For example , the centaurs have been portrayed as the one who are quite intelligent and cognizant , but are secluded in a shell , lost in their own world , refusing to mingle or share their wisdom with other ‘lesser’ creatures. They demand and expect a great deal of respect and any slightest hint of impudence is unforgivable.
The most vivid description though is of the house-elves. These short, dwarfish creatures , are used to slavery. These are akin to the people who are submissive and too used even to sufferings to cause any rebel. The house-elves have been described as following the orders of their masters to their last word. They have no will of their own , and consider it their honour and only purpose of life to serve their master , even if they are tortured and battered by them.
“Dobby doubts it, sir. Dobby is always having to punish himself for
something, sir. They lets Dobby get on with it, sir. Sometimes they
reminds me to do extra punishments …… 7
Occasionally ,if someone like Dobby, the house-elf of the Malfoys , whom Harry freed from them , realizes the importance of being independent and tries to bring in the others , he is outcasted from the society .
Aren’t these type of folks a common sight in our world too?
Similary, the wild and untamed Giants , the magical mer-people , the formidable dragons ,all make their presence felt in the story.
Talking about the language , as a major part of the aimed readers included children , hence mostly the language is simple and user-friendly , without using overtly complicated vocabulary. However she does break new grounds in term of inventing new words , which are used frequently used in the magical world she describes. To her credit, she has merged them such cleverly in the story that just after a couple of occurrences, the reader is used to it and doesn’t even once questions the validity. Infact , many of her invented words have now found a place in the common use by the readers all over the world, especially the younger ones,
Words like Muggles ( those who don’t know magic) , Quidditch(the most popular wizarding sport), Pensieve(a container sort of thing for storing ‘memories’) Squib(born in a wizard family but having no magic) have definitely found a place in the common vocabulary. Moreover , the writer also borrows from other languages, mainly Latin , in the magic spells she has defined.
‘Sectumsempra derives from the Latin sectum, “having been cut”, and possibly semper, “always”.
‘Avada Kedavra’ It is an ancient spell in Aramaic, and it is the original of abracadabra, which means ‘let the thing be destroyed.
‘Accio’ It also originated from latin word accio which means I call or I summon.
‘Episkey’ Greek episkeu meaning “repair, restoration”
‘Expecto Patronum’ is correct classical Latin for “I await a protector”
‘Expelliarmus’ Latin expulso meaning to “drive out, expel, force out, banish.
And so on.
Moving on to the story , the backbone of any fiction , Ms Rowling scores here too ..and how! Seldom before , has any writer penned out such a brilliantly conceived plot , full of thrills , chills and very often , frills! The most applauding factor ,which strikes a reader is , the way the author has kept the strings attached from the debut novel to the final one. Every single piece of mystery built up from the inception of the series has been resolved in the climax. No questions have been left unanswered , and that is saying something , seeing the scale and magnitude of the mystery which has been built up throughout the magical journey. It definitely makes one wonder whether the author had the entire plot in her mind before starting the first part. As known famously , the idea for Harry Potter occurred to J.K. Rowling on the train from Manchester from London, where she says ‘Harry Potter just strolled into my head fully formed’, and by the time she had arrived at King’s Cross, many of the characters had taken shape. During the next five years, she outlined the plot for each of the book. Still , the way in which the keys to unveil the mysteries of previous books are found in the next books is nothing short of incredible.
The entire story, which unfolds in seven parts ,has a lot of undercurrents and can be interpreted at varying levels.
First ,it’s a simple revenge story, where Harry revenges the death of his parents from Lord Voldemart.
Secondly , it’s a super-hero kind of a tale wherein a hero emerges to the rescue of the society from the wrath of evil. In this form , it bears an uncanny resemblance to the Indian mythology of Krishna-Kans story , where, owing to a prophecy (akaashvani) the latter kidnaps Krishna’s parents and tries to kill him , but unsuccessfully ,and finally the good triumphs , though the similarity ends here. (as Harry is just a mortal boy [wizard though]..with no super powers).
Thirdly ,and the version which amazes the most is the Severus Snape’s side of the story. He loved Lilly Potter , Harry’s mother , since they were kids and neighbours. It was he who told her about Hogwarts. He was her first friend in Hogwarts. However , he believed in Dark Magic, he was a follower of Tom Riddle (Lord Voldemart) and Lilly detested this about him, though she liked him initially. With the arrival of James Potter( Harry’s father) on the scene , and Lilly falling in love with him , Snape grew more and more sulkier and his hatred towards Potter reached heights. Later, the Potters marry and Harry is born. While Snape, overhears the Prophecy made by Professor Trelawney and without knowing that it implied the Potters, told about it to Voldemart, and hence they are killed.
The guilt and remorse which he feels would have made him die , but for the way which Dumbledore shows him. He promises to protect Lilly’s son Harry forever . He definitely loved Harry, but as he reminded him of James Potter too, he hated him. But he helped him always. He did not kill Dumbledore, but Dumbledore requested him to cause his death. This kind of emotion which Ms Rowling has described, proves her unrivalled command over human emotions. The character of Severus Snape is easily one of the best written characters evers in the world of literature.
These books have become a part of our lives forever. Breaking the boundaries of time and space , these have found universal acceptance and immense popularity.
The tenderness with which the writer portrays the emotions , of children as well as adults ,is commendable. The misery of loneliness , the pangs of distress , the shock of discovering uncomfortable truths, the joy of being loved , the blush of first love , the pain of separation, the horror of deaths , the fear of the unknown , the acceptance of truth , jealousy, hatred , friendship , cruelty, nobility..there is hardly any dimension of human life which Miss J. K. Rowling has not explored.
Probably , that’s why Harry Potter is what it is!
Take a bow, Ms. Rowling.