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Thread: Tolkien v. Rowling by Gandalf

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Since Dineniel seemed to be addressing her thoughts to me--comparing Rowling, the author of Harry Potter, and Tolkien--I think I ought to write something in response. I quote from Dineniel and then I comment.

"Rowling and Tolkien-Two Good British Authors

"I've seen Tolkien fans bash HP fans, Tolkien fans bash HP fans for bashing Tolkien fans (or jsut tolkien in general), but oddly enough, I've never seen a HP fan bash a Tolkien fan. Hmmm...

"It must just be the crowd I hang out with. ;D

"Anyways, both of these practices are wrong, Rowling and Tolkien have their own unique writing styles, and did not copy from each other."

COMMENT: First of all, you are not talking about the same kind of audience. In general, but I think in most cases, the Rowling audience is composed of younger people, people who have not been exposed to good literature, who have not been trained for what to look out for in children's literature. Tolkien, on the other hand, appeals to a broader audience, but usually to an audience more mature (at least when you're past the Hobbit), and to one that has some broader experience with both life and literature. The reason Tolkien is great is because, despite comparison with other authors, he still comes off superior to many, if not to most. But let's continue quoting Dineniel.

"Why They're Both Great

"Rowling: JK employs different tecniques than Tolkien, including foreshadowing. She lays down clue after clue and sprinkles red herrings. She wants us to figure out what's going on, and to make evaluations. I mean, she even egged us on "I had to put some things in because of what's coming in Books 6 and 7 ... I want you to be able to guess if you've got your wits about you." So, when it comes to intricate, I believe it's JK's strong point (Not that stuff in Tolkien isn't intricate, it's just different)

"Tolkien: Tolkien. instead, employs forces much bigger when he wrote his story. He created an entire world, worked actively to create several languages, and developed characters while writing in a strongly Medieval (Can't spell in the morning) fashion, while JK just writes constantly in the action. Tolkien is more focused on creating a new world, and new characters, to really hide as many clues as JK, but nevertheless, his work is to be respected, as he works with many main characters(LOTR) and shows their many ties, relationships, and ideas about different things and different people."

COMMENT: You will pardon me, but what you are citing as a big difference is superficial. Tolkien uses the devices you mention for Rowling but with much greater finesse. He certainly uses, for example, foreshadowing, since he has a grand tale to set before us, and such a device helps to knit together the parts into a whole tapestry.

What counts is what kind of characters the author sets before his readers, and what sort of philosphy/morality those characters use to achieve their part in the plot. In short, how does everything the author uses develop the theme, and what is that message that he is conveying to the reader?

Rowling places before us a main character who lies and disobeys his elders to get his own way, and she presents this as though it were proper and necessary to obtain her goal. This I can tell you as a parent and a teacher is a horrible thing, for it teaches children that they are allowed to lie and set aside their parents' directions for their own reasons. Tolkiens characters are portrayed in a completely different manner. Those that are bad are seen for what they are, and the consequences of their bad actions are also seen. Those that are good do not use evil means to attain their ends (e.g. the Ring). Even though fighting against impossible odds, with hope and help from Above, they come out well in the aftermath because of how they conducted themselves.

As a teacher and concerned parent, there is also the matter of the language. The characters in Harry Potter are talking like street punks. I for one do not want my children exposed to that kind of language. No one can possibly argue that there is any comparison of Rowling's command of the language and Tolkien's. Tolkien's very words tend to uplift and resonate in the mind and heart, even if he is only describing the lay of the land.

But to continue with Dineniel:

"Conclusion

"In conclusion, neither Rowling or Tolkien are better than the other, they just write differently. None of them copied off one another, and those who think Tolkien copied off Rowling: Why don't you throw yourself in next time and rid us of your stupidity.

"Yes, and I know there are many other things that make each of these authros special, but I think this is all we need right now."

COMMENT: But this is not the problem. The problem is when we try to compare superficial things that are really different. Just because these two authors wrote fantasy does not make them similar. Rowling has revealed in interviews that her underlying philosophy is to interest children in the occult. Tolkien (along with C.S. Lewis) is very documented in his aim of writing a "true myth," of showing the truth of (Catholic) faith played out in his subcreation. The two views are quite opposed. So the literature produced as a result of these views will be quite a contrast.

"Of Copying

"A quick little note in addition: Because Tolkien employed so much beauty, and different aspects of fantasy, it is inevitable that some elements of his works leak into the works of authors today. However, it is not copying. Tolkien does not own his elves (in general) just the aspects and habits of his elves, along with their history. So drop the idea of "Person A copied off Tolkien! They used the elves that he had in his books!" It's not copying unless they use a lot more than the elves' appearance."

COMMENT: I don't know about Rowling copying from Tolkien. She would not have been the first one I accused of that. There are authors, though, whose whole plotline and characterization have been lifted from Tolkien. For example, perhaps someone is familiar with The Sword of Shannara? Nothing but a cheap copy of LOTR.

And lastly, Dineniel:

"Finishing

"Please not that I have tried to make this evaluation as fair as possible, if I offended you by something, I apologize, but more likey than not, I will not fix it. If you are not one of these Tolkien or Rowling bashers, don't feel offended by my journal.

"Don't bash Tolkien or Rowling (or me) and have a nice day!"

COMMENT: I also have tried to be fair. I base my assessment of these authors on documentation that is available in print almost anywhere. Nor am I picking on you, Dineniel. You are really kind to dedicate your poetry to me. But in this matter of Rowling and Tolkien, I think you need more study.
I also like Harry Potter and as far as I'm concerned, JK Rowling's writings are against evil-ocult, and against bullying. Rowling is not glorifying lying; the type of lying she incorporates is normal adolecent behavior opposing authority, and most young people soon learn that the consequences of doing so, out weighs any short term gain.

I will admit that Hermione letting Ron and Harry read and/or copy her notes and then correcting their homework before they hand it in, is against all eduational norms; though one might consider that as long as they learn from their mistakes, that she is merely tutoring them. I do frown on the direct copying homework, but as they are still required to pass the tests on their own, I don't think it is really so bad as long as they do.

Do I believe the ends justify the means? No I don't, but this is just a story and the characters have to live with the consequences of their actions and I believe they do. If today's children try to pattern their lives after only these characters, then society has indeed let them down.

The above is only my foolish opinion and may be taken with a grain of sand, a teaspoon of salt; or a cup of sugar; but if the shoe still doesn't fit, for heaven's sake don't try to wear it. Elf With a Big Grin Smilie
I did start a reply to that journal a couple of days ago, but didn't have time to finish. I'll post a reply tomorrow, now I need to go to bed.

But Grondy gives a good advice, shoes that are filled with sand and salt are usually quite uncomfortable.
I don't see any similarity between the two authors. I have read the HP books but I don't remember them the way I remember Tolkien's work. And I didn't read them as a 10 year old so I probably didn't appreciate them for what they are - children's books.

One good thing about HP though is they do appeal to the young 'uns and because of that they have encouraged young 'uns to read. Certainly my son (now 12) loves the books and can't put them down. That is a good thing. It is the same with the Series of Unfortunate Events books. He loves them.

