If you didn’t know, the great Billie Joe Armstrong from the legendary band Green Day used Harry Potter as a reference against Donald Trump and the future of kids. Which, no matter your political views, anytime you use Harry Potter as a reference, especially in politics, is pretty cool. BUT… I read an article from the New York Post where, brace yourselves… IT SAYS THE HARRY POTTER BOOKS AREN’T THAT DEEP!! The fact that someone could say this about the books obviously read it with a close mind thinking it’s just about a wizard that could have no real life actualization attached to them. I love that Armstrong used Harry Potter as a reference but for Joe Simonson to say they’re just books about good vs evil is so wrong because they’re so much more than that. I asked some fellow Harry Potter nerdz what they thought of this article. Some agree and some don’t on the political view but let’s see what they say on what Harry Potter is really about.
Tiana C. Lessard
I think the author of this article is severely missing what it is exactly that millennials love and admire about Harry Potter. Contrary to what the author says, Harry Potter is not strictly black and white, good vs. evil. Harry Potter deals with the complexity of adolescence; it deals with love and loss, loneliness, depression, hope, faith, and yes, triumph over evil. Rowling offered a story that was intended for all ages, which is why its themes are still so relevant today with the millennials. They’ve been able to take this series, grow with it, and apply it to their day to day lives. As far as ‘reading a new book’ or ‘trying something new’, the overt Christian undertones in something like The Chronicles of Narnia are exactly the reason its not as appealing to the millennials compared to something like Harry Potter. Millennials are an age of progression and new ideas, so Christian ideologies aren’t as sought out or depended on. Why read something intended to link us to a religion when we can read something much more raw? Something that deals with emotion and real life experiences, even if they are masked by fantastical elements? Maybe I’m biased, or not as well read as I think I am, but Harry Potter will always remain a necessity in my life when it comes to dealing with politics, emotion, coming of age, and much more.
I believe that it is a book about good and evil but there are more deeper meanings in it. To use it as a Trump metaphor I think was not a good use of the books in order to get over Trump is to stop thinking about it so much and analyzing his every move. But from a Harry Potter point I think the books are great for young minds and early adulthood because there are deeper meanings. About never giving up, always helping others and even about love. In the Goblet of Fire when Harry and Cedric are in the maze together Harry has Cedric grab the cup with him not only to save Cedric but because he wouldn’t have been there without him and he didn’t think he deserved the cup alone. That’s good for being selfless and always thinking of others not about you. And with Ginny and Harry and Ron and Hermione, you can say they just needed to go for it and stop fighting the feelings they have towards each other, which they ended up doing. But I think for Trump you can use the Harry Potter series if you’d like but to compare him to Voldemort that wants to take over the entire wizarding world and is completely evil is over exaggerated. The current generation like generations before and after will be fine because they will all help each other.
To say any of the Harry Potter novels are based solely on good vs. evil, is completely incorrect.
They were novels on friendship. The truth is, throughout life, there will most likely be two main friends who you will fight for or even fight with; but will always protect one another. The bond Harry, Ron, and Hermione had, taught anyone who read the books that true friendship can overpower anything.
On loss; It taught me specifically not to give up after a loss; even a tragic one. Life still goes on when the ones you love have to leave or are taken from you. As Luna Lovegood said “The things we lose have a way of coming back to us in the end—if not always in the way we expect.” Memories. Harry constantly remembers those he lost, but continues to move forward and yet carries those memories with him. In life you learn to grow after experiencing a loss.
On family; It teaches that someone can be family whether they are directly blood related or not. The Weasley’s looked at Harry as one of their sons, fed him, gifted him, loved him, and cherished him.
Most importantly it taught you to love, with everything you have BUT not to dwell in the dreams that come with it. That hope is always there and can never ever be extinguished. Dumbledore said it best: “Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”
How do they dare talk down on Harry Potter series?! And Jesus, that article was terrible, it was all over the damn place. Seemed like they just needed something to write about. It’s [Harry Potter] about friendship, loyalty, determination, love, passion, adventure. So fucking much. I wish she [J.K. Rowling] would start another series.
As you see from these fellow Harry Potter fans, although their political views, they can all agree that Harry Potter isn’t just about “good vs evil” and it isn’t just “black and white”. There’s a reason why this book has stuck around with us for so long, not just because of the amazing imagination and storytelling J.K. Rowling provides us with but because of the immense amount of compassion, life lessons, friendship, hope, and love we receive from the characters.
To see more reasons why Harry Potter impacts the world, click here.