The Harry Potter Phenomenon

Today, almost everyone has heard of Harry Potter. The young wizard has been a household name for some time and the legion of fans continues to grow.

Among other things, the books detailing his experiences at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry have bred passion, obsession, creativity, and a new or renewed interest in reading throughout the world.

But have you ever considered why you are a fan of the Harry Potter series? Have you tried to put those feelings into words, in an attempt to explain them to another who has not read the books? When your explanation was finished, did they understand or simply shake their heads in confusion, unable to comprehend the phenomenon that has touched so many?

Let us examine some of the reasons why Harry Potter’s world has become more than just part of another book and a passing fancy for us all.

JK Rowling has created an elaborate cast of characters and an environment for them to inhabit that appeals to adults and children alike.

The fantasy aspect of the wizarding world expands the imagination, and transports the mind to new and exciting places; introducing magic opens new realms of possibilities within the plots. Anything could happen. Her intricate stories contain strands of the believable and unbelievable, altering the predictability that readers commonly encounter and endure in fiction.

At the same time, the themes driving the stories resonate with classic literature, offering mature readers tales that wear like a comfortable pair of shoes, while introducing younger readers to concepts they will encounter throughout their lives.

The main theme of the series is the subject of many theories, including, but not limited to: good versus evil, prejudice, love, death, sacrifice, friendship and loyalty. In actuality, all of these elements contribute to the timeless nature of the stories.

Much of the appeal also comes from the characters. In each book, Jo Rowling introduces and describes the characters in such a way, that we wonder not only about their futures, but also about their pasts.

We desperately want to know more about them, their emotions, and their relationships. Even supporting characters are suddenly more than just extras in the background; they are intriguing in their own right.

And what of Harry Potter himself? As the central character, readers see almost everything from Harry’s point of view, highlighting the fact that this story is also a coming of age story.

We care about Harry, because we watch him grow from a wide-eyed innocent boy to a powerful adolescent wizard. We see him as both Hero and Victim. He experiences immeasurable love and intense pain, and as readers, we experience it with him.

This perfect combination of emotion, suspense and fantasy, coupled with the fact that JK Rowling is a superb storyteller is the reason why we are Harry Potter fans. With books like these, it’s hard not to be.

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