Harry Potter | Teen Ink

Harry Potter

October 22, 2007
By Anonymous

The Magic Lives On

When I first heard that the final installment of Harry Potter was going to come out this summer, I had two very contradicting emotions growing inside of me. I was both excited and depressed. I was excited due to the anticipation of what would Harry do next facing the immense difficulty presenting from the end of the last book, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. I was depressed because it would mean the end of the Harry Potter adventure. I reserved a copy immediately, so I was ensured to have one. Because it was the most anticipated Harry Potter book in the whole series, parties were held at bookstores to kick off the release of the book at midnight of Saturday, July 21. Unfortunately I was unable to attend the joint excitement of many Harry Potter fans; I did manage to pick up my copy in the afternoon. Holding the book up high like the holy Bible, I started to read it the first chance I got.

In this book, the author, J. K. Rowling, doesn't waste time explaining what happened in the earlier books, so it would be extremely difficult to follow if you have not read the other ones. Rowling ties up all the loose ends in the final book. Almost everything that was incomplete in the earlier books gets an ending. She is brilliant in connecting all the dots and still has a pretty picture. Before the book has even come out, Rowling had stated in an interview that there was going to be a lot more deaths in the book. It is definitely true that the book is bloodier than all the other ones in the series, but in my opinion, she is still way too lenient. Don't get me wrong; I still think this is the best one in the series.

The story focuses more on the emotional aspect of the main characters. Rowling is superb in portraying the characters' internal conflicts. Harry is getting more mature and all of the things that he has experienced just make him a more complex character than the character he was in the first book. Certain innocence is lost. His magic is a lot stronger (maybe not as strong as Hermione). The storyline really puts the friendship among Harry, Ron, and Hermione to the test. We see (or read) what a true friend is willing to do for another friend and how far will he or she goes with that friend. It is hard to find those kinds of friendships in real life when you are willing to sacrifice for your friends. The story also puts the characters into a more realistic perspective. Rowling provides background to some characters that you wouldn't really guess. For the first time, she puts Dumbledore's past in the spotlight, and you can see that he has made many mistakes and has even more regrets. She proves that no one is that static. People have all those different sides to them. Sometimes all you can see is the shades of gray instead of black and white.

I think the Harry Potter series is unbelievably brilliant. From the mythical creatures to different encounters of the villain, Rowling never fails to be creative and original. I have read the whole series for so many times (except for the last one), and Rowling never cease to amaze me as far as the journey of the characters. I have stuck by Harry from the very beginning, so I finished the 759-page novel fairly quickly because I feel like I know the characters. I'm sure I am not alone in this kind of emotion.

Many people, especially religious people, are against the Harry books because they think witchcraft and evil should be nowhere near a children's book, but I disagree. I don't think the books should be kept away from the reach of children just because of the magic. A magical background is just a tool of the story. Rowling still tries to make the characters as human as possible. The book's purpose is not propagating magic, but is telling a heck of a story through a magical world.
Looking at the sales' records of Rowling's books, I can clearly see that Rowling has obviously surpassed the targeted age group. Even though the protagonist, Harry Potter, is a teenager, he has faced danger and carried burdens that adults can't even begin to fathom. That's why many older people would like it, too.
We can relate to the story in more ways than you can think of. It has serious issues like racism (or the battle of the Purebloods and Muggle-borns in this case), a hypocritical genocidal dictator (Lord Voldemort), a secret resistant organization, and slavery (house-elves), a real system of government. In the novel, there are wizards and witches, mostly the ones from the Slytherin house, who feels superior to others because they trace back centuries-worth of pure-blooded ancestors. They treat the people who are born from Muggles (people who don't know magic) like dirt and call them “Mudbloods.” It is a very offending term in the magical world. Fortunately, not all purebloods are morons. The Weaslys, who have been in the Griffindore house forever, treat Muggle-borns just like everybody else. In fact, they are also part of the Order of the Phoenix, or a resistant group against the evil Lord Voldemort. Lord Voldemort, just like Adolph Hitler in real life, leads the mass-killings of the Muggle-borns to prove the supremacy of the Purebloods, even though he himself is half-blooded (his mother is a witch and his father is a Muggle). The story has house-elves who are enslaved by some wizarding families and only be free when their masters give them clothes (any form of clothing, such as a sock). The magical world has a Ministry of Magic, and it is the government that controls the affairs happening in the wizarding world, even though it is penetrated with a bunch of Death-eaters (Voldemort's followers) when Voldemort comes back. All of these features prove that the story is not a bunch of nonsense. There is a sense of order in this fantasy. Everything has a foundation in real life, so it makes the readers feel like they are part of the magical world even when they know magical powers are fiction.
The story of Harry Potter is legendary and one of the big things happening at the turn of the twenty-first century. Even though the final installment is here, even though Rowling has said that she will not write another Harry Potter book anytime in the near future (which gives us a sense of hope that we will be updated on Harry's life someday in the future), and even though there are still people against the books, the magic lives and will live on. There are constantly new generations discovering the series and ending up loving it. This best-selling series will live on and on.

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