J.K Rowling’s Harry Potter novels have over the last decade become a worldwide phenomenon, but why? It is perhaps because of the mythical elements that underlie Harry’s story, particularly the myths of the child and the hero. Comparing the Potter novels to works by mythological theorists Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell, it is clear how Rowling both uses and updates traditional mythological structures and elements in the novels. The Harry Potter novels both incorporate the standard myths of the child and the hero, which accounts for the series’ immense ability to grab the reader, and update these myths, making Harry’s quest even more accessible to the modern audience in its rejection of a high-born, kingly hero. Instead, the series exalts a hero that destiny does not create whose quest is more democratic, necessarily involving collaboration with many others.
Rizza, Daniella FCRH '11
"“A Power Beyond the Reach of Any Magic”: Mythology in Harry Potter,"
Fordham Undergraduate Research Journal: Vol. 1
, Article 4.
Available at: http://fordham.bepress.com/furj/vol1/iss1/4