What are some archetypal settings in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows?
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An archetypal setting is a pre-existing setting from myth. It is kind of like a stereotype, but common across cultures and older. Many ancient myths have these, and so do modern ones. Here are some significant archetypal settings:
The Wedding or Celebration
While not a place, exactly, a wedding occurs in many myths. The wedding in a time of war symbolizes renewal. The wedding is broken up, as the war is far from over.
There is no more archetypal place than the underworld, where the hero will often meet a monster. In this case, the underworld was Gringotts and Harry did face a dragon.
Return to the Birthplace
Harry returns to his childhood home, Godric’s Hollow. This is archetypal to the hero’s journey, because in many cases the hero returns to a home he barely knew or has not been to for a long time. Usually, the hero will gather some peace or information here. Harry returns to the house where his parents were killed and their graves. On the headstone he sees a symbol of the Deathly Hallows.
Wisdom from Water
There is almost always water in a hero’s tale. Water is very archetypal. It represents wisdom and rebirth. In this case, the pond in the woods represents the water, and Harry has to dive in to get the sword and the wisdom it conveys. Ron saves him, which eventually allows him to forgive Ron.
The Belly of the Beast
Usually, the hero is going to have to go into enemy territory. Harry has to disguise himself and go into the Malfoy mansion, which represents the belly of the beast. The hero must face his fears to accomplish his goals.
The Destruction of the Homeland or Haven
The actual battle takes place at Hogwarts, because Hogwarts is Harry’s haven and home. The castle is mostly destroyed during the battle, because the destroyed homeland or haven is another archetypal place. The hero has to face the loss of all he has achieved in order to move forward. Eventually, Harry succeeds and the home, Hogwarts, can he rebuilt.
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