British Soc & Lit 2: Blog Post 4 (Harry Potter)

Harry Potter & the Philosopher’s Stone – J. K. Rowling (1997) — First book in the series – PPT file

Blog posts due and presentation day: Monday, December 9

  • Group 7: How and why is Harry a hero? Or is he?
  • Group 8: The role of the stone in the novel.

Write a post here of two paragraphs (about 200 words) discussing the novel, or make your post a reply to someone else’s post. Feel free to make your post a reply to someone else’s post if you like. Choose one topic for your presentation or for online discussion or your paper. One topic per group. A narrow, focused discussion is usually more interesting.

  1. Does Dumbledore act as a sort of ‘father’ to Harry, or does Hagrid or another person fit this role better? How and why?
  2. Are there funny scenes in the novel, or things satirized from the real world, such as campus sports (Quidditch) or junk food? How does Rowling create humor in the story?
  3. Some religious or parents groups complain that children should not read such stories about witchcraft and magic. Are novels such as this good for children? What lessons do they learn from this book?
  4. Discuss the ‘antique’ technology in the novel. For example, why is everything done with owls and candles? Why can’t Hogwarts have Wi-Fi and laptops and have the students arrive by flying KTX trains?
  5. Snape always seems misjudged in the novel. Is he a sympathetic character? Is there a reason why he always appears evil and is vindicated at the end of the story?
  6. Hermione is a perfectionist and always seems stressed, but she breaks down and cries at one point. Analyze her character, or discuss another female.
  7. Research residential boarding schools in England. Is Hogwarts like these schools? Do you see any reason why the story is set in such a school?
  8. Much of the novel is very sad, dealing with Harry’s feelings of loss over his parents, or the coldness of the Dursleys. For many other characters family is very important. Does this also have a reason or purpose in the novel?
  9. Authority works strangely in the novel. For some minor actions the students receive harsh punishments; but at times, such as when he tries to find the stone, Harry disobeys the rules in ways which should get him in serious trouble but he’s praised. Why?
  10. If your first introduction to Harry Potter was in movie form, how did the experience of reading the novel feel different to you?

6 thoughts on “British Soc & Lit 2: Blog Post 4 (Harry Potter)

  1. Lee young eun

    3. Some religious or parents groups complain that children should not read such stories about witchcraft and magic. Are novels such as this good for children? What lessons do they learn from this book?

    I agree with that many parents concern about their children. They maybe worried about that their children couldn’t distinguish the difference realize and ideal.
    But I think there are many things that children get from these kind of book.
    These kind of books develops the imagination of children and also children can get many lessons in the story.
    I think the most big lesson that children can learn in this book is the friendship and love.
    Growing up as an orphan, Harry learns the relationship between man and man, family love he has never felt, and friendship with friends in adventure and courage.
    Children can learn love and friendship through these scenes.
    And also the ultimate lesson that children can learn is that to those who commit evil, they must return.
    Good behavior, love, friendship, courage….such positive words can be a good lesson for children.

    Reply
  2. Lee Kang Rok

    I chose the question number 10 for my blog post. So I am going to talk about the difference between watching the movie form and reading the novel. When I was young, I watched the Harry Potter’s movie form. And it was my first exposure to Harry Potter. So it is first time to reading a novel version. I think there are some differences. Basically, more details are well described in the novel. So some scenes were omitted in the movie. In case of characters, Peeves were not appears in the movie. And in the novel, Harry goes to the third floor’s prohibited door with Ron, Hermione and Neville. But in the movie form, there Neville are not appear in this scene. Furthermore in the novel, when main characters were going to met Quirrell, they were going through the chess game room. And the next room was related to magic medicine. But in the movie form, the room which was related to magic medicine is omitted
    I think overall stories were omitted at the movie form. Because the movie forms are restricted by the time. So, we can say the novel versions have more details. And the novel versions can induce our imaginations. On the other hand, movie forms have advantage at visual and auditory aspects.

