Harry Potter: Political and Psychological Aspects (1) The phenomenon of Harry Potters popularity has been discussed in literary circles for a decade now, without majority of critics being able to define the very essence of such popularity. This is because, up until the time when Joanne Rowling made a fortune with the help of her literary character, only very few people considered childrens literature as such the carries a certain metaphysical message. The simplicity was thought to be the key for the author to gain popularity among adolescent readers. Joanne Rowling was able to destroy this stereotype, by proving that many children do get fascinated with psychological complexity, just as adults do. However, it would be wrong to refer to author as someone who was able to benefit on making her books appealing to the darker side of childrens mentality. In fact, Harry Potter is a classical literary fairy tale, which became popular in Britain in the middle of 19th century, when Europeans, while maintaining their high intellectual level, were being slowly deprived of their physical beauty and metaphysical power.
The essential elements of English literary fairy tale are as follows: 1) The main character is always a child, 2) The authors of these tales used to write for adult audiences before, 3) Tales appeal for both children and adults, 4) The absence of happy end. All these components can be easily identified in Harry Potter. Therefore, in order for us to understand the appealing properties of Rowlings book, we will have to look back at the recent history of Western civilization. At the beginning of 20th century, Britons and White people, in general, were the undisputed masters of the world. The sun never went down over the British Empire. White people constituted 35% of worlds population. Nevertheless, there was something in the air that made representatives of European intellectual elite to feel uneasy.
... a touch of creativity and extreme imagination. Works Cited Rowling, J.K. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Vancouver. Raincoast Books ... and Wizardry. In this first installment of the Harry Potter series, Rowling introduces the fantasy world of Hogwarts and its residents ... -selling fantasy novels in history, J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone introduces one of ...
They sensed that it was only the matter of time, before European civilization would begin to descend back into the savagery, because Europeans were rapidly loosing the spiritual qualities, which allowed them to push cultural and scientific progress forward. Slowly but surely, Europeans were becoming affected by spiritual and physical degeneracy, which deprived them of their empirical power. This was the reason why the romanticism, as literary genre, was gaining more and more adherents. People subconsciously sought for the ways to return their existential might, which prompted them to think of magic as the easiest tool, with which they could accomplish this. European romanticism of 19th and 20th centuries exploits magical motives as foundation for the storyline. Thus, Harry Potter needs to be discussed within the context of recent socio-political developments in the world, if we want to define the true message of Rowlings book. Both, the physical appearance of Harry Potter and his lifestyle, reveals him as typical nerd, who wants to have with surrounding reality as little as possible, while preferring to live in his imaginative world.
He clearly lacks physical strength, which is the reason why he appeals to so many children, who can rarely do even one push-up, because of their physical condition. It is not a secret that White kids have a hard time in public schools, because they lack the aggressiveness of the classmates, whose parents have only recently come from the countries of Third World, in order to celebrate diversity here, while relying on welfare checks, as the source of income. However, even the lowliest nerd subconsciously strives for power. This desire sublimates itself into childrens fascination with magic, as the way to influence the surrounding reality. In fact, this statement is equally applicable for adults as well, which explains the fact why tabloid newspapers and television programs continue to gain popularity in increasingly marginalized Western societies. In her article Pottery, Alison Lurie suggests that promotion of tolerance was Rowlings foremost concern, during the course of writing all seven Harry Potter books: Unlike most classic boarding-school story locations, Hogwarts is multicultural and multiclass: its students come from both rich and poor families and include Chinese, Indian, black, and Jewish kids.
... out. This book, like the others, is simply ... fact that this book was meant for readers below my age, I enjoyed this book immensely. In fact, I have now read every Harry Potter book ... captivating. With this book being so ...
Some have parents who are also wizards or witches; others do not (Lurie).
Such suggestion, of course, cannot be thought of as perfectly valid, because celebration of multiculturalism in Harry Potter only becomes apparent in books that followed the Philosophers Stone. These books were written to serve as basis for movies screenplays; therefore, they are just the by-products of the original one. Rowling had no choice but to adjust her books, in order for Harry Potter movies to be allowed for release in American theaters. It is not simply a coincidence that Harry Potter characters do not include representatives of Pakistani and Hindu communities in Britain, despite the fact that British politicians seriously consider incorporating moral dogmas of shariat into British law. Long gone are the times when Britain used to colonize other countries nowadays it is being invaded by the hordes of illegal immigrants itself.
