Poll: If there is a sad ending...
You do not have permission to vote in this poll.
I would read the series again.
43.48%
10 43.48%
I wouldn't read the series anymore.
26.09%
6 26.09%
I don't know.
13.04%
3 13.04%
I would see all the movies regardless.
17.39%
4 17.39%
Total 23 vote(s) 100%
* You voted for this item. [Show Results]

If the end is sad, would you read the series again?
#1
I suspected that if the ending is sad- that is Harry of one of the other 3 main characters dies- that I would lose interest in the series and not want to read it again or maybe even see the rest of the movies, knowing what lies ahead.

My feeling is stronger now that I have read the last book in another series that I was following, and even though I liked the series, the sad ending makes me feel uncomfortable about reading the stories again. So probably, a sad ending for Harry's books would mean the same thing for me.
Reply
#2
Usually I don't re-read books or series for a long time after I finish them--I like to forget what it's about, and relive the whole experiance later, with almost a fresh start.

If there was a sad ending, I probably wouldn't re-read the books. I'd just feel bad for Ron as I read the books, and he goes throughout hogwarts, when I know in book 7 he's just going to get whacked, and everyone will be bittersweet about it.

I have nothing against sad endings, it's just a bit tough to re-read the books when you already know what happens, especially when it's something that you didn't want to happen.
Don't do nothing.
Reply
#3
If I like the ending of a series, I'll re-read just to enjoy the experience again, and this has happened so far with Harry. But as you said, if there is a cloud hanging over the series, it would make me enjoy it less.
Reply
#4
Harry Potter was marketed as a children's series and is a cross between a Coming Of Age story and The Hero's Journey. Such are Teaching Tales. Many such stories have sad elements, but if the Hero never comes of age nor survives their journey, they fail in their essential message.

Teaching Tales show us "right living". How many times have we been told by JKR that none of us is to be condemned for what we were born - nor even, for the mistakes we make, for we all make some - but that we are to strive to make "right choices" in life, and that the background we come from should not define nor condem us, that we all are deserving of a chance to prove ourselves, and even to second chances if we mess up, but understand we messed up, and repent ..........

If all this gets you nothing but an early grave, what's the point?

I do not say some good endings are not Bittersweet. Tolkein's LOTR story has a bittersweet ending, but many mistake Frodo's leaving Middle Earth for an unhappy outcome. Well, they missed the point. Frodo is not the Hero. Sam is the hero.

LOTR begins with a young Sam, a servant, the son of a servant. It ends with Sam, Mayor of Hobbiton, Master of Bag End, with a young and growing family, the head of one of the principle families in The Shire. In between, Sam "saved the day" many times; though not the principle Ring Bearer, he did carry the ring for a brief but very crucial time {keeping it from the Orcs when Frodo was unconscious}. He even used the Ring, and even within the confines of Mordor, where it was strongest; was tempted by it's lure, and of his own will, saw through its false promises and handed it back to Frodo. In all the history of the Ring, only Bilbo before him had given over a Ring of Power of his own will ............ and he, only with all of Gandalf's aid did so. Yet Sam managed all of his own, and later, carried Frodo and the Ring up the slopes of Mt Doom. Many played their role, but only Sam was there from start to bitter end, and for Sam, the story has a happy outcome. He saved his Master, and grew greater than Frodo in his own right. True, Frodo his great friend has gone .......... but he has not died, and Sam re-joins him in the Undying Lands at the twlight of their lives, as well.

Now, the HP series is likewise about Harry. No, they are not about Ron. For this story to have a good and proper ending, Harry must emerge alive at the end, an adult. He will have been tried, and there will be losses. But he will emerge, whole, with a decent "good" life ahead. His principle sidekicks must also survive.

Harry has already lost both parents, his Godfather {the only real "parent substitute" he ever had, and that only briefly}, his adult Mentor Dumbledor, and a good wholesome rival, Cedric. He can ill afford much else for losses, and emerge "whole" from this tale.

I thought through the first four books JKR was on the usual path of the Hero's Journey/Coming of Age story. The last two have been so "dark" I am no longer certain.

I have read JKR now says the story is about death. Could be. In which case, it should not have been sold as a wholesome children's tale, and no, if the whole thing ends badly I won't re-read.
Reply
#5
Good analysis as always, Darq Ali.

I would hope that JKR would concern herself with her readers and not just in pursuing a dark tale. She could write other stories that were not advertised as children's books. All of the statements about death that I have been reading, though, make me wonder.
Reply
#6
A very good question. It's easy enough to go "Oh yes why wouldn't I? I wouldn't let that stop me liking the stories." And certainly it shouldn't, and it probably won't for most people. But now that Harry Potter has become a phenomenon like the older LOTR and Star Wars, I will certainly find myself challenged to keep reading and enjoying the books after the books we have followed and come to love end sadly. Consequently I've put 'I don't know', but I certainly hope that I do keep reading should there be a sad ending.
Qyma-
Qymoi-
Qyemjai-
Qum-
K-
General Grievous is a whole lot easier to say.
Reply
#7
Thank you for weighing in!

