Spoiled Harry a Hero for 'Entitled Generation'

Books lack moral weight as Potter gets off easy
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jul 20, 2009 7:21 AM CDT
British author JK Rowling signs autographs as she arrives for the World Premiere of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, at a cinema in Leicester Square, central London, Tuesday, July 7 2009.   (AP Photo/Joel Ryan)
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(Newser) – Harry Potter is a fitting hero for a generation of readers: his powers arrive on a silver platter, and from there it’s “all zapping bad guys, no taking out the trash,” writes Kyle Smith in the New York Post. While heroes like Luke Skywalker face obstacles to achieving their potential, JK Rowling’s creation, "like many of his generation, is the Cosseted One from an early age.”

“Whimsical creations and narrative pull are all Rowling offers,” Smith notes. “Is there any children's writer more dismissive of morals?” In the latest film, Harry uses textbook annotations to cheat, and faces no punishment. “A Rowling kid starts learning at an early age that principles are adjustable depending on convenience,” Smith writes. It’s like a Quidditch match: “All the pleasure for the reader is in the how—the vacuous, disposable, inconsequential how.”