preview

Harry Potter is a Classic

Powerful Essays
HARRY POTTER—MORE THAN A CONTEMPORARY PHENOMENON

What makes a book a classic? What is it about a book that will have

generation after generation reading it? English Literature majors

could spend hours theorizing the answers to this question. One series of

texts that has received publicity and wide-spread acclaim over the past

seven years is the Harry Potter collection. J.K. Rowling could never have

possibly imagined how her little book about a boy with broken glasses and

a scar on his forehead would impact world culture. Yet today, we all discuss

the “Harry Potter phenomenon” and how adults and children alike can

enjoy the books. But my question is this: Will Harry Potter become a

beloved classic like The Chronicles of Narnia or Great Expectations? Does

Harry Potter have what it takes to be worthwhile to teach in schools, or is

it just a temporary fad that individuals will look back on and remark: “Oh

yeah, I remember when those books were popular?”

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines “classic” as “a work of

enduring excellence.” Harry Potter’s popularity has lasted since 1998, when

the first book came out. Granted Harry Potter is a series, but seven years is

a long time for a book or literary piece to hold an entire world’s attention.

American citizens become tired of a television series after only a few

months. Though popularity doesn’t equal classic, it doesn’t mean that the

Harry Potter series lacks the serious literary elements to be a classic. Shaun

Johnson comments: “I dismissed the validity of said literature based on its

resounding popularity. I had also grown cynical about popular culture; it

was my understanding that most things therein could only be trusted for

false sensationalism and no...

... middle of paper ...

... Marketing and the Translation of J.K.

Rowling’s Harry Potter Books.” The Lion and the Unicorn 29.2 (2005): 8 pages.

Maughan, Shannon. “The Harry Potter Halo.” Publisher’s Weekly 246.29 (1999): 4 pages.

Minzesheimer, Bob. “Editors Crown Tolkein Lord of Science Fiction.” USA Today 3 Mar.

2003, sec. Life: 3d.

Nikiforuk, Andrew. “The Real Power of Harry and Frodo.” Canadian Business 76.2 (2003):

2 pages.

Radigan, Winifred M. “Connecting the Generations: Memory, Magic, and Harry Potter.”

Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy 44.8 (2001): 2 pages.

The Harry Potter Series. Advertisement. Multilingual Books. 14 Nov. 2005. http://www.

multilingualbooks.com/harrypotter.html.

Tucker, Nicholas. “The Rise and Rise of Harry Potter.” Children’s Literature in Education.

30.4 (1999): 221-35.

“Wizards and Muggles.” Christian Century 116.33 (1999): 1 page.
Get Access