My problem is that JKR so obviously intends the HP series to be Teaching Tales, and if the lessons she repeats through the books lead to a very bad outcome for her major characters, I find the result to be very unsatisfactory.

If you tell children, "The proper way to live may not be the easiest. However, it is right", and then, have the outcome be a bad one, you have given the opposite lesson than the one it seemed intended.

We want our world populated by people who chose what is right over what is easy, as Dumbledore says to the entire school. If that does not average out to a good end, why bother?

Yes, we have to accept that we make mistakes; that sometimes, others misjudge us despite our bese efforts; we may fail. Our lives will include losses. And in the end, everyone dies.

Which does not mean, there is no "right living" to be done; it does not mean, we should despair.

Or does it?

If the HP books cannot give the Good Guys a decent outcome, it is not a lesson I want to re-read. Good stories give us hope.
Reply
#8
Darq Ali Wrote:If the HP books cannot give the Good Guys a decent outcome, it is not a lesson I want to re-read. Good stories give us hope.

This, of course, depends on your definition of a "decent outcome". For most religions, Eastern or Western, the "decent outcome" for a life well-lived, is not to be found in this world. Even outside of religion, we celebrate those who lived outstanding lives, and celebrate those who died, say, in the line of duty, or living out their convictions.

Precious few of Tolkien's heroes stood up against evil and walked away unscathed. Each of those who held the One Ring, even momentarily (such as Sam or Boromir) were scarred by it. Frodo and Bilbo, who had both possessed it over extended periods were left with deep rents that could not be healed in this world and troubled them fiercely.

Indeed, most of Jesus' apostles did not fare very well at all. As I recall, only one died of natural causes. The others were all martyrs, and most in foreign lands. From those examples, most Christians believe that not only is suffering part of life, but it is a necessary part.

Buddhists also take suffering as part and parcel with the world. One of the founding premises is that this world is all about suffering. Attachment to the material possessions is what increases our suffering. That's neither here nor there, but the foundation is relevant.

As for the question at hand, it is sometimes more poignant, and more pointed in a story that a major character, even the main character, dies in the end. This does not necessarily take away from whatever lessons or points that are trying to be made. Indeed, in some ways it drives those points home. Hemmingway (whom I loathe, by the way) drives home his point in A Farewell to Arms regarding how the world operates by killing off the main character's true love. We see the same thing in Braveheart, Ghandi, Frankenstein and so forth.

Killing off the main character is a dangerous decision for any author to make. However, I have never considered an author's choice in this matter to be made hastily or unnecessarily. Indeed, since an author's characters are in a sense their children, given a great deal of thought and effort, to kill one off must come from a great deal of consideration and thought, and it likely has a lot of meaning and involvement.

Of course, this all depends on how as much as why the character is killed. A "red shirt" death, such as seen in "Star Trek" just to emphasize how dangerous the situation is, doesn't work much. But that doesn't seem to be JK's style at all. That being said, if Harry Potter were to die, I think I would still re-read the series. Many of my favorite series have a major character being killed off at some point, but never without cause or reason.
All your base are belong to us.

It could be that the purpose of my life is only to serve as a warning to others.
Reply
#9
Thank you also for weighing in.

I think you misunderstood me. My issue is not that deaths are not valid in literature. My issue with JKR and the current darkness of her tale is that these are marketed as "childrens stories", and again, the genera is Fantasy in the form of The Hero's Journey and a Coming of Age story. Teaching tales for children.

Tolkein is one of my favorite authors. He published two different stories about The One Ring, one a very long adult tale, The Lord of the Ring, and the second {and first} a far shorter tale which was part of the whole, The Hobbit.

The Hobbit is for children. I'll assume you've read it, and noted the ending. In the end, the children are told Bilbo lived a very long life and was very happy. No more. The ending of The Hobbit gives no clue as to the damage Bilbo's long keeping of the One Ring did to him, nor even any hint that having the One Ring was in part responsible for his living very long.

At the end of LOTR, however, we learn why Bilbo lived so long, where Bilbo went at the end of his very long days, and why he quit The Shire, finding peace there no more, and the sadness attatched to the passing of the Ring Bearers over the seas. I loved his elves, too, and their sadness and grief touches my heart. These are adult tales, very Christian in their message, and they do offer Life Lessons, sometimes very pointedly so. But they are not published for CHILDREN.

Harry Potter has been marketed for CHILDREN. We teach children more about Jesus' love, about his forgivness, about universal acceptance and so forth ..... the positive aspects of the Christian message .... than we do about his suffering and the bad ends his early followers generally met.

I hope you get the difference.

Again, Teaching Tales and Coming of Age mean, the loss of innocence, the learning of hard truths, acceptance of death and so forth. It is fine that Harry has lost parents, his godfather, his mentor; that he's had to deal with teasing, hazing, prejudice and the lot.

