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British Literature Professor Says Harry Won't Die

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Posted by: sue
July 18, 2006, 09:46 AM

There has been another entry in the continuing debate over whether Harry will live or die in Book Seven; this time from a British Victorian Literature expert. Professor James Krasner of the University of New Hampshire states "There's no way Harry will die,” he says. “Harry won't die largely because these are comic stories, like Dickens' novels, in which good has to win.” Professor Krasner goes on to relate the work by J.K. Rowling to those common in other British literature.

"Rowling employs the genre of British Private Boy School novels, a popular writing style of 19th century Britain but one that may be unfamiliar to most Americans. The classic novel of this genre is Tom Brown's Schooldays, set in the Rugby School for Boys. “The stock characters in these stories are very similar to those in Harry Potter. There's the serious, good-hearted hero from a modest background, the obnoxious aristocratic kid who lords it over everyone, and the nebishy friend to the hero. The stories tend to focus on rugby games (Quidditch games in Harry Potter) and pranks that take place in the dorms after the lights go out,” Krasner says.

“Rowling's books are very well written, and we're lucky to be around to see them created. Her particular talent is plotting and comic characterization. She's a lot like Dickens in that she does such a good job with comedy, and with predictable plotlines, that she can move into tragedy, and complexity, rather than starting with a tragic mode.”

As for the final outcome, Professor Krasner said "Lord Voldemort has to die. And Snape, who is really fighting for good despite all appearances, will likely die. Neville Longbottom is really the chosen one, so I suspect he'll die."


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