character appearance

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Racial Ambiguity in novels

Analyse different characters in novels who’s race/ethnicity were left open for reader’s interpretation. For example, in wake of the new casting of a black Hermione Granger, many people are going back to the Harry Potter books to find evidence of "whiteness" to discredit having a black Hermione. Although, never stated in the books she was black or white, many people, by default, believed that Hermione was white. Talk about why people automatically assume a default description of a character’s appearance and if it hurts or helps a book series to keep a character’s physical appearance open for other’s to interpret.

  • This new development has brought up a lot of fanart made of Hermione as black which was made before the announcement. Some people interpreted her that way all along and I think that's great! It adds layers to the character's possibilities and even strengthens the "mudblood" discrimination she endures. – Slaidey 8 years ago
  • I love to read novel while traveling. it gives me peace of mind. I love to travel solo. – WilliamRiley 8 years ago
  • I asked my sister about this yesterday, actually, and she told me she knows Hermione was supposed to be white because the front cover of the book showed a white character, which was supposed to be Hermione. If not for the front cover of the book, it would be easy to assume that Hermione was black – carleydauria 8 years ago
  • For some covers of "Wizard of Earthsea", Ged, who was explicitly described to have "red brown" skin, was depicted as white. Granted, this was quite a while ago, but it shows that the publishers would push people to believe that the main characters are white. – idleric 8 years ago
  • I go by the cover too, seeing her white on the cover makes me think she was envisioned as white. This is just one casting decision, in a few years, they'll do the play again and Hermione will be Chinese or Arab or something and we'll have ourselves a whole new race to look at her with. – SpectreWriter 8 years ago
  • There has also been discussion about the white casting of Jennifer Lawrence in The Hunger Games as her skin colouring was always described as 'olive' suggesting she might be of mixed race since her mother and sister who are blonde are suggested to be quite different looking from the rest of the people in District 12 – Jacqueline Wallace 8 years ago