Written by Tanner Clarke
Since the release of the first Harry Potter book in 1997, a wave of fanatics has been following every twist and turn of the story.
With the movies came an even greater number of people enjoying this story of a young wizard and his friends. Nov. 19 marks the start of the final installment of the film versions of this tale.
For many students, this is the end of an era of something they have followed their whole lives.
Sophomore business management major Ben Taylor read the books as a child and found a love of reading through them.
“It was something that grew up with me as I grew up, and it allowed me to use literature as an escape from my own life,” Taylor said.
Many believe that J.K. Rowling did a great thing for that generation by bringing the fun of reading back into their lives.
Senior management and marketing double major Lewis Simms found an appreciation of reading through Harry Potter.
He remembers getting the first book, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, from a book fair in elementary school and said it “was the first book that got me started reading.”
For many young people, the characters were growing up with them and were going through the same everyday things.
Freshman Christian ministries major Lindsay Harrell said, “I love the fact that it is a fantasy world, but you get the real struggle of an adolescent trying to grow up normal in this very abnormal environment.”
This combination of a magical world and true-to-life hardships of being an adolescent is what many find intriguing about the fantasy.
Taylor, Harrell and Simms all agree that these themes play into the large popularity that the books and films seem to bring with them.
Harry Potter really does reach a broad audience, and the introduction of the movies only increased that number. Now people who never grew up with Harry Potter or even read the books can appreciate this story, Taylor said.
It is important to read the books before watching the movies.
Harrell said that with the movies the audience, “truly loses the detail and important anecdotes.”
Although many die-hard fans prefer the books to the movies, that will not stop them from standing in line for hours to get into midnight premieres at local movie theaters to see the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 Nov. 19.
Part 2 of the film will be released in the summer. Many students are sad to see such a large part of their life finally ending, but are confident of the story’s lasting impression on our culture.
Taylor suggests that with the newly opened Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park in Orlando, Fla. The books and films will become “a long lasting classic.”
With excitement for the upcoming final films for the series, Lewis, as well as many others are putting Harry Potter on the list of literary classics of this century.
The lasting impressions of this tale will be around for a long time.
Lewis said, “It’s not just some cult following.”