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Children in the face of adversity a comparison of Harry Potter and Jane Eyre

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Introduction

Wider reading essay: Children in the face of adversity a comparison of Harry Potter and Jane Eyre The two books that I am comparing are Harry Potter and the Philosopher's stone by J.K Rowling and Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bront�. The two children in the stories are both under similar types of mistreatment by their guardians. Both their parents are dead and they are both being looked after their aunts and uncle. Jane was being looked after by her uncle but he died. In my essay, I will try to point out the similarities and differences between the two characters' lives. As well as giving you a brief summary of both books. Joanne Kathleen Rowling was born on the thirty-first June 1965 in Chepstow, Gwent. You could say that she has been a writer for the majority of her life as her first book - Rabbit - was written when she was a little girl of 6. She left Chepstow for Exeter University, where her course included one year in Paris. As a postgraduate she moved to London for two years to work at Amnesty International doing research into human rights abuses in Francophone Africa. She started writing Harry Potter after the idea occurred to her on an interminable Manchester to London train journey. By the time she got off at King's Cross station, Harry's story was conceived as a seven book series and many of the characters in the books had already been invented. She wrote during her lunchtimes in cafes and pubs. Joanne then moved to Oporto in north Portugal for three years to teach English as a foreign language, married a Portuguese journalist, and became pregnant. By the time her daughter was born, her book was one-quarter finished. Back in a tiny flat in Edinburgh, now divorced and unemployed, she still continued to write at the local cafe, while her infant daughter slept. ...read more.

Middle

The prejudice that people had against them was horrific and I think that Charlotte was trying to show the richer people of that time the error of thinking like that. For instance in Jane Eyre when Mr Brocklehurst starts to say things about Jane that are not true he also commented on the vanity of the girls simply because they plaited their hair. When rich girls entered the room who had done far more than jus plait their hair nothing was done. In fact they were given honoured seats. Class was a much bigger issue then than it is now. People of that time put a lot of importance on class which funnily enough is like the situation in the Asian community. In Harry Potter I think that the class factor is in there as well in the separation that the different houses bring. The rivalry that the Slytherin house and the Gryffindor house have is immense. Likewise the high class and the low class had a lot of tension and hatred between them in the Victorian times. In the school the Slytherin students are seen as low evil characters whereas the Gryffindor students as the noble ones who have good hearts at the very least. What one house stands for is what the other house is against. So naturally the tension between the two houses just keeps increasing. I think the way Miss Rowling wrote her books the reader realises that all Slytherin students are not to be admired. On the contrary they are to be despised and hated. Likewise with Jane Eyre, her aunt and cousins are recognised as people who are the Slytherins of Jane Eyre if you will. When I watched a television programme about J.K Rowling I learned that the Harry Potter Series was written in basic form while she was on a train from Manchester to London, I don't think that she intended to base some of the characters on people who were in her life at that time. ...read more.

Conclusion

When she finishes in her orphanage she could get a job as a tutor or governess. The rest of the story with mild editing would also fit in. things like changing carriages to cars and the dialect of the characters. It reminds me of what I saw when I was doing Macbeth for English. The many different versions of the play shown had been set in the modern era at times and only had a few minor alterations. I think that Jane Eyre could be edited in the same way. Harry Potter was a good book in my opinion because it set fantasy in reality. Joanne Rowling set the story in a place we would know in a time that we are familiar with but the story is basically indifferent to the goings on of the outside world which we live in. which is funny as we, the audience, really do believe that what we read is real. So in a sense we start to believe that as they are indifferent to us we are to them. Except they are aware of our existence but we are unaware of theirs. Even though we know that wizards do not exist like when I read The Hitchhiker as part of the short story book `The Story of Henry Sugar and six more' I couldn't help but think that someone in the world could do that. I think that the further books by J.K Rowling will all be hits if she carries on writing like she does now. So in conclusion, Harry Potter and Jane Eyre were both children in the face of adversity but one thing that I noticed about them is that they never lost the thing that keeps the whole human race going. That thing is hope they both held on to their hope that one day things would get better and that hope came through in the end. Jane was united with her cousins and Harry went to a boarding school where he had more fun than at home. ...read more.

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