Children's Literature: A Reader's History, from Aesop to Harry Potter

By Seth Lerer | Go to book overview

11
Theaters of Girlhood
DOMESTICITY, DESIRE, AND
PERFORMANCE IN FEMALE FICTION

At the close of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Sirius Black mounts Harry's hippogriff to fly away to freedom. Escaped from prison, captured, misunderstood, and eventually rescued and revealed, Black spends the book largely as the beneficiary of Hermione's skill. She is the one, as in all the Harry Potter stories, who figures things out, who uses ingenuity and knowledge to crack codes or subvert subjection. And yet, at the novel's close, when Black wheels the hippogriff, Buckbeak, around to face the open sky, he turns to Harry and says: “We'll see each other again. You are—truly your father's son, Harry.”1 Viewers of the movie version of this book, however, will hear something very different at this moment. There, Black turns to Hermione, not Harry, and affirms: “You really are the cleverest witch of your age.”

The movie of The Prisoner of Azkaban transforms a moment of male bonding into one of female affirmation. It displaces Black's avowal of paternal influence—you are your father's son—into a benediction of female accomplishment. In this revision, the movie takes as its telos the authority of girlhood. It makes Hermione the real performer of the story: the stage manager of magic; the director of its time shifts, costume, and control. The film becomes a girls' film, one in which the female audience can find their affirmation. Yet the book remains, in spite of Hermione's obvious centrality, a story about men and boys: about Harry's search for his relationship to his dead father; about his need to find surrogates in Black, or Dumbledore.

But by refiguring the final focus of the story from the boy to the girl, the movie also affirms one of the controlling themes of female fiction, almost from its origin: that girls are always on the stage; that being female is

-228-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Children's Literature: A Reader's History, from Aesop to Harry Potter
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 385

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.