From this paper, it is clear that Winky is not handling her “freedom” well at all. She is clothed in a hat, blouse, and skirt, but has made no effort to keep herself clean, fed, or active. She has sunk to the equivalent of alcoholism in her despair and shame, and would return to Mr. Crouch’s “enslavement”.Ultimately, it is the attitude of the other house elves that most discourages Hermione in her year long crusade to liberate the house elves. Although they are sympathetic with Winky’s circumstances, they collectively agree with her that Mr. Crouch was in the right to dismiss her for her disobedience. With Dobby, they accept him as a co-worker because he is a hard worker, loyal to Professor Dumbledore and the school of Hogwarts, and does not force his view of freedom onto the others. Except, of course, by wearing all his clothes he clearly displays his continued freedom. Like Karl Marx in regards to the proletarian workers in his social conflict theory, Hermione is optimistic that Dobby’s presence will infect the apathetic house elves, and they too will petition Dumbledore for the same freedom and wages that Dobby enjoys.By the end of the novel Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, nothing has changed for the proletarian house elves who refuse the notion of revolution and the bourgeois wizards continue to take the services and products of the house elves for granted as a part of societal norms. As both J.K. Rowling and Karl Marx pointed out, the responsibility of social revolution must be enacted by the oppressed group themselves.
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