But the children are expected to learn Right Living. It is fine to tell them, "Doing Right is often not the easy option", and it is fine to include sad information, like, everybody dies and so forth.

But how many of the Good Guys can die, and still have a positive message? You do not teach children to despair, you teach them to hope.

I have nothing against sad endings, pr se. I do have something against giving children a depressing message.
Reply
#10
I like to be warned in advance about whether a story is tragic. I don't like sad movies, I don't like sad books. I don't like to bring further sadness into my life. So when I started reading HP it was with the confidence that it was a story suitable for children. The jokes, the humor, the wonder, I found entrancing. I felt very sad about the death of Cedric, and Dumbledore took me a long time to accept. Now I read that a major loved character will die, and possibly it will be Harry, or even one of the other 3 young people whom I have read about since they were children. I don't want to grieve about the characters. If I had come into the series after it was finished, and if I had checked and found out that the series was actually a tragedy, then there is little chance that I would have read it nor watched the movies. Although there is a possibility that I would have read it with the attitude that it was actually a sad story, and I would have kept myself from getting too involved.

Just as in Othello, I know that at the end just about everyone dies, so I never expect that it will be a happy ending, but just a good story.
Reply
#11
Darq Ali Wrote:I think you misunderstood me. My issue is not that deaths are not valid in literature. My issue with JKR and the current darkness of her tale is that these are marketed as "childrens stories", and again, the genera is Fantasy in the form of The Hero's Journey and a Coming of Age story. Teaching tales for children.

No, I understood what you were saying. I disagreed with it. I still do.

Just because a story is relegated for children (but I disagree that Harry Potter is a "children's story, it has moved far and away from being that simple, more on that below) does not mean that the end of the story must be happy.

One of the first lessons I learned in kindergarten, as a child, was the growing of a corn-stalk. We all grew them, and, as part of the lifecycle, some died early, some died later, but they all died. It was a good lesson. All things die in the end, no matter how good they are.

Quote:Tolkein is one of my favorite authors. He published two different stories about The One Ring, one a very long adult tale, The Lord of the Ring, and the second {and first} a far shorter tale which was part of the whole, The Hobbit.

The Hobbit is for children. I'll assume you've read it, and noted the ending. In the end, the children are told Bilbo lived a very long life and was very happy. No more. The ending of The Hobbit gives no clue as to the damage Bilbo's long keeping of the One Ring did to him, nor even any hint that having the One Ring was in part responsible for his living very long.

Since Tolkien is one of your favorite authors, you should recall that many of the dwarves that travelled with Bilbo were killed at the end of The Hobbit. Tolkien did not spare everyone, and even the major character of Thorin died over his vanity, pride and arrogance. While The Hobbit may have primarily been a "children's story" it certainly can be included in the kind of lesson telling you're describing, but in which characters, main characters, die.

Quote:Harry Potter has been marketed for CHILDREN.

Perhaps the first book, perhaps even a little of the second book. The later books? No way. JK's audience was growing up, and Harry was growing up, and so her books grew up with them. As the stories have grown in the telling, and her audience has grown in the reading, she has introduced more mature elements, adult themes and situations. There was a darker tone to the books in the begining, that death was real, that tragedies happened, but that spectre has grown.

The marketing has certainly changed as well. Of that, there can be very little doubt. This is not longer a story exclusive to children, and in many ways children, of a certain age, should not necessarily be exposed to some of the elements of Harry Potter until they are a wee bit older.

Quote:We teach children more about Jesus' love, about his forgivness, about universal acceptance and so forth ..... the positive aspects of the Christian message .... than we do about his suffering and the bad ends his early followers generally met.

I hope you get the difference.

Wow, disagree whole-heartedly. Most Christian sects teach about Jesus' self-sacrifice for us, to rid the world of sins, and to open the path to Heaven. This was done, and apparently could only be done, through His crucifixtion, death and resurrection. That's the crux of the entire matter. A lot of folk have died for others, precious few, according to Christian tradition, have born the sins of all mankind and risen from the dead in accordance with prophecy as the Son of God.

My understanding is that those are the major positive aspects of Jesus' ministry in addition to the new teachings and commandments given by Him.

Quote:But how many of the Good Guys can die, and still have a positive message? You do not teach children to despair, you teach them to hope.

I have nothing against sad endings, pr se. I do have something against giving children a depressing message.

Sorry, but that's the truth of the matter. That's the truth of life. Good people, doing what they believe is right, sometimes die. Good people, just living, die. Famine, disease, misfortune, war, terror all take good people, regardless of how good they are. It might be depressing, but it is the truth. The hope is that in doing the right thing, that others may benefit. Otherwise, why risk life and limb? Why should Harry put himself on the line, and potentially die each time, if it wasn't going to benefit someone else?
All your base are belong to us.

