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Abstract

The magical world of Harry Potter has been captivating the minds of readers ever since the publication of the first book of the series, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in 1997. The series has had a profound impact on readers, both children and adults alike and the influence of such a work on its fandom cannot be overlooked. Rowling has created an alternate universe where a wizarding world exists, parallel to the non-magical world. This wizarding world is different, yet similar to our world in many ways. It isa world filled with prejudices and discrimination, a world where people are judged based on their birth. Werewolves, half giants, squibs, house elves, goblins and muggles constitute the beings looked down upon by the majority of witches and wizards. While the series as a whole conveys the message that one’s birth and disabilities does not define the person, there is a group which is overlooked and looked down upon in the entire series because of their disability- squibs. Squibs are individuals born to magical parents but lack magical abilities. Their disability makes them social outcasts and throughout the series we see them being presented as objects of ridicule and mockery. In the portrayal of persons with disabilities, the series thus follows the stereotypical image which was more prevalent in children’s literature prior to the 1970s. The proposed paper aims to study the portrayal of persons with disabilities in the Harry Potter series through the characters of Mr Filch, MrsFigg and Ariana Dumbledore and how the series simultaneously breaks certain stereotypes and re-establishes certain stereotypes.

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