Harry Potter: Our Generation's Story
Friday, June 03, 2011 By Amy Busch
It began on a train from Manchester to London in 1990. But it was not until September 1997 that the world fell immediately in love with the "boy who lived."
After seven books, released over a span of ten years, and seven movies, the last of which will be released on July 15, Harry Potter has become the story of a generation.
But what is it that has fans flocking to book and movie releases, buying Potter merchandise, listening to "wizard rock," visiting the countless Potter fan websites, and flying from all parts of the world to the Wizarding World theme park?
After a certain age, it is difficult for American children to remember a time when Harry Potter was not a part of their lives. In fact, even for older generations, the bespectacled boy wizard is hard to ignore. Even those that maintain a quiet disinterest have certain amount of respect for author J.K. Rowling’s work.
Senior Dionna Klein, well known for her healthy obsession with Rowling’s world, said, "Harry Potter has transformed a generation and inspired a nation. I honestly cannot remember a time when Harry wasn’t a part of my life. Ever since second grade the series has captured all of our hearts."
Rowling’s novels have grown far more popular than she had ever imagined. In a 2010 interview with talk show host Oprah Winfrey, when asked about the success of it all, Rowling simply said, "I was not prepared for this."
"This" being the fact that the series would be translated into over 60 languages, that eight blockbuster movies closely following the novels would be created, that the word "muggle" would be included in the dictionary, that there would be over 200 quidditch teams in the United States alone, and that her novels would define the childhoods of generation.
Senior Natalie Morton said, "Harry Potter isn’t just a series, but something we grew attached to throughout our childhoods."
This is the last generation that will wait for a Harry Potter release, that will celebrate a midnight release, and that can remember the first release of "The Sorcerer’s Stone." On July 15, when "Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows" hits theaters, it all comes to an end.
Or does it?
This generation has formed a special relationship with Harry, and it would be impossible for such well-respected literature, such imaginative stories, and such beloved characters not to live on in the hearts of those that grew up with the magic of Harry’s world.