Effects of Harry Potter’s Literature on Education Research Paper


Harry Potter is a Harry Potter is a composition of seven fantasy novels which were written by Rowling about the chronicles of adventures of Harry Potter, a young wizard and Hermione and Ronald, who were his friends. The story concerns Harry’s desire and quest to overcome Lord Voldemort, who is a dark wizard. Voldemort aims at becoming immortal, conquering the wizard world, destroying all who stand his way and subjugating non-magical civilians.

There are seven novel about Harry Potter with the first being Harry Potter and Philosopher’s Stone, Harry Potter and Chambers of Secrets, Harry Potter and Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry Potter and Goblet of Fire, Harry Potter and Order of Phoenix, Harry Potter and Half-Blood Prince and Harry Potter and the Death Penalty Hallows. However, these pieces of literature seem to have adverse effects on school children who watch them affecting them discipline-wise and instilling some fears of death. Most of the novels have their central theme as death incorporated with magic and witchcraft which is highly criticized in the modern world (Eclesshare 6).

Research question

Does Harry Potter affect discipline and mannerisms and instill fear of death in school going children and adolescents?

Thesis statement

This paper seeks to verify that Harry Potter’s books have a negative effect on the discipline of school going children, how they encourage aggression amongst children and instill the fear of death which affects school children psychologically.

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To begin with, most of Rowling’s novels are about witchcraft and wizardry and the setting of the books is such that most of the characters are students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and wizardry with the main story arc concerning Harry’s quest to subdue Lord Voldemort who is immortal and aims at destroying the entire population of non-magical people. This in itself affects teenagers who watch it since an attitude of rebellion is instilled in them. Comparatively, the issue of magic has led to the death of many teenagers who try to practice wizardry skills as portrayed by Harry Potter. Different from that, this series seems to appreciate and acknowledge witchcraft that is out of date and is highly criticized by clergies all over the world (Eccleshare 76).

In Rowling’s first novel, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone published in 1997, he talks about Harry who had just met his 2 new friends and was settling as first year students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. They later realize that they have a significant role to play in the downfall of the evil Sssh (Nel 29). The author asserts that Harry was a poor orphan who lost his parents when he was a boy and had been sleeping in the cupboard at his aunt’s house.

No one seems to know Potter well than himself. This affects school going children negatively since they tend to acquire the attitude of failing to share their problems with anyone and consequently leading to depreciation in academic performance since most of them do not sort out help from teachers in their weak points when it comes to academics. In the same token, the author talks about magic and, unfortunately, links it with high school children. What could be speculated to be the cause of lack of mannerisms amongst teens if not the idea of magic obtained from Harry Potter? This is because they tend to feel superior and that they can change the world just like Potter, who was a teen and had just begun his high school studies.

To add to that, Harry attempts to kill Lord Voldemort, who killed his parents and spared him because he was just a one-year-old kid. This theme of revenge affects school going children negatively since most of them will tend to revenge for everything wrong done to them even if it’s by the teachers. This had led to the sequential decay of school going children’s mannerisms. As if that is not enough, the fact that Potter and his friends attacked Lord Voldemort seems to encourage war and fatal attacks among school children. The effects of this are evidenced by the use of guns by school children and teens at large to commit murders at schools and homes. Equally significant, the author seems to promote witchcraft by attacking several religious groups.

Many people believe that the book promotes witchcraft thus it is banned in some countries. This is because it tends to encourage the audience to embrace witchcraft which is outdated. It should be remembered that teens are highly influenced and changed attitude wise by a small idea thus this book might drive them away from their religions which mostly embrace the themes of forgiveness and repentance. Consequently, the mannerisms of school going children are affected negatively by this novel (Eccleshare 12). These books should, therefore, not be recommended for school going children to read since it is clear they affect them psychologically and consequently academically.

In Rowling’s second novel, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, the author explicitly explains that Harry is not normal like the rest of the family; Aunt Petunia, her husband and son Vernon since he lives in a hidden castle in Hogwarts since June (Nel 44). Many children live in Hogwarts and their primary aim is to learn magic. This has a negative effect on school going children since many would tend to abandon their primary studies and join the magical world because Rowling seems to appreciate the idea. Consequently, school performance and discipline are adversely affected. In the same token, Harry possesses Voldermort’s memories through an enchanted diary just like Ron’s younger sister, Ginny, who was in her first year in the same school.

