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?

15 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.

  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.

  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.

  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.

  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.

  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.

  7. Jinsupa Rojyaroon

    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?
    The reason that religion complains about this novel is not a surprising thing. The problem of witch and witchcraft with religion happened for a long time. Christianity defining the magic as power from the satan which people have to exchange their souls for the endless power. After Medieval era, this idea was making more than 100 people die tolerantly. It’s like the dark shadow of the religion. However in my opinion this not a reason for the parent to complain and deny to give their child to read it. This novel in many situations the main character, Harry Potter is breaking rule and got the prize with no penalty. He makes his life into the risk for no reason and sometime in the novel makes adults seem to be childish just for fun. For the parent who thinks that this will influence their child make them think that breaking the rule is not a big deal or making someone and looking at them as idiots are a funny thing are not allowed. They will deny their children read it. In my opinion, there have pros and cons in every media. Now a day all the information is world wide and hard to protect children from access it. The parent should guide their child instead of obstructing them form learning the new thing. Even though Harry Potter has a lot of disadvantages to the children but however it can give you a reason about friendship, royalty and make them have endless imagination to make them happy and improve the reading skill at the same time.

  8. Ithida Saravitee

    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?
    I think the purpose of having Harry lost his parent and live with Dursleys make Harry become who he is. Harry’s mind this older than his age because of the way he was treated in Dursleys’s family make him know how to survive and get the thing done by his effort. I can imagine if Harry has to live by himself on the street at the age of eleven-year-old, he still can survive comparison with other kids at the same age who may cry for their parents to get them home. Dursleys’s family really shape Harry to be who he is, he learns to be humble and not arrogant, he learn to appreciate the small gift from other people like when Hagrid gave him a birthday cake even the cake does not look good because Hagrid sat on it or even when Ron mother give him a cloak as a Christmas present. He learns to judge people by his instinct and knows who he can and can’t trust like when he judges professor Snape and Malfoy. He learns to protect and fight for himself and the one he loves like when he flies on a broomstick to catch a Remembrall for Longbottom or sacrifices his life to protect the stone
    I think without this past experience of the death of his parents and living with Dursleys Harry might not survive this far in the magical world because Voldemort may recover and kill Harry at the end of the story. Maybe this is what the Dursleys wants Harry to be because they know what happens to Harry’s parents so they want to rise Harry to be able to survive by himself when nobody left of him.

  9. Lee Woo Jin

    The reason Hogwarts does not use the latest technology but uses only the “antique” technology is that the place itself is a magical space. Modern technology is science. But magic is not science. That’s why Hogwarts is left out of the modern world and remains in the Middle Ages. These are “antique” and “magical” technologies, such as delivery of everything by owls, students not using laptops, trains coming to Hogwarts are not KTX trains, and dogs with three heads keeping the philosopher’s stones, the way to open the dormitory door is to give the frame a password.

    If Hogwarts describes a laptop, a Wi-Fi, a KTX train, an Amazon drone delivery service, and a fingerprint recognition door, the boundary of magic space will collapse. If, in other words, the science is brought into Hogwarts, magic loses its place. I think one of the reasons people are crazy about Harry Potter is that Hogwarts is a perfectly imaginative and magical place. The imaginations and magic depicted in Hogwarts are nowhere to be found. That’s why Hogwarts can be left itself as a perfect object of aspiration. Magic cannot be explained by science. That’s why magic and science cannot coexist in a single space called Hogwarts. This is why Hogwarts does not have the latest technology.

  10. Kwon Ye Hun

    I’d like to write about question no. 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?”

    My answer is a magical feeling. We don’t expect a mysterious or magical feeling in modern technology. Modern technology is already ordinary things to us and it gives us scientific and digital feeling. On the other hand, we aren’t familiar with antique things. It makes a mysterious feeling and makes us curious.

    Harry Potter is a story about magicians, so magical feeling is important. I found that Rowling had changed the first book’s subtitle ‘the philosopher’s stone’ to ‘the sorcerer’s stone’ because the philosopher isn’t related to magic.

