutely NO interest in understanding or even learning.
These characteristics appearing in a character such as Hermione Granger, a person who respects knowledge and the process of gathering all knowledge possible, is frankly ghastly and shameful. The way Hermione acts throughout book/movie three when it concerns the art and class of Divination is just plain rude and unbecoming of somewhat her prides herself on learning more than anyone else.
First, a recount of some of the things she said and did that should put a person like Hermione Granger to shame for how she acted. I am sure we all remember Hermione's most defiant act of knocking a crystal ball off of her table and storming off as it landed with a crash and rolled about on the floor. Her first interaction with Trelawney in the film was to say the least uncomfortable.
While Trelawney, I will admit, plays with the boundaries of personal space in talking to Hermione, she makes incredibly accurate observations when it comes to Hermione's demeanor and her willingness to accept the teachings Trelawney is attempting to give. It can be said that Hermione's mind is like that of a scientist; unless the scientific method can be applied, and the evidence and factors leading to a conclusion made clear, she is unwilling to accept what is being told to her.
Since she personally does not experience or perceive the things that Trelawney is talking about, auras and images of the future using one's inner eye, she refuses to accept it as fact. One can compare Hermione's lack of acceptance of a spiritual artistry to certain atheistic standpoints on religion.
Without more substantial proof of an almighty power beyond our understanding, why should we try to understand it? I am one who believes that whether or not I agree with a point of view or what one person views is fact, I will give enough benefit of a doubt to listen and allow one to keep their own beliefs to themselves whether I agree or not.
As viewers, we do have the privilege of being omnipotent to the lives of our favorite characters. We have the knowledge that Sybill Trelawney is the real deal when it comes to seeing the future and her credentials in teaching divination are matched by no one.
Her predictions, though admittedly vague, have a habit of being correct. So while we in the audience are in the know and accept that divination and Trelawney are credited in the world of Hogwarts, Hermione may not be comfortable with accepting something so based on something as intangible as divination. On the other hand, even in the muggle world, divination is not taken too lightly.
Now, I did about as much research as a senior in college working on an English paper (which is to say almost none) but the links I have found and will mention here gave a lot of information about practical divination in the real world.
I have some personal experience with the spiritual arts, as my mom in life has done some professional and very accurate readings of palms and tarot cards. She even predicted that my dad would become deathly sick and have only one biological child, and all before they even got married. I definitely was not planned, and neither was the cancer he was riddled with just shy over a decade later.
While I understand the questionability of my story, first-hand experience does not lie. In a blog titled Practicing Practical Divination, practitioner Ellen states that the art of divination and practical future seeking involves more than just the supernatural or as my favorite skeptic would say the "touchy-feely."
Her work involves many aspects of natural life including the esoteric and the metaphysical. Astrology, a practice which so many people now base their lives, was one of the first studies in practicing divination. Understanding the stars and their endless patterns was our first dive into the art of finding the future.
Even the most intelligent of our kind took advice from those who practiced magic. According to the site corespirit.com, The History of Divination can be traced even to biblical times, with biblical prophets using various forms of divination to predict their futures and God-fearing Magi reading the stars to find Christ, the son of the Lord. Medieval kings, Greek peasants, pagans, and even modern American presidents have taken time to look to the spiritual for guidance.
We know for a fact the Hermione grew up in the Muggle world, where spirituality and divination is accepted by all different types of people, whether muggle or wizard. So seriously, Hermione, what happened to you to make you completely disregard divination? You live in a world where swords have a mind of their own, ghosts hang out freely, paintings can argue with you, and you personally set free a dragon held captive by a bank run by goblins...WHO HURT YOU?