Life lessons with Harry Potter

Written by: Liberty Miller | Lifestyle Editor

I, alongside many others, spent my childhood looking through the lenses of the main characters in the novels I read. Having pored over the “Harry Potter” series since third grade, I got to experience a large portion of my developmental years from the perspective of the Chosen One, Harry Potter. 

“Harry Potter” is a distinct pop culture personality, who openly defies the government, fights prejudice and is fiercely loyal to his friends. J.K. Rowling also creates a wonderfully dimensional character profile for everyone in the book — rather than making the characters one-dimensionally morally sound or evil, she creates multifaceted characters that make mistakes, have moral gray areas, apologize and evolve as people. 

“Harry Potter” makes a relatable variety of mistakes throughout the series, and while being an astute and stubborn personality, also admits when he’s wrong and works to make things right. 

Coming from an unsavory background as the humble punching bag of the Dursley family, Harry Potter had the beginnings befitting of a supervillain. Facing daily roadblocks and abuse with no connections or friends, Harry became self-reliant and resentful of his life. 

He eventually gained status as a wizard and escaped his life with the Dursleys to attend Hogwarts, a similar path to Voldemort’s. However, Harry chose to defend those less fortunate and befriend characters like Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, who were not the most popular or influential characters but were genuine friends. 

He rejected the Sorting Hat’s offer to place him in Slytherin despite being offered power and influence. Throughout the series, he makes conscious decisions to defend and protect people against prejudice and hatred and recognizes his faults concerning his impulsiveness and how his actions affect others. 

Harry is a prime example of having a choice to be a good person or to pursue power and influence without regarding others, and he is a great role model for young readers in terms of being authentic to oneself and fighting for what one believes in. 

J.K. Rowling also tackles some tough subjects for young readers such as bullying, grief, unfair circumstances, jealousy between friends, family dynamics and the uncomfortable feeling of growing up. While most readers cannot relate to having to face a faceless, bald and red-eyed supervillain with murderous tendencies, there are many other subjects that coming-of-age readers can relate to or struggle with. What “Harry Potter” teaches readers is, in essence, to create strong dependable friendships, use power and influence to do good things and reject social prejudice and administrative or governmental systems that work against the people. Most importantly, the series reminds readers to stay true to themselves and what they believe in. 

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