Regis College Senior Honors Program
Thesis - Open Access
Number of Pages
My thesis involved studying Rowling's Harry Potter series as it relates to history, as an allegory for the Holocaust, Freudian psychology, and the Campbellian hero. I considered why Rowling's work, though children's literature, is still important: indeed, its importance is largely derived from the fact that it is written for children. It imparts moral teachings without being didactic and it relates to the struggles children encounter and Rowling addresses that every individual has the potential for both good and evil within themselves. By looking at the connections between the hero and villain through the lenses of psychology, the hero's quest, and just war theory I came to the realization that the overarching connection lay in the latent good and evil present within everyone and the choices we make as individuals that turn one into the archetypal hero or villain. By Rowling addressing these problems in an easily accessible way, the reader can come to a deeper understanding of themselves, their society, and their past. No one is destined to be the hero or the villain but if we realize the potentialities for both within ourselves and others, we can be better prepared for all eventualities.
Date of Award
© Amy Lytle
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Lytle, Amy, "Defense Against the Dark Arts: Harry Potter and the Allegory for Evil" (2013). Regis University Student Publications (comprehensive collection). 587.