Monday, December 10, 2012

Magic and Creativity

In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, JK Rowling takes a detour from the original story to tell “The Tale of the Three Brothers”, what is meant to be a children’s tale in the wizarding world. Like most creative pieces, The Deathly Hallows as a whole includes many different rhetorical devices, however, I noticed that Rowling includes many more devices in a shorter amount of space when telling the tale. The devices that she uses make the tale easy to remember, allowing for readers to easily recall it and giving it great importance.

The first and easiest device to spot used by Rowling in “The Tale of the Three Brothers” is personification. She puts human traits to death, which outside the tale would be considered more of an event. By giving it human qualities, she creates a new character. It’s easier to understand and relate to Death as a person with characteristics who takes action.

Some sentences provided a couple of different devices. “So the oldest brother, who was a combative man, asked for a wand more powerful than any in existence: a wand that must always win duels for its owner, a wand worthy of a wizard who had conquered Death!” Consonance is used by repeating “w” at the beginning of many words. Also, this sentence contains scesis onomaton or the repetition of a word followed by a new description for that word. The wand is described in three different but similar ways. Rowling makes this sentence stand out to readers to highlight the wand’s importance. The wand proves to be very significant not only in this tale but throughout the novel. It’s easier for me to remember something when there is repetition involved.

Another device Rowling uses is epistrophe when Death “takes” the first and second brother, but not when it comes to the third brother. Rowling writes“And so Death took teh first brother for his own” and later “And so Death took the second brother for his own.” She stops the trend with the third brother who lives. By not connecting him to the first two, it makes the readers recognize that his story is different from the stories of his brothers’ and so is more significant.

As we find out later in The Deathly Hallows, the three creations given to the brothers in the tale turned out to be real and exist in real life (or at least Harry Potter’s world). These three creations prove to be very useful to Harry in defeating Lord Voldemort. I’m such a dork, however the devices do their job, or at least they did with me. The tale and its importance will stick with the reader until the end.

Melissa Koch

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