It could be that the purpose of my life is only to serve as a warning to others.
Reply
#12
In my opinion, a book is good or bad due to its content, not to "happy" or "deadly end". Yes, i would reread the books.
Experience is what you get when you fail something
Reply
#13
RobRoy Wrote:No, I understood what you were saying. I disagreed with it. I still do.

Just because a story is relegated for children (but I disagree that Harry Potter is a "children's story, it has moved far and away from being that simple, more on that below) does not mean that the end of the story must be happy.

One of the first lessons I learned in kindergarten, as a child, was the growing of a corn-stalk. We all grew them, and, as part of the lifecycle, some died early, some died later, but they all died. It was a good lesson. All things die in the end, no matter how good they are.

I agree that Death is a proper part of children's education, and did not say otherwise.

However, it is not proper for a Children's Story which is "A Hero's Journey", nor a "Coming of Age" story, to end with the death of the Hero.

I already agreed that the deaths of Harry's parents, his Godfather Sirius, rival Cedric and mentor Dumbledore are proper parts of his journey, life experiences and growth in natural age and emotional maturity. Harry does his natural grappeling with the concept of Death, with its finality, with its meaning in the life of each person, and those who love them. The scene after Sirius' death, where he disucsses his loss with Luna {and her loss of her mother}, is especially well done.

It is not my point that children's stories should never deal with Death, nor yet, the death of 'good people', nor 'young people', nor 'loved ones'. Harry's parents are drawn as regular folks, not perfect {Harry struggled when he learned that Daddy wasn't perfect} but "on the side of Good". Cedric is a rival {not a friend}, a Quiddich player of some skill, a good wizard, but a "good person" and "respected rival", not an enemy. Sirius is flawed, but still, a friend of his parents, a talented wizard, and "on the side of Good". Dumbledore is the Greatest Wizard of his Age, Harry's Mentor, the undisputed Leader of "the Good Side"

Did you hear me say, "none of these people should die in telling Harry's story to children?''

No


Since Tolkien is one of your favorite authors, you should recall that many of the dwarves that travelled with Bilbo were killed at the end of The Hobbit. Tolkien did not spare everyone, and even the major character of Thorin died over his vanity, pride and arrogance. While The Hobbit may have primarily been a "children's story" it certainly can be included in the kind of lesson telling you're describing, but in which characters, main characters, die.

I did not suggest that Tolkien should have spared Throin, the dragon, nor any other character, did I? [If Disney should ever make a film of The Hobbit {* shudder *}, the Dragon will be pink, cuddly, and won't die, I'm sure. Disney's rendition of The Little Mermaid is a travesty. But that is A Cautionary Tale, not a Coming of Age story.]

I asked that you compare the ending of The Hobbit, a tale of Middle Earth written for children, to the ending of LOTR, a tale of Middle Earth written for adults.

Bilbo's fate is revealed in both stories, and the description is different in each book, though they are not in conflict with each other. The children's version tells us simply that Bilbo lived a very long time and was happy.

I do not suggest that children should be shielded from the reality of Death, even the death of "good people". I do suggest that if you contridict your own message about "right living" and its consequences, you are doing children no favor.

Thorin was a King, but he fell prey to greed. He paid the price, as did the Master of Lake Town. Their deaths were cautionary tales. Bilbo lived by better Principles. He was tempted by the lure of the Arkenstone [Lesson: All people, including Good People, are tempted] , but of his own will, gave it over to Bard and Gandalf, so as to avert war and killing, and was willing to take nothing other in payment for his "services" on The Journey he was hired by the Dwarves to undertake, facing mortal peril. Bilbo thereby chose "the right course, which was hard, over the wrong course, which would have been easier", to use Dumbledore's instruction on "right living". This is the purpose of Teaching Tales. Thorin, the Master of Lake Town, and Bilbo all faced the same peril of the Lust of Gold over which a Dragon has long brooded. Love of riches over common sense and Life itself can have disastrous consequences. Bilbo did the right thing, resisted, and his story turned out the better for it. Those who failed that test found things not so good in their lives. [Lesson: Resisting Temptation has good results.]

Had Bilbo died after that, it would betray the children as readers. He has to "live Happily ever after to the end of his days", or the Teaching Tale is one of despair.

Adults, on the other hand, are ready for the far more complex layering of Bilbo's ultimate fate at the end of LOTR. Yes, he lived long, and prospered, and was (mostly) happy. But Life was really not quite that simple, and adults are able to grasp that.



Perhaps the first book, perhaps even a little of the second book. The later books? No way. JK's audience was growing up, and Harry was growing up, and so her books grew up with them. As the stories have grown in the telling, and her audience has grown in the reading, she has introduced more mature elements, adult themes and situations. There was a darker tone to the books in the begining, that death was real, that tragedies happened, but that spectre has grown.

I agree that the children who started reading "HP" with the first book are one year, or two, older with the publication of each successive book in the series. I have no problem with Harry's growing, and dealing with successive stages of maturation in each book. That does not change the fact that these books are marketed for children.