    Many fantasy stories had shown us the relation between antique things and magical feeling. For example, Lucy and her siblings went to Narnia through an antique closet. In The Lord of the Rings, Gandalf always carried long sticks as a wand.

    Lastly, I feel Rowling wanted to separate two worlds, magicians and muggles. So she couldn’t use modern technology in the magicians’ world. It is just my thought, but I think it is reasonable.

  11. Seo Hyo Won

    I’m as fond of Harry Potter’s series as I’ve seen it over and over again. Since I prefer video media, I was satisfied with the movie and didn’t look for and read any books. Therefore, this is the first time I’ve had a book contact with the book Harry Potter.

    When a novel turns its original work into a movie, people who already read the book tend to feel disappointed. Because movies have time restrictions, they have to develop stories within a limited amount of time, and it’s difficult to include everything. Perhaps that’s why Harry Potter tends to not be so attractive to those who first come into contact with the book. When I read a book, the scene I saw in the movie was described in the book, and it was rather good that I could read the book while remembering the scene.

    However, the critical difference that I felt when I experienced both books and movies seems to be the details of the story. Books can express a little more detail about the scenes and feelings, and it seems that they will be able to create more realistic and immersive feelings for people who like books. Movies develop the story with speed based on representative events. Compared to this, the book has no limitation on length, and there are various descriptions of emotional expressions and daily life of characters. Both have the same content, but the characteristics of the genre make this difference

  12. Yena Lee

    I0. If your first introduction to Harry Potter was in movie form, how did the experience of reading the novel feel different to you?

    I had a concept before. I used to think that the movie would be more fantastic and easier to experience all emotions and scenes indirectly. However, now I could say reading Harry potter is much funnier, interesting and easier to feel in a detailed way than watching movies. Since I have read the book, I am able to see some differences and make some points out them.

    One of the small point I was disappointed at was that the movie omitted the scene of first chapter. The movie just skipped this whole chapter, and also didn’t mention Dudley’s friend, Piers Polkiss.

    Another point I liked is that I could concentrate on getting inside Harry’s heart. Small details in the book helped me to feel Harry’s emotions as the writer bring his feelings on the surface.

  13. Lee soo in

    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?

    The children are still immature. So it is possible to misunderstand the contents of this book. Therefore, parents will worry. It’s like parents are worried about their children when they play Internet games. But I think it’s okay if the children don’t fall too deeply into this book. Of course, this book is a fantasy, but it is a book where humans write human stories. Therefore, there are certain virtues to be learned. You can learn cooperation and friendship from the main characters joining forces, and courage and drive from defeating the enemy. You can also learn your parents’ love and spirit of sacrifice.

  14. Kim Jahyun

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

    I first saw Harry Potter in a movie, and although I had many opportunities to read books, I did not read because I thought the visual effects of the movie was more attractive. But as I read this book, I realized that my thoughts were completely wrong. I felt the charm of imagination was greater.
    While reading the novel, I naturally remembered the scene I had seen in the movie. The scenes of the movie and the parts depicted in the book, such as the appearance of Hogwarts and the Quidditch game, were very similar, which helped to focus in the book. But there was something I was sorry for not being able to demonstrate my imagination. If I had not seen the movie, I would have created Hogwarts and characters with my imagination, but I was sorry to draw and read the image from the already made part. But the movie was very well made, and this was also very interesting.

  15. Jin jun hyeak

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

    My first watch to Harry potter is form of movie. I’m not big fan of Harry potter. And i ‘m not watched full of the film. But i think movie is better in case of pursuing fun. To understand the story of Harry potter, book is better than movie.
    Then how it is different? As i mentioned, movie is made for fun. It has a little adaptation of the author’s story or a little more exaggerated such as Harry using magic. So Harry potter made me exciting. However, book is little bit boring to me because of movie effect. Still it has good point. Unlike time-limited movie, book can describe the process of everything in more detail. If i recommend Harry potter to other people, i’ll let them show movie first. Because it would be more interesting to read books after learning basic things through movie than directly read the book.

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