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  3. Hong Yuan

    8.Much of the novel is very sad, dealing with Harry’s feelings of loss over his parents, or the coldness of the Dursleys. For many other characters family is very important. Does this also have a reason or purpose in the novel?

    Yes, I think it’s because J.K. Rowling wants to highlight the friendship among these Hogwarts students and how much Hogwarts means to them. Although much of the novel is very sad, we can feel the warmth sometimes showed in the novel. When Hagrid took Harry to buy things he needed for school, he bought him an ice cream and an owl as his birthday present. That’s when Harry sensed being cared for the first time. Not only Hagrid, there are Hermione and Ron as his friends, Professor Dumbledore as life teacher and Mcgonagall as a strict but warm-hearted aunt. They are all like family to Harry. I still remember when Harry was selected as seeker of Golden Snitch, Mcgonagall bought him the best broom Nimbus 2000, that’s really nice. I think they kind of make up for the family time that Harry missed.
    For Ron, his family is poor and he sometimes feels inferior to others. Hemione’s parents are muggles so she seldom talks about them. They all have some family problem. But Hogwarts doesn’t weigh students’ background. And it is friendship among them gives them strength and love to fight against bad people. So that’s why I think Rowling has her reason for emphasizing family’s importance for characters in the book.

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  4. Yu Si Eun

    1.Does Dumbledore act as a sort of ‘father’ to Harry, or does Hagrid or another person fit this role better? How and why?

    I think Hagrid acted as a sort of father to Harry, not Dumbledore. When Hagrid came to Harry’s aunt’s house to bring Harry to Hogwarts, he punished Dudley to who teased Harry everyday instead of Harry. Almost every fathers protect their children.Therefore, I feel Hagrid protected Harry and was on the his side.
    Also, Hagrid taught Harry almost everything such as school supplies, and inheritance from his parents. Because of his help, Harry can prepare well to go to Hogwarts and adjust to school well. I think Harry deal with Hagrid reassured and comfortable like parents.
    So, I think Hagrid acted like father better than any other characters.

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  5. KIm minji

    If your first introduction to Harry Potter was in movie form, how did the experience of reading the novel feel different to you?

    The opening OST of Harry Potter always makes me ecstatic. I watched all Harry Potter movie, but it was first time for me to read Harry Potter as a book. I thought I could imagine the magical world and Harry’s friends more if I read them in the book, but I could think of only the contents of the movie screen. But it was clear that it was more fun than it was in the movie. When I saw the movie, the wordplay that I just passed over was more fun to read and I could imagine more detail than the movie, so I felt like I was really in the magical world. I heard that the first movie is composed most similar to the original, and I want to read the rest of the book and compare it with how it is different from the movie, and imagine details that I never imagined when watching it.

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  6. Seong Jae Hyuk

    6. Hermiones characteristic and other woman’s

    Although she has often had a bad relationship with other students due to her high-profile behavior,but she takes good care of students like Neville and Luna, who are basically ridiculed by other students because of her caring personality. Although she is always grumbling, it is hierdaily routine to help Ron or Harry study and correct their homework. So whenever they argue with Hermione, Harry and Ron suffer from homework. She is also a small minority of people who actively advocate the freedom and rights of housekeepers who are enslaved and have no sense of problem. Of course, there are drawbacks to being too exemplary and inflexible, and Ron and Harry are frustrated. And there is also a mean side, a mean side, and a mean and stubborn side. It is clear that she is one of the best characters in her writing, even considering the part about the human rights of her housemaids, as she preaches. In contrast to her character, which is strong-looking and straight-up, actually, she is very soft and has a girly girl who looks chilling on the outside but is full of sensibility and tears.

    Professor Mc gornagall
    Her image is both fair and stern. In the original book, she is described as a professor who looks much more scary than in the movie, who would not laugh at all, and who seems to have done something wrong in front of her. Unlike Severus Snape, who favors Slytherin, no one is actually a true example of an educator.

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