Reading HP doesn't encourage my son to lie or cheat. He is aware enough to realise those things are wrong and that the characters are human (mostly) with human failings. Also, those 'failings' are but a tiny part of the characters.

I don't like 'street' talk, or 'text' talk but there is no getting away from it, in literature and visual media. It is part of life and society, always has and always will be. If a story is to portray life then it has to take that sort of thing into account.

HP reminds me of the Enid Blyton books I read as a child. The children know more than the adults and eventually sort things out etc... many adventures.... except Enid's kids all speak correctly, as was expected in those days of long ago, regardless of whether kids really spoke like that. It was, like the BBC News, a good role model but slightly unreal. We shouldn't expect all literature to provide excellent role models. Life ain't like that, bud.

I think we should give our children credit for understanding more than we think they do. They can read fiction, watch TV and know it is not real. And giving them the opportunity to do so helps develop the social skills they need. Use, not abuse, your imagination. It is a wonderful thing. I am suddenly reminded of a post in another thread where Grep mentioned Brian Patten. His poem 'Minister for Exams' tells of a crushed imagination. Google it.

So, my opinion ..... Leave Rowland for the kids, she's not that bad - not great but not bad, and let those who enjoyed HP as young 'uns to go on to read Tolkien. Tolkien is way, way above Rowland but he wrote for a different purpose and for a diffierent audience. Even Rowland's work has its place..
Well, I don't know what discussion is going on in here, but as far as I'm concerned, Rowling tries to talk about things, her brain can't afford to think of! For example, she talks about "some" power in the fifth book... errr what power? Explain it I say.... She tries to talk about death.. I mean comeon, no one can handle that part! Tolkien can afford to talk about death etc because he is the master of his own world. I think Rowling should stop trying to produce "matured" literature and keep it down to children's books!
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I think Rowling should stop trying to produce "matured" literature and keep it down to children's books!

Me thinks she should quit the writing business and try to live her married life in peace and quiet. Or one day her hubby will get angry due to the lack of attention.

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So, my opinion ..... Leave Rowland for the kids, she's not that bad

And who be Rowland? A babysitter?
I do apologize for contradicting esteemed members who have been here much longer than I (profound bow). Nevertheless, I have valid reasons for taking the position I have taken.

1. While Rowling denies that she was/is trying to lead children into the occult, she admits that she has based about 1/3 of her material on occultism (see interview at scholastic.com). To claim that she is not leading children astray and then to include these elements is rather disingenuous, to speak by understatement. No reputable author in the history of literature does this sort of thing without being justly accused of having corrupted youth.

2. The spirit as evidenced in the content and language of Rowling's books is definitely different from Tolkien and Lewis. Frodo must submit to the burden of his quest in order to rid Middle Earth of the Ring and of Sauron. Digory must resist the temptation to eat the fruit before he has returned it to Aslan so that Narnia will have protection against the White Witch. The characters in HP do not act in this manner. I find disturbing Rowling's statement in an interview, when she says to children, "Do what you want, not what your parents want." This is the kind of thinking which destroys society at its base in the family.

3. The spirit is definitely different in the "morality" underpinning the conduct of the characters in HP. There is too much blurring the distinction between good and evil by Rowling. It is quite alright to have a surprise ending and a character that many thought bad to turn out good. Shakespeare does that a few times. But it should not be a regular thing that the good characters turn out to be bad, and the bad turn out to be good. Rowling does this constantly. Then there is the way she portrays those in authority. Severus Snape is regarded as a bad character. Why? Because he enforces the rules and makes his students obey and do their work. You might think that this would be shown as the students' opinion which is not borne out by professors and is overturned by the end. No, not by Rowling. Snape is berated by other professors in front of the students for interfering with Harry's "adventures." Of course, this is like reality! And too much so. Any professor treated like this in the real world would be a laughing-stock to the students and would never get any cooperation.

But let us not forget how the kids treat one another. Harry originally treated Hermione like a pariah. Why? Was she a terrible child that he couldn't stand because she was evil? Hardly. She always did her homework and studied for tests. She wouldn't allow the boys to copy her work. Oh yes, the characters do show the author's view of how things should turn out for them. What happens to Hermione? She gets the respect of Harry and co. only when she lies to a teacher in order to cover for them. From then on, she acted like the other characters, i.e., showing them how to steal potion ingredients, how to sneak a forbidden book out of the library, etc.

Then there is Harry himself. He seems to embody the dictum "the ends justifies the means." In order to win the Triwizard Tournament in book 4, he has to cheat. Students, ghosts, employees, teachers--seemingly everyone gives Harry answers that he couldn't get on his own. Cedric Diggory (perhaps a play on Lewis' character?) is praised for his love of fair play. Yet this is not borne out when this boy helps Harry by giving him answers. In the end, one character apparently justifies this conduct when he says, "Cheating's a traditional part of the Triwizard Tournament and always has been." Indeed! In that case, what kind of students does this school produce? And what kind of impression does this make on the child reader?

4. I do not agree that we teach our children how to live in today's society by steeping them in the language of these books. This is rather like ignoring the presence of arsenic because it is tasteless and doesn't kill at once. Yes, TV, movies, etc., do contain like language. But you can watch a program with your kids and correct the impressions they are getting. You can turn off a video/DVD if it turns out to be something you don't want for your kids. But unless you are reading HP aloud, you cannot be there to correct the inroads the vulgar little characters are making into your child's mind. You might take away the book when you find out what it's like--but in most cases, this is like closing the barn door after the horse is gone. No, it is far better to forbid these books from the start. We can find many other books to get the kids hooked on reading. (We have a home library of something like 5000 books, over 1000 of which are for the kids, and no HP anywhere.)

Again, I am sorry if my staff has sunk too deeply into the anthill. I did not bring up this topic, but I could not in conscience ignore it either.
I'd like to start with saying that I really liked Dineniel's journal. Thank you, Dineniel, for writing it. It is rare to see a balanced view on Tolkien and Rowling.

Canít find what I started to write the other day, so Iíll just start over. Letís hope it all fits in one post.

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For example, she talks about "some" power in the fifth book... errr what power? Explain it I say....
She will. The series isn't finished yet, remember? Itís like reading half of a murder story and complain that the murder hasnít been found yet.

Gandalf-Olorin. I have read all the books so far and I love them. Let me tell you what I see in them.

Harry Potter and the kids at school are acting like children do at that age. You being a teacher should know what kids are like. You should also know that in real life as in the HP books, children and youths are very unsure of who they can trust. Who can I tell this to? Who will believe me? Who will understand? And as kids thinks they are they are the only ones who are unsure and scared, they often keep things to themselves or within the circle of friends. In the books we can see what they hide since the books are written from their point of view, in real life we canít.

Children easily recognize Harry and his friends and the children around him. All the characters can be found in their own lives. The school nerd no-one wants to talk to, the clumsy boy everybody laughs at, the big bullies, boring teachers, scary teachers, teachers who treat you wrongly, teachers who treat you nice. The books are taking place today with kids of today, and children read it and nods. "Yes, this is the way it is."

