October 1, 2016

Kavahn Mansouri vs. The World: Harry Potter: the chosen one

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Dumbledore pleaded to Snape, “Severus…please…” Snape raised his wand, pointed it at Dumbledore and the words “Avada Kedavra” slithered from his lips. A green light shot from his wand into Dumbledore’s chest. Dumbledore fell back, out of sight. Harry Potter screamed as his father figure and friend died.

As Dumbledore fell back­ —to his death — I cried a deep cry. Tears dropped onto the pages of my book. Kavahn Mansouri argues that The Lord of the Rings trilogy is better than Harry Potter, but I have to object to that statement.

Sure, The Lord of the Rings  has talking trees, and the hobbits are kind of cute, but it just hasn’t had the same impact on its readers that the Harry Potter series has had.

Kavahn believes Gandalf the Grey/White is the greatest mentor character. Maybe he is. But Dumbledore is much more than a mentor.

Dumbledore was a voice of wisdom. He was a teacher and friend. He was always there for Harry and for Hogwarts and to help the students learn.

I think everyone either has a Dumbledore in their life — I know I have one in mine — or is the Dumbledore for someone else. Dumbledore and Harry’s relationship was relatable to readers. Their relationship won readers’ hearts because it allowed the audience to put themselves in the character’s shoes. When Harry felt the pain of Dumbledore’s death, readers felt the pain, too.

And Kavahn says Dumbledore didn’t sacrifice enough. He sacrificed his life… Just sayin’.

The characters warmed their way into the hearts of readers like me. Harry Potter grew up as I grew up. We both reached milestones and faced challenges — although Harry’s challenges and milestones were on a grander scale than my Muggle experiences, and his obstacles often involved life or death situations.

Kavahn argues the Harry Potter series is simply a passing fad. Let me just clear that one up. The series influenced and became part of the lives of a global generation.

And yes, I was one of those people who dressed up in costume and attended the midnight book releases and movie openings. But at those events, the odd one out was the one who didn’t dress up. I don’t recall The Lord of The Rings ever having that kind of following.

Harry Potter created a community for its readers. I’m sure the Quidditch Club on campus would agree with me here. At Webster, Harry Potter helped me form a community on campus my freshman year.

I took the Harry Potter-themed freshman seminar course – by far, one of my favorite classes in my time at Webster. The assigned reading for the semester was the Harry Potter series, which most of the class had already read and gladly re-read. That course made it even more clear to me how widely-read the series was.

I’m not saying The Lord of the Rings is awful literature that no one read. I’m just saying that the Harry Potter series resonated on more of an emotional scale with its readers.

Also, I’d rather have the Elder Wand than the one ring to rule them all any day — although, having the one ring to rule them all would also make my life significantly easier.

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