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Harry Potter and Star Wars, interesting comparison

post #1 of 4
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Last week at school (summer school that is) we had a staff meeting which turned into a Harry Potter discussion. I still haven't read the new book, but some of the other teachers have. One of the CA (communication arts, we used to call it English) teachers mentioned the hero cycle and how it applies to Harry Potter and Star Wars.

Briefly, it is this: (by Joseph Campbell)
* The hero starts at home, where he is often not appreciated.

* The hero has to go on a quest of some sort.

* The hero is faced with tests, if he meets these tests with cleverness or kindness, he receives magical help.

* The helper: The hero encounters a person or creature who helps him in his quest. The helper sometimes gives equipment to help the hero succeed.

* The land of adventure: often a magical place, where the hero's true power come into being.

* Deathlike experience: in the land of adventure, hero may have a death and rebirth experience.

* Meeting the goddess: a male hero may meet a female figure who either challenges him or loves him.

* The father: the hero has a stern father figure who severly challenges him.

* Stealing or winning a gift: the object of the quest is often a magical gift.

* The flight: if the hero steals the object, he runs and is pursued by powerful forces.

* The return: the hero returns home, bringing what was need to keep life as before.

Both Harry Potter and Star Wars fit into this cycle. Harry is Luke, either Sirius or Dumbledore is Obi-Wan, Hermione is Leia, Ron could be Han Solo (this one is hard to imagine, since Harrison Ford is so cool, and Ron is kind of geeky), Voldemort is Darth Vader.

Ok, we all really need to get lives, but it was a very interesting conversation.
post #2 of 4
The main comparison I would draw between Harry Potter & Star Wars is this:

Harry Potter is for today's kids what it was for those of us who were kids when Star Wars first came out.

I think the similarities that you mentioned have confirmed my suspicions....

I mean i can remember the awe I was in after watching star wars... Now i have a brothe who is about the same age i was when star wars came out and he was in the same sort of awe as i was.... way back when.

I'm positive Harry Potter will have the same sort of meaning that star wars did for a whole generation of kids.

(excluding the new star wars)
post #3 of 4
I think that most fantasy novels follow that pattern.. I'm glad kids today have Harry Potter.. When I was a kid all I had was Lord of the Rings and don't get me wrong it is a magnificent piece of literature but to an 8 yr old it was kinda over my head. I fantasy My mom's a librarian and she's happy kids are reading for fun Now my favorite fantasy is the Wheel of Time series which I think runs along the same fantasy pattern but is geared toward adults.
post #4 of 4
Robert Jordan is an excellent author. I'm currently reading the final book of R.A. Salvatore's Dark Elf Trilogy. I loooove fantasy myself. I love reading. All kinds of books!

I've heard it discussed before. A lot of people have compared HP to SW. They do have a lot of similar plot points.
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