Friday, August 19, 2005

Harry Potter - My Little Obsession

I will have to say that I have no reason why I am so obsessed with these Harry Potter books and movies. As you may recall, I finished Book 6 in 18 hours and then reread it.

Then, I reread Book 4, as it's my favorite.

And then I reread Book 3 and today I finished Book 5. I am looking for some more information about Godric's Hollow - that is discussed at the end of Book 6. I watched the third movie last night and no mention, so I will keep reading the books. I finally found it. It is where Harry's parents lived (and where they died).

I also picked up two books about the Harry Potter phenomenon. The first was "The hidden key to Harry Potter : Understanding the meaning, genius, and popularity of Joanne Rowling's Harry Potter novels." The second was called "The Wisdom of Harry Potter."

So, the two phenomenon books. The first one I went through very quickly - it was written after book 4 but before book 5. And the guy made some predictions. For example, he said Dumbledore needed to die because otherwise Harry will never be able to lead as he is intended to. I would never have thought they would kill Dumbledore off as he was one of my favorites. Now, an interesting prediction he made is that it will be revealed that Harry is the real heir (blood relative) to Gryffindor. I'm not so sure about this one. JK Rowling has always said that Harry's heritage wasn't very important, so this doesn't seem likely to me. He also predicted that Neville will become more important, which he has in the past few books. Hagrid will become more important, too. And he believes that the Dursley's may know more than they are telling -- at least Petunia might. This could possibly be true. He even believes that Harry will end up saving Dudley or all of the Dursleys while putting himself in mortal peril - we'll see about that.

He spent a great deal of time making Christian parallels to Harry Potter. He seems to believe him to be somewhat of a Christ figure, who is meant to lead the way.

He points out some interesting value lessons. Did you notice how often Rowling's points out injustices and prejudices -- the pure-bloods against the mudbloods, the Gryffindors versus Slytherins, the magical world against the muggles, the magical world against house elves, etc... Everyone seems to have prejudices against someone or something except for Dumbledore. Even Mrs. Weasley treated Hermoine badly when she thought Hermoine was breaking Harry's heart.

The focus on death and the grieving process are highlighted, also. Rowling really gives a very sensible way of dealing with death throughout all the books. For example, when Harry sees his parents in the magic mirror in book 1 and Dumbledore explaining that he needs to move on, not to dwell on dreams and forget to live. And of course, it continued throughout the book with Harry finding his father inside himself at the end of Book 4.

The second book is similar in some ways. It's not nearly as fun to read as the other. Although, the first was a bit lengthy and I only picked sections to read. The second I just skimmed through.

He talks of Rowling's love of fun names -- did you know Voldemort meant "theft of death" in another language or that Malfoy means "bad faith."

He focuses on the morality issues. For example, her characters (the good ones) may value life and material possessions, but they realize that many other things are important. Voldemort does not. The search for the sorcerer's stone is about living forever and obtaining unlimited riches. The Dursleys are all about material wealth - the nice car, the best lawn.

Harry is so familiar with the worthlessness the Dursleys try to impress on him that every book ends with him not looking forward to going back to the Dursley's. It is because he is familiar with frustration and knows that he can adapt to it. He can control his response -- nothing else in that household.

A persistent theme this author seems is that persons should not be judged by circumstances, but by their choices. Book 3 is more complex than the first two, allowing Harry to make moral choices without a clear cut right and wrong answer.

This author provides a book-by-book assessment that is quite thorough in its synopsis of each book's plot. Then, he picks out the major ideas as he seems them. He focuses on the effects the books can have on a child and the chances for discussion that can occur as a result of reading them.

This author believes the book to be secular, not religious as the first author did. He believes that there will not be a rash of kids trying to become wizards or witches to be like Harry Potter. He believes they will try to emulate his moral choices, which would be wise.

If you want to read a book about the phenomenon of Harry Potter go with the Hidden Key book -- it's just more interesting. The second book is fairly dry.


At 11:16 AM EDT, Blogger Stacy The Peanut Queen said...

I've been in love with wizards, witches, etc. ever since I can remember reading my first "fantasy" novel. When Harry Potter first hit the scene, my husband wanted to try it out and I said "But that's a kids book!" He bought it anyway, finished it and then I picked it up and couldn't put it down...I've been a Harry junkie ever since.

I love where she got the idea for Hagrid (who's one of my favorite characters)...from the burly biker at the pub she used to frequent.

She's a genius! :)

At 8:48 PM EDT, Blogger Tara said...

You know I have yet to read any of the Harry Potter books...I'm so behind!

At 10:28 PM EDT, Blogger Kristen said...

I'm only on book 4. I am so out of the loop. LOL. I'm going to pick up those two books cause they sound good. Thanks for the referrals.

At 7:50 AM EDT, Blogger An Extraordinary woman in a mediocre life said...

i'm also a harry junkie, although not quite as hardcore as yourself!

and i can remeber desperately wanting to go to witches school when i started reading the worst witch books as a little girl


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