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J.K. Rowling’s Allegorical Depiction Of Despise And Humility Toward Fame

1331 words - 6 pages


Harry is a testament to Rowling’s personal feelings of fame and her underlying moral attitude. As she develops the character, he becomes reflective of what she experiences herself. First, Harry doesn’t appear to be enthused about the idea of his fame. He learned about its origins under dark circumstances that claimed his parent’s lives, but he also learns that his fate is sealed with his fame. In order to show the progression though, order of the occurrences within the books will be presented to understand Harry’s development and feeling of fame. When Harry meets other wizards after discovering his fame, he does not tell them until they ask, therefore showing a sense of humbleness. He ...view middle of the document...

His fame grows as he becomes the youngest Quidditch player ever, while also winning his first match within the first five minutes. Harry still remains his normal self throughout all of this. As hinted at earlier, the desire for fame is accompanied by greed and the will for power. All of which is reflective of Harry’s nemesis, Voldemort. Voldemort desires all three, and when Harry defeated him as a child, Voldemort begins to seek the sorcerer’s stone in order to produce the elixir of life so that he remains immortal. The mirror is enchanted so that the stone can only be obtained by someone who wants it, but not to use it which is the case with Harry. This further proves Harry’s humble intentions and no desire for power and immortality which are associated with fame. After this bout, Harry goes back home for the summer where he is known by no one and isolated from all even though he is a famous powerful wizard.
The next novel features a repulsive character named Gilderoy Lockhart who is a fellow famous wizard with Harry. When Gilderoy meet Harry, he uses him for media publicity which he loves so much. Gilderoy appears to be a perfect example of Rowling’s ideology of a person whose infatuation with fame far exceeds normal. He represents the obsession with celebrity that is inherent in today’s society. The beginning quote, “fame is a fickle friend, Harry” (120) is said by this character. This quote is intriguing because he says it in a way that further perpetuates his own obsession with fame, but at the same time the quote is meaning how fame has good and bad sides and it can also diminish at any time. Gilderoy continues his notion about fame saying, “celebrity is as celebrity does” (120). He criticizes Harry when Colin Creevey follows Harry around taking pictures acting like paparazzi. He says, “gave you a taste for publicity, didn’t I?” (91). Rowling has clearly put much thought into fame and the way some people act about it, as she created a character based off of this. At the same time she has good ole’ Harry who distances himself from his fame at every chance he can get. As quoted by Shira Wolosky, “this is one of his most endearing and admirable qualities, so much so that readers might wonder why celebrity is so desired and worshipped in our own world”. Rowling purposely creates Harry in such a way that the audience adores him, engraving empathy for all that he goes through. The readers wish that they could be like Harry, so when he shoots down fame it will make the readers want to as well. Clearly, Rowling is showing her own ideas about fame and is spreading the message of humility to all her readers. Proof that Harry doesn’t want fame and publicity is when Lockhart wants his photo taken with Harry he tries “to sidle back over to the Weasleys” and “make his way out of the limelight to the edge of the room”...

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