In Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone, is the depiction of place intended for child or adult readers?

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accessteacher's profile pic

accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The depictions of place in this novel seemed to be designed equally for an adult and a child readership. This is because the places evoked by Rowling in her prose are powerfully mysterious and magically rendered in ways that are appealing to both children and adults. Settings such as enchanted forests and wizarding shopping streets include references that capture the imagination of children whilst also inspiring adults. Consider the following quotation from Chapter Eight which describes Harry's first few days at Hogwarts:

There were a hundred and forty-two staircases at Hogwarts: wide, sweeping ones; narrow, rickety ones; some that led somewhere different on Friday; some with a vanishing step halfway up that you had to remember to jump.

Clearly, the vast number of staircases and their variety is something that is fantastical and would appeal to both a child's imagination and also an adult's sense of humour, with reference to the vanishing step. One of the reasons why Rowling's books have been so successful is precisely because they appeal not just to children but to adults as well, and the depiction of place is a case in point.

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Wiggin42's profile pic

Wiggin42 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 2) Valedictorian

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Rowling's depiction of the Wizarding World appeals to both adults and children. Everyone takes delight in Rowling's expert way of describing the magical world. The fresh, whimsical, and vivid details makes it easy for a reader to visualize and place themselves in the magical world. Above all, I think this ability to place yourself in Harry Potter's world with ease is the reason for its popularity among adults and children. 

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