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Harry Potter: Modern Hero's Journey

             Not many would expect the newest incarnation of the classic "Hero's Journey" to turn up in the form of an awkward 11 year old. However, J.K. Rowling's popular series of books based on the beloved hero, Harry Potter have proved to be everything a classic journey should involve. The story is choc-full of archetypal elements that speak to the shared subconscious of today and days past. Harry's birthright is his adventure; however he doesn't set out on his journey until his 11th birthday. He battles his nemesis, or shadow, ultimately saving lives and sharing important information. Vladimir Propp, a Russian structuralist developed the pattern of the 31 functions of a hero tale by looking at the pattern of events rather then the characters. His theory is that any hero journey can be broken down using a combination of his functions. Harry Potter is a modern tale with mythological themes and archetypes that follows all of these functions. .
             Preparatory Section: 2: An interdiction (ban) is addressed to the hero.
             Orphaned at one year old from his famous and talented wizard parents, Lily and James, Harry is fated for a purpose known and not yet realized. After Harry's birth, a prophecy is given that states Harry will be the sole person born with the power to defeat the most powerful of the Dark Wizards, Lord Voldermort. Myth has shown us that he must be displaced among normal humans until he is called upon, like a child of gods given over to humans for temporary care. He is placed into the foreign realm of the "muggle" (non-magic) world for safe keeping until he has reached wizarding age. This is the mandatory starting point on the official hero's journey. As it moves to the next function, Harry Potter becomes a boy of exceptional moral character with a foster family whose wickedness and inferiority prevent him from realizing his destined greatness, despite the fact that the lightning scar on his forehead literally marks him for it.

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