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Fantasy Vs. Reality In Superman And Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone

2234 words - 9 pages

Reality and Fantasy are often thought as two worlds which when collided create incredible stories of wonder and mystery. Why no other genre of literature is more popular than that of fantasy right now. Seventeen of the top twenty highest grossing movies in the Unites States and Canada last year were fantasies and of those the top six were based on books or comics (MPAA, 21). Fantasy allows for the unexplained to occur and creates a world separate to that of reality. As such fantasy stories often allow the audience to escape from reality and travel to places where their problems do not matter. Fantasy is used in children’s stories as it allows the author to both avoid the mundane and drab world and deal with complicated issues under a veil which children will understand. This essay will look at the both the realms fantasy and reality in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, as well as the first thirteen issues of Superman. The struggles that the protagonists must face and how the separation from reality allows for children to absorb the complex moralities of right and wrong; the message of basic human virtues.
Fantasy allows the reader to “consider and speculate out central and sometimes painfully realistic themes a way that is more palatable than in realistic fiction or fact” (Kurkjian et al. 492). The creation of character and setting in a fantastical realm provides the audience with an emotional distance that gives them room to objectively reflect on sensitive and important ideas more than in other genres. However there is an irony about fantasy that “despite the fanciful characters, strange imaginary worlds, and bizarre situations encountered, encountered, it has the power to help us better understand reality” (492). Fantasies portray other worlds, with “elements of magic, talking animals, and strange characters and objects; can include hero's journey, supernatural, and universal themes of good versus evil and right versus wrong” (494). Fantasies are often allegorical, spiritual, satirical, or political and unlike in traditional stories, modern fantasy characters are meant to grow and change as a result of their journey.
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, written by J.K. Rowling, is the first in a seven series chronicle about a boy wizard. The story follows the titular character, Harry Potter as he discovers that he is a wizard destined for great things, and that his journey awaits him at the wizarding school of Hogwarts. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone covers Harry’s first year at Hogwarts and the challenges which face a young wizard entering this stage in their life. At school, Harry goes through his wizard training with two new friends, Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley. Superman, originally written by Jerry Siegel and illustrated by Joe Shuster, is a serial comic following Superman, pioneer of truth, justice and the American way. Action Comics #1-13, the set of comics of which this essay will cover, follows the...

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