Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

So, I just took a brief break from the other books I'm reading to read JK Rowling's latest in the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Like the others, I loved this book as well. I'm fascinated by the details that Rowling has come up with, the world she has created. I admire people who can write so creatively.

What I don't understand, really, is the condemnation of the books by some Christian groups. I really just don't get it. Some of my other favorite books, as I've mentioned before are the Chronicles of Narnia from CS Lewis. I realize he's a theologian writing clearly with Christian themes, but he certainly still talks about witches and wizards and magic in a way that doesn't say they are evil. What makes Harry Potter so bad?

Indeed, as the series progresses, Harry has to struggle with deeper ethical questions. I won't pretend they are blantantly theological questions of course - but they are ethical life questions. Harry's adventures are really about the choices he makes. And Rowling is emphasizing that love is the ultimate power, indeed, that sacrificial love is more amazing than any tangible power another can hold. In the end, Harry's magic powers are just a side note to the decisions and choices he has to make. I think it is sending all the right messages to young (and older!) readers, in a make-believe world that is fun and exciting.

What do you think?
Post a Comment