Skip to comments.Harry Potter and the Dark Side
Posted on 07/18/2005 6:36:15 AM PDT by Kitten Festival
J.K. Rowling is historys richest-ever author, enjoying an incomparable global readership. With eager consumers lined up at midnight to buy her book on the date of release, she stands as the literary phenomenon of our times.
Rowling resembles no one in popularity so much as Charles Dickens, who inspired excited crowds in America to meet the packet ships from England, calling out for the next installment of the story of Little Nell.
She also rivals Dickens in her ability to create some of the most delightful names in literature. Uriah Heep, meet Severus Snape.
Few authors today write books for adolescent boys, who readily fall away from reading and are lured to the video tube. Daring to write long and complicated plots, Rowling doesnt underestimate her readers. Her books contain delightful inventions on almost every page: from mail delivery owls to the winged boars (flying pigs) that grace the Hogwarts school gates.
But huge success makes for a big target. Rowling does not lack for critics.
Some are bothered by her abundant use of adverbs, or worry about exposing very young children to the violence in the books good vs. evil plot lines. Occasional gross-out humor and love of annoying practical jokes dismay some adults, but meet the literary tastes of the adolescent boy.
By far the most serious criticism of the Harry Potter series comes from those Christians and Jews who believe any mention of magic in literature is completely and automatically off-limits based simply on the Biblical prohibitions against witchcraft.
I respect such critics, but I disagree with them. A few of them go overboard, muttering darkly about bargains with supernatural forces. But many are sincere and intelligent.
There is a basic difference between reading a Harry Potter book and invoking the dark forces. Casting actual spells is one thing. Reading about them while engrossed in a struggle between good and evil on the magical plane of childrens literature is quite another.
Magic has become a literary convention of imaginative literature, positing forces fo
Harry Potter is crap- give me Grand Theft Auto!!! Now that is some dark stuff.
Your screen name gives you away. You're HIM, aren't you? Shall I go insane now?
Too much sexual innuendo for my kids. I read reviews at the Catholic Bishops website and the Kids in Mind reviews. I admit I have not seen it, but I don't like the things I read there.
And, Aslan represents...
Well, duh. My point was that a "good" character (Lucy) had to be stopped by an outside agency from doing what she knew to be a wrong, selfish, and evil act.
Oh my, you're so clever it seems you've missed the point entirely. It's okay for a given writer to write about any subject as long as he/she maintains integrity, even when writing fiction. Take a look at good fiction, Steinbeck for example, and you will find the authors are masterful at telling the story of their characters from a perceptive (outward) rather than from projection (inward) view. It's okay to describe a character of a different race or gender from a perceptive viewpoint when outside the group, but it's dishonest to write as though you're that race or gender and this is how I actually think. Can you discern the difference? Why do you suppose the author of the Potter books needs a male character as a vehicle to promote witchcraft?
Actually, the subsequent books are full of magic, potions, mystical creatures. I loved them as a kid and have read them to my kids.
Well reasoned. Potter books are not universally bad for kids, but in the wrong hands, heck, manure can be deadly!
Nancy Drew was written by a man and she taught me all there is to know about life.
It's possible that I'm too jaded to see it, but I'd love to know what those reviewers considered "sexual innuendo."
Its setting in a British boarding school isn't enough?
Now THAT'S funny!
Hary Potter ping.
That's not from Harry Potter. I've seen all 3 movies, and don't remember that at all.
I know where your coming from. I'm an animator who just is coming from a school that's wall to wall liberals and I would guess Lucas Film and ILM (my dream job) would be no different. Yet, conservatives like us continue to deal with it and move on.
OTOH, if you consider "wand" to be a double-entendre, the books become far more funny (from a purely juvenile sense) to read.
Sorry, that was in Fantastic Four. I had posted that I preferred HP movies to that kind of stuff. Someone had asked what I didn't like about the FF movie and somehow we got our lines crossed!
LOL! We really don't want to see Dumbledore and McGonigal nude, now do we?
What can I say? The stars were right.
Does it endorse mistreatment of little people and house violence?
And no Elder Sign in sight ...
Maybe not chickens, but they are probably trimming the ends of Cat5e cable and then using the cuttings to tell fortunes (similar to reading entrails).
Agree to disagree, I suppose.
They might as well disembowel goats. When they use digital diagnostic equipment to evaluate network issues, the CIO says, "Yeah, well that doesn't prove anything!"
Your son seems quite insightful. My oldest boy, 11, just read the first Harry Potter book, and said it was reasonably interesting; maybe he'll check out another from the library. My 14-year-old daughter said it was boring.
YOU HAVE NO CHANCE TO SURVIVE MAKE YOUR TIME
In the wrong hands, the Bible is dangerous. Anything string enough to build on is strong enough to beat someone with.
I've read all of the books except the new one and as a Christian, am not bothered at all by the series. It's more about good -vs- evil than anything else.
I can't wait to start on the new oen.
The story -- and it might be an urban legend -- is that Lewis and Tolkein were sitting together, lamenting the fact that the youth of (their) today had no myths. And out of that conversation came the two great epics of the 20th century.
Lewis' epic adhered more closely to the Bible. Tolkein's reached back more into ancient tradition and sheer invention. But they both served the function of ancient myths, to teach moral lessons and illustrate virtue: Courage, wisdom, loyalty, determination, compassion. Those are eternal, no matter what the external trappings of the story. And the Harry Potter books depict all of them well. As well as some others I probably forgot to mention.
(As an aside, I will not be moved from my position that Samwise Ganjee is the real hero of the LotR trilogy. He had no special skill, no great strength, no supernatural powers, no preordained destiny. He Just. Would. Not. Give. Up. We can't decide to have the skill of Legolas or the power of Gandalf. We can decide to be Sam.)
I've struggled through two books of the Ring trilogy. I haven't had the energy to start the third.
There are people who fervently believe all fiction should be banned(burned) because fiction is by definition, untrue! Don't let anyone read lies!!!! Especially bad are political campaign flyers and recent supreme court decisions;obvious works of fiction.
To fear literature is to be doubtful of the rock upon which you stand.
I've read the books so that I can discuss them with my oldest son, who is also reading them. Guess what? We still believe that Christ died for our sins, and that our redemption is through Him only.
Plus, we got to read some pretty good books. Tolkien they're not. But they're pretty good.
Love it, love it, love it! Too bad it's too long for my tagline or I'd steal it!
I'll warn you in advance--if you ever decide to tackle The Silmarillion, start taking vitamins a month or two ahead of time.
LOL, that's no lie!
I love LOTR, have read them many, many times -- but I would say that I ENDURED the Silmarillion, or SURVIVED it.
My punk teenager ate it up, though, and my wife thought it was fun. Humph.
Oh good lord! - Said in my best kelsey grammer impersonation.
You mean to tell me you have never seen Army of Darkness. Only one of the best cult films of all time. Bruce "The Bruce" Campbell is one of the most underrated actors of all time in a comedy-action sense. Ok.... First skip the censored crap on tv and go rent Evil Dead 1 & 2, and Army of Darkness.
Personally, I have my limited edition of Evil Dead 2 with the fake skin (Necronomicon) case.
Plus, the Bruce was the only reason to watch Xena (other than that totally hot lesbian thing).
That's me - putting the "Fun" back into "Fundamentalist".
Kind of like a flying dutchman?
That would be a new wrinkle...
ROFLMAO!! Ya Got that RIGHT!
OK Enough aleady! T H White Once and Future King, J RR Tolkien LOTR, Richard Adams Watership Down, JK Rowling Harry Potter.
Would you authors stop writing World War II analogies? We get the point. Hitler Bad.
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