Nga Wing CHAU

Date of Award


Degree Type

UG Dissertation (Restricted)



First Advisor

Dr. Kira Alexandra ROSE


Death is inevitable. While some think that tragic and violent events are not suitable topics for children, the subjects of death and grief are sometimes addressed in literature for young readers. This study investigates the role of death in children’s literature by using J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series as its primary case study. Death is divided into four categories: tragic deaths, heroic deaths, the justified death of villains and ambiguous deaths. Themes including grief, inevitability, and death as another beginning will be discussed in order to analyse the underlying reasons and values of including death in children’s literature. The study will then evaluate whether adults can be inspired by children’s literature such as Rowling’s series, which falls under the category of “crossover fiction”. Literature for children, I suggest, can apply to everyone since their subtext contains universal themes that adults might need reminding of.


Children’s Literature, the Harry Potter series, J.K. Rowling, Crossover Fiction, Death, Immortality, Grief, Bereavement, Heroes, Villains, Tragedy, Death and Philosophy, Greed, Love, Ethics



Recommended Citation

Chau, N. W. (2020). Decoding death in children’s literature through the Harry Potter series (UG dissertation, Lingnan University, Hong Kong). Retrieved from