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Norton, Briauna REL3112 Rowling Paper Though it may not be very apparent at first read, with a deeper understanding and analysis, it is clear that both J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series and J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Ring series are Christian works. Rowling and Tolkien creatively, and almost imperceptibly, insert ideals of the Christian faith and Augustinian beliefs into their children’s book series. Through the portrayal of god-like characters, death, and the significance of providence, Rowling manages to embody the important aspects of Christianity and create a series that forces readers to open their minds to faith. In his analysis of Genesis, Augustine states that pride is the first step to becoming evil; one begins to live for himself rather than for God. When Adam and Eve make the decision to consume the forbidden fruit, they do it for their own sake, not God’s. God punishes them with a life of sin. 1 During a scene where Harry and the other first year students of Hogwarts are learning to fly on a broomstick, Harry recounts how arrogant his fellow classmate, Draco Malfoy, is. 2 Draco is extremely mouthy and believes himself to be better than some of the other wizarding students because his parents are a wizard and a witch. In Rowling’s Harry Potter series, it is the worst thing in the world to be called arrogant. This stance on arrogance relates to Augustine’s writings on pride. By portraying arrogance in this way, Rowling draws on Augustine’s very Christian ideology, yet again proving the Christian nature of her series. Additionally, in Tolkein’s writings, pride is the ultimate downfall of the most powerful wizard, Gandalf. During the final battle in Fellowship of the Ring, Gandalf arrogantly states that he is the only one capable 1 Augustine, “The City of God Against the Pagans”, 611 2 Rowling, The Sorcerer’s Stone, “The Midnight Duel”
Norton, Briauna REL3112 Rowling Paper of defeating the very dangerous Balgrog. In saying this, Gandalf displays pride that causes his death. 3 In a very Augustinian manner, Tolkein shows how pride is a non- Christian emotion and will be punished. If something is neither human nor inhuman, Augustine believes this is the true embodiment of evil. 4 When Voldemort is first seen in Goblet of Fire he is described as “childlike”, but not a child. 5 In this description Rowling draws on Augustine’s ideal of falseness. Voldemort has become this non-human being because he has truly accepted evil as his only way of living. He wishes nothing more than to be a God-like figure and defy death for eternity—he is willing to do anything to ensure this. As long as Voldemort

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