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Different items in a particular series can be similar, yet differ in many ways. Through literary analysis, readers can see these similarities and differences. In J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, more similarities between items are presented. The following will describe an in depth analysis of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and the similarities between the two novels. The description will include similarities including the sense of the hero and villain roles, the power of friendship, and the ultimate triumph of good over evil.
Harry Potter is an extremely well-known name in the literary world. The wizarding series has sold more than four-hundred fifty million copies since the first publication in 1997. Today, the books are published in more than two-hundred territories and available in seventy-three different languages. J.K. Rowling’s fantasy series follows the main character, Harry, and supporting characters, Ron and Hermione, as they learn about magic, embark on adventures, and ultimately conquer evil from the first book, all the way through to the final number seven. Interesting enough, Rowling originally had a rough start getting the first book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, published. After much effort from Rowling, the British market released the book first, and the United States followed a year later, changing the title to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Once released, the novel gained popularity pretty quickly. The plot introduces Harry, a young wizard who learns of magic for the first time, and follows his journey to wizardry school where many surprises and adventures take place. As the series progressed, it had quite a bit of criticism because of the dark tone expressed especially in the later books. The seventh novel by Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, completed the Harry Potter series in 2007. In this last story, Harry is in his last year of school and tries to defeat the evil villain, Voldemort, once and for all. Harry and his friends depart on a hard journey that eventually leads them back to Hogwarts for one final epic battle. Over the ten years that passed from the publication of the first novel to the last, readers all over the world fell in love with Harry Potter. In the Harry Potter series, readers watched Harry’s entire life from his birth in the first novel, to his final conquer in the seventh novel. The two novels proved to be extremely connected by similarities like the sense of the hero and villain roles, the power of friendship, and the ultimate triumph of good over evil.
Clearly the first novel, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, and seventh novel, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, in the Harry Potter series are extremely similar in the aspect of the hero and villain roles. Every good story has a protagonist and antagonist, or hero and villain. The first novel in the Harry Potter series introduces us to Harry, first as a baby. Even the title of chapter one, “The Boy Who Lived,” foreshadows the introduction of a very special person. Also within this very first chapter, the evil Voldemort is introduced through his efforts to kill many innocent people, one of which is baby Harry. Voldemort is the most powerful dark wizard there is; so fearsome that people are afraid to even speak his name. Despite this, for some reason he is not able to kill Harry. Even more surprising, Voldemort’s killing curse, which was meant for Harry, rebounded to himself. Because of this, Voldemort was forced to retreat and hide; many people thought him to be dead. As a result, Harry becomes famous in the wizard world as “the boy who lived.” Because of these events that happen in the very first chapter, Rowling creates a want to root for Harry, even as a baby. At this point, Harry is the underdog damaged by a villain. Harry has the makings to be a “classic hero.” He is already the protagonist and Voldemort is clearly the antagonist. As Harry goes to school, his heroic qualities slowly show when standing up to bullies and doing the right thing. Dumblordore says in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, “It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.” (Rowling, 1997, p. 306) As the rest of the first novel unfolds, more of the darkness regarding Voldemort is revealed. The fact that Harry was orphaned by the horrific, dark wizard is another early sign of being the protagonist. Protagonists must grow throughout a journey, and this first, devastating wound is what will eventually motivate Harry to defeat Voldemort in the final book.
By the seventh book in the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Harry has grown incredibly as a person and a wizard. Harry has overcome many obstacles and is finally ready to begin the journey to defeat Voldemort once and for all. In the seventh novel, Harry’s characteristics are clearly defined. He is extremely brave, loyal, and smart. Harry is a representation of all of the best qualities that are valued in society, which is what makes him a classic hero and causes readers to root for his victory. However, Voldemort is back and more terrifying than ever. His goal is to take over the wizard world and kill Harry. Voldemort is clearly presented as a dark, sinister, and power hungry wizard. Because he is so manipulating, he has an army of followers. Each of these is characteristics of a villain. Furthermore, it is clear to see that both the first and seventh novels in the Harry Potter series contain the hero, Harry, and the villain, Voldemort.
