Friday, November 18, 2011

Question of the Week (11/18/11)

HP7 question:
Compare the mood with Deathly Hallows to the Sorcerer's Stone. Is this final book suitable for children? To our larger, over-arching question, how is Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows a world classic? (Include the entire series, if you wish.)

Cyrano question:
Cite incidents from the play to support or refute the following statement:
At his death, Cyrano is content with his relationship with his relationship with Roxane and does not regret that they were never anything more than cousins. Using MLA format cite specific quotes that support or refute your statement.
OR
Of the characters Cyrano, Christian, Ragueneau, and De Guiche, which do you believe are idealists? For each character cite one incident from the play to support whether or not he is an idealist. (Same rules apply, use MLA format.)

Post by the end of the school day on Monday. Don't forget to respond to a fellow classmates' response. Enjoy your weekend.

25 comments:

John Gehlbach said...

The collective Harry Potter series, including the The Deathly Hallows, is a world classic due to its undeniable popularity, the continuing positive impact it will have on youth for generations, and the new element it brings to the world classic arena.
First of all, the Harry Potter series is characteristic of success, matching the nature of many world classics. According to Entertainment Weekly, 8.3 million Copies of The Deathly Hallows were sold in its first 24 hours in the U.S only. More than that, J.K. Rowling has an estimated new worth of $1 billion. Similarly A Tale of Two Cites, an indisputable world classic, was also consistent with success. For instance, when Charles Dickens died in 1870, he left and estate valued at $6.5 million (2001). With both Harry Potter and A Tale of Two Cities demonstrating success, both works are World Classics.
Furthermore, the Harry Potter series is a world classic because of its continual, positive impact on generations. The adventure, mystery, and escapism of Harry Potter incited many people to read, or for the first time enjoy reading. This positive promotion of literacy and appreciation of writing supports that Harry Potter is a world classic.
Finally, Harry Potter is a world classics because it brings something new to literature. Many critics agree that Harry Potter is innovative because it bridges different genres into a cohesive piece. Harry Potter combines the worlds of fantasy and magic, with human feelings of love and friendship. This innovative approach brought something new to the world classics club.
In summary, Harry Potter is a world classic because it has great success and popularity, positively impacts generations, and brings something new to the realm of world classics. Though the mood of the series changes from The Sorcerer's Stone to The Deathly Hallows, the mood grows as the reader grows. Therefore, the final book eventually becomes suitable to reader’s maturity. Seeing the mood change from wonder and bright, to dark and death, only supports that the series grows with a generation. The unique development of the series only affirms that Harry Potter is a world classic.

PaulH said...

First post on Cyrano De Bergerac question # 1 (PAUL. H)

PART 1
Before Cyrano’s death had occurred, he was not content with his relationship with Roxane and he thought that it wasn’t enough for them to just be cousins.
LE BRET. Your cousin, Magdeleine Robin?
CYRANO. Yes - Roxane
LE BRET. Then you ought to be overjoyed! You love her? Tell her so! You’ve covered yourself with glory in her eyes today (Rostand 50-51).
Cyrano had a greater feeling for Roxane in terms of it not just being a feeling of ordinary love but it was a feeling of extraordinary love for her in terms of how he wants to convey it to her. But during the beginning of the play, Cyrano hides behind his abnormally large nose and frets about whether he should tell Roxane that he truly has much love to offer to her
LE BRET. But you’re overlooking your courage, your wit! . . . Take that girl who offered you dinner now, for example: you could see for yourself that she was far from detesting you!
CYRANO. Yes, it’s true!
LE BRET. Well, then? You see? And Roxane herself was pale as she watched your duel. . . . (52)
This shows that even some of his friends are trying to encourage him to face his fear. As time goes on Roxane falls in love with another man named Christian, who had the looks but lacked Cyrano’s intelligence. Cyrano decides that it is about time that his feelings get delivered to Roxane one way or another and he happened to come upon a great idea when he was conversing with Christian. He told Christian that in order for Roxane to truly love him, he needed all the eloquence that he can get.
CHRISITIAN. I need eloquence, and I have none!
CYRANO. I’ll lend you mine! Lend me your conquering physical charm, and together we’ll form a romantic hero! (96).
Later on, Christian ends up dying in a battle at Arras when Cyrano was just about to talk face to face with Roxane and explain to her that it was he all along who had been writing the letters and speaking to her. But Christian’s ironic death leaves Cyrano in a bit of a mess because he knew that it would break Christian’s heart if he told Roxane that it was he, and he knew that Roxane might not believe this as she might think that he may be using Christian’s death to his advantage to swoop down and pick her up in his arms. So he decides to tell Christian.
CHRISTIAN. Roxane . . .
CYRANO. I told her everything. It’s still you she loves! (180).
He knew that it would be a while before he could truly be able to speak to Roxane about his love for her.

