Today I want to talk about the Inquisitorial Squad. It’s a little bit of a mess in my brain, so I’ll try to make a point, but really I’m not fully sure about it.
Appearing only in the 5th book, The Order of the Phoenix, the Inquisitorial Squad was a creation of Professor Umbridge during her reign of terror at Hogwarts.
On the surface, this squad can be linked to the non-threatening role of a hall monitor in schools. It would be a simple institution to start at any school – students keeping an eye on other students. However, this squad soon takes a turn for the worse in the Harry Potter books.
For me, J.K Rowling is trying to illustrate how easy it is to make people turn on each other. With the current political climate, or at least over the past year, with linking current President Trump with Hitler, my mind started to also make these connections within certain aspects of these books.
I can see the Inquisitorial Squad as being a mini-version of the Hitler Youth. These students were turning on their former friends, and people they trusted. They were being influenced by a person in power and swayed into turning on those who were deemed “less fit” than they were. Of course, the movies (and the books) show the Slytherin house making up the squad, showing again a divide between the “pure bloods” and the “mud bloods”.
I think that this was a powerful tool for Umbridge to use. It gives limited power to a few students, and it can be argued that they let it go to their head. They started to uphold all the new rules and thrived on the knowledge that they were in control of who would be punished. It also created fear within the rest of the student body. Even though those on the squad were a minority, the wreaked havoc on the other students. But, it also meant that those who were not in the squad were banding together and creating their own uprising.