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Exploring the Functionality of Recurring Patterns in Fantasy Through Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of English.
2014 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Fantasy has since long been a genre disregarded as pure escapism and criticized for its formulaic patterns. However, Karen Coats and Roni Natov, among others, suggest that there is more to fantasy than that. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone presents a young orphan who breaks free from a cupboard under the stairs in an ordinary suburban home and rises to heroism in a world where virtually anything is possible.

This essay explores three themes in the novel, which are common for traditional fantasy literature in general; desire, rebellion and elitism. The desire to overcome limitations, the need for rebellion for the greater good and the elitism shared by many in the wizarding community are three universal notions contextualized in an environment that puts them in a different light. The essay explores these themes mainly through Harry, looking at the choices he makes and the changes he undergoes in relation to them. We learn that his actions and reactions bring about positivity both in himself and the world around him. He fights his temptations and uses the tools and powers he has for the greater good. Consequently, it shows the significance of these seemingly formulaic themes prevalent in fantasy novels.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
fantasy, children’s literature, desire, rebellion, elitism, child hero
National Category
Specific Literatures
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-104735OAI: diva2:725618
Available from: 2014-09-29 Created: 2014-06-16 Last updated: 2014-09-29Bibliographically approved

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Shagir, Norah
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Department of English
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