Harry Potter And Divorce Among The Muggles - English 1A - Essay

1032 words - 5 pages

In “Harry Potter and Divorce Among the Muggles,” Constance Matthiessen illustrates
how an established family structure is not necessary in order to obtain a healthy and well-
balanced family household. There is no doubt that navigating through a difficult transition such
as divorce will affect everyone in the family, both negatively and positively. In a family, divorce
between a couple is almost never seen as a good thing, but it can eventually provide benefits that
an unhappy or toxic marriage never could, especially in regards to the children. The essay
demonstrates that affected children will gain the ability to adapt to a new routine, emotional and
physical health improves for both the children and split parents allowing happier relationships to
develop, and co-parenting is vital to attain for the sake of the children and to supply healthy
environment. Contrary to this popular belief that divorce always has a negative impact on the
children involved, divorced families have the potential to be healthy families.
At first, divorces are very unpleasant and can be such an exhausting, draining process to
take on, however once the household situation is diffused by a family breakup and the daily
problems have disappeared, the children will benefit. This is because they are no longer living
and breathing a toxic situation that had become a norm. It is evident that one of the children from
the essay, Dylan, is affected by the separation in a negative way as he says that he is feeling,
“Sad. Bad. Really bad.” This feeling eventually changed into “I like having two houses,” when
he was asked after a passing of six months. Over time, children will see that bad things
happening will lead to things getting better and that tough obstacles in life do not result in the
end of the world. The author takes into account that J .K. Rowling reveals evil and death in her
Harry Potter novels as a way to display to young readers “... that dark forces exist, that bad
things happen, and people often do not live happily ever after.” Once divorced couples learn to
adapt and adjust to an effective routine, it will allow for their children to move on towards a
positive direction and will eventually overcome negative situations.
Stress being a major cause of emotional and physical problems, unhappy parents
choosing to stay together for the sake of their children will only cause a great deal of stress
which indeed takes a toll on everybody. Being under one roof does not work for unhappy
marriages due to the ongoing stress, tension and strains that will impact their family life and no
matter how hard the parents work at trying to keep the family unit together, they can’t. One of
the best things a parent can do for their children is to make sure that they take care of their own
emotional and physical needs because one cannot support their children if they are not able to
support themselves. It is important to consider one’s emotions as one is going through a lot of
changes, and that finding a new normal will take time. In addition, once each parent releases
themselves from the confines of an unhappy marriage, they open themselves up to the possibility
for a better relationship or simply taking on this newfound single life happily. Either way, the
children will benefit by seeing their parent’s strength to move on with living a better life whether
it is with or without someone they can enjoy life with by their side. However if both parents
remarry, children can benefit by having twice as many supportive adults/nurturers. Constance
Matthiessen believes family goes way beyond blood, marriage, different races or backgrounds as
she mentions from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, “Harry may have lost his
godfather as well as his parents, but it is clear that he still has a refuge in this world-and that
refuge is not with his blood relations, the Dursleys. Harry has a different configuration of family,
but it is family nonetheless.” At the very least, children can experience freedom from daily
household tension between parents and have other individuals outside their blood relations to
love and support them unconditionally.
Divorce can be a positive thing when a marriage is in high conflict and children are
exposed to anger and aggressive behavior. The author writes, “But anyone who has experienced
the exquisite misery of a failed relationship could never recommend it as an environment for
children.” It is not healthy for children to be in an environment, especially at home where they
should feel the most secure and comfortable, where they witness a lack of respect and trust
between two people they truly love. Co-parenting is a way for split families to prioritize the
child’s/children's well-being by remaining civil. Matthiessen was optimistic that she and her
fellow co-parent, David, could be in her words, “... better apart, than we had been when we were
together… as we both went on to happier lives.” Divorce can help both parents become better
parents as they learn to value their time with their children by being present. Despite the
difficulty of children having to go back and forth between houses, one on one time is a great
bonding opportunity for parents to be attentive and demonstrate their love and support by
listening and communicating with one another. Separation happens and when it does it can be a
good thing for an unhappy family to acknowledge that being apart is the best thing to do for their
In conclusion, divorce means more than the end of a relationship, it means major changes
among everyone in the way lives are lived in a split household. The impact of separation on
children and on the parents is not going to be an easy or painless transition to overcome. But,
divorce can be looked at in a positive view in a way that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Although the typical family configuration is not achieved by many families does not mean there
is no hope for that particular family to create a sense of balance and healthy within their

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