J. K. Rowling’s Description of the Grandfather Paradox as Illustrated in Her Book, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
The Grandfather Paradox is often misrepresented in works of literature and film. However, in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, the paradox is represented fairly well with only a few errors.
The Grandfather paradox is commonly known as the myth of killing one’s grandparents in order to prevent his/her own birth. This paradox of time travel originates around the Great Depression and appeared in early works such as “Ancestral Voices by Nathaniel Scachner and Future Times Three by Rene Barjavel” (Grandfather Paradox 1). However, this paradox is not necessarily based on eliminating the possibility of a person’s existence by murdering their source of life. It is rather about doing something when they travel back into the past that would prevent their future self from traveling back (Krasnikov 6). There are two main arguments for and against time travel which are important when looking at this paradox. Argument one is against the idea of time travel and argument while the latter is in favor of it. Argument one’s reconstruction follows:
- If time travel was possible, then a time traveler could change events in the past.
- If a time traveler could change the events of the past, then the time traveler could bring about contradictory states of affairs.
- It is not possible for someone to bring about contradictory states of affairs.
- Time travel is impossible
This argument supports Casual Determinism, or the idea that there is only one timeline. This also must abide by the events of the past and the laws of nature. This would align with premise one of that argument that the traveler could not change the past. Argument two however, supports the opposite. Argument number two:
- There are two different senses of the word ‘can’ or ‘possible’
- If that is right, then there is an equivocation in NTT (Premise 1 is false)
- Time travel is possible, and it is not true that a time traveler can change the events of the past.
This argument supports Casual Indeterminism, or the idea of multiple timelines. It hinges on the first argument by the words ‘can and possible’. An example would be like riding a bike. I can ride a bike, meaning I know how to ride a bike and have done this action. The other, refers to your ability to learn this action, but you have no yet done it. This small difference causes the two different arguments which are critical to understanding time travel paradoxes.
Time travel stories using this paradox are rather common in modern literature as well as modern film. One situation of the Grandfather Paradox is present in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. This is the third movie in the Harry Potter series. The story begins with the escape of a very dangerous criminal from a high security prison. The prisoner Sirius Black, happens to be the Godfather of main character, Harry, who does not know this. With the escape, many are incredibly frightened that he will try and track Harry down at their school, Hogwarts. While there, Harry’s best friend, Hermione, is given a time turner by the Headmaster. This time turner allowed her to be in two places at once in order for her to take multiple classes at the same time. She can therefore take one class, then proceed to travel back to the same time period, and take another class. This raises issues ass to the brains capacity to have memories from the same point in time however.
As the plot progresses, Harry learns that Sirius is his Godfather and is coming to talk to him at Hogwarts. During this time, the school groundskeeper Hagrid, is about to have one of his pets executed due to it injuring a student. When they think witness the execution, they are mortified and upset as they believed the execution was unjust. Later in the movie, Harry and Hermione use the time turner to go back before the execution to try and prevent the death of Buckbeak, his pet. They sneak down behind some giant pumpkins to hide from the executioner. They then lure the creature over to them, and take it into the woods to free it from its impending death. This personifies the core of the Grandfather Paradox, traveling back in time to prevent an action from being made. In this particular case, instead of killing their grandparents to prevent their own death, they must travel back in to save the animal. Therefore, it is more of a causal loop than a direct reference to the Grandfather Paradox.
As they proceed through the forest, they see their current selves, the ones who are being observed by the time travelers. They do not want to be seen otherwise they will disrupt time. They are able to evade themselves, for now. They eventually get to a clearing where they can rest. At the clearing, Harry is able to see him and his Godfather being attacked by Dementors, who suck one’s soul away until you die. Harry knows that he must intervene in order to save the life of his current self, but weighs the consequences of disrupting time. He decides that he must save himself in order to be where he currently is, traveling in time. This is another example of the Grandfather Paradox in this movie.
As with many films and novels, there are issues with the way paradoxes are used and portrayed. Each instance of the paradox can be evaluated slightly differently, so each can be taken as a separate instance. Instance one, is when Hermione strictly uses the time turner to go back in time so she is able to take classes and be in multiple places at once. While she does this, she would effectively be participating in two places at the same time. This would essentially create a timeline that has small loops in which the original timeline is changed. However, what the movie fails to take into account is that Hermione will create a different version of herself on each timeline. One cannot simply learn at two places at once, and retain the knowledge as one being. Even if you include Lewis’s system with little loops on a single timeline, multiple memories coexisting at the same time may not be physically possible. This is difficult to know for sure, as this technology is not available to test this thesis. Moreover, I would agree with her keeping both memories only if it were a multiple timeline system. If the timeline has the loops like strands of DNA, then I believe one memory should have to replace the other.
However, some may argue it is also possible and very plausible that Hermione actually has a different internal clock than the physical time that is going on around her. This would offer a solution to the brain’s capacity to have multiple memories at the same time, because her time does not line up with the timeframe of the universe. I would agree, as this seems plausible for her alone. On the other hand, it would raise more questions that is answers. For example, if others were to travel back with her, which does happen later, would they also have a different personal system of time? Furthermore, since the technology doesn’t exist to test either theory, it is difficult to come to a definite conclusion.
The second case involving the apparent execution falls more within the accepted uses and application of the Grandfather Paradox and time travel. While in the house of the groundskeeper, Harry and Hermione are hushed away back to the castle, as they should not be there during that time. While walking back, they hear the sound of an axe cutting into presumably Buckbeak. However, the animal lives. This is because later in the movie, Harry and Hermione travel back in time and see the animal. This is an occurrence of the single timeline view. It actually makes sense with the story and how it is portrayed. The reason they travel back in time is to save the animal they thought was killed. Therefore, not being completely sure of its death led the pair to go back in time. This part of the paradox, the movie is correct.
However, they did mix singular and multiple timelines of travel, which brings about a contradictory state of affairs. The movie also fails to address the causal loop that is supposed to be created. Since they originally do not see the death, they would be inclined to go back. The loop would then be repeated. However, they are able to save the creature, which breaks the original loop. The possible explanations for this situation are a broken loop which spun off into an alternate universe, or it is actually deterministic. If it was a failed loop all along, then the alternate universe would support indeterminism with many universes. If somebody saved Buckbeak from the beginning and they did not see, this would be consistent with determinism. The cinema photography left grey area for debate which does not do this film philosophical due justice.
The final situation occurs when Harry and Hermione find themselves across from a dying Harry and Sirius. This is the best example of the Grandfather Paradox as it is more about the actual paradox rather than the plausibility of time travel. In this section, Harry must either save himself and change events of the past, or let himself die, in which case he would not be able to travel back in time. When the perspective of the movie changes to the Harry who is lying dying, he sees a dark figure in the shadow that casts a spell and ultimately saves his life. Unbeknownst to him, he casted the spell while he traveled back in time. This follows the structure of a Grandfather Paradox and the single timeline view. The film would be constantly deterministic if the second example was able to be proven as deterministic. However, due to the possibility of both determinism and indeterminism in more than one occasion, the film raises questions as to which system it truly prefers.
As a whole, time travel and the Grandfather Paradox show up more than we may think in modern media. The Grandfather Paradox and time travel are a big part to Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Although the execution of the movie with regards to the paradox and philosophy, are not perfect, is does not hinder the viewer’s comprehension and enjoyment of the film.