PaulH said...

PART 2
Fifteen year’s later; Cyrano has finally mustered up the courage to ask Roxane if he could read her the final letter that “Christian” wrote
CYRANO. His letter! . . . Didn’t you once tell me that you might let me read it some day?
ROXANE. You want to read . . . his letter?
CYRANO. Yes, I do. Now (199).
He doesn’t end up telling her that it was he, but Roxane recognizes his voice and the great eloquence and manor in which “Christian” had spoken in many years before. Then she puts all the puzzle pieces together and she comes to the conclusion that it was Cyrano all along. At first, when she says this to him, Cyrano denies this and says that it wasn’t he, it was Christian, but Roxane knows that he is lying to her. Later on, Cyrano ends up being attacked by a lackey who drops a log on top of his head. Right at the end of the play when Cyrano was dying, he says:
ROXANE. Your life has been unhappy because of me! Me!
CYRANO. No, Roxane, quite on the contrary. Feminine sweetness was unknown to me. My mother made it clear that she didn’t find pleasant to look at. I had no sister. Later, I dreaded the thought of seeing mockery in the eyes of a mistress. Thanks to you, I’ve at least had a woman’s friendship, a gracious presence to soften the harsh loneliness of my life (204).
This really shows how when Cyrano was dying, he thanked Roxane for all that she has done for him and how she has considered him to be the brother that she never had. Finally, some of his last words make the reader believe that he does not regret that they were never anything more than just cousins:
CYRANO. . . . but I’ve never needed hope of victory to make me fight! The noblest battles are always fought in vain . . . (206).
In the end Cyrano has no regrets on what has happened whatsoever.

Catherine C. said...

The general tone of Sorcerer's Stone was one of wonder and mystery, as both Harry and the reader were first introduced to the wizarding world. Albus Dumbledore was no more than a sagely, albeit nutty distant figure, one to be admired and respected, but not questioned or even understood. Although Harry, Ron, and Hermione risk their lives on multiple occasions (almost getting thrown off his broom at his first Quidditch match, the mountain troll in the girl's bathroom, the entire quest to reach the Stone, starting with Fluffy and ending in the deadly potion logic game), the tone is still generally lighthearted and whimsical. Harry, who remains humble despite all the attention, makes friends quickly and easily, something he is surprised by, due to his isolation while attending Muggle school.
The Deathly Hallows, however, is much darker. Harry has grown up and has become jaded from the heavy burden placed on his shoulders and emotionally volatile from the deaths of so many that were close to him, for which Harry blames himself for causing. He is frustrated and lost, away from the guidance and comfort of Hogwarts, and always on edge, anticipating capture or death at every turn. There are also some more coming-of-age themes woven throughout the book as Harry is now seventeen; the romantic tension between Ron and Hermione and between Harry and Ginny. Such feelings would not have appeared in the first book, when they were all but eleven years old. And of course, there is the added violence and acts of cruelty performed by the Death Eaters and their sympathizers.
That said, I still think that The Deathly Hallows is still appropriate for children. Some might say that the violence is just too much, but I disagree. All the murdering and torturing is done by the Death Eaters, not Harry. Harry, Ron, and Hermione are all role models, due to Ron's loyalty, Hermione's resourcefulness, and Harry's bravery and rock-solid moral code. The Death Eaters are clearly bad people, something even a child an recognize and therefore look upon their actions as ones that are not to be followed. The messages about love, loyalty, tolerance and friendship are ones parents can be comfortable reading to their children.

