Cracking The Harry Potter Code. Essay

7530 words - 30 pages

Crackingthe Potter CodeAlice's Evidence 1"Where shall I begin," he asked"Begin at the beginning," the King said. 2Entering the market-place of Harry Potter and so to the beginningWith more than 175 million copies of Rowling's books in print world wide in some forty languages, Pottermania has become a cultural phenomenon. The Harry Potter novels, the Harry Potter movie, the related media publicity, and an expanding assortment of heavily promoted paraphernalia, infuse a world wide popular culture and have significant societal ramifications for the whole education of the child:"The proliferation of these items constitutes a blatant elucidation of the genuine excitement of children's literature that stems from children's true interest." 3And then there is my younger brother's own statement (has read every single Harry Potter novel at least seven times), which could be taken as the representative voice for this phenomenon:"It tells a good yarn, and it's believable because I can relate to Harry. It's never boring." 4The Harry Potter phenomenon has taken the world by storm, and in many ways the series appears to be accountable for a renaissance in reading for children all over the world - and Harry has been rightfully rewarded a trunk full of awards, from the Smarties Prize to Publisher Weekly Best Book of 1998. Possibly one of the most brilliant things about the Harry Potter phenomenon is that it has occurred in an era of cable television, DVD, cinema and MTV as the technologies of a popular culture.A leading academic, G.L. Anatol, in his Reading Harry Potter - Critical Essays , states: "… no other book has ever sold as quickly." 5Yet popularity does not guarantee quality - or does it? This is the Mock Turtle syndrome - is it really a simple question?What is it that makes Harry Potter not only an international phenomenon among children, parents and teachers but also a topic of compelling curiosity to literary, social, and cultural critics? When asked, Rowling has elucidated in several interviews that this is the question she refuses to answer, lest her readers believe there is a magic formula to her writing that she must include in the next book for success. 6A survey of popular and critical response to her narrative over the past five years yields a variety of opinions from the aggressively hostile burn Rowling at the stake, to sheer wondrous applause. 7 There is no popular and academic consensus as to why the Harry Potter texts have enchanted a diverse readership.A leading literary academic and expert on Harry Potter, John Granger 8, summarises that critics on the "low road" 9 cynically attribute the Harry Potter text's popularity to manipulative marketing, a tremendous and unguided spiritual hunger amongst the unchurched, peer pressure, foolish taste, and a little demonic assistance, ala Voldemort.Furthermore, critics on the "middle road" 10 say the popularity is because the stories are so superior that a popular readership likes them. This...

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