Harry Potter and the philosopher’s stone, a milestone in literature

Harry Potter's birthday makes us review his first book, which was a paradigm shift in children's literature .

Cover of the book 'Harry Potter and the philosopher's stone' by J.K. Rowling.

The Harry Potter saga marked a before and after in world literature. / Photo: Amazon

LatinAmerican Post | Ariel Cipolla

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Leer en español: Harry Potter y la piedra filosofal, un hito de la literatura

When we talk about wizards, a character automatically comes to mind: Harry Potter. According to what the Infobae medium mentions, the "boy who lived" turned 40 earlier this month, being one of the most important figures, not only in recent times, but in the history of cinema and literature.

Regarding this last field, it is a saga that is still enormously popular today. For example, the Diario Las Américas website highlights that the Harry Potter books, written by JK Rowling, are "in the top positions in Argentina."

Specifically, we are talking about the first installment: Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, released for the first time in 1997. Therefore, we decided to review and analyze the book that started it all, becoming a true classic, not only for children's reading, but also from world literature.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, the book that created a new generation of readers

Many people do not understand that, even more than 20 years later, this saga continues to be sucessfull. For example, recently the Trends Today website highlights that, as a result of the quarantine, different protagonists of the films decided to read the books.

Thus, the leading actor of the "boy who lived", Daniel Radcliffe, was in charge of narrating the opening chapter, being a very emotional event for the fans of this story. So what is the tremendous success story? To understand it, it must be analyzed from various perspectives.

First of all, we should know that the author, JK Rowling, decided to board a train in Manchester bound for London in 1990, according to what the Guioteca medium mentions. On that trip, “inspiration” arose when she imagined a child in a magic school, so she decided to write this story.

However, it was difficult for her to publish this story, as it had about a dozen rejections from British publishers … until a small publisher, known as Bloomsbury Publishing, took the risk of publishing this fantastic story. After several years, we know that, as the El Espectador website comments, more than 500 million copies of her books are sold throughout the planet.

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For those who do not know this story, we are talking about an orphan boy who lives with his uncles, who do not love him too much. From one moment to the next, he has the revelation that he has the "essence" of a wizard … and that he has a new world to discover, as he calls it the school of magic and wizardry, known as Hogwarts.

One of the keys, as stated by the Profile medium, is that the author managed to convey to her readers "the illusion that magic exists". Through an initial chapter, where you can see the real world and the boredom that it implies, all hope appears when an enrollment letter for school is presented, something that sparked the imagination of many children, who waited for it for a long time.

The appearance of iconic characters, such as Ron or Hermione, allow the camaraderie between the different protagonists to grow as the chapters progress. At the same time, other friends of the character, such as the mysterious Dumbledore or the affectionate Hagrid, manage to fully immerse ourselves in the magical universe created by the author.

All this, of course, while trying to solve some unknowns. Some of the most important are to know why Harry Potter survived Voldemort's attack, what he wants or even what the famous “philosopher's stone” is about, which gives the title to this first installment.

This is why, according to the Xataka website, "the Harry Potter books changed our way of seeing the world forever." Especially in this first stage, where we began to see a world in which everything seems possible, the children let their imaginations fly and a new type of reader emerged: the one who wanted to know Hogwarts and all that it implied.


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