The Relationship Between Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and Economics
J. K. Rowling created stories and worlds that are very beloved in the world. Most children know the Harry Potter stories, however what they may not realize is that they are learning about economics through these stories. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone has some intriguing lessons when it comes to economics that J. K. Rowling may not have even intended to include. Incase anyone needs a refresher on the first book in the series, it is about a boy who as a baby defeated the most powerful and feared wizard in the world after that wizard killed his parent’s. No one knows how Harry Potter defeated Voldemort, they just know he did. Some wizard’s who were close to the Potter’s gave Harry to his muggle (Aka. non-magical humans) aunt and uncle who only like ordinary things and hated the Potter’s for being odd and different. Once Harry gets older he is accepted into Hogwarts school of magic and finds out he’s a wizard. He also learns that his parents left him money and that he will get to live at school. His muggle family has been horrible to him. At school he learns about monster’s, witches, spells and potions, encounter’s Voldemort and learns that Professor Quirrell is working for him and fights that professor in order to save Hogwarts (Rowling).
So, how does Harry Potter relate to economics? It actually relates deeply to the concepts discussed in chapter 3 of The Macro Economy of Today, on Supply and Demand and the weight a demand has and the different types of markets (Schiller). Harry Potter demonstrates factor markets, that deal with factors of production, product markets: where items are sold, opportunity costs: how when one item is bought another item cannot be, supply: the ability and willingness to produce an item, demand: the willingness and ability to get an item, and the determinants of demand.
First, there is the example of opportunity cost. Schiller defines opportunity cost as, “the most desired goods or services that are forgone in order to obtain something else .” In The Sorcerer’s Stone, there are two comparative examples of opportunity cost in the story. Harry Potter lives with his aunt and uncle Dursley and their son Dudley. In their home Dudley is favored highly over Harry. Harry sleeps in a cupboard under the stairs while Dudley has two bedrooms, one for his toys and one for where he sleeps. The Dursley’s buy Dudley whatever he wants. For Dudley’s Birthday they go out and buy him more presents because Dudley is upset the number of his presents are fewer than last year. Dudley does not understand opportunity cost, because his parents buy him whatever he wants. Because of this he places little value on the items he receives. Harry Potter observes Dudley’s toy room,
Nearly everything in here was broken. The month-old video camera was lying on top of a small, working tank Dudley had once driven over the next door neighbor’s dog; in the corner was Dudley’s first ever television set, which he’d put his foot through when his favorite program had been cancelled .
Dudley’s lack of understanding that there is an opportunity cost to his toys will eventually harm him. He does not understand that his parents resources are limited, and soon he will only have broken toys to play with. Harry Potter however understands opportunity costs. He knows that if he does not behave how the Dursley’s would like, he will be punished and will lose the few privileges he has. When Dudley has his birthday, Harry is supposed to go stay with a babysitter. The babysitter cannot take Harry that day and the Dursley’s are forced to take Harry with them to the zoo. Before leaving, his aunt and uncle threaten him, that if anything goes wrong at the zoo Harry will not be allowed to leave his cupboard. Harry, of course, accidentally makes the glass on an exhibit disappear and the Dursley’s lock him in his cupboard for weeks. Harry understands that if he does something bad, on purpose or not, that he loses the few privileges he has.
Harry Potter all the determinants for demand after receiving his inheritance. Once he has wizard money to use he fulfills the requirements. Whereas until this point Harry did not have that ability. Harry is shown to have the determinant of taste when he wishes to buy a gold cauldron. He is prevented from buying that item and instead gets a pewter one, but he also displays taste in buying a nicer set of scales and a nicer telescope. Implying he chose those items over another. Once Harry receives his inheritance, he is fulfills the determinant of income with his gold coins. He shows through his desire for a gold cauldron and his choice in buying pewter that the determinant of other goods is fulfilled. The determinant of expectations is fulfilled. Harry believes, he will have very little and will only be able to buy the necessities. Harry’s expectations change once he realizes he has a great amount of money. He expects to be able to buy nicer versions of items on his supply list. His expectations are disappointed by his caretaker with certain, items, but with others his expectations are fulfilled. There are also a number of buyers that exist. We see Harry interact with another wizard boy in a shop who is also making a purchase. Harry also observes that the stores are very busy, proving that Harry is not the only person with demand and will have some options unavailable because items have already purchased (Schiller 51).
Eventually Harry Potter gets a letter accepting him into Hogwarts and he gets to utilize demand, and locate a market. Schiller says, “a market exists wherever and whenever an exchange takes place .” He also defines demand as, “the ability and willingness to buy specific quantities of a good at alternative prices in a given time period, ceteris paribus (Schiller 48).” This market for him exists in the wizard world where his parents left him a large inheritance. This gives Harry demand in the wizard market. Especially in Diagon Alley where Hogwarts students go to buy their school supplies. Harry now has the ability to make more purchasing decisions, than he was ever allowed before. It story there is a point at which Harry has the ability to buy a gold cauldron his caretaker keeps him from buying it because it is not the cauldron listed on the supply list. Harry does, however, get a nicer set of scales and telescope since he could not buy the cauldron he wanted (Rowling 80). Because of the market Harry was able to make exchanges from, and the fact that he had demand, it shows supply is there as well. Harry only encounters a product market. Schiller defines product market as, “any place where finished goods and services (products) are bought and sold.” Harry enters a clothing store, an apothecary shop, a pet shop, and a wand shop. All these places implies supply and demand for wizards who are willing and able to make purchases.
The story also talks about complementary goods and substitute goods, some are purchased within the same shop. Schiller defines both terms, “substitute good: goods that substitute for each other; when the price of good x rises, the demand good y rises, ceteris paribus .” and “complementary goods: goods frequently consumed in combination; when the price of good x rises, the demand for good y falls, ceteris paribus .” If the price of the pewter cauldron were to rise, the demand for the gold cauldron would rise because. Since both items are cauldrons and fulfill the same purpose, they are substitutes for each other. However, at the apothecary, shop Harry buys potion ingredients and scales. These are complementary goods. You have little use for them without a cauldron to use them. So if the price of the cauldron rises, demand for the other items will fall because they are not as essential (Rowling 80-81).
So now it is easy to see that Harry Potter shows the elements of the economy in Supply and demand. He starts off with little demand and everything is high in opportunity cost, he ends with higher demand and much lower opportunity cost. It fulfills the determinants of demand and proves there is supply for the items Harry desires. Harry Potter shows a well developed economy. If only its readers knew.
Examination of C. S. Lewis’, Chronicles of Narnia, and J. K. Rowling’s, Harry Potter
Death is one of the few things in life of which we can be absolutely certain. But how we think about death as humans, as rational agents, as mortal beings, changes over time and circumstance. Once a distant consideration, it becomes vital and all consuming after a dismal diagnosis or the passage of a few decades. Many characters, plots, and themes throughout literature explore the means by which human beings come to understand and accept (or refuse to accept) the inevitability of death through our development. This developing understanding is perhaps best encapsulated in coming-of-age stories, more specifically, in the journey of the adolescent hero. In an examination of C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia and J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter, we are able to witness through the characters and their quests the grappling of the adolescent mind with the concept of mortality.
Psychologically, metaphorically, and thematically, the adolescent heroes in these series are forced to confront and ultimately conquer death. Themes of renewal and redemption in both religious and secular contexts pattern both works, and the fantasy settings of both the wizarding world and the world of Narnia provide conditions for discussing and defining mortality that would not be available in a contemporary bildungsroman. Thus, the adolescent fantasy provides a uniquely interesting perspective on the developing understanding of mortality in the adolescent mind. Moreover, the confrontations with death that appear throughout these works seemingly aim to provide comfort and enlightenment to the young adolescent audience through themes of resilience, renewal, and hope.
