Mikhail Bakhtin has provided an intricate insight to what a novel entails. J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone fits into the form that Bakhtin has created. Using laughter, plot, setting, and character development, Harry Potter is able to connect with its audiences in the way that Bakhtin feels a novel should. Mikhail Bakhtin’s study of the novel’s form allows readers to better understand the world and characters that are constructed in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.
Mikhail Bakhtin gives a thorough explanation of what a novel should be and what it should include in his work Epic and Novel: Towards a Methodology for the Study of the Novel. Bakhtin explains that in order to have a novel you must have laughter, a plot set in the present working towards the future, and relatable characters. Throughout his comparison of the epic and novel, Bakhtin explains what a novel does that makes it different from the epic. Using the three characteristics that were previously mentioned (laughter, plot, and characters), Bakhtin shows how each of these elements makes a novel work as a whole. Bakhtin discusses that the use of laughter is vital because “[It] destroys the epic,” (23). Laughter is crucial to break down the wall of fear that can be created by unknown texts and allow the reader to continue further investigation. Bakhtin continues on to explain that the plot in a novel is continuing and needs detail, stating, “The absence of internal conclusiveness and exhaustiveness creates a sharp increase in demands for an external and formal completedness and exhaustiveness, especially in regards to plot line” (Bakhtin 31). He explains that since the ...
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...novel that fits into the schema that Bakhtin created and make a story that helps readers better understand what Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone is trying to express.
Bakhtin, Mikhail. Epic and Novel: Toward a Methodology for the Study of the Novel. The Dialogic Imagination. Ed. M. Holist. Trans. C. Emerson and M. Holist. Austin, Tc: University of Texas. 1981. Print.
Hall, Jordana. Embracing the Abject Other: The Carnival Imagery of Harry Potter. EBSCOhost. 18 Dec. 2010. Web. 24 Nov. 2013
Kurkjian, Catherine, Nancy Livingston, and Terrell Young Avi. Worlds of Fantasy. EBSCOhost. 1 Feb. 2006. Web. 24 Nov. 2013
Levine, Jodi, and Nancy Shapiro. Hogwarts. EBSCOhost. 1 Sep. 2000. Web. 24 Nov. 2013
Rowling, J.K. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. New York: Scholastic, 1997. Print.
World of Wicca. Origin of Witchcraft. 2012. Web. 24 Nov. 2013
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