Monday, October 10, 2011

Harry Potter IS a Good Book

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The ¡§witchcraft and wizardry¡¨ of Harry Potter began taking over the world in 18 with the release of J.K. Rowling¡¦s first novel Harry Potter and the Sorcerer¡¦s Stone. It immediately grabbed the attention of children and young adults creating a craze among youngsters the literary world has never seen. Drawing more and more of a fan base with the release of the second-of-seven in the series, Rowling erupted onto the literary scene. Her magical creation eventually developed into a global phenomenon when Harry Potter started bewitching the hearts of quite a range of people from teens in their high school years all the way to adults of most any age. Through the release of the fourth and most recent book, her audience continued to grow by consistently outselling each previously released novel. The books have been an inspiration to the majority of its readers, rousing a newfound creativity and imagination unprecedented by any work of children¡¦s literature. Children are fascinated by the mystery and wonder of the secrets of Hogwarts and Gringott¡¦s, while parents are enthralled by the clever wit and conflict. Even now Rowling¡¦s success is continued with the colossal pre-sales of the unreleased fifth book, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, which have already superceded those of her previous release.


Despite Rowling¡¦s immense and continuously growing accomplishments, there are critics who argue that Harry Potter is not indeed a good book. One in particular is Jack Zipes, author of Sticks and Stones The Troublesome Success of Children¡¦s Literature from Slovenly Peter to Harry Potter and a professor of German at the University of Minnesota. Zipes, regarded as one of the most elite dignitaries in the field of children¡¦s literature, criticizes the Potter novels by implying that they are ordinary and simply-written (Zipes 171). Eventually moving from a literary to a social critic, he feels he has ground enough to say that Harry Potter is part of the eternal return to the same-and, at the same time, part of the success and process by which we homogenize our children (Amazon.com ).¡¨ Giving inadequately supported evidence, he attacks the cultural value of Harry Potter for children and children¡¦s literature by constantly attempting to instill the idea that children¡¦s literature cannot be good if it is successful (Zipes 17). ¡§What criteria can one use to grasp the¡Kvalue and quality of J.K. Rowling¡¦s books, which have allegedly helped readers of all ages to read again with joy, just because they are so successful (Zipes 17)?¡¨ He continues to argue that readers measure the excellence of the books based upon the ¡§witchcraft phenomenon.¡¨ Zipes explains that the phenomenon, not blamed on Rowling but simply brought to the lime light by her, is what has captivated such a vast and wide-ranging audience. It is not the measure of the success of Harry Potter, he supports, but the examination of her works ¡§as critically as possible¡¨ which can determine the quality of her literature (Zipes 17). When asked about what she thinks of critics of her work, Rowling replied ¡§I think they are...misguided. Everyones entitled to their own opinion, but not to impose their views on others (Harrypotter.com 1).¡¨


The problem derived from such extremely sided views is that it inhibits the true essence of what literature is supposed to bring to a society, focusing now primarily on industrialized literate nations. Novels and books provide an artistic and innovative way to diversify the imagination and to open the mind to the unordinary and everyday. This serves as an outlet from what usually and eventually becomes a boring and dull world. People yearn for assortment and variety, and while literary works offer this selection, negative advancements on the question of value of these effects inhibits the ability of literature to provide these advantages. Why must people like Zipes feel it necessary to find fault with these works simply because of their success? In doing so, he has shown no positive repercussion and has given no examples of any greater literary feat that should instead be the apple of the eye of the literary world.


Why does a man, no matter how historically eminent, have the audacity to attack children¡¦s literature, especially Harry Potter, in the first place? One could determine that although easily disagreeable, Zipes¡¦ fervor of the subject entails him the opportunity to construct bold and censuring ideas. One writer from the Library Journal reviews his book by saying, ¡§While not every reader will agree entirely with Zipes thesis, [people] need to be aware of his point of view (Amazon.com ).¡¨ When his viewpoint contributes no obvious erudite benefit to the greater part of his literary audience, how can he just command the role of this almighty scholar that assumes the right to attack such a breathtaking and global phenomenon like Harry Potter? It seems as if his views and arguments are extracted from some misconstrued idea that our society needs a figure to decipher the good and bad, and that this, he presumes, is what the population will then base their decisions upon what to read. He taxes our ability to properly raise the coming generations, arguing that ¡§our investment in children is paradoxically curtailing their freedom and creativity (Amazon.com ).¡¨ No more wrong could this assumption be, for it is a wake up call to very few that we are becoming even more so independent and self-assuring of our individual ability to choose and make assessments.


Custom Essays on Harry Potter IS a Good Book




Exactly who then should determine whether or not a book is good? An intellectual and somewhat evident way of analyzing the worth of a novel is by questioning the interpretation of the reader. Should it not be left to the consumer, who economically sustains approximately half of the relationship between the demand and supply of the Harry Potter market, to determine what she feels is laudable of such appreciation? If such a conjecture were correct, then theoretically Harry Potter could irrefutably be deemed good based solely on the theories from which the United States democratically prides itself.


As a democracy, the United States bases the largest part of its policies on the opinions expressed by the majority of its people. By having implemented such a structural market economy, the US has developed into a nation currently dominated by a flourishing middle class. Since the middle class essentially determines the key political and economical ideas and activities respectively displayed by our nation, it is equivocal to deduce that the immeasurable popularity of Harry Potter in the U.S., determined by both the blockbuster success of the two released films as well as the record sales of Rowling¡¦s four books, is a direct result of the opinion of the middle class that the four novels are most certainly good. Since the structure of the government and economy in the United States is quite complex, accepted, and institutionalized, Zipes¡¦ attempt to bash this much adored children¡¦s fiction is sharply countered. For all sake in the matter, any pursuance of such claim lacks the true importance of what characters like Harry Potter really give to a culture, society, or generation.


Literature is the product of imaginative or creative writing that presents a door of unpredictable opportunity for a reader. Rowling¡¦s collection undoubtedly meets this criterion. The reader, however, is left to open this offered door, for it is the world in which she creates for herself that determines her attitude toward what has been read. No single judgment concerning the ability of a book to compete with other undoubtedly notable works should stigmatically disconcert the ownership of insight that belongs to each individual reader. This insight is what should be taken from a work of text, not a critique. It is what makes literature special, especially children¡¦s literature¡Xthe unique ability to change and contort to individual variation. What makes Harry Potter great, though, is that the books are able to do that with great ease. Even better is that they have managed to do so by captivating a far greater range and number of people all over the world than any work by Jack Zipes ever has, and probably ever will �ยบ.


Works Cited


Amazon.com. Editorial Reviews Sticks and Stones. 000 http//www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/04158117/00-67471- 6807?v=glance&s=books





Harrypotter.com. ¡§The Daily Prophet News and Events The Harry Potter author speaks!¡¨ September, 001, Interview transcript.


Rowling, J.K. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer¡¦s Stone. New York Scholastic, 17.


Zipes, Jack. Sticks and Stones. New York Routledge, 00.





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