I think that the majority of people see literature as being something that is simply for people who live the high culture.
This really affects how certain literature is accessed, for example, average people could possibly see themselves as not being “good enough”, in a way to read certain books, because of various reasons, such as not going to a private school, or having a high paid education, for example.
I think what rich and upper class people do, immediately makes the activity or object something of the high culture. I think that nowadays, everybody refers to the high culture as something that is specifically for the elite and aristocracy, for example, things like:
Art – “The Mona Lisa” – Leonardo Da Vinci
Music – Ludwig Van Beethoven
Opera – Luciano Pavarotti
Theatre – It is seen as being higher than the equivalent of a cinema for entertainment.
Price – People of low culture are going to buy things that are cheap and affordable.
Quality – The quality of certain products that are classed as being low culture products, is again to do with the price, and because most of the items are cheap and affordable, the quality of the items aren’t going to be that good.
People can access books from quite a lot of places:
Bookstores – This is perhaps the most common place where people buy books. There are major, known bookstores in the UK, for example, Waterstones , Barnes and Noble, and Borders.
Libraries – I think that the library makes it a lot easier for people to access books, because not only are they allowed to get them free, but there is a very wide collection that is stored.
Online – This is a great way of people having access to books, because there are a lot more people worldwide, than there are in one country, and this could make books a lot more popular.
The only thing that I think makes books, a little bit inaccessible is the price of them. The well known books are quite expensive, and I don’t think that people would be prepared to pay such a large amount of money, for something that isn’t really considered as the “coolest” thing to do.
What Kinds of Stereotypes are Associated With Reading and Libraries?
Reading is not known as one of the coolest hobbies, and sometimes, people judge you because of what you like. Most people have quite a stereotypical view of people who read. In my opinion, people see readers as being:
Very interested in their academics.
People normally think of nerds and people who are just boring.
People who are interested in going to higher education.
People that have spare time on their hands.
However there are a lot of people, who are normally not associated with any of the above, but more people who have a busy daily routine and have an interest in reading.
There are a variety of reasons why I like reading the Harry Potter series:
It is a well written fantasy and adventure book, that is well known worldwide.
I generally like to read books, as they are normally written in great detail, you almost feel like you are involved in the book.
There is a lot of imagination that has gone into the book, from J.K Rowling, which opens up her fans’ imagination further.
I don’t think that the movies are nearly as good enough as the books, because you cannot hear how a character is feeling or what he/she is thinking, and that I think is one of the best things about reading.
The codes that I feel that the book communicates to me are mainly:
Good and Bad Behaviour : In the books there is one group of people that are set up as being good who fight against the people who are evil. This represents the values in our world, as there are many things in the world today that considered: good versus evil, for example wars.
There are also codes displayed through various characters, such as:
Ron Weasley : This character is made out to be one of the main heroes in the novels, however doesn’t come from a wealthy background as most people would expect, but he is a good person. Throughout the book, the readers see him choose the value of friendship over the idea of wealth and money, which makes him a person with good values.
Draco Malfoy : This character is the complete opposite to Ron, because he is wealthy and rich, and he doesn’t really seem to care about the value of friendship or relationships. He is also seen as being on the “evil side”.
It is not just an average, boring story, rather an original and exciting one.
It is aimed at not one specific target audience, but young children, teenagers, the middle aged and older people. The books appeals really to everyone.
There have been so many other books about the magical world, but J.K Rowling has written them so differently to the rest, for example, it is written for children, but the language isn’t what you would expect in a normal children’s book, which is why I think that children like it.
Nearly all of the characters, I find complex but interesting, which is very hard to find in books.
http:// www.youtube.com/watch?v =iC-ngzDj1L4 - This is a link to the video.
In the book, “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, there is a form of racism that is displayed by Draco Malfoy to Hermione Granger, when he calls her a “mudblood”, because she is not a pure witch, she has “muggles” (non magical people) as parents.
I also see Draco Malfoy as being similar to a Nazi like figure, because the Nazi’s had a belief in eugenics, in other words they believed in purity and wanted all Germans at that time to be pure and not mixed with and Jewish or Jewish descent. The look of Draco is actually quite similar to what the Nazi’s liked too, with the blonde hair etc.
Semiotics is a study of signs, signification and communication.
The Mirror of Erised : This could be a semiotic and symbol for certain characters looking back at their past and wondering what could have happened. For Harry though, I think that it represents his ideal self (according to Carl Rogers’ theory), the mirror shows people what they desire, and what Harry desires is his family, as they were tragically killed.
Wands : Similar to the Sorting Hat, wands in a way have values too, because they choose what witch or wizard is best suited to them, by the type of person they are. I believe Rowling has put this into her book on purpose, to make people think about their selves and their values.