Friday, July 27, 2007

Harry and Christ

Some of you may find this over-long essay pretty cranky, but having just finished the last Harry Potter, I think she is right. The Harry Potter books are a Christian allegory and Harry is the Christ figure.

Just two points. The writer (the wonderfully named Abigail BeauSeigneur) quotes Rowling, speaking in 2000.

Every time I’ve been asked if I believe in God, I’ve said yes, because I do, but no one ever really has gone any more deeply into it than that, and I have to say that does suit me, because if I talk too freely about that [her Christianity] I think the intelligent reader, whether 10 or 60, will be able to guess what’s coming in the books.”
[My emphasis]

She also makes some guesses as to what is in the seventh book (this article appears to have been published on the 13th of July, a week before publication).

Remember the locked room in the Department of Mysteries? The one that “contains a force that is at once more wonderful and more terrible than death, than human intelligence, than nature” – the love room? Remember also Voldemort’s inability to possess Harry because he could not bear the love inside Harry? What if, because he went through the veil willingly, as a loving sacrifice, Harry is given the ability to open a door from behind the veil, directly into the love room? That would certainly terrify Voldemort. The (very carefully worded) prophecy says that Harry will vanquish Voldemort, not kill him. To vanquish means to defeat, conquer, or subjugate, but not necessarily to kill. Christ’s final victory will come when Satan is thrown into the fiery pit for eternity.
[My emphasis]

Looks pretty good to me. And it's not surprising really. Rowling is so much in the great tradition of English fantasy, which, apart from the rebel Philip Pullman, is a Christian monopoly, that it would be extraordinary if she were not Christian.

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