What we can learn from Hermione Granger, the smartest witch of her age
Hermione Granger is one of the primary characters of Harry Potter, a popular fantasy series by British novelist J.K. Rowling.
Portrayed as a strong, studious character, Hermione has been the subject of feminist debates, discussions, and writings such as Hermione Granger Saves the World: Essays on the Feminist Heroine of Hogwarts, a selection of essays edited by Christopher E. Bell; “Hermione Granger and the Heritage of Gender” in The Ivory Tower and Harry Potter: Perspectives on a Literary Phenomenon, edited by Lana A. Whited; and Mimi R. Gladstein’s essay, “Feminism and Equal Opportunity: Hermione and the Women of Hogwarts” in Harry Potter and Philosophy: If Aristotle Ran Hogwarts, edited by David Baggett and Shawn Klein.
A lot of work has been done on Hermione, but even to the uninformed reader, Hermione stands out as a superhero, a nerd, an overachiever when it comes to academics, and a self-assured young girl who does not take kindly to bullies.
She is an inspiration not just to young girls or college-going students, but someone women across different age groups can look up to. She is a reminder of what and who we can be.
Here are the five things you can learn from the smartest witch of her age:
Don’t let the bullies win
Remember the punch Draco received right in his face when he decided to mess with Hermione? That is who she is: unapologetic, and never one to cower down. In our workplace, in our homes, or in public places, we often come across bullies. It is important to stand up to them, especially as a woman. Fear, hesitation and silence only encourage bullies to crush you more.
Fight for what you believe in
Coming from the non-magical world, Hermione was appalled to see the treatment meted out to elves and stood up for their rights. She was their crusader, and even helped Hagrid escape with Buckbeak the hippogriff. It takes a heart to feel for others, and a huge dollop of feeling and courage to fight for a cause to create an impact.
Passion and thirst matter
Seek what matters to you and pursue it with passion. Hermione’s passion and thirst for knowledge have held her in good stead. Driven by an appetite for seeking knowledge, she used the time turner so that she could attend all her classes. All that she learnt she used not only to her advantage but also to help her friends. Her academic progress truly shows why she is the smartest witch of her age.
Embrace your emotive self
Being equal to men is not about becoming male. It is about finding your softer side and living it to the fullest. The one time that Hermione did break the rules was to get Ron into the Quidditch team by using magic. She was always open about her feelings for Ron and not ashamed to share her love and pain for Ron with Harry.
You are who you are and that is something to hold close to your heart. From being smart, talented and courageous, to being the only one with the answers to teachers’ questions, Hermione has been unabashedly herself. Just because you don’t fit societal norms or ideas of what is normal should not stop you from being exceptional.
There is so much more that we can draw from Hermione’s character given our unique circumstances in life. However, there are a few standouts for all of us — follow your heart, be yourself, and don’t shy away from loving.