The monomyth of the hero’s journey, first outlined by Joseph Campbell, has been redefined and variably applied over the past few decades. In our discussion of the journeys in Narnia and Harry Potter, we will focus on what is classically called “ the approach to the innermost cave” and “the ordeal.” In scholar of comparative literature David Leeming’s account, The Voyage of the Hero, he defines this more explicitly as the decent into the underworld. “In the descent into the underworld the hero finds himself an explorer in the province of death itself. The hero, as man’s agent, faces in depth what man himself so fears. The hero is our hope of overcoming death and understanding its meaning” . This “decent” arguably occurs in each volume of each of these series, but here we will focus on the ordeals of the final works of each series, as the descents that occur there thematically encompass those that occur earlier in the series.
In Lewis’s The Last Battle, the young human heroes (in this instance, Eustace and Jill) confront death both literally and metaphorically in the episode of the stable. Like the wardrobe in Lewis’s first published novel, the stable in The Last Battle acts as a portal into another, larger world—but unlike the wardrobe, the stable is not so much an initial threshold as a very final one. “The Stable Door becomes a metaphor for death,” explains author and theologian Paul Ford, “on this side of the door death is terrifying, black, unknown; but on the other side lies the glory of Aslan’s country” . Indeed, it is discovered upon the heroes’ passage into Aslan’s land that they did in fact die in a railway accident in the “real” world. However, before the heroes reach this understanding, they are forced to face the fear of death and of the unknown in the final, futile battle with the Calormenes.
The theological threads in Lewis’ preceding works make facing this unknown easier for the adolescent heroes; they are already familiar with the concept of other worlds, and of the value of faith. The description of their final battle is nearly lighthearted, almost comforting: “In a way it wasn’t quite so bad as you might think. When you are using every muscle to the full…you haven’t much time to feel either frightened or sad” (The Last Battle 148). Jill and Eustace’s confrontation with death is painted more as a departure to another adventure, rather than a terrifying finality. “All their life in this world and all their adventures had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read” (The Last Battle 211).
A similar, though less theological, theme appears in the Harry Potter books. Our hero Harry often receives direct wisdom on matters of inescapable mortality, usually from Albus Dumbledore. Aside from serving as a guide to Harry, Dumbledore plays a special role in shaping Harry’s developing understanding and ultimate acceptance of death. Just as Aslan prepares the Narnian heroes for their ultimate encounter with death, Dumbledore carefully and almost systematically prepares Harry throughout the series. In the very first novel, he tells Harry: “To the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure” (The Sorcerer’s Stone 240). Dumbledore again reappears in Harry’s most crucial encounter with death in the last installment of the series, The Deathly Hallows. Equivalent to the Narnians’ encounter with the stable, Harry also experiences a kind of otherworldly afterlife in the chapter entitled “King’s Cross,” in which he arrives in a heaven-like version of King’s Cross station after Voldemort casts the killing curse on him. As in the metaphor of the stable door, the fear of death in Harry’s case again proves more problematic than its results.
Dumbledore foreshadows the ordeal Harry faces in his final confrontation with death in the penultimate novel with some more words of wisdom: “It is the unknown we fear when we look upon death and darkness, nothing more” (The Half-Blood Prince 566). When Harry discovers that he must sacrifice himself to overcome Voldemort, he is nothing short of terrified—but when he arrives in the otherworldly King’s Cross, where it is “warm and light and peaceful” (The Deathly Hallows 609), his fears concerning death are assuaged, and he develops a greater concern for the trials of living. “Adolescent fantasy, thus, to an extent, seems to negotiate with the power of death as the ultimate authority,” Vandana Saxena argues in her novel The Subversive Harry Potter. “The success lies in accepting continuity, in seeing death as the ‘next great adventure’ in the series of events” .
Besides being structured as heroes’ journeys with clear descents into the “underworld,” these adolescent novels are further facilitated to explore mortality through their fantasy contexts. Both the wizarding world and the world of Narnia have the ability to play with time and physical existence in ways that make death seem potentially impermanent and/or reversible. In Narnia, the Pevensies live multiple lifetimes by traveling to Narnia and then back to “our world.” In The Prisoner of Azkaban, Hermione uses the time turner to nearly double the length of each school day. In The Silver Chair, Jill and Eustace witness Aslan bring King Caspian X back to life and throughout the Harry Potter series “the narrative seems to defy death, for instance by the means of moving photographs, portraits in which a person continues to live or the choice to become a ghost” (Saxena 67).
This capacity of the world of fantasy to subvert adult notions of death in many mays mirrors the child and adolescent’s “discovery” of death as a concept. As children, humans see death as something much more like sleep, something that is reversible. As we age, however, we come to understand death as more permanent and menacing. Child psychologist Helen Sylvia Antony explains: “Intellectual maturity brings humility; the child finds that he, like all other living beings, has no magical power against death or to procure it” . The heroes of Narnia and in Harry Potter must also learn that, despite the enhanced possibilities and mysticism of their worlds, death is still inescapable for them. However, the fact that their otherworldly adventures and imaginative realities provide a sort of comfort and hope in the face of the terror of mortality and fear of the unknown. In this way, fantasy elements exceptionally complement a coming-of-age story, and fit most seamlessly with young adolescent protagonists. “Young adult fantasy becomes an embodiment of the experience of adolescence – its angst, its rebellion and also its journey of personal maturation. The subgenre of adolescent fantasy can be characterized as a mix of illusion, escape, entertainment, formula and also instruction and guidance” (Saxena 5).
Through the adventures of Jill, Eustace, the Pevensies, Harry, Ron, and Hermione, adolescent readers are invited to confront their own thoughts and fears about death and mortality. The exploration by these heroes of other worlds and their ultimate confrontations with death make what “is seen as typically a sorrow-bringing thing and a fear-bringing thing” (Anthony 86) into merely a portal into the next great adventure. They teach “that all worlds draw to an end and that noble death is a treasure which no one is too poor to buy” (The Last Battle 103). They teach not to pity the dead, but to “pity the living, and, above all, those who live without love” (The Deathly Hallows 609). With less moralizing and more genuine confrontation, these works make a profound and edifying exploration of mortality and the adolescent mind.
J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince vs. Kazuo Ishiguro’s, Never Let Me Go In Regards To the Subject Of Destiny And Choice
In both Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro and Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling, we find many characters making choices about how they will handle the circumstances facing them. Rowling actively portrays the role of fate versus free will in the decisions a person makes as a theme throughout the Harry Potter novels. Harry is marked by Voldemort from a very young age, and during his youth he is told repeatedly that he is special or different as the “boy who lived.” He is orphaned and introduced into the wizarding world much later than most, trying to gain footing and learn about his past. A prophecy tells him what he is destined to do, and he chooses to embrace the cause. In great contrast, Kathy H. in Never Let Me Go is completely compliant, refusing to work to change her fate. Both authors’ messages speak clearly: regardless of what daunting task lies in front, how you approach the situation speaks for the choices you make.
The debate between free will and fate is a very common theme in literature because it is so potent in our everyday lives. There is no scientific proof that a higher power does or does not exist: we question religion our whole lives, unsure of what to practice and if what we are practicing is valid. We wonder if the decisions we make were actually our choice, or if our life has already been decided by fate. Because this is such a “human” thing to consider, we see it pop up in literature over and over, from Harry Potter to Hamlet.
