Beauxbatons

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Beauxbatons (from French - "beautiful wands"[1]) is a French magic school in the fictional universe of Harry Potter created by the English writer J. K. Rowling.

Description[edit]

In the fourth book of the series, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, students from Beauxbatons arrive at Hogwarts to take part in the Triwizard Tournament. They arrive in a carriage, brought by winged Palomino horses.[1] The students are mostly females.[2]

Beauxbatons is located somewhere in Southern France and is described as a boarding school with ice sculptures and forest nymphs.[3]

The delegation is led by headmistress madame Olympe Maxime, whose is half-giantess, but is beautiful, well-dressed and graceful, despite her proportions.[1] Apart from her, the only person from Beauxbatons who stands out is Fleur Delacour, the Beauxbatons champion on Triwizard Tournament, a beautiful girl with silvery hair.[4] She is a quarter-veela, which is a magic creature looking sometimes like an exceptionally beautiful girl, and sometimes like a harpy, and having a power to bewitch and enchant men.[3]

Students[edit]

Students of Beauxbatons are described rather stereotypically, mainly as beautiful long-haired girls and attractive boys, in contrast with the serious and surly students from the Eastern European school Durmstrang.[1] They have good manners and in general are positive, while the unpleasant appearance of Durmstrang students implies their dishonesty.[4] Similarly, the carriage of the Beauxbatons is well-lit and nice, while the ship, by which the students of Durmstrang arrive, is gloomy.[4]

Nevertheless, the French students are arrogant and over-cultured, and care too much about their looks; in contrast with the Durmstrang students, they are not impressed by Hogwarts.[5] They speak Franglais, which is quite parodic. Jean-François Ménard, the translator of Harry Potter into French, wrote Madame Maxime as arrogant with very correct, aristocratic speech, while Fleur's tone was more distrustful. Ménard made these choices because "you cannot write French with a French accent".[6]

Analysis[edit]

The competition between the two foreign schools and Hogwarts shows nostalgia for the time when English conflicts were simple and clear.[1] As the contrast between Durmstrang and Hogwarts is the allusion to the war of the West with the bad from the East, as described in the gothic fiction of the fourteenth century, the contrast between Beauxbatons and Hogwarts is the allusion to the competition between the reasonable and decent Great Britain and the licentious and decadent France.[7] The appearance on the foreground of these old conflicts allows J K. Rowling to sublimate them, and to make them irrelevant to modern readers.[7]

On the whole, the students of Beauxbatons, just as the students of Durmstrang, are homogeneous, not showing the cultural diversity inherent to Hogwarts.[8] In the screen adaptation Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, the homogeneity of Beauxbatons students is brought to a logical conclusion by adapting single-sex education, while J.K. Rowling tried to proclaim gender equality in her books.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Flotmann 2014, p. 329.
  2. ^ a b Henderson et al. 2017, p. 104.
  3. ^ a b Oziewicz 2010, p. 13.
  4. ^ a b c Eccleshare 2002, p. 81.
  5. ^ Rana 2009, p. 71.
  6. ^ Moore 2000, p. 177.
  7. ^ a b Flotmann 2014, p. 330.
  8. ^ Oziewicz 2010, p. 11.

Literature[edit]