Harry Potter and Technology

Nicholas Sheltrown argues in his essay, “Harry Potter’s World as a Morality Tale of Technology and Media,” that J.K. Rowling “thoroughly, persistently, and consistently blurs the line between technology and magic, making it difficult for the reader to know where one ends and the other begins”(Sheltrown, 48). The argument that technology is expressive and instrumental in the revealing of identity in the wizarding world, as magic wands act as passports and status in society, draws a very intriguing parallel to how technology in our Millennial culture relates to our identity. We, as Millennials, have grown up in a society and culture where technology plays a fundamental role in our communication with others, how we do our work, and how we define ourselves. Similar to how a wizard’s status, ability, and identity would be extricated if his wand was lost or taken from him, we, as students, would be basically unable to participate in the today’s society if we were unable to use the Internet, cell phones, and other popular forms of technology; its almost as if we would fall of the map and fall behind all others who continue to use technology to their advantage. Just as wizards and witches identify themselves with wands and the sorting hat (magical technology), we identify ourselves in terms of what TV shows and websites we are fans of, and how we present ourselves on social media sites.

While readers and viewers of Harry Potter may be astonished with the “tech-magic,” referring to the technologies that only exist in the wizarding world, and “magic-tech,” referring to ordinary Muggle objects that have been magically modified, Sheltrown also points out how wizards and witches see our technology as fantastic and whimsical as well. As Arthur Clarke suggests, “Advanced technologies are indeed magical [as well].” So just as the magic technology in Harry Potter seems un-sensational to the characters in the wizarding world, basic Muggle technologies that are mundane to us, are unable to be grasped by wizards like Mr. Weasley. We have become so accustomed to new advancements in technology, that nothing is too astonishing for our imaginations anymore. While the Harry Potter world is perceived as whimsical and magical to the reader, JK Rowling still portrays the world as still being behind in simple technologies like electricity, email, the Internet, and cell phones. This functions to make Millennial readers realize how they take the most simple technologies for granted, and possibly shapes their perspective toward technology in a different way. We are shown how people used to develop and communicate in a world before Millennial technology, and conveys much our Millennial generation rely on technology for communication and the most simplest of tasks.




Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s