The books are overflowing with moral, I am very sad you can't see that G-O. Yes, the children go off and do things on their own. That is because they don't know who to trust. But the kids in HP always have to pay the price for their choices. The consequences are always shown.

What child hasn't dreamt about being able to turn into an animal? Or to do magic? Or to snap ones fingers and be somewhere else. Or to be invisible. Rowling remembers the childrenís dreams and fantasies. She mentions all these things and a lot more, but also shows that what might seen fun at first, may turn out to be something that can be misused.

Like Harry father and his friends when they were at the school. They broke the rules, and learned how to change into animal shapes so their other friend wouldnít be alone. The thought was kind, but this ability was misused by one of the 'friends'. This lead to Harry's parents getting killed and Sirius was thrown to prison for something he didn't do.

And about Harry being a bad role model. He and his friends fight for what they believe in, they are there for their friends, they defend the bullied from the bullies, they are intelligent and use what they have learned and seek information on their own. They show that even the wimpiest child can be brave, that even the weirdest looking kid has something to offer, and that the biggest bully may not be as tough after all, and that not all is what it appears to be at first glance. I would rather have children who can think on their own and question things they donít agree on, than small robots who go along with everything and obeys blindly.

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Frodo must submit to the burden of his quest in order to rid Middle Earth of the Ring and of Sauron. Digory must resist the temptation to eat the fruit before he has returned it to Aslan so that Narnia will have protection against the White Witch. The characters in HP do not act in this manner.


Let's see... Harry has lived with with his unloving aunt and uncle his whole life. He has been bullied all his life, both at home and in school. Sounds like quite a burden to live with if you ask me. And did you read the end of book 5? If THAT isnít a burden enough for a young teenager, then I donít know what it takes.

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In order to win the Triwizard Tournament in book 4, he has to cheat.

Again you have missed the point. It is Voldemort who cheats Harry. Harry didnít want to join, but he was forced to. It is clear all along that Harry isnít ready for all this. He is too young. The ďhelpĒ he gets is there to ensure that Harry wins so that Voldemort can kill him. Does that sound like a good reward for cheating to you?

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No, it is far better to forbid these books from the start.

I am very sad people still think this way.

I have no idea what part of the books tells children to join the occult. Please, tell me.

Well this should be enough talk for now. Smile Smilie
It's no point comparing. Tolkien is literature, whilst Rowling is in the Jordan-Brooks-Eddings-Feist-Goodkind-Weiss&Hickman-McCaffrey-etc mold : popular/pulp fantasy fiction, books you can lay down at any moment and pick up again 4 months later, without having missed anything of the storyline. They're books without any real depth, which are only read once for one's enjoyment.

I can't see what's bad with that, anyway. It makes (some) kids read books, instead of wasting their time in front of a computer, console, or TV.

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No, it is far better to forbid these books from the start.

Oh dear... it are just kid's books, not Mein Kampf or American Psycho. It's not even remotely close to The Catcher in the Rye. I doubt a lot of movies/TV shows/computer games/music would survive, if already HP is considered something to be banned...

I haven't read HP myself, but i have never heard any parents complain about HP containing any profane language or inappropriate content... i think, if this were the case, Ms Rowling would never have sold so much and it would never be this popular.
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And who be Rowland? A babysitter?


See! I couldn't even remember her name.
Thanks AmariŽ, your examples show what I was trying but failed to say. However, no matter what we say, the minds of some people are resolved that the HP books are evil and children must not be allowed to read them; this determination has usually been arrived at without the benefit of actually having read the books in the series, but merely the reviews written by The Inquisition.

Nothing further can be gained by beating this dead horse, other than spreading of hate and discontent among the membership. So we may as well agree to disagree and get on with life and the reading of Tolkien and Lewis. I assume The Inquisition has not taken umbrage with the latter; though they may think heretical, his allowing a lion to take on the personification of Jesus Christ. I hope this is not the case.
It is incumbent on us to understand what we are comparing/contrasting. The works of J.R.R. Tolkien cannot really be compared to those of J.K. Rowling. However, there are sufficient grounds for pursuing this discussion. Some people believe their is a good comparison between the two authors. Others believe that Rowlings books make good reading for kids.

1. "Harry Potter and the kids at school are acting like children do at that age. You being a teacher should know what kids are like. You should also know that in real life as in the HP books, children and youths are very unsure of who they can trust. Who can I tell this to? Who will believe me? Who will understand? And as kids thinks they are they are the only ones who are unsure and scared, they often keep things to themselves or within the circle of friends. In the books we can see what they hide since the books are written from their point of view, in real life we canít."

COMMENT: It is immaterial that kids behave this way. This is not a good justification to allow free access, especially by younger, impressionable kids, to HP. As a teacher I know how the behavior of a class can be affected by one pupil who is unruly. If he is not corrected, the whole class will take a bad lesson from it. As a parent, I know what will happen if I catch a child lying and don't punish him. He will conclude that lying gets what he wants. In LOTR, every time Frodo puts on the Ring, something bad happens. The reader has to conclude that only bad can come from giving in to these temptations. In HP, what happens when Hermione lies to protect Harry and his friends? She is accepted into the "gang," she is "cool." This is not something I want my children exposed to, in class or at home. What happens when Snipe punishes Harry and the others for disobeying the rules? Is he backed by his colleagues? Is he commended for trying to make them into responsible students? No, he is reprimanded in front of the kids by his fellow faculty. This is a deplorable thing, and again, not what I want in class or at home.

Children trust those they find trustworthy. If they see parents and other authorities holding the line and being consistent, they will trust them to do what is right. But if they find inconsistency in the position of any authority, they will be led to question it, and to fight against it. This does not make the conduct of these children right, but it makes it understandable.

2. "Children easily recognize Harry and his friends and the children around him. All the characters can be found in their own lives. The school nerd no-one wants to talk to, the clumsy boy everybody laughs at, the big bullies, boring teachers, scary teachers, teachers who treat you wrongly, teachers who treat you nice. The books are taking place today with kids of today, and children read it and nods. "Yes, this is the way it is.""

COMMENT: Yes, I'm sure they do recognize those around them in those books. That is not necessarily a good thing. Someone writing a book aimed at kids should be setting before them role models with a bit more pluck, a bit more moral courage. Courage is not going off seeking danger, especially when the teachers have advised against it. Courage is doing one's duty in the face of adversity. There are plenty of children's books around that show a better type of character than Harry for kids to emulate. Let parents buy these.

3. "The books are overflowing with moral, I am very sad you can't see that G-O. Yes, the children go off and do things on their own. That is because they don't know who to trust. But the kids in HP always have to pay the price for their choices. The consequences are always shown."

COMMENT: As I pointed out above, the consequences do not necessarily follow as they should. It is true that kids often go off on their own and do things they regreat later. But one of the main points in HP seems to be that kids can go off and do their own thing, and that is what they should have done in the beginning. The consequence of foolhardy so-called "bravery" is praise. Neither should anyone claim that they "don't know who to trust" as an excuse. They know what they are doing is wrong. Otherwise, why all the sneaking about? Why not just boldly go in and do what is right, if it is really right? But that's the point. There is always an adult who can be trusted. And no child should be allowed by any person responsible to go on believing the school, etc., is "out to get him." This sort of thing breeds chaos.

