So… 3 more days ’til Europe… and I’m stuck writing an analytical essay on Harry Potter… I’m quite enjoying it though… I missed writing, so much, and slowly picking up where I left off… It’s a 20-page group in-depth analysis on a topic; where we focused more on the sexual allusions of Harry Potter, because of the censorship in the books which results in the reinterpretation of the fandom and how the movies have capitalized on this.
Anyway, as I said, I am enjoying writing my section… here’s a little preview of it =) Will update it later, as I finish it. Pardon, if there are still some errors, as i have not yet edited it…
“Though the absence of sexual maturity in the Harry Potter series is blatant across its literal pages, with the exception of the giggling school girls that go head over-heels for the idealized masculine or the constant “snogging” in the common rooms, as it is classified as a children’s novel that must adhere to the expectations of its specific social norms of being conservative and wholesome; one would argue that Rowling had hinted such events through her slick use of symbolism and allusions. As the series is in fact a Bildungsroman narrative, it can be argued that through the protagonists’ journey, being the trio: Harry, Ron and Hermione, of finding and discovering themselves; it would seem that sexual aggressions and questioning of their identities are integral factors to their growth. However, these are not explicitly discussed throughout the course of the septology, even though its readerships are going through the same “coming of age” quest.
From a Freudian standpoint, “we are all sexual beings,” since our birth into the world, with the biological urges of our “id” for desires, before our preconceived notion of the concepts of the ego and the superego, being the consciousness and the pre-consciousness, respectively; which we learn through the process of conforming to certain societal norms. In fact, we can read the surfacing of the “id” throughout the Harry Potter series—after all, the concept of desire is what made Rowling create the fictional and heteropalindromical mirror of “Erised.”
As in biology and in many cultural and religious traditions, most specifically in Judaism, a boy’s turning 13 is a rite of passage into manhood, or more explicitly he becomes biologically fertile, and this is allegorical in the third installment of the series, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
In the opening chapter of the book (and the film; directed by Cuarón), Harry is depicted under his bed sheets, doing something highly “forbidden” and sinful, with his “wand,” and “instructive text.” This act was both forbidden within the confines of his step-family’s home and by decree of the institution of Hogwarts, which seems to echo a lot like the point-of-view of a very devout-Catholic family and the Catholic church, respectively, on the impermissible act of masturbation; after all, “it is a waste of a man’s seed.” As is the use of magic outside of Hogwarts is banned and closely monitored by the Ministry of Magic, so to was the act of masturbation, most especially in the Puritan colony of New Haven in Connecticut in the 17th century, where “blasphemers, homosexuals and masturbators were subject to death penalty.”
The question that many asked was why did Rowling not explicitly introduce her maturing audience to such a culminating transition into adulthood. For one, thing it is because of the censorship, as it is a romanticized children’s novel of moral values. More significantly, Rowling had already received criticisms for her depiction of witchcraft in her novels, particularly from a vocal group of a conservative Christian sect, led by her opponent Laura Mallory, who might as well be the Dolores Umbridge from the Ministry of Magic imposing strict decrees. Just as our main protagonist is prohibited from the use of magic, so to was his creator by the allegory of the Ministry, the church. Her cunning use of allusions was also a source of a credible alibi, in any case she was questioned for such interpretation, as she can simply deny it; after all “the eyes sees what the mind wants to see.” Truly, all interpretations are subjective.
Nonetheless, subjective or not, we as readers interpret these texts as such, because our “id” is surfacing and fighting its way though the superego and challenging these moral values.
Paradoxically, such moral values were subjective to the author’s conceptualization and imposition of what becomes accepted in a social context. Needless to say it is the stance of such author in the mainstream cultural paradigm that determines…”