The marketing has certainly changed as well. Of that, there can be very little doubt. This is not longer a story exclusive to children, and in many ways children, of a certain age, should not necessarily be exposed to some of the elements of Harry Potter until they are a wee bit older.

Lots of adults read children's literature. Some adults read adult books to children, too. Doesn't change that a children's book has a different focus than adult books. Again, Tolkien was Christian and Christian themes permeiate his books, but The Hobbit, written for a young audience, does not have the same description of the end of Bilbo's life that is found in LOTR, and for a valid reason. The themes of Childrens' tales are necessiarly more simple, and the results of "right actions" more direct and obvious. Again, if Bilbo, Thorin and the Master of Lake Town all faced the same temptation, and all of them died though Bilbo resisted and "did the right, and brave and difficult thing", then what lesson do you offer the kiddies? "It matters not what you do, so do the easy, wrong thing." Adults know life is not so simple as, "Do good, and prosper", but children have to have a more direct line between "acting properly" and "a good life".

Wow, disagree whole-heartedly. Most Christian sects teach about Jesus' self-sacrifice for us, to rid the world of sins, and to open the path to Heaven.

Of course they do. And "Christian teachings" vary greatly, too, and resist pigeonholing. My point was, most Christian sects start children with a simple, "Jesus Loves Me ..........." message. They usually do not start with the crucifixion and sacrifice with juviniles; they start with his Love, Acceptance, Forgivness ........... not his torture and death as a focus.

This was done, and apparently could only be done, through His crucifixtion, death and resurrection. That's the crux of the entire matter. A lot of folk have died for others, precious few, according to Christian tradition, have born the sins of all mankind and risen from the dead in accordance with prophecy as the Son of God.

Right, that is the full Christian message, and adults and young adults understand this. You don't start with this with the little kiddies, do you? Don't you start singing, "Jesus loves me, this I know ............" ???

My understanding is that those are the major positive aspects of Jesus' ministry in addition to the new teachings and commandments given by Him.

Sorry, but that's the truth of the matter. That's the truth of life. Good people, doing what they believe is right, sometimes die.

Which JKR taught Harry, and her readers, with the death of Harry's parents, Sirius, Cedric, and a host of other characters.

Good people, just living, die.

Which point JKR made for Harry, and her readers, with the death of, say, Luna's mother.

Famine, disease, misfortune, war, terror all take good people, regardless of how good they are. It might be depressing, but it is the truth.

Which point JKR drove home when Harry was shown a picture of the old members of The Order of the Pheonix, and he thought of how many of the people in that photo, his parents included, were now dead {or, like Neville's parents, disabled by insanity due to torture} as a consequence of LV's Wizarding War.

Harry has this point brought home, JKR teaches him this, and teaches her readers, too.

The hope is that in doing the right thing, that others may benefit. Otherwise, why risk life and limb? Why should Harry put himself on the line, and potentially die each time, if it wasn't going to benefit someone else?

Harry, and We, the Readers, know this. They know that "being on the Good Side" is not enough to ensure safety, and that Good People doing The Right Thing may be cut down, anyway.

JKR has shown us, and her child readers, many painful truths about Real Life.

*Life is not fair

*People die; good people die

*Some people are unfairly judged, and punished for things they have not done.

*The struggle against Good and Evil has an uncertain outcome

I guess my main point is, it seems to me JKR "hooked" her readers on a "Heros' Journey" and "Coming of Age" story, when all along it seems it may be a Christian allegory with Harry as the suffering Christ.

It is her tale, but one that is more suited to adults, not children.

I have no trouble teaching children about the reality of suffering and death. Coming to understanding death as a part of Life, and accepting that, is a valid point of every Hero's Journey and Coming of Age story. [The old mentor wizard with the white beard always dies. Obiwan, Gandalf, the wizard in Dragonslayer, Merlin, Dumbledore, all of them, one way or another die or otherwise leave the Hero on his own ............their loss is wrenching, and has to be accepted.]

But again, if Harry instead is "the Christ" figure, doomed from the start to be tortured, suffer and die for his fellows, that should not have been disguiesd in the first volumes. Which I think it was.

That is my point, which I don't think you get.

Ever read a delightful child's book, "Sam, Bangs and Moonshine?" That is a teaching tale about the very real and sometimes deadly consequences that can result from telling lies. The child learns a harsh lesson, as do the readers. But the child does not die. I would not give the book to a child if they had. I hope you can grasp the difference; in a Teaching Tale, there has to be some value in Right Living.
Reply
#14
Darq Ali Wrote:But again, if Harry instead is "the Christ" figure, doomed from the start to be tortured, suffer and die for his fellows, that should not have been disguiesd in the first volumes. Which I think it was.

That is my point, which I don't think you get.

No, as I said above, I got it.

But my point, which I don't think you get, is that I disagree with you as I disagree with almost all of what you've written above. I will not, however, reitterate my arguments. They stand on their own.

Quote:I hope you can grasp the difference; in a Teaching Tale, there has to be some value in Right Living.

