"In response to a post I read on March 19th on the issue of people claiming their favorite books are Twilight and Harry Potter, and how those people need to appreciate classic literature:
While I do agree that most of the “literature” we find today is nothing in comparison to classics, I do have to point out the frustration I feel when people compare the Harry Potter and Twilight series. As a Realist Literature fan myself, I’ve never really liked anything written within the last one-hundred years. However I must comment on how Rowling created a fascinating story with a writing style which matured alongside her characters and audience. If the evolving writing doesn’t qualify for some, it’s also important to note that the series follows the classic “Hero’s Journey” form and is already beginning to be analyzed as a social commentary.
I agree people should be educated in the classics, but it’s also important not to dismiss Harry Potter simply because it is targeted at children and young adults. We can look at many children’s books in the past who have spread important messages through very simple texts, and have stood the test of time to become those literary classics we now revere.
Harry Potter tells an engaging story with an age appropriate writing style, while at the same time giving a nod to preceding classic literary forms. It has themes and can be ‘close-read’ like any other legitimate text.
Twilight is about a self-effacing girl who can’t function without her boyfriend and his stalker-like behavior. The writing style reflects the work of one who thinks looking up words in the thesaurus and writing in excessive passive voice equates legitimate literature. Simply put, it seems to me that Harry Potter has the possibility to be examined as literature and Twilight remains nothing more that a type of “fluff” novel.
Although I would hesitate to call anything an “instant classic”, I would also like to pose this question: Will our generation’s children be reading Twilight or Harry Potter?”