Harry Potter vs. Twilight
In the past few years, two teen series have emerged out of a race for the best, and are now fighting for the gold. Harry Potter and Twilight have recently been making their ways into many debates. Die-hard fans have become determined to have their favorite come out on top.
But some say the series are unparalleled, as one deals with romance while the other has more action elements. Still, both series are classified as fantasy, leading more and more to debate which are the better books. At the beginning of both stories, we are introduced to two extremely insecure teens – one a depressed girl who recently moved to the rainiest place in the United States, the other a sort of troublemaker who lives with his cruel relatives. As the books continue, Bella Swan of Twilight develops into a dependent girl obsessed with her boyfriend whereas Harry Potter, wand at the ready, is determined to solve his problems and fight for the welfare of the wizarding world. By the end of the series, Bella is selfishly dragging her werewolf friend Jacob along while preparing for a vampire baby with Edward because she “needs his friendship.
” Harry, on the other hand, dives into battle in order to protect the world from Lord Voldemort. Personally, I believe that Harry Potter is the better series because it has a larger targeted audience and is not mainly set towards teenage girls, it has more in-depth character development, and it displays themes and ideas that are complex and have underlying morals. Twilight has many more romance elements than it does fantasy. Even on the back cover itself, there is a excerpt of Bella’s thoughts stating even though she knew Edward was a vampire, she was “unconditionally and irrevocably in love with him.” So at first glance, readers are led to believe that the novel in their hands is about a girl falling in love with someone impossible to be with.
This same plot has attracted teenage girls to its pages for ages, whether it as classic as Romeo and Juliet or as banal as a novel about a girl’s first summer romance. The high adrenaline of being with someone you aren’t supposed to be with is one of the most overused plot lines a novelist can use. Yet, magically, females of the 11-17 age range still find it fascinating. There are very few males who have picked up a copy of Twilight and found it as swoon-worthy as made out to be. Although the novel is very well written and does seem to stray a little bit away from the typical plot of a “star-crossed lovers” story, it is mainly targeted towards teenage girls, unlike Harry Potter whose fan base ranges from children to adults of both genders.
Also, although very intriguing and well written, Stephenie Meyer’s writing style is very straightforward. A fifth grader could read the story and understand it the same as an adult would. There are no hidden clues, no foreshadowing – everything is precise and straight to the point. On the other hand, J.K.
Rowling’s writing style is simple so a younger child could enjoy it, yet it is filled to the brim with subtle humor and references that an older audience could enjoy and understand. One example is of the character Remus Lupin, an ex- Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher and werewolf. His name comes from the old tale of Remus and Romulus, two boys said to be raised by wolves and later founded the city of Rome, and the Latin word for wolf: lupus. More importantly, when we first are introduced to Lord Voldemort in the Harry Potter series, we quickly identify him as an incorrigible villain who is incapable of love and is responsible for the tragic deaths of Harry’s parents and many other innocent people. As the story continues and the plot thickens, Rowling shares Voldemort’s background, explaining why he is the way he is and almost causing many to gain a little sympathy for the poor orphan. Rowling has a knack for maturing her characters and making them more lifelike and able to adapt to situations as the series progresses.
When we first meet Harry he is a young skinny thing living in a cupboard under the stairs with a lightning bolt scar on his forehead. Yet, the challenges he faces in life develop him into an extremely admirably teenager who remarkably ends up saving the world. Many people also admire Rowling’s portrayal and development of women in the series. In Twilight, the heroine is a 17-year-old girl who turns out to be extremely dependent on her dangerous boyfriend. Although Bella shows some strong points in the series, her insecurities and lack of independence conjure up a weak image for girls to emulate.
In Harry Potter however, females are revered as strong and independent such as Hermione Granger, the absolute brilliant witch who became extremely useful in the downfall of Lord Voldemort. Most importantly, in Harry Potter, every book in the series pits Harry against smaller trials in order to prepare for his final battle with Voldemort. Harry fights Professor Quirrell in book one, defeats a giant snake in book two, battles Dementors in the third installment, and works to overcome Death Eaters in the fifth through seventh books. On the other hand, the only fight scene of that caliber we see in Twilight is set in the third book, Eclipse, where werewolves and the Cullens are set against baby vampires in a major battle. And even then, this could-be epic scene is replaced by Bella nearly freezing to death in a tent with Jacob and Edward, who should be fighting to protect her and their families. Twilight seems to center around Bella’s need for companionship and her selfishness that stands in the way of her happiness.
“I have seen more mother’s reading Twilight than worrying about what message it sends to their children. This bothers me because the book teaches selfishness. Bella wants Edward. No, she wants Jacob. Now she wants both at once.
” Megan Hoffman of The Orion states. “The Harry Potter series is an epic about the struggle of good triumphing over evil. It encourages children to stand up for themselves and what they believe in, just as Harry stood up for himself and his friends.” (Orion) Rowling has stated that her books are mainly based on extremely morbid themes. “My books are largely about death.
They open with the death of Harry’s parents. There is Voldemort’s obsession with conquering death and his quest for immortality at any price, the goal of anyone with magic. I so understand why Voldemort wants to conquer death. We’re all frightened of it.” Other themes such as normality, oppression, survival, and overcoming imposing odds also weave their way into the series.
Although Twilight has a leg up on the relatable factor, as Meyer’s novels do not take place at an imaginary school for wizards, these core morals hidden in the stories are what makes Harry Potter so esteemed. I believe that Harry Potter is the better series because it has a larger targeted audience and is not mainly set towards teenage girls, it has more in-depth character development, and it displays themes and ideas that are complex and have underlying morals.