4. "And about Harry being a bad role model. He and his friends fight for what they believe in, they are there for their friends, they defend the bullied from the bullies, they are intelligent and use what they have learned and seek information on their own. They show that even the wimpiest child can be brave, that even the weirdest looking kid has something to offer, and that the biggest bully may not be as tough after all, and that not all is what it appears to be at first glance. I would rather have children who can think on their own and question things they donít agree on, than small robots who go along with everything and obeys blindly."

COMMENT: What if what Harry and his friends believe is wrong? If they believe that the school rules are there to impede their adventures, should they be allowed to act on these beliefs? Doesn't this lead to the conditions we see in many schools today? It is all very well for children to question things that are questionable. But should they be questioning the order imposed for their own good? Should they be rebelling against those trying to give them a safe place to learn before their short youths are over and they have to fend for themselves? Obedience to authority is not mechanical. It is a willful choice to submit one's intelligence to one's superior's. This doesn't mean that superior can do whatever he wants either. But children cannot be allowed to think that questioning the superior, or disobeying the teacher or parent, is his right.

5. "Let's see... Harry has lived with with his unloving aunt and uncle his whole life. He has been bullied all his life, both at home and in school. Sounds like quite a burden to live with if you ask me. And did you read the end of book 5? If THAT isnít a burden enough for a young teenager, then I donít know what it takes."

COMMENT: If would be rather odd if absolutely everything in the HP series were bad. But that is hardly necessary in order for it to be avoided. If indeed the things you mention are true, there are still better examples to be found in less questionable literature for children. Let them read Lewis, Finn, Travers, Baum, Banks, etc. There are plenty of kids in these stories who learn lessons without setting authority at naught. There are plenty of lessons of bravery without disobedience.

6. "Again you have missed the point. It is Voldemort who cheats Harry. Harry didnít want to join, but he was forced to. It is clear all along that Harry isnít ready for all this. He is too young. The ďhelpĒ he gets is there to ensure that Harry wins so that Voldemort can kill him. Does that sound like a good reward for cheating to you?"

COMMENT: Well, Harry was free to refuse to be in this contest, or was his will incapacitated? Harry was free to refuse to accept unfair helps, or did each cheater have a gun to Harry's head? Of course, the villain had other designs for the outcome, but what was our hero doing? It is Harry that the kids are watching. If kids see that Harry cheats in order to get ahead, they may well conclude it's okay to cheat.

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No, it is far better to forbid these books from the start.

"I am very sad people still think this way."

COMMENT: What is sad about it? The first duty of a good parent is to be vigilant, to watch over what his child watches, reads, plays, or associates with. Good things should be praised and encouraged. Bad things must be forbidden and punished. This teaches children that good behavior should be the goal and bad behavior should not be. Parents have a single word, a word more powerful than anything in Harry's lexicon. This word is "NO." Children want limits set to their lives; that is what they, by their actions, beg of their parents, especially of parents who never watch or never set any limits. Without "No" in their lives, children think they have a right to getting everything their own way. So then we have criminals and murderers, e.g., Harris and Kleibold at Columbine. You may object that reading HP will not produce such a tragedy. By itself, maybe not. By itself, the videogame "Doom" is violent, but does not necessarily produce a murderer. But it is one contributing factor that watchful parents and teachers should forbid. I for one do not intend to allow HP in my classroom or my home.
i think the Harry Potter series suffers from characters and story lines which are constantly getting older and more mature, while still trying to catch her younger demographic which, at the end of the day, is who she is writing for.

Gandalf-olorin, when you are talking about the "street talk" or bad moral lessons Rowling is giving to children, you are clearly talkin from an adult point of view,and not just any adult, an adult teacher. (when i say that it is not in a bad way, only that as a teacher it is your duty to provide "good" moral lessons to your pupils) Rowling is not trying, nor do i believe she wants to or should, give moral lessons to young people, she is trying to write real young people in a fantasy environment, and therefore she must write how real young people talk, in fact she has vastly toned it down to the point where sometimes it is hugely patronising, yet still offensive and shocking to some adults.
Gandalf-olorin you are a teacher and said you were shocked by the language, this is but a toned down way of young people speaking, the reason for you perhaps not being aware of this is because you are a teacher,the children in HP dont swear at the teachers, you are just observing Rowlings toned down perception of how young people interact with each other.
Thank you, Fingolfin. I did understand that Rowling was not writing her characters' dialogue exactly as kids often talk nowadays. And I also understood that she wasn't going to be teaching "lessons" such as those I would teach in class. But I think every author has the responsibility, especially when writing for the "demographic" Rowling is aiming at, to be more careful of what she portrays in those characters and situations, etc. It would be quite alright if she were to have characters talk like this, for example, provided that someone came along later on in the book and showed them a better way to talk, and then how the characters took the lesson and learned from it. But alas, I don't see that in these books.

But since I seem to have upset some of the Powers here in PT with my side of this argument, I will cease here, with no acrimony toward any who have argued for or against my position.
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In HP, what happens when Hermione lies to protect Harry and his friends? She is accepted into the "gang," she is "cool." This is not something I want my children exposed to, in class or at home. What happens when Snipe punishes Harry and the others for disobeying the rules? Is he backed by his colleagues? Is he commended for trying to make them into responsible students? No, he is reprimanded in front of the kids by his fellow faculty. This is a deplorable thing, and again, not what I want in class or at home.


Rather than banning a book, which immediately makes it desireable, talk about these things with the children as they read. Discuss what is wrong with HP and Hermione's behaviour. What should they have done instead? Make it an opportunity rather than an obstacle. Book banning reminds me of '1984' and 'Farenheit 451' - both excellent books.
Vee, I suppose in many places banning the books would make them more desirable! I had forgot that! But in the school where I teach, if a book is banned, it is banned, and the parents usually back up what is taught on campus. Of course, if I were dealing with a youngster who already had HP, then I would probably follow your advice.
I got an idea!
Make a fire and gather all the Harry Potter books and burn em, then burn Rowling on the stake and get rid of this nonsense forever...

That's my opinion because I despise Potter and his world and I very much dislike Rowling for no particular reason.

DOWN WITH POTHEAD! DOWN WITH POTHEAD!!!
Big Smile Smilie
When you talk about the "street talk" and things like that, I think that kids really dont pay any attention to the talk because they have already learned to talk this way and it is accepted by parent. If a child's parents really care about them, then they will have talks about the books like Vee said. Also I agree with everything that G-O said although I really used to like the books before I found Tolkien.

and to Hans_Vanger I think that if a person wants to kill Pothead then they should take it up with Rowling and ask her if she will kill Harry in the seventh book. I really hope she kill him in the seventh book cuz that would be sooooo cool!
I do not advocate senseless criticism or pillorying of anyone on the opposing side of an argument. My criticism of Rowling is based on reason and evidence, as I pointed out previously. I need not repeat all that here. I do not use name calling, and I do not advise that tactic for anyone else.
Well I shall reveal to you my opinion...It's bollocks...all of it...and I am entitled to my opinion...'