Catherine C. said...

(continued)
As to whether the series counts as a world classic, I am still vehemently campaigning to count it as one. Points have already been made about the immense, immediate popularity, the enormous fanbase it generated, the prolific amount of spinoffs and merchandise it inspired, and the wealth it has bestowed upon its author. In addition to these statistics, however, I take my own personal experience as evidence to the impact this book has made. I was maybe eight years old, a pretty precocious reader for my age, but bored and whiny after just having finished an unsatisfactory book. My brother, probably in an effort to shut me up, showed me his copy of Sorcerer's Stone. At first, I was resistant, turned off by the book's popularity (why this was a factor to me in second grade, I don't know). I finally gave in and started reading, only to be hooked after the first few chapters. I consumed the other four books he had in less than a month. Even after I had finished reading them, I would select my favorite parts to read while settling into bed at night, devouring the books in what can only be termed as a religious fervor. Finally, I read them so much that one day, I went up to my room to read my favorite selection for The Prisoner of Azkaban, only to find that my battered copies had vanished from my bookshelf. Accusing both my brother and my sister (who has read maybe the first two books are remembers nothing from them), I then asked my dad if he had seen them. It turns out that he, concerned at how much I had been reading them, donated them to my church's book sale. I ran up to my room and threw myself on the floor, sobbing. In hindsight, this decision was probably a good one, as my obsession was borderline unhealthy, and forced me to look for new, more advanced reading material. The point I am trying to make with this story is that not only did the books entrance me and inspire me and many other children to read, they had inspired some of the fondest memories of my childhood and have made me a lifelong Potter fan, a tradition I am sure to pass on to my own children.
I agree with John about the "escapism" affect of the series. Although the magical world has just as many problems as the Muggle world, it would be nice to be able to finish household chores at the flick of a wrist, fly on a broomstick hundreds of feet in the air, or heal ailments with a simple potion or charm. Actually, when I think about, I guess this whole excitement at doing the previously impossible was what turned Tom Riddle in Voldemort, but it was a different kind of eagerness that made him the horrible and powerful being we see in The Deathly Hallows.

Philip Caffry said...

The Sorcerer’s Stone was more of a children’s book then the Deathly Hallows. But this fact helps maintain its value as a world classic. If you are 11 years old when the first Harry Potter book comes out, that is the Sorcerer’s Stone, by the time you are able to finish the series you are about 18. This means that you are both legally an adult and you are still able to enjoy the series because as the series progressed the more it was aimed towards pleasing an older group. This demonstrates that J.K. Rowling actually knew what she was doing when she wrote the first book, and a competent author, is the first step to making a world classic. On Friday night I watched the second part of the Deathly Hallows movie, and now I can say that she completely ties up all lose ends in the story. Everything that she wrote about earlier in the book and in the series was all tied up and that is one reason why this series on the whole is a world classic. But since there are things in the seventh book that carry over form the first six you had to have known what was going on in all of them in order to know what was happening in the book. In order for the seventh book to be a world classic by it’s self, you would only have to read it alone and be able to get it completely. But if that was the case then the entire series would have been ruined and then none of them would have been world classics.
I agree with John saying that since the books were such a success then it is obvious that they were world classics.

Kelly said...

