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Missing from 'Harry Potter" a real moral struggle,
Christian Science Monitor ^ | 07.25.2007 | By Jenny Sawyer

Posted on 07/25/2007 1:00:58 PM PDT by meandog

If literature truly reflects society, then the end of the Harry Potter series spells trouble for us all.

Because, after 10 years, 4,195 pages, and over 325 million copies, J.K. Rowling's towering achievement lacks the cornerstone of almost all great children's literature: the hero's moral journey. Without that foundation, her story – for all its epic trappings of good versus evil – is stuck in a moral no man's land.

To be clear: This isn't a critique of Ms. Rowling's values. It's a recognition of a disturbing trend in commercial storytelling and Western society.

For those who've yet to finish "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," stop reading now: There are spoilers ahead. If you did, however, embark on a Deathly Hallows marathon, you know that the shady Severus Snape died, not in the name of evil, but in the name of good.

Oh, yeah. And Harry defeated Voldemort. Good prevailed. The problem is, that's not the moral of the story. Good always prevails. It's the hero's struggle – and costly redemption – that matters.

Classic tales such as J.R.R. Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings" trilogy and Madeleine L'Engle's "A Wrinkle in Time" set the standard for children's fiction. With their unrelenting drive toward "the moral of the story," they form a golden thread in the West's cultural fabric. And yet, like the society in which we live, storytelling itself has, in recent decades, undergone a radical transformation – sliding toward moral ambivalence with alarming speed.

Successful storytelling rests on a few basic principles. One of them is this: A story is about someone who changes, who grows through a moral struggle. What is Harry's struggle? Exactly.

(Excerpt) Read more at csmonitor.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: book; bookreview; childrensliterature; escapistfare; harrypotter; moralabsolutes; shallow; themoralofthestory; therestofthestory; witchcraft
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Without inner conflict, the hero's tale was hollow.
1 posted on 07/25/2007 1:01:02 PM PDT by meandog
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To: meandog

Yawn...


2 posted on 07/25/2007 1:02:00 PM PDT by TexasAg1996
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To: meandog

I thought this was going to be about the “17 missing pages”!


3 posted on 07/25/2007 1:03:53 PM PDT by Red_Devil 232 (VietVet - USMC All Ready On The Right? All Ready On The Left? All Ready On The Firing Line!)
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To: meandog

Once the lemming mania has died, no one is going to reado those 4,195 pages. Wait 5 years.


4 posted on 07/25/2007 1:04:10 PM PDT by Revolting cat! (We all need someone we can bleed on...)
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To: meandog

Some answered the question as to who dies in the Potty book with:

“God dies”.

I have not read nor seen the movies and neither will my children, my brother read some of the books and saw one movie and he said Rowlings is a hack, without reading a word I agree.


5 posted on 07/25/2007 1:04:48 PM PDT by Resolute Conservative
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To: meandog

Geez, did she even read the book?


6 posted on 07/25/2007 1:05:42 PM PDT by Abathar (Proudly catching hell for posting without reading the article since 2004)
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To: meandog

Jenny, your sour grapes are ready.


7 posted on 07/25/2007 1:06:00 PM PDT by 50sDad (Angels on asteroids are abducting crop circles!)
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To: Resolute Conservative
without reading a word I agree.

That's obviously a well thought out and researched opinion...
8 posted on 07/25/2007 1:07:34 PM PDT by TexasAg1996
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To: Resolute Conservative

There really is nothing more pathetic on the planet than someone that will proudly declare they have no actual exposure to someone’s work but they’re a hack. I’ve called many people a hack in my time, but I least bothered to read a few pages first.


9 posted on 07/25/2007 1:08:28 PM PDT by discostu (indecision may or may not be my biggest problem)
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To: meandog
Present in all of Potter is the biggest moral struggle of all.

the struggle of the things of this world or the things of the Lord.

and potter surely isn't of the Lord.

10 posted on 07/25/2007 1:08:37 PM PDT by Battle Hymn of the Republic
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To: Resolute Conservative
Yeah, 325 million copies and you think you can agree she is a hack. Millions of kids reading just for the joy of it again and it's a bad thing to you...

idiot

11 posted on 07/25/2007 1:08:57 PM PDT by Abathar (Proudly catching hell for posting without reading the article since 2004)
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To: Resolute Conservative
without reading a word I agree...

Thanks fer yer expert opinion.

12 posted on 07/25/2007 1:09:04 PM PDT by Corin Stormhands (I drink coffee for your protection.)
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To: Abathar
Geez, did she even read the book?

Not the same one any of the rest of us read.

13 posted on 07/25/2007 1:09:36 PM PDT by Corin Stormhands (I drink coffee for your protection.)
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To: 50sDad

“Jenny, your sour grapes are ready.”

yep that’s what i was thinking as well.
maybe if jk rowling ever writes another book she can call
jenny for some pointers


14 posted on 07/25/2007 1:09:41 PM PDT by snarkybob
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To: meandog

I could not put my finger on what it was about these novels that bothered me apart from the appallingly bad writing, why I did not find them compelling or even readable. This article explains it.


15 posted on 07/25/2007 1:10:02 PM PDT by Emrys (Fashion says "Me, too." Style says, "Only me.")
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To: discostu

The trolls are out in force - be careful not to feed them the negative attention that they love. ;)


16 posted on 07/25/2007 1:10:21 PM PDT by Mr. Jeeves ("Wise men don't need to debate; men who need to debate are not wise." -- Tao Te Ching)
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To: Battle Hymn of the Republic

Have you read any of the books?


17 posted on 07/25/2007 1:10:29 PM PDT by Abathar (Proudly catching hell for posting without reading the article since 2004)
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To: Resolute Conservative
I have not read nor seen the movies and neither will my children, my brother read some of the books and saw one movie and he said Rowlings is a hack, without reading a word I agree.

I've only read the first book, and I've only seen glimpses of the movies as I flip through HBO channels. But any book that can entertain so many children and adults has a great deal going for it. By creating a series of books that have millions of young people reading instead of killing zombies in some virtual world, Rowlings has already done more for literature than most authors could ever dream of doing. She's no hack.
18 posted on 07/25/2007 1:10:30 PM PDT by AnotherUnixGeek
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To: meandog
"lacks the cornerstone of almost all great children's literature: the hero's moral journey"

This judgement comming from a murderous cult mouth piece, founded by a charlatan fraud is not worth spit.

19 posted on 07/25/2007 1:10:50 PM PDT by Positive (Nothing is sadder than to see a beautiful theory murdered by a gang of brutal facts.)
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To: Abathar
Geez, did she even read the book?

Nope. And did you happen to notice that the strongest negative opinions on this thread are from people who are proud and arrogant about not having ever even read the book?

I wonder why that is?

20 posted on 07/25/2007 1:11:15 PM PDT by null and void (We are a Nation of Laws... IGNORED Laws...)
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