So bleh!
I rather second that.

It is a book. Nothing else. And my personal opnion is that parents should have instilled a sence of right and wrong into their child so that a mere book will not be what thrusts them off that path.

If a child is seriously begining to lie and rebuke authority, just from reading Harry Potter then I would think that his or her parents are failing in their duty to show them the diffirence between fantasy and real lfe.

(First off, let me warn you that I am very upset and displeased at the hateful comments going on now.)

It has taken me 4 months to find this topic. I can't believe nobody told me about the debate my journal had sparked!

Amarie, thank you for defending our side. And thank you Stonehelm, for saying what I was here not to say, though I shall still restate some of it.

Okay, let me being by saying: those comments are totally uncalled for Hans_vanger, and the other people who are insulting Jo and her books. If you hate them so much, don't read them: okay? Everybody has a right to read a book. Everybody can read it if they want to. You cannot make them stop reading it. Burning books is madness: FREEDOM OF SPEECH! FREEDOM OF SPEECH! FREEDOM OF SPEECH! FREEDOM OF SPEECH!

As soon as I saw the first lines of Gandalf's post, I thought "public humiliation, oh no" and I was right. I know that was not your aim Gandalf, but I am hyper sensitive to these kinds of things. So next time, please don't, okay? It hurt my feelings, like this thread has. It sickens, saddens, and infuriates me to see so much hate over a series of books. Gandalf: If you don't want to read them that is your choice, but you shouldn't restrict other people from reading them. Just what you think is bad doesn't mean it's right. Just because we read the books doesn't mean that we're doomed to go to Satan, just because we read something doesn't mean that we'll become mad axe men and start lying and cheating and murdering for fun and government will crumble, leaving a vast wasteland of a has been; filled with "every man for himself" people.

No, the worst it could do is tear the world apart.

There is so much controversy surrounding these books, I think I'm going to cry. They're just books! As long as children are told that sometimes the character's behavior is not moral, and that witchcraft is evil (if that's your thing) then it's fine. If you have such a child that can't understand the difference between reality and fiction, withhold the books until they do understand.

Miruvor, you said:
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...books you can lay down at any moment and pick up again 4 months later, without having missed anything of the storyline. They're books without any real depth, which are only read once for one's enjoyment.


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I haven't read HP myself...


Don't say that the HP books have no depth if you haven't read them! You have no right to such an opinion until you have read the books for yourself. What can be more full of depth than love over death? What can be more wonderful than friendship that spawned from the most unlikely? [Those last two are rhetorical questions: don't respond to them]


If youíre saying that Tolkien is better for kids, you are so wrong: incest, war, murder, and theft? You might say that they're "justly punished" but I think not. There is karma in the HP books you know, just because it doesn't blare out at you with big bold letters doesn't mean it isn't there. Harry sneaks out to return a dragon: he's caught and loses major points: everyone hates him. I can see how you could counter it with: Harry breaks rules and goes to retrieve the Sorcerer's Stone: major House Points and he's loved again. But if you had a chance to get rid of a terrorist, wouldn't you? Wouldn't you maybe ... break the law to stop Osama Bin Ladin from bombing the White House?

In response to the language: I'm 14 okay. That's how people talk, and Jo has actually censored it a lot. She's toned it down big time, and I don't see a problem with it. Just because she writes dialogue like it is today instead of Tolkien's flowing "old style" dialogue doesn't mean that she isn't a good writer. Could you honestly say you could see a high school kid saying, "Who are you that come armed for war to the gates of Thorin son of Thrain, King under the Mountain?"

I have no respect for people who discredit Jo or say she's horrible and refuse to let other's read HP. As long as you have tolerance, you are my friend. But when your tolerance wanes and leaves you there, naked in your hatred, you have become my foe.

*My fiery wrath has cooled, and so I feel poetic once more.*

And for the record, I've read the first four books 7 times each, and the last two 3 times each and I'm still not tired of Harry Potter, and I'm discovering new things with each reread.
*applauds*

Though I agree very much that Jo and Tolkien are both great writers, I must also remind all that we all tend to like Tolkien's style better. It's a more complex world and the high and noble sort of writing gives you the feeling of something beautiful and terrible. It's something that is both like us and far from us, so we wish to relate to it and ever want to head in its direction. It's quite simple, we see something pretty, we want to be like it, so we head towards it.

The reason why Tolkien can affect us so is because we humans are, well, humans. We are moved by things we love and cannot possess, we desire things we do not have. Rowling has more of the reality taste in it, and HP is something we can all relate to more or less (high school kids, school problems, popularity contests etc.). We don't crave HP as much as we do Tolkien because HP lives in our world.

Some people say that humans always want what they don't have and scorn what they do have. Maybe that can apply to some of us. People who scorn HP are merely people who love Tolkien too much.
You know what I've realized, this thread proves part of one of my statements. Now I've seen more Tolkien fans bash HP.

First off: Yes everyone's entitled to their own opinion but that doesn't mean that it should happen. I know someone that is of the opinion that squirrels should be enlisted in the army. I, for one, think that this is wrong. Squirrels could get too intelligent and overthrow our army, squirrels don't count as citizens, and it's wrong to send a squirrel out into battle like that. I respect her opinion though.

Second off: They weren't particularly meant for anyone Gandalf. Not you, not Miruvor, not Cloveress. They were just meant to scratch the surface, as I'm almost positive I've mentioned to you before.

First, you dissect my journal like a frog, and then you basically tell me that I am not entitled to an opinion. Just because I've read some of both of their works, but haven't had time to read Tolkien's over and over again, doesn't mean that I can't say what I feel. I was merely trying to show that Jo and Tolkien are great authors in their own way. I respect that some of you disagree with me, but when you attack Jo personally, when you threaten to take away the freedom of speech, and when you cross the line between tolerance and intolerance, that is where I no long have respect for your opinion.

*waits for a response*
DŪneniel, you're my kind of girl. Happy Elf Smilie
Very true Amarie!!!

Personally I really enjoy JKR's books. I think that Tolkien is the better....but that does not mean anything negative towards her.

Heck, I bought the HBP the day it came out!

And will do the same when the last one is here!

Thanks Amarie, Stonehelm, and Cloveress.

I know, I wasn't exactly talking to you Stonehelm. I agree with your last post.
I have read them all...
Harry Potter.....the teriblle fact of having no parents and a world that just dosent want to belive Voldemort is back...

Tolkiens works (in short for Hobbit,LOTR,Sillmarilion and so on...).... a epic saga, concerning even the mightiest Vala and the lowest gaffer...

And many more books of fantasy. Pratchett (Discworld), George Martin (Songs of Ice and Fire) ,Terry Brooks...and so on and on. Some people call them amateurs, some call them artists, but their are all alike.

