Looking Through The Other Eye: A Review Of The Harry Potter Novel Series - Part 1 - Overview

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Debarpita Banerjee
May 12, 2020   •  13 views

Looking Through The Other Eye - Part 1

An honest attempt to analyse the Harry Potter series in a way that you have never thought of before.

The world of magic and mysteries have always fascinated us. The thirst to indulge ourselves into the world which provides us with an escape route from the real world that we live in, have lived in the heart of mankind ever since. There are good magical mystery books, very good magical mystery books and excellent magical mystery books as well, but only a very few magical mystery books can appeal to an 80-year-old veteran and an 8-year-old girl equally. And the books which can make us forget reality by actually taking us to a world which is somewhere deep within, extremely real, yet magical, are exceptional. 

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Today, as I sit down to write a suitable book review which can do justice to this phenomenal series, only one thing comes into my mind. The Harry Potter series is not like any other regular magic mystery fantasy series. It is different because it beautifully portrays the most complex emotions of life through the life story of a school going teenager named Harry Potter. It presents to us the most difficult realities of our own everyday life, excellently enveloped within the golden realm of magic.

On one end, there is a 'mum gifted' orphan who was tortured by his own relatives just because he could do some suspicious activities which he couldn't control; a highly ambitious boy born in a very poor family who "hates to be poor"; and, a muggle-born girl who is so much interested in knowing about the magical world that she mugged up all her textbooks and spellbooks in a single day.

While, on the other side, there is one hyper-creative orphan boy who was so cooked up by the fact that his mother died, that he had started to hate death, and was desperate to find a way to defeat Death; and finally, the highly beloved and respected headmaster, who has a very dark past.

This series revolves around characters who are different from us, but yet extremely relatable. In this way, Rowling has written a fantasy story, keeping the stint of reality intact. 

Literary style and mass appeal

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If you have read Rowling's works, you know that when one reads her writing, he actually feels that he is conversing with the characters themselves. She elaborates each and every character of hers in such depth that you start feeling them from within. In this series, she successfully added the element of mass appeal to her writings as well. There are moments in the series which may have different meanings for different individuals, depending on their viewpoint of life. This makes this series appealing to a school goer and a retired veteran alike. 

Five points that make Harry Potter series the most unique fantasy series ever made : 

Fantastically Real:

The biggest achievement of the Harry Potter series which is very rare to find in any other fantasy series is that it is a fantasy story which is set completely on a real backdrop. When we meet the young 10-year-old Harry Potter who sees his journey to Hogwarts as an escape route from uncle Vernon's tortures, or, Ronald Weasley who belongs to the poorest Wizard family and has only one beef Sandwich to eat during the entire journey, even though he hates beef sandwiches, or, the highly self-obsessed muggle-born Hermione Granger who comes from a non-magical background and was so excited to know about the magical world that she mugged up all her textbooks and spell books, we don't feel that we are meeting someone who we don't know or can't find in the real world. The moment we meet them, we feel a connection, which slowly turns into empathy. This connection is very rarely found in other fantasy stories, which deal with vampires, Evil witches, among others, whom we can't really see in the real world. 

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Even while designing the evilest character of the series, Tom Riddle, Rowling had made sure that he is given a back-story which feels very real. Through him, Rowling has actually portrayed our own aversion to death. We all fear death, and no one wants to die, but when this fear turns into obsession, it gives birth to Voldemort.

Celebrating the power of love and goodness through sacrifice:

In this series, Rowling has portrayed Lily's love for Harry and her sacrifice to save her son's life as the biggest weapon against the evilest spirit in this universe, called Lord Voldemort. Through this wonderful relationship between son and mother, Rowling celebrates the power of love and sacrifice for your loved ones. When Harry asks Professor Dumbledore which power he should use to defeat Voldemort, Professor Dumbledore says Harry's biggest weapon is love and this weapon is gifted to him by his mother.

