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Love and Human Relationships Emphasized in Harry Potter Novels Harry Potter novels narrate the story of an orphan

Harry, who has been miserably brought up by his uncle and aunt, Mr. and Mrs.Dursley. When Harry turns eleven he finds out that he is a wizard and belongs to a different world. His long journey of adventures in the magical world begins from there. J K Rowling creates a bizarre magical world where our imagination stretches beyond its limits. But it is not a completely strange world. In Jaya Chakravorthys words these novels reflect the world we live in. But, it is actually an inversion of the real world. Rowling seems to making a critique on the diminishing value of love and human relationships in the contemporary materialistic society. Love Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary defines love as a strong feeling of deep affection for sb/sth, especially a member of your family or a friend Love comes as a dominating theme in the Harry Potter novels. Rowlings brilliance lies in connecting this most common feeling with magic in her work. In the Harry Potter novels love is not a mere feeling but it is a force or a power which can stand against all the evils in the world. Harrys mother Lily sacrifices her life in order to save him from the Lord Voldemort. Her love towards Harry gives him protection from all the dark forces. In the first novel Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone, Lord Voldemort possessing Prof. Quirrel cannot be able to touch Harry because of Lilys protection. Albus Dumbledore, Harrys headmaster reminds him this fact again and again. Your mother died to save youeven though the person who loved us is gone, (she/he) will give us some protection forever. It is in your very skin. Quirrel, full of hatred, greed and ambition, sharing his soul with Voldemort, could not touch you for this reason. It was agony to touch a person marked by something so good (Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone, p. 216) Dumbledore believes love is the most powerful magic in the world. Voldemort, without understanding the power of love finds his downfall and finally dies by his own deflected curse. Dumbledore explains Harry that his ability to love others is the only power he has against Voldemort. You are protected, in short, by your ability to love. The only protection that can possibly work against the lure of power like Voldemorts! (Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince, p. 477) In fairy tales or fantasy stories the norm is, the protagonist acquire some special power or a weapon to destroy the powerful villain. But Rowling places an inner feeling in the place of that

powerful weapon. Almost all the fantasy stories depict the clash between good and evil. Harry Potter is not an exception in that case but, here love itself acts as its protector. Rowling brings the clash between love and hatred to the world literally. (Look at the concept of good magic and dark magic in the novels. You need a feeling of hatred and anger to produce a curse like Craciatus. And you need a happy feeling to produce Patronus). Lord Voldemort is villain obviously because he cannot understand love. In fact he does not need love. He mocks at Dumbledores praising of the power of love. In Shawn E. Kleins opinion, Voldemorts pursuit of immortality is also the point where he rejects humanity and love. Klein also points out how even the Dumbledore- the ideal wizard- loses his sister in the young age due to his interest in the objects which make a man immortal and powerful. The most interesting example for the demonstration of the power of love in the novel is the character of Severus Snape. He loathes Harry from the day he sets foot in Hogwarts. Readers cannot help but hating Snape with Harry. Only at the end we realize Snape is not a villain. His love towards Harrys mother makes him to take all the risks to accomplish the responsibility given to him by Dumbledore. In fact he protects Harry many times. But his hatred with James Potter and Sirius (Harrys godfather) forces him to treat Harry cruelly. It is because Harry resembles his father in appearance and attitude. That reminds Snape his old enmity. In the construction of Snapes character Rowling is really beyond the conventions of fantasy stories. Human relationships As an extension of love, human relationships are emphasized in the novels. The role and influence of parents on the children is often discussed here. Harry is often reminded about his qualities inherited by his parents. When Harry rescues his Godfather Sirius from Dementors, Sirius says You are-truly your fathers son Harry (Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban, p. 303). In the same book Dumbledore tells Harry that his father lives within him. Harrys appearance, the magic he performs (for example Patronus), his skill in sports, his actions, decisions, attitude everything looked as an inheritance from his parents. He enjoys that prospect. Harrys strong desire to see his lost family makes him see himself surrounded by all of his family members in the Mirror of the Erised, the magical mirror which shows ones strongest desires. He finds his lost family in Weasleys and Sirius. Weasleys adopt him in a way. He finds all the love and affection which he never had with the Dursleys. The two families Dursleys and Weasleys are often contrasted to show the faults in the contemporary, urban, nuclear family. Dursleys who represent such a system are shown as selfish, materialistic and less humane. On the other hand Weasleys are a large rural family where even outsiders like Harry and Hermione can feel free. Dudley seems as an extreme case of selfishness and dissatisfaction increasing among the children of urban nuclear families. He never gets satisfied. On his eleventh birthday he cries because he has one less present than the previous

year. He does not let Harry to touch television or his computer. On the contrary Weasleys family loves to share everything they have even though they are extremely poor. Rowling talks about the dangers of over ambition which can shadow the family responsibilities with Dumbledores example. Dumbledore, who is praised as the best wizard in the world, in his young age tries to escape from the familial responsibilities. He becomes unhappy when the responsibility of his ill sister comes on his shoulders. He thinks she is an obstacle on his path to glorious future. In his curiosity to find Deathly Hallows he forgets that his companion Grindelwald is not a good wizard. He confesses to Harry that the death of his sister is his fault. Throughout the story readers think that Dumbledore does not conquer power because he is a modest wizard. But, Dumbledore tells Harry that he was afraid of power because people who go behind power misuse it and hurt others. (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows) Friendship and solidarity is another aspect of human relationship emphasized in the novels. Harry is accompanied by his two best friends Ron and Hermione in all his dangerous adventures. Harry enjoys their company. In fact if we ignore the element of action and adventure, the story of Harry Potter novels can be seen as the story of development in the relationships among Harry, Ron and Hermione. Teamwork is the driving force in Harrys side. His adventures are impossible without the help of his friends. Voldemorts case is shown as complete reverse to Harrys. He likes to work alone. He has no friends. Dumbledore, in Half Blood Prince explains Harry how Voldemort liked to work alone since his childhood. He only uses his followers to ascend the steps of power, but Harry, as Jaya Chakravorthy says never puts his friends life in jeopardy. Harry goes on finding new relationships in his journey, like Weasleys, Sirius, Lupin etc... But, Voldemort goes on detaching himself by the reminders of his former links, except those which helps him to be in the position of power. He rejects his old name reminding his father and creates a new one himself. Harrys relationship with the house elf Dobby is a special one. The question of slavery is discussed in relation with house elves. Harry sets Dobby free from the agonistic servitude of Molfoys. This makes Dobby feel indebted to Harry and he dies in saving Harry and his friends. Harrys grief to Dobbys death is the most touching sequence in the HP novels (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows, Shell Cottage), except perhaps the chapter after Siriuss death in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Harry Potter novels give the message that however strong the evil force may be it can be defeated by strong bondage between human beings. Dumbledores speech in the last chapter of The Goblet of Fire preaches it explicitly. Harry wins the battle not because he is the best warrior but, he does not hesitate sacrifice himself to save others. The values which he fights for, saves him also.

Love and human relationships are the two important themes in Harry Potter novels. In fact they are the deciding factors of the course of the story. By connecting these two common elements with magic Rowling foregrounds them better than any other fantasy story writer.