Harry Potter—Shaping a Generation

By Charlotte Parr

The Harry Potter series has taken a significant place on the world stage, inspiring many readers and, for some, shaping their childhood. I was one of the children of the Harry Potter generation, one of the ones who grew up waiting for the next installment.

It’s hard to put my finger on what makes Harry Potter so great and why it has become the success that it is. The world of Hogwarts has become a magical place that everyone wishes they went to school, Harry Potter is the wizard everyone wants to know and Voldemort is the villain we all love to hate.

But at the heart of a story about magic, wizards and fighting dark forces there is a friendship that has endured everything that has been thrown at it. Even without magic, the relationship between Harry, Ron and Hermione would still be as engaging and interesting as it is in the world J.K Rowling created.

For me, Harry Potter has a special significance, not because of the writing style or the plot, but because of the part it has played in my life. I vividly remember reading ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’ aged eight as a class reading book, ten years ago. Now I have just come out of the final film, having seen the characters age with me both on the page and on the screen, Harry’s time at Hogwarts ending as I finished my time in secondary school. I have grown up with Harry Potter and now we are both moving on to our separate futures.

My sister said something as we came out of the cinema after watching the final Harry Potter film that has stuck with me. ‘It’s funny,’ she said. ‘Every time we’ve seen a Harry Potter film before there’s always been another one to come, but there isn’t anymore.’ It was then that I realised how much these books have influenced me. They might not be the best-written books in the world, but I don’t mind because the story they tell is one that the reader can connect with and can allow themselves to be transported away from the mundane nature of life and into a world full of magic, adventure and enduring friendship.