J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter Series

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Thus far in Rowling’s predicted seven book series, all four books can be found to have a number of shared themes that are rather evident in all of them. The most evident, however, would be that things in the land of Harry Potter are not always what they seem, and in order to get along well in this land, you must accept the differences of others.

Harry’s life for his first few years could be categorized under both of these themes. Harry, after all, is always having bizarre things happen at the most inopportune moments; his aunt, uncle, and cousin (the Dursleys) are definitely less than accepting of this, resulting in a very poor relationship between Harry and them (The Sorcerer’s Stone 18-24). Throughout the other four books this inacceptance of Harry’s differences by the Dursleys always leaves Harry with a burning desire to get back to Hogwarts. Harry, as a result of this poor home life, adjusts rather easily to his newly found life of wizardry. For him it is finally an explanation for the odd occurrences of before, and gives him a chance to be among others like him.

The themes present themselves in a variety of other characters and situations as well. The character of Hagrid, for example, which upon first description should lead one to believe he is the fiercest creature alive; he is definitely to be avoided (The Sorcerer’s Stone 14, 46-47). On the contrary though, Harry, Ron, and Hermione look past this and find a friend and protector. Harry’s godfather is also believed to be a creature, of sorts, “out to get” Harry. However, he turns out to be there to protect him, as well. As for situations, each book revolves around a mystery with so many twists and turns, that the final solution for it is almost always a surprise. In The Sorcerer’s Stone, for example, the reader is lead to believe that Professor Snape is the one helping the dark lord, Voldemort, do harm to Harry and steal the stone; in the end, the reader finds the guilty party in the most unlikely character, meek, stuttering Professor Quirrell (288). In The Chamber of Secrets, Hogwarts is suddenly plagued by students turning to stone. The initial belief is that Draco Malfoy is the culprit, then the blame shifts to Hagrid, and even Harry becomes a suspect.

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