Children Literature Essay
No one can explain the literally unprecedented Harry Potter phenomenon, starting with J. K. Rowling, now 35, whose life has been changed utterly by the product of her imagination. Seven years ago, she was the single mother of a small daughter, living in a two-room flat in Edinburgh, listening to mice skittering behind walls. Now she is internationally famous and earning, according to various estimates, somewhere in the range of $30 million to $40 million a year.
Once, during a bad patch, she dreaded the hostile looks she would attract while lining up at the local post office to claim her weekly income support check. Now however she still gets lots of stares, but in the reverse order (Neil 45). Yes, it true J. K. Rowling life has chanced and her books has been the hottest commodity for commercialization since forever. THESIS: There has been a lot of controversy regarding the Harry Potter book series, the scope of the controversy range in conversations from schools, churches, board rooms, colleges and universities.
Some of the discussions have been positive and some negative, but mostly what everyone is saying is that the Harry Potter book series will become a classic, because when compared to other children literature books they are just good or better than most, if not all of the other children’s books. In this essay I will prove the point that the Harry Potter books have all that it takes to become part of the literary canon. I will compare the Potter books to five children literature books to determine their literary authentic. I will look at the Potter books from a Philosophy prospective to give a clear concept about the books.
I will compare opinions of lay persons, and scholars, and lastly I will discuss the affects that commercialization have had on the books. The books that I have chosen to compare the Potter books are: “The Chronicles of Narnia,” “Alice in Wonderland,” and Through the Looking Glass,” Hackberry Finn,” and “the Wizard of Oz, I have chosen these five books to compare to the Potter books, because these books are books that have endured for centuries. First I will compare the Harry Potter books with “The Chronicles of Narnia”.
The Chronicles of Narnia is a series of seven fantasy novels written by C. S. Lewis. They are considered classis of children’s literature and are perhaps the author’s best known work. The books that make up the Chronicles of Narnia consist of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Prince Caspian, The Voyage of the Trader, The Silver Chair, the Magician’s Nephew, and The Battle. The Chronicles of Narnia are great children literature books because they contains Christian themes, “These books may also be used to teach children about spirituality, and are often times viewed as religious allegories.
These books teach child about good verse evil, and at the time of their publication they were very popular books, and still are today. Like the Chronicles of Narnia, the Harry Potter books also teach children about good verse evil. But these books like the Potter books have had plenty of criticism. There were certain Christians and Christian organizations who felt that The Chronicles of Narnia promotes ‘soft sell paganism and occultism”, because of the recurring pagan themes and the supposedly heretical depictions of Christ as an anthropomorphic lion.
Satyrs, fauns, centaurs, dwarves, werewolves, giants, and even the pagan god Bacchus and the Maenads are depicted in a positive light, when they are distinctly pagan motifs (Smith 10). Although, there was all this criticism about the Chronicles it wasn’t enough to prevent these books from becoming classic. Secondly, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is a great children literature book. This book is considered one of the first books created solely to amuse children. It is witty, playful, full of clever conceits and genuine comedy and downright entertaining. But what makes it better than the Harry Potter books?
Or is it? No! The Harry Potter books are witty, with genuine comedy, full of clever conceits and downright entertaining, also the Harry Potter books are read by children, young adults, and adults as well. Even children who as a rule are skeptical of reading are reading the Harry Potter books. Should this alone be reason enough to allow the Harry Potter books to classify as a classic? I think so, but let’s continue with our comparison of the other children books (Carol 3-10). The third comparison to the Harry Potter books will be Lewis Carol’s Through the Looking Glass.
Just like Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Through the Looking Glass is a great children’s story. This book is a continuation of the story of Alice in Wonderland, and over the years it has amused and entertained many children, but what makes its better than Harry Potter? Is it really better than Harry? Before we answer the question lets continue with our comparison of the next book (Carol 6-10). The fourth comparison will be The “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. In this novel a young boy is in search of freedom and courage.
I believe that this book became a classic because it was one of the first American books in which a black character is portrayed as someone to be emulated, in this case serving as the voice of reason for a cast-off urchin and a middle class white boy. There was plenty of criticism about this book, because it used the word “nigger” throughout. Many people feel that the word’s racist and discriminatory connotations make it unacceptable to use any where, and particularly in a book aimed at child. Others, however, claim that to call the book racist because of this usage is to miss its point.
Again, “The Adventures of huckleberry Finn is a very nice story, full of fantasy, but it has nothing that the Harry Potter is missing. The fifth comparisons will be the Wizard of Oz. The Wizard of Oz, created the popular political fable rather than having Christian inspiration uplift, with a protagonist who is an admirable, individualistic, and rather selfish child rather than a cooperative do-gooder. However, Baum at the same time retained the dominant structure of nineteenth (twentieth century fantasy and with it the neo imperialism that assumed the inherent superiority of certain racial types.
The Wizard of Oz is a great children literature with lots of fantasy (Baum 28). Development of fantasy itself owes a great deal to children’s literature, but this does not mean that fantasy is only for children. However, the Harry Potter books have made it trendy to ready fantasy again, but I think it’s worth reminding ourselves of the great tradition that preceded Rowling’s books and helped children to grow up realizing that it is okay to be imaginative and to continue to dream.
The Harry Potter books have all the fantasy and intrigue as all the other books and more beside. Each of the books that I have named were usually books that were read by adults to children as a bedtime story, where as the Harry Potter books are being used for the same purpose and more. Not only are parents reading the Potter books to their child as bedtime stories, but in addition they are reading them, themselves for the sake of getting lost and carried away in the magical world of Harry Potter.
University/College: University of California
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 16 March 2017
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