The Psychology of Childhood/Romantic Reflection
1. In many Romantic stories, there are two worlds. One is the real and hard-to-see one (that the hero/heroine discovers); the other is the false one in which most people (including parents/step-parents/teachers) live. These people in the false world usually do not see/believe in the real world. With at least one page reference and quote from both the novel and Egan’s text, what do you believe is the psychological significance of each world? What are the major differences between the Muggles and the people from Hogwarts? What do you think this difference means in the life of a 7-12-year-old child?
2. Harry Potter has enjoyed immense popularity with older aged children (7-12) and adults. To date, it has sold over 400 million copies worldwide. To do that well, something in the story must be speaking to people.
- Write the heading “Initial Situation.” Under it, using at least two page references* from the book, describe the “initial situation” that Harry finds himself in? In what ways might this be similar to the experienced lives of children who are reading this book (refer to Egan here)?
- Then write the heading “Task/Need” and under it describe just what Harry must do in order to resolve/address this initial situation (particularly in the context of what he needs to do regarding himself and what he needs to do regarding the world). Be sure to include at least one page reference in your description.
- Finally, under the heading “Resolution/Lesson,” go back to your description of the initial situation and explicitly discuss how Harry resolves it as the story unfolds. Pay particular attention to what Harry learns about: 1) the world/reality and 2) himself from taking his quest. Be sure to include at least one page reference here too. What “lesson” or message might Harry Potter be sending to children about how you establish a “non-mythical” connection to the world? Be sure this lesson directly speaks to the Initial Situation you discussed in 2a. It should resolve that situation. What do you think of this solution?
With at least three examples from the text, relate Erikson’s notion of Industry vs. Inferiority to Harry Potter and his story.
3. Explain the significance of “passing through the wall” to Hogwarts. What does Harry have (which Muggles don’t) that enables him to do this? In the end, why is V**demort unable to kill Harry? With reference to Egan, what might this mean to a middle child? What does the Mirror of Erised reveal about Harry’s “powers?” With reference to Egan, what might this mean or offer to a middle child?
* “PAGE REFRENCES” mean you should quote the representative text and cite the page from the book where it is located.
* Egan’s KEY POINTS ON THE ROMANTIC JOURNEY ARE ATTACHED