This will be a spoiler, so if you plan to read Book 7 and haven’t yet – fly your broom somewhere else…
For those who aren’t planning to read it, I hope you will; it’s fabulous. I love fiction. It’s been far too long since I’ve read and I have missed it. I love living vicariously through books and I love the relaxation and refreshment that I enjoy while reading. But, I hate the way that I cannot do it all – keep up with everything else I need to do or want to do and spend copious amounts of time reading.
One of the areas of my life that suffered most that week was sleeping, so I may not be very coherent in this posting…
My thoughts in no particular order or sense:
I think my favorite part of this book was the strong biblical symbolism. The most amazing of which is Harry’s resurrection. It seems like all is done; he willingly sacrifices himself and dies to save everyone else. Then, he is resurrected and returns, as Christ will, to end the battle once and for all – to bring the final victory and destroy the enemy completely! There is also the inner battle Harry faces to trust Dumbledore and obey, even when it seems like his way isn’t good and that he didn’t or doesn’t know everything – Harry, like so many of us Christians, is tempted to trust himself and do things his own way. Another example of biblical symbolism is the choice to follow and fight. Each person has a choice to make – will we trust Christ as our Savior and fight with Him or will be join forces with Satan, by default?
There is a strong connection in my own life between bitterness and obsession and I would venture to guess that they are often related. My bitterness was due to lack of forgiveness and anger that consumed me. I wanted justice, vengeance, and I wanted things to be made right, to fix what could not be fixed. In the end, I had to choose to let go of my desires and wishes and forgive this person that hurt me and so many others. It seems like each of the Harry Potter books has a strong element of obsession with the wrong thing leading to evil. It is when we are obsessed with the right thing (God) that we are free to do the right thing (obey Him) – I believe this is true and biblically supported (Phil. 4:8, John 8:32).
The theme of brotherly love is one of the things that makes Harry Potter so successful, IMHO. The rocky, real, but so very deep relationship between Harry, Ron, and Herimone is one that every kid longs for and some even have a taste of. It is a key to lots of other great book series, like The Baby-sitter’s Club. I, of course, could readily relate to Herimone, the smart, but too quick to speak and very proud, strong female. I also had a very good guy friend that I fell in love with and eventually married. He, may or may not, like the comparison to Ron, but I’ll make it anyway. The brainy types often fall for the slightly awkward, talented and intelligent, but not overly so, somewhat lazy (laidback?) sidekick. I feel really priviledged to have had several close knit groups of girlfriends – different girls/women with different places & stages of my life, but I am still really close with almost all of them and count those relationships and all of the experiences that accompanied them – for good or bad – as a true blessing.
I apparently am a sucker for romance and found myself aching for Harry and Ginny. I appreciated the maturity of these teenagers to set aside, even deny, their desire for the greater good. I also appreciated Harry’s birthday present from Ginny, as I personally find that a passionate kiss on the mouth is amazing… The whole love story left me remembering my dating years and being so glad that they are over. Desire doesn’t end with marriage. As a fanatic for happy endings and full closure, I loved the hint of passion and joy in the marriage of the grown Potters – or maybe that wasn’t even in the book and I added it between the lines!
Another classic element of a good book (and biblical) is an epic battle between good and evil. There is nothing quite like the good guy beating out the bad guy, especially when the bad guy is really bad and the good guy is a lot like you or me. It feels good for justice to be served!
These themes were things that struck me and reasons that I will probably start over and re-read the entire series: sacrifice, friendship, love, second chances, puzzles, and prejudice. This last theme of prejudice is particularly interesting to me. It seemed like Harry didn’t get it until he finally got it – at the very end, that people and things are not always what others believe them to be. Some people are bad, but others are really good and have had bad experiences, like his cousin, and Snape and even the Malfoys and their house elf. I don’t agree with this 100% because I believe that all people are really bad (by nature, we are sinners), but I believe that God redeems all who call on Him and therefore all can become good. The general lesson in this theme is something that I really do agree with and am becoming more passionate each month, which is that everyone should be treated with kindness and love and given many chances and much forgiveness.
I found a few articles on biblical symbolism in Harry Potter, that I didn’t read until after I wrote this… You may find them interesting, I did.
Harry Potter 7 is Matthew 6