Page 1 of 11 123456 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 162

Thread: Harry Potter

  1. #1
    Soulless Student Serenity5815's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    18

    Thumbs up Harry Potter

    I haven't noticed a topic about it, so I thought I'd get one started!

    I've heard a few complains about this book, how it lacks literary merit being one, but I think that if you really read into it you can find some profound meaning in it. It's a personal favorite of mine, and I'm lucky to be a part of the generation that grew up with these books. I was eight when the first one came out ten years ago, and I've been reading them since then. My mom told me to read it, and I came out of my room three days later to get her to take me down to the bookstore for the next one. Next thing you know, I'm driving myself down to the midnight party for the last book! It was great to be a part of that group who grew up with Harry, so it hold something special for me. Anyone else in the same situation?

  2. #2
    Asa Nisi Masa mayneverhave's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Philadelphia
    Posts
    732
    You are all a lost generation

  3. #3
    Registered User Leabhar's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Ghoul-haunted woodland of Weir
    Posts
    83
    At least they're reading something. They could just be watching TV.
    My mother is a fish.

  4. #4
    Bibliophile JBI's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Toronto
    Posts
    6,358
    Yeah, except I hate christian propoganda, and that's how I read Potter. It was practically spoon-fed to me as a kid by one of my elementary teachers, and I have been trying to shake it ever since. Honestly, the thing she lacks is character. I can't think of one memorable character in the whole series. Especially not her hero, or her main female role, or the best friend. Cliché over-done dribble in my eyes.

    I think for kids, there needs to be a character they can relate to, and as for Harry, I don't think it is. In fact, the character of Harry just goes to show you how children's literature is unable to accept a strong female protagonist, and how Rowling was unable to break that sort of boundary.

    The very name J. K. Rowling was designed to trick book buyers into thinking she was a man, and therefore to buy the book. If that isn't problematic, I don't know what is.

    As for the whole generation bit, I think that's the problem. They are a generation, and like all generations, they end. I don't see the same Harry Potter craze occurring now as I did 5 years ago (though this could be just that I am older and around quite literary people most of the day) and it seems the books are already on the way to the recycling bin.

    It's just a shame that those books sold for 45$ a pop on the first night, when one could have bought so many other great books with that money. lets say from book 5 - 7 they were 45$, that is 135$ or 10-20 great books. What a shame.

  5. #5
    Bibliophile JBI's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Toronto
    Posts
    6,358
    Quote Originally Posted by Leabhar View Post
    At least they're reading something. They could just be watching TV.
    I think the problem is, that T.V. isn't worse than Harry Potter. They both are rather meh, at least T.V. doesn't pretend to be something else.

  6. #6
    Asa Nisi Masa mayneverhave's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Philadelphia
    Posts
    732
    Quote Originally Posted by JBI View Post
    Yeah, except I hate christian propoganda, and that's how I read Potter. It was practically spoon-fed to me as a kid by one of my elementary teachers, and I have been trying to shake it ever since. Honestly, the thing she lacks is character. I can't think of one memorable character in the whole series. Especially not her hero, or her main female role, or the best friend. Cliché over-done dribble in my eyes.
    How old are you JBI?

  7. #7
    Bibliophile JBI's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Toronto
    Posts
    6,358
    *****

    Though I will say, I am still an undergraduate.

    The Potters came out I believe, when I was in grade 4, and everyone was raving about them.
    Last edited by JBI; 10-19-2008 at 07:47 PM. Reason: decided not to reveal my age to the public

  8. #8
    Soulless Student Serenity5815's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    18
    Quote Originally Posted by JBI View Post
    Honestly, the thing she lacks is character. I can't think of one memorable character in the whole series. Especially not her hero, or her main female role, or the best friend. Cliché over-done dribble in my eyes.
    I remember plenty of great characters. The Weasley Twins were funny and lovable, and you had Luna who was just so strange. So the main characters were normal people. Is that such a crime? Why does a book need to break down social barriers or completely turn your view of the world topsy turvy to be "literary"?

    Quote Originally Posted by JBI View Post
    I think for kids, there needs to be a character they can relate to, and as for Harry, I don't think it is. In fact, the character of Harry just goes to show you how children's literature is unable to accept a strong female protagonist, and how Rowling was unable to break that sort of boundary.
    I didn't need a character to relate to growing up. And why does there have to be a strong, female protagonist? Perhaps she wanted to write about a boy? Hermione was a strong character, perhaps not the rock hard heroine you need, but at least she wasn't a flimsy little thing like Shakespeare's heroines.

