Harry Potter Controversy

By , Reno, NV
The insanely popular Harry Potter book series by J.K. Rowling stirred up quite a controversy over the last few years. The Harry Potter series follows the life of a boy named Harry Potter, and the adventures he has with his friends while battling the evil Lord Voldemort. Harry attends Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and the books tell the story of his life there. Most people see them as harmless and adventurous children’s stories. But some others think differently. Mainly Christian extremists. But other people too. Many parents believe that Harry Potter is a bad example for children and that it is inappropriate. Those people believe that Harry Potter, instead of promoting adventure and imagination (the way it was intended to be), the Harry Potter series promotes witchcraft and bad behavior and that it’s a book that people shouldn‘t read because of that. Harry Potter is a great book that everyone should read because within it lies deeper meaning rather than witchcraft and it benefit’s the people who read it rather than corrupting their minds.
There are a more than a dozen school districts that tried to ban Harry Potters because of its involvement in witchcraft and “influences on bad behavior“. First of all, witchcraft is not the main aspect of the Harry Potter series. Witchcraft is just an element in the story to make it much more interesting, it also gives people a sense of imagination. The element of witchcraft in Harry Potter is like an ornament on the Christmas tree where the witchcraft ornament isn‘t as important as the adventure ornament or heroism ornament; but without it, the Harry Potter Christmas tree will look incomplete and the story would be boring.

In the story, magic is mainly used for good. Harry Potter uses magic to defeat the antagonists so that people of the world would be safe. Those who use their magic in a bad way (Voldemort) are the antagonists that the protagonists (Harry Potter) try to defeat. Also, if evil was not present in children’s literature, then children would not have the basis conception of the sacred. In The Gospel According to Harry Potter by Connie Neal, Neal suggests that Lord Voldemort “represents Satan, in a struggle between good and evil that allows young people to be able to make moral decisions”.
Most of the people who believe that Harry Potter is a bad influence on people are people who haven’t even read the books. They’re just making these kind of judgments because the only thing they know about the book is that there is a fight sequence between wizards that involves magic. Harry Potter promotes heroism and other good moral values, not fighting with magic. Harry Potter is a selfless character who would always put himself in danger for the greater good, which is a quality that few posses, but a good quality which children should learn about. Magic is only present when the characters are in class learning or trying to defeat the bad guy.
The point of J.K. Rowling’s books is to show people, especially children, how to be a good person even though life is tough through her character Harry Potter; who is a good example for children who have gone through or are still going through tough times. Harry’s character still remains positive, humble, and he is willing to put others in front of himself even though his parents died when he was young and for years he had to live with his stingy relatives. Does that seem like bad behavior? Children who have experienced what Harry has experienced could look up to him. Harry Potter encourages hope for the future for everyone even though their lives aren’t a fairy tale right now. Other than heroism, the Harry Potter series promotes bravery, love, self-reliance, the importance of family, and tolerance of people who are different than us through their characters as they learn these things through their adventures.
Even children that are too young to read can benefit from the Harry Potter books being read to them from an early age. Interesting books like Harry Potter have made young children want to hear another, and as they grow, they would want to read more and more with the hunger for a book as good as Harry Potter. Also, the Harry Potter series makes children use their imaginations which is an essential part of the learning process of a growing child. What is wrong with imagination anyways? Books like Harry Potter make kids want to read more instead of being on the internet doing potentially dangerous things or watching T.V. shows that may be inappropriate. The Harry Potter series effects children in a positive way rather than promoting witchcraft.
There are some parts in Harry Potter that Christian extremists believe and that may be parallel to Christianity, but that probably wasn’t Rowling’s intentions. Anyways, children will most likely not understand this and most people who do read Harry Potter won’t think about the bible while they’re reading Harry Potter. Even though Harry Potter does breaks some rules, he has to for the greater good. People label the books as “anti-Christian” because Harry lies and cheats at times. But again, it is all for the greater good.
Saying kids can’t read Harry Potter because it promotes witchcraft is like saying Disney promotes it because in some Disney movies there are evil witches or wizards and a TV show on Disney channel, Wizards of Waverly Place, is about wizardry. Also, Disney airs the Harry Potter movies. It is understandable if parents don’t allow their children to watch the movies because some of them can be scary, but reading the books is totally harmless because it presents good moral values. Most of those people that believe Harry Potter promotes witchcraft probably have never even read the book before and are literally judging the book by its cover. The Harry Potter series are books that all people, especially young readers, should read at least once because not only is it a great story, it’s a great teacher too.
















BIBLIOGRAPHY
Woodrum, Emily Anne. “The Harry Potter Controversy.” East Carolina University Online. 11 Nov. 2001. 5 Feb. 2010 http://www.ecu.edu/lib/Reference/Instruction /HarryPotter.cfm
Christian Broadcasting Network. “The Harry Potter Controversy.” Christian Broadcasting Network. 8 May. 2000. 5 Feb. 2010 http://www.cbn.com/special/HarryPotter/





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