Jk Rowling and the Harry Potter Series

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  • Topic: Harry Potter, J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
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  • Published : October 23, 2011
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JK Rowling and the Harry Potter series

Little was known to me about J.K. Rowling, except that she was the author of the

critically acclaimed book and movie series “Harry Potter”. After watching the video of her

commencement speech that was given at Harvard University, I became motivated to do some

research on the author’s life. Rowling grew up in a household with her father who was an

engineer for Rolls Royce, her mother, and younger sister Dianne. After completing secondary

school, she went on to college to study modern languages. While attending Exeter University,

Rowling spent a year in Paris to learn French before finally graduating and moving on to work at

Amnesty International, an organization that campaigns against human rights abuse all over the

world.

In 1990, Rowling decided to leave her job at Amnesty International and move to

Manchester with her current boyfriend at the time. While taking a train from Manchester

back to London, Rowling came up with the idea for Harry Potter. That same night she began

writing “The Philosopher’s Stone”, now known as “The Sorcerer’s Stone”. Later on that year,

Rowling would be devastated by a series of unfortunate events. At the age of 45, her mother

passed away after battling with multiple sclerosis for ten years, and she would soon find out that

father had been having an affair and planned to wed his mistress.

Months later, she moved to Portugal to teach English at a language institution and

eventually married a Portuguese man. Although the marriage did not work out, she had been

given the best thing in her life, her daughter Jessica. Now as a recently divorced, single mom,

she went back to England to live with her sister Dianne. Rowling wanted to begin teaching

again, but knew that if she did, finishing her book would be near impossible. Without a job, she

had to survive on welfare while caring for her daughter and working to complete her book. After

sending out copies of the manuscript, she finally received word that “Harry Potter and Sorcerer’s

Stone” would finally be published.

After extensive research on Rowling’s life, it is my opinion that Rowling’s so called

“troubled childhood” was over exaggerated. She did not really begin to experience what most

people would consider hardships until she was 25 years old. I have also come to the conclusion

that the Harry Potter series was written in hopes of Rowling removing herself and her daughter

from an impoverished living situation and pursuing her lifelong dream of writing novels for a

living. Although it was not an easy task, and hardships were endured it is clear that Rowling

definitely reflected parts of her own life into the Harry Potter series.

A major example of this would be how Harry's adventure began with the murder of his

parents. Rowling even mentioned in her biography that the book had changed drastically when

her mother had died by saying: “Now, Harry's feelings about his dead parents had become much

deeper, and much more real”. There are positive elements from her life that are reflected in the

stories as well, such as the flying car, that made it’s first appearance in “The Chamber of

Secrets”. The car represented her feeling of freedom from having to always ask her father for a

lift. The vehicle in question was a turquoise and white Ford Anglia that had been owned by her

lifelong friend Sean Harris, whom the book “The Chamber of Secrets” was dedicated to. She had

even named a few characters after her close friends from college. Her core values came to life

through the characters she created, such as the dedication and perseverance that Harry Potter

possessed, or Dumbledore, who remained humble and had a strong sense of righteousness.

As I try to empathize with her situation during the writing process, the feeling becomes...
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