A Formalist Guide To Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s Stone: Mikhail Bakhtin's Novel Form

3659 words - 15 pages

A Formalist Guide to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
Mikhail Bakhtin has provided an intricate insight to what a novel entails. J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone fits into the form that Bakhtin has created. Using laughter, plot, setting, and character development, Harry Potter is able to connect with its audiences in the way that Bakhtin feels a novel should. Mikhail Bakhtin’s study of the novel’s form allows readers to better understand the world and characters that are constructed in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.
Mikhail Bakhtin gives a thorough explanation of what a novel should be and what it should include in his work Epic and Novel: Towards a Methodology for the Study of the Novel. Bakhtin explains that in order to have a novel you must have laughter, a plot set in the present working towards the future, and relatable characters. Throughout his comparison of the epic and novel, Bakhtin explains what a novel does that makes it different from the epic. Using the three characteristics that were previously mentioned (laughter, plot, and characters), Bakhtin shows how each of these elements makes a novel work as a whole. Bakhtin discusses that the use of laughter is vital because “[It] destroys the epic,” (23). Laughter is crucial to break down the wall of fear that can be created by unknown texts and allow the reader to continue further investigation. Bakhtin continues on to explain that the plot in a novel is continuing and needs detail, stating, “The absence of internal conclusiveness and exhaustiveness creates a sharp increase in demands for an external and formal completedness and exhaustiveness, especially in regards to plot line” (Bakhtin 31). He explains that since the novel’s plot-line is not finished and is continuing to move towards the future, there must be a large amount of detail. Unlike the epic where the plot is already complete, the novel needs more detail because it is still continuing to move forward. The reader must be able to navigate where the novel is going and what is going on in order to comprehend the plot, and in order to do that, plot must be detailed. Finally, Bakhtin discusses the type of character that a novel would include. A novel should include a character that “...should not be ‘heroic’ in either the epic or the tragic sense of the word; he should combine in himself negative as well as positive features, low as well as lofty, ridiculous as well as serious” (10). The character should also “not be portrayed as an already completed and unchanging person but as one who is evolving and developing, a person who learns from life” (10). The characters, regardless of age must continue to develop and learn from their mistakes. Bakhtin uses all of the elements to describe what a novel should include. J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone includes these elements which allows its readers to comprehend and connect with the story.
Harry Potter and the...

Find Another Essay On A Formalist Guide to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone: Mikhail Bakhtin's Novel Form

The Heroic Cycle in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

2291 words - 9 pages Potter and the Sorcerer’s stone (English version is Philosopher’s Stone) the first novel of the series not only introduces Harry to the wizard world, but also introduces him as the reluctant hero. From the day he was born and due to his parental lineage, Harry is thrusted into playing the hero role and is therefore elevated into a celebrity in the Wizard World. This status and fame is accompanied with the heroic acts that Harry takes on and the

The psychoanalytic criticism on "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone"

550 words - 2 pages strong sense of defense mechanism in the fantasy novel, "Harry Potter and The Philosopher's Stone" by J.K. Rowling (also known as "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" in United State of America).Another term is 'talking cure' where the reality is reveals and the problems are being solved. Everything comes to the light and there is cease of the Defense Mechanism.The analysisHarry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone is a famous fantasy novel by the

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J.K. Rowling

1340 words - 5 pages IntroductionHave you ever imagined living in a world filled with magic or wizards? Or can you imagine playing a game where you need to fly with a broom? That’s amazing, isn’t it? If you want to experience magic, comedy, excitement and adventure, you must read ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’. When you are reading the book, you will feel like you are in a mysterious magic world, overcoming challenges with Harry

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, by J.K. Rowling, is

1188 words - 5 pages went to go to the end of the year banquet. It is announced that Gryffindor would win due to the heroics of the 3 students. This is great news since Slytherin had one the last 6 championships. The banquet ended the year and Harry returned to the Dursely's home. Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone is a very good read and is really for everyone. Even though it has a childish feel, it has many themes and ideals that make it a good read for any

A comparison between the books Alice in Wonderland, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

882 words - 4 pages be cut off. Fantasy begins when Alice enters Wonderland and starts meeting fantasy characters, such as the caterpillar, and the Cheshire cat. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland is a novel that appeals to both children and adults.Thirdly, the novel Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone appeals more to children due to the adventure and magic. Harry has lost his parents and he now lives with his bitter aunt and uncle. Children enjoy reading about a