Harry feels that he has no control over the relationships in his life. He is so concerned about Voldemort hurting Ginny that, as much as he loves her, he refuses to be with her. She was targeted before just for being a sister of a friend, and Harry knows that Voldemort would run wild if he knew that Harry had a girlfriend. Instead, Harry sacrifices his feelings and love for her, putting their relationship on hold while he fulfills his responsibilities. This is especially bitter after the death of Harry’s godfather, who was used to bait Harry and then murdered by Deatheater Bellatrix Lestrange. Harry felt that he had no choice but try to save Sirius, just as he feels he has no control over leaving Ginny. Harry cannot control that he loves Ginny, but chooses to push her away in order to protect her from danger.
Draco also struggles with free will after being chosen by Voldemort to kill Dumbledore. “‘I haven’t got any options!’ said Malfoy, and he was suddenly white as Dumbledore. ‘I’ve got to do it! He’ll kill me! He’ll kill my whole family!’” (591). The fear of the evil, dark wizard makes him hysterical and he fails to see options before him. Dumbledore replies, “‘I appreciate the difficulty of your position … Why else do you think I have not confronted you before now? Because I knew that you would have been murdered if Lord Voldemort realized that I suspected you… come over to the right side, Draco… It is my mercy, and not yours, that matters now,”” (591-592). Dumbledore tries to reason with Draco, telling him he does have options and that he will protect Draco. He explains that his mercy is most important; Draco is only spawn for Voldemort, but for Dumbledore, who has cared about Draco and watched him grow up, this act is unforgivable and damning. Dumbledore tells Draco, fearful or not, he is making a conscious decision in the eyes of the headmaster.
Harry plays a vital role in the prophecy. When his parents were murdered, he was left with part of Voldemort – his soul. Harry becoming a Horcrux meant that for Voldemort to die, he would have to find all the Horcruxes and destroy them – including himself. Harry never argued this fact, prepping for this moment throughout all seven novels.
“Got to?” said Dumbledore, “Of course you’ve got to! But not because of the prophecy! Because you, yourself, will never rest until you’ve tried! We both know! Imagine, please, just for a moment, that you had never heard that prophecy! How would you feel about Voldemort now? Think!” …
“I’d want him finished,” said Harry quietly, “And I’d want to do it.”
“Of course you would!” cried Dumbledore. “You see, the prophecy does not mean you have to do anything! But the prophecy caused Lord Voldemort to mark you as his equal … In other words, you are free to choose your way, quite free to turn your back on the prophecy! But Voldemort continue to set store by the prophecy.” (512).
Harry may have been destined to kill Voldemort, but the emotional damage Voldemort has inflicted on Harry is irreplaceable. This fury drives Harry with more passion and strength than a glass ball saying he was destined to destroy Voldemort ever could. Harry has lost countless loved ones and spent his youth worrying about Voldemort—the prophecy has no impact on the pain he has been caused. Harry has the mental determination and reasoning to kill Voldemort, and that is free will.
Harry’s attitude shifts from disbelief to acceptance as he realizes nobody is better destined to kill Voldemort than him. “It was, he thought, the difference between being dragged into the arena to face a battle to the death and walking into the arena with your head held high. Some people, perhaps, would say there was little to choose between the two ways, but Dumbledore knew – and so do I, thought Harry …” Although he is handed a terrifying and terrible task, he lives his life for his friends and hopes to do right in their book. He wants to avenge the death of his loved ones and prevent any more pain. This is the spirit of a martyr, ready to make the ultimate sacrifice for something he believes in.
Kathy H. in Never Let Me Go is the opposite of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter. She is used to harvest organs – a clone of a more important human. Although she knows she is destined to die so another can live, she puts up no fight or has no thoughts about how this is wrong. “‘I was like you, Tommy. I was pretty much ready when I became a donor. It felt right. After all, it’s what we’re supposed to be doing, isn’t it?’” (6). She feels that since that was her purpose, it was what was meant to be. “‘One big idea behind finding your model was that when you did, you’d glimpse your future. Now I don’t mean anyone really thought that if your model turned out to be, say, a guy working at a railway station, that’s what you’d end up doing too. We all realised it wasn’t that simple.’” Kathy is made to live her life through a window. She has no future besides donor or carer, so she thinks about her clone’s life instead. We do see a sense of free will in Kathy H. as her narrative comes to a close; although her humanity is questioned, being made for no purpose but to provide organs for other humans, she aspires to live a fulfilling life.
Miss Lucy wants to tell the students about how they are treated with a lack of humanity:
“She said we weren’t being taught enough, something like that.”
“Taught enough? You mean she thinks we should be studying even harder than we are?”
“No, I don’t think she meant that. What she was talking about was, you know, about us. What’s going to happen to us one day. Donations and all that.”
“But we have been taught about all that,” I said. “I wonder what she meant. Does she think there are things we haven’t been told yet?”
The way the students so nonchalantly talk about their purpose is disturbing; they speak of “all that” as if at some point they will need to eat breakfast and not have their internal organs harvested.
The following quote best summarizes how Rowling exemplifies that free will triumphs fate:
His hand closed automatically around the fake Horcrux, but in spite of everything, in spite of the dark and twisting path he saw stretching ahead for himself, in spite of the final meeting with Voldemort he knew must come, whether in a month, in a year, or in ten, he felt his heart lift at the thought that there was still one last golden day of peace to enjoy with Ron and Hermione. (652)
Harry knows what is to come, but still chooses to ensure that any time spent with his best friends and in which they are happy, safe, and healthy is not to be wasted. This is Harry choosing to make the best of his life. In Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, many characters are forced to make difficult choices when facing their circumstances. Rowling challenges the idea of a set destiny by using the decisions characters make about their fate to show that free will always prevails.
In both Never Let Me Go and Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, many characters must make choices about how they will handle the circumstance in front of them. While Kathy H. is compliant, Harry refuses to be anything but complacent; he knows he is the best man for the job. Both Rowling and Ishiguro explore the line between free will and fate to show that regardless of what daunting task may lie ahead, an individual can be defined by how he or she chooses to approach the situation.
J.k. Rowling’s Depiction of the Personality of Severus Snape as Illustrated in Harry Potter
In Severus Snape, J. K. Rowling created an obvious anti-hero who deserved better. A villainous character in appearance and temperament, his dark presence belied his true intentions. Snape filled the anti-hero role valiantly to the very end. Despite his presentation, he was always on the right side of history. Despite the book series’ titular character, Severus Snape is in fact the true hero of the entire story.
In contrast to Harry Potter, who is a seemingly bland character, Severus Snape is the pinnacle of fictional characters and character arcs. His early presentation in the story only portends a villainous end. It should be noted that Snape was hired by Dumbledore to be a professor at Hogwarts, so it should be in the readers mind that despite his appearance, he is to be fully trusted. Gilderoy Lockhart’s brief tenure at the school is the argument against that belief. Harry Potter is the full blooded protagonist from the very start. This is never in doubt from beginning to end. As a result, Snape’s antagonism towards Harry is a huge red flag and paints Snape as the anti-hero or the villain to some. The antagonism has a clear source and that is Harry’s late parents. Snape was childhood friends with Harry’s mother Lily and it is revealed later in the story that he was in deep love with her. On the other hand. Harry’s dad James Potter was enemies with Snape and often bullied him, while also taking Lily from him. Harry reminds Snape of his father and there is a clear hatred due to it.
Despite the animosity, Snape fulfills his duty to protect Harry from various villains throughout the story. He muttered counter spells to prevent Quirrel from knocking him off his broom during a Quidditch match in the Sorcerer’s Stone. He protects Harry, along with Ron and Hermione, from Lupin, who had transformed into a werewolf. Snape spends a considerable amount of time teaching Harry how to close his mind to prevent Voldemort from reading it. There was plenty of evidence that Snape was a hero, but his dark history was blinding.
