Harry Potter: The allegory that could

One book trumps the Harry Potter series. One book will outsell every book humanity has printed historically. The Bible is an all time best-seller. But what do Harry and Jesus have in common? It turns out, they actually have quite a bit in common.

When Jesus of Nazareth rode to Bethlehem and performed those acts, he fulfilled the prophecy of the Old Testament. His birth gave life to a new age. And the boy who lived has a similar story. His life was preceded by a prophecy, he too was resurrected and brought peace to the land.

Hogwarts may not have been the ancient Middle East, and I’m not saying Harry Potter is real (though some would argue magic is). I’m simply saying there is an allegory in place that mimics the greatest story ever told.

This is pretty much where the similarities end, and aside from the the reoccurring holy number of three (or thrice as Jo would say), there stops the parallels. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone marked the beginning of an age of literature that the world had not yet seen. The E-Book and internet sites selling every volume you can think of began to spread the word and drive sales.

The first book in the series was short, but the next was longer, and the one after was longer than the first two. In fact, each book was larger than the next. The readers of the last volume of the series were not disappointed, and neither were readers of the first.

Ask any person walking down the street if they have ever read a book series, and the ones that have will say “The Harry Potter books.” Even the ones that have read other things might mention them. They’re all some people know about reading.

For a high school English class we were required to read Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban. This was my first introduction to the series, and years later I finished the books. This was not my favorite series, and certainly not my first, but they are so iconic that it’s hard to avoid reading them. If you’re a bibliophile then you have almost invariably read the Harry Potter series.

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Is J.K. Rowling’s rags to riches story one of the same allegories?

Joann Rowling is a billionaire in U.S. monies. The pound however, is stronger than the dollar. But she is still very wealthy. Although she isn’t the richest woman in Great Britain, she’s arguably the most famous. But what is Jo doing with her money? She’s giving it away basically, and her cause is a noble one at that. Her charity “lumos” is committed to helping orphans and children in need.

A high level administrator of the charity gave a TED talk some time ago detailing orphanages in Europe. Rows of babies lined up in a single room, which you would imagine would be pretty noisy right? But no, they were dead silent. These children are given no attention so they give up and stop trying to get it. And they don’t have a good chance at a decent life when grown either.

One of the biggest groups effected are the Roma people. They are transient sometimes and often too poor to care for a child, so they are orphaned. J.K. Rowling has dedicated a portion of her wealth to help these children in need, this specific group of people.

Is she trolling us?

I’ve always said a good creative work of any type should make you feel something. In the case of the Harry Potter series it made me feel positive emotions. Yes, I know the books are for children. But adults can enjoy them too. My book is meant for New Adults or Young Adults, but I find that many adults have enjoyed it as well. You never know who will be most affected by your work, and as far as nostalgia goes it’s good to see a positive story about a child hood you wished you had.

 

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Blake is a writer who specializes in content writing and novel-length fiction.

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