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Since its first release, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling has been subject to a debate over whether or not it promotes immorality. There have been arguments made which suggest that Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone promotes witchcraft, disobedience and generally un-Christian behaviour. Alternately, many claim that this book is in no way inappropriate for children or offensive to the Christian religion, including Rowling herself. Arguments that state Harry Potter has Christian undertones, un-Christian undertones, and no religious undertones at all will be explored.  A look at the subsequent movie and how its representation of the source material may address these issues will also be surveyed.

Critics of the novel’s morality include various sects of the Christian faith and the suggestion that Harry Potter is an evil influence has resonated with people all over the world. The promotional use of witchcraft, glamorizing questionable characters and the rewards of disobedience have all been cited as obvious attempts to sway children toward un-Christian acts. These arguments and the evidence that resides in the book and movie will be discussed as will the phenomena of book burning, banning in schools, and censorship.

In response to these accusations, a different point of view has emerged which states that Harry Potter is actually a children’s novel that is fitting with the Christian world view and is not only appropriate for children but beneficial to their understanding of their religion. The triumph of good over evil, self sacrifice for the greater good, and Harry as a religious figure all have been contributed to the argument that the novel has clear Christian and moral undertones.

The claim that the novel has no specific religious affiliation or message either way will also be observed.  The view that Harry Potter has no religious sympathies and erases religious matters from its pages altogether is as equally important to discuss. Evidence from the books and movies as well as written criticism will further develop the issue.

It is clear that the explosive popularity of the novel and its sequels further inspired the argument on whether or not Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is immoral. All sides of the debate will be explored as well as the affect that this heated debate has had on the readership and perception of the book.


*Image credit to www.boston.com


Disclaimer: Content on this page is used for strictly education purposes and does not intend to infringe upon any copyrights.


~ by megan2763 on February 11, 2010.

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