Harry Potter Generation Essay

Harry Potter: the Story that Defined a Generation Every generation has taken certain elements of popular culture, whether it be music, movies, books, or fashion trends, and deemed is as “theirs”. For instance, those who grew up in the 60s claim The Beatles and bell bottom jeans as theirs, and those who grew up in the 80s claim heavy metal music and John Hughes movies. This being said, every generation has its “story”, a film or novel, that they feel connected to, that they claim as their own, and that has ultimately shaped their identity. Harry Potter is this generation’s story; this can be seen in the overwhelming success the books and movies had, its prevalence that remains after the end of the series, and the strong connection that this…show more content…
In June 1997, author J.K. Rowling released the first book of what would become a series of seven Harry Potter novels. After two years, during which two more books were released, Rowling sold the film rights to Warner Bros due to the books setting record sales and becoming best sellers in both the United Kingdom and the United States. “The books that harness a world much less dreary than our own and feed into every child 's dream of being magical, powerful and different, was enough to spawn off a franchise worth $24.7 billion in books, DVDs, movies and toys alone.”(Brinded).
This monumental success, which Brinded discusses in her article “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Cash”, is due to the loyal fan base that the franchise built over time. The books first caught the attention of mostly pre-teens, but as the franchise grew, so did the fan base. By the end of the series, the story of the magical world of Harry Potter had captivated audiences of kids, young adults, and parents alike, all of which bought into the commodity that the novels evolved
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One of the major reasons why such a strong connection was made with the fans is the fact that they literally were able to grow with Harry Potter. The books were released gradually, some having up to two years in between releases, so the readers grew up quite a lot across the series of the book; because of this, the book had to maintain its appeal right through teenage years. Rowling’s writing style managed to do this by starting off simple enough for a child embarking on their first novels, and developed into something much more adult and complex, which was compelling enough for both teenagers and adults. Anthony Gierzynski states that “Those 10-year-olds going to the first movie, holding the hands of their parents, ended up driving to the last midnight shows.” By having the series grow along with the fans, both literally and metaphorically, this generation has been able to claim Harry Potter as its own. Furthermore, the values and beliefs of this generation have been greatly impacted by the connection to the Harry Potter series. In his essay “How 'Harry Potter ' shaped the political culture of a generation”, Gierzynski goes on to assert that “Reading the books correlated with greater levels of acceptance for
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