Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Analysis Part 2

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  • Topic: Harry Potter, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Harry Potter universe
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  • Published : December 14, 2011
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Children’s Literature – November 30th, 2011

Harry Potter (continued)

Criticism
▪ Thematic
o Too dark, complex, adult
▪ Book 1 opens with a double murder
▪ Harry’s link with Voldemort
o Censorship
▪ Parallels between banning and not saying Voldemort’s name

▪ How Harry Potter fits in children’s literature
o Literary qualities
▪ Textual jokes
- Page 15, Rowling didn’t know how popular her novels would become - Diagon Alley, funny, puny names
- Albus Dumbledore ( Albus = White in Latin

o Literary value
▪ Inter-textuality
- Boarding school story
o Stock characters; bully, sneak, enemy, best friend, friendly teachers, vindictive master o Stock events; contract between home and initiation into new school, problems with uniform and equipment, making friends, getting into trouble, being uundeserving unpopular, saving the day - Sword and the Stone (1938), T.H White

o Education of young Wart by Merlin; eventual discovery of his parentage; destiny as national hero; King Arthur o Sir Grummore Grummersum, Uther Pendragon
- Fairy tales
o Cinderella; cruelty from step family, taken away, better off o Common plot of fairy tale
▪ Modest (male) protagonist
▪ Unaware of special qualities
▪ Departs form
▪ Must fulfill taskes (often 3, sometimes 7)
- Troll, Fluffy, Devil’s Snare, key, chess game, potions puzzle, Quirrell ▪ Meet animals/friends that help protagonist
▪ Meet older person who gives valuable advice
▪ Overcomes an adversary
▪ Returns home
- Romance quest
o Search for stone
o Search for identity, knowledge
o Harry as Christian knight, acts quest in the name of good (God) - Philosopher’s Stone
o Myth; alchemy; elixir of life or transform metal into gold o Sought by Isaac Newton and Nicholas Flamel (real people) - Greek myth
o Centaurs
o Minerva McGonagall; Goddess of...
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