Fair enough. Again, I disagree.

One of the values I think worthwhile in learning is that even in "Right Living" you may not come out the other side alive. The value of such is not necessarily found in this life.
All your base are belong to us.

It could be that the purpose of my life is only to serve as a warning to others.
Reply
#15
RobRoy Wrote:No, as I said above, I got it.

But my point, which I don't think you get, is that I disagree with you as I disagree with almost all of what you've written above. I will not, however, reitterate my arguments. They stand on their own.



Fair enough. Again, I disagree.

One of the values I think worthwhile in learning is that even in "Right Living" you may not come out the other side alive. The value of such is not necessarily found in this life.

As you say, "Fair enough". It is a semi-free world, and we can hold different opinions.

However, I hope you will note, Tolkien agreed with me. Again, he published two books about The One Ring. One written for children {The Hobbit}, and the second for an adult audience {the Lord of the Rings}. Both tell the fate of the Hobbit Bilbo. The endings are not "conflicting", but what he chooses to tell children is rather different - in an "upbeat" way - than what he tells the adults.

I cannot illustrate the difference any better than to suggest you re-read what Tolkien says about Bilbo in each book.

P.S. Both CS Lewis and Tolkien are Christian authors of the same era. In fact, they were good friends, and CS Lewis himself says he would never have written for children if Tolkien had not encouraged him. Both author's works concern morality, and are in a sense "Christian" in their message and orientation. But Lewis has a bent I cannot stomach and I would NEVER urge children to read his works. Has to do with some of his prejudices, including the "evil" of children growing up, and also, the issue of "sacrifice" in the way he deals with it.

About Tolkien, I feel very differently.

Perhaps you will appreciate Lewis far more than I do, but that is the difference in people.
Reply
#16
Darq Ali Wrote:However, I hope you will note, Tolkien agreed with me. Again, he published two books about The One Ring. One written for children {The Hobbit}, and the second for an adult audience {the Lord of the Rings}. Both tell the fate of the Hobbit Bilbo. The endings are not "conflicting", but what he chooses to tell children is rather different - in an "upbeat" way - than what he tells the adults.

Sorry, but I don't see where you're getting that "Tolkien agreed with [you]." Tolkien did not intentionally write one story for children and a second story for adults. In fact, from what we know of history of The Lord of the Rings he initially started the book out as a sequel to The Hobbit, but that "the tale grew in the telling" and that roughly about when Elrond's Council takes place, he shifted in both scope and style.

In fact, we should not consider the ending of The Hobbit to be the ending of Bilbo's story, since it's not. It is simply the first book of the tale of the Ring, with the focus on the events of the Quest for Eerebor. If we consider how Bilbo "ends" in The Hobbit, telling lies and bringing about death and destruction, he has already taken his first steps toward the same kind of doom that Smeagol/Gollum suffered. Fortunately, there was a greater power working both for Bilbo and for Middle Earth and our hapless Hobbit hero was spared that same fate.

Still, we should not regard The Hobbit as lacking the same concerns that The Lord of the Rings does. Tolkien spared no one, and any who came in contact with evil suffered from that contact. The Ring, we know, worked on Bilbo as well as the other drwarves. The Hobbit does not treat this in any smaller light, it simply allows for the greater story to be yeilded later.

Quote:I cannot illustrate the difference any better than to suggest you re-read what Tolkien says about Bilbo in each book.

Without being overly pretentious, I could probably quote it for you, if you so desire. :bg: But I fail to see what your argument here is.

Quote:P.S. Both CS Lewis and Tolkien are Christian authors of the same era. In fact, they were good friends,

Yes, I'm aware. They were members of a group called "The Inklings" which included a number of other notable British authors, teachers and critics such as Charles Williams and Adam Fox.

Quote:Has to do with some of his prejudices, including the "evil" of children growing up, and also, the issue of "sacrifice" in the way he deals with it.

Many of the "prejudices" that you claim are often quoted, or rather I should say misquoted, regarding Lewis and his beliefs. Tolkien, also sadly, suffers the same indignation with a number of claimed "prejudices" that are equally untrue. It would be better to read Lewis' non-fiction efforts in order to establish a truer vision of the man and his religious/philosophical bents rather than recite those that have very little basis, and are being culled out of context.

I do, however, prefer Tolkien to Lewis in regards to their fiction writing, but Lewis in his views of the relationship between God and mortals.
All your base are belong to us.

It could be that the purpose of my life is only to serve as a warning to others.
Reply
#17
I've read series over again that i know the outcome to each character already from reading through the first time. It didn't bother my reading the series again or numerous times thereafter.

Nor have I read the Potter books but i imagine after watching all the movies i will take the books up to see what was left out or not covered.

Makes no difference to me.
"Some people say you are going the wrong way, when it's simply a way of your own." ~ Angelina Jolie

Reply
#18
If you've seen the movies but not read the books, you know only an outline of Harry's story, and a very, very incomplete one at that!
Reply
#19
I'd read them again, they're great stories.
Reply
#20
RobRoy Wrote:Sorry, but I don't see where you're getting that "Tolkien agreed with [you]."

