Monday, December 14, 2009

Harry Potter And The Philospher’s Stone by J.K Rowling, reviewed by Shriya Parimoo

Harry Potter And The Philospher’s Stone by J.K Rowling

Reviewed by
Name: Shriya Parimoo
School: Ryan International School, Noida

The first of a phenomenal series, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, easily managed to whip up a following so devoted, that the entire series achieved a cult status.
It made a foray into the world of even those who abhorred books, which in itself is a mark of its uniqueness. Albeit, the plot is the regular “ good triumphs over evil”, it has been fabricated in such a fashion, that Harry Potter is now an omnipresent book in people’s bookshelves.

Although the story is set up in a different dimension, that of a world where witchcraft and sorcery is a regular thing, its popularity lies in the fact that even though, it causes the reader to transcend into a different world, but still is able to be firmly rooted in reality. It brings the reader face to face with the human race’s fears, insecurities, desires and ambitions in a tangible form along with providing a door for the ever-present escapist in all of us. But, most importantly, it talks about love, which is considered the greatest of all virtues. It tries to convey to the reader that love is the most powerful weapon in this world, which creates a positive and protective shield against any kind of evil force.

The series portrays the life of a young boy wizard, Harry Potter, whom we come to know has had a terrible past. He is consigned to The Dursleys, his aunt’s family because Lord Voldemort, the most evil sorcerer the world had ever seen, murdered his parents who were a well-known wizarding couple. But the same Lord Voldemort could not murder him and he escaped with just a lightning-shaped scar and instead Lord Voldemort lost his powers. For the same reason Harry is famous amongst the magical folk. The book talks about his life at Hogwarts school of witchcraft and wizardry, about his friendship with Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, his enmity with Draco Malfoy, his selection in the Griffindor (his house) quidditch (a famous wizarding sport played on brooms) team, unraveling the mystery of the philosopher’s stone and finally, his reconnaissance with Lord Voldemort at the end of the year.

The book touches a chord with people because it doesn’t present any character in the
“always perfect “ cast. It shows the vulnerabilities, the fears, the angst, the worries and the flaws of every character, which prevents them in crossing the boundary into the surreal world. Because the characters and the situations in the book are just amplified manifestations of personalities we see and scenarios that we are a part of everyday, it is easy for us to relate to Harry and his world. Also, the book teaches us many morals without seeming to preach and encourages us to imbibe those values.

Harry Potter is thus a piece of literary genius, which creates a niche in our hearts, which can only be filled by devouring it page by page.

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