Every one of them has something special... In everyone of them we can find something to our liking. They all have a certain power, which is.... the power to make us imagine their worlds. So do not condemn another world just because its not the same as the one you like. There are a LOT of books out there, and so, there are a lot of worlds. So find the world you like and get to know it. Look out and explore diffrent worlds. But NEVER slander anothers world, for your world will never be THE BEST...it will be the best to you....
first of all you got my respect, DŪneniel. Thumbs Up Smilie don't let others put you down...
I think a comparison of tolkien and rowling is very difficult as they're really very different. I read all of the hp books, and, hey, I enjoyed reading them. in an absolutely different way than I enjoy reading tolkien, but that's not the point. though there are some things I don't like about hp, in general they're good. plus: I don't see why reading hp should harm children. they must really be kinda weird if they're so impressed by hp that they join or found some occult organization or whatever.
noone forces anybody to read those books, and if you don't like them, ignore them. let others read them and don't come up with stereotypical ideas about hp-fans.
furthermore, I think it's a sad fact that DŪneniel proves to be right with her tolkien-fans vs. hp-fans-theory. I mean, shouldn't we all be mature and tolerant enough not to try to disown a book and force everyone to admit it's soo bad a.s.o.? saying those books should be burned, forbidden, or whatever... what century were we living in? everyone is allowed to write, say, sing, like... everything he/she wants to, even if noone else likes it. and those who do like it are to be accepted. if you can't accept such things you're a bit narrow-minded. and if there's nothing worse than hp this is a lucky world....
so, that was how I think about the thing, I'm too tired to write more at the moment. now I'll be waiting for the inquisition to come...
This argument should stay buried. Gandalf-olorin hasn't been on PT for months and Hans_vanger is just a troll who shouldn't haven been fed.

Some ppl like HP, other don't and that's just it. You can debate as long as you will, it won't change ppl's preferences.

Furthermore, I believe Ms Rowling doesn't give a donkey's arse what ppl are saying about her books, as she's already richer than the Queen - just like Bill Gates doesn't give a donkey's arse what ppl think about the bugs in Microsoft Windows.

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saying those books should be burned, forbidden, or whatever... what century were we living in? everyone is allowed to write, say, sing, like... everything he/she wants to, even if noone else likes it.

No. Everybody is free to have an opinion, but not always free to share that opinion. Everybody is allowed to write, say, sing, etc what he/she wants to, if it is not meant to spread hate.
The HP books are a good read: I have read all of them; also have them on tape or CD, and have the three movies on DVD. I'm enlightened enough to allow that some people like the books and some don't as is their right; however, what gets my nanny, is when some people who have not even read the first book, puts them down on heresay as being heresy. These people have the right to express themselves, but they should not have the right to brainwash anyone other than their children, who they have every right to ruin as they deem fit. However, these children often turn wild when they get out into the real world and away from their parents intolerant rules. It is much better IMHO to teach children right and wrong by example and let them see the dark side and explain to them why it is wrong, rather than outlaw everything they don't believe in with an, "Because I say you can't!" Here endeth my sermon.
Oh, but I have been around. I have merely kept silent because I have had a thing or two to discuss with the council.

But leaving that aside for now, I do not know why this topic was resurrected after all this time. I gave my reasons--valid reasons, Grondy--for abominating HP and Rowling. I do see your points--that includes yours, Dineniel. But really, my point still stands. I do not give a hot flatulant whether you talk like the kids do in HP. Obviously, if I didn't care what sort of talk my kids and students were exposed to, I wouldn't care if they read HP. But I do care, and I don't think I'm out of sync with the "times." Who cares what's in vogue right now anyway--that will change the next time the wind does.

As for regarding what I do not like in HP as heresy, that is your word, dear Grondy, not mine. I attack it on educational/moral grounds, and I am far from alone in doing so. Many parents and many teachers do not like these books, and they will give you even more things to chew on than I have. But even if I were alone in my thinking, I would not hesitate for a moment to stand up for what I know to be right on this issue. That is what my children learn from me, and that will carry them much further than exposing them (any more than they have been) to HP.
I must say that Grondy's post was an exact copy of what I would write. My thoughts exactly.

And as for disliking Potter from a "moral" standpoint that is a stretch. Just look at what is out there.....seen what is on TV lately?...the internet? The world can be a very immoral place, but you can't always guard your children from all of it. To do so helps no one, they will enter into life not knowing what they are in for. Personally I find it silly when people take Potter and use it as a root for evil in the world and use the "If only I can keep Potter out of my house my kids will be safe!" argument for their actions.

Kratos, please, no personal attacks in this forum.
-The council
I think dear John himself would say that the Rowling books have a right to be out there.
I have , as a person who was raised by people(not my parents) deep in the occult,and who worked with battered, at risk and challenged children, perhaps a slightly different view of her works.
In my opinion, because often children in our modern world are left to their own devices, are latchkey kids and have to often take care of t hemselves and younger siblings,they are very very vulnerable to ideas and situations which can ultimately harm them then or years down the road.
The true Occult is a very very dangerous place, no matter who dresses it up in pink and sugar coats it and children under the age of ten are very often dealing with home issues that make them hurt, angry, bitter and because they are not mature enough to often handle such they are easy targets for adults with less than kind motives in engaging them and drawing them into their dark world. And this includes more than the Occult.
So , to read this sort of book, I truly believe an adult, educated in at least some aspects of early childhood education or understanding of how a young mind under say fifteen works, needs to either read it with the child or read it alone and discuss certain points with the child.
Children gathering together without proper adult supervision, intelligent thoughtful adult supervision can take these books and get very seriously hurtful even dangerous messages from them. And they can then apply it in their lives and be deeply wounded.Knowledge without proper understanding of that knowledge can truly harm a young person.
In my opinion, and that is all it is, Ms. Rowling was very negligent in providing a world where the true dangers to these kids was shown, she glamorized things without helping the reader to differentiate right from wrong. Peer pressure does not equal right. You cannot believe the many youth, young teens I have had to help because of reading just such books and going off and trying to have such adventures. The main difference in writing a book where right includes honesty wherever possible and kindness and forgiveness and instead of pressuring someone to conform or denegrating a teacher that should be from the onset treated with some respect unless completely unwarranted, and writing a book where just about every deceit and disrespectful attitude toward even one's own parents and those adults who care about them and subtley telling the reader t his is good, fine , acceptable is that the child or youth no longer has any boundaries of restraint. And it is getting to be more and more difficult for parents to spend quality time with their offspring-worries financial, often alchoholism and drugs, parents fighting and separating, all that makes it hard for both parent and child to communicate.
In writing a story where a 'higher being' or God is at least hinted to and is good and cares about mankind , his freedom and well being, there is always a thought that one will answer for their deads, that Someone is paying attention and expects better than the lowest common denominator.
In stories of the Occult , generally speaking , the person becomes through craft and cunning and displays of power, in effect 'god' or at least gains great power from a dark source. This person doesn't have to answer to anyone and therein lies the real danger.
I could go on but this in not really the place. I am concerned about the long term effects of the young reading this and not having a trusted adult to talk to about the contents. You might think that youth understand a lot, what they understand though is through their age limited eyes, If someone has only been on the earth twelve years, no matter how brilliant, no matter how gifted and how much information he or she has packed into that little brain, the EMOTIONAL side cannot possibly be any older than the child. That is why predators prey on the young. They do not have the luxury of years and experience to make them a good judge of anything.
I can assure you, someone can come along and write the most exciting story or series about children haveing wondrous adventures with a pedaphile who is 'cool and neat' and shows the child a whole exciting world and children having been immersed in it will after a while cease to be shocked and just enjoy it and look at such people through much more tolerant eyes. That is the point I am trying badly to make.
I t hink her being a mother, was irresponsible in how she approached children through the vehichle of her work. For we adults we can read it and shake our heads or whatever and move on. Not so with youth.
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I can assure you, someone can come along and write the most exciting story or series about children haveing wondrous adventures with a pedaphile who is 'cool and neat' and shows the child a whole exciting world and children having been immersed in it will after a while cease to be shocked and just enjoy it and look at such people through much more tolerant eyes. That is the point I am trying badly to make.