This is a fantasy though many teens tend to try to actuate the same and the effect has always been fatal since they speculate impossible and wrong things especially about their offenders (Nel 31). As if that is not enough, Voldermort uses Ginny to unleash a fatal terror upon Hogwarts and leaves all the students paralyzed in fear. This affects school children negatively since it instills the fear of death especially an unnatural death where a magician or a serial killer commits a terror attack. It should be noted that magic is fantasy and the author is ignorant of the effect of his novel to school children who might be traumatized. Different from that, Harry, Hermione and Ron engage in thorough investigations trying to find out what could be harming their fellow students.

They later discover that there was a monster which was a giant and a man-eating spider in Hogwart, who was even worse than the monster that had been attacking them before. This affects school children negatively since it instills fear of attack by fictious beings who the author vividly exposes them as superior and can cause great harm to the entire society. Comparatively, the fact that Harry and his friends engaged in investigations to find out what was attacking their fellow students leads to deterioration of discipline in schools since children might participate in matters that they cannot control and consequently break the school rules. Additionally, some children might be hurt while trying to engage themselves in such activities. Different from that, Harry is separated from his friends and their Dark Arts teacher who had accompanied them to the caverns beneath the school.

Harry finds a deadly and huge snake which seemed to have no effect on Harry due to the magic powers of Harry. The author asserts that the giant snake killed whoever looked it in the eye and was seen in a reflection or via a medium. This might lead to the death of teens who try to assume that they are powerful enough to stop the wrath of some deadly wild animals. This is similar to breaking school rules since teachers always advise their students to avoid engaging in such harmful acts. Moreover, the book is stereotypical and Rowling seems to praise magic more than modern religion and at the same time guiding school children to an awkward position between childhood innocence and the horror come wizardry world (Eccleshare 12).

In the book Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, poor Potter spends another summer in his relative’s home; the Dursleys. After series of rotten mistreatments, Harry loses his temper and blows up Aunt Marge like a balloon. The author is not in order to present such a text to the audience since school going children may tend to disobey their parents and guardians even when they are on the wrong side. Kids should be obedient to their guardians and teachers as well. Later in the text, Harry boards the night bus which takes them back to the wizarding world (Nel 40).

The author seems to provide an ill idea to school children that they can run away from home or school after they have disobeyed their guardians and teachers respectively. Sequentially, Harry is imprisoned with a dangerous prisoner; Sirius Black for practicing magic outside the school. Sirius had escaped from Azkaban to hunt Harry who isn’t concerned about the potential threat and danger Sirius might pose to him. Instead, he is worried that he didn’t visit Hogsmead, which is the wizarding village in Hogwarts. The author seems to instill ignorance in children despite the danger they may face since Rowling exaggerates the ability of human beings through fictious magic power throughout the text.

Harry is later released from prison and on his way to school, guards of Azkaban enters the train looking for Sirius Black. Being amongst the creepy Dementors, Harry hears about the death of his parents and he faints. This affects school going children especially those who lost their parents. The author is out of order since such stories affect the academic performance of children (Nel 41). In the same token, Harry devotes a significant percentage of his tome on Quidditch which, sneaking into Hogsmeade and working with Lupin who is a Professor in the Patronus spell. The author seems to misguide school children who should be encouraged to concentrate on their life and avoid anything related to magic. The author seems to prioritize magic and its effects in the society and children are the principal victims of the adverse effects of the text.

Different from that, Rowling’s fourth book, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire begins 50 years before the present day with Riddle’s family death and wealthy landowners as well. The family’s farm keeper is suspected of killing the family and the whole house is now abandoned. The fact that the theme of death appears at the beginning of this novel instills fear of death among school children who may be worried about the future of their families in the presence of their relatives and house helps (Harell, Andra & Pamela 7).

