Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling *****

This has been quite a journey for me. A coworker of mine pointed out that it's not the journey most people who've been reading Harry Potter for 10 years had--they had 2 years between books, where as I had maybe one day at times! But I have to say I think fate had it's hand in this. From the time I started this series until now, it has been for me intimately tied to my father. From the time that it became apparent that he was slowly descending into death, to now, 3 days after his remains were laid to rest, this has been for me an escape. Not just an escape, though, but very much something I needed.

As I read these books, I told myself over & over, "When I'm done I'll be better. I'll be back to normal & able to function. When I'm done this will be over, & my dad will be laid to rest & that will be it." In a way, this has been true. I do feel better. I do think I will be able to function again. Dad is laid to rest.

"That will be it", though? I think that's just dumb optimism! Let's face it, when you lose someone that has been a large part of your life there's never a point where you simply stop thinking about them. They're always there, just like Dumbledore in his picture frame.

This book was about life & death, as all good books are. If I were to wax philosophical, I'd say that Joseph Campbell would have been proud of ol' J.K. She totally captured the hero character that has been a part of humanity for all of our existence. The Harry Potter books have their flaws, but they deliver exactly what we need--hope for ourselves, for our future, for being human. Every story we tell ends up with that question we want answered--are our lives worth anything?

As I'm sure many people were, I'm drawn to the character of Snape. I've been fascinated with who he was supposed to be from the very first book. I had my theories. I felt very disappointed in the 6th book, I didn't want to be wrong. After reading Chapter 33 in this book, though, I had to read it again. And again. And then I knew.

The real hero, after all, is Snape. And oddly enough, it always was. Because, as Joseph Campbell would tell us all, a real hero is flawed.


Click here for a great blog post my husband wrote about my dad.

1 comment:

Dov said...

I'm not sure I'd call Snape "the real hero."

Clearly Snape is about change and self-control. He changed himself and improved himself more than anyone else in the series, with the possible exception of Regelus Black. But I don't think he's about love, even though Harry though so: his love seems more like obsession to me than true love.

Most importantly, I hope you find comfort in your loss.