The mood of the Deathly Hallows is very dark and, in many cases, disturbing. While the Sorcerer's Stone was a book filled with quirky characters and childish adventures, the Deathly Hallows is clearly written for an older audience. It focuses heavily on mortality, morality, and destiny-- topics that children cannot fully grasp.
Harry Potter is not yet a world classic. However, it is destined to be. While it cannot be denied that popularity does not define a classic (both the Great Gatsby and Moby Dick were unsuccessful when first published, the former being out of print by the 1940s), Harry Potter has enjoyed extensive popularity. The real test of a classic is the longevity of its popularity. Will those who come after us still enjoy these books?
I would argue that they will. A classic must be defined by its content, not its popularity. A classic must make a statement about humanity, which Harry Potter does. It focuses on the age-old topic of good vs. evil, which is found in almost all classic literature, including the works of Homer such as the Odyssey.

Lizzie Weindling said...

There are many aspects of a book that classify it as a world classic. The whole Harry Potter trilogy is adequate when comparing it to the world classic, A Tale of Two Cities. However, one main aspect of a world classic that each book in the Harry Potter trilogy has yet to stand is the test of time. A Tale of Two Cities was written and published in the 19th century, and is still a popular novel, that the majority of people have read. Harry Potter came out in the 21st century, and it has roughly been four years since the last book in the Harry Potter trilogy has been released.
By comparing A Tale of Two Cities to the Harry Potter trilogy, it is evident that both have a plot setting that many people can relate to; which is key in a world classic. Indirectly, the Harry Potter trilogy mirrors much of what the world has encountered with discrimination. Throughout the Potter books, the wizards’ views on muggles (non-magical humans) show racisms and in many ways relates to issues the world has had with women, Native Americans, Jews, and many others. As in A Tale of Two Cities, the plot allows a view into life during the French Revolution, and the fear and mistrust one would feel.
Another aspect of a world classic that both the Harry Potter trilogy and A Tale of Two Cities have both sold millions of copies, and are continuing to be sold. According to CNNMoney, over 350 million copies of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows have been sold world wide in a month after it’s release in July 2007. A Tale of Two Cities has sold over 200 million copies. The sales of both these books show the similarity they posses and an element of a world classic.
Overall, the Harry Potter trilogy has many components of a world classic. I do not believe it can be deemed a world classic until at least two or three more decades. One of the main pieces that a book should have to be called a world classic is to have stood the test of time, which each Harry Potter book has yet to do.

The Sorcerer’s Stone is written to have younger children read it. I grew up reading to Harry Potter series and was about 8 or 9 years old. The books definitely get more complex and show Harry ages, and have some of the things that normal teenagers do. These books portray Harry growing up throughout his childhood to when he’s an adult. I do not think any parent should let their child read a book about a 17 year old, and as the books become less and less censored, it does not seem appropriate. I do however think that is good for children to read the first Harry Potter book when they’re around the same age that Harry is in the Sorcerer’s Stone, then each year they would increase the number of books they read. Resulting that they would be around the same age as Harry, and by the last Harry Potter Book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, they will be at an appropriate age. These books are also so interesting and exciting that it will help kids want to read on their own, and will increase the amount they read.

In response to Catherine, I love your story! I think it’s really funny that your dad gave away the books. I thought it was interesting in that my parents almost begged me for two years to read the book and I never wanted to, then we listened to the first book on tape in a car ride and I remember telling myself that I wasn’t going to enjoy it because of how much my parents wanted me to read it. I also never thought about your reasoning for why The Deathly Hallows would be appropriate, but with all the torturing and death, I think that’s even more reason for young children not to read the later books in the series.

DavidD. said...
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DavidD. said...
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DavidD. said...

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is definitely not suited for children for the large presence of death in the book. From the title to the end death is present. The overall mood of the final book is dark and tense much like the ideas and fears of death itself. It is almost like the exact opposite mood of the Sorcerer’s Stone, which was a much more cheerier, lighter mood with very little references to death or hatred.


Harry Potter 7 is a world Classic because of its incredible popularity, it’s motif of prejudice and its consuming abilities, and its unique theme. Harry Potter has withstood the test of time and has become a somewhat of a modern Dicken’s story to the world.

