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Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone: Maddy C.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter has barely known anything but his cupboard under the stairs, his awful Aunt and Uncle, and his even worse cousin, Dudley. He has a strange lightning bolt shaped scar that he received in the car crash that killed his parents. He is mistreated by his only living relatives, the Dursleys, and would do anything to escape them. One day, as he’s getting the mail when it arrives in the mailslot, he is incredibly surprised to find that there is a letter addressed to himself. But when he returns the rest of the mail to his uncle and starts opening the letter, Uncle Vernon snatches it from his hand, reads the front, and destroys it. Why is he so angry at Harry getting mail? Harry is devastated: he never gets mail – but the next day the same letter arrives – and Uncle Vernon rips it up; but they come again. And again. Until finally, Uncle Vernon rushes them away to a distant island in the middle of a lake thinking mail won’t come, but it does, but with great half-giant, called Hagrid, who enters the cabin, and tells Harry that he is a wizard, and that his parents were murdered by a dark wizard, and that Harry’s famous for surviving the curse that was supposed to kill him, but only left a small scar upon his forehead. But then Hagrid whisks him away to a school entirely devoted to educating wizard children, called Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Harry is actually treated nicely, is fairly popular, and is on the road to discovering his destiny… if he can survive it.
I picked three songs to represent Harry and what he’s going through. The first song I picked for Harry is called Fireflies by Owl City. Harry isn’t cocky, like some people in his school think. He’s actually incredibly curious, bright, and brave. When he’s introduced to the wizarding world, he’s stunned that there’s such a thing, and so relieved to be able to escape his cousins. The song Fireflies is about a curious man who thinks he’s dreaming, although he’s not sure if it’s real, which is exactly how Harry feels when he’s told about the wizarding world, on pages 50 and 51. When Hagrid tells Harry he’s a wizard, Harry gasps, “I’m a what?” and after reading his acceptance letter to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, his mouth actually hangs open, which shows disbelief, which is what the person in the song Fireflies is experiencing as well, because sometimes when something crazy happens, you think you’re dreaming, which is how Harry feels.
The second song I picked is called Magic by Coldplay. It is about someone who is in love and believes it’s magic when they’re with their partner. That’s sort of how Harry feels about his school, Hogwarts, as the book progresses. He knows if something is going to happen at Hogwarts, then it’s going to be magic (obviously, it’s a school for magic). Additionally, at the end of the song, the narrator sings, “And if you were to ask me – after all that we’ve been through – if I still believe in magic? Well yes I do, oh yes, I do, oh yes, I do, oh yes, I do, of course I do.” That would most likely be the exact response Harry would give to someone if they asked him after he returned to his cousin's’ house for the summer holidays if he still believed in magic, because he’s been through so much since the beginning of the Hogwarts year, when he wasn’t even sure if magic existed, like on pages 50 and 51.
The third song I picked is called Fight Song by Rachel Platten. It is about somebody who’s been through some pretty awful things in their life (like Harry) and is deciding be strong and just deal with it. Harry is pretty much malnourished by the Dursleys, always has second-hand clothes that are two sizes too big on him, and is locked away in a closet for most of his life. After ten years of being mistreated, he just decides to deal with it, maybe even giving his cousins some cheek here and there, like when Vernon Dursley tried to take Harry’s letter from Hogwarts from him, but Harry didn’t go down without a fight (even though the letter was shredded in the end).
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone is a really wonderful book (and series!) and I hope you read it.

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