Letters to the Editor

Readers write about moral transformations of Potter character, Turkey in the European Union, and China's domination of Vitamin C market.

Tales like Harry Potter's don't need a moral point

The July 25 opinion article, "Missing from 'Harry Potter' – a real moral struggle," smacks of the sort of dogmatic claptrap I was once subjected to by American critics, whose well-meaning advice all but killed my enthusiasm for the book trade. From my experience as a writer, I do not recall a single example of a protagonist's journey through a moral dilemma, except where one was useful for dramatic irony, say.

This sort of preachifying about what makes a good story should be modified by the disclaimer: "For US consumption only." To be fair, most of us in England stopped reading children's stories and graduated to solider fare by about age 12. Let us bear in mind that Harry Potter is English, written from an English viewpoint untainted by US moralism, and is not a children's story.

 David Watts Morgan
 El Segundo, Calif.

I strongly disagree with the opinion article criticizing the Harry Potter character for not changing. Harry is fueled by nothing more than revenge throughout the entire series, and revenge is nothing more than selfishness at its highest level. However, to defeat Voldemort, Harry realizes he must sacrifice himself, hardly a selfish act. Harry Potter changes from a selfish and troubled character bent on revenge to a rational and selfless character within a few paragraphs.

 Brian Burgess
 Sylva, N.C.

I must ardently disagree that the main character must undergo moral transformation. Successful children's literature includes either a main character's epiphany or the main character remains consistent enough to inspire transformation in others, which is exactly what Harry Potter does. I do agree that Snape is the most interesting character and provides the deepest food for thought.

The opinion article only serves to sully a very effective means of imparting some stellar values to a hungry generation yearning for meaty ideas.

 Kathleen Parks
 Chula Vista, Calif.

Turkey's win in trying to enter the EU

I could not agree more with the editorial "Turkey's 21st-century Ataturk?" I think Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan understands that getting into the European Union is a very tough battle. However, this is one way in which he can motivate the Turkish economy to reform.

Prior to his government, the economy was stagnant and rampant with corruption. The prime minister has managed to try to motivate his nation to achieve targets by setting the goal of entering the EU. This will keep the Turkish people on a focused target. He sees this as a win-win situation. If they enter, that will be beneficial for Turkey. If they don't, Turkey will at least have reformed economically from being the "sick man of Europe," and can potentially be among the three largest economies of Europe.

 Naveed Sami
 Birmingham, Ala.

China's domination of Vitamin C

Thanks so much for printing the July 20 article, "China's grip on key food additive," which addresses how China controls 80 percent of the vitamin C market.

I have talked to local grocers and also health food stores trying to find out if the high-quality vitamins have C from China, and they all think I am crazy for suggesting C comes from there. This is one example of the frustration I've run into since learning about this shocking issue earlier this year. I think it is truly unbelievable that we are dependent on China for vitamin C. It truly is a sad situation. The Monitor has done a great job with this article.

 Steve Jensen
 Madison, Wis

The Monitor welcomes your letters and opinion articles. Because of the volume of mail we receive, we can neither acknowledge nor return unpublished submissions. All submissions are subject to editing. Letters must be signed and include your mailing address and telephone number. Any letter accepted may appear in print or on our website, www.csmonitor.com.

Mail letters to Readers Write and opinion articles to Opinion Page, One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115, or fax to (617) 450-2317, or e-mail to "Questions, Comments, & Corrections" .

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