This is the reason why Rowling was not particularly happy, while fiddling with a storyline, in order to appease the hawks of political correctness. However, the prospects of making enormous profits prevailed, which is why Harry Potter is now being praised to the sky by those who actively undermine the integrity of Western nations, despite the fact that Rowlings book does not contain Liberal agenda in its very essence. For example, in first four books, there is no indication that Alicia Johnson is a Black girl and it is only in Order of Phoenix that we learn that, apparently, this character was being preoccupied with celebrating her ethnic uniqueness all along. We can only wonder why name Alicia and the last-name Johnson are now being strongly associated with African- American culture, despite the fact that they both originate in Britain. (2) As we have mentioned earlier, Harry Potters success can be explained by the fact that the ideas, found in Rowlings books, correspond to the realities of post-modern living in Western countries. However, this would not be enough to turn Harry Potter into one of biggest bestsellers of twentieth century. It is also Rowlings imaginative mind and her understanding of childrens psychology that contributed enormously towards her books becoming the most wanted items in the library of just about any teenager who can read.
J. K. Rowling is the author of the Harry Potter books series that began with the book Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone while Warner Bros. owns ... and crafted by the imagination of first time Harry Potter director David Yates. In order to be able to follow the story as ... it unfolds throughout the movie, one must be an avid Harry Potter book or ...
Rowling treats potential readers as fully functional members of society, whose moral choices draw immediate consequences. Throughout the saga, Harry is being continuously tempted by Voldemort to give in to the dark side, which he rightfully describes as the essential part of Harrys being. After Harry learns how to look at the world through Voldermorts eyes, he realizes that there is a lot in common, between him and his greatest nemesis. This corresponds to childrens intuitive dislike of bipolar concept of existence, which they are being indoctrinated with at school. Harry Potter opposes moralistic dogmatism in all of its forms, but it does encourage readers to make moral choices. Even though these choices might contradict the conventional morality, it does not make them less appropriate, in social context of this word. The Bible thumpers, throughout the world, tried to initiate a public campaign against Harry Potter, because, according to them, Rowlings book promotes black magic.
In his article Bewitched by Harry Potter, Berit Kjos complains that Harry Potter undermines popularity of Jesus and diverts children from the good book: Books such as the Harry Potters series fit, because they reinforce the global and occult perspective. Page after exciting page brings the reader into the timeless battle between good and evil, then trains them to see the opposing forces from a pagan, not a Biblical perspective (Kjos).
Such claims can be easily brushed aside by pointing out to Jesus being a black magician himself, since he used to mix his saliva with dirt, in order to spread the holy mixture over the foreheads of ill people, which is nothing but black magic, in its most primitive form. In fact, we do not even need to resort to sarcasm, in order to deal with Christian nonsense. As Jeanne Hand-Boniakowski in her article Harry Potter and Other Heresies rightly suggests: There is no such thing as magic. Stage magicians are actors and technicians, admitted charlatans who create illusions.
They take advantage of our human psychology and perception to delight and entertain us, to frighten and amaze us (Hand-Boniakowski).
... overall a captivating read. When I finished reading the Harry Potter books in fifth grade, I remember worrying that I would not ... the world of Harry Potter. The Chronicles of Narnia are another group of high fantasy books that involve epic battles between good and evil ... School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. This is the second book in the Harry Potter series that corresponds with his 2nd year of school ...
It is perfectly natural for children to believe in magic important is that they stop believe in it when they grow up. The moral message of Rowlings book is easy to define, despite Christian claims of Harry Potter being evil mothers love protects better than a handgun, courage and loyalty have universal value, friends in need must be helped, even if they do not appreciate such help, evil must not be feared, even if it appears as such that cannot be challenged. These notions might sound banal and boring, but in Harry Potter, the child is encouraged to come up to them on its own, without having to rely on some higher authority, who lives among the clouds and prefers not to notice what is happening in peoples world. We can also say that these notions can only be perceived by highly idealistic individuals. In its turn, the idealism, as quality of ones character, is biologically predetermined.
