Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Communication Studies and Theatre

First Advisor

Laurie Haleta


This study examined J.K. Rowling’s (2003) novel entitled, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Although this novel has not yet been classified as a fairy tale, it does contain fairy tale elements. This study reviewed literature in the field of folklore, fairy tales, and feminism. Foss’ (2004) four-step feminist criticism model was employed to analyze gender portrayals in the novel. According to Foss’ model, the novel was analyzed for masculine or feminine perspectives of the world, effects on the audience, improvement of women’s lives, and impact on rhetorical theory. Although Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is not a feminist tale, it has the potential to affect women and men positively and negatively. The study found women’s roles were more realistically portrayed while men’s roles were more traditionally portrayed. The novel both affirmed and contradicted gender roles created by society.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Rowling, J. K. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Rowling, J. K -- Criticism and interpretation Sex role in literature Feminism and literature Fairy tales -- History and criticism Rhetorical criticism



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


© 2007 the Author