120 likes | 268 Views
Good vs. Evil. Kylie Bradshaw. Introduction.
E N D
Good vs. Evil Kylie Bradshaw
Introduction • The Harry Potter series written, by J. K. Rowling is an incredibly popular series, worldwide. The books have sold a record 450 million copies and have been translated into 70 different languages (par. 3). Despite its fantastical amount of fame, there are many who say that the books are evil, Satanic, and go against the teachings in the bible that give commandments such as, “There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter or a witch. Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord… (Deut. 18:10-12).” It is argued that the series corrupts the minds of its young readers by glorifying wiccan rituals and does not set a clear line between good and evil. It is also said to even give many nightmares due to its dark themes. While many people have ideas such as those, there are plenty of others, who believe that the books do, in fact, teach young readers the difference between good and evil. Despite that it is about a world of witchcraft and wizardry, it contains many Biblical beliefs and allusions by way of the creatures represented in the novels, the characters it introduces, and the events that take place. Throughout the Harry Potter series, there are many biblical allusions that one can find upon close evaluation. They may not be easy to notice upon first glance, but if read with the right frame of mind, these allusions are everywhere! On the other hand, there are characters who make it hard to distinguish between right and wrong.
Creatures and their symbolism Evil Good • Phoenix: Often represents resurrection, rebirth after repentance, and even the Holy Spirit. • Unicorns: They are always said to be pure, like Christ . Killing one is comparable to denying Christ • Thestrals: These creatures can represent faith. They cannot be seen by most but they are always there pulling the carriages. • Giants: These creatures are often unpredictable and violent. In the bible, it often expresses the need to stay on the righteous path because the wrong path is unpredictable. • Dementors: They are terrible creatures that instill fear in everyone. They represent depression and the loss of hope. The Devil tries to make one lose hope and believe that they are beyond the point of no return when one sins • Snake: This creature is one of the most common allusions that appear in the series. The biggest is in reference to the serpent in the Garden of Eden that tempted Adam and Eve to partake of the Forbidden Fruit. This snake represents the Devil..
Characters and what they represent Evil Good • Harry Potter: Harry is a multilayered character. He is one of many that represents Christ; he is The Boy Who Lived and the one who is supposed to save the world, according to the prophesy. Similarly, Christ was the Son of God who saved the world from sin. • Lily Potter: She is also like Christ in the way she gave up her life to save Harry’s and in doing so created a protection for him. Her name also is a symbol of purity which is a Christ-like attribute. • Albus Dumbledore: This wizard can represent God in the fact that he always appears to be all-knowing. • Severus Snape: Snape was once on the Dark Lord’s side but switched over to fight for good. The process was a painful one full of regret and sorrow. His whole character represents repentance and spiritual rebirth. • Lord Voldemort: This character represents all things evil, just like Satan. They also are associated with snakes. Neither one know how to love, they only know how to destroy. • Bellatrix Lestrange: Bellatrix is said to be in love with Voldemort. Since Voldemort represents all things evil, she, quite literally, loves evil. She only lives to commit evil acts.
Events and allusions • Pettigrew’s betrayal: Peter was the Potter’s Secret Keeper to their hide out away from Lord Voldemort. He betrays that secret to Voldemort, who finds the Potter’s and kills Lily and James. This part of the story is like they way Judas betrayed Christ’s identity to those who sought to crucify him. • Cemetery: While Harry and Hermione are in the cemetery in Godric’s Hollow, they come across headstones that have quotes on them. Upon further research, it is proven that the quotes are from different books in the bible. • The Resurrection Stone: When Harry goes into the Forbidden Forrest to sacrifice himself to Voldemortfor the sake of everyone else, he summons the spirits of his father, mother, Sirius, and Lupin. He asks them to stay with him as he goes. This is similar to when Christ went to the Garden of Gethsemene. He asks His disciples to wait for him as he goes to pray. • Fawkes’ death: Fawkes is a phoenix. At one point in the series, Harry goes into Dumbledore’s office to talk to him. While in there waiting, Fawkes suddenly bursts into flames and turns to ash. In no time at all, Fawkes is suddenly reborn from the ashes. Christ died and suffered for the sins of everyone and was soon resurrected in his tomb.
