Why ‘Harry Potter’ is not the devil

Published by adviser, Author: Stephani Damato - Commentary, Date: October 2, 2014
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I felt the need to write this after having my own experiences with a few uneducated people about the topic of Harry Potter which is, after all, a children’s book, although it reaches exponentially deeper than that of a child’s understanding.

The Harry Potter series by JK Rowling was written for children, but as the seven-book series unfolds, it becomes evident that the plot and the themes become darker. This is not to scare children, to promote actual witchcraft, or to support Satan. This works —as most literature attempts—to teach kids about the cruel realities of the world, embedded into a fantastical realm. Although witches, wizards, goblins, dragons, mermaids, giants, elves, werewolves, and magic may not exist in real life, the emotions and lessons that the characters learn and take with them do.

Harry Potter is, in all simplicity, a story about good versus evil. It symbolizes the struggle of good, flawed people and the sacrifices they have to make in order to protect the ones they love and to make the world a better place. Harry wasn’t asked to have all of this responsibility hoisted upon his shoulders, just like many of us feel in our own lives, but even through his darkest times he prevails and proves that good can win. In this story, good does triumph over evil, which in many cases doesn’t always happen. However, Harry and his friends lose a great amount of precious things in order for them to finally conquer evil.  This story shows that there are very bad people in this world, but for every bad guy, there are good guys equally as powerful.

Arguably, the overall theme is love—love for your family, love for your friends, for your classmates, for your teachers, even for yourself. The power of love (as cheesy as it may sound) is what protects Harry to begin with. His mother’s love shielded him from death and she gave her life in order for her son to live: the ultimate sacrifice. In turn, Harry’s love for his friends is what pushed him to risk his life so that the world could prosper and be rid of the primary evil source that was trying to harm them all—Lord Voldemort.

Yes, there is magic, witchcraft, and wizardry in this story. It’s a fictional tale meant to teach children the difference between good and bad, and that not everybody is perfect. The good wizards use the magic for good, the dark wizards use their magic for evil—this is directly mirroring our own society. Everyone has their own talents, their own power. Some use it for good, some use it for harm.

Besides, the HP series isn’t the first or the only novels dealing with magic. Just take a stroll around the bookstore. So, why should it receive all the negative hype? People who haven’t even read it ignorantly express opinions on something they aren’t knowledgeable about. Don’t speak negatively about something unless you understand it first-hand, and if you haven’t read Harry Potter, give it a try. It just may change your life, I would know.

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