Harry Potter Research Paper

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Another limitation of fantasy as a narrative mode in Harry Potter is that while Rowling uses the world of magic as a parallel for the real world in order to explore relevant issues, these parallels can result in a loss of meaning and can be difficult for young readers to identify. Rowling uses the fantasy world of Harry Potter to explore a number of social and political issues, but many scholars argue that these themes are not likely to be recognised by child readers of the Harry Potter books, and that only adults would be able to draw these parallels and recognise the importance of these aspects of the book. In "The Ivory Tower and Harry Potter: perspectives on a literary phenomenom", Pinsent, Pharr & Lacoss discuss a number of these themes …show more content…

They argue that such themes are not relevant for child readers, who "may be more preoccupied with Harry's use of the Top-Secret Marauders Map to sneak into Hogsmeade, Hermione's use of the Time-Turner to rescue the Hippogriff Buckbeak, the details of the various tests Harry faces as Hogwarts champion, and (for teen readers) Harry's and his friends' preliminary interest in members of the opposite sex." (-----). One such theme which is explored in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone is the question of the desirability of immortality. A central aspect of the first Harry Potter book is Voldemort's desire to be immortal at all costs, attempting to obtain the philosopher's stone and drinking unicorn blood, even if it means killing pure, innocent creatures and as a result living "a half life, a cursed life" (----). This is contrasted with Nicolas Flamel's decision to destroy the stone as a safety precaution, even though it means he will die, as he willingly accepts his own mortality and embraces death when it is time for him to die. The discourse about whether such themes are relevant to young readers is certainly understandable, as the acceptance of mortality seems to be a theme which would have much more relevance to older …show more content…

There is also an exploration of the theme of prejudice through wizarding bloodlines and the way in which those who are not 'pureblood' are discriminated against, even called derogatory terms such as 'mudblood'. There are strong historical influences in the themes which Rowling explores, having stated herself that Voldemort and his followers, the 'Death Eaters', are meant to parallel the Nazi regime during the Second World War. This can be seen through their notions of blood purity and desire to kill those with 'impure' blood, mirroring Nazi ideals and the notion of blood purity. "I wanted Harry to leave our world and find exactly the same problems in the wizarding world. So you have the intent to impose a hierarchy, you have bigotry, and this notion of purity, which is a great fallacy, but it crops up all over the world...so yeah that follows a parallel [to Nazism]." (p.

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