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“Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” by J. Rowling


Today’s generation of adults and their children know the storyline about a wizard boy whose parents were killed by a criminal wizard. Joanne Rowling not only gave the children a new literary character, but also created a whole world for readers with its unique characters, laws, regulations, traditions, and language. This essay aims at a literary analysis of the book “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer Stone” in terms of defining the genre of the work, its primary audience, and its message.

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The work of Rowling attracts the attention of researchers and linguists from all over the world with its originality in many aspects, being an exciting area for analysis. At first glance, it may seem that a story interpreting magic, flying brooms, hidden breaths on a platform, centaurs, and dragons is not a fundamental and serious literary work worthy of preservation for future generations of readers (Alsharab 1). Thus, a specific accent should be made on a format of a fairy tale as in the world of magic, the references to the given genre are the most. Thus, folklore works are characterized by an abundance of prototypical images, such as an evil sorcerer, gingerbread house, or transformation of people into animals. “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer Stone” is a fantasy novel, presents a combination of unique genres such as modern English fairy tales, political satire, an encyclopedia on parenting, comedy and, most importantly, adventure. In other words, the writer managed to create a universe that goes beyond one genre. In traditional fantasy, the action takes place, as a rule, in a fictional world full of unusual and fantastic creatures. Of course, the world of Hogwarts is as unusual, but do not forget that Harry Potter is a man born in a modern British city. The wizard’s station is adjacent to the platforms for people riding on English railway lines, and people use the real benefits of civilization — transport and even phones (Rowling 9). These elements make it clear that Harry Potter and the Sorcerer Stone should be attributed to the genre of a modern fairy tale.


From defining the segment of consumers to which the novel Rowling is directed, it is essential to note that there is a certain paradox. In particular, as soon as the first book in the series came out, its primary readers were children who were more interested in the fantasy world where the boy travels (Lis and Maria 285). Over time, the children of the 90s grew up and began to turn to the book again as adults, wanting to return to the past. As a result, the Harry Potter universe in book format is now popular with both children and adults (Alsharab 2). Nevertheless, the younger generation still accounts for a large share of readers: according to Statista, 79% of people under 30 are familiar with Rowling’s works (“Have You Read”). For this reason, it is advisable to analyze the book from the perspective of a teenage work.

The initial appeal to teenagers gives the story of the book: the action takes place at school, that is, in a familiar place of the first friends, enemies, and love. Ironically, tired of learning in real-life teenage reader seeks to “get” in the world of the book school, where the usual lessons are replaced by witchcraft, and the building of the educational institution becomes a quest to find an audience. While adults are a constant hindrance to the free life of a schoolboy and annoy them with moral teachings, the magic school represents isolation in which children can walk peacefully through the castle at night.


The main problems raised by the British writer justify the appeal to a teenage audience whose ideals and morals are still being formed. If Harry Potter’s book and the Sorcerer Stone are reduced to one single theme, then it should be said that this is fidelity. Through the story of searching for the Sorcerer Stone and teachers’ suspicions, the reader is imbued with the importance of friendship, mutual help, and trust (Karan 70). Love also plays an important role — it is the reason why the boy was saved from the hands of Professor Quirell: “Your mother died to save you… love… leaves its own mark” (Rowling 216).

For the reader, this manifests itself as a moral lesson about which life guidelines are moral and correct, and what actions the reader should strive. Another, no less important, but not so obvious, the message of Potter’s universe is the issue of tolerance (Karan 71). In particular, the book chapters are connected by a struggle between Magicians and Muggles, and wizards whose blood is mixed between classes are considered to be of poor quality. At the same time, the world of Hogwarts is full of fantastic creatures adjacent to wizards (Rowling 50, Rowling 184). Rowling raises the critical issue of racism and demonstrates that the peaceful coexistence of different ethnicities is possible in the modern world.


Thus, the book’s literary analysis by Harry Potter and the Sorcerer Stone allows to clearly define the audience, message, and genre of the work. Discussion of the book involves identifying nuances in the issues mentioned. For this reason, it cannot be unequivocally stated that the universe of Potter is a fantasy, but it should be said that it is a combination of styles with an emphasis on a modern fairy tale. The audience of the book is also heterogeneous, although the growing segment accounts for a large share. Finally, the book’s messages are about teaching moral principles, fidelity, love and friendship, and tolerance.

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Alsharab, Osama. “The Most Popular Fantasy Novel in the Beginning of Twenty-First Century ‘Harry Potter’.” International Journal of English Literature and Social Sciences, vol. 4, no. 4, 2019, pp. 1-4.

“Have You Read Any of the Harry Potter Books or Seen Any of the Harry Potter Movies?” Statista. 2016, Web.

Karan, Merve. “Philosophy, Literature, and Children: Exploring the Way Philosophy is Incorporated into the Harry Potter Series and How Its ethics Influenced Its Readers.” Interdisciplinary: Undergraduate Journal of Humanities And Social Sciences, vol. 1, no. 1, 2017, pp. 47-77.

Lis, Eric, and Maria Tuineag. “Development and Dark Wizards: Teaching Psychopathology with Lord Voldemort.” Academic Psychiatry, vol. 41, no. 2, 2017, pp. 285-288.

Rowling, Joanne. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. n.d., Web.

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