Why is Harry Potters' birthday on July 31st

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It's July 31, 1991, Harry Potter's eleventh birthday, the day he finds out who he really is. A fellow fate of Oedipus, Oliver Twist, Hamlet ... Author: Julia Devlin

Status: 07/31/2020 | archive

July 31

Friday 31st July 2020

Author: Julia Devlin

Speaker: Johannes Hitzelberger

Illustration: Tobias Kubald

Editor: Frank Halbach

There is something special about orphans. At least in literature. Because orphans have many advantages - at least in literature: no parents who boss you around. No siblings to annoy you. At best, the stepparents who boss you around are problematic. Or the step-siblings who annoy you and are also preferred by the step-parents. But the orphan has, against all odds, one consolation: that the right parents are removed from all earthly mistakes. A wonderful projection surface for dreams and longings. And who knows, maybe they are not dead at all, but one day they will come in all their might and glory, bring the poor orphan to them and make everything, everything right again. Or if not the parents, at least the uncle or the guardian or the executor. The main thing is that someone recognizes who the orphan really is and reinstates his or her rights.

Universal human theme

This is an age-old subject, so our literary orphanage is well stocked with half and full orphans: Oliver Twist, Tom Sawyer, Cinderella, Bo and Prosper, Jane Eyre, Peter Pan, Pipi Longstocking, Parzival and Hamlet, to name a few . Even a representative from the animal kingdom can be found here, namely an ugly duckling whose parents, as it turns out after much ridicule by the stupid ducks, are beautiful swans. But it goes back even further in literary history, to the myths of the ancient Greeks. Children are abandoned, raised by shepherds, and no sooner have they got out of their way than they turn out to be princes or princesses. So much the misunderstood orphan seems to be a universal human theme that Sigmund Freud saw a recurring motif in it. He used it to describe the development of the parent-child relationship. He called it a "family novel" and had a famous foundling play a role in it. Yes, Oedipus, we know you from our orphanage.

Oh, and there is our new addition. Potter, Harry James. Orphan. Classic story: given to uncle and aunt after the death of parents, who treat him badly, but spoil their own stupid and fat son. It goes on like this for ten years. Then a messenger appears from another world, from the world to which Harry actually belongs. And now the poor boy is finally finding out who he really is. He had always suspected something. But he wouldn't have believed that he should be famous straight away because he survived a fatal attack and because his parents were highly talented magicians.

He can finally leave his stepfamily, take on his inheritance, and begin his designated training at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The turning point is Harry's eleventh birthday. The bearer of the news and a half-mashed chocolate cake is an uncivilized but good-natured half-giant. It is July 31, 1991. Happy Birthday, Harry.