I was actually in my late teens when I first got introduced to the Harry Potter series. 2001 was when the Sorcerer’s Stone was released into theaters. Now I had NO introduction to Harry Potter before seeing that movie trailer for the first time, but I knew it was something special. I was promptly loaned the first book by a good friend of mine about a week before the movie was due to come out. I read it very quickly and then borrowed the rest of the books. We were only up to the Goblet of Fire by that point. So I was lucky to get into the series while the excitement and magic was still running wild. There are a few things I’d like to address here: what Harry Potter gives people, the importance of what it gives and what I personally have taken from the Harry Potter Experience.
Our society today is that of the consumer and the middle class zombie. We walk around so concerned about our appearance, paycheck, and social anxieties that we all lead rather mundane and boring lives. Think about it, you get up you go to work, you go home. Now if the nature of your job isn’t pleasing to you, but you feel as though you must do it, then so be it. It puts food on the table and takes care of your family, even if you are suffering eight hours a day. I just hope that you have a supportive enough circle of people around you that show their appreciation for your sacrifice. That is only 40 – 60 hours a week however. There are 168 hours in a full 7 day 24 hour a day week. You still have around 2/3 of your week to fill up with what constitutes your existence! Maybe you feel lost? Don’t know where to start? Start here: Have many interests and get excited about the world around you. “If you are BORED you ARE BORING!!!” that little phrase has done wonders for me, and I hope it can for others.
What does Harry Potter do for this person in the paragraph above? Why it gives them an escape, a comfort, or an adventure (maybe all three). Perception is reality and what better place to make your own reality then your own head. There are a few types of ways people read books and take in stories. Subjective readers will sit outside the story and look in, like they are watching a movie. They will think things like, “oh wow good for him, go get’em Harry.” They will be concerned about the characters and plot, but it is a very detached style of reading. Objective readers are on the other side of the spectrum; they are what we can call, “the more imaginative crowd.” You put yourself in the story. You feel what the characters feel. If Harry gets hurt or loses a loved one, it is as though it has happened to you. You laugh, cry, and share in the victories. It is as almost you are a ghost walking amongst the story, there to witness all the events as they take place. You put yourself at the side of the characters, “if only they knew they weren’t alone right?” The latter I believe is the majority of die hard Harry Potter fans, and that is me.
While reading these books it is as though, you are somewhere else. Your Mom might be screaming at you, or your Dad just got done tearing you down with all sorts of mental assaults. Perhaps the wife or husband is, “at it again.” Sitting down and being taken somewhere else is a very powerful thing. Harry Potter gave me that, and it also gave me guidance. I see the value in all the characters in Harry Potter. No one was perfect and they all had flaws, just like the people around me. I wanted Harry’s courage, Hermione’s intelligence and Ron’s zeal. There was something I would take from all of them. There were many times when I was down on myself or having a hard time with something in life and I would just think to Harry Potter. Instantly I would be walking the halls of Hogwarts Castle learning from my friends, spending time with them and letting them comfort me. Crazy right? No. I’m not the only one at all. Many people are doing that exact same thing, but no one is talking about it. Why? Because it isn’t “normal.” The concept of normality is an entire separate piece so we will not address that here. The bigger point here is that you need tools to escape your reality. It is healthy to exercise those parts of yourself. It makes you a more dynamic individual. Harry Potter IS one of those tools for me.
I am beginning to ask myself why I am even writing this. The truth is it is for two reasons. I’m doing it for me, and for you, easy as that. I feel as though a lot of people don’t understand the way I think or my reasoning for doing what I do. So this is my message to them. Oh for the record The Half Blood Prince is due to be released the 21st of November so CLEAR YOUR Calendars PEOPLE!!!!
Danny Machal June 18th, 2008