    Quote Originally Posted by JBI View Post
    As for the whole generation bit, I think that's the problem. They are a generation, and like all generations, they end. I don't see the same Harry Potter craze occurring now as I did 5 years ago (though this could be just that I am older and around quite literary people most of the day) and it seems the books are already on the way to the recycling bin.
    They weren't read just by my generation, but even still, they've made an impact, and that's never going to go away. And the craze isn't occurring now because all the books have been written, so there's nothing else to go crazy over.

    Quote Originally Posted by JBI View Post
    It's just a shame that those books sold for 45$ a pop on the first night, when one could have bought so many other great books with that money. lets say from book 5 - 7 they were 45$, that is 135$ or 10-20 great books. What a shame.
    I bought my seventh one for $17, and I've read plenty of other great books as well, but this hasn't been a waste of my time. I've bought Kafka, Homer, Sophocles, Chaucer, and plenty of other books that you could argue are much more profound and literary, but if you look at Harry Potter from a different perspective, it's just as great.

  9. #9
    Asa Nisi Masa mayneverhave's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Philadelphia
    Posts
    732
    Quote Originally Posted by JBI View Post
    *****

    Though I will say, I am still an undergraduate.

    The Potters came out I believe, when I was in grade 4, and everyone was raving about them.
    The only reason I asked was because your literary aptitude - or at the very least, extreme interest - made you seem years older.

    I personally lament the Harry Potter craze because, unfortunately, I to am "part" of that generation, being an undergraduate myself.

  10. #10
    Bibliophile JBI's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Toronto
    Posts
    6,358
    Don't need a character to relate to or a strong female protagonist? Isn't that the basis of the whole genre, from Goethe to today, to create a character who relates, and experiences what the readers should be experiencing, or shows an aspect of what children's experience is. I find it puzzling how one can credit the genius of a work without isolating a memorable character.

    In terms of character creation, I think there are two sides to the spectrum. There is the Shakespeare side, where you are left with unbelievably deep characters, who seem to be more real than real characters, whereas there is the Dickens side of the spectrum, which has cartoonish sort of characters that are meant to be comical. Aristotle mentions this sort of phenomenon somewhere near the beginning of the poetics, though it has somewhat gone through a series of distortions, being that shakespeare's comical characters seem to have melded with romantic characters, to create something newer and stranger.

    But that is beside the point. Rowling's characters try to be deep, but fail, they are midway to cartoon side, without being comical, or memorable. They merely are flat characters posing as the real thing, where they sort of jump around pretending to have real emotions, though constantly fighting themsleves, and their own mediocrity.

    Harry isn't a very strong character. In 7 books, tell me, does he ever really grow? Does he ever mature, even though he is going from 9 to 16? Does he experience real emotions? Does puberty effect him in any way? Does sexual desire even play a part in the book, besides some overly nostalgic often comical portrayal of a 14 year old boy's fear of kissing a girl (keep in mind, if they were ten it may have worked). Do issues like, for instance, sexual urge, masturbation, or even aesthetics hold any ground?

    Of course not. But that is just the main male character, lets examine the main female character, Hermione.

    I find it ironic how Hermione is named after the Hermione in Shakespeare's Winter's Tale, but that is besides the point. She to doesn't grow, and is often viewed as a bit of a nutter. Her progressive ideas are laughed at by everyone else, including the readers, and Rowling herself, and her desire to succeed in school, or to not break the rules is laughed upon. She is always yielding so Harry can have his spot light, and always emotional and the one to doubt the situation, when she is constantly proven wrong. In fact, the archetypal female in the story is none other than Mrs. Weasley, one "perfect woman." - A nervy stay at home mom, who, though is more intelligent and sensible than her husband, adheres to the conservative role of cooking dinner, and keeping the house. Not to mention birthing more than a half dozen children. Held up as the "perfect woman", as both Harry and Hermione see her, we have trouble, and big trouble, as the female characters all yield into those perceived gender roles.

    But that extends to the minor female characters as well, and not just the good ones, but the bad ones too. I can't remember many names, but that girl who is always around that Malfoy kid seems to yield to him, enjoying sitting in the back and praising his witticisms. It's pathetic.

    I challenge any fan of the series, to name me one female character who is shown as stronger than the males. The closest I can come up with is that giant woman, but even she is portrayed bellow the Hagrid character. Even McGonagall (sp?) is portrayed bellow the male teachers. And that isn't to mention that kooky Divination teacher who is a complete stereotype.

    But yes, we don't need characters to look up to, or to enjoy, we simply can sit back, and see how things unfold, where Jesus Christ meets Gandalf.

  11. #11
    Bibliophile JBI's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Toronto
    Posts
    6,358
    Quote Originally Posted by mayneverhave View Post
    The only reason I asked was because your literary aptitude - or at the very least, extreme interest - made you seem years older.

