Harry potter and the sorcerer’s stone
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Harry potter and the sorcerer’s stone Harry potter and the sorcerer’s stone Presentation Transcript

  • Exploring a Common Mythology
  • Cross cultural comparisons My hope is that a comparative elucidation may contribute to the perhaps not-quite- desperate cause of those forces that are working in the present world for unification, not in the name of some ecclesiastical or political empire, but in the sense of human mutual understanding.” –Preface to 1949 Edition
  • Departure, Initiation, Return
  • Focus on Departure  While Campbell describes three distinct phases of the monomyth – Departure, Initiation, Return – this presentation will focus on Harry’s discovery of and first experiences with the wizard world  Departure’s sub-stages – Call to adventure, refusal of the call, supernatural aid, crossing of the first threshold, belly of the whale
  • Define: Call to Adventure  JC: “A blunder—apparently the merest chance— reveals an unsuspected world, and the individual is drawn into a relationship with forces that are not rightly understood…The blunder may amount to the opening of a destiny” (Campbell, 56).  Psychoanalysis – Blunders are the result of “repressed desires and conflicts” (Campbell, 56).
  • Call to Adventure in HP  Harry’s “blunder” – his magical interaction with the snake at the zoo -results in confinement to his cupboard. Upon his release, Hogwarts letters begin to arrive in the mail.  Repressed desire: Escape, which manifests itself when he aids the snake in its own quest for freedom.
  • Define: Refusal of the Call  JC – “Walled in boredom, hard work, or ‘culture,’ the subject loses the power of significant affirmative action and becomes a victim to be saved” (Campbell, 60).  Psychoanalysis – Resistance represents “an impotence to put off the infantile ego, with its sphere of emotional relationships and ideals. One is bound in by the walls of childhood…” (Campbell, 61).
  • Refusal of the Call in HP  In this case, Harry himself does not refuse the call but rather, the call is refused for him. He is quite literally “bound by the walls of childhood,” in the form of Vernon Dursley, who first avoids and eventually forbids Harry’s immersion into the magical world.
  • Define: Supernatural Aid  JC: When the hero begins to cross, he first encounters a “supernatural helper” who is “masculine in form” and provides “amulets and advice that the hero will require” to cross completely (Campbell, 64-66).  Psychoanalysis: “What such a figure represents is the benign, protecting power of destiny” (Campbell, 66).
  • Supernatural Aid in HP  Rubeus Hagrid Supernatural – He is “a giant of a man” who bends Mr. Dursley’s gun “into a knot as easily as if it had been made of rubber” and saddles Dudley with “a curly pig’s tail” (Rowling, 46-59). Provides amulet – Hogwarts letter Knowledge – “Harry – yer a wizard” (Rowling, 51). Destiny – “His name’s been down ever since he was born” (Rowling, 58).
  • Define: Crossing of the First Threshold  JC: “The hero goes forward in his adventure until he comes to the ‘threshold guardian’ at the entrance to the zone of magnified power” (Campbell, 68).  Psychoanalysis: “Beyond [the guardian] is… the unknown, and danger; just as beyond the parental watch is danger to the infant and beyond the protection of his society, danger to the member of the tribe” (Campbell, 68).
  • Crossing the Threshold in HP  His literal crossing occurs at King Cross station and then the Hogwarts Express.  Harry’s “tribe” of protectors is not the Dursley family, part of the “home” world, but rather the Weasley family, who represent the adventure world  “Threshold guardian” becomes grumpy porter at King’s Cross  This does not fit in with Campbell’s theory
  • Crossing the Threshold: A Proposition  Harry actually crosses the threshold when he receives his wand, the defining symbol of a wizard  Ollivander then becomes threshold guardian who tests Harry, by asking him to test several wands, before he can pass  Ollivander forces Harry into the darker, more frightening portion of the adventure world by telling him about Voldemort, hinting at the concept of the twin cores, and hinting at Harry’s status as the chosen one (Rowling, 85).
  • Define: Belly of the Whale  JC: “The idea that the passage of the magical threshold is a transit into a sphere of rebirth is symbolized in the worldwide womb image of the belly of the whale” (Campbell, 74).  Essentially, this represents a rebirthing experience, from which the hero emerges, ready to embrace the dangers ahead
  • Belly of the Whale in HP  Harry’s encounter with the sorting hat represents his greatest fear – the possibility of being sorted into Slytherin, a house of potential darkness and evil.  When Harry is given a choice, he shows his true colors (“Not Slytherin, not Slytherin”) and is rewarded with “the loudest cheer yet” from his future friends and a “thumbs up” from Hagrid (Rowling, 121-22).  This experience is not simply a test, but a reflection of Harry’s true character as he officially begins his adventure
  • Why we still love a hero “People who find resonant heroic themes of challenges and questing in their own lives, in their goals, creative outpourings, in their day- and night-dreams—are being led to a single psychic fact. That is, that the creative and spiritual lives of individuals influence the outer world as much as the mythic world influences the individual.” -Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Ph.D, Forward to 2004 edition of Hero with a Thousand Faces
  • Sources  Campbell, Joseph. Hero with a Thousand Faces. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2004. Print.  Rowling, JK. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. New York: Scholastic Inc., 1997. Print.