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Harry Potter is too violent
• Posted by: Matthew Hamilton   <Send E-Mail>
• Date: Monday, August 19, 2002, at 4:53 p.m.
• IP Address:

The Harry Potter books are a fine addition to English children's fantasy literature. Certainly J.K. Rowling had no idea of the future success of these books when she scribbled down the beginnings of the series on scraps of paper at a local café. At the time she was a struggling single mum living off government assistance as well as being a newly divorced lady. But those few scraps of paper have evolved into not only a children's bestseller but it's also an adult’s bestseller. But why is Harry Potter so special. Adults love it because it reminds them of what they wanted to be when we were little. Most young girls read the books with admiration for the clever Hermione, who is a wonderful role model for younger girls. The magical aspects and sheer wonderment of a world that is so totally different to their own is what appeals to most girls. For boys, there are the attractions of such sports as Qudditch, such beasts as Fluffy, Hagrid's three headed dog and scenes of good versus evil, with Harry and his friends always coming out on top. Another reason that the books are so popular with parents and kids is that there are always new surprises in each book. These books are like a vegetable covered in chocolate - pleasing for kids and adults. There are many twist and turns in the novel and you can never expect what is going to happen next.

Not everyone enjoys the highly successful books though. Parents and school officials question Rowling's use of witchcraft and wizardry for Harry's adventures. There have been some cases throughout England where the books have been removed from the shelves of school libraries. Some people object to a world where dragons, gigantic spiders and three-headed beasts are the norm and where you have to watch your back incase a crippling and often fatal curse is thrown upon you. Not every child, also, has one of the world's worst Dark Wizards as their arch nemesis. However this is a touchy subject and a lot of the people that have rejected the series haven't even read it. I believe that this book into introduces the difference between fiction and nonfiction. Yet most parents are not only worried about the witchcraft, they also feel that Harry and his friends defy authority, teaching young readers it's okay to break the rules. In several of the books Harry sneaks across the grounds of Hogwarts after hours and he challenges his teachers when he thinks that they are wrong. There are even parts were Harry becomes Violent to his teachers and fellow students.

While it's true that Harry is not the most perfect student when faced with a decision, many of his readers appreciate the fact that he always chooses good over evil. In many cases other parents feel that some parents are over reacting by not letting their children read the books. These books allow a childs imagination to expand. So I ask, what is the difference between imagining witches, wizards and magic and imagining aliens from outer space?

Nevertheless, as Harry Potter continues to gain widespread appeal and success, soon you'll be able to buy all kinds of Harry Potter stuff. Already companies such as LEGO, Mattel and Hasbro have purchased the rights to sell Potter-related items to millions of fans. Warner Brothers, who has already produced the first Harry Potter movie and are working on the second, due to come out next year, has an official line of clothes, notebooks, watches, jewelry and Christmas ornaments. Many fans wonder how the Harry Potter movie and merchandise will affect the book series. Some people fear that what's been so great about Harry Potter is that all of the craze and the fascination over the books are completely in the kids' and the grown-ups' imaginations and that when the movie comes out it will change what people have imagined.

Who is Harry Potter? For those of you who don’t know, here is the basic plot of book one, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Harry turns 11 years old and learns that he's a famous wizard. This informationwas kept from him because he lives with his Muggle (non-magical people) relatives, the Dursleys, who want nothing to do with the wizarding world and hate magic. Harry also learns that an evil wizard called Lord Voldemort killed his parents and he also tried to kill Harry, but somehow he survived leaving only a small lightning bolt scar on his forehead. Soon after this discovery, Harry enters Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardy where he takes classes such as Transfigoration and Potions and gets to taste Chocolate Frogs and Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans (and that's every flavor from sardines to chocolate to ear wax). Harry quickly makes two new friends named Hermione and Ron and together they begin their first year at Hogwarts. It is here they learn their first magic skills and make friends with the school’s gamekeeper Hagrid. Not to mention the game of Quiddich, in fact Harry becomes the youngest seeker to play Quiddich for his house in over a hundred years. However, its not all fun and games, Harry has to learn quickly to avoid his arch rival, Draco Malfroy, his potions teacher, Professor Snape and of course the return of Lord Voldemort.

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