Rituals And Beliefs In Harry Potter And The Sorcerer's Stone

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In the film Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, the setting takes place in a magical world in London, England where the main characters attend a school named Hogwarts: School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. In the film numerous characters and moments embody the theories Malory Nye point out in his book Religion: The Basics. Essentially, rituals and beliefs are prevalent in this film and the use of the theories can analyze such things. Examining Harry Potter using Arnold Van Gennep’s rites of passage, Edmund Leach’s theory of rituals and repetition, Claude Levi-Strauss’ ritualistic symbolism, and Malcolm Ruel’s definition of beliefs being “weak” and “strong” to convey that the aspect of the character’s lives basically comes down to the forming …show more content…
Harry is brought into the world with the cards against him; being raised by extended family who despise him because of jealousy and narrow minded thoughts that stems from his aunt, limited opportunities, and living in an environment designed to demoralize a child (cabin under the stairs). However Harry finally gets introduced to the wizard world, immediately embraces who he is and attends Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Potter undergoes through the first stage of van Gennep’s rites of passage, separation. According to Gennep it is the stage where he is separated from the roles and obligations he had before (Nye 2008, 146). Harry leaves his miserable life with the Dursleys behind and is quick to form a relationship with other wizards, Ron and Hermione. The stage of liminality Harry experiences is the first school year in Hogwarts. “The liminal stage may entail an inversion of ‘normal’ life, marked by different forms of dress, a different place, and different kinds of behavior” (Nye 2008, 147), the things Harry does throughout the …show more content…
As Malory states, almost any action is a ritual, and in the film the symbolism characters have of certain characters is ritualistic. The stark differences between the two characters Albus Dumbledore and Voldemort is that the former has and plans to destroy anything in his way; he is a very evil character. In the movie, the association other characters has of these two display “the meaning of the ritual transmitted through the relations between symbols and ideas” (Nye 2008, 147). Voldemort symbolizes benevolence and unruly actions, and he is known to be hell bent on the fact that he wants things to go his way only. Whereas, Albus is the only one who Voldemort fears due to his goodness, strong bonds with others, and most importantly power; “as long as Dumbledore 's around, you 're safe” Hermione states to Harry. In the movie some characters give Voldemort an alias rather than say his name due to malevolent thoughts associated; the ritual of referring to someone and having an underlying meaning shows that symbols and ideas within the ritual. Therefore the choice of repetition and the association of symbols with a

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