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Lucrare de atestat la Limba Engleza

Contemporary Literature:
The Harry Potter Series














Lucrare realizata de: Bacil Cosmina Bianca
Colegiul National Alexandru Ioan Cuza Galati
Clasa a XII-a B
2013-2014
Prof. coordonator: Teodora Roznovschi
Colegiul Naional Alexandru Ioan Cuza
Str. Aleea colii Nr. 1 800042 Galai
Tel/Fax: 0236/ 413076 ; 0236/ 412206
E-mail: ai_cuza@yahoo.com
http://cuza.licee.edu.ro

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Contents


Argument .............................................................................................3
Introduction .........................................................................................4
Literature Review: The Critics Take on Harry Potterization.......5
Whats Keeping Harry on the Phenomenon Express ...................6
How did Harry Potter change our lives .........................................7
Boarding schools ...................................................................................... 7
Film ............................................................................................................. 7
Reading ...................................................................................................... 7
Magic .......................................................................................................... 8
Tourism ...................................................................................................... 8
Fashion ....................................................................................................... 8
Interesting facts ...................................................................................9
Conclusion .........................................................................................10
Bibliography ......................................................................................10



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Argument


The reasons why I chose to write my paper about the Harry Potter series
are mostly the reasons why everybody loves these books.
Firstly, it is a good story. Plain and simple, the books tell a great story. It
is epic, especially for a childrens series. The lasting popularity proves
that children will stick around if the story is good enough and it
obviously is. If they can play video games for thirty hours a day then
they can sit and read through a 700 page novel.
Also the story is fantasy, but it is easily digestible fantasy. The made up
stuff in J.K. Rowlings world of magic is not all that complicated and it
seems almost plausible at times. She bases it on a practical notion of
what magic would really be like.
Secondly, it is so British. The books are filled with little British-isms that
are endearing. The movies are practically a who's who of British actors
and actresses. Despite the common opinion that all British people are
presumptuous snobs with bad teeth, these books and movies are little
capsules of all that is great with the people of the UK.
However, that isnt the only lesson she imparts on us. The world of
Harry Potter and as such, the world through Rowlings eyes, values
bravery, intelligence, loyalty and trust. The characters treat friends and
families with respect and in the end the good triumph over the evil. Of
course, there can be many losses along the way, but such is life. People
can also change for the better and/or worse, but in the end you have to
forgive them. You can learn a lot from Harry Potter; it's not just wand
waving and spells.
The books are great and the movies arent that bad. The movies are
good, but they just cant compete with the novels. They are great visual
spectacles and capture the essence of the story (you couldnt capture the
whole story unless each movie were ran twenty hours.
Everybody knows something about the main characters story but,
however, there are some fascinating insights that I will bring forward.


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Introduction

In 1997, the vast majority of the world was still unfamiliar with Harry
Potter. If you asked children in the U.S. or the U.K. who Harry Potter
was, the likely response would have been Harry who? Yet within just
a few years, the world was taken aback by the popularity of this young
wizard.
Harry Potter, the creation of author Joanne Kathleen (J.K.) Rowling, was
a work in progress for nearly six years before Bloomsbury, Rowlings
U.K. publishing house, picked it up. The series is planned to span seven
books; the first four of these novels have been recreated for the screen. In
1997, the vast majority of the world was still unfamiliar with Harry
Potter.
Harry, orphaned at birth, is forced to live with his dreadful muggle
(non-wizard) aunt and uncle in their typical suburban London
neighborhood, on a typical street in a boxy house at number 4 Privet
Drive. Despite the pseudo-normalcy of his life to this point, on his 11
th

birthday Harry finds out that he is a wizard, and his world, and ours,
have never been the same. Each book chronicles one year of Harrys life
at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. As Harry learns more
about his true identity, he realizes that he is an integral part of a larger
saga, an almost legendary confrontation between good and evil,
between him and the greatest Dark wizard of the age, Lord Voldemort.
Harry quickly learns that he was the reason for Lord Voldemorts
demise, and Death Eaters, Voldemorts followers, far and wide are
anticipating their masters return. With each successive novel, Harry
finds himself becoming enmeshed in battles and conflicts. The books are
Harrys coming of age story, and with each installment the decisions he
and his confidants face become more difficult as the lines between good
and evil are slowly blurred.


