A Critical Assessment of the Harry Potter Phenomenon in Contemporary British Culture

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The first Harry Potter book came out in 1997, and no one at the time could imagine that in the 10 years that followed, it would become the most read children’s book and a $6.4 billion worth film franchise. The aim of this essay is to try to explain the reason for the popularity of the Harry Potter books. The aim is also to show the changes that the series caused, how they influenced the people who read them, how they had an impact on literacy and overall, on British popular culture. In the first part of the essay I will briefly explain the beginning of the Harry Potter phenomenon and its growing popularity in the countries all over the world. In the second part I will deal with the character of Harry, explaining why he has such an appeal to the readers and how come people identify with him. In the third part, I will explain the impact Harry Potter books have on society, how they influence young adults and children. The fourth part will deal with the controversies about Harry Potter, the views and thoughts of religious people who see Harry Potter as a book that should be banned. In the fifth part, I will mention the difference the phenomenon caused when it comes to the book business and the film industry of Britain.

The Beginning of the Phenomenon

The Harry Potter phenomenon had its humble beginning all the way back in the 1990s, when the first book, written by J. K. Rowling, came out in the shops. The main protagonist, a scrawny, young child wizard, who wore round glasses, had an immediate appeal to the readers, but no one at that time knew that the young boy would turn out to be the literary icon of the last decade. The popularity of the book resulted in it being translated into various language...

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