Comparatively, children might be traumatized after reading this novel since during Quidditch World Cup, the author elaborates that wizards had gathered to support their teams but later that night; Death Eaters who supported Lord Voldermort attacked the wizards and killed many of them. This might affect school children psychologically and consequently lead to a deterioration of their academic performance and mannerisms in schools. Comparatively, the players of the tournament are limited to a certain age but Harry finds a way to have his name on the list of players (Nel 35). He is listed as the fifth player in the tournament. This portrays ignorance and disobedience and school children tend to break rules and engage in activities that are unlimited to a certain age since the author seems to have no problem with Harry’s actions.

In the same token, Harry struggles to reach the finals stage of the tournament and at the end they manage to use their wizarding skills to take the cup to a place where the wizarding world would change forever. With this, the author seems to encourage theft which is highly condemned in the present world and might change the behavior of school children. Sequentially, the theme of magic and witchcraft might affect the ideologies of school children, even though, the whole story is fantasy. Equally significant, the story of Barty Crouch and his deception might affect the discipline of school children and their mannerisms as well.

Crouch is a moody character and aids in the construction of the magical world’s story. Deception and anger are one of the virtues which are discouraged in schools, but the author seems ignorant of their effects on school going children who are teenagers and are easily swayed negatively by convincing ideas. However, the author significantly introduces the plot of duty in the story (Eclesshare 25).

In the fifth book, the Order of the Phoenix, Harry Potter is spending a different tedious summer in his aunt’s house when a group of evil spirits; ‘dementors’ staged an unexpected attack on Harry and Dudley his cousin. Luckily, Harry uses his magic to defend himself. The theme of magic is again raised in the context which affects the reasoning of school children in that they tend to try to behave like magicians just as described in Potter’s context. Different from that, the Order is a highly secretive group and is headed by corrupt Cornelius Fudge, who does not believe that Lord Voldemort had returned to Hogmart (Fig 1).

This encourages escapism in school going children since they might be convinced always to run away from realities even when they are on the wrong side of life’s reality. Additionally, the ‘Daily Prophet’; the wizard’s newspaper prints unfair and untrue stories about Potter. Most of his friends had been backbiting him. The author exposes the theme of betrayal which teens might try to adopt and lead to deterioration of mannerisms in schools since most of the children would try to betray their colleagues.

In the same token, after Umbridge had refused to teach the students how to perform defense spells, Harry and 25 other colleagues formed their defense against the Dark Arts group. This portrays the theme of disobedience especially in schools and the author seems to support the method used by the students to solve the issue. Students ought to discuss any arising problem with their teachers and they get into a consensus instead of forming an anti-parallel movement opposing their teacher’s opinions (Nel 67).

In Rowling’s sixth novel; Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince published in 2005, Lord Voldemort had just returned to power and he began launching revenge on the wizarding and muggle worlds. The theme of revenge and not forgiveness arises in Rowling’s texts. This, as described earlier, makes teens adopt the behavior of revenge thus leading to deterioration of mannerisms in schools since children tend to fight in the process. Equally significant, Harry and his friends are busy shopping for school books when Harry ran into Draco and followed him Burkes and Borgin (Farmer 1).

He suspects that Draco is a death eater. The fact that Harry abandoned his friends while shopping for school books misleads school children who should be encouraged to concentrate on their education and ignore what happens in the external world. Different from that, Ron acquired a girlfriend, Lavender, and Hermione is jealous of her. Comparatively, Harry fell in love with Ron’s sister; Ginny. On the other hand, Lavender and Ron broke up making Hermione happy. There are two separate topics which should not be tolerated in schools. To begin with, school children should not fall in love but instead they should concentrate on their studies. Comparatively, the theme of selfishness and jealousy is described in this context and it could lead to deterioration of mannerisms in schools.

The text is based on magic and witchcraft and the author is ignorant of the effect these two can have on school children. This text is highly criticized and many schools discourage their students from reading it. As if that is not enough, Dumbledore and Harry go to the tower and Dumbledore uses his magic powers to affect Harry who remains hidden in his cloak of invisibility. Dumbledore informs Harry that he is not a member of the Order of the Phoenix and that he could also protect himself and his mother from the wrath of Lord Voldemort. The theme of magic is again reflected in Rowling’s pieces of literature and the use of Dumbledore might affect school children discipline-wise (Farmer 1).