What exactly is the point you are trying to make? I can't understand how your comparison has anything to do with Harry Potter. It's just a children's book, for Pete's sake. I do not think any book featuring a paedophile would be accepted as children's book.

Everything that applies to Harry Potter as an influence on youths applies to fairy tales, most movies, music and video games. It's up to the parents who have to make the children see the difference between fiction and reality.

Please, refer to Grondy's excellent post of 20th June 2005, which I think settles this matter quite nicely :

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Thanks AmariŽ, your examples show what I was trying but failed to say. However, no matter what we say, the minds of some people are resolved that the HP books are evil and children must not be allowed to read them; this determination has usually been arrived at without the benefit of actually having read the books in the series, but merely the reviews written by The Inquisition.

Nothing further can be gained by beating this dead horse, other than spreading of hate and discontent among the membership. So we may as well agree to disagree and get on with life and the reading of Tolkien and Lewis. I assume The Inquisition has not taken umbrage with the latter; though they may think heretical, his allowing a lion to take on the personification of Jesus Christ. I hope this is not the case.
I disagree with "Street Speech". THe speech used in HP is very differnt to any language i've heard kids speak. Anyhow, Catcher in The Rye, a book i was genuinely moved by and thoroughly enjoyed features almost entirely what i guess was NY street speech, but its considered a classic by many. I agrree, HP is the trashiest kids book since Enid's heyday, but waht appals me is the lack of description.
He said, she said, harry said, hermione said, ron said, mr snape said, blah blah blah...
Books like catcher in the rye left me moved, as did LOTR, and OfTurin Turambar in Silm... and I finished Silm in awe. But the only thing HP left me feelin was that I'd wasted £6.99 and and a few hours, as did the Da Vinci code.
The point Vir I am trying to make is that in My opinion, it is an irresponsibly written series of books because the SUBJECT matter that is too serious to not have something in it of substance that shows the young reader the potential dangers of not only engaging in the sort of things they did but to show that just because some boy who had a bad start and is in good faith trying to deal with something dangerous and serious comes along and says this and that does not mean that his behaviour and the way he goes about things are anything at all to look up to and emulate.
Perhaps it is too h ard to get across my concern, but when you portray disrespect without any corresponding respect that holds true throughout the book, in my opinion it distorts things to the point that the youth coming away from reading the book can perhaps carry this to real life.As silly as that might sound to you I have seen it happen again and again.
Each one of us, all of us in this world either consciously or unconsciously preach to others by what we say and by what we do. I think it is just fine to build a world where kids reign supreme, British shows with kids running about in packs and tackling the bad guys have done it forever.
But in the Harry Potter series, which by the way, I th ink she is a good and imaginative writer, in this series the lines are to me so blurred that a child, and lots of young children are reading it, is not informed properly of good and evil and allowed to make a choice. In my opinion they are subtly or blatantly shown that to be cool, powerful and a hero you have to break all rules, even ones that all society in general holds to be important in keeping society from being reduced into anarchy and degradation.
So what I meant by the pedaphile thing is, if a series was written where the hero was so compelling and wonderful and aside from that heinous thing did all sorts of things kids aspire to , and IF there was no one in the book to challenge that and stand against it and be a character the reader could look up to, well then in the end the reader might , might come away thinking this behaviour was not really a big deal.
In our city the occult reigned very very large for about five years. It was downright frightening, I won't go into it. The authorities were very busy and people , many many were worried. And quite a few of the members of the covens were in the educational system and that is their right. However unknown to the parents, I was one of th em, I had a very little girl in one of the classes, unknown to us a couple of them decided to teach the children they did not have to respect or obey us and that the occult was not only fun to get into but very very beneficial.
Some of the children, in all fairness were totally unharmed by this. But many of us parents started having the worst trouble with our children and this continued for several years and it was not until some of our children told us what had been taught to them that we could finally find our way back. Had they come to us or had they been able to talk to us about what the teachers told them and urged them not to tell since it was none of our business anyway, well perhaps a lot of sorrow could have been averted. That is all I am saying. Let the books be written, let them be read, but have some sort of responsible help along the way so children can read them, enjoy them and walk away without bizzare and wrong ideas that can harm.That is all I can say about it.
Ok....Leelee...that last post was a bit confusing..and disturbing with those covens and such..but that's a whole other subject i hope we'll not go into right now..

As for Gandalf-Olorin...mate, your a teacher, your opinion is compromised. Your one of THEM Elf With a Big Grin Smilie , of course you'll be on there side.. I personally never meet a teacher who's on the side of kids, on any matter small or big. That is..there were a few, but they never manage to stay long in school..that just shows how conservative we are..because when a teacher tries to teach in a way closer to kids, he's proclaimed unserious and unfit to teach "our" children (its amazing how many times that statement is given by people who dont acctually have kids)... So its no wonder that Gandalf-Olorin is one of the "If i say no, that means NO!I dont need to explain myself!!" kind of parents.. Teachers in majority are like that.

All in all: Final conclusions
For the Tolkien bashers:Rowling is ok..for kids. I loved the books, i still like them, but you really cant compare them to Tolkien. Sure some things are..similar to Tolkiens, but which fantasy book today hasnt borrowed SOMETHING from Tolkien..very few indeed.. HP are nice books..in a way, they prepare you for the big boys...LOTR and the works..real fantasy. So.. good work Rowling, and congrats on making all that money! Orc With Thumbs Up Smilie



For Gandalf-Olorin and the type: Street talk? in Harry Potter?!! Mate have you heard real street talk today?! I hear 10 year olds swearing more than harbour workers!!!!! I think we could only WISH for kids to talk like in the HP books! Are you off your rocker? I mean..other than sod off, bugger off and bollocks, i dont think i have even SEEN a inapropriate word in HP. And those arent swear words...come to Croatia if you wana hear swear words..we'r one of the countries with the most imaginative swear words in the world..involving horses, radishes, moles, lions, tigers and bears Oh my!!!
I cant really say that i envy your kids Gandy... (Gandalf-Olorin)..they seem to be living under the boot...yours of course. Your pretty conservative, understatement of the year.. that goes without saying.. But banning books?! Children books?! I mean COME ON!!!! I know i know..you'll say "But children books should be most controled of all...after all they do affect the brains of our young ones.." but that's bollocks.. I mean take a look at the kind of cartoons on TV today.. they'r so wierd that i cant understand them, and im 18! There's so little of good old Tom & Jerry..Scooby Doo and the Loony tunes..those were the good times..
Someone mentioned earlier.. its so cowardly to take the HP books..and then say "They'r the ones that are poisoning out children!! If we bann them, heaven shall rule!!" that's a classical scape goat rutine your pulling mate..really lame. Find and stop the real reasons of evil in the community..rigid and unflexible education methods, conservative teachers and the like..that all just builds up making the world a darker place to live in...but yes....its easiest to take Harry Potter and blame the little bugger for everything..

