More on HP vs DWJ

Margaret Elizabeth Parks mep3 at st-andrews.ac.uk
Tue Oct 9 20:14:56 EDT 2001


I've just seen that there's a Lego set on sale through amazon.co.uk--it's
supposedly Hogwarts Castle, complete with Ron, Harry, Hermione, Hagrid,
and Dumbledore (it's sort of hard to tell).  But I'm saving my seventy
pounds--I'm waiting for the Howl's Moving Castle to come out ;).

Um, I guess spoilers for Harry Potter 1. . . . . 


I was thinking the other day about the differences between DWJ and
Rowling, and I sort of remembered the place in the first Harry Potter book
where I realized that Rowling wasn't quite the same.  I started reading it
when I was working in a bookstore, and we had two whole copies, of which I
bought one, on the basis of a few minutes quick read, during which I
thought, "Wow!  Shades of Dogsbody/WitchWeek!  There's no new DWJ, so why
not try this!"  So I brought it home and was quite happly sitting in my
bathtub with large amounts of sunflower scented bubbles (one of the best
places to read, I think) when I read the scene in which Harry gets on a
broom for the first time.  And felt betrayed.  He could fly!  He was going
to be a Jock!  He was going to be the the type of person who fit in with
others (if not his family).  And that's what bothers me about Harry
Potter.  He's so normal.  If it had been DWJ, it would have been--no, it
was, Nan, bumping up and down on a broomstick after having been tormented
by classmates.  There's some element of angst that's missing in Harry
Potter, and because of this there's not as much to overcome.  Harry has
problems, but they're mainly external--y'know, evil wizards, dead parents,
school rivalries--they all are connected to other people.  I can't think
of a single moment of self doubt in the books--and therefore there's no
revelation of Harry as being more than we expected.  More than he
expected.  I think I've expounded on this before--what draws me to DWJ's
work is the way the characters discover something in themselves.  That's
missing from Harry Potter.  I like the books, and I'm looking forward to
the movie, and I even cried once while reading them, but I think they
would mean more to me if Harry'd fallen off that broomstick.

Lizzie

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