Comparison in 8 points: Tolkien, Lewis – Rowling/ Lord of the Rings, Narnia – Harry Potter

Write a 8-10 narrative paragraph starting with the following words:

 

And Harry Potter stepped into the labyrinth for yet another magic adventure.

 

The above exercise was given at the English olympiad as the final subject to be made (VI).

 

What was my reaction? Of joy? Sadly (or gladly), not. Because, at the doors of the educational system, it is not to be made Alohomora for Harry Potter. 

Why? The arguments are of spiritual nature. In my opinion, the “Harry Potter” series ar not “anti-christian” stories and J.K.Rowling didn’t have “evil intentions” writing it. 

 

But there are some themes which I do not agree (making abstraction of the “magical setting” of the books):

1) splitting the human species into ‘muggles’ (lacking magical powers) and ‘initiated’, between them being differences only of blood but not morality.

2) a disturbing way of embodiment for the dead (ghosts)

3) the “hocus-pocus” method by which the ‘initiatied’ can do – in an unlimited way – any spells they wish, from those which can make their life easier (opening doors, gathering some objects) to those by which they can subject a human being to horrible torments (manipulation by hypnosis, torture) or…. even kill him (by the infamous ‘avada kedravra’)

4) the biblical argument: the “Harry Potter” series raises interest for witchcraft, practice condemned by the Holy Scripture.

5) other minor things which I will not enumerate 

 

Although other famous authors (Lewis, Tolkien) used a magical world as the universe of their books (“The Narnian Chronicles”, “The Lord of the Rings”), the feeling created by the setting is one radically different.

Despite I would agree the study at school of the two above mentioned writers and the series of books they had published, I would oppose vehemently to the advancement of Rowling and her “Harry Potter” books in the educational system.

 

This way of seeing things is not mine and mine only, but can be observed at thousands of other Christians. Why do you think it is so? Misogyny? I doubt. 

 

The most solid arguments would be:

1) The aspect of a divine being  (Tolkien: Eru Ilúvatar) and of a entity above human nature (Tolkien: Ainur, Lewis: Aslan) isn’t be found in the “Harry Potter” series.

2) While the Narnian world is bound only partially to the “earth-born world”, the ‘magical world’ of the Harry Potter series is sticked to the ‘real world’, the majority of the “initiated” being aware of this conexion and having a Illuminati-like power on ‘our world’.

3) Even if the protagonists of all the three books are children (or are modelled after the children’s nature – as a hobbit, Frodo was adult) who face difficult challenges, in Rowling’s series, Harry takes on the role of leader, a fact which makes the story unlikely. An comparation between Potter and an allegorically Christ seems absurd, the other series of books offering during the entire story a much more probable mesianic model (Tolkien: Gandalf; Lewis: Aslan)

4) The three layers of the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy (mithological, ethical and spiritual) succed in putting in value the anglo-saxonic myths (like Beowulf), the image of a world before, during, after the world and the Christian essence, while the three layers of the ‘Harry Potter’ series (magical, narrative and moral) are superficially profilated and don’t transmit a message of essence.

5) Tolkien and Lewis are structured after the profile of learned men, who had undertaken detailed studies in order to write their masterpicies, while Rowling wrote by instinct, without going through a monumental literary activity.  

6) If Tolkien and Lewis had understood and satisfied the thirst for spirituality and imagination of a postbellic world which considered itself the heir of the American pragmatism, Rowling conformed herself to a model of writing for wide consumption, offering only an imaginary but not spiritual world.  

7) Tolkien and Lewis published their works only after they had finished them, while Rowling wrote the other seven books only after publishing her first and while she enjoying a great succes, also due to the excessive publicity made to her books (by movies, video games).

8) ‘Narnia’ and ‘The Lord of the Rings’ were written by Christians for Christians, ‘Harry Potter’ by a pseudo-Christian for an indefinite public. 

 

CONCLUSION: I do not condemn the reading of the “Harry Potter” series, but any eventual introduction of it in the educational system. My opinion is that they are worth studying in school only the authors whose writing are idealy shaped (like Tolkien and Lewis). The rest? On the couch (home) and at the table of the literary critic!

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7 Comments

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7 responses to “Comparison in 8 points: Tolkien, Lewis – Rowling/ Lord of the Rings, Narnia – Harry Potter

  1. I cannot believe it.. I was wandering on the pages of literature tags and I came across this topic. The title seemed interesting enough, but punishment exceeded the crime of entering on your blog without second thoughts.
    I am sorry that you are from Romania and I am sorry that christianity has indoctrinated you . Preposterous ideas have been inculcated in your undeveloped mind and the result is terrible!
    How on earth can you criticize Harry Potter for being anti-christian? What the hell do you know about christianity? I read the series a long time ago, when I was a child – and I swear that I did not want to worship Satan! You poor thing, you think you are unique for criticizing “Harry Potter”? It promotes friendship, audacity, moral values, unlike christianity, which puts forward divine revenge, waste of time in order to achieve a ridiculously conceived salvation and so on!

    • Mister adelind,
      The doctrines of Christianity are not “preposterous ideas”, as you call them. How CAN you compare the Christian morality to some common virtues (friendship) or strange acquirements (audacity) from a fantasy series?
      As I said, I do not see “Harry Potter” as being anti-Christian, I think it is absurd to affirm its satanic effects. But – and I am sorry to say this – it seems that you had read more Harry Potter than the Bible.
      As you say, I am not unique for criticizing “Harry Potter”. There are thousands of others. I presented some arguments, but instead of taking them into account, you denied them along with Christianity itself.
      I was expecting critics from Harry Potter fans, but not attacks to my religion and faith. By your message, you have only consolidated my motives.
      I am sorry for the offense given to fictional writings which light your path in life….

      • God (yes, only to mock your belief), I have emphasized that I had read the series when I was a child. Do not worry, I read the bible – it would be peculiar to refute something you do not know anything about. So yes, I know more about the Bible than most of the Christians do. Harry Potter is not a brilliant work – it is hardly a good writing, but when I read it I was impressed. What values promotes christianity? Have you read Nietzsche? I recommend to you “Beyond good and evil” and “Twilight of the idols” – it shows the nefarious nature of christianity, turning moral values upside down and promoting weakness instead of the will of power.

      • ” I know more about the Bible than most of the Christians do”
        Sadly, yes, there are many of those who call themselves “Christians” but do not know the biblical messages.
        “Have you read Nietzsche?”
        I am somewhat familiar to Nietzsche’s controversial criticism of Christianity, and may I say that the German philosopher condemned more the religion and the church, not the faith in Christ.

        We can discuss endlessly on this subject but never get to a conclusion. As for me, I will follow your advice and read the lectures proposed. Hope that you agree with me at least on one point: the Christian morality (Matthew, 5-7) cannot be considered above that of what you consider ‘hardly a goof writing’, but a considerable impact to children.

  2. You have a sound argument. Don’t although people who hate God to deter you from sharing your impressions as informed by your faith. After all, that’s what they are doing, describing the world as it makes sense to their own minds. They have their own religion too… but you have a relationship with a risen Savior. Never forget that!

    • Never shall I, mister robstroud, let myself be impressed by some argument-lacking attacks against my belief, nor forget the bound that I have with God and His Son..
      On his blog, mister adelind associated himself with atheism – indeed, some may call it the religion of worshiping yourself, but others say that accepting atheism as a religion would mean to call baldness another type of hair.

  3. Pingback: T.V.-M. A.L. (14) Cap de Mort « Muşcătura lui Fenrisúlfr

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