Another similarity in the first novel, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, and seventh novel, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, in the Harry Potter series is the power of friendship that is so strongly demonstrated. In the first novel, Harry meets Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger. Harry and Ron become friends immediately, and Ron actually helps Harry to learn and become more familiar with the wizard world. Later, a giant troll gets lose in the school and as a result, Hermione is victimized. Harry and Ron come to the rescue, and by working together the three young wizards are able to defeat the monster. One of the kids alone would never have been able to succeed, but together they are powerful. Even later in the novel, the three friends go on a quest to find the sorcerer’s stone. Many terrifying and dangerous obstacles are put in their path, but by working together, the three friends succeed. The power of the trio is a combination of Hermione’s brain, Ron’s knowledge of the wizard world, and Harry’s bravery. The three are loyal to each other, and it shows that through the power of friendship, anything is possible.
By the seventh novel, Harry, Ron, and Hermione’s friendship has grown incredibly. The three are best friends who would die for each other. Wanting to protect each other, they embark on a quest to find horcruxes, which will ultimately help to defeat the evil Voldemort. The trio are tested along the way, and most of the time the odds are not in their favor, but what makes them powerful is the love and loyalty that they have for each other. Throughout the journey, a message is conveyed that friendship and love conquer all. In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Dumblordore says, “Do not pity the dead, Harry. Pity the living, and above all, those who live without love.” (Rowling, 2007, p.722) In the novel, we find out that love is what saved Harry the night Voldemort tried to kill him; the love his mother had when she sacrificed herself for him. During the epic battle in the end of the novel, Harry, Ron, and Hermione work together, and actually save each other’s lives along the way. Harry especially, was selfless; he fought for the greater good. At the final better one of Harry’s friends said to Voldemort, “Harry’s heart did beat for us! For all of us!” (Rowling, 2007) The trio were so strong because they had each other, and they had something worth fighting for.
The fact that the young wizards had something worth fighting for, adds to the next similarity between the first and seventh novels in the series, which is the triumph of good over evil. The conflict between good and evil is one of the most common themes in literature. In the harry potter series, Harry is the good and Voldemort is the evil. In Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, good triumphs over evil in the very first chapter when Harry survives the death curse. It shows that love and good does overcome evil. Later in the novel, good wins again when Harry and his friends find the sorcerer’s stone before Voldemort, which prevents him from getting eternal life. A final victory for the “good guys” is the winning of the house cup by Harry and his friends. Despite the trouble and broken rules caused by Harry and his friends, it was all for the greater good and they were rewarded.
In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, good triumphs evil yet again in the most epic battle of the series. The entire novel shows slows progresses and wins for Harry and his friends, but the final battle between the good and bad wizards is intense and deadly. Many good people die as a result, and at times it seems as if all hope is lost. Rowling even leads us to believe that Harry dies at one point. However, we find that Harry is stronger because of love, friendship, and classic hero type that he is. Harry surprises readers when he reveals that he is actually alive, which is when the one on one battle begins between Voldemort and his self. In the end, Harry defeats the dark wizard. Good defeats evil. Rowling (2007) writes after the victorious battle, “…trying to hug some part of him, hundreds of them pressing in, all of them determined to touch The Boy Who Lived, the reason it was over at last.” (p.744) The conclusion of the epic tale of Harry Potter ends with the final conquer of good over evil.
Obviously the two novels, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, are extremely connected by similarities. The first novel introduces Harry and foreshadows the battle over evil that is in his future, while the seventh novel ends in a final victory. Harry Potter displays qualities of a beloved hero, while Voldemort is the evil archenemy. Both novels present the powerful themes of friendship and love, which is a main reason that Harry was so successful. Finally, the novels both display the ultimate triumph of good over evil. The conflict between good and evil is human nature, so it is relatable. Readers love to see good conquer all, especially when the protagonist is a well-rounded, good guy with the best qualities. Each of these main points that continue in both the first and last book in the series are partially why Harry became so popular around the world.
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