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Harry Potter Vs. Neverwhere

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Harry Potter Vs. Neverwhere

Richard Mayhew is simple man who may barely show up as even a small blip on the radar. This, at least, holds true for London Above and, until very recently, London Below. Contrary to common knowledge, there is a part of London in which very few people know: London Below. Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere follows Richard as he discovers and enters London Below. Throughout the novel, a tremendous amount of comparisons can be made to J.K. Rowling’s work in the Harry Potter series, and it can be seen that Neverwhere could definitely be considered a predecessor to the Harry Potter novels.

The similarities between Neverwhere and the Harry Potter series abound in each page of the novel. In Neverwhere, there are two totally different worlds. There is London Above and London Below. In Harry Potter, there are also two different worlds. There is the Muggle world and the Wizarding world. A major theme in the Harry Potter novels is the relation between the two worlds. The way they interact is taken into account and becomes a major part of some of the plotlines. The Muggle world is not aware of the existence of the Wizarding world, yet the Wizarding world is more than aware of the Muggle world. The same holds to Neverwhere. A major theme is the relation between London Above and London Below. A comparison is made between London Above and the Muggle world in that this is the “normal” life where it is not common to believe much goes on outside of this normality. On the other hand, London Below compares with the Wizarding world in that it is different from that normality, and they still have the overwhelming knowledge of the existence of London Above.

Like in the Harry Potter novels, the two different worlds interact every day in Neverwhere. There are both similarities and differences that can be seen when comparing the interaction between London Above and London Below with the Muggle world and the Wizarding world. In the Harry Potter novels, there is quite a distinction made between the two worlds, yet, they seem to be intertwined. It is not that muggles cannot enter the Wizarding world and wizards cannot enter the Muggle world. This is seen in so many areas ranging from the obvious fact that wizards live in the Muggle world to the simple scenes of wizards walking down the street dressed weird. The Muggle world also holds the entrances into the Wizarding world. Hogwarts students have to go to King’s Cross Station to enter the Wizarding world and get on their train. Wizard families have to go through Purge and Dowse, a closed down clothing shop, to get to St. Mungo’s Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries to see sick or injured friends and family. Ministry employees have to go through the phone booth to get to the Ministry of Magic to do their job. One would go through the Leaky Cauldron to enter Diagon Alley. This shows the locality of the two worlds being intertwined with each other.

This compares greatly with London Above and London Below in Neverwhere. These two worlds are just as distinct as the Muggle world and the Wizarding world, yet, there are still gaps that seem to be held by both worlds at the same time. Like in Harry Potter, some of the people from London Below live in London Above. They consist mostly of homeless bums that beg for money and sleep on the streets. The novel begins with an extreme in that, Door, from London Below, enters London Above and Richard sees her and helps her. All of the entrances to London Below are simple doors that are walked through. The difference in these entrances to the other world is that, unlike in the Harry Potter novels, it may not be as easy for one from London Above to go through these entrances. However, this is how the ones from London Below enter and exit London Above. There are also things that take place in London Above that are not actually for the people of

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