DavidD. said...

Catherine you have gone beyond the call of duty with your writing, and it is obvious that you put a large effort into your work. I admire your effort and I hope you continue your hard work.

EmilyA said...

Cyrano Question 2

An idealist is a person who follows their beliefs beyond the point of practicality. Based on this definition I believe Cyrano and Christian were idealists in the play. Cyrano is a very noble man. He writes love letters for Christian to Roxane because Christian is incapable. Cyrano is also in love with Roxane, but he puts his friend first in hopes that things will turn out right for him eventually. He presents himself in a way in which it is hard to dislike him. He is witty, eloquent, smart, and a good friend. Despite his unwavering inner beauty, Cyrano’s outer beauty causes him to have a low self-esteem. His outer appearance makes Cyrano very nervous about sharing his feelings because he is afraid of what other people will think about him. In reality everyone likes Cyrano because of his kindness but he follows his beliefs of being judged beyond practicality and becomes an idealist.
“Le Bret: You’ve already made a deep impression on her heart and her mind. Don’t be timid: speak to her, tell her, so that…
Cyrano: So that she’ll laugh in my face? No! That’s the one thing in the world that I fear!” (52).
Cyrano is afraid that by being himself and speaking his mind he will be made fun of because of his nose. He thinks it is better to be quiet so no one makes fun of him.
I also think Christian is an idealist. He has Cyrano write letters to Roxane for him because he is not articulate. Roxane believes that the letters are from Christian and she falls deeply in love with him. Christian continues to have Cyrano write for him to impress Roxane. Christian knows that he is good looking but isn’t good at expressing himself. Christian is an idealist because he continues to have Cyrano write for him when he knows that she is in love with him already because he doesn’t want to disappoint her. When Christian tries to be independent he fails, so he falls back on Cyrano to impress Roxane.
“Christian: Won’t some things in it have to be changed? Since you wrote it with no specific woman in mind, how can it fit Roxane?”
Christian is very concerned with impressing Roxane and being perfect in front of her. He follows his beliefs of impressing Roxane beyond practicality by having Cyrano write letters and speeches for him.

Paul: I agree with your statement that Cyrano wasn't content with his relationship at the end of the play. I think you supported your argument very well and used good examples from the text.

EmilyA said...
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Billy D said...

The Sorcerer’s Stone was a children’s book with clearly drawn lines between good and evil. The reader couldn’t really question the purity of the characters. Where as in the Deathly Hallows even characters a pure a Dumbledore are put under such harsh scrutiny that both Harry and the reader develop negative feelings towards him. These morally challenging questions, the book and its characters raise, make the Deathly Hallows an adults book. With an adult book JK Rowling also can introduce more serious topics, death being a prominent one. JK Rowling has developed as a writer weather this is to accommodate her steadily growing reader base. This reading base has grown so large that Harry Potter is starting to be considered as a world classic. It has lasting themes of friendship and it also portrays the development of youth as well as the darker theme of segregation. I would say that the fact that the book is fantasy allows it to be more timeless because it minimizes the exposure to technology and culture that inevitably change over the course of history. To truly be a world classic the book must stand the test of time, I think the Harry Potter has that ability, but only time will tell. The only serious pit fall in the course of Harry Potter being a world classic is the fact that is a series. The earlier books in the series are good but not great and they are more child oriented than the seventh book. Only choosing the seventh book as a world classic takes away from the beauty of the writing and the tying together the thousands of pages in the series.

celliott28 said...

In Harry Potter the Sorcerer's Stone the tone is more optimistic and adventure, Harry Potter is simply curious in Hogwarts and it's secrets, this is a classic adventure book with some violence but tolerable for children. In Harry Potter Deathly Hallows its a matter of life and death Harry is chosen to complete this task for the greater good. This theme I believe is too deep for some children. I know my sister couldn't read it because it would to be scary for her, but some could handle the violence and the death. Over all the tones have changed as Harry became older and his problems had gotten worse.

celliott28 said...

