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  • One thing that strikes me about it is that it's in some ways very like the Dickins phenomenon Waas in the middle of the 19th century.

  • Hugely popular stories.

  • And, of course, in Dick in Stein.

  • They were serialized in newspapers, so there was a kind of the same idea of something coming out and then Maur coming out and more coming out, which we have with the books because it's a serious of books.

  • It's a little bit different, but there's this idea that you will be getting Maur of it if you stick with it.

  • That's an important thing.

  • But I think that she taps into something that Dickins tapped into.

  • And perhaps Dickins really created this idea, which is that you take a central character who has all sorts of very good qualities, virtues, strengths but isn't a ll that interesting as a person.

  • And what you do then is that you surround that central character with a whole range of extremely vivid and interesting characters, some of whom are very good, some of whom are very, very bad, indeed and some of whom are a sort of a mixture.

  • But they're all very, very vividly drawn characters.

  • Well, Harry Potter himself, I think, is the sort of moral center of the story, and he's a little bit like a Dickens's character.

  • It's a story of growth, which Dickins often when enforce that you start with a young, very young person and you take them through to adulthood.

  • That's what's going on with Harry.

  • They start their life in very difficult circumstances, and it was a brilliant move, I think, on Rollings part to know, to start the stories of the school.

  • But to start them at the dirt sleaze house because the Dursley firmly are absolutely archetypical e.

  • D.

  • Kensi and family, the family that the reader loves to hate.

  • They've got a lot of ice is that we instinctively dislike their selfish, unself knowing their absurdly indulgent towards their nasty child.

  • They're very nasty to Harry, even though he's a very, very good person.

  • And so the reader build up a great fund of resentment against this family and a feeling that Harry deserves something better.

  • And then when he goes to the school, we find a rich and friendly encompassing world for Harry to move into.

  • If the stories had started at the school we wouldn't have such a strong feeling about that rich and encompassing friendly environment.

  • We go to the school with Harry after he's been through this terrible experience with the dirt sleaze.

  • And so the school seems so much Maura wonderful place to go to.

  • There are various parallels.

  • So in Oliver Twist, for instance, we get the story of a young boy right from birth on.

  • Of course, as with Harry, there's a mystery about his birth, and it's a mystery that isn't explained to us until the end of the story.

  • But something has happened at his birth that separated him from his family and then has put him into a Siri's of horrible environments.

  • First of all, there's the workhouse.

  • Then Oliver falls in with the gang led by Fagan, who's an extremely colorful ah, basically immoral but in some ways rather likeable on admirable character.

  • But then you do also get the utterly horrible Bill Sykes, who's a kind of pathologically violent and nasty person, somewhat like Voldemort.

  • I mean, he doesn't have the powers of old Imola, but he has the utter, dislikable nous that Voldemort has.

  • And of course, for Oliver it comes right in the end, but he has to go through this terrible experience.

  • First of all, so Oliver Twist is a very good example of this.

  • There are other stories of well, so what's the appeal of the stories?

  • Both the stories by Dickins and the Harry Potter story.

  • So it's something I think to do with the fact that you've got these extremely vivid characters who illustrate extremes of moral dimensions so much more than in real life.

  • We're looking at people who have characters that we can identify as being good or being bad characters.

  • And that's something which people very much enjoy in fiction, and it tends to work.

  • There are other things going on on.

  • I think at that point, probably the parallels with chicken start to break down.

  • The school story framework works very, very well, I think.

  • On dhe.

  • The combination of the school story with the magical story also works because those two things tend to pull in different directions and on their own they can fail to work, but together they produce a really attractive package, I think because the school story setting means that you've got an extremely stable on dhe predictable environment for these characters to live in.

  • But then the magical element exerts a kind of constant disruption of that stability.

  • So you're constantly working against the background, which is extremely stable and predictable.

  • And then these forces come into play, which we don't really understand.

  • We can't predict the consequences.

  • We can't predict what sorts of magic people will be using.

  • Well, one of the things I've been very interested in is the relation between literature on the idea of personality and character.

  • Um, I think it's pretty clear that literature, although it sometimes moves away from this, is very stable e associate ID with the idea off very strong and vivid character trays and a lot of the most successful literature that we have works because the people in the stories have these very vivid and strong character traits.

  • That's true in Shakespeare, People said right from the time of Shakespeare's writing, and certainly through the 18th century that Shakespeare's riel achievement was to create characters who were so vivid that we somehow felt that they lived outside the place, that these were people that you could think about on ask well, what were their early lives like what did they do?

  • And what did they think when they weren't appearing on stage?

  • So Shakespeare creates these eggs, credibly vivid characters, and that becomes something which people value tremendously.

  • And then, you see it really brought to fruition in the 19th century novel with people like Austin Dickins Water Scott.

  • Somebody not very popular now but immensely popular in the 19th century, full of very vivid characters.

  • I think it's partly to do with taking character trays that we're familiar with in real life and exaggerating them so that what you end up with is people in stories whose behavior is driven by their characters much more than really, people's behavior is driven by their characters.

  • There's quite a lot of evidence coming in from social psychology that, in reality, people's behavior is no much determined by their character.

  • It's much more determined by the circumstances that they find themselves in.

  • We have a strong belief in character, and it may really be rather in in the nature of an illusion.

  • Well, the characters in Harry Potter, on the whole are much more driven by their character trays, their virtues and their vices, as people sometimes say than real people ever would be, and that's very typical of successful literature.

  • That's what we find in Dickens's That's What We Find in a ll, the great novels of the 19th century.

  • Now a lot of the literature of the 20th century has tried to get away from that and have a kind of more subtle, more situationally driven conception of human nature.

  • And some people value that.

  • But on the whole, it doesn't make for popular literature.

  • It doesn't make for best sellers.

  • If you want people to read your novels in their millions, it does seem a Ziff.

  • You're gonna have to go back to this notion of character and give people what they want.

  • It may well be that one of the things that attracts us to Harry Potter and literature that kind is the thought that some of the characters are like us on dhe.

  • Going back to the Dickins idea, which Harry Potter embodies.

  • I think people are strongly attracted to the idea that they themselves are basically good, and yet they are put upon by other people who are not good.

  • And that, of course, is the position that Harry Potter starts his life in with the dirt sleaze.

  • And that's really what drives a lot of Kensi and novels.

  • And it may be that we find that at least extremely empathic.

  • We find it very easy to put ourselves in the situation of a basically a good person who's put in a very difficult set of circumstances.

  • No, because we've actually been in those very difficult circumstances ourselves.

  • But we like to think that if we were in those situations, we come through in the way that Harry and the other Dick Enzian characters do.

One thing that strikes me about it is that it's in some ways very like the Dickins phenomenon Waas in the middle of the 19th century.

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Why do people like Harry Potter?

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/04/04
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