J. K. Rowling Long Fiction Analysis
In various interviews, J. K. Rowling has discussed her intention to furnish her child characters with increasingly complex abilities and mature emotions with each successive volume. Although various authors—for example, James Joyce in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916)—have experimented with changing style to depict a protagonist’s maturing consciousness, the Harry Potter series does so at extraordinary length and with considerable subtlety while alternating between comedy and adventure in a manner that prevents the author’s psychological explorations and moralizing from being intrusive.
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone begins with its title character extremely isolated. He has no friends or sympathy from his foster parents, the Dursleys. He lives in a closet under the stairs, and the closest he comes to social life is playing with hand-me-down toys from his bullying cousin Dudley. Despite the fact that Harry is eleven, his psychological situation is typical of someone much younger, who has not yet fully bonded with parents and has not yet begun to have real companions. For Harry, growing up happens suddenly, as he is on the way to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. He acquires the first of a number of benign parental figures in the person of the giant Hagrid as well as acquaintance with the two children who are to become his closest...
(The entire section is 1759 words.)
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