Loneliness and the Epitome of Magic

Harry Potter Order of the Phoenix

Harry Potter is accessible to many because he is lonely. There are so many adults and children who have felt singled out in their lives that they can sympathize or empathize with Harry’s many, many lonely life events. Having cousin who is doted on all the time and developed into a selfish and unruly force isn’t something that will make him feel accepted. Even his Aunt and Uncle, who treat him no more than a household servant, cannot possibly make him feel like a wanted child. He was born into an outcast role until the fateful day that he received his letter from Hogwarts.

Immediately, he felt something he had never felt before in his life: acceptance. Although he isn’t quite sure at first the immense meaning behind being a wizard, or, to be exact, the severity of the role he must fulfill, he steps into it blindly but willingly because he finally belongs somewhere.

Never having the honor of knowing his parents, Harry is left with emptiness inside. In the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry sees a patronus that he assumes his father has created and saved Harry and his godfather from dementors. With the prior knowledge that people, even wizards, cannot be brought back to life, Harry chooses to hang on to that glimmer of hope that his father is alive. Harry hadn’t seen his patronus in full form yet and later discovered that it was his own that saved them.

Harry is always alone, but he does discover more about the people around him. He learns as Dumbledore takes him as a confidant throughout the years. Dumbledore even leaves the journey of discovering the Horcruxes to Harry when he isn’t quite sure what a Horcrux is. Hermione and Ron and there to guide him because without them Harry wouldn’t have developed into the amazing wizard he is by the final novel. They are his best friends, his guidance and his family. Hermione and Ron are there to help him grow.

In the Sorcerer’s Stone, Chamber of Secrets, Goblet of Fire, Order of the Phoenix, Half-Blood Prince, and Deathly Hallows Harry faces Voldemort by himself. Half of Harry’s battle is against himself and the other half is Voldemort, because Harry is connected to him through the very scar. He is alone when he can see his enemy’s visions. He is alone in his similar qualities to Voldemort. In the Order of the Phoenix, Voldemort’s strategy is to have Harry singled out amongst his friends, Sirius, and even Dumbledore. The loneliness he wants Harry to feel is what he feeds off. The more alone Harry is, the more vulnerable he is, the more power Voldemort gains.

With the exception to Harry dealing with Voldemort alone is in the Prisoner of Azkaban when he discovers he has a relative, Sirius. Harry finally has family this changes his outlook dramatically. He doesn’t feel accepted by the Wizarding community per say, but in his heart he feel that he is just like everyone else in that he isn’t alone. Although Harry must face Voldemort alone once again in Deathly Hallows, he knows that love is Voldemort’s enemy. It’s the emotion that saved Harry’s life in the beginning and it’s the emotion that triumphed evil in the end. Harry has always been loved and it took until the realization of this emotion that he is never alone because he has experienced it.

Magic is about believing, believing is about hope, and hope springs from the knowledge and experience of love. Of course it is too simple to justify what magic is because it is different to everyone. To look at magic and try to describe what it is isn’t possible, but to look at magic and describe what it isn’t is possible. Magic isn’t tangible. We don’t know what it is, because we haven’t experienced it. Who’s to say that we have experienced love though? Love isn’t tangible, but we are arrogant in proclaiming it to others because we think we know. Most of us think we know what magic is. I think magic is the ability to escape into a world other than our own with the ability of our own imagination. I dabble in magic when I read; without books I would have never had the satisfaction or experience of magic in my lifetime.

Freud Relations within Harry Potter

The id is the portion that seeks to get our basic needs met. It acts on the pleasure principle in which it avoids unpleasant outcomes.

Ron Weasley’s choices are based on the basic principles of life. He seeks to meet his needs of food, sleep, and laziness. He seeks instant gratification and would be a representation of the cartoon devil hovering above Harry’s shoulder. Ron is never afraid to be terrified because he generally feels that way in those hectic situations the trio gets themselves into. He isn’t one to take charge and naturally succumbs to his feelings. It’s only fit that Ron is a ginger due to his characteristic hotheadedness.

The Superego is the moral part of us and develops due to the moral and ethical restraints placed on us by our caregivers. Many equate the superego with the conscience as it dictates our belief of right and wrong.

Hermione Granger is rational, conscientious, and parental in every decision she makes. She would be a representation of the cartoon angel hovering over Harry’s other shoulder to guide him in the morally correct direction. She is constantly bickering with Ron, the id, because of his lack of intelligence and motivation for morals.

The ego works to please the id while taking into account the reality of the situation. The ego understands the impact of being selfish.

Harry Potter seeks to find some way to balance out the theoretical angel and devil in the pursuit to make good choices. Harry doesn’t always find himself similar to Hermione’s quest for moral dignity and he doesn’t give into his emotions as much as Ron while also be considerably more reasonable. Viewing him as the “better” of the two halves would be an insult because Harry wouldn’t be able to defeat the Dark Lord without their constant nagging, intuition and friendship.

These three characters, also known as a power trio, thrive off of each other. Separate, they wouldn’t accomplish much in the way of their destiny within the novels. They wouldn’t survive without each other and there wouldn’t be much of a story to tell if these characters weren’t designed the way J.K. Rowling made them out to be. Together they create a balance of light and knowledge which helps one other in the dire situations they encounter during their seven years of wizardry.

Appeal of J.K. Rowling

"J.K. Rowling: A Year in the Life" - 7/16/09
J.K Rowling used an ingenious narrative while creating the Harry Potter series. She took an average adolescent and pushed him into this new world. We, as readers, get to experience this push of Harry’s into the Wizarding World. We, as readers and muggles, have never experienced what her version of this world entails. We have no knowledge of magic just like Harry didn’t. We can relate to the main character so well. Rowling even makes the transition so easily understood as we root for Harry throughout the epic battles he faces in her series. Rowling takes a non-magical person and submerges them into her books…she enchants her audience.

The appeal of her books besides her narrative and witty writing is the magical element. She created another world that coincides with our own. She made the magic in her narrative as believable as possible: that all of this could be right outside our door.

If Rowling’s world was the Medical World then her audience would be learning about the insides of medical school. This would be more factually based on what happens in medical school. It would be rather boring and not imaginative compared to magic. Events that happen in the medical world are explained and documented and real. When people read fiction they like to “escape” from their own lives and enter into another that can amuse, frighten, adore or even anger. Yes, medical school can fall under those categories but I don’t think Harry Potter and the Physician’s Scalpel would have sold nearly as many copies as the Philosopher’s Stone has. It is the allure of the unknown and the unexplainable that has brought us back book after book.

What is Magic?

A magician uses the term magic to describe the illusions he presents to his audience. Magicians fool his audience with trickery because all of his “magic” can be explained. Real magic should not be explainable. To use the term magic, itself, would be the only reason for an unexplainable event. If there is no logic to determine the cause of an event then it is reasonable to suggest that what is going on is caused by magic.

Magical elements for witchery/wizardly include spells, incantations, and potions. The people who perform these have deep beliefs that what they are doing will cause something due to what the ingredients are in a potion as well as the incantation that goes along when creating it. If someone were to drink this potion and get warts on their face then magic could be used to describe why the potion caused the warts.