A Formalist Guide to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone: Mikhail Bakhtin's Novel Form

A Formalist Guide to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone: Mikhail Bakhtin's Novel Form

Length: 2948 words (8.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Research Papers

Open Document

Essay Preview

A Formalist Guide to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
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 ...


... middle of paper ...


...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.



Works Cited

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

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Harry Potter And The Sorcerer Essay

- Harry Potter and the Sorcerer 's Stone by J.K Rowling is the first book in the award winning Harry Potter series. It is about an orphaned boy who on his eleventh birthday discovers that his biological parents are wizards, and that he too is actually a wizard living in the muggle word. Through out the novel, one can see that Harry Potter is a hero archetype. He embarks on a magical adventure through the wizarding world and uncovers the stories from his mysterious past. Throughout his journey Harry learns and grows from the whimsy little boy living under the stairs to one of the most inspirational wizards that defeats the Dark Lord....   [tags: Harry Potter]

Research Papers
2127 words (6.1 pages)

Harry Potter And The Sorcerer 's Stone Essay

- Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone The movie Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone is the very first of seven movies. The movie emphasizes the value of humility with the role of Harry Potter. The movie Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone has many great themes, which included heroism and this is a great reason to watch it. Furthermore, when the teachers realize that Harry has a natural talent for the game of Quidditch he shows his true self yet again. The first game that Harry plays he breaks the Quidditch record....   [tags: Harry Potter]

Research Papers
2051 words (5.9 pages)

Essay about Harry Potter And The Sorcerer 's Stone

- This past March I visited Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida for the first time in years. As all things, it has changed drastically over time. Some rides remained the same, but others not so much. Universal Studios is a magical place to begin with, but add in two separate Wizard Worlds and you’ll be begging for more. As I have grown, I was never interest in Harry Potter; however, after only one day running through the Wizard World I was hooked. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the books and movies....   [tags: Harry Potter]

Research Papers
2153 words (6.2 pages)

Harry Potter And The Sorcerer 's Stone Essay

- Adapted from JK Rowling 's Novel, the movie Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone , displays a young wizard 's journey of learning who he is while saving the Sorcerer 's stone from falling into the wrong hands. At the end of the movie, Harry Potter is confronted by antagonist Lord Voldemort and is forced to put away all temptations in order to ensure that Voldemort and his accomplice, Professor Quirrell, don’t get the stone. Through Lens’ from Richard Kieckhefer we view Voldemort and Harry both as monsters because of their use of magic, but through analyzing the scene from the lens from Jeffrey Cohen Voldemort is viewed as the monster while Harry is viewed as the hero....   [tags: Harry Potter]

Research Papers
1042 words (3 pages)

Harry Potter And The Sorcerer 's Stone Essay

- Courage, by definition means, "The ability to do something that frightens one", without courage most of us would never really live. When being told stories of courage, an idealist form of the word pops into your head. You do not assume it to be an eleven-year-old boy finding out he is a wizard and proceeding to go to a magical boarding school but in the film that is what courage is. In the 2001 film "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer 's Stone", based on the book written by J.K Rowling, captures the emotion of courage by following a young boy as his life is changed and the challenges he must face to survive....   [tags: Harry Potter]

Research Papers
1111 words (3.2 pages)

Essay on Harry Potter And The Sorcerer 's Stone

- I have been a fan of the Harry Potter series for as long as I can remember. The Sorcerer’s Stone was the first novel I ever read, but it was also the first one that I watch as they turned it into a movie. As I got older rereading these books about my wizard friends and their adventures and re-watching the movies I became more aware of the similarities and differences between the two. The movies leave out more than you think but is it really a big deal. Did they take away from you knowledge of the story or the storyline itself....   [tags: Harry Potter]

Research Papers
1172 words (3.3 pages)

Harry Potter And The Sorcerer 's Stone Essay

- In Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, by J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter encounters many new people and obstacles that help Harry development as a character. With these obstacles J.K Rowling provides our readers with imagery that engages our senses. Through the use of imagery Rowling plants symbols throughout the narrative that are crucial to the creation of the fantasy. The obstacles that Rowling uses to provide imagery are the Sorting Hat, the introduction of new characters, the Mirror of Erised, the trials needed to reach the Sorcerer’s Stone, and, finally, The Sorcerer’s Stone....   [tags: Harry Potter]

Research Papers
2528 words (7.2 pages)

Harry Potter And The Sorcerer 's Stone Essay

- To most, academics are the most important factor in a person’s education. That is, at least, what the majority of parents and teachers with students in high school would state in the modern society Muggle world. As a wizard attending Hogwarts, the statute, “your triumphs will earn your house points, while any rule breaking will lose house points. At the end of the year, the house with the most points is awarded the house cup, a great honor” (Rowling 114) is a code that is constantly observed. There are many factors that go into being an excellent student....   [tags: Harry Potter]

Research Papers
1578 words (4.5 pages)

Essay about Harry Potter And The Sorcerer 's Stone

- It seems like every year Hollywood does a motion picture interpretation of a novel and although the movie may become a box office hit, the novel will always be much more detailed and in depth. Movie producers and directors try to fit an entire book filled with the tiniest of details into approximately an hour and thirty minutes of entertainment, therefore are forced to cut out many important details. For instance, “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” a children’s literature novel written by J.K....   [tags: Harry Potter]

Research Papers
870 words (2.5 pages)

Harry Potter And The Sorcerer 's Stone Essay

- The year is 2003. It’s the beginning of July in a small suburb town. A little girl sits in her backyard on a covered swing. The sun sat in a cloudless sky, casting shadowy patterns across the cushion on the swing. She can hear her younger sisters laughing and splashing in the pool that is just a few feet away. But she was not interested in swimming, because her attention was on the book on her lap that she had just gotten yesterday. Her feet brushing against the grass with every motion of the swing....   [tags: Harry Potter]

Research Papers
1054 words (3 pages)