I mean..the things you mentioned..Hermione letting them copy off homework from her..them accepting her in a "gang"......what's odd about that? You just described normal student life..my life in fact.. In fact..good that you reminded me...tommorrow i gotta copy off that math homework..
I mean..i know the type of children you want..the type when you say...forget to write your homework, or dont have time to finish it cause your choping wood all day and then ask them in school "Oy mate..i forgot me homework..could i just have a go at yours so i dont get a F?" and they say "No...your problem, you should have thought of it at home..Its for your own good.."
Thats just lovely...true collegialltiy (sorry, dunno how to spell that, but you get my drift)

Ok..enough for now...iv just piled out a lot of things that i wanted to say...and it may seem a little jumbled up..
If anyone is offended by my post..teachers speccialy, im sorry...but i dont speak only for myself, i speak for nearly all normal people of my age..
And if you want to ban books...i wanna ban people like you...
Let's just agree to disagree before somebody is offended, shall we? And please abstain from personal attacks and namecalling. Thank you.
Aye aye...ok,your right Vir,as always, but yer right. Sorry if i went a bit overboard on the last one.
This thread was dead, and the only one who can be excused for digging it up is someone who wasn't here for the first time around--Leelee. And she knows what she is talking about. For that matter, so do I.

So my kids are under the boot, eh? So I have no mercy on my students, eh? What a lot of drivel you do speak! I do not have to justify myself here. My students have often come back to our school with the primary purpose of dropping in on my class to visit. So you figure it out--if I am such an ogre, why would they bother? My kids kiss me goodnight every night, no matter how hard things have been that day. And my kids will be the first ones to tell you HP is not what they want to see or read. No, my friend, it's the parents and teachers who care who make the rules and enforce them. The parents and teachers who don't enforce rules, don't really care. Anyone who says otherwise either has had no kids in his care or is too young to really know what he is barking about.

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And please abstain from personal attacks and namecalling.

I think Vir says it all really and if you see the thread above Gandalf ..he says he came out to strong .
I admire teacher so much because they have the knowledge of how to learn our children all kinds of subject and specially reading ..but I must say that I encourage my kids ( I have 4 ) to read other things as well.. meaning such books as HP and Tolkiens which I all adore ..I think that HP books make kids read even more and gives them the pleasure of doing so because they find the books interesting , exciting and fun and that is what reading is all about .And honestly you cannot compare Tolkien to Rowlings..at least in my opinion
Etharion was off base in his long diatribe above, not for his point, but because he got personal. Doing that can make the other fight back and then we have hard feelings on both sides. I considered just editing out the personal bits, but found the remainder wouldn't have made sense and I didn't want to delete it.

Please, please don't get personal: try to stay away from name calling as well as the accusitorial "you". I often write, "when one does..." rather than "when you do..." which softens the tone.

Anyway, it is the parents right to decide what their children read or don't read and when they find teachers who agree with their values their children are usually better for it. However, if the parents are too repressive their children may rebel when they get the chance; therefore I believe it is better for the parents to allow their children to read some of the less desirable books if their parents are directly involved in that reading. They can then help their children understand what is considered unacceptable and why. Books should never be burned, and only banned in limited jurisdictions for certain age groups. Of course this is just my opinion, everyone else if free to have theirs regardless as to whether we agree or not.
This regards the original post. I don't have time to read through all of them, so I appologize to all of those who made valuable contributions to the discussion, and to anyone who I am parroting.

I have never read a HP book (nor do I ever intend to, but I love the movies), so I have no idea if the characters in the HP books truly use deceit in order to accomplish their goals, but to claim that Tolkien's characters are innocent of this moral crime is inaccurate. One example that comes to my mind is Gandalf deceiving Theoden's guards so that they will allow him to bring his staff into Theoden's hall. This has an especially strong impact if Gandalf is considered to be practically a Jesus-figure, a character to aspire to. Another more ubiquitous example is Frodo's repeated use of deceit to conceal his identity and possession of the ring. That's just my two mithril pieces...
This is a stretch to compare this "deceit" (so-called) in Tolkien to that used ubitquitously in Rowling. Gandalf asked if they would "deprive an old man of his staff." Well, a staff is a prop for an old man. He did not explain that his was not merely a prop, but they did not ask either. And he had laid aside Glamdring. So I don't think this can be called deceit. Now Frodo was told to conceal his identity in order to safeguard that the Ring would not fall into the hands of the Enemy. So when he took a false name and gave out a false story, he was trying to keep all those with whom he had contact safe from the Black Riders. Can you think of another way to have carried the Ring so far in secret? Remember, Gandalf and Frodo were acting in time of war for the good of those Peoples who have trusted them with this Burden. There is no similar compelling reason, to my mind, at work in HP.

Also, Tolkien said Gandalf was an angel, not Christ. But since as I said he was not truly deceiving anyone, there is no compromise involved.
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One example that comes to my mind is Gandalf deceiving Theoden's guards so that they will allow him to bring his staff into Theoden's hall.

A clearer example is …owyn posing for a man, Dernhelm, to make it to the Pelennor Fields, hence deserting the task that Thťoden had set for her. That was not only deceit (although at least Elfhelm seemed to know about this deceit, and his men seemed to, but at least it deceived the Periannath), some people might call it desertion... and the reasons for those actions of hers were hardly selfless.

A lighter example is Aragorn chastising Merry about the absence of the latter's rucksack, whilst it had always lain next to the Hobbit.
Not to mention mushrooming in the book and vegetable rustling in the movie.
I stopped reading this post after I read,
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"Anyways, both of these practices are wrong, Rowling and Tolkien have their own unique writing styles, and did not copy from each other."

I'm sorry but that is just absurd! How on Earth could Tolkien ever copy from Rowling?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'll admit i read one of the Harry Potter books, i think it was the 1st or 2nd one i'm not sure. It held my interest enough that i finished the book, but that's all i gots to say about that.

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I've seen Tolkien fans bash HP fans, Tolkien fans bash HP fans for bashing Tolkien fans (or jsut tolkien in general), but oddly enough, I've never seen a HP fan bash a Tolkien fan. Hmmm...

How could any fantasy reader ever bash Tolkien? Considering the fact he is the Godfather of writing fantasy.
I wonder how many shades of Gandalf there are between honesty and deceit.
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