Reading Harry Potter / Edition 1

Reading Harry Potter / Edition 1

by David G. Epstein
     
 

J. K. Rowling achieved astounding commercial success with her series of novels about Harry Potter, the boy-wizard who finds out about his magical powers on the morning of his eleventh birthday. The books' incredible popularity, and the subsequent likelihood that they are among this generation's most formative narratives, call for critical exploration and study to

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Overview

J. K. Rowling achieved astounding commercial success with her series of novels about Harry Potter, the boy-wizard who finds out about his magical powers on the morning of his eleventh birthday. The books' incredible popularity, and the subsequent likelihood that they are among this generation's most formative narratives, call for critical exploration and study to interpret the works' inherent tropes and themes. The essays in this collection assume that Rowling's works should not be relegated to the categories of pulp fiction or children's trends, which would deny their certain influence on the intellectual, emotional, and psychosocial development of today's children. The variety of contributions allows for a range of approaches and interpretive methods in exploring the novels, and reveals the deeper meanings and attitudes towards justice, education, race, foreign cultures, socioeconomic class, and gender.

Following an introductory discussion of the Harry Potter phenomenon are essays considering the psychological and social-developmental experiences of children as mirrored in Rowling's novels. Next, the works' literary and historical contexts are examined, including the European fairy tale tradition, the British abolitionist movement, and the public-school story genre. A third section focuses on the social values underlying the Potter series and on issues such as morality, the rule of law, and constructions of bravery.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780313320675
Publisher:
ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
Publication date:
05/01/2003
Series:
Contributions to the Study of Popular Culture Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
244
Product dimensions:
6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.56(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
1Archetypes and the Unconscious in Harry Potter and Diana Wynne Jones's Fire and Hemlock and Dogsbody3
2Harry Potter and the Magical Looking Glass: Reading the Secret Life of the Preadolescent15
3Harry Potter and the Acquisition of Knowledge25
4Safe as Houses: Sorting and School Houses at Hogwarts35
5Harry and Hierarchy: Book Banning as a Reaction to the Subversion of Authority51
6Harry Potter's Schooldays: J. K. Rowling and the British Boarding School Novel69
7Accepting Mudbloods: The Ambivalent Social Vision of J. K. Rowling's Fairy Tales89
8Hermione and the House Elves: The Literary and Historical Contexts of J. K. Rowling's Antislavery Campaign103
9Flying Cars, Floo Powder, and Flaming Torches: The Hi-Tech, Low-Tech World of Wizardry117
10Cruel Heroes and Treacherous Texts: Educating the Reader in Moral Complexity and Critical Reading in J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter Books131
11Harry Potter and the Rule of Law: The Central Weakness of Legal Concepts in the Wizard World147
12The Fallen Empire: Exploring Ethnic Otherness in the World of Harry Potter163
13Class and Socioeconomic Identity in Harry Potter's England179
14Cinderfella: J. K. Rowling's Wily Web of Gender191
Selected Bibliography207
Index211
About the Contributors215

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