Their Point of View • To many, mainly those of Christian faiths, the series does not set a clear line between good and evil. This, for them, is a concern they have for their young readers. They fear that it will set a bad example for the young readers, that it encourages them to be a fence sitter when it comes to choosing right from wrong. Here are some examples as to where their fear stems from.
Draco Malfoy • This student starts out seemingly bad from the beginning. He and Harry have a rivalry from day one. As the series goes on, readers learn that his father, Lucius is a Death Eater. Even further down the line, it is discovered that Draco has become a Death Eater himself and has been chosen to murder Dumbledore. When it comes to that crucial point in his careeras a Death Eater in book 6, Draco finds that he cannot finish the deed. Throughout that entire book, Draco struggles with who he is and who he is to become. At the end of the series, Harry ends up saving Draco’s life twice. This is enough to push not only Draco but also his parents to back away from the fight. Draco’s mother, Narcissa, even saves Harry’s life. The key problem here is that they don’t fight against Voldemort, they avoid the fight completely. Many leaders in Christian faiths believe that this will encourage their youth to do the same; be mostly good but never fight for it. • While the opposing side may have a point, they also need to remember that no one is perfect. Most people during their teenage years go through a period of trying to find out who they really are. They may make mistakes along the way but many of them turn out to be good, hard working people. Society forgives them of their past mistakes and more importantly, God forgives them of their past mistakes. While Malfoy’s personal struggle is different from a real teenager’s, the concept is the same. In the end he chooses to be good rather than evil.
Severus Snape • The moment readers are introduced to Snape, they are sure that he is a bad egg. He always is in a bad mood, always wears black, works in the dungeon, constantly picks on Harry and other kids with low self-esteem, and is always acting suspicious. Throughout the entire series, no one is ever sure of whose side he is on. At one point, readers find that he indeed is branded with the Dark Mark, but if Dumbledore trusts him, shouldn’t everyone else? Even when Snape kills Dumbledore, everyone thinks that their suspicions have been laid to rest. Readers don’t discover the total truth until the end of the seventh book. As it turns out, Snape was in love with Harry’s mother, even during his days as a Death Eater. As soon as he learns of the Dark Lord’s plans to kill the Potter’s, he immediately goes to Dumbledore to reveal all of Voldemort’s plans. He begs Dumbledore to protect Lily and her family. Everything he does from then on, always risking his life, is for Lily. Many see Snape’s character as a temptation to treat others badly. While Snape may ultimately be a good guy, he still treats those around him with distain and hatred. This could pose a problem in that it teaches young readers that hate isn’t a bad thing. • It does seem at first that Snape’s character glorifies bullying. Upon further evaluation, he can be seen as a scared child whose only outlet is to bully. When kids bully others in school, often it is a result of a hard life and home situation. Society understands that and tries to help those kids. In Snape’s case, he too does not have any outlet but to bully, even though he really is a good person. The difference is that no one knows his true character and so no one is able to offer their help. Snape is simply someone who needs forgiveness.
Harry Potter • Harry is always seen as a good person to readers in every book. When reading the books, Harry isn’t so sure that he is a good person. He often fears that because of his connection with Voldemort, he himself is a bad person. Various characters put his suspicions to rest and he even does so by destroying Voldemort. Those of Christian faith fear that these ideas will cause panic in those who are born to parents who aren’t good people. It could lead to them believing that they are bad as well and therefor feel no remorse for making bad decisions. • It seems that the opposing side is always quick to jump to conclusions. While many may fear that if their parents are bad, they are bad too, the majority of those with that fear prove it wrong. They do so by being good, contributing citizens. Harry is just a way to relate to those kinds of readers. Even though he is not always sure he is a good person, he works hard to prove to himself as well as everyone else that he, in fact is a good person, no matter what curse hit him. He is there to help readers realize that no matter what they deal with, they can always be good.
Conclusion • While leaders of Christian faiths may have a point, that point seems minimal. When compared to all of the biblical allusions and ideas that appear in the series, their qualms seem miniscule. It appears that they are looking at the story narrow-mindedly, jumping to conclusions to quickly. These books can’t be read with a negative mind. They need to be read as if the reader is yearning to learn something new. When reading the series, it is important to be open to new possibilities, it is a fantasy after all.