    I personally lament the Harry Potter craze because, unfortunately, I to am "part" of that generation, being an undergraduate myself.
    We are though, if you look at it. The first one came out in 97. We are the intended audience for the first book, being between 7-11 years old (in Canada anyway), and the book being a decent sized novel, without pictures.

  12. #12
    Bibliophile Drkshadow03's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    My heart lives in New York.
    Posts
    1,716
    Hmm, maybe that's what I like about the Harry Potter books. They seem to annoy Leftists and Right wing conservatives equally.
    "You understand well enough what slavery is, but freedom you have never experienced, so you do not know if it tastes sweet or bitter. If you ever did come to experience it, you would advise us to fight for it not with spears only, but with axes too." - Herodotus

    https://consolationofreading.wordpress.com/ - my book blog!
    Feed the Hungry!

  13. #13
    Bibliophile JBI's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Toronto
    Posts
    6,358
    Quote Originally Posted by Drkshadow03 View Post
    Hmm, maybe that's what I like about the Harry Potter books. They seem to annoy Leftists and Right wing conservatives equally.
    Yes, but thankfully the Ivory Tower sways to a left wind. And, I don't think conservatives really mind the books - just radical religious zealots.
    Last edited by JBI; 10-19-2008 at 11:58 PM.

  14. #14
    Artist and Bibliophile stlukesguild's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    The USA... or thereabouts
    Posts
    6,076
    Blog Entries
    78
    Hermione was a strong character, perhaps not the rock hard heroine you need, but at least she wasn't a flimsy little thing like Shakespeare's heroines.

    You have got to be kidding me. Flimsy characters? What have you actually read by Shakespeare?

    I've bought Kafka, Homer, Sophocles, Chaucer, and plenty of other books that you could argue are much more profound and literary, but if you look at Harry Potter from a different perspective, it's just as great.

    From what perspective would that be... so that I might avoid it?
    Beware of the man with just one book. -Ovid
    The man who doesn't read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them.- Mark Twain
    My Blog: Of Delicious Recoil
    http://stlukesguild.tumblr.com/

  15. #15
    Charles the Grinning Boy SirRaustusBear's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Chapel Hill, NC
    Posts
    122
    I'm an undergrad too so I was part of the first book's target audience. I've read all but the last one and I intend to read it eventually too. I like the books a lot, but you can't expect brilliant literature when you approach them. They're escapist and they're fun, and as long as Harry Potter isn't the only thing you read there's nothing wrong with it.

    Now as for strong female characters, Hermoine is the smartest kid in the school, and McGonagal is second in command only to Dumbeldore. How is that below the male teachers? She and Trelawney are both stereotypes but so are Flitwick and Snape and everyone else so that can't really be claimed as evidence of sexism.

    Mrs. Weasley is not supposed to be the "ideal woman," if she were Hermoine would look up to her rather than Mcgonagal. Mrs. Weasley is a loving mother, sometimes overly so, and Harry, having been raised by a cold family, likes that.

    I don't pick up any Christian propaganda in the books, try C. S. Lewis if you're looking for didacticism. I mean Christians hate the books for endorsing witchcraft. Could you be more specific in giving examples of Christian messages in the books?

    As for memorable characters, there really aren't any, but that's because escapist literature doesn't require memorable characters. Going all the way back to Theagenes and Chariclea which is regarded as one of the first romances, escapist protagonists just reflect the values of their society which allows the reader to place themself in the role of protagonist.

    Whether J. K. Rowling was trying to disguise her sex by using initials is questionable. J.R.R.Tolkein did it, C.S.Lewis did it, maybe she wanted to follow in their footsteps. Why isnt the Great Gatsby by Francis Scott Fitsgerald? I wonder why any authors choose to abbreviate their names, and it is an open question but we can't assume it was a sexist move.
    Dost thou think, because thou art virtuous, there shall be no more cakes and ale?

Page 1 of 11 123456 ... LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Pants game
    By nome1486 in forum Forum Games
    Replies: 678
    Last Post: 09-28-2016, 03:16 PM
  2. News
    By Scheherazade in forum Serious Discussions
    Replies: 1250
    Last Post: 03-11-2014, 09:02 AM
  3. Harry Potter v/s Lord of the Rings
    By dhriti in forum General Literature
    Replies: 100
    Last Post: 10-09-2009, 01:35 AM
  4. Harry Potter film pulls vanishing act on EW cover?
    By Wizard272002 in forum General Chat
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 08-17-2008, 11:13 PM
  5. Rowling sues publisher of Harry Potter Lexicon
    By bluevictim in forum General Literature
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 03-22-2008, 05:25 AM

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •