Why Children — and Adults — Love Harry Potter

by | Nov 11, 2000

A Review of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Book 1) by J. K. Rowling Just what is it about Harry Potter? He and his lovely author have incited a reading revolution at a time when reading has been considered on a perpetual decline. Why do children love him so? More importantly, why do so […]

A Review of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Book 1) by J. K. Rowling

Just what is it about Harry Potter? He and his lovely author have incited a reading revolution at a time when reading has been considered on a perpetual decline. Why do children love him so? More importantly, why do so many *adults* love him?

First off, 11-year-old Harry Potter makes the perfect hero for a children’s story. His parents are dead and he lives with his cruel aunt and uncle. When Harry discovers that his parents were wizards and that he will attend the Hogwarts school to learn to become a wizard himself, his life takes a wonderful turn for the better. Problem is, his aunt and uncle have hidden from him just what and who his parents were. Little Harry has no idea how famous they were (in wizard circles) and how famous he is.

In this first book in what has become a real publishing phenomenon, we come really to cheer the (at first reluctant) heroism of Harry and his friends at the delightfully quirky Hogwarts school. As the story progresses, Harry’s resolve strengthens as he learns how special he is. What keeps the reader frantically turning the pages is the suspense that Miss Rowling deftly builds chapter after chapter. Will Harry be victorious? Will his courage and resolve continue to grow and thrive?

So why do so many adults respond so favorably to Harry Potter? After all, this is *children’s* literature. I think that adults love Harry Potter for the same reasons that children do. Harry Potter is a true hero. Since authors of adult fiction have long since abandoned heroism, something had to fill the void.

As young readers of the Harry Potter books grow up, perhaps they will demand the return of romanticism in fiction. Perhaps they will discover the great romantic writers like Ayn Rand and Victor Hugo. Perhaps they will even write their own stories and novels about people, places and events that can and should exist. Until then, we still have Harry Potter.

In closing, there are two words I would like to say to Miss Rowling: thank you.

The author is a contributing writer to Capitalism Magazine.

The views expressed above represent those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the editors and publishers of Capitalism Magazine. Capitalism Magazine sometimes publishes articles we disagree with because we think the article provides information, or a contrasting point of view, that may be of value to our readers.

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