Snape was also willing to kill Dumbledore, the most beloved wizard in the wizarding world, to continue his mission as a mole among the death eaters and to protect Malfoy, while also destroying the Elder Wand’s power. He knew his life was in grave danger by taking these actions and fulfilled his duties until the very end. He never cracked, until he was fatally bitten by Nagini. He stayed alive long enough to shed a couple of tears for the pensieve. Snape’s betrayal almost seemed like destiny, but in retrospect, it should have been seen coming from a mile away. Credit to Rowling for paining such a dark and negative picture of Snape throughout the story leading up to the apparent betrayal.
Severus Snape appears to the typical villain turned good, but it is far more complex. Snape ultimately was never a villain, but the presentation of his character created an image of a dark villain in waiting. He is the anti-hero, who is ultimately the hero of the entire story.
The Problem Of Evil In The Harry Potter Series
In the Harry Potter series, Rowling has created a world full of magic, imagination, and witchcrafts. In terms of fantasy fiction, fantasy is defined as “the literature of unreality,” or as “literature which does not give priority to realistic representation”. Usually, works of fantasy genre take place in an imaginary world where magical and supernatural creatures are common and prevalent. Harry Potter novels revolve around an orphaned boy, who enrolls at Hogwarts School, and his adventurous contention with the evil wizard Voldemort who acts as the Dark Lord in several ways.
Voldemort as a character and Dark Lord is split up into many different shapes that together create the prime evil. Voldemort creates a way to defeat Harry in each book, and he seems to be a variety of different types! He usually appears supernaturally as a fearsome figure who threatens or betrays Harry. These different ways come after murdering Harry’s parents, Voldemort himself explains the strange turn of the events. He said: “My curse was deflected by the woman’s foolish sacrifice, and it rebounded upon myself. Aaah … pain beyond pain, my friends; nothing could have prepared me for it. I was ripped from my body, I was less than spirit, less than the meanest ghost …. but still, I was alive. What I was, even I do not know …. I had no body.” Through Voldemort’s attack on Harry, he is “physically reduced to something less than human, something that needs care and support from his followers to survive.” Thus, he usually appears supernaturally as a fearsome figure who threatens or betrays Harry.
In order to survive in his own, “Voldemort’s only option for survival is to draw life from the body of another human being” Thus, he first attaches himself as a parasite on Professor Quirrell’s body. He disguises his face inside Quirrell’s turban to cover up an unusually shaped head. After Quirrell’s death, Voldemort disappears in search of another source of life. He can also ‘configure and transform into different sizes and shapes.” He appears to be a shadowy figure moving inside Hogwarts as a snake Nagini, and as dementors, who, according to Dumbledore, are Voldemort’s natural allies. The serpents or snakes in the Harry Potter series play a significant role in the text because of their negative associations with death and destruction via their involvement with Rowling’s malicious villains.
As well as the serpent, the dementors are not materialized into any other kind of form or color. This principle can be fit with ghosts and spiritual apparitions – they can appear in certain ways and only for short periods of time. These different versions have passed and transformed into this dark ominous form in order to continue their evil, malevolent ways. All these versions are overwhelming with darkness and gloominess. Voldemort tries to attack Harry in a dark side, a secret side. Through the interview on “Shadow People & How to Deal with Negative Energy and Dark Being,” Natali enhances …… His attack’s strategy “could be a form of mind control or manipulation, working on (Harry’s) subconscious mind in some way. It establishes a stark sense of ‘presence’ and is something (He) can’t forget” Interview, “Interview on Shadow People & How to Deal w Neg Energy – Podcast” He appears in Harry’s life in different conditions with different versions. He is dark, wild, troubling, and disturbingly fascinating. No light goes through him at all. It is suggested that his darkness is a form of camouflage.
According to Natalia Kuna, powerful villain, as well as Voldemort, is “conscious, intelligent, inter-dimensional being that can shapeshift into various forms and figurations, and move back and forth between dimensions.” He is described under the classification of demonic creatures or even evil spirits of entities! Voldemort is shown in the visions of his readers as a piece of magic, terrifying and unforgettable. He usually sends a kind of signal and vibe making Harry feels like he will return. Harry experiences the forces, power and threatening nature of these dark entities. While Voldemort is a famous wizard as well as Harry, he, moreover, chooses to separate himself from others. He chooses to live in darkness and becomes loneliness. Voldemort wished to be “different, separate, notorious.” He always wanted to separate himself from those around him and shunned any possible links to others.
In terms of friendship, Dumbledore states that “Lord Voldemort has never had a friend, not do I believe that he has ever wanted one” Voldemort wants to separate himself from the people around him. Even as a child Tom Riddle, the last character of Voldemort, wanted to be self-sufficient, to do things in his own. His treatment of the other children at the orphanage suggests that he had no tendencies to form friendships, and what is known about his relationships with other students at Hogwarts does not indicate any true or particularly strong bonds.
Though Rowling’s stories contain the usual global battle between the forces of good and evil, she is “essentially a novelist, strongest when writing about the real world.” Rowling’s real elements in the novel concern her characters. “Harry has psychology; his problems need resolution in the real world”.
J.K. Rowling’s Use of Spiritual Views and Imagery as Illustrated in the Book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
In 1997, J.K. Rowling changed the world forever when she published her first book, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. The first out of a 7 book series, it quickly became a worldwide phenomenon. Originally published as Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, the first book brings the reader into a magical world full of wizards, wands, and magical spells. As Harry Potter journey’s through this new, foreign world, he has to face many unthinkable obstacles that explore religious and moral based principles. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone has many explicit references to religion, immortality, and the battle between good and evil woven throughout the book.
Religion is not openly mentioned in the book, but there are instances where the wording can point towards religious sayings and holidays. At the beginning of the story, witches and wizards across the country were celebrating the death of Voldemort, also known as You-Know-Who. As Mr. Dursley, Harry Potter’s Uncle, was leaving work, he ran into a wizard who was in celebration. He exclaimed, “Rejoice, for You-Know-Who has gone at last! Even Muggles like yourself should be celebrating, this happy, happy day”. Rejoice is used in religious settings as a word of celebration, and is often referenced back to the Bible verse Phillippians “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice!” Professor McGonagall also says “I wouldn’t be surprised if today was known as Harry Potter Day in the future” (pg 13). Therefore, the Witches and Wizards are “rejoicing” in the day due to Harry Potter, as if they were celebrating a religious holiday.
Furthermore, there are many holidays celebrated throughout the Harry Potter series. Christmas appears to be a major holiday in the magical world. Christmas comes with snow, presents, a holiday from classes and “festoons of holly and mistletoe hung all around the walls, and no less than twelve towering Christmas trees…” . It appears as though Christmas is exactly how it appears in the real world, but there is no mention of any religious attachment. Christmas is celebrated as a Christian holiday in the “real world”, commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ. In Harry Potter, it is a secular holiday. Later on in the book, Hermione mentions the Easter Holidays, which is another Christian holiday but does not appear to have any religious affiliation in the story.
While holidays and explicit religious references are few and far between, there are many times where religious ideas and symbolism are expressed in the Sorcerer’s Stone. Harry Potter is a parallel to Jesus Christ, and this is seen very early on in the book. As a baby, both Jesus and Harry Potter were targeted because they were both believed to one-day rise to power. In the Bible, King Herod of Judea ordered the massacre of the innocents, which was a decree to put to death all the boys in Bethlehem under the age of two, because he had heard of the news of the birth of Jesus. King Herod saw Jesus as a threat to the throne, and therefore sought to kill him. However, he was unsuccessful because Joseph and Mary heard of the news and protected their child. Parallel to this, Voldemort set out to kill baby Harry because he saw Harry as a threat to his power, which was fully explained later on in the series. Voldemort, like King Harod, was unsuccessful because James and Lily likewise protected their son. These two stories have parallels seen not only between Jesus and Harry, but also King Herod and Voldemort, and Joseph/Mary and James/Lily.