Write an essay that compares and contrasts JK Rowling's novel Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone with its film adaptation. You should consider matters of form and technique in your essay

953 words - 4 pages The novel, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, is a great success. People from all over the world are crazy about it. Due to the popularity of the novel, a film was produced in correspondence to the literacy text. In this essay, the matters of form and techniques used in the novel and its film adaptation will be compared and contrasted.Novel and film creates different impact on people. Reading of the novel requires imagining of the scene

Harry the Modest Hero in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

888 words - 4 pages Harry Potter is quiet modest and humble compared to the stereotypical hero in most novels. His horrible, bullied, upbringing in the home of his adoptive relatives plays an important role in how he stays so humble and reluctant to accept his praise as a hero. As a result of this upbringing, he also does not see himself as a significant individual. Harry is neither right nor wrong to reject his praise due to the circumstances but his superior

Themes and Rhetorical Devices in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

1885 words - 8 pages rhetorical devices. For instance, her symbolism, themes, imagery, and foreshadowing add suspense and intrigue to the first novel, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, which results in the reader eager to read more about the boy wizard. If the story lacked these features, it would be a rather uninteresting narrative and would not have reached the level of fame that it has today. Throughout Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, there are three main

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone vs The Deathly Hallows: Themes

720 words - 3 pages The Harry Potter series is a world filled with magic, adventures, and memorable quirky characters. All seven books by J.K. Rowling featuring Harry Potter the young boy wizard with a unique lightening scar and even more remarkable destiny continues to influence and inspire children and adults around the world. Rowling manages to balance humor and darker themes in the children’s books that allows for a wider range of audience to connect with the

How successful was the marketing Campaign of Harry Potter and the philosopher's stone?

3028 words - 12 pages . Coca-Cola has a magical ideology. This is emphasised especially in Coca-Cola's institutional value. This is because Coca-Cola is associated with magic - in Christmas and it's ideology. Harry Potter is part of the fantasy genre that is ideal for all members of the family. Harry Potter and the philosopher's stone is a family film. This ties in with Coca-Cola's brand values of family. Coca-Cola's family brand values are also linked to Coca-Cola's

Coming of Age for the Charaters in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

1248 words - 5 pages want their children to see, not about what their children actually learn. In Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Harry leaves his aunt and uncle, Petunia and Vernon Dursley, to study magic at the Hogwarts school of witchcraft and wizardry. Soon after leaving he discovers that his parents were murdered by the most powerful dark lord, Voldemort, and he was the "boy who lived." Along the way to Hogwarts, Harry meets Ron Weasley and Hermione

Similar Essays

Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s Stone

910 words - 4 pages Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone is an excellent fantasy book. The author, J.K. Rowling, uses great detail which includes talking animals, and eccentric characters. Not only did Harry Potter show these three key elements but it also portrayed the exact definition of fantasy which is to tell a story of the impossible. We see a lot of examples of this throughout the book. J.K. Rowling does a magnificent job using detail in this book. She

Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s Stone: Book Vs Movie

1251 words - 5 pages A movie that came out in 2002 was Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. This movie was based off the best-selling novel, which was written in 1997 by J.K. Rowling, called Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. If you were to read this book and watch the movie you would find many differences, but the main difference between the two is that the book gives more information to the reader than the movie gives to the viewer. If someone was to

Harry Potter And The Sorcerers Stone

1085 words - 4 pages My book report is on the book 'Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone' by J.K. Rowling. The main character Harry Potter, discovers that he not an ordinary boy, he is in fact, a wizard. Harry soon discovers that he is famous, famous for the downfall of a corrupt wizard, Lord Voldemort. Harry finds out that he has been accepted into a school, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, a school for young witches and wizards. While in

Gender Roles In Children’s Books: An Examination Of Little House In The Big Woods And Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s Stone

1825 words - 7 pages the idea that gender roles are assigned at birth, it would be interesting to explore how children’s book authors promote masculinity and femininity through the messages conveyed in their storytelling. Two books from different time periods, Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House in the Big Woods and J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, will be examined. Lorber would argue that in Little House in the Big Woods, originally written