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Anthony Smith
Mrs. Thomas
UWRT 1101-024
October 12, 2014

Harry Potter: Between the Lines


I really had a hard time finding peer reviewed articles for what I wanted to write about. I
ended up choosing the subject of harry potter because its a book series I read a couple years
ago that I still know a great deal of information about. Writing this paper was challenging at
times and I wish I had answered the questions on our assignment sheet within the paper more
clearly. But it was fun learning some new symbolism in the book series I didnt know about. I
ended up revising the sentence structure in my paper. I tried to alter it to make it flow better.
Also I added more symbolism within the paper. My peers said check my grammar which turns
out was pretty bad.
The book series accumulated to a worth of over a billion dollars. Making its author J.K.
Rowling the most paid author in history. The first book was published on June 30, 1997. Her
book series follows a character named Harry Potter who starts off in the series as a boy who lives
with his aunt and uncle, The Dursleys who treat him awfully throughout his life. One day he
receives a letter from Hogwarts, unfortunately his uncle wont allow him to read any of the
letters. The letters kept coming in until his uncle becoming so annoyed that he moves his family
and Harry far away where they cant receive the letters anymore. At the stroke of midnight on
Harrys birthday a giant named Hagrid breaks down the door and tells Harry that he is a wizard
and gives him a letter that invites him to attend Hogwarts a school for witchcraft and wizardry.
When Harry is informed that he is a wizard he leaves for Hogwarts and his story begins.

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Throughout the book series Harry and his friends run into trouble against dark forces in every
book and manage to come out on top.
I have read the books and watched the movies, and I thought it was just a great story.
However the story goes far more in depth than I had ever imagined. For example in my peer
reviewed article, Sneaking Out After Dark: Resistance, Agency, and the Postmodern Child in JK
Rowlings Harry Potter Series By Drew Chappell Arizona State University. It talks about the
bloodlessness in the story. And how Voldemort is in many ways the Hitler of the book series.
Voldemort seeks to kill all mud-bloods, half breeds, which are wizards who are not born from
two magic parents but born from one magic parent and one muggle (non-magic folk). Voldemort
wants to form a pure-blood race of wizards. He resembles Hitler not only in trying to form a
perfect race of people but, Voldemort like Hitler is not the perfect race he wants to form. Hitler
wanted to form a perfect blue eyed, blonde haired Aryan race, but Hitler was not blue haired,
blonde haired. Voldemort wants to form a pure-blood race of wizards which he is not. He is a
half-blood, one of his parents is a muggle.
The article also talks about symbolism in the series. For example the four houses are
based off the elements, Earth, Air, Water, and Fire. But not just the elements. In alchemy the
four elements were believed to be associated with cardinal directions, North, South, East and
West. J.K. Rowling must have known this because she portrayed the houses this way. The
element of earth is Hufflepuff which is located in the east wing of the castle. Air is Ravenclaw
which is located in the west wing of the castle. Water goes to Slytherin, which is located in the
dungeons. And last but not least Gryffindor with their element being fire is located in the the
high tower of the castle. Another symbolism in the books are Voldemorts horcruxes. There are
seven horcruxes total which are associated with the seven deadly sins.

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Lastly the article talks about not necessarily a symbol but something interesting many
didnt know about the Sorcerers stone or if youre from Britain the Philosophers stone. When
someone would drink from the elixir of life within the stone, the stone would glow a certain three
colors in order. The first color is black followed by white and then red. These colors reflect
characters who die within the series. The first is black, which symbolizes Sirius Black, The next
is white which reflects Dumbledore, and lastly red which symbolizes Fred Weasley.
The book series endured great criticism from religious groups saying the series promoted
paganism in children. In an article entitled The Redemption of Harry Potter from Relevant
Magazine talks about how the author of the book series J.K. Rowling heard of this religious
parallel and managed to include bible verses within the story without anyone noticing. The
author of the article writes, Harry goes to a graveyard and sees two tombstones: On
Dumbledores mothers tombstone is written, Where your treasure is, there will your heart be
also, (Matthew 6:21) and, more tellingly, on his parents tombstone is written, The last enemy
that shall be destroyed is death(1 Corinthians 15:26).
The article also talks about how Voldemort, the storys antagonist is actually more
cowardly than he leads on. Near the end of the series Harry and his friends track down
Voldemorts horcruxes. which was his attempt to live forever. Horcruxes involve separating your
soul into an object. Now what does this tell us about the character? The author of the article
writes, Voldemort also fears death more than anything else. He fears it so much he separates his
soul into seven pieces in order to gain immortality. In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,
Voldemort has a showdown with Dumbledore and exclaims, There is nothing worse than death,
Dumbledore! To which Dumbledore calmly replies: You are quite wrong. Indeed, your failure
to understand that there are things much worse than death has always been your greatest

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weakness. In the series we think that Voldemort is a great and powerful wizard but in reality
hes just a coward.

This is my next genre which is a twitter post. Please excuse the language used. Anyways
the posts main purpose was for comedy, but there are many theories based around the harry
potter novels. The most interesting one being similar to this twitter post. The theory is that Harry
Potter hated who his parents were. Due to the emotional, physical, and mental abuse from them
he conjures up a false reality in which his parents were killed in a car crash. That the people
taking care of him werent his parents but his abusive aunt and uncle, which he named The
Dursleys, and his abusive cousin is really just his older brother.
The first book talks about how Harry had accidents in which he couldnt explain what
happened. The theory suggests that Harry tends to black out and cause harm to people. When
they went to the zoo, and again instances happen and Harry cant explain what happened, his

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parents (The Dursleys) get letters from mental institutions saying they will take Harry away from
them. His parents have them move away so the government cant find them.
When the giant Hagrid knocks down their door he takes Harry away from them and
says theyre going to a magical place where theirs kids just like him. Hagrid in turn is not really a
giant, hes just a cop that works for child services and to an eleven year old he may seem like a
giant. Hagrid takes him to Hogwarts which is a mental institution, which Harry conjures up as a
school for wizards and where magic is possible.
His two best friends Ron and Hermione are just kids who are also at the mental institution
which stay in the same wing of the mental hospital as him. The hospital has four wings which
Harry conjures up as four different houses that kids are placed in. The four wings have
different colored jumpsuits for the kids so they can keep track of where their supposed to be.
Red, green, blue and yellow just like the story. Dumbledore the head master is really just a
doctor. Professor McGonagall is the nurse of Harrys red wing section of the hospital. But the
best part of the theory is who Voldemort is. Voldemort is a nurse assistant who has to administer
the shots to the kids who are getting too rowdy. Which in Harrys case being a kid who runs
around the hospital trying to cast spells, and riding brooms around claiming hes playing a
wizard sport, he tends to run into Voldemort a lot. Which he claims is an evil wizard out to get
him.

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My last genre is this picture of the Marauders. The Marauders is the name given to
Harrys Dad and his friends while they attended Hogwarts. They are mentioned in the series of
Harry Potter as a group of kids who had a love for mischief. In the seventh book she has
Professor McGonagall talking to Harry, Harry asks for stories from McGonagall about his father
and his friends attending Hogwarts. She says Ill tell you a few stories about them another
time. Which has many fans to believe that the author J.K. Rowling didnt go into too much
detail on them because she saving them for their own book series. I chose this picture to try and
show the essence and personality of the marauders. We have Lupin with the blonde hair who is
described as the smartest one of the group. Next we have Harrys father to the left who is
described as the leader. All the way right we have Sirius Black the one who enjoyed the mischief
more than the rest. And lastly we have the youngest Peter Pettigrew holding the marauders map.