In Rowling’s last piece of literature, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Harry is enjoying his seventeenth birthday at his aunt’s place. Harry and his friends are escorted to the night sky upon the brooms and thestrals. However, they are shocked by a group of Death Eaters who attacked them. The theme of magic and death is introduced in the context which affects school children psychologically and leads to a depreciation in the level of performance (Messinger 360). The theme of magic is again presented when Voldemort was seen by Harry flying like smoke on wind with his snakelike face gleaming in blackness with his fingers raising his wand again. This has caused the death of many school children who try to fly or engage in risky activities pretending that they are wizards as described by the author (Messinger 362).

Similarly, the theme of death in magic and wizardry world is introduced by the death of Dumbledore’s death. Comparatively, Mad Eye is killed and Weasley’s ear is cut off before they arrive in the Burrow. The theme of death which instills fear in school children is again introduced in this context. Moreover, Harry and his two friends fled to Grimmauld in London to Sirius’s house. They corrupt the ministry of magic and they also steal the locket back although they have nothing to destroy it with. The theme of theft is introduced in this setting and the author seems to encourage it. However, this should be discouraged and teens should be warned of the dangers of stealing. As if that is not enough, the theme of death is introduced after Nagini is killed by Neville Longbottom, who was the last Horcrux. He was killed with Gryffindor’s sword. The issue of magic is again introduced and it affects the performance of children since many of them may fail to concentrate on their studies trying to perfect their magic and wizardry skills (Messinger 366).


In conclusion, all the seven books by Rowling about the life and events around Harry Potter reflect magic and wizardry to a great extent. Similarly, the author exposes the themes of corruption, revenge, disobedience, and betrayal that affects the mannerisms and discipline of school going children. As if that is not enough, the theme of death might affect children psychologically leading to a deterioration of their academic performance.

Parents and guardians, therefore, should control and guide their children in whatever films they watch and novels they read since some of them might affect their mannerisms and academic performance as well. Luckily, many of Rowling’s novels and movies have been banned in many countries due to the adverse effects they have on teens and the society at large. The author embraces magic and wizardry and is ignorant of the effect they have on the society especially on children and their academics.

Works cited

Eccleshare, Julia. Guide to the Harry Potter Novels. A&C Black, 2002. Accessed 11th April 2015, from http://scholar.google.com/scholar hl=en&q=+Harry+Potter+and+the+Philosopher%27s+Sto&btnG=&as_sdt=1%2C5&as_sdtp=.
Farmer, Jessica. “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.” Children’s Book and Play Review 25.5 (2005): 24. Accessed 11th April 22015, from http://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en=+Harry+Potter+and+the+Philosopher%27s+Sto==1%2C5=.
Fry, Emily. “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.” Children’s Book and Play Review 24.1 (2003): 41. Accessed 11th April 2015, from http://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&q=+Harry+Potter+and+the+Philosopher%27s+Sto&btnG=&as_sdt=1%2C5&as_sdtp=.
Harrell, Pamela Esprivalo, and Andrea Morton. “Muggles, Wizards, and Witches Using Harry Potter Characters to Teach Human Pedigrees.” Science Activities: Classroom Projects and Curriculum Ideas 39.2 (2002): 24-29. Accessed 11th April 2015, from http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00368120209601081?journalCode=vsca20#.VSkXt5Nmqyg.
Messinger, Adam M. “Teaching content analysis through Harry Potter.” Teaching Sociology 40.4 (2012): 360-367. Accessed 11th April 2015, from http://tso.sagepub.com/content/40/4/360.short.
Nel, Philip. J.k. Rowling’s Harry Potter Novels: A Reader’s Guide. New York, NY [u.a.: Continuum, 2001. Print. Accessed 11th April 2015, from http://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&q=+Harry+Potter+and+the+Philosopher%27s+Sto&btnG=&as_sdt=1%2C5&as_sdtp=.
[bookmark: _GoBack]Rosegrant, John. “The deathly hallows: Harry Potter and adolescent development.” Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association 57.6 (2009): 1401-1423. Accessed 11th April 2015, from http://apa.sagepub.com/content/57/6/1401.short.

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