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Literature Review: The Critics Take on Harry Potterization
After the release of the first novel, Harry Potter and the Philosophers
(Sorcerers) Stone, each subsequent book has triumphed over the last,
topping best seller lists around the globe, and thus giving birth to the
Harry Potter phenomenon. Harry Potterization, as I call it, can best be
defined as the ability of one woman to create a literary series that has
transformed her central character into a household brand name with
worldwide appeal. The magnitude of Rowlings reach can be seen in the
300 million books sold in over 200 countries in 60 languages.
Furthermore, the sixth book sold over 4 million copies in the first day of
sales, totaling 7.2 million in the US alone in 2005, making it the number
one selling book in the United States. Based on the volume of books
sold, the text translates into a value of $1900 per word.
While academics and critics are far from agreement on the cause of the
Harry Potter phenomenon, a plethora of essays, articles, and books have
been published that try to decipher the source of Potters global success.
The most recurring theories include the use of clever marketing tactics,
the authors literary expertise in writing childrens literature, the
psychological appeal of the storyline and characters, or the combination
of these theories.
The most pervasive explanation is marketing as the driving force behind
Harry Potterization. Stephen Browns Wizard! Harry Potters Brand
Magic puts forth the argument that the phenomenon epitomizes the
contemporary marketing condition.
Literature, Marketing, and Harry Potter argues that the phenomenon is
driven by commodity consumption that simultaneously sets the
parameters of reading and aesthetic taste. More specifically, the
experience of reading for the young is mediated through mass media
and marketing. Philip Nel feels that it is difficult to talk about Potter and
ignore marketing because you can see the movies, buy the movies, buy
LEGOS, action figures, stickers, notebooks, clothing.
Even Philip Nel, who concentrates on the marketing as the driver in the
Harry Potter phenomenon, admits that J.K. Rowlings literary merits

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cannot be overlooked. He asserts that four elements of Rowlings writing
contribute to the Potter success story including:
1. Rowlings ability to speak to issues of contemporary social conscience
2. The realism of the boarding school novel
3. Rowlings mix of fantasy with mystery
4. The mystery plot makes the novels page turners, endowing them
with a strong narrative drive
Overall, it is Rowlings ability to write with fluidity and realness that
make her books a runaway hits; thus proponents of this school of
thought believe that even if there were no marketing imaginarium
connecting the mass public to Harry Potter, the books would sell
themselves out of sheer literary merit.
Whats Keeping Harry on the Phenomenon Express

Generation Y, those individuals born after 1980, are part of the digital
revolution. Consequently, the Internet is a medium of exchange for
majority of Potterites. While 66.4% of all US households have Internet
access, 76.1% of all tween households subscribe to an online service. It
is no wonder that Potter fan sites such as mugglenet.com averages 20
million hits per month from a fan base in over 153 countries. The
Internet is a huge factor in keeping the Harry Potter phenomenon alive.
It is on the web that news concerning the newest Potter film or book will
break even before a more traditional media source picks it up. Through
various podcasts, blogs, chat rooms, and fan sites, individuals are able to
communicate with other Pottermaniacs and discuss their favorite
fantasy series. J.K.Rowling even updates her own website,
www.jkrowling.com, to reveal information and dispel rumors about her
upcoming books, as well as to keep fans informed with what is going on
in her own life. The Internet has enabled Potter enthusiasts to stay up to
date with new occurrences as well as allow Potter virgins to experience
the phenomenon without ever having to read a book or go to the
movies.

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How did Harry Potter change our lives

Boarding schools
During term-time, Harry lives and learns his magic at Hogwarts School
of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Richard Harman, headmaster of
Uppingham School in Rutland, said the image the films presented of
boarding schools the "sense of community, activity and excitement"
was helpful. Shots of children dining together, their friendships and the
"opportunities for excitement and learning" were positive, he added.
Film
Beyond book sales, the movies alone have grossed over $3.2 billion
dollars in box office receipts, with a breakdown of each film detailed in
Exhibit 1. The Harry Potter brand itself, including the books, movies,
and associated paraphernalia has been valued at over $4 billion dollars,
with author J.K. Rowlings personal fortune totaling $1 billion dollars,
making her wealthier than the Queen of England. The films were all
made in the UK, allowing for investment in and development of
expertise and capacity. According to Gaynor Davenport, chief executive
of the UK Screen Association, our visual effects industry quadrupled
between the late 1990s and 2004 and is now a world leader. William
Sargent, chief executive of visual effects studio Framestore, which
worked on the Potter films, said that they acted as a "showcase" and
persuaded Hollywood to consider the UK. He estimates between 20 and
50 per cent of visual effects Oscar nominations are now for British
companies.
Reading
Sarah De Zoysa, schools manager at National Literacy Trust, said: "The
Harry Potter books have been great for literacy in the UK as so many
children have loved reading them." They have also got children reading
longer books some of the titles stretch to 800 pages. According to
Public Lending Right, which collects loans data for public libraries, at
least one of J K Rowling's books has made the annual top 10 most
borrowed children's fiction titles list every year since 1999/2000. Loans
of her titles topped more than 500,000 in 2005/06 alone.