Tolkien did not intentionally write one story for children and a second story for adults.

May I disagree? The Hobbit was written in a very simple style, and what little I recall reading of its publication, it was offered as "a children's tale".

From my recollections, Tolkien created his fantasy world of Middle Earth as a backdrop for language studies; he created the Elvish tounges and so forth, and {in his head} created cultures from which he imagined they sprang. Only a part of what was in his head ever made it onto paper, though the fragments of what he never wrote down make interesting reading in Unfinished Tales.

He also felt that England had "lost" much of its origional cultural myth, and that he felt he could, in a way, "re-create" some of that for his nation by telling the tale of Middle Earth.

But the Hobbit was a simple tale of Middle Earth told primarily for a very young audience. It falls, to my thinking, in the catagory of "A Hero's Journey", and is {like I first thought the HP books to be} a Teaching Tale for children. Tolkien directly addresses his young audience at the outset when he says ........... "You will see if he learned anything in the end .........." And he ends with Bilbo living a very long and happy life. Perfect for children.

In fact, from what we know of history of The Lord of the Rings he initially started the book out as a sequel to The Hobbit, but that "the tale grew in the telling" and that roughly about when Elrond's Council takes place, he shifted in both scope and style.

There can be no doubt the tale grew in the telling. People asked for more about Middle Earth, but it was so long in the writing it grew greatly. But the Lord of the Rings is very different in scope and style than The Hobbit. In places, it is hard to imagine it is about the same Middle Earth. The elves of The Hobbit are pretty silly from the noble, sad, grave people of The Lord of the Rings, for one thing.

In fact, we should not consider the ending of The Hobbit to be the ending of Bilbo's story, since it's not.

Agreed. The end of The Hobbit is the end of a book about Bilbo, telling a part of Bilbo's story suitable in style and content for a very young audience. They are not ready to hear that he left The Shire and died an exile. That is my point. Bilbo is The Hero of The Hobbit, and that book is a Teaching Tale, a "Hero's Journey" for children. Hence, the sub-title, "There and Back Again".

And I've already said, such stories can teach about death and other sad things. I've agreed that Thorin died and so on. Those that fell prey to greed paid a terrible price. But the HERO, Bilbo, didn't die. He came home to a happy ending, wiser for his journey. Very suitable ending for that book, offered to children.

It is simply the first book of the tale of the Ring, with the focus on the events of the Quest for Eerebor. If we consider how Bilbo "ends" in The Hobbit, telling lies and bringing about death and destruction, he has already taken his first steps toward the same kind of doom that Smeagol/Gollum suffered. Fortunately, there was a greater power working both for Bilbo and for Middle Earth and our hapless Hobbit hero was spared that same fate.

Still, we should not regard The Hobbit as lacking the same concerns that The Lord of the Rings does. Tolkien spared no one, and any who came in contact with evil suffered from that contact. The Ring, we know, worked on Bilbo as well as the other drwarves. The Hobbit does not treat this in any smaller light, it simply allows for the greater story to be yeilded later.

It ends on a happy upbeat note suitable for a young audience.


Without being overly pretentious, I could probably quote it for you, if you so desire. :bg: But I fail to see what your argument here is.

My argument should be very clear. "There and Back Again" is a Hero's Journey, and ends with Bilbo, the Hero, home safe and sound and having learned some little wisdom in his travels. Presumably, the young reader can learn from Bilbo, too. The Hobbit stands alone, if no one ever reads one more word about Middle Earth. Yes, it is a part of a much larger tale. Indeed, The Lord of the Rings is just a part of a much larger tale, too. If you read all of the works on Middle Earth, you still don't know all the tales you know are there. Part of the charm.

It remains, the ending of The Hobbit is far less dark than that of The Lord of the Rings though it concerns many of the same characters. Because it is a childrens' story, not told in the depth the same tale would be told for adults. And with a different "slant" on the darker aspects.

It is like my reference to Jesus' story. Yes, his death is a "given" from the get-go and sacrifice and the universal state of sin is the message for adults. But you don't start young children with the crucifixion. You start them with Jesus' love for them, his acceptance, you start them off singing, "Jesus loves me, this I know ..............." At least, that is where my christian neighbors start off their kids.

Many of the "prejudices" that you claim are often quoted, or rather I should say misquoted, regarding Lewis and his beliefs.

I was required to read some Lewis novels in a graduate level children's lit class. I didn't read anything beyond the required books because of my own reaction to what I found in his Narnia stories, and my comment was based on direct reading, not on what others have quoted of his. I did also read at least part of his Screwtape letters, as well and my reaction was much the same. I am simply not a fan.

