Date of Award

4-17-2008

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

English

First Advisor

Dr. Pearl McHaney - Chair

Second Advisor

Dr. Stephen Dobranski

Third Advisor

Dr. Nancy Chase

Abstract

This paper considers the influences of fate and free will in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. Current scholarship on the topic generally agrees that Rowling champions free will by allowing her characters learning opportunities through their choices. By using Friedrich Nietzsche’s philosophy on fate and free will and by more closely examining the Harry Potter texts, this paper demonstrates fate’s stronger presence in Rowling’s fictional world. Certain strong-willed characters rise above their peers’ fated states by embracing their personal fates and exercising their wills to create themselves within fated destinies. The paper also explores the possibility of an authority directing fate.

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