Literary Writing Style of J. K. Rowling

The writing style of J. K. Rowling is unique in syntax and diction. It seems that both of these features suit her narration of the mystical and fantasy world. That is why she is unique in this age when every other writer has become conscious of the impacts of the writing styles. Some other unique features of her writing style are as follows.

J. K. Rowling’s Word Choice

Simple words organized with the dexterity of architecture mark the playing around of J. K. Rowling. She places every word highly carefully, conscious of the fact that every word in a sentence is significant and conveys specific meanings. This is the stylistic variety that shows her skill in pulling her readers to her fiction. Interestingly, when it comes to their grammatical role, it seems that she is prone to using participles with connectives and active verbs. This passage from her novel, Harry Potter and Sorcerer’s Stone, shows it amply.

“Welcome to Hogwarts,” said Professor McGonagall. “The start-of-term banquet will begin shortly, but before you take your seats in the Great Hall, you will be sorted into your houses. The Sorting is a very important ceremony because, while you are here, your house will be
something like your family within Hogwarts. You will have classes with the rest of your house, sleep in your house dormitory, and spend free time in your house common room.

J. K. Rowling’s Sentence Structure

Regarding syntax, J. K. Rowling is unique in her diction. She uses mostly declarative sentences that are also very much complex at times. They are in the active past, which means she avoids using passive sentences. The above passage from her novel shows it amply. The passage is given below also shows the use of active verbs, and simple and declarative sentences, demonstrating parallelism. Even clauses and phrases are parallel to each other. Such sentences impact the readers actively rather than passively, the reason that she is more popular among teenagers.

A horrible thought struck Harry, as horrible thoughts always do when you’re very nervous. What if he wasn’t chosen at all? What if he just sat there with the hat over his eyes for ages, until Professor McGonagall jerked it off his head and said there had obviously been a
mistake and he’d better get back on the train?

J. K. Rowling’s Figurative Language

When it comes to using figurative language, Rowling employs metaphors extensively. Even her personifications and similes are striking. This passage shows how she has turned a hat into a personification. Some other literary devices such as dialogues, punctuations, exclamations, supernatural elements and other devices make this personification striking and impactful.

Harry heard the hat shout the last word to the whole hall. He took off the hat and walked shakily toward the Gryffindor table. He was so relieved to have been chosen and not put in Slytherin, he hardly noticed that he was getting the loudest cheer yet. Percy the Prefect got up and shook his hand vigorously, while the Weasley twins yelled, “We got Potter! We got Potter!” Harry sat down opposite the ghost in the ruff he’d seen earlier. The ghost patted his arm, giving Harry the sudden, horrible feeling he’d just plunged it into a bucket of ice-cold water.

J. K. Rowling’s Rhythm and Component Sounds

One of the major features of Rowling’s prose is that it is rhythmic not only through sounds but also through its impacts. On the one hand, it is whimsical, while on the other, it is rhythmic with a flow. The wit and humor that it reflects is subjective, the reason that it seeps into her active sentence style. Besides this, she uses consonants and vowels at intervals creating alliterations and other sound devices so that its melody should continue moving with the flow of the language. This passage from Harry Potter and Sorcerer’s Stone shows both of these features. This passage shows the alliteration “food fade from” and the use of /c/, /s/ and /r/ at regular intervals, making it rhythmic in reading.

When everyone had eaten as much as they could, the remains of the food faded from the plates, leaving them sparkling clean as before. A moment later the desserts appeared. Blocks of ice cream in every flavor you could think of, apple pies, treacle tarts, chocolate eclairs and jam doughnuts, trifle, strawberries, Jell-O, rice pudding.”

J. K. Rowling’s Rhetorical Patterns

Although Rowling is striking in her description, she is rhetorical in her narrative pattern as well as the comparison and contrast that she does between different characters, situations and events. She even uses repetitions, ethos and logos to support her narrative argument, while in terms of descriptions, she relies heavily on sensory descriptions as given of the Dursley family members here in this passage from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.

Mr. Dursley was the director of a firm called Grunnings, which made drills. He was a big, beefy man with hardly any neck, although he did have a very large mustache. Mrs. Dursley was thin and blonde and had nearly twice the usual amount of neck, which came in very useful as she spent so much of her time craning over garden fences, spying on the neighbors. The Dursleys had a small son called Dudley and in their opinion there was no finer boy anywhere.

J. K. Rowling’s Themes

Like her characters, syntax and literary devices, Rowling is highly diverse in her themes as well as their presentations. She has presented the themes of magic and belonging, family and friendship, power and greed, desire and humility, rules and regulations, rebellion and love and above all, humanity. Her Harry Potter series shows all these themes amply.