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Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: Slavery

             As long as there is power, greed, and jealousy, slavery will always exist. There is an apparent theme of slavery and overpowering which takes its toll on not just those directly involved but affects all and can be seen through the enslavement of the house elves, the overpowering of Wormtail by Lord Voldemort, and the use of the Imperius Curse throughout the novel. Slavery in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is fought against and seen on two levels, Dumbledore and the Ministry fighting for the freedom of all wizards and witches from Voldemort, and Hermione fighting for the freedom of house elves from merciless masters.
             The enslavement of the house elves is first made evident when Hermione makes a statement by creating S.P.E.W. (Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare). She first learns about the treatment of elves from Nearly Headless Nick during the opening feast at Hogwarts and refuses to eat when she learns the food is a product of slavery. "Slave labour. That's what made this dinner. Slave labour." (Rowling 162). Hermione then continues to research the history of elf slavery and finds that elves are uneducated, unable to argue, unable to think for themselves, they are unpaid and in some circumstances, very poorly treated. She manages to enlist Harry and Ron as the first members of S.P.E.W. and a few others throughout her fight for elves freedom. It almost seems clear that the slavery of elves will continue to exist forever when Hermione meets Winky, a house elf who had been dismissed by her master. Winky had been accused of conjuring the Dark Mark, the sign of Voldemort, by using Harry's wand, which she supposedly stole. She was accepted to work at Hogwarts with Dobby, an elf Harry managed to liberate from the Malfoy's earlier, but refused to do anything but sob and cry. Winky refuses to accept liberation like Dobby has and refuses to work for money. Hermione cannot see the logic in this and almost gives up hope until she actually meets Dobby and sees that Dumbledore has actually hired him, with pay and vacation.

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