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Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Warner 2002 Im of a double mind about Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets To be fair I may be of a triple or quadruple mind My inner child which went to see the movie with my sons on opening weekend enjoyed it without reservation But my inner critic began a running monologue as soon as I walked out of the movie theater As a piece of movie magic Chamber of Secrets has everything going for it but this adaptation of JK Rowlings wildly successful second novel doesnt quite escape sophomore slump The Harry Potter franchise appeals to an incredibly diverse audience by taking some of the most popular literary archetypes and breathing new life into them Theres the young hero orphaned and abandoned who comes to learn of his magical heritage and emerging powers There are his friends the poor yet loyal and courageous best friend and the common yet clever and vivacious female foil Kindly teachers and mentors provide education to counter the jealousies and manipulations of enemies both banal and deadly At this stage Harry Potter is still a child so desire rarely factors into his world and when it does its generally menacing the overtly sexy characters are either silly or dangerous His fears reflect traditional childhood terrors -- snakes spiders demons and death -- and his aspiration to live in a world where he feels esteemed and empowered is a fundamental human longing Still at the allegorical level Harry Potter doesnt run very deep Unlike the childrens literature of Madeleine LEngle and CS Lewis unlike retold Arthurian legends and Greek myths the values of this franchise remain close to the surface One can draw brief connections to several different ethical systems and popular fables but there isnt the world-building scope of Tolkien nor the mythic ambition of Lloyd Alexander This doesnt make it any less entertaining
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