Furthermore, Harry Potter’s scar has two different religious connotations. First off, it connects another parallel between Jesus and Harry. Jesus has scars on his hands, feet, and side from his death on the cross. Harry has a scar on his forehead, which he was marked with after Voldemort tried to kill him. Not only do these scars follow both of their symbolic “deaths,” but they are also a way for others to recognize them. In John 20:19-31, Jesus appears to his disciples and shows them his hands and side, and it is his way of proving to his disciples that he really is Jesus. Likewise, Harry Potter’s scar is what makes him famous, and is a way others to know he is the Harry Potter. When Harry meets the Weasley family, they do not know whom he is until Fred and George point out the lighting scar on his forehead. Secondly, Harry’s scar can be paralleled to the Seal of God in the book of Revelation. This seal is a promise of protection to those who follow God and will keep them safe from the antichrist. This is similar to Harry’s scar, which he received because of his mother’s protection and love, and gives him protection from Voldemort. There are many similarities between Jesus and Harry Potter, and can be seen even more when discussing the power between good and evil.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone is written as a children’s story, but when one looks into it, they can see a story about the struggle between good and evil, and the triumph of good and human spirit. From the very beginning, there is this constant battle between what is good and evil, and there is a very fine line separating the two. Voldemort, the evil antagonist, appears at James and Lilly’s house to kill their child, but fails because of Lily’s sacrificial love. Lily very willingly sacrifices her life for the love of her son, and while she dies, her goodness conquers Voldemort’s evil. This love is a driving force behind the “good,” and Harry continuously uses this love for the good of the wizarding world to fight the “evil.” Temptation is a theme seen consistently throughout the novel, and within it is woven the difference between good and evil. Several times, Harry Potter is tempted. In the beginning, Harry makes the decision between being friends with Draco Malfoy and Ron Weasley.
Draco signifies power and greed, traits of Slytherin, whereas Ron signifies love, truth, honor, which are traits of Gryffindor. In that moment, Harry makes the split decision to choose between good and evil – and he chooses the former. Furthermore, a very prominent force behind temptation is when Harry meets Quirrell in the underground chamber. Quirrell makes the statement “there is no good and evil, there is only power, and those too week to seek it” . Quirrell has been tempted into this belief by Lord Voldemort, and now Quirrell is in turn tempting Harry into this line of thinking. When Voldemort reveals himself to Harry, he tries to convince Harry to join him, and gives him the ultimatum of death or power. However, Harry explicitly sees the line between good and evil, and to him power is directly correlated to evil. Harry chooses death instead of becoming evil, which makes him morally good. This theme of death and immortality are common throughout the book.
The first novel of the Harry Potter series explores the concept of death and immortality through the concept of Voldemort, and the Sorcerer’s stone itself. Voldemort is the ultimate example of immortality, and will go to any and every expense to avoid death. His greatest fear and weakness is mortality. When he tries to kill Harry Potter, he loses his body, but does not literally “die.” Ten years after his death, he possesses the body of Professor Quirrell, in hopes that he can acquire the Sorcerer’s stone, which will make him immortal. A unicorn is used as a bridge between good and evil, mortal and immortal, in the first book.
Professor Quirrel/Voldemort slay a unicorn and drinks the blood. Drinking unicorn blood will keep anyone alive, but comes with the price of living a cursed life. This is parallel to the Elixir of Life, which is made from the Sorcerer’s stone, and keeps the drinker alive until they stop drinking the elixir. While Voldemort tries to get ahold of the stone, he fails, and is only able to drink the unicorn blood. This is symbolic because Voldemort lives a very cursed life, and is too evil to have something as pure as the sorcerer’s stone. In the end, only Harry, who lives a very pure and innocent life, is able to get his hands on the stone and destroy it. Harry accepts death with open arms, and Voldemort runs from it, which symbolizes the drastic difference between life and death in the series.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone at first glance is a story that follows the adventures of a young boy at a boarding school. However, when analyzed, many themes of religion, good, evil, death, and immortality can be seen as prevalent themes throughout the novel. These religious themes can be very important to a full understanding of the novel and show many different characteristics of the protagonist, Harry, and the antagonist, Voldemort.
The Summary of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
The novel opens with a description of the Dursley family, a middle-class family that lives in Little Whinging, Surrey. Vernon and Petunia Dursley are constantly worried that someone will find out about Petunia’s decidedly “unDursleyish” witch sister, Lily, and their worries are justified when Lily’s son, Harry, is left on their doorstep. James Potter, Lily’s husband, had been murdered by the dark wizard, Voldemort, but when Voldemort attempted to kill Harry, his power somehow was damaged.
Harry becomes the only living person ever to survive the killing curse, and the only sign of his encounter with Voldemort is a unique lightning bolt-shaped scar on his forehead. Because Harry does not have any other living relatives. Albus Dumbledore, the headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, decides to leave him with the Dursleys until he is old enough to attend Hogwarts.A decade later, Harry has grown to become a pale, skinny boy with black hair that sticks up all over the place and bright green eyes. From a young age, Harry is told that his parents were killed in a car crash but has no other information about them, not even a photograph. Harry’s cousin Dudley dominates the household, bullying Harry with his pals and being spoiled rotten by Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia. While Dudley has two bedrooms– one for his bed and one for all of his unused toys.
Harry is given a the small cupboard under the stairs. Although he strives to avoid attracting attention, Harry cannot deny that strange things often happen around him. Once Aunt Petunia cut off all of his hair in a fit of frustration, and it grew back to its original length in time for school the next day. Another time, Harry was being chased by Dudley’s gang and suddenly found himself on the kitchen roof.
On Dudley’s eleventh birthday, Harry accompanies the family and Dudley’s best friend, Piers Polkiss, to the zoo. While Harry is in the reptile house, the glass front of the boa constrictor cage suddenly vanishes. Harry is unable to explain the incident, but Uncle Vernon blames him anyway and restricts him to the cupboard under the stairs until the holidays. One day, unknown letters begin to arrive for Harry. Uncle Vernon refuses to let Harry read the letter but tells him that it was addressed to him by mistake. Over the next few days, more and more of these letters arrive in the house, but Uncle Vernon keeps Harry from reading any of them. In an extreme effort to escape from the letters, Uncle Vernon takes the family to an isolated shack on an island on the night before Harry’s 11th birthday.
As the clock strikes midnight and Harry wishes himself a silent “Harry Birthday,” there is a loud bang on the door and Hagrid enters. Hagrid introduces himself as the ‘Keeper of the Keys at Hogwarts’ and then explains that Harry is a wizard who has been accepted into Hogwarts in order to study magic. Harry discovers that the Dursleys have always been aware of his magical abilities but have attempted to hide them and make him “normal.” Then, Harry learned what really happened to his parents’, they were murdered by Voldemort.
The following day, Hagrid takes Harry to Diagon Alley in London to shop for school supplies. Their first stop is Gringotts, the wizarding bank, where Harry is shown to his family vault and realizes that his parents have left him with a comfortable fortune of wizard gold. During their trip to the bank, Hagrid makes a stop at Vault 713 and removes a mysterious package: “Hogwarts business for Dumbledore”, he explains.
