Re: [mythsoc] Fairness for Harry Potter critics?
- At 11:01 PM -0400 8/8/00, Stolzi@... wrote:
>But the most serious challenges come from conservative Christians who object
>to the images and themes of witchcraft found throughout Harry Potter'sThe first two seem harmless to me, Rowling has a couple digs at her
>exploits. Some parents have characterized the books as "evil."
critics in book three, as far as I got (wasn't my copy to keep and
finish, and would rather have it in the Queen's English anyway) I
didn't enjoy them, but I understand why she was tempted to put them
>Sensible, you always catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.
>1) Don't overreact.
>It isn't clear that that is what Rowling is actually doing, however.
>2) Listen to what's really being said.
>But fear of the occult is not entirely unfounded in a society where every
>of "religion" imaginable is practiced -- including religions that are
>violent, occult and dangerous.
She might be moving in that direction, but certainly not in the first
two books, and if she does move in that direction, reaction to her
critics might even have been the cause.
>Or perhaps 'also allow' Things do seem very one-sided in that
>These parents aren't against stories of imagination and adventure. But as one
>critic asked, would public schools allow teachers to assign the Narnia tales
>C.S. Lewis and discuss the Christian symbolism with the class?
sector, but I don't think that it has to be that way.
>3) Try to respond with fairness and respect.
>Start by making sure that parents are familiar with the books that are
>or read by teachers. Informed parents tend to be far more supportive than
>parents who feel like outsiders.
>Be sure to let parents know that they may request to have their child excused
>from a particular reading if the assignment violates their religious
>convictions. But if the parents still insist that the book be removed
>follow a fair, consistent process for addressing the issue. A broadly
>representative group of parents and educators should be at the table, with
>school board making the ultimate decision.
>And that the books used are well-written enough and interesting
>A final word of advice:
>This challenge is an opportunity to re-examine the curriculum as a whole.
>sure that a variety of perspectives and worldviews are represented.
enough to cultivate a real love of reading in the students.
>I think it can be done.
>If Rowling is read, how about including selections from C.S. Lewis, J.R.R.
>Tolkein and others? Are all of the assigned stories secular, or are some
>from various religious and cultural traditions? Designing a curriculum that
>fair and balanced takes work.
IMHO, of course,
>I read that the publisher thought that Americans wouldn't buy a book,So publishers may think, narrow-mindedly. I like to think that even
>especially for children, if it had "philosopher's" anything in the title.
>Alas! Probably too close to the truth.
Americans might find a phrase like "philosopher's stone" intriguing rather
than off-putting. I do, and certainly children are attracted to such
things, even if some adults are not. I first read about the Philosopher's
Stone in Flash comics in the 1960s, when DC were throwing all sorts of
education at its young audience without us realizing, and liked the sound
of the words as much as the concept.
Rowling's publishers, both of them I gather, of course also felt that no
boy would read a book by a female author, hence "J.K." rather than
"Joanne". It never bothered me as a young reader who wrote a book as long
as it was good, and there can be few male Harry Potter fans now who don't
know that Rowling is a woman.