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Thread: Harry Potter

  1. #1
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    Harry Potter

    Are the Harry Potter books encourageing children to read ?
    or are these books and films reprehensible for
    popularizing witchcraft and the occult to very young
    children.
    Last edited by goldenbee; 07-17-2009 at 07:16 PM.

  2. #2
    Registered User Zee.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by goldenbee View Post
    or are these books and films reprehensible for
    popularizing witchcraft and the occult to very young
    children.
    What's so bad about that? "witchcraft" due to silly kids these days, dressing up and having freaky blood drinking, voodoo ritual parties has painted a completely incorrect image of "witchcraft" and what it truly is about

    No matter what you read or what you watch or what you do, you will be exposed to some kind of thought or idea that will influence you and impact you in different ways. That's just how our minds work.

    Ugh, i'm sorry but questions like that just.. bother me. It's so typical of human nature to take something and study the negatives of it and draw some odd conclusion from it. Only nutters would think that Harry Potter is a demonic series intent on unleashing the inner "witch" inside children. Ridiculous.
    Did Lord of the Rings ever receive such critique? has any fantasy, for that matter?

    Books free the mind.

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    Hitchcock Enthusiast Mathor's Avatar
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    like the person above said, it's for kids, why do we have to find something wrong with everything? I remember a newsletter going home when i was like 13 or 14. It listed all the reasons Pokemon, Dragon Ball Z, and Harry Potter were evil and therefore my mom shouldn't let that influence me. My mom read it and laughed. Harry Potter is a harmless book/movie, there is nothing wrong with it. Some people don't like Fantasy or don't like stories about magic, and that is your opinion, but to say others who do like Fantasy shouldn't be able to enjoy it is just asinine.
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    Bibliophile Drkshadow03's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by goldenbee View Post
    Are the Harry Potter books encourageing children to read ?
    or are these books and films reprehensible for
    popularizing witchcraft and the occult to very young
    children.
    Harry Potter turned me into a vampire.
    "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

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    Asa Nisi Masa mayneverhave's Avatar
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    Please no more of these Harry Potter threads. Didn't we put the last one to rest?

  6. #6
    Any books that hold thousands of children captivated and have them so excited about reading aren't evil - it doesn't take a genius to work that one out. In fact, books like Harry Potter should be applauded. In today's society, a society of video games and the internet, books like Harry Potter are needed because it's their 'magic' which introduces the beauty of reading to a young and influential audience.
    Only an idiot has no grief; only a fool would forget it. What else is there in this world sharp enough to stick to your guts? - Faulkner

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    somewhere else Helga's Avatar
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    I agree with Adagio it is great that kids are reading, and these books are very long considering how young the kids are that are reading them. but in my opinion I don't like them. I had to read the first book for an English class when I was 16 and have an introduction of a few chapters, I read as much as I had to and than gave up. the only book I haven't finished.
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    Registered User Zee.'s Avatar
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    HELGA YOU'RE NUTS!

    Harry Potter sets my world on fire

  9. #9
    The Ghost of Laszlo Jamf islandclimber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mayneverhave View Post
    Please no more of these Harry Potter threads. Didn't we put the last one to rest?
    AGREED!!!

    honestly if you want to see a discussion on Harry Potter go back in this section of the forum a while and you will find a couple long threads... be forewarned though, there is not a very high opinion of Harry Potter on this forum...

  10. #10
    TobeFrank Paulclem's Avatar
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    Yes they are encouraging children to read, which is the factual aspect of your question. You only need to look at the launches of the books to see the excitement they induced.

    The second part of your question is a matter of opinion, though what a work has fiction has to do with some supposed occult beats me. What witchcraft/ occult are you referring to? The romantic notion of witchcraft, the dancing acolytes and dubious ceremonies which are certainly a modern construction, or the ignorent fear-driven witchcraft that preys upon the vulnerable in less well off societies? Or are you perhaps referring to the historical trials where vulnerable women - usually - fell victim to local prejudice and fear?

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    Bibliophile JBI's Avatar
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    This is why one shouldn't continue an already discussed topic - I already proved, on the old thread, that reading rates were down in the Harry Potter age bracket since its publication, so in truth, though the Potter encourages perhaps a couple kids to read Harry Potter, the general population has been steadily reading less and less since even before its publication, and the effects seen on the industry in terms of kids reading are negligible.

    The act of actually reading doesn't justify reading - the justification for reading is that there is something worth getting from what you are reading - that is what one aught to discuss - quite simply, I have issues with Harry Potter, mainly because of its content, but also because of its popularity, which, as expected, has ebbed quite significantly already, without even the new film getting as much exposure here as Twilight got.

    Seriously, when can the market accept a young-adult series that features female characters in the forefront again? They had some in the 80s and early 90s, but since then, it seems there are 100 bored-youth-becomes-hero movies and books every year.

