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J. K. Rowling's Magical World Essay

1363 words - 5 pages

“Although its importance often goes unrecognized, popular fiction has the power to reach millions of readers and to thus influence culture and society” (Wiener 9). Joanne (J.K.) Rowling’s popular Harry Potter series has definitely reached millions of readers. More than 400 million copies of her books, in fact, have been sold worldwide (Corliss). The genius idea behind the books, theme park, and movie franchise was born on a plain, delayed train ride to London in 1990 (Kirk 66). Rowling’s vision of a young British schoolboy who discovers his talent has sparked the imaginations of children and adults all over the world. The simple character of Harry Potter has become not only a story but a universe of imagination. J. K. Rowling created an entire imaginative world that faced criticism and promoted literacy.
J. K. Rowling and her readers travel beyond the boundaries of real world with Harry Potter (Wiener 72). These stories behind her success invoke plenty of thought from readers. Reality and fantasy come together as Rowling addresses the topics of good and evil in a magical world. As one critic says about the book that began it all; “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone rises above ordinary children’s fiction through the realism of its fantastical plot and through the cleverness of the characterizations” (Wiener 106). Newcomers to the Harry Potter series may notice Rowling’s use of uncommon names for characters. Rowling loves names, and says that she would find unusual names in all kinds of places, including maps, dictionaries, gravestones, myths, and foreign languages (Kirk 89). While other authors may struggle to find the name that just seems ‘right’ for their characters, Rowling takes labels a step further. Names, she says, can come to represent a whole person (Rowling). For instance, the intrusive gossip columnist Harry encounters in the fourth book is called Rita Skeeter. This name resembles the annoying, blood-sucking mosquito (Wiener 55). Rowling’s use of language is reminiscent to the writing style of children’s literary genius Roald Dahl—her wordplay is playful, alliterative, and allusive (Wiener 60). The Harry Potter sensation has inspired movies, merchandise, video games, and now, a theme park. Universal Orlando opened the $300 million Wizarding World of Harry Potter in 2010 (Graser). It is designed as vividly as Rowling described the settings of her books, and allows you to “experience the dream she created” (Corliss). Indeed, the characters, plot, and overall story that Rowling has devised is a world in its own.
Rowling’s works have faced much criticism over whether they are worth the attention they have received. According to some critics, the Potter series will not stand the test of time (Wiener 111). Unlike classics such as Alice in Wonderland, Huckleberry Finn, and the Chronicles of Narnia, the Potter series is not written with multiple interpretations in mind (Wiener 124). Instead, critics claim, it is commercialized. The...

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