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Harry Potter Paper

2153 words - 9 pages

JK Rowling could have never imagined in 1990 when the thought of Harry Potter first appeared to her, how much this fictional character would capture the hearts of readers all over the world. Similarly, Tolkien’s Series The Lord of The Rings has had a resounding effect on its readers, some even going so far as to learn the Elven language that Tolkien himself created. Both of these fantasy works, though incredibly different, are very similar in regards to their Christian themes and underlying message they read. Probably more debatable by fans is whether or not the Harry Potter series is a Christian work, let alone if it even carries Christian themes and undertones. Many within both the ...view middle of the document...

Perhaps one of the most evident Christian themes found in Harry Potter is that of sacrificial love. Ironically, it is the love of Harry’s muggle-born mother than triumphs over the great and powerful wizard, Voldemort. The act of his mother willingly laying down of her own life for her innocent child is more powerful than any conjure of magic. Rowling is supremely deliberate in retelling this story of the power of love at any chance throughout the series. According to Dumbledore, “it’s our choices that show us who we truly are, far more than our abilities.” Lily’s true self was humility and love, embracing her death so that another may live, and act overpowered Voldemort’s true self, which was evil and flooded with underlying, yet overwhelming fear of death. This theme continues throughout the series as many characters continuously lay down their lives for others, including Sirius, Dumbledore, Lupin, Dobby, and of course Harry himself. The story of Jesus found in the bible is almost a mirror image of this same sacrificial love. It is a story of one man willingly laying down his life for his friends. Jesus himself remarks on this great power of love in the gospel of John, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13)
Just as Aslan is seen as the Christ-figure is CS Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia, and Frodo is seen as one of the Christ-figures in Tolkein’ Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Harry Potter is most certainly the Christ-figure in the Harry Potter Series. Just as he gives himself up in sacrificial love, another Christian theme that greatly ties into the series being a Christian work is that of death and resurrection. We see throughout the book that those who fear death and try to escape it become less human, such as Voldemort, and those who embrace death go on to live in peace. We see this theme of death and resurrection distinctly in the scene in Godrics Hollow. Written on the graves of Harry’s parents is the verse 1 Corinthians 15:26, “The last enemy to be defeated is death.” Rowling foreshadows for her readers what is to come in Harry’s future. Her use of scripture is quite fitting here as it comes from the chapter in 1 Corinthians that is all about the power of Christ’s resurrection. This subtly adds to making the series a Christian work by insinuating a biblical basis and background for what Harry will soon do. Much like the gospel story of Jesus, it is only when one fully accepts death in the name of sacrificial love, that death itself can be defeated. Harry, the Christ-figure, walks into his meeting with Voldemort similarly to how Jesus walked toward his death, knowing full well what must take place in order for good to triumph over evil. What is greatest about both of these stories is that in that moment, no one expected what was to come.
In Tolkien’s essay On Fairy Stories he coins the term eucatastrophe, which literally means “good catastrophe” (Tolkien, On Fairy Stories)....

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