Chapter 14

Yes. She's a Christ Figure Too

Areeba Laghari

  • English II 3rd Block
  • Harris
  • Lake Norman HIgh School
  • 2013


MAIN IDEA

Chapter 14 is about people who possess characteristics that might be depicted as a Christ-like figure


"But in all probability they do know one thing: they know why it’s called Christianity. Okay, so it’s not the most profound insight ever, but it matters. A lot. While we may not be all that well versed in types and archetypes from the Bible, we generally recognize, whatever our religious affiliation, some of the features that make Christ who he is." (Foster 121)



Harry Potter

The character Harry Potter in the Harry Potter book series can be symbolized as a Christ figure.


Why Do Authors Use Christ Figures?

Writers use Christ figures to prove or make a point.



"Why, you might ask, are there Christ figures? As with most other cases we’ve looked at where the work engages some prior text, the short answer is that probably the writer wants to make a certain point. Perhaps the parallel deepens our sense of the character’s sacrifice if we see it as somehow similar to the greatest sacrifice we know of. Maybe it has to do with redemption, or hope, or miracle. Or maybe it is all being treated ironically, to make the character look smaller rather than greater. But count on it, the writer is up to something. How do we know what he’s up to? That’s another job for imagination. " (Foster 121)


  • Authors use allusion (a passing or casual reference to something) to help capture a reader's attention by introducing some familiarity
  • Religious values are shown through certain characters.
  • It gives psychological and historical background to their characters and their stories by linking them to one of the most figures in Western society. It helps the reader understand the text more once they've made the connection. Once they have made a connection they can identify parallels between Christ and the character more easily.



2) We Live In a Christian Culture

  • To understand English literature, we should have a basic understanding of Christian beliefs.

"What I mean is that since the preponderance of cultural influences has come down to us from European early settlers, and since those early settlers inflicted their values on the “benighted” cultures they encountered (“benighted,” from the Old English, meaning “anyone darker than myself” ), those inflicted values have gained ascendancy." (Foster 121)


  • Our culture is so influenced by religious principles that have been passed down that a writer or reader may recognize or use them even if they aren't Christian.


3) Characteristics of Christ and Identifying Christ Figures

Characteristics that writers commonly use to represent Christ:



  • crucified, wounds in the hands, feet, side, and head
  • in agony
  • born and raised in humble circumstances
  • self-sacrificing
  • good with children
  • good with loaves, fishes, water, wine
  • known to use humble modes of transportation
  • known to have spent time alone in the wilderness (someone who is good with nature)
  • believed to have had a confrontation with the devil, possibly tempted
  • last seen in the company of thieves
  • creator of many aphorisms and parables
  • buried, but arose on the third day
  • had disciples, twelve at first, although not all equally devoted
  • very forgiving
  • came to redeem an unworthy world



Not ALL Apply
A Christ figure does not have to meet all of the criteria, rather, the character can only meet a few characteristics and still match.


YOU MIGHT BE A CHRIST FIGURE IF YOU ARE...

___ thirty-three years old

___ unmarried, preferably celibate

___ wounded or marked in the hands, feet, or side

___ sacrificing yourself in some way for others (your life is best, and your sacrifice doesn’t have to be willing)

___ in some sort of wilderness, tempted there, accosted by the devil





Learning Strategy

Get with a partner and read the passage.


  • Find and record similarities between Christ and the character Simon in Lord of the Flies


Works Cited


Foster, Thomas C. How to Read Literature like a Professor: A Lively and Entertaining Guide to Reading between the Lines. New York: Quill, 2003. Print.


Frost, Martin. "The Lord of the Flies." The Lord of the Flies. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Nov. 2013.


Gant, Charles. "Harry Potter Won't Be Needing the Box-office Resurrection Stone Just Yet." The Guardian. N.p., 26 July 2011. Web. 13 Nov. 2013.


"Harry Potter, Christ Figure?" Chart. N.p., 5 Feb. 2011. Web. 18 Nov. 2013.


Reilly, Mark. "Warner Bros. and J.K. Rowling Creating New 'Harry Potter' Film Series!"Schmoes Know. N.p., 13 Sept. 2013. Web. 18 Nov. 2013.