After the bank, Harry visits ‘Madam Malkin’s Robes for All Occasions’ for his plain black school robes and ‘Flourish and Blotts’ for his school textbooks, as well as other shops for parchment and potion ingredients. Hagrid buys Harry a white owl as a birthday present, and Harry decides to name her Hedwig. Their last stop in Diagon Alley is Ollivander’s, where Harry purchases a magic wand that contains a matching core to the evil Voldemort’s wand.When the train arrives at Hogwarts, the students immediately file into the dining hall to be “sorted,” or assigned to one of the four houses of Hogwarts: Gryffindor, Slytherin, Hufflepuff, and Ravenclaw. Harry worries that he will be sorted into Voldemort’s old house, Slytherin, and he makes a special request to the Sorting Hat to be assigned to any other house.
The Sorting Hat considers carefully but ultimately places Harry (as well as Ron and Hermione) in Gryffindor House.As the school year begins, Harry receives more attention than he ever has before, especially when the other students catch sight of his lightning bolt-shaped scar. Although most of his classes are enjoyable, Professor Snape, the potions instructor, seems determined to dislike Harry, and Harry notices that his scar seems to prickle whenever Snape glares at him. After their first potions lesson, Harry and Ron decide to visit Hagrid at his cottage near the Forbidden Forest. Hagrid inadvertently reveals that Vault 713, the Gringotts vault containing the mysterious package, was broken into shortly after Harry and Hagrid’s visit to Diagon Alley.
During their first flying lesson, Neville breaks his wrist and must be taken to the hospital wing by the instructor. Malfoy grabs Neville’s Remembrall—forgotten after his injury—and flies into the air with it. Harry flies after Malfoy to retrieve Neville’s toy and, when Malfoy throws the Remembrall to the ground, makes a spectacular dive to catch the Remembrall mere inches from the ground. Professor McGonagall observes Harry’s skilled flying and, instead of punishing him for breaking the rules, sets him up to play Seeker on the Gryffindor Quidditch team.
Malfoy arranges a midnight duel with Harry to settle the score, and Ron, Hermione, and Neville accompany him to make sure that he stays out of trouble. The four accidentally enter a forbidden corridor and come across a three-legged dog standing guard over a trapdoor. They leave the corridor quickly, but not before Harry has concluded that the dog is guarding the mysterious package from Vault 713.After the holidays end, Harry, Ron, and Hermione finally discover the identity of Nicolas Flamel: he is the only known maker of the Sorcerer’s Stone, which produces the elixir of life. They realize that the three-headed dog is guarding the Sorcerer’s Stone, and Harry begins to suspect that Snape is planning to steal it. Harry, Ron, and Hermione also discover that Hagrid is raising an illegal dragon that was given to him by a mysterious stranger in a bar in exchange for information about the three-headed dog.
Harry and Hermione decide to smuggle the dragon to Ron’s brother, Charlie, who works with dragons in Romania, but are caught just after handing off the dragon to one of Charlie’s friends. As punishment for disobeying school curfew, Harry and Hermione are sent into the Forbidden Forest with Hagrid to locate a unicorn which was wounded . When the group splits into two, Harry and Malfoy come across the body of the unicorn just as a hooded figure crawls toward it and starts to drink its blood. Malfoy screams and runs away, but Harry is frozen in place by an agonizing pain that is suddenly spreading from his scar.
As the hooded figure moves toward him, a centaur gallops in front of Harry protectively and the figure disappears. The centaur suggests that the hooded figure was Voldemort and that he drank the unicorn’s blood in order to stay alive until he can steal the Sorcerer’s Stone.Harry decides to steal the Sorcerer’s Stone before Voldemort can. Harry, Ron, and Hermione sneak off to the forbidden corridor and get past the three-headed dog by pulling it to sleep with music. Once through the trap door, they land on Devil’s Snare, the first of several challenges put in place by the Hogwart’s teachers. As the plant’s snake-like tendrils threatened to strangle Ron and Harry, Hermione uses magical fire to repel the plant and break them free. The next challenge is to pass through a room filled with hundreds of small flying keys. Harry flies on a broomstick to find the silver key that matches the lock on the door and finally snatches it out of the swarm. The door opens to reveal a giant wizard’s chessboard. An expert chess player, Ron takes the lead in this challenge and ultimately sacrifices himself in order to allow Harry and Hermione to reach the next challenge. When Harry and Hermione step into the next room, they are instantly surrounded by flames and faced with a complex riddle of poisonous potions.
Hermione rationally solves the riddle and gives Harry the potion needed to travel to the next room and the final challenge while she returns to help Ron.In the final chamber, Harry is surprised to find neither Snape nor Voldemort, but Professor Quirrell, the meek-tempered teacher of Defense against the Dark Arts, and the Mirror of Erised. Quirrell reveals that he, not Snape, has been Voldemort’s servant all along: Quirrell jinxing Harry’s broom during the Quidditch match and drank the unicorn’s blood in the Forbidden Forest. Now, in the final challenge, Quirrell needs only to retrieve the Sorcerer’s Stone from within the Mirror of Erised. He asks his master for help, and Harry hears a disembodied voice speak from within Quirrell, telling him to use Harry to get to it. Quirrell stands Harry in front of the mirror and orders him to tell him what he sees. Determined to keep the Stone from falling into Voldemort’s hands, Harry lies and tells Quirrell that he sees himself winning the Quidditch Cup for Gryffindor. He then actually sees himself holding the Sorcerer’s Stone and putting it in his pocket. Realizing that the Stone is now in his pocket, Harry tries to stall for time until he can escape.
Quirrell removes his turban and reveals Voldemort’s face emerging from the back of his head. Voldemort speaks directly to Harry, taunting him about the death of his parents, and then orders Quirrell to kill him. When Quirrell tries to touch Harry, his skin blisters and, though Harry is in excruciating pain from his scar, he forces the contact with Quirrell. With Voldemort’s screams of anger echoing in his head, Harry finally passes out. When Harry wakes up, he finds himself in the hospital wing with Dumbledore. Dumbledore found Harry just in the knick of time to keep Quirrell from killing him, though Voldemort escaped once again. Dumbledore explains that Quirrell was unable to touch Harry’s skin because of his mother’s love: when Lily Potter sacrificed herself for him, she left Harry with an ancient magical protection. He knew that only Harry would be able to retrieve the Stone from the Mirror of Erised because, unlike Quirrell and Voldemort, Harry wanted to find the Stone but did not want to use it.
Although Voldemort was not destroyed, Harry’s actions have kept him from regaining power for now.At the end of the year banquet, the members of Slytherin House are celebrating their victory of the House Cup for the seventh consecutive year. Surprisingly, Dumbledore awards last-minute points to Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Neville, which gives Gryffindor the edge over Slytherin. Harry considers it to be the best night of his life and returns to spend the summer with the Dursleys happy in the friendships that he has made at Hogwarts.
Analysis of J. K. Rowling’s Book, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
I am currently reading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling. This book is the 4th in the Harry Potter Series, about a young wizard in training named Harry. In this fantasy novel, Harry competes in the Triwizard Competition, but he never entered his name into the running because he was too young and would not qualify. This means that someone else entered his name into the Goblet of Fire. There are 733 pages and I’m on page 726. My general reaction to this book is that is too long and drawn out. The author included many unnecessary events that were irrelevant to the plot. Halfway through the book I got quite bored and could not read it for about 3 weeks, but then recently I got back to reading the book and the story became more engaging.
When I read the part of the book where Voldemort is reborn, it was somewhat gory and strange compared to the rest of the book. I was surprised when Voldemort was able to touch Harry because he had used the blood in the rebirth potion. Many of the books talk about how great Voldemort is, and how he could never touch Harry, so I thought the author wrote this part a bit unrealistically and it was quite out of the plot. I didn’t like reading this portion of the novel at all. It became odd and very confusing.
