Dina Khapaeva, professor in the School of Modern Languages, wrote the article “Fantastic Beasts and Muggles: Antihumanism in Rowling’s Wizarding World” featured in the LA Review of Books, December 26, 2018.
Death remains the most important theme of Fantastic Beasts, much as it was in the Harry Potter series and as Rowling has emphasized herself on several occasions. An avid awaiting of the apocalypse, which looms large in the second installment of Fantastic Beasts, can be seen as an expression of the fascination with death of humanity.
The Harry Potter franchise’s enormous success may indeed rest in part on its articulation of a deep scorn for humanity and the denigration of humans. But this is not a psychological reaction of millions of fans that could be explained away by masochism, sadism, or suppressed desires. It is a cultural trend that offers antihumanism as a popular commodity. We would do well to read the books and view the movies with a critical eye on what is being suggested about the value of human life.