This is the reason why, whereas in Western countries the popularity of Harry Potter corresponds largely to the narrative value of the book, in China, for example, it is nothing but a result of an efficient advertisement campaign. Many parents complain that Harry Potter is an overly dark book. They consider their children as little angels, who would never think of torturing a cat, for example. Unfortunately, the truth is slightly different. Children commit horrendous crimes with apparent ease, because they are not capable of understanding the practical consequences of their actions. What really adds up to the objective value of Rowlings book is that she encourages readers to do a fair amount of thinking, before deciding in favor of one or another course of action. Author does not try to shield teens from the objective reality, as many overprotective parents do, because she understands that, the sooner they learn about the ugly aspects of existence, the less they are going to be vulnerable, while having to deal with different kinds of injustices.
It is very doubtful that fans of Harry Potter never had problems, while following books plot. However, this has never undermined their loyalty to Rowlings masterpiece, since they feel that author treats them with respect and does no strive to simplify complex matters, in order to increase books commercial appeal. (3) It would be wrong to suggest that Harry Potter cannot be criticized in principle. In order for our criticism to have an objective value, we need to find a proper perspective, from which different aspects of Rowlings book can be discussed. In the first part of this paper, we have already mentioned that Harry Potter belongs to the genre of English literary fairy tale. In 19th and 20th centuries, European romanticism served as foundation for the emergence of conservative revolution, as political doctrine.
... books in the Anglophone world. Bibliography: Primary texts: Rowling, Joanne K., Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (London: Bloomsbury, 1997) Rowling, Joanne K., Harry Potter ... (Westport, Conn. : Praeger, 2003) Gathering of critical essays about the Harry Potter books. Analysis of different literary and cultural aspects. Blake, Andrew, The ...
In its turn, it boosted up a scientific progress. Even as recent as fifty years ago, the majority of teenagers in Western countries preferred to read science fiction. Childrens literature served the purpose of introducing the basics of science to young people, because this would help them to become the productive members of society in the future. The world of fairy tales had an inseparable links with objective reality. Nowadays, the magical motives in childrens literature encourages teens to indulge in social absenteeism, which can hardly have any benefits whatsoever. This is the reason why popularity of Harry Potter is now being discussed within the context of psychological phenomenon. Apparently, fans of Rowlings book remain emotionally attached to Harry Potter, even when they grow up, which suggests that they are being affected by psychological infantilism. In his article Harry PotterMorality Or Decline?, Spencer Warren is making a very good point when he comes up with the rhetorical question: Is all the occult razzle-dazzle and dizzying action a substitute for moral substance, despite the plots good-evil dichotomy and Harrys heroic struggle? Is Harry really just another demonstration of our cultures ongoing moral and aesthetic decline? (Spencer).
The magical motives in literature are only appropriate when they entertain or provoke readers to use their brain cells.
However, if they alone are meant to help people associating their existence with objective value, it can be thought of as an indication that something is rotten in the kingdom of Denmark. In short Harry Potter teaches young kids not to be ashamed of the fact that they have a hard time trying to cope up with the ways of real world. As result, childrens desire to get a more complete worldview becomes directed inwards. This is the major downside of this beautifully written book, which contains many good ideas.
... discussion exists on these Harry Potter issues. However, based on the literature, it appears that, the Harry Potter series does more good overall than harm by ... its existence. The Morals of Harry Potter One of ...
Hand-Boniakowski, Jeanne Harry Potter and Other Heresies. Jan.
2002. Methaphoria.Org. 7 Apr. 2008. http://www.metaphoria.org/ac4t0201.html Kjos, Berit Bewitched by Harry Potter. 1999. Kjos Ministries. 7 Apr.
2008. http://www.crossroad.to/text/articles/Harry9-99.ht ml Lurie, Alison Pottery. 27 Sep. 2007. The New York Review of Books. 7 Apr. 2008. http://www.nybooks.com/articles/20595 Warren, Spencer Harry PotterMorality Or Decline?.
2007. The American Conservative Union Foundation. 7 Apr. 2008. http://acuf.org/issues/issue91/070907med.asp.