    Though I don't think they are responsible for promotting the occult in children (and would that be any worse than, for instance, the Jonas Brothers promoting Evangelical Christianity in their music? The fact that the corruption question turns to witchcraft, but isn't turned on "Christian values" with the same pitchfork and torch wielding is beyond me) but I do think it is a) too traditionally English, and reinforces the British class system (How in Hell, in the wizarding world, are there families who are poor (to the point where they can't buy their children new clothes). You would think, with all these powers, there wouldn't be poor wizards!) and also creates harmful models in terms of characters.

    I think my biggest problem has to do with the construction of Gender in the texts - women are clearly, if we examine all the characters, in the sidelines - the idealized woman, the nervy housewife Mrs. Bennet style Mrs. Weasley - smarter and more sensible than her husband, yet, stays at home in the kitchen worrying about what is happening to everyone. The next most central female character, Hermione - a girl who is a) made fun of for her studiousness and ability (by even her friends), her parvenu claims to fame, and ultimately, despite all that, is forced into the sidelines so that Harry can save the day. Harry, when he does something smart, is praised nonstop - Hermione is made fun of, which, ultimately, is a cultural gender problem which is quite thoroughly rooted in attitudes before the 70s, which still appear even today.

    The next female characters all seem minor - we have the Ron kids sister whose name I cannot quite remember right now, who supposedly functions as the love interest of the Harry kid in the later books, before comfortably settling into her mother's role at the stories climax, despite her professed talent at magic (come on, he's Harry potter?).

    In truth, I cannot come up with one fantastic, forefronted female character, whose shown to have a strong will, and yet be independent from reliance on males. The Malfoy kid even has his female admirer beside him (can't remember her name either) to cheer him on, and supposedly there is an evil female girl (played by in the movie by Helena Bonham Carter) who is a villainized Medusa type character, whose laughs are perhaps silenced by the noble forces of good, (restoring women to the kitchens where they belong!). Certainly not the most interesting of books.


    Lets be honest - the male depressed teenager loser character is so freaking dated, why can't we have a strong female character in young adult literature that doesn't always yield to her male friends, or isn't completely ignored by the public, and dismissed as too girly for males to read about? The Bridge to Teribithia perhaps attempted that - though, alas, we all know how that one ended.

    But who knows - for a text at least in part modeled on the New Testament, it makes sense - The Virgin can have the kid, the Magdalene can serve the son, and cry over him, but when it comes down to it, you get the all sacrificing hero type guy, and his gang of apostles all sitting around taking a stab at the action, fighting off evils and sins and whatnot while the women sit back and watch from the sidelines.

  12. #12
    Hitchcock Enthusiast Mathor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBI View Post
    The act of actually reading doesn't justify reading - the justification for reading is that there is something worth getting from what you are reading - that is what one aught to discuss - quite simply, I have issues with Harry Potter, mainly because of its content, but also because of its popularity, which, as expected, has ebbed quite significantly already, without even the new film getting as much exposure here as Twilight got.
    I completely disagree. The act of reading is certainly good for anybody, regardless of the book. Growing up, I read a whole slew of good, okay, and terrible books. Regardless of if they were good, or if they were mentally challenging reads, they increased my vocabulary, and made me a better reader. If any book causes more people to go out and read (even Twilight, which I refuse to read and hate to hear about), than that is certainly a great thing.
    Last edited by Mathor; 07-18-2009 at 07:15 PM.
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    Bibliophile JBI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathor View Post
    I completely disagree. The act of reading is certainly good for anybody, regardless of the book. Growing up, I read a whole slew of good, okay, and terrible books. Regardless of if they were good, or if they were mentally challenging reads, they increased my vocabulary, and made me a better reader. If any book causes more people to go out and read (even Twilight, which I refuse to read and hate to hear about), than that is certainly a great thing.
    Watching movies, television, playing video games - those all have the potential to increase one's vocabulary. Staying on Facebook, reading forums - those all can increase vocabulary - I often frequent Italian and French chatrooms, for instance, to increase my vocabulary, and profficiency with the language - people have been speaking well enough with minimal literacy.

    The only advantage text gives, is it teaches how to control text - it teaches one how to better read texts, and how to write them better (spelling included). But if there is nothing to worth writing about, or reading about, why bother. Reading for the sake that it is productive in teaching people how to read is a self defeating argument. The only possible argument could be that reading trash inspires people to read good books, and in that case, I'd have to say that I disagree that Potter does that - I think those who start with trash and move on to good books happen to be those who would move on to reading good books regardless of what trash they started with, whereas the bulk of Potterites will probably not end up moving on to great works, as shown by the rapidly dropping reading rates (which can be found on the other thread).

  14. #14
    Hitchcock Enthusiast Mathor's Avatar
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    I've never read that thread, could you send me a link to this research? I've always assumed that Harry Potter books have gone UP in popularity?
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    BadWoolf JuniperWoolf's Avatar
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    At least if kids are reading Harry Potter they're not watching Spongebob and turning gay. Parents take things too seriously.
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