Encyclopedia > Harry Potter

  Article Content

Harry Potter

Harry James Potter is a fictional character and protagonist of a series of fantasy novels by J. K. Rowling. The books are primarily aimed at children, but have fans of all ages.

According to the author, the stories appeared in her head, fully formed, while she was on a train from Manchester to London. The sales from the books have allegedly made her richer than Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom.

Each book in the series chronicles one year in Harry's life at Hogwarts. Seven books are planned, each gradually a little darker than its predecessor as Harry ages.

The books have been compared to Ursula K. Le Guin's A Wizard of Earthsea, the novels of Diana Wynne Jones, and the works of Philip Pullman; they also fit into a British genre of novels about boarding school life, and the sections involving Potter's relatives the Dursleys remind some readers of Roald Dahl's work.

Certain aspects of the Harry Potter series have even entered the real world as products to be purchased by fans of the series. One example is Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans.

Several unpermitted derivative books have been written, either directly featuring Harry Potter, or using similarly named characters. J. K. Rowling and her publishers are currently making attempts to stop the distribution of these books.

Warning: Wikipedia contains spoilers.

According to the series Harry was born on July 31, 1980 to James Potter and his wife Lily, ne Evans. Harry was orphaned[?] on October 31, 1981, when the evil Lord Voldemort murdered his parents. His mother died trying to save him; her sacrificial love gave him some power to resist further attacks by Voldemort.

Harry was put under the supervison of his Muggle (nonmagical person) relatives, namely his mother's sister Petunia and her husband Vernon Dursley. They lived in Little Whinging, a suburb of London, along with their son Dudley Dursley (born June 22, 1980). They carefully concealed from Harry any knowledge of his magical abilities, saying that his parents had been killed in a car crash. But when Harry was eleven years old, an owl brought him a letter inviting him to enroll at a magic school — much to his Uncle Vernon's displeasure.

This school is Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, commonly abbreviated to "Hogwarts", and it is where most of the action in the novels takes place. It is a castle in the middle of a ring of mountains, usually reached by taking the Hogwarts Express from Platform 9 3/4 at Kings Cross station, London. It is in Scotland, according to a margin note in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and Rowling's own comments in an interview.

According to the rules above, the Philosopher's/Sorceror's Stone would be set between 1991 and 1992; Chamber of Secrets would be 1992 and 1993; Prisoner of Akaban would be 1993 and 1994; Goblet of Fire would be 1994 and 1995; Order of the Phoenix would be 1995 and 1996. The next book is 1996 and 1997. Harry should've left the school in 1998, aged 17.

Table of contents

Novels and films

2001 also saw the publication of two books supposedly reproduced from copies held in the Hogwarts library (complete with notes scribbled in the margins by H. Potter and friends). Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by Newt Scamander and Quidditch Through the Ages[?] by Kennilworthy Whisp were both actually written by J. K. Rowling, with proceeds going to Comic Relief.

Controversy The American Library Association[?] tracks the number of challenges (formal written complaints made to a library or school about a book's content or appropriateness) made to books annually. The Harry Potter series are among the most frequently challenged from 1999 to present. The complaints allege that the books have occult or Satanic themes, are violent, and are anti-family.

Some Christian groups in the United States have denounced the series for promoting witchcraft or Satanism. "It contains some powerful and valuable lessons about love and courage and the ultimate victory of good over evil," said Paul Hetrick, spokesman for Focus on the Family, a national Christian-fundamentalist group based in Colorado Springs. "However, the positive messages are packaged in a medium — witchcraft — that is directly denounced in scripture."[1] (http://www.cesnur.org/recens/potter_06.htm). See Christian views on witchcraft.

Some groups have burned or attempted to burn (such burnings require permits in most locations) J.K. Rowling's books, often with other books deemed to contradict Biblical teachings. See: Harry Potter censorship, book burning.

Rowling was sued by Nancy Stouffer, who alleged copyright infringement. U.S. District Judge Allen G. Schwartz rejected Nancy Stouffer's claims that she was plagiarized and fined Stouffer $50,000 for "submission of fraudulent documents" and "untruthful testimony." Stouffer was also required to pay a portion of the attorney's fees incurred by Rowling, her U.S. publisher Scholastic Press[?], and Warner Bros. Films.

Comic book fans have noted that a comic book series first published in 1993 by DC Comics called The Books of Magic by Neil Gaiman shares many similarities to Rowling's book. These include a dark haired young boy with glasses who discovers his own potential as the most powerful wizard of his age after being approached by magic wielding individuals, the first of whom gifts him with a pet owl. Rowling officially denies being aware of this series and since AOL Time Warner is both the producer of the Harry Potter film adaptations and the owner of DC Comics, legal action is considered highly unlikely.

See also

Parodies of Harry Potter

  • Barry Trotter and the Unauthorized Parody - see external link below

Unauthorized books of Harry Potter

Derivative works

Trivia

  • P. G. Wodehouse's 1948 novel Uncle Dynamite includes a character named Police Constable Harold Potter, and another called Hermione (not Granger, but Bostock)

External links



All Wikipedia text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License

 
  Search Encyclopedia

Search over one million articles, find something about almost anything!
 
 
  
  Featured Article
Timeline of quantum computing

... a tremendous interest in quantum computers, even outside the physics community. 1995 - Shor proposed the first scheme for quantum error correction[?]. This is an ...