Just some thoughts from the the 7th Harry Potter, nothing too serious, yet. I read it in a little over two days. I'd like to review it again, even take notes (I'm still a nerd!) and bring up some issues. I'm starting in general terms for those who haven't read it and are anxious to begin.
I've enjoyed the series.
I don't know if this surprises anyone. I know some people reacted vehemently against HP, usually from what they claim is a Christian perspective. I originally refused to read HP, not on religious or moral principle, but from my teenage streak of contrary behavior. The same behavior that made me scorn Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and especially Bush- in the 90s. I still have a hard time listening to popular radio for that reason.
When I finally picked up HP, it was out of desire to know what my parishioners are reading. I was quite surprised to find, from the beginning, a Christian view of good and evil. From the final confrontation in HP: and the Sorcerer's Stone, we receive a nascent view that evil cannot be used to accomplish good. That I did not expect. I was entrigued.
As the books developed, and got darker, this theme of absolute good and absolute evil are fleshed out. The choice for the hero is whether and how to direct himself toward goodness- love of friends and fellow man- especially in Goblet of Fire- where Harry grows in altruism/charity. Are there moments of immaturity, yes! But Harry is a teenager.
The notion of horcruxes, introduced in the Half-Blood Prince, develops the real difference between good and evil. It is the really evil actions of Voldemort that damage his soul, his being, to the point that he is fractured- not his whole self anymore- and able to be parceled into several horcruxes.
Broad overview? Certainly.
But does it correspond to the reallity of the novels? Mostly.
There are many passages in the seven book series that we can use to illustrate a Catholic Vision of right and wrong, good and evil. Freedom only makes sense, is only all it was meant to be, when it chooses well. And I'll take every moment, every opportunity, to teach that to my children.