Ever since both the Harry Potter books and Movies came out, people have praised Hermione and labelled her as a role model. But the question is, do they actually mean it?
Hermione Granger has been called a nerd, a girl boss, and widely celebrated for being clever, brave, determined and getting good grades. Many, if not all, Harry Potter fans look up to her as a role model, and many will name her as their favorite Harry Potter character.
Everybody has that person in their class that is a know-it-all, and quite obnoxious about it. They constantly raise their hand, get upset when they don’t get called on and smile smugly when they get the right answer. They argue with you quite easily and tend not to back down unless you say that they are right. And if they aren’t? Then it takes them quite a long time to admit it. Nobody really likes them, and if they do, then they certainly don’t like the know-it-all aspects of that person. Even though it’s rare that someone actually likes those traits, Hermione is praised for having those traits. So what is the truth? Do people like those traits? Or do they not?
Growing up, I was as close to Hermione as one could be, without being a British witch. I was constantly raising my hand in class to answer, and mumbling the answer under my breath when someone else got called on and got the answer wrong. It wasn’t because I thought myself to be infinitely smarter than others, it was just the way I learned. Participating in class in the easiest way to learn and make connections, and answering questions was the easiest way as I had to quickly search for the answer in my head before raising my hand.
In my History and English classes I shined specifically, and my hand would rocket up whenever a question was asked. If I was particularly excited, I would jump out of my chair and stand up or kneel on my chair. (I’ve always been short, so it also had to do with the fact that I wanted to be sure that the teacher saw me.) I would get my homework done on time, and even help my friends on homework. I could pass tests and quizzes without studying although I often did.
I even have some of her uglier traits. Refusing defeat if I think I’m right, piping up with unwarranted answers to questions as well as advice. I admit, I was a bit annoying growing up, but so was Hermione.
The only difference is that I wasn’t as liked as Hermione. I was often called a know-it-all, a smart aleck and anything else you can think of along those lines. I didn’t really mind being called that most of the time, as I am the first one to admit that I am a bit of a know-it-all, and I had know-it-alls in my life that annoyed me, so I could definitely see why people would call me that. But for some reason, the people in my life weren’t saying the same thing about Hermione, which confused me.
Sure in the books, she is called a know-it-all, obnoxious, annoyingly smart and she is characterized as so. She was argumentative, I mean she has a huge argument with Ron that results in them not speaking to each other in almost every book! Even in the beginning movies she is characterized as such, although the later movies do glorify her quite a bit.
I loved Hermione. Here was this girl, that was so unapologetically smart, who corrected her teachers and friends, and who was passionate about things like equal rights (S.P.E.W anyone?) and would argue them to the death. Who was willing to fight for what she believed in, no matter the odds. She was who I was and wanted to be.
Later on, I had gained some friends who were huge Harry Potter nerds, and loved Hermione as much as I did and even felt that they related to her as well. They would be the first to praise Hermione when ever her name was brought up.
That’s why it hurt, when they were the ones who called me names like “know-it-all” behind my back. It hurt when they were upset that I was passionate about things like equal rights and wouldn’t back down from an argument about such. They were upset that I “didn’t have to try” in school (although I did), and often gave me backhanded compliments that portrayed such.
I didn’t understand. They loved her for being smart and passionate, but hated me for it? when I had asked a mutual friend what they were saying about me behind my back I certainly hadn’t expected this.
I understood it coming from other people, who didn’t care for the series as much, I definitely agreed that I had those traits and that they were annoying, the hypocrisy stung though. Mainly because I couldn’t understand why they would hate me for the traits that they loved her for.
I truly don’t think that they’ve thought about it though, the fact that they disliked Hermione’s traits in real life. When being a stubborn, smart-aleck wasn’t useful to defeating Voldemort, or other magical enemies, they aren’t traits people like. But that’s the truth about Hermione that many people don’t realize.
If you took Hermione out of the magical world, and placed her in your life, you wouldn’t like her very much.
It’s them same in real life too, at least to a degree. If knowing facts off the tip of my tongue was useful in a competition, people loved me. When I was on their side in a debate, people loved me, and those traits. But in any other instance, where those traits weren’t useful to them, they didn’t care. Which goes for a lot of things in life I guess, but why is Hermione praised so consistently, if those traits aren’t always useful? Or even likeable?
I’m not going to tell you that “You can’t praise Hermione, if you aren’t going to praise the smart-alecks in your life” or anything like that. People like that are annoying are annoying, I get it, I’ve known other know-it-alls besides myself, and I don’t really like them either. I just want you to think about it, maybe change your opinion a bit. get the ball rolling. Do you still like Hermione now? Obviously I do, but I relate to her too much not to.
Or, does seeing that the know-it-alls in your life are actually just real-life Hermiones give you a bit more appreciation for them? Obviously you don’t have to love them, I don’t love them (except for the rest of my family who are all huge know-it-alls.) but, I do appreciate them just a tad more after reading this. they still annoy me, and get on my nerves (Imagine living in a house full of them, I know) but i do appreciate these qualities a little bit more and I hope you do to.