To which I must add: English is a minor of mine, not a major, and I am a lowly grade school childrens teacher, not a college prof, so perhaps "my opinion" isn't good enough. I also do not identify myself as "a Christian". I understand Christian teachings, but do not subscribe to the mythology, though I agree with a great deal of the message of "how people should treat one another", if you can get the difference. Lewis' belief in the "sinfulness" of adults is pretty hard to take if you aren't in the fold; kicking a child out of Narnia because they simply grow up ......... yetch.

Tolkien, also sadly, suffers the same indignation with a number of claimed "prejudices" that are equally untrue. It would be better to read Lewis' non-fiction efforts in order to establish a truer vision of the man and his religious/philosophical bents rather than recite those that have very little basis, and are being culled out of context.

You could be right; but I am going by what I read of his own words, not by what others say about him , and I was less than enchanted and have no reason to know more. I can see why Catholics and some "fundamental" Christians might give his works to children but I would not. I'd go with Lloyd Alexander's Prdyne series, rather. Didn't spell that right, I know, but they are similar in appeal and far less ........ err ....... well, blatently "Christian"; in that they teach about morality and the virtues of right and wise living without the "sin" aspects.

I do, however, prefer Tolkien to Lewis in regards to their fiction writing, but Lewis in his views of the relationship between God and mortals.

I have no interest in teaching children about "God" because I don't believe in "God" or other myths.

However, I do believe in virtue and "right living" and in giving children Heroes who they can look up to, and good examples to emulate.

I thought Harry Potter was that kind of series.

If instead it is about death and not expecting any rewards for making good decisions in this life, I would not give it to children.

Already there are some pretty questionable examples, such as The Twins, who thumb their noses at loving parents, defy all authority, drop out of school, and do well. Hey, we all love a rebel. But ........... now we have Harry saying he too will drop out of school. If he does and dies, well ..............

Nope, not my cup o tea nor kettle o fish. We must teach our kids how to deal right with their lives in this world. If the messages are, break the rules, drop out of school, SUCCEED! And then, "do the right thing, suffer and die" ................ hey, not what I'd be teaching.

Of course, that is my opinion and it is worth what you paid for it. I begin to get the impression you think your "right to judge" is superior to my own. Perhaps it is, but my judgment of books is on the basis of utility in getting something across to children.

The major charm of HP is the kids like the books and will actually read them. The down side is if the content teaches things you don't agree with. At first, I was enchanted. I am thinking I am less so right along. As someone who attempts to influence {for the better} the life choices of children, that is the basis on which I am judging. Not literary merit alone, nor appeal to me.

To the degree some Christians have a wholly negative view of this life, and that we should expect no good to come of "making the right choices that are hard", I reject the Christian message. It is not that I deny that all people eventually die; that good people die; that 'right choices' don't always mean success. Nor that kids shouldn't learn about death and other hard truths.

I live in the real world. I am very fond of saying, The World Is Not A Perfect Place. But I don't know how you can get across to children there is any REASON to "do right" if it leads nowhere, while those who do wrong are rewarded. Yes, sometimes it works out that way, and we all go out of this world as we came in, naked and alone. But if that is all the way your tales go, if your Heroes who try to live right fail in making a decent life "after the storm", they may be "Christian parables" but of little interest to me.

Which seems a road down which JKR may be headed. If Harry is a "Christ figure" I shall feel JKR decieved her readers. That's my point.

And I marvel how some Christians are "against" the HP saga due to the "witchcraft" charge ............ for it seems to be turning into a tale only for their ilk.
Reply

MYCode Guide

Possibly Related Threads...
Thread Author Replies Views Last Post
  Video: October 2011 Big Read panel "Before and After Harry Potter" BookBug 0 606 December 27th, 2011, 02:57 AM
Last Post: BookBug
  American Film Institute to recognize Harry Potter series with special award Michael 0 554 December 12th, 2011, 12:34 PM
Last Post: Michael
  Biography Channel showing new series of Harry Potter documentaries Michael 0 448 November 21st, 2010, 10:35 PM
Last Post: Michael
  Is the series cursed? badlands 2 619 July 9th, 2009, 09:19 PM
Last Post: Michael
  Scholastic to broadcast Harry Potter read-a-thon on Web Michael 0 775 August 24th, 2008, 01:29 AM
Last Post: Michael
  Something new to read Irene 0 874 July 3rd, 2008, 11:02 AM
Last Post: Irene
  J.K. Rowling to read for New Orleans Public Schools in October, 2007 Michael 1 1,642 September 19th, 2007, 05:34 PM
Last Post: gilthoniel
  *** ADMINISTRATIVE NOTICE - Please Read Before Posting Today *** RobRoy 0 1,354 August 16th, 2006, 12:41 PM
Last Post: RobRoy
  Has anyone here not read the books? The Thunder Child 23 1,375 December 24th, 2005, 08:11 PM
Last Post: Harry Gondorian
  How many times do you read each Harry Potter Book? Boba,Obi Wan,Jango 58 2,796 January 20th, 2005, 04:18 AM
Last Post: Kwik silver 44

Forum Jump: