Harry Potter and the Baptism of the Imagination

Carrie Birmingham’s excellent article, “Harry Potter and the Baptism of the Imagination,” can now be found at Hogwarts Professor.

Here’s an excerpt:

It is true that Harry is not a model compliant child. In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Harry saves his friend Ginny Weasley from certain death, yet Professor McGonagall feels compelled to comment that his efforts involved “breaking a hundred school rules into pieces, by the way,” and Dumbledore noted, his mustache quivering (presumably in a smile), that Harry has “a certain disregard for rules” (p. 333). Harry, for the most part though, makes the right choices in the end, that is, until Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, where we sadly see Harry at his lowest. Self absorbed and resentful, Harry rejects the instructions of Dumbledore and other trustworthy adults and peers, stubbornly refusing to study and practice Occlumency, the protection of one’s mind from external penetration. The consequences of his choice are tragic. Harry is not an idol but a sinner. We identify with Harry, in part because the books are written from Harry’s perspective, but mostly because we, like Harry, are sinners. In telling a lie, breaking a school rule, or making a gravely poor choice, Harry tells the truth about us.

3 thoughts on “Harry Potter and the Baptism of the Imagination

  1. Lauren I think that’s because the article has been published now, so there aren’t any free versions up online any more


    Birmingham, C., (2005). “Harry Potter and the baptism of the imagination.” The Stone-Campbell Journal, 8 (2). 199-214.

  2. Well, here’s the page at The Stone-Campbell Journal for the article. Looks like you have to purchase it. Unless you can find some library that has back issues.

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