I agree with Kelly in that the content in the two books are very different and the challenges Harry faces in the second book are more of a childish adventure compared to the deep dark and life threatening adventures in the seventh.

andrew said...

At his death, Cyrano is content with his relationship with Roxane, however, he probably does regret that they were never more than cousins. After all, she's a very beautiful lady and the only woman he'd ever loved, so it is highly unlikely that there is no regret.
At the battle, Cyrano reveals that he seeks happiness in his life and that happiness is Roxane's love
CYRANO: "My GOd! Perhaps its true! Can it be that happiness is here, within my grasp?"(178). This quote clearly shows that Cyrano's happiness lies within Roxane. However, this quote contradicts it. Or perhaps maybe he has change in the 15 years that has passed and surrendered himself to the reality that Roxane is living in a convent, still grieving over Christian
ROXANE: "Your life has been unhappy because of me! Me!"(204).
CYRANO: "No Roxane, quite the contrary. Feminine sweetness was unknown to me. My mother made it clear that she didnt find me pleasant to look at. I had no sister. Later, I dreaded the thought of seeing mockery in the eyes of a mistress. Thanks to you, I've at least had a woman's friendship, a gracious presence to soften the harsh loneliness of my life"(204). Cyrano is telling her that he was happy to have had her as a friend, that he was lucky to have her as a friend. The quote does not, however, say that he was glad that they weren't anything more. I believe that CYrano died happy and was fine and was happy to have known her, but i do think that he did regret that he was too timid and they were never more than friends

Paul- Im not sure all your quotes and dialogue are necessary for proving such a small point that relied on one quote in particular near the end of the play and the analysis of it. Quality over Quantity paul, but all in all fairly good

CharlotteCadow said...

Cyrano is an idealist. He refuses to change his ways, and does not accept what others offer him. Instead, he remains poor and hungry.
“Sister Marthe: Doesn’t anyone help him?
Mother Marguerite: No, it would only make him angry if anyone tried” (188).
Following the battle, Cyrano is not in very good shape. He scrounges for money by writing a gazette, which isn’t very popular. He goes without eating for several days at a time. However, he keeps his ideals the same as they were before, and continues to refuse the help of others.

Christian is not an idealist. He is willing to change his opinion, and his way of life. At the beginning of the story, Christian is happy to go along with Cyrano’s plan, to use Cyrano’s speeches and letters, and to have Roxane love him.
“Christian: I must write her a letter without delay! I’ll never be able to…
Cyrano: Here’s your letter!” (97).
When he discovers that Roxane is actually in love with Cyrano, he decides that he doesn’t want Roxane to love him for someone he is not. “I want to be loved for myself or not at all! We’ll see what she decides” (176).

Ragueneau is an idealist. He is an excellent baker, but he loves poetry. When it comes down to the line, Ragueneau will choose poetry over his baking, and this eventually makes him very poor. Even when his wife leaves because she is sick of his stubbornness, he continues to write poetry, collect poetry, and live poetry.
“Ragueneau: You’ve brought some paper bags? Good, thank you. Oh, no! My treasured books! My friends’ poetry! Desecrated, dismembered, to make bags for pastry! You’re as heartless as the Bacchantes who tore Orrpheous to pieces!
Lise: I have a right to make use of what your wretched scribblers leave here as their only payment!
Ragueneau: Don’t insult those songbirds, you vulture!” (61).
The fighting all begins with the poetry, and Ragueneau continues to pursue his hobby. This ultimately leads to a whole new lifestyle, but he refuses to change his values.

De Guiche is not an idealist because he is a continuously being molded and hammered into a new person. He initially hates Cyrano for his elegance with words, and his blunt attitude. “Yes, the regiment in which your boastful cousin serves. I’ll find a way to take revenge on him when we’re at Arras” (106). However, in the final scene, he admits to envying Cyrano and his freedom. He is jealous of how Cyrano lives his life. “No, don’t feel sorry for him: he lives without compromise, free in both his thoughts and his acts” (190), “sometimes I envy him” (191).

