Thursday, February 27, 2014

Why we read Harry Potter

I was bothered by something a friend of my friend said one day.  He criticized the seventh book of Harry Potter for having silly plot errors on the horcruxes, and the sudden emergence of deathly hallows being so unnecessary, and how it took away from the story. 

Personally I think that's ridiculous for two reasons. 1) It actually works out just fine.  2) That's not why we read Harry Potter. 

What I mean by that is literally that's not why we read Harry Potter.  We don't read Harry Potter just because of magic and plot, and the semantics of magic and plot, and how magic works.  That was what that friend was talking about.  The friend was criticizing the magic system.  That was his justification of criticizing the final installment of the Harry Potter series. 

Believe me when I say that is not how to critique a Fantasy book.  It really isn't.  It's a disgrace.  The ones who analyze and attempt logicize the magic system are the ones who are ignoring everything else that's far more important.  If they keep it up, they'll be asking questions like, "Well how does Voldemort use the killing curse?"  You have to mean it, says Mad Eye Moody book four. 

"But how do you mean it?" We can't tell you because we don't know.  J.K. Rowling probably doesn't know it either.  It's magic.  It's not supposed to make sense. 

"But why didn't Sirius Black use Protego on Bellatrix Lestrange's Curse Reducto that shoved him into the wall?" I don't know!  Timing?  If we keep asking these questions, we'll begin to wonder how does Harry manage to learn a Patronus faster than everyone else, why does everyone else struggle with spells and then suddenly are magically able to perform them when thrown into the action?  How does it work?  How does all this magic work?  If we knew how magic works, it wouldn't be magic...It would be science.  And that's a problem right there.  It's magic...It can't be logicized.  If we try to argue that then it looks as if the author is breaking their own magic rules.  But here's the catch.  The author has to break these rules in order to tell a story. 

J.K. Rowling has to tell a story.  Though the uniqueness of the magic in Harry Potter plays a role, the magic isn't the only reason why we read Harry Potter.  We read Harry Potter because of the uniqueness of the setting.  Diagon Alley's many shops can be related to the many pedestrian zones found in Europe, littered with small kiosks, flowershops, jewelry stores, and more.  The Daily Prophet is a newspaper, much like our own.  Hogwarts itself is relatable to children because it's school.  It just teaches magic.  But everything else, classes, lunch periods, library studying, classrooms, lessons, and everything are all relatable.  Quiditch is very much like football.  The foods are full of variety and uniqueness.  The features of Harry Potter's world are relatable in some way or another to our own.  It is the invention of J.K. Rowling's mind, the uniqueness of vivid detailed imagery and creative play, the details within the setting that give life to the world of Harry Potter. 

It is also the characters.  All the characters, even the minor ones, have some unique complexity to them or at least a personality aspect that make them come alive.  Rowling's dialogue comes alive in many unique ways that bring complexity and life to the characters.  She gives them unique names, something that Dickens would do.  She creates lines of dialogue that fit each character perfectly.  She captures real emotions and real feelings and real personalities that exist in our everyday world and she does it so with a high vocabulary. 

This is why I think J.K. Rowling is neither a children's writer nor an adult writer.  Though her intended audience is children, she speaks to a thousand voices who grew up with her works both young and old.  Her vocabulary and sentence structure far exceeds your average teen adventure novel and paranormal romance.  Her story is paced not at thriller pace but rather a calm detailed joyous pace that takes pleasure in the details and complexities of the real world.  Her works speak of crucial themes that children and even in away adults go through every day of their life.  Love is a crucial theme, love and how evil is in fact created not born with.  There are so many possibilities to analyze Harry Potter.  We should start treating this great series with a little bit more respect.  If we follow the guidelines that I have set forth here, perhaps we might be able to start taking Fantasy Literature a little more seriously. 

And on that note, that ends this post.  This is a mere summary of an idea I intend to work with, therefore, hands off to everyone else.  This copyright is enforced by the Draxon Industry.  If you break this, you will be haunted by dragons and werewolves for the rest of your life! Ha, ha!

Keep reading everyone!

Starvix Draxon

No comments:

Post a Comment