An excellent analysis!
I'm convinced now- I wasn't at first- that we're dealing with something more than a pop-cultural phenomenon here and that Rowling deserves to be treated as a serious artist.
Very astute thoughts!
And I love Peeves, too.
Actually I think the films should probably cut more- the story gets so squashed up sometimes that it's hard to follow- but I still regret Peeves.
There were two keys (probably more, but these are the two that struck me) in the first book:
The motive power behind Harry's wand and Voldemort's is the same -- a phoenix feather (we later find out it's from Dumbledore's friend Fawkes)
Voldemort says to Harry in the confrontation at the end of Philosopher's Stone: "There is no good; there is no evil; there is only power." [that's actually a paraphrase]
One of the great things about Rowling's books is that as Harry gets older he is exposed to more and more of the ambiguities of moral choices -- he (and we) want to do good and to act rightly, but just what does that mean?
There are some times that I don't trust Dumbledore, either.
It seems that the only real difference between Harry and Voldemort is in the choices they have made. If Harry had chosen Slytherin he too could have become a dark lord.
I'm guessing we will eventually learn the nature of the, seemingly very intimate connection between Voldemort and Harry
You'll get another look into the connection toward the end of the next book, which is much darker than Prisoner of Azkaban. In the film version of this, Ralph Fiennes plays Voldemort with balletic grace -- oh, the seductive power of evil!
Even darker? Wow!
I've made a start, but am still enjoying the jollities of the World Cup.
I saw the movie. To my mind the movies have too much plot. I remember Voldemort turning up at the end, but I can't remember why- or quite what happens.
Even the World Cup gets dark pretty quick. Those Veelas are something else, though, aren't they? They'll be back....
I think PoA is my favourite of the books - they start getting significantly longer from thereon in - it's about the time when editors started getting wary of Ms Rowling's fame and stopped suggesting that she might like to, erm, trim them down a bit?
Still, all good fun. We have the audiobooks of the first four with Stephen Fry reading them. Excellent for the many long car journeys we make.
It's too early for me to name a favourite but POA is certainly very good.
This was the book that lifted the series (for me) out of good fantasy fun. In this book, Harry has to face that none of the adults can be trusted to protect him. They can aid in his protection, yes, but in this book Harry learns that he is basically on his own.
It's fascinating to watch her progress as a writer. Each book represents a step forward in craftsmanship and ambition.
The Prisoner of Azkaban is my favorite of the books.
It's certainly very good.
interesting analysis. i think you're quite right.
this parallel universe of unseen enemies, false friends, untrustworthy leaders and rampant injustice is getting to be very much like our own
goodness. wait til you get to book five...
I've just made a start on Book #4. From this point I think my progress will be slowing down a bit.
Of course you will. They get closer and closer to Atlas Shrugged in size...
There are certainly gains. The leisurely opening of Book #4 is very well done.
Wasn't the first Harry Potter novel published around the time that Tony Blair becomae Prime Minister?
Life imitates art.
I don't think it's too far-fetched to regard the Potter novels as a fantasy chronicle of the Blair years.
And of course the final book is going to be published in the year Blair steps down.