7:00 pm EDT, April 5, 2012

Defining the real Harry Potter generation: A response

By rdh014

This is an opinion piece written by a Hypable user.

For those of you who are in your early twenties like me, you probably look back at yourself at the age of 14 and think, “What the heck was going through my head?”

I pretty much do that every time I look at my group of junior high youth group kids that obsess over things like Justin Bieber and Twilight.

The thing is, though, I try my best not to judge them. At that age, I obsessed over beanie babies and N*Sync. Who am I to judge them? It’s just part of their culture right now. The sad thing is, we are really only about five or six years apart. In the grand scheme of things, that isn’t much of a difference. But with the way media moves and fads fade in and out, my generation (though only a few years apart) is vastly different from theirs.

A recent article about the “Potter Generation” got me thinking. What is so magical about those books and movies is that they continue to touch millions of lives every day, in every language, in every culture. That is something few books can do.

Even though I agree that the Potter fandom consists of the most devoted fans of all ages, I still stand by the fact (knowing I will step on some toes) that there is really only one “Potter Generation.”

I explored whether several friends and professors at my university knew what I meant when I said “the Potter Generation.” All of them answered yes, relaying that this “Generation” is made up of people who are currently between the ages of 18 and 25 (give or take a year).

The best way I can support the argument for this age range is purely to refer to the way the books were written. It is blatantly obvious that each novel changes and becomes darker and more mature as Harry grows up. The thing is, as these books were released, the readers were growing up, as well. We started reading the books at the age that The Sorcerer’s Stone was appropriate for, and we watched the movie when it was a healthy PG. By the time Deathly Hallows was written, the books had grown tremendously; they were no longer at the reading level of an elementary school child, but were taking on themes meant for young adults.

The fact is that the anyone just starting to read Harry Potter now (or recently) does not have to wait to grow up alongside Harry; all of the books in the series are available now. Instead of waiting six years or ten years to experience the story’s end, the end is immediate.

Basically, my point is that there is a specific group of people that grew up with the books. I do not mean grew up reading the books, I mean grew up as the books grew up. And for those people, the growing up made a world of difference. Quite frankly, the kids who are in junior high or are high school underclassmen now just do not get that.

It’s blunt, but it is the truth. Like I said before, we are only a few years apart, but we grew up in a completely different world. Those of us who I would call the “Potter Generation” just get it. We are thoroughly defined by it, and nothing can take that away.

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