This book was worse than the movie version because the movie only took two to three hours to watch and understand, and the book took me at least ten hours to read. The movie I liked better because it was easier to follow than the book and it was, in a way, more entertaining. Reading the book got very old because it was so long, but the movie fit within my attention span limit. The book at times was hard to visualize, and watching the movie made it easier. The book, in my opinion, should have been split into two novels instead of remaining as one.
I like J.K. Rowling’s writing because she writes in an interesting way. Her writing tone is different than authors I am used to reading; it is most likely due to the fact that she is British. She writes about fantasy topics, which is one of my favorite genres to read. I like fantasy novels because they are always so imaginative and typically don’t have much of the story set in the real world. This is what J.K. Rowling does. She created her own world, while still including the real world of England. I enjoy how she transitions; she has the plot set so that the entire magical world is concealed from “muggles” (humans). Any other way, the worlds would conflict, and to me, as a reader, I would be confused.
Harry Potter is similar to Percy Jackson from The Lightning Thief series of books. They are both my favorite characters from each series, and they are the main characters in their books. Neither person finds out about their special powers until later in life, which certainly makes them resemble each other. Percy finds out he is Poseidon’s son at the age of 12, and Harry Potter finds out he is a wizard at the age of 10, and these ages are very close. Considering the fact that either person could have started realizing they were different than the rest of the human world at any point in life, they are very alike. Both characters undergo an enormous amount of pressure to “save the world” – they are both unlikely heroes. However, they are totally different in that Percy’s secret world is Greek mythology; all of the Greek gods actually exist. His missions typically involved monsters. Harry’s secret world includes wizards, witches, giants, and wizards turned evil.
Overall, I did like Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. The majority of the characters had been developed in books 1-3. My main concern for this book was that it was very long and took forever to read. To me, it is much easier to read a series of twelve normal sized books (about 300 pages) than read a series of seven books, half of which have around 700 pages. Other than this, the book was one of my favorites from the series, so far.
J.K. Rowling’s Use of Biblical References as Depicted in the Book, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
In 1999, J.K. Rowling released her third book in the Harry Potter series, which has become a global sensation. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is the third book out of a series of seven, and although it is not the middle book in the series, there is a certain turning point in the third novel and the series becomes darker and more serious. The themes of this novel are graver than the former novels, some of the prominent ones being deceit, time, good vs evil, and compassion/forgiveness. The characters grow up a little, and start to face problems that the older generations can relate towards. The Prisoner of Azkaban has many biblical allusions hidden in plain sight throughout the 435 pages. The events and characters in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban have many allusions to the biblical story of Jesus’ betrayal and crucifixion on the cross.
In the third Harry Potter novel, Harry receives information that an escaped prisoner –Sirius Black – who is accused of killing James and Lily Potter is hunting him down to kill him. In the end of the story, it is revealed to Harry that Sirius is his godfather, and he was also the original secret keeper of the whereabouts of James and Lily. However, Sirius did not believe he was fit for this responsibility, and the job was passed onto Peter Pettigrew. When James and Lily died, it was because Peter betrayed his best friends, and told Voldemort where their secret location was so they could be killed. This story is a biblical allusion to the story of Jesus’ betrayal. At the Last Supper, Jesus confides in his Apostles that he was to be betrayed that very night by one of their own. A few hours later, while Jesus and his Apostles were praying on the Mount of Olives, Judas approaches with soldiers, kisses Jesus, and in turn betrays him to the chief priest. Jesus was then sentenced to death, and was killed on the cross.
These two stories have many similarities that directly parallel them against each other. Peter Pettigrew and Judas were both responsible for protecting the secret of their friends’ location. However, they both deceived their friends, and revealed the information for the sake of their own good. Peter betrayed James and Lily out of fear, Judas betrayed Jesus out of greed. In the beginning, Peter was fighting Voldemort with the good guys, but as Voldemort began to become more powerful, Peter began to believe that good could not conquer evil, and that it would be best to join the dark side in the interest of his own life. Peter says “The Dark Lord… he -he has weapons you can’t imagine… he was taking over everywhere… w-what was there to be gained by refusing him” (page 374)? He chose his friends’ death over his own, which is the ultimate act of betrayal. Furthermore, Judas betrayed Jesus because there was a monetary reward for turning him over to the high priests. Matthew 25:16 states: “And said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver. Judas gave out Jesus’ secret location for a mere 30 pieces, showing that his main reason for betrayal was greed for money.
This biblical allusion shows that Judas is the parallel to Peter Pettigrew, and Jesus is the parallel to James and Lily. Peter Pettigrew fully represents Judas; and although their reasons behind the betrayal were different, in the long run they had very similar actions. After Judas betrays Jesus, he becomes consumed with guilt and hangs himself. Likewise, in the 7th novel Peter begins to feel what seems as a shadow of guilt or duty, and strangles himself. While Judas and Peter embody each other, the parallel between Jesus and James and Lily is not as absolute. They definitely have similarities, but James and Lily do not fully represent their biblical mirror. Jesus, James, and Lily all died for the greater good. They all wanted the world to be a better place, and they had to die in order for changes to be made. In Jesus’ case, he died so that the gates of heaven could be open. James and Lily had to die in the war against Voldemort so that their love and protection would give their son the power to defeat their murderer. However, Harry Potter is more of an allusion to Jesus, as he is “the Chosen One” who can be the only one to defeat Voldemort and bring light back into the world. Due to this parallel, it makes the allusion between Jesus/James and Lily less absolute.
The parallel between the biblical story of Jesus’ betrayal and death are very significant in not only the third Harry Potter book, but also the whole series. It adds a dimension to the books that allow for a deeper understanding to the reader. Jesus was betrayed and sentenced to death, but his death was a sacrifice to all of human kind. Likewise, James and Lily died for their son, who in turn saved the wizarding world. This parallel brings a dimension of the fight between good and evil in the Harry Potter series, as well as adds tones of human love, sacrifice, and the good of all humans.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban has two characters who were very wrongly accused, but who were both sentenced to death. As mentioned earlier, Sirius Black was accused of killing James and Lily Potter, but was also believed to have killed Peter Pettigrew along with 12 muggles. Sirius had confronted Peter about the death of James and Lily, but Peter caused an explosion, which killed 12 muggles who were standing by at the scene. Peter than transformed into a rat (as an animagus) and Sirius was left to take responsibility. He was then sentenced to life in Azkaban, and after 12 years, he escaped and sought revenge. Sirius Black was a wrongly accused criminal, and was never able to prove his innocence while alive. Furthermore, Hagrid has a pet hippogriff by the name of Buckbeak who was also wrongly accused. Hagrid’s first lesson as a professor took a turn for the worst when Draco Malfoy improperly handles Buckbeak and is pawed by the animal. After speaking with his father, Lucius Malfoy pulls some strings and has Buckbeak sentenced to death. Buckbeak is a wrongly accused criminal because he did not permanently hurt Draco, and the accident was actually Malfoy’s fault because Hagrid had told the class how to properly handle a hippogriff. In the end, Sirius escapes on Buckbeak, and the two innocent criminals ride off into the sunset.
There is undoubtedly a huge biblical allusion of the betrayal of Jesus in the Prisoner of Azkaban. The parallel between the characters add depth and dimension to the story, and gives the reader intellectual clues into the personality of each person. Furthermore, the stories themselves are intertwined, and deception, betrayal, and lies are a driving force behind the scenes. This particular biblical allusion creates a pattern of dark and light, good and evil, and the obstacles one has to battle to reach salvation.