You're not alone. Many
adults are captivated by the magical world of wizardry created
by JK Rowling, but just a wee bit embarrassed to admit to being
fans of a children's book series.
It may begin as a parent who read the books that their children
are interested in or taking the kids to see the movies. What they quickly discover within the Harry Potter saga is the same combination of talent, excellent
writing skills, intelligence and imagination that have made
Jules Verne, Tolkien and Steven King household names.
The fantasy world of Harry Potter created by JK Rowling is
a cover for in-depth explorations of major moral issues. The
good guys fight the bad guys - and while a semblance of victory
does seem to come to the forces on the moral high ground, it
is never a certainty and never an absolute win. Good and evil
coexist and balance each other in these books, much the same
as they do in real life.
Rowling went through a bad divorce and a long hard spell of
single parenting while the books were taking shape in her imagination.
These experiences add an adult spice to the world of her wizards.
There are no easy answers and no glorious triumphs of good.
Every victory in the Harry Potter books has a price. They are
bought with suffering and loss. The acceptance of these realities
by the characters becomes more clear with each of the books.
Children read the Harry Potter novels and relate to the young
wizards, the cute fantasy animals and their thrilling adventures.
So do grownups, but adults see much more in the interactions
of the characters so cunningly crafted by Rowling.
who populate these books are real characters. They have flaws
and make mistakes. They often wonder if they have chosen the
right course of action... and if they haven't there are consequences.
Children and adults share the hope that these brave people and
otherworldly creatures will struggle though to the end and learn
to survive. Their survival is a bright hope that in the more
mundane world of reality there can be a balance of good and
evil. There may be losses suffered by the good people. There
may be pain and even death, but in the final analysis the good
guys will be just a bit stronger, a smidgen more clever and
a whole lot luckier.
"Harry Potter offers hope mixed with reality - a very multi-layered, adult concept."
At the end of each book, the weary team of good guys gathers
itself for a short celebration knowing that the next battle
is coming, but not ready to throw in the towel and let the dark
forces take over. For any adult living in the present that should
sound like a very familiar process.
No matter how often terror
strikes, tsunamis and earthquakes destroy thousands,or illness
threatens to strike at loved ones...somehow most adults hang on to the good
in the world and continue to believe in a better tomorrow.
Harry Potter adventures touch that nerve in grownups.
In creating Voldemort as a powerful and cunning, but controlled,
focus of evil she offers the lesson that horrors can be contained.
She allows the world to look for a Dumbledore, wise and patient,
to lead the fight to survive as moral beings able to cherish
each other and the creatures who live in the world. Whether
in person, or in spirit, this archetype of the wise mentor leads
by teaching how to find the way, giving tools for life success
in any undertaking.
She gives us classical tragedy modeled on ancient Greek plays and drama based on Shakespeare.
learn, with each new battle, that people and choices are
never quite as simple as they seem. She offers hope mixed with
reality - a very multi-layred, adult concept.
So, go stand on the lines with the kids to buy the Harry Potter
books and see the movies without feeling embarrassed. It may
be fantasy, but that doesn't mean it isn't good literature.
There are quite a few brilliant and mature adults who are cheering
for Harry Potter along with you.