Orphans in the Literature of J.K. Rowling
15 December 2009
Major Literary Figures
Orphans in Rowling 's Harry Potter Series
An orphan is a child permanently bereaved of his or her parents through death. UNICEF reports that there are between one hundred and forty-three million and two hundred and ten million orphans worldwide and, furthermore, that five thousand seven-hundred and sixty minors become parentless daily. With the gargantuan quantity of bereft children, it is no surprise that literary protagonists are frequently orphaned. From Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien to Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum, victims of parent loss have been molded into key characters. One of the most recent, and most famous, orphans in literature is J.K. Rowling 's Harry Potter. However, in her seven book series, Rowling chose to bereave the antagonist of his parents as well, displaying an interesting line between the choices that are made that lead to good and evil. A common African proverb states that it takes a community to raise a child. The English term community originates from the Latin word communitatus, which can be divided into three essential features. "Com-" is a Latin prefix that indicates togetherness. Public duties are associated with the root, "munis." The suffix, "-tatus" refers to something little or residential. Localities in which people reside under one government with common interests are commonly known as communities. While the beings within these groups will posses differentiating qualities, a homogenous element that bonds the people together must exist. In the Harry Potter novels, the wizarding world is set apart from the common humans, muggles, through the ability to perform magic and the passion to understand its potential. Within the network of wizards, individual communities exist based on geographical locations, natural abilities, and a desire for improvement. Rowling emphasizes the necessity of community in order to mature
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