Date of Award

Summer 7-31-2017

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

English

First Advisor

Shane Graham

Second Advisor

Ben Gunsberg

Third Advisor

Lisa Gabbert

Abstract

What does it mean to bear witness to the memories of previous generations’ trauma victims? What lessons should we learn from those who came before us to ensure a happier future?

This thesis explores the trauma and memories of the deceased or older generation found in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. I intend to analyze the character of Harry Potter as he interacts with the memories of the previous generation, which he is able to resurrect in embodied forms through the use of magic. By testifying to the memories of the previous generations’ trauma, Harry is able to break the cycle of violence and create a seemingly happy ending to his life’s story. Through critically studying Harry Potter as a transgenerational narrative, readers are able to learn how to bear witness to the memories of those with whom they associate in their own live and create a more empathetically inclined world.

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