CharlotteCadow said...

Andrew,
I enjoyed your response to the question. At first, I attempted to reply to that question as well, but found it hard to support my point. Nice supporting quotes!

Olivia Licciardi said...

Comparing the deathly hallows to the sorcerers stone and the moods they have. In the sorcerers stone, its a very innocent mood, he was just learning who he was, his new surroundings and meeting new people. In the deathly hallows its a very dark, gloomy tone, because of the terror voldemort is spreading and everyone is under stress and not happy, so the difference between the two of them is very overwhelming. the series of Harry Potter as a whole are world classics, one they taught children how to read, it taught a generation how to read, and it has been with us kids for 10 years, its become a part of us, and its impacted us and taught us valuable lessons of courage, bravery, and how to stand up to your enemies. Harry Potter book sales have reached over 400 million copies and counting. Harry Potter Part 2 in the movies had 381 million in the box office, one of the top selling movies ever, almost outselling the Titanic.

R Davis said...

The tone of the seventh Harry Potter book is far darker and more targeted towards a “young adult” genre. The genre of “young adult” fiction, in my opinion, is defined by having a dark overall theme compared to books targeted towards 5 to 14 year olds and having a main character similar in age to the reader’s if not a little older. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows has an especial dark tone relative to the previous books of the series. For example in the beginning of the book, Voldemort feeds the dead body of a character to his snake. Throughout the book Harry and co travel at what seems like days without any hope. I am not saying that the book does not contain important morals and lessons, but it simultaneously contains a tinge of sorrow and remorse as other characters die. The point being that the seventh books tone is vastly different than that of the first book.

In the Sorcerer’s Stone, Harry leaves a world of complete and utter misery and enters a world where, ironically, he is a celebrity. He goes to a school were he learns magic, makes friends and enemies, and can act like a real child. The book ends when he again defeats Voldemort quite unaware of what has happened, and we learn that he did so because when his mother died to protect him her “love” gave him protection from Voldemort. There aren’t many endings of books that I have read where it seems like nothing really happened. Harry Potter is thrown into a completely different world. This is a world that appears to have none of the problems of his former and even more amazing things.

I’d rather not get started on arguing about whether or not Harry Potter should be considered a world classic. I’ll just leave it at this, let us wait a couple centuries until we even consider viewing Harry Potter as a world classic because we don’t know if our children’s children’s children’s children will even know its name. I will completely agree with you on how wildly successful this book series has been, but I will gladly poke holes in your logic. Whether you recognize those to be holes is fully and entirely your own opinion and that is yours to have.

Natalia said...

