You'd think with a whole gaggle of fairy creatures and even
some human ones, Artemis
Fowl would mostly deal with racism on a species-wide level
between humans and magical creatures—a division between those with powers and
those without. This isn't the case though.
Instead race is crucial in the fairy world, and the personalities—and
occupations—of different characters are presented as pretty much
inevitabilities based on their race. Ever wonder why only certain types of
creatures end up in jail and other types end up as police officers? Race is
totally amplified here (i.e. goblins and dwarfs are wildly different species)
and tells you who a fairy will become, what job they'll have, and how they'll
act. Yeah, it's kind of a problem.
Questions About Race
What's up with all the natural (as in inevitable qualities of characters, not, you know, trees) stuff? Is the
book really saying that goblins are all naturally violent gangsters?
The fairies all seem super concerned about a racial warbetween them and humans—why is the goblin/dwarf war treated like it's no big
Is it possible to tell where the book stands on species versus race? Is there a difference here?
Holly is consistently described as having "nut-brown skin"(3.2), so why do you think half the images of her (including those in the Artemis Fowl graphic novels)
give her pale, white skin?
Chew on This
The really exaggerated conflicts between goblins and dwarfs
are meant to point out some uncomfortable truths about minority gang violence
where the (non-minority) LEP elves look the other way.
Not having magical powers as a fairy doesn't just make you
unable to do certain things, it basically makes you whatever the fairy
equivalent of "inhuman" is.