The Secret World of Harry Potter : The Literary Laws of Fantasy Applied to the Novels by J. K. Rowling

University essay from Södertörns högskola/Institutionen för genus, kultur och historia


My intentions with this essay has been to examine the World in which the story of J. K. Rowlings Harry Potter takes place, the structure, narrative and restrictions, in order to place the suite of novels in the tradition of the Fantasy genre. Since the release of the first book Harry Potter has become a household name, possibly more than any other contemporary literature written for children. Various readings concerning gender, etymological, linguistic aspects and so forth have been done, and in most cases the books are placed in the genre of Fantasy without distinguishing what in fact makes the novels Fantasy. I wanted to see which specific sectors of the books that place them in the genre, and, assuming that it would in fact fit into the Fantasy genre, in which ways it diverges from the tradition of the genre in means of the structure of the world/s of the story. I also looked at the faults in the logic within the novels to see if the inconsistencies in the rules of the world have an impact on the agency of the story.

I found the novels to be a part of the fantasy tradition, not only by having many intertextual relations and similar features to other fantasy-novels but also in the fundament of the story, its basic conditions such as the supernatural elements and the hidden places in the world of the books. The minor inconstancies that I found where to small to disrupt the narrative, and the fact that some of the aspects of the books drift slightly away from the logic of the world within the story have reasonable explanations such as making the story easier to relate to.

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