The article is known as “Harry Potter’s Magic”. This article has been written by Alan Jacobs who is a professor of English at Wheaton College. The article analyses some of Harry Potter’s work and shows how the Harry’s work could be viewed positively.
Most bookstores are stocked with Harry Potter’s books. His books have been very common in online business whereby they have been the most selling books. Many people are familiar with the most talked about children’s books in decades, for example how an English publisher Bloomsbury Books, took a chance with a mysterious author and how Harry Potter’s novel became the best selling novel for both adults and children after Bloomsbury devised a more mature cover as this avoided embarrassment for the passengers as they enthusiastically followed Harry Potter’s enormous three-headed dog, Fluffy and what was being protected by Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizard (Jacobs 1). International success followed as illustrated by efficient sale of the books online. For a long time, there have been remarkable developments within American publishing. Since I admire Harry Potter’s books, I initially read his first book under inane American title, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s stone. It is evident that the American publisher thought that no book with the word “philosopher” in the title could sell. Even though C.S Lewis Narnia books are great, they do not have the strict sense mythopoeic. The books do not have the obviously demarcated completeness which he considered the indispensable good value of his own Middle earth (Jacobs 1).
Most of the books relating to magic are dubious. The authors are Christians who think that books with such funny magic do not support Christianity. Such books can only encourage children to tolerate new age view of witchcraft and encourage witchcraft practice amongst them. Some of them note that Harry Potter is not precisely a model student since he disregards regulations and spends time evading to be caught (Jacobs 1). But Dumbledore thinks Harry is authentic and obedient as well; especially the climax of the second novel, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets turns on Harry’s loyalty to Dumbledore. Again, the propensity of Harry Potter to flaunt rules is only his concern. He cares about the self justifications he provides and regularly doubts not only his capabilities but even his virtue. Rowling’s moral scope in the three novels is sound. But the issue of witchcraft remains. Many people presently have two perceptions regarding witchcraft, first ideal witches do not exist and secondly the witches are not as evil as masterminds of the Salem witch trial made them to be. They just have different way of thinking (Jacobs 1).
Harry Potter is not a bad witch; he harms no one except from the evil ones. There are supposed to be two histories, a history of magic and experimental science. “Is not magic governed by superstition, ignorance, and wishful thinking, while experimental science is rigorous, self-critical, and methodological?” (Jacobs 1). For example, it took time before being acknowledged that a doctor could cure someone and not an old herbalist. Magic is however different from science. “Magic may even be the origin of techniques.” However, Rowling implies there is a need to choose between good and evil though Harry Potter acknowledges that he is not inevitably good. Harry asks: “Who am I at heart?” (Jacobs 1). This shows that he is supposed to do something in order to become what he ought to be. Technology is a form of science but in some way also represents some magic in it. Magic is fun and exciting but constantly potentially dangerous. However, it is significant to say that technology is result of magic to some extend. Magic brings out lots of fun in numerous undertakings.
The article brings out the angst expressed within the Christian press and in the midst of conservatives regarding the notion that Harry potter’s books sanction magic and are not religious as well. Even if Jacob feels that this view is somehow essentially silly and unnecessary, I am inclined to dismiss it fast. Within a society whereby Wicca has started to take critically as a belief system, a parent should be concerned regarding the likely effects on their children on such phenomenon as Harry Potter’s.
However, a parent who is responsible and reads and also discusses Harry Potter’s books and the themes as well should not worry since about witchcraft instead of having preceding generations of parents required to worry over sorcery. Most probably, if J.K Rowling were religious, and outspoken regarding her beliefs, most of her concern regarding her writing would fade away. Nevertheless, this is nor realistic or productive standard to judge authors by the moral message in their writings. By this standard, Harry Potter’s books should offer Christian as well as religious parents a reason to be appreciative and not worried. This is because Harry is a typical example of how people struggle while choosing between good and evil.
My view is that the pull the article exerts is twofold; one, escapist and metaphorical as well. In terms of pure fun and entertainment, Jacob puts it that daily existence has been very brutal for a long time and society that is very rigidly stratified, such that it would have been natural for parents to want to believe that they were miscast as peasants and that one day someone would come and disclose that a terrible mistake has been done, changing the peon into a prince within a trice. As metaphor, every youth passes through a period when they fell like a misfit. The endurance and finding the deeper meaning in everything, for instance Harry Potter’s work is what is fundamental.
Jacobs Alan. “Harry Potter’s Magic”. 2000.