- 東京女子大学比較文化研究所紀要 (ISSN:05638186)
- vol.78, pp.59-76, 2017
Elves and goblins in J. K. Rowling's "Harry Potter" books seem to be rather different from their traditional images we see in British folktales. Rowling's elves are pathetic, hardly able to act for their own sake, delighted only when they are treated well by witches and wizards. On the other hand, goblins are clever and assertive, and always stick to their goals. In Harry's last battle with Voldemort told in the seventh book, a goblin, Griphook, plays a crucial part. It seems that in Rowling's works goblins are given more positive roles than elves, which is not the case in most traditional folktales. However, learning to be kind to house-elves is also very important for Harry, because house-elves work best for those who are kind to them, and acquiring their help means a lot in the battles Harry fights. In the seventh book, Harry digs a grave for Dobby, the house-elf who has died to save him. Harry does this just for Dobby's memory, not to get help from house-elves. This selfless service of Harry's moves Griphook, usually a stubborn and defiant goblin, and he agrees to join forces with Harry in his task to defeat Voldemort. Elves and Goblins described in Rowling's works show that just being kind can change the world.