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Magic
Jack Delvin, president of the Magic Circle, said Harry Potter brought
magic to a new audience. However, other influences such as television
shows, theatre performances and magicians at parties are also piquing
the interest of people young and old. Marvin Berglas, creator of Marvin's
Magic, which has a range of magic products and is enjoying "record
sales", said the brand saw a "great deal of interest" following the first
Potter books and films. Membership of Marvin's Magic Club has trebled
since 1997, and Marvin's Magic School launches classes in London later
this month.
Tourism
Harry Potter fans are no strangers to "set jetting" visiting film locations.
King's Cross station in London welcomes coach loads of tourists keen to
have their picture taken at Platform 93/4 the portal to the magical
world. Network Rail installed a mock-up sign for the fictional platform
complete with luggage trolley disappearing into the wall in 2003.
Graham Heard, general manager of the National Trust's Lacock Abbey
in Wiltshire, said visitor numbers "definitely went up" after the abbey
and cloisters featured in the first two films, and "lots and lots of people"
still came to see parts of "Hogwarts".
Fashion
Emma Watson, who plays the bookworm Hermione Granger, is a
fashion icon off screen and has modeled for Burberry. Yet fans have also
taken inspiration from the bespectacled Harry: Optical Express saw a
"huge spike of interest" in round-framed glasses from its children's
range in December 2001 after the release of the first film. A "notable
high" in sales of round-framed adult glasses followed when the second
film came out in 2002. Glasses Direct has witnessed "steady growth" in
sales of a frame style similar to that worn by Harry.



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Interesting facts

1. Dementors are based off J.K. Rowlings time of depression in her
twenties.
2. Rowling said the Harry Potter series might not have happened if
her mother hadnt died. The books are what they are because she died
because I loved her and she died.
3. Rowlings publisher suggested she use initials rather than her real
name, Joanne Rowling, in order to appeal to the readers. She chose
J.K., borrowing the K from her grandmothers name, Kathleen.
However, neither Kathleen nor K is part of her legal name.
4. Rupert Grint dressed up like his female drama teacher and rapped
about Ron Weasley for his audition tape. His rap began, Hello, my
name is Rupert Grint, I hope you dont think I stink.
5. Contrary to popular belief, the t at the end of Voldemort is silent.
The name comes from the French words meaning flight of death.
6. During the filming of the kissing scene between the horcrux
versions of Harry and Hermione in the final film, Rupert Grint was
removed from the set for laughing too much.
7. The least successful Harry Potter film, Harry Potter and the
Prisoner of Azkaban, made $90 million more than the most successful
Twilight movie.
8. J.K. Rowling and Harry Potter share the same birthday, 31
st
of July
9. The Hogwarts school motto is Never tickle a sleeping dragon.


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Conclusion
Children who are bullied at school, have homework woes or other
problems, may take comfort in the fact that Harry experiences the same
problems at school.
Simply reading about magic may relieve stress. Ancestors believed
charms, rituals and spells could bring a sense of control to one's life;
therefore giving them a feeling of control of empowerment over
situations in which they truly have no control.
The fact the children may believe that magic can solve some of Harry's
everyday problems, even if only within the context of a book, may leave
them feeling better about their own situations after reading.
Adults may enjoy the break from the rat race at work when reading or
watching Harry Potter. One reviewer at BizRate said, "We watched this
movie after a hectic week at work. The stress relief from watching this
movie was just what the Doctor ordered."
Another way adults use the Harry series is to introduce their younger
children to reading. I'm excited about anything that will tear our son
away from the Nintendo games," said a mother. in the John Stossel
report.

Bibliography
1. http://www.hollywood.com/news/movies/7732767/10-reasons-why-harry-potter-
is-awesome
2. http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/features/the-harry-
potter-phenomenon-2305981.html
3. http://www.stern.nyu.edu/cons/groups/content/documents/webasset/con_04328
2.pdf
4. http://list25.com/25-harry-potter-facts-that-will-knock-you-off-your-broomstick/2/
5. http://www.pleated-jeans.com/2011/07/12/20-facts-you-may-not-know-about-
harry-potter/