Harry Potter Good or Evil Essay

This essay has a total of 1587 words and 8 pages.


Harry Potter Good or Evil





Harry Potter: Good or Evil?
Throughout adolescents, a child is taught to use his or her imagination. A child is read
stories of a talking cat or a silly old bear while still young and naïve. The child is
read such stories to encourage use of his or her creativity. The ideas of such characters
are for pure amusement and are obviously fictional. Unfortunately, today there are issues
of censorship that stifle a person’s creativity. The most recent book being
criticized by censors is J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. Censors claim that the
reading of such novels encourages witchcraft, and therefore should be banned. Although
critics of the Harry Potter series are well intentioned in their ideas of banning this
novel in schools, the actual banning of the novel is far more destructive. What these
critics fail to recognize is that the reading of such an imaginative novel allows for
children’s creativity to flourish, rather than allowing them to turn to negative
forms of entertainment. The banning of certain novels in schools is extremely important in
today’s society, but only when the novel is destructive to a child’s
upbringing.

In past history, such classics as Maya Angelou’s I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings,
Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird, and J.D. Salinger’s Catcher In The Rye
have been banned. Critics justified their actions by stating that such novels are
inappropriate for school age children. Critics have now targeted the highly creative Harry
Potter series. At the beginning of the school term the American Library Association was
bombarded with complaints from parents about potentially harmful content in the series.
Unfortunately, opinions vary and there is no simple answer. Although citizens of the
United States are given the right to Freedom of Press under the First Amendment, this does
not allow schools to incorporate every piece of literature within the curriculum. Schools
are torn because as Linda Harvey states in “USA Today”, “No school
includes everything. Few public schools would accept books advocating drunken driving,
bulimia or rape. And it’s rare to find novels in school libraries about teens who
proclaim salvation through Jesus Christ” (Harvey). Reading material that encourages
such horrendous acts as drunk driving and rape should be the focus of the countries
problems, rather then a child’s fantasy series that only encourages use of ones
imagination.

With larger issues such as racism and violence still in existence, it is ridiculous to
think that parents are more concerned with a book that encourages a child’s
imagination and desire to read. Dominic Schmidt, a father writes:

The manipulation, lying, violence and rebellion in Harry Potter books are without a doubt
unfit for young minds that don’t have a strong safety net at home. This book series
has the same sugarcoating used by the alcohol and tobacco industries and, for that matter,
your local drug pusher, as well as the clever marketing that the publishing companies use
to lure us into thoughtless choices—many with lifelong consequences (Schmidt).

Rather than the Harry Potter books being “unfit,” it is one of the best
influences a child without “a strong safety net at home” can have. When a
child is engulfed in a fantasy story, he or she uses their imagination to travel to
another word, where all troubles are left behind. The Harry Potter series uses
descriptive writing to tell a story of pictures that move, the enchanted castle of
Hogwarts, and a wonderful sport called Quidditch.

Harry unwrapped his Chocolate Frog and picked up the card. It showed a man’s face.
He wore half-moon glasses, had a long, crooked nose, and flowing silver hair, beard and
mustache. Underneath the picture was the name Albus Dumbledore…Harry turned the
card back over and saw, to his astonishment, that Dumbledore’s face had disappeared.
‘He’s gone!’ ‘Well you can’t expect him to hang around all
day,’ said Ron. ‘He’ll be back…’ ‘But in, you know,
the Muggle world, people just stay put in photos.’ ‘Do they? What, they
don’t move at all?’ Ron sounded amazed. ‘Weird.’ (Rowling Harry
Potter And the Sorcerer’s Stone 102-103)

Unfortunately because of the opinions of a few parents and religious right groups, many
schools are conceding to the group’s demands. Renowned author Judy Blume had this
to say about the recent banning of Harry Potter books:

The real danger is not in the books, but in laughing off those who would ban them. The
protests against Harry Potter follow a tradition that has been growing since the early
1980’s and often leaves school principals trembling with fear that is then passed
down to teachers and librarians. What began with the religious right has spread to the
politically correct…And now the gate is open so wide that some parents believe they
have the right to demand immediate removal of any book for any reason from school or
classroom libraries. The list of gifted teachers and librarians who find their jobs in
jeopardy for defending their students’ right to read, to imagine, to question, grows
every year (Blume).

Judy Bloom, author of such titles as Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret, and
Forever, knows what it feels like to have a book banned. Not shocked by the recent uproar
by censors, Blume stated that, “I knew this was coming. The only surprise is that it
took so long – as long as it took for the zealots who claim they’re protecting
children

from evil (and evil can be found lurking everywhere these days) to discover that children
actually like these books. If children are excited about a book, it must be a
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