Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

by

J. K. Rowling

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The Fountain of Magical Brethren Symbol Analysis

The Fountain of Magical Brethren  Symbol Icon

The Fountain of Magical Brethren consists of a huge gold statue at the Ministry of Magic depicting a witch, a wizard, a centaur, a goblin, and a house-elf. Though the statue is impressive, Harry notices almost immediately that the depictions of the non-human creatures are decidedly problematic: the centaur and the goblin look at the humans adoringly, something that, in Harry's experience, real centaurs and goblins would never do. This suggests that the fountain represents Fudge and the Ministry's vision of an idealized world, one in which wizards reign supreme and non-human creatures accept the Ministry's authority and their own subjugation without question. As disturbing as these portrayals are, it's also important to note what beings the ministry leaves out--namely, merpeople, giants, and "half-breeds" like werewolves--as this suggests that in the Ministry's eyes, those beings will never be accepted members of society or receive any rights. This again casts the fountain as one that visually represents Fudge's agenda for who's included in society and who isn't.

When Dumbledore animates the figures in the fountain and uses them to protect Harry from Voldemort, he symbolically destroys Fudge's narrow and discriminatory vision of the future and suggests that non-human beings are important and should be brought into the fold, as this is the only way that the side of good will be able to defeat Voldemort in the coming showdown. Further, destroying the fountain altogether leaves room for the Ministry to create a new fountain that symbolizes a better, more equal world and gives non-human beings the respect and dignity they deserve.

The Fountain of Magical Brethren Quotes in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

The Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix quotes below all refer to the symbol of The Fountain of Magical Brethren . For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
The Purpose of Education Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Scholastic edition of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix published in 2004.
Chapter Thirty-Seven Quotes

"Sirius did not hate Kreacher," said Dumbledore. "He regarded him as a servant unworthy of much interest or notice. Indifference and neglect often do much more damage than outright dislike...the fountain we destroyed tonight told a lie. We wizards have mistreated and abused our fellows for too long, and we are now reaping our reward."

Page Number: 833-34
Explanation and Analysis:
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The Fountain of Magical Brethren Symbol Timeline in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

The timeline below shows where the symbol The Fountain of Magical Brethren appears in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter Seven
Choices, Family, and Love Theme Icon
Prejudice and Discrimination Theme Icon
...goblin, and house-elf in the middle. Harry reads the sign that says money in the Fountain of Magical Brethren goes to St. Mungo's Hospital, and Harry vows to put money in if he doesn't... (full context)
Chapter Nine
Trauma, Silence, and Speech Theme Icon
Choices, Family, and Love Theme Icon
War: Excitement vs. The Mundane Theme Icon
Prejudice and Discrimination Theme Icon
...certain that Fudge is acting by himself now. In the lobby, Harry stops by the Fountain of Magical Brethren . He notices that the figures look very unrealistic; the centaur and goblin stare lovingly... (full context)
Chapter Thirty-Four
Trauma, Silence, and Speech Theme Icon
The atrium at the Ministry is empty. Harry leads everyone past the Fountain of Magical Brethren and into the elevators. They descend to the ninth floor and follow Harry into the... (full context)
Chapter Thirty-Six
Choices, Family, and Love Theme Icon
...to kill her, and follows her up to the atrium. There, he hides behind the Fountain of Magical Brethren and, enraged, tries to perform the Cruciatus Curse on her. It knocks her down, but... (full context)
Prejudice and Discrimination Theme Icon
...Voldemort shoots the Killing Curse at him, but the statue of the wizard from the Fountain of Magical Brethren suddenly leaps in front of Harry, deflecting the curse. Dumbledore appears at the elevators and... (full context)