Friday, December 19, 2014

Who is Hermione Granger?

Hermione Granger, the third of the three musketeers, was the brains of the operation. However, she ia a mudblood. This means that one of her parents was a witch or wizard and the other is a muggle. Which can easily be related to by kids from different erhnicities. She was also looked down upon for being so smart. It was claimed that she is a know it all. Well when you have the smarts, you might as well use them.

Being someone that follows the rules and studies classifies kids as a nerd, and nerds aren't cool. This is one of many reasons kids are bullied. Seeing Hermione defeat the dark lord many of times and still pass all of her classes teaches kids that it's okay to be a "nerd". By the end of the first book everyone knows Hermione and wants to become her friend. Having friends isn't all based on popularity.

For those who can relate to the isolation from being known as a nerd, reading about Hermione is like having a friend who you can relate too. A friend who is always there for you. The only thing you have to do is open the book.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Who is Ron Weasley?

We also meet Ron Weasley in his first year at Hogwarts. He comes from a long line of Brothers. He has five older brothers and one younger sister, all of which attended Hogwarts. Coming from a big family like the Weasley's it can be hard for one to create a name for themselves. Malfoy knew instantly that Ron was Weasley because of the way he looked and the hand-me-down robes that he was wearing. The Weasley's didn't have a lot of many, they made ends meet. Ron doesn't start out as the best wizard ever, and eventually he brakes his wand, which makes him even worse. That doesn't make him give up though. He tries every day to improve his magic. He gets help from Harry and their brainy friend Hermione Granger.

Even though Ron doesn't have much like some of the other kids at school he doesn't let that define who he is. He has great friends, and has a great time while he's away at school. Readers can relate to this. Not everyone has as much money as they wish they could but that doesn't make them a bad person. Some people are embarrassed of the little that they have, including Ron for a while. He then realizes that his friends and family are enough to get him through life, and with an education money isn't a necessity.

By the end of the series we see Ron grow into an amazing wizard. He helps defeat the Dark Lord even though growing up his magic skills weren't the greatest.

Who is Harry Potter?

 When we first meet Harry, he is an orphan being left on the doorsteps of his Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia's home. Harry was just a baby at this point so he doesn't remember the magical people who dropped him off. Later we meet up with Harry again on his eleventh birthday. This is a very vulnerable age for Harry and many readers. From what we can see Harry had to grow up very quickly. His Aunt and Uncle weren't very fond of him so they made him the live-in housekeeper. Learning how to cook, clean, and entertain himself with the very little that he had. Once he gets to school Harry learns that he is a much bigger person than he's been his whole life. He is a wizard, and not just any wizard, he's the boy who lived. Harry was raised to think that he wasn't good enough for anything. He thought he was a bastard child, and was only there to serve his family. When Harry finds out he is a wizard his response shows it all with the famous quote, "I can't be a wizard, I'm just Harry". 
This makes Harry very relatable for many readers, especially at his age. When you turn 11 a lot of changes occur in your life. You've probably moved up from elementary school, to middle school or junior high. You're forced into new classes with new people that you didn't have with you in elementary school. As Harry grows into his new school so do many readers. Along the way you see the development of friendships that Harry makes. Which shows readers not to be nervous, everyone can find friends. 
Harry's life wasn't easy either. Not everyone has the perfect home life that we want for them. Many actually harder lives than we can ever imagine. Seeing Harry overcome the obstacles that his neglectful family puts in his way is an inspiration for readers. If this boy can do it, why can't they? When readers are having a hard time at home they can escape to their rooms, bury their noses in the book and escape from the life they are living. 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Tolkien on Escapism in "On Fairy Stories"

Arguably one of the greatest authors of Fantasy Fiction there is is J.R.R. Tolkien, who has quiet a lot to say about Fantasy itself and the way it is viewed as escapism. 

 One thing he does not agree with when Fantasy and Escapism are discussed is the sense of pity and scorn that comes with the term escape and the misuse of this word, as well as the misuse of the "real world" phrase that often is paired with a discussion of fairy worlds.  Tolkien often closely links "escapism" and consolation.

"But there are also other and more profound “escapisms” that have always appeared in fairytale and legend. There are other things more grim and terrible to fly from than the noise,stench,ruthlessness, and extravagance of the internal combustion engine. 
There are hunger,thirst,poverty, pain, sorrow, injustice, death. And even when men are not facing hard thing such as these, there are ancient limitations from which fairy-stories offer a sort of escape, and
old ambitions and desires (touching the very roots of fantasy) to which they offer a kind of satisfaction and consolation."
-J.R.R. Tolkien, "On Fairy Stories"
 Here is a link to the full essay, it really is worth the read!

A Country Under Attack Escapes to Other Worlds

No one anticipated 9/11.

But is it just good timing that Harry Potter and The Sorcerer's Stone came out in theaters right after the 9/11 attacks?

Did Warner Brother's do this to help American's escape from what was going on in their lives and go to Hogwarts?

Are the terrorists really just Death Eaters and Voldemort planned everything?

No. Of course 9/11 wasn't planned by Voldemort. But the timing of the release of the first Harry Potter movie most definitely helped  viewers take a break from reality. And the bad guys lost, which helps make viewers feel better too.

Harry Potter Changes Lives

"This is why a skinny bespectacled boy is not only The Boy Who Lived, but will always be the boy who kept me living."

This is a story of a young boy whose life of abandonment was completely saved by Harry Potter. Every time that he came home from his life on the streets he felt more and more alone. Without Harry Potter this boy admits that he would no longer be alive. His mother passed away due to an overdose, which was followed by his father's suicide. His only escape from the real world was the wonderful world of witchcraft and wizardry. This is definitely a story that many people with depression, or suicidal thoughts could relate to. The story is worth the read.

*If for some reason the link doesn't work, copy and paste it into your browser.*

How Harry Potter changed my life.

My birthday is in late November, therefore I got to start school when I was three years old. All of my friends were always older than me, so then I would feel left out when every one older than me was hanging out. Well then Harry Potter came out and that was something we could all relate to. They would go see the movies and read the books and I was always excluded. So that made me hate the series. Once I got a little older and was allowed to go to the midnight premiers are friendship was back to the way that it used to be. Because of Harry Potter we were best friends at the age of four, we remained best friends through this common bond, and are still best friends. We actually still find time to watch the movies together many years later.