Sunday, July 29, 2007

Is Harry Potter a PHENOMENON?


Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows book cover artwork by Mary GrandPré!
(courtesy of Scholastic.com)
PHENOMENON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
phe·nom·e·non /fɪˈnɒməˌnɒn, -nən/
Pronunciation[fi-nom-uh-non, -nuhn]
1.a fact, occurrence, or circumstance observed or observable: to study the phenomena of nature. 2.something that is impressive or extraordinary.
3.a remarkable or exceptional person; prodigy; wonder.
(Definitions courtesy of dictionary.com)
As any fan of Harry Potter will most wildly proclaim, these three definitions are fitting of all things Harry Potter: The books, the movies, the fans, the parties, the games, the websites, and so on.__________________________________________________________________________________
Number 1 - Easily Observed - Millions of people worldwide waited with baited breath for the release of the fifth movie Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix which opened this summer. Also Easily Observed - Millions of people worldwide anxiously awaited the release of the seventh and final book of the series Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. These are facts and occurences that are well-known, thus qualifying the HP sensation as a phenomenon. __________________________________________________________________
Number 2 - J. K. Rowling is an extraordinary author, able to weave a tale about The Boy Who Lived so seamlessly from books one to seven, drawing on prior events with a consistency that is remarkable yet with a fresh perspective in each book and always adding new twists and turns to surprise and thrill her readers. Her descriptions are vivid and her characters realistic. Their motivation is not always obvious at first glance, but is revealed in such a way to make the reader sympathize with even a dastardly character (not necessarily The Dark Lord, but other dark characters who appeared unredeemable may not be all that they seem), and she never fails to amaze her fans. Her writing is clever and entertaining; her storytelling, superb. Harry Potter qualifies as a phenomenon as it is both extraordinary and impressive. ________________________________________________________________
Number 3 - Harry Potter himself is a prodigy, a wonder, a remarkable and exceptional character. The author's characterization never ceases to amaze me that she can keep twisting, turning, adding layers, creating depth. HP himself is a phenomenon. _____________________________________________________________
If you had asked me what I thought about Harry Potter when the first book came out, I wouldn't have had much to say. Like most muggles, I thought there was something almost dangerous about reading about wizards and witches. I was unimpressed, and I didn't understand how anyone could get so worked up about the release of a book or movie, for goodness' sakes. However, by the time the third book came along, and I actually had time to read it, I was hooked. I started with number three and went back and read 1 and 2 within less than a month. My opinion had changed drastically. ________________________________________________________________
There is a message in Rowling's books - one that really has nothing to do with wizardry, and that is the conflict of good versus evil which has been with us (even Biblically) since the beginning of time. There is nothing dangerous about the way in which she tells her story of good and evil, as any true fan can tell you. I want to tell anyone who denies their child the opportunity to read Harry Potter because it deals with magic - don't! The book is not teaching witchcraft any more than I am . It's simply a good story. Reserve judgment of the book until you have actually read it. Rowling has created an enduring hero, someone we can all root for, not because of the way he looks, not because he is particularly strong, smart, rich, or clever (though he becomes many of those things), but he is an ordinary boy who becomes extraordinary through his own struggles. ____________________________________________________________________
So fans of the Harry Potter phenomenon, let's cheer for The Boy Who Lived!

8 comments:

gautami tripathy said...

I am yet to read this which cannot be named!

forgetfulone said...

I hope I didn't spoil anything! I tried to be general for those who haven't finished (or started) reading.

Betty C. said...

I live in France and am spending the summer in the USA - -I can't believe how many people here are carrying the tome around! Families are arguing over whose turn it is to read it, too.

Crafty Green Poet said...

I've not read any of the books or seen any of the films. I t hink though that its amazing how the books have encouraged children and young people to take to reading.

Rose Dewy Knickers said...

Very good points. It is a book about good versus evil and it unflinchingly reveals that some will always choose evil.

Rose

xo

paisley said...

and i must thank you for your word to the wise... blinders are just that..and the interpretation of no book, especially the bible,,, should serve as a blinder...

Paul said...

Just the fact that so many scribblers have chosen the tome for their phenomenon shows what a phenomenon it is.

Cindy said...

My daughter devoured it this weekend. She's told her younger sisters what happened; they aren't old enough to read a big book like that yet! I wonder if in a few years they will still read the books despite knowing what happens.

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