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Generally, in the other fantasy series, we see both sides battling with each other with equally unrealistic weapons. But love is not unreal. The love that a mother has for her son is extremely real and to portray that love as the biggest weapon is a masterstroke which sets this series apart. 

Successfully Portrays both sides of friendship:

'If you have friends there, then no fear'. The Harry Potter series is the biggest testament to this statement. At the same time, it gives you a warning to never over-trust your friends as well.

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In this entire series, Harry is surrounded by his two best friends Ron and Hermione, who in some ways or the other, complete Harry's imperfections. Hermione is the brain, and Ron is the soul, who completes Harry's life in many ways. The instances when Ron gets ready to sacrifice his own life so that Harry can survive, or when Hermione deleted herself from the memory of her parents so that she can fight with Harry, they make you believe that friendship is the biggest asset one can have in one's life. The Harry Potter series, in many ways, is the greatest literary celebration of friendship one has ever read.

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But, what about Wormtail then? The guy who was regarded as one of the best friends of James and Serius ultimately became the reason for their death! Friendship is good, but over-trusting wrong friends can be fatal. 

A story where the villain is much more powerful than the hero:

It is a unique situation when a villain is so powerful that the world fears to take his name, and ironically, he is destined to die in the hands of a 17-year-old teenager, who is literally nothing in front of him. But the young boy fights. Even after knowing that he may get defeated and eventually die, he still fights, with the help of the power of love and goodness.

The saints were not always the saints, the evils can also be good some days:

In this series, there are many circumstances which leave you shocked, but there are two circumstances which must be talked about and may leave you shocked till death. 

What do you feel when you come to know that the most respected headmaster of Hogwarts was the one who himself had started the concept of Deathly Hallows? Albus Dumbledore was the torchbearer, Voldemort had only carried his journey forward. But, ironically, two had a very different life ultimately. One had realised his faults, came back to correct path and went on to become one of the most respected wizards ever; while the other chose the evil path for life, and went on to become the most feared wizard ever.

We always believe that evils for once, evils for life, right? But, how do you relate to a member of a typical Slytherin family who once worshipped Voldemort like God, but, when Voldemort tries to kill his beloved house help Kreecher, he steps aside, goes against Voldemort, and sacrifices his own life to save his house help. Regulus Aurelius Black (RAB) should be an example to many. 

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The biggest plot holes:

No series can be absolutely perfect. Knowingly or unknowingly, the authors do commit mistakes, which is fair as they are humans. Harry Potter series does have plot holes, but they are extremely rare. Here we bring you two such plot holes, which you might not have noticed yet, but you will start thinking about it once it comes to your notice.

Why was Wormtail never seen in the Marauder's map?

The biggest plot hole of the Harry Potter series is arguably the fact that wormtail could not be detected for so long by the Weasley twins. Wormtail had disguised himself as scabbers, the rat, which every Weasley brother has owned at one point or the other. But, the biggest question arises, that when Fred and George had the marauder's map, why couldn't they detect that the rat was not an ordinary rat? 

If Harry never died, how did he converse with Dumbledore in heaven?

The only point of the series when you start feeling unrealistic. Harry was killed by Nagini, went to heaven, met Dumbledore, and then came back again without any explanation of how he did that. 

And, if the theory says that the part of his soul which worked as Horcrux has died, then only this part of his soul should go to heaven, but what was the real soul of Harry doing there then? 

Conclusion

Harry Potter series does have some loopholes, but no one can deny the fact that it is the most detailed magic mystery ever written. It has so many sublayers into it that everyone finds a new angle to the story which suits them the most. From humanising a devil by telling his pathetic and heart touching back story, to culminating the most beloved headmaster into the character with the darkest past, this series has shown that nobody is perfect, and most of the crimes have a societal reason behind it. When society forces you into the gutter, something within sparks off and starts rebelling, turning you evil. And then, ultimately, love wins over the evil. 

(Note - All Images are taken from google. They are not my property.)














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