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Of waifs and wizards

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Description: The orphaned child protagonist has become synonymous with the novels of Charles Dickens, for many of Dickens' novels center on a child hero who must grow up without the nurturing influence of parents. Today, the most popular child hero in all of literature is Harry Potter, the orphan protagonist of J. K. Rowling's fantasy series. There are countless parallels between the writings of Dickens and Rowling, and the personalities of their child champions are strikingly similar. In Oliver Twist , Dickens' hero is an orphan who, though raised in an abusive environment, manages to transcend the immorality and squalor of this setting through an inborn propensity toward moral action. In Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone , Rowling depicts a similarly downtrodden orphan who also surmounts his stifling environment as a result of an inherited capacity for the extraordinary. In short, both orphans use their natures to overcome the ruthless nurturing they must face as children. I hope to analyze the analogous personality profiles of these two oppressed orphans, both of whom, through inheritance, manage to achieve greatness in the face of adversity. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)
Language: English
Format: Degree Work