The Harry Potter series is an ideal example for the heroes journey. For this blog post I will be focusing on the shadow self and suffering. Throughout the eight movie series, Harry Potter is an ordinary boy that is called to an adventure when he learns that he was born from wizard parents. Harry joins a wizard school where he has many adventures and finds deep friendship. In the story of Harry Potter there is a bad guy. His name is Voldemort. Harry’s parents were killed by Voldemort when he was a young child. When Voldemort killed Harry’s parents, Voldemort tried to kill Harry Potter as well. The spell that Voldemort used to try to kill Harry backfired and broke off a piece of Voldemort’s soul. Voldemort’s piece of soul went into Harry. Harry Potter’s soul was tainted with a little of Voldemort soul. From that point, until he was a young adult, Harry Potter did not know that his soul had become a part of Voldemort’s soul. I believe that this is a literary form of displaying the shadow self within a person. As the storyline progresses Harry Potter has to battle with the feelings of darkness and evil that is coming from the shadow self. At one point in the story Harry mentally battles so deeply with this shadow self, that it becomes an abyss. The one difference is that what separates Harry Potter and Voldemort is love. Voldemort’s soul had been tainted with bitterness and hatred by pain from the history of his family. His soul was so mangled with evil, that when it became a part of Harry’s soul, it became an infection. In the movie the battle with Voldemort is so terrible that Harry Potter nearly loses his identity. The shadow self almost consumes him entirely. In the end of the series Harry Potter nearly dies. A twist in the plot happens and instead of Harry Potter’s entire soul dying the evil shadow self that belonged to Voldemort is killed. The reason why Harry’s soul didn’t die was because Harry had love from his friends and family that continued to give strength to his soul. Because the shadow self had no love, it did not have the same strength, so it was killed in the end.
There is much more to the story of Harry Potter and I’m afraid that I cannot do it justice in this short blog post. However, one of the most important lessons that J.K. Rowling depicted in the story is the strength and secret power of love.