Harry, Ron and Hermione sever ties with their innocent childhood and embark upon a journey to complete the task assigned by Dumbledore: finding the Horcruxes. As they do so, they face innumerable challenges, the greatest test being that faced by their friendship. They fight the losses of their loved ones, and are forced to leave the ones still alive, to protect them. In this constant battle, secrets and truths are revealed: the past Dumbledore had hidden, the distance Snape can travel for loyalty and revenge, the reality behind the myth of the Deathly Hallows and many more. As the intertwined stories of Neville, Ginny, Draco and others proceed, questions gnaw at the readers’ insides: who will survive the final battle? Will good defeat evil, or will it perish in the process?
What sets Rowling’s world apart from Tolkiens’ and C.S.Lewis’ is how the magic and non-magic worlds are interlinked. The problems Harry fights in the former coincide with those in the latter. The megalomaniac antagonist, Voldemort and his equally power-hungry followers, the Death-eaters, who rise to full power in HPDH, resemble Adolf Hitler and the Nazis, with similar practice of ethnic-cleansing or genocide. The multicultural, multiracial, gender-equal force against the evil is an allegory to express JKR’s progressive subversion. HPDH has infiltration and misuse of ministry and government, misuse of press, nepotism, politically influenced interference of government into education etc. The acceptance of those affected by the communicable ‘disease’ of lycanthropy is a parallel of tolerance towards AIDS-patients. The book majorly concentrates on the effects of war whose collateral damage kills innocent lives, leaving children without parents, and families- broken. It continues to be non-religious, or rather secular, though it bears certain glimpses of Christianity, like Harry in the state of limbo, similarity between the Deathly Hallows and Holy Trinity, quotes from the Bible etc. It begins with two epigraphs, one from Christian tradition, and the other, Pagan. After HPDH was released, Rowling declared Dumbledore as gay, attracting controversy, as well as appreciation. Her pleas for these rights and tolerances are subtle, thus making the co-existence of different beings normal and usual.
HPDH proves to be a worthy ending of the HP bildungsroman, as Rowling completes the circle which is the locus of all mysteries and details scattered across the series. Every character ends up with a rich back-story. The language is fluid, and the atmosphere, dark, in keeping up with the theme of death. Most chapters are written from third person subjective point of view, except chapter-1, written in third person omniscient point of view.
Like every other reader, HP has always been my own story. HPDH brings the perfect closure to the series and my expectations as a reader, as I learned to tolerate, to fight and above all, to love, besides being strong enough to accept harsh realities. “The stories we love best do live in us forever.” HPDH is the perfect close of the story that, to me, will remain open at the close, always.
Book Reviewed By Oendrila De
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