The question of idealism is an interesting one to ponder in the play Cyrano de Bergerac because it frames the behavior of the leading male roles. The idealists are Cyrano and Ragueneau. The non-idealists are Christian and DeGuiche.
Cyrano de Bergerac is an idealist when it comes to his love for Roxane. Cyrano has written her many extravagant letters pretending to be Christian but standing in front of Roxane and saying these flowery bouquets of words is a completely different matter. He is afraid Roxane doesn’t love him and couldn’t love a man like him, an ugly man. “Le Bret suggests that Cyrano just tell Roxane how he feels, Cyrano says that he would like to, but he believes that he's too ugly for any woman to love, especially Roxane.” (40) When he saw Roxane, Cyrano confirmed his own belief, which was that looks mattered. Cyrano didn’t dare share his feelings of love for Roxane with Roxane. Cyrano’s large nose dashed his hope of ever being loved by Roxane.
The second idealist is Ragueneau. Ragueneau runs a pastry shop. He loves poetry. Poetry is always the first thing on his mind. When Lise, Ragueneau’s wife, makes his poetry into paper bags Ragueneau is upset about putting pastries in them. Parting with the poem bags was really difficult. “Finally he chooses one, and wraps it around the tarts - but the second his wife's back is turned, he offers the Youngsters another three tarts in exchange for the bag.” (Beginning of Act 2) Ragueneau loves poetry and tries to make others see its beauty and in trying so hard he instead gets the one thing that was above everything, his poetry, made into paper bags!
Christian, a non-idealist doesn’t understand or care about Roxane. He knows she likes letters and language that is flowery, descriptive and extremely well written. Christian also doesn’t understand why it matters so much to Cyrano that Christian be with Roxane. “Christian asks what Cyrano will get out of it.” (78) Cyrano would be doing the writing but what Christian didn’t really consider was how much it meant to Cyrano. These letters, and his unconditional love for Roxane, meant the world to him. Ragueneau just took the card, signed his name, and gave it to Roxane each time, not thinking about how these cards impacted her or Cyrano.
De Guiche is another non-idealist. De Guiche hates Cyrano and his regime. He tells Roxane of his plan to get rid of Cyrano. Roxane suggests a different method. Overjoyed, De Guiche declares, “Why else would you concoct such a delicious revenge? It must be a gesture of love.”(85) De Guiche is already married. He just wants to have an affair with Roxane. De Guiche doesn’t care about Cyrano or Roxane and his life has been pretty dull. He just hates Cyrano for no particular reason. De Guiche needed something to happen. Revenge on Cyrano seemed the perfect way to create some uproar.
The idealists have devoted hearts. For Ragueneau his love is his poetry and for Cyrano his love is for Roxane. The non-idealists De Guiche and Christian have lingering thoughts and joys but don’t have lives based around one specific passion, desire, emotion or dream.

Alexis Williams said...

The Harry Potter series progressed in its intensity, darkening mood, and mature content from the first book to the last. The Socercer’s Stone came out in 1998 and soon attracted a young demographic. The book itself was lacking the darker tones that later developed in the later books. In the beginning, it was aimed toward children from the ages of nine, but as the readers matured, so did J.K. Rowlings writing style, and the books’ content. Our generation grew up reading the Harry Potter books. It made sense that the books should increase in reading level, maturity, and sinister tones to fit the also increasing needs of the devoted readers. This is why the dark and morbid mood of the Deathly Hallows is very different from the adventurous and chipper tone of the Socercer’s Stone. The last book is the end of Harry Potter’s story, which in itself is sad. The series creates a full circle beginning with Harry staring his journey at Hogwarts and ending with him leaving and sending off his own children. This reflects the changing of the tone from the first book where everything is new, exciting and just plain magical compared to the last book where things are coming to a close, and many important characters are forced to sacrifice themselves to save the ones they love.
I believe the final book is only suitable for children who have read the series from the start. That way, the progression of the tone and maturity is spread out across the previous six books, giving the reader time to adjust to the intensifying plot. I would not recommend this book to children who haven’t read the other books because it might come as a shock to them. The final book is gruesome and contains elements that might be difficult for younger children to understand. On the other hand, the book still provides the reader with thrilling adventures that a person of any age would enjoy.
There aren’t any set criteria standards that are used to describe what makes a book a world classic. That is why it is difficult to argue that the entire Harry Potter series should be considered world classics. However, some of the reasons one could argue why the books are world classics are as follows: The series was popular around the world selling over 450 million copies. The books have been translated into 67 other languages. It changed literature by reintroducing witches and wizards and making the fantasy genre popular again. Many children grew up first learning to read from these books. They influenced these kids to read rather than watch TV. Although Rowling’s writing isn’t as refined or beautiful as other authors such as Dickens or Shakespeare, she still was able to create a whole other world from nothing. The world wouldn’t be the same without Harry Potter; even us muggles worship him for his everlasting influence in the world.

Alexis Williams said...

I agree with Richard that time will ultimately tell if Harry Potter is a world classic. True it influenced our generation and was very popular, but its overall values and story line may not withstand the test of time and remain popular among the many new generations to come.