Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets' Book Review Essay

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Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is the second installment of the Harry Potter. This book begins with a visit by a house elf named Dobby during a dinner party back at his horrible relative’s house, the Dursleys. He warns Harry not to return to Hogwarts. Harry tells Dobby that he is going to return to Hogwarts and Dobby creates a scene of havoc that upsets the Dursleys. They punish Harry by imprisoning him in his room for the remainder of the summer. Ron Weasley, Harry’s best friend, steals a flying car breaking Harry out of his room and he spends the rest of the summer with the Weasley family.

While staying with the Weasleys, Harry goes shopping for school supplies with them. He runs into one of his teachers, Professor Lockhart who demands a photo with Harry. Then, he encounters his enemy, Lucius Malfoy, the father of Draco Malfoy. He tries to start a fight with Mr. Weasley. Something strange happens when Ron and Harry attempt to board the train to Hogwarts, they are unable to enter the magical platform. So, Ron and Harry fly the car to Hogwarts. They have a horrible landing and both boys are given detention by Professor Lockhart who believes they flew the car for fame and attention.

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Once at Hogwarts, Quidditch practice begins. Malfoy is a Slytherin and is arrogant and insulting. He calls Hermione, one of Harry’s best friends, a Mudblood. Mudblood is an insult to Hermione referring to her heritage of half witch/wizard and half human. When all this is happening, the caretaker’s cat is petrified. Because of Malfoy’s behavior, he is the prime suspect. There is also a written message left. Everybody is on edge. After some research, Harry, Ron, and Hermione learn that fifty years ago, a chamber was opened at Hogwarts and a student was killed.

With all of this happening, Dobby is worried about Harry’s safety. To get him sent home, he enchants a ball hitting Harry during a Quidditch match causing Harry to lose all the bones in his arm. More petrified bodies are found. Harry speaks to a snake in Parseltongue frightening everyone because only the heir of Slytherin should be able to speak to snakes.

Ron, Harry, and Hermione continue to be determined to find out who opened the chamber. They brew a potion and take on the form of Slytherins. They discover Malfoy is not the Slytherin heir. Harry finds a diary that belonged to Moaning Myrtle who is a ghost who haunts the girls’ bathroom. Harry writes in the diary and receives a response from a boy named Tom Riddle who accused Hagrid of opening the chamber years ago.

More petrified bodies are discovered. This time it’s Hermione and a Ravenclaw girl. Dumbledore and Hagrid are removed from Hogwarts. This is very upsetting. Hagrid tells Harry to follow the spiders to find out about the chamber monster. Harry and Ron follow the spiders and find out that a spider did not kill the girl found in the bathroom fifty years ago and that Hagrid is innocent. They discover that Moaning Myrtle was the girl killed. Harry and Ron find a piece of paper in the petrified hand of Hermione. They believe the monster is a basilisk. Before they can do anything further, it is announced that Ginny Weasley, Ron’s sister was taken into the chamber. Ron, Harry, and Professor Lockhart take a secret passage to the bathroom where Lockhart accidentally curses himself. Ron helps him and Harry enters the chamber to find Ginny’s body and Tom Riddle. Tom is a younger version of Voldemort who has been enchanting Ginny in his journal. Harry tries to get help from Dumbledore. A phoenix and a magic hat appear. Tom calls on the basilisk but the phoenix punctures its eyes. Harry pulls a sword from the hat that he uses to kill the basilisk. Harry stabs the fang of the basilisk through the diary killing Tom and Ginny wakes up.

Harry tricks Lucius Malfoy into giving Dobby a sock freeing him. He explains everything to Dumbledore and all is well.

What I found most interesting about Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets was all the new characters. As in The Sorcerer's Stone, Harry spends his summers and life outside of Hogwarts living a miserable existence with the Dursleys. He always tries to remain humble despite the situations he is forced to encounter. Harry is more aware of his wizarding skills but uses them only for good. This second book introduced us to Dobby, the loyal house elf, and Gilderoy Lockhart, the Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher who erased his memory. Mostly, an all-new mystery of discovering who opened the chamber of secrets. Like the first book, Harry wants us to always believe in magic and the good. We are once again, immersed in the world of wizardry, magic, and fantasy.

As in the first book, I learned from Harry Potter that there is always hope and you can always find a way. A lasting impression was Dobby. He was one of my favorite things about the entire book. He was the bravest house elf. He tried warning Harry, although unwanted, many times that he was in danger. He banged himself in the head, created chaos, and took a huge risk defying the Malfoys but was the truest and most loyal friend.

One of the most interesting parts of the book was Dobby. He tried warning Harry repeatedly that something bad was going to happen at Hogwarts and for Harry to stay away. He wanted the boy who lived to stay alive. Dobby made it interesting because it set up the plot for the reader. He knew that something bad was going to happen. I also knew that Harry wasn’t going to stay away from Hogwarts and that if he did, Dobby’s prediction would be right. Dobby went to any extreme to keep Harry away and safe. He would bang his head, he caused chaos during the Dursley dinner party causing Harry to become imprisoned in his room and he risked his life defying and betraying his owners--the Malfoys. Dobby was a turning point. Without his warning, there wouldn’t be any intensity in the book. He set the plot and started the new mystery.

The inciting incident is when Ron and Harry try to gain entry to the train on the platform but can’t get through. Something or someone is trying to prevent Harry from returning to Hogwarts.

To get the plot moving, they steal Ron’s father’s car and fly to Hogwarts because they couldn’t gain entry on the platform landing on a wamping willow at Hogwarts that just about takes their lives.

The problem is getting Harry to Hogwarts. Dobby warns him and tries to prevent him from going, the Dursleys place bars on Harry’s bedroom window preventing him from what they thought would be any escape and he and Ron can not gain access to the train on the platform. More specifically, the plot thickens when Harry discovers a written message in the blood and that the Chamber of Secrets has been opened. The danger that he was warned about.

The Climax was when Harry found the cavern with a huge basilisk and the memory of Tom Riddle. Tom Riddle was Voldemort before he changed his name. Tom Riddle was trying to steal Ginny Weasley’s life force so he could return from the dead.

The resolution occurs when Harry calls Dumbledore for help and a phoenix and hat appear. The phoenix plucks the eyes from the basilisk and Harry pulls the sword of Gryffindor from the hat killing the basilisk and saving Ginny. Harry frees Dobby, Hermione is unpetrified and Hagrid is released from prison.

Exposition: Exposition is a way to give background information about the setting and background characters.

Harry: Harry is a young wizard and very famous. He tends to get in trouble and has a lightning scar on his forehead.

Ron: He is a young wizard who comes from a poor family. He has hair, is skinny, is brave, and is a loyal friend.

Hermione: Hermione is brilliant—really smart, she loves academics and is a muggle. She is the brains of the operation and completes the trio.

Harry returns to Hogwarts for a second year. He hears voices in the walls. But, as time goes on, it becomes more bothersome and questioning.

The setting takes place in London, the Dursley’s home, the Weasley home, the flying car, Hogwarts—classrooms, hallways, great hall, Quidditch Pitch, the spider lair, a cavern, and surrounding grounds.

Suspense: The definition of suspense is the intense feeling the audience goes through while waiting for the outcome of certain events. The suspense is what makes it hard to put down a book.

When Dobby appears warning Harry not to return to Hogwarts is the first sign of suspense. His uncle imprisons him in his room placing bars on the windows in hopes that he can never escape followed by not being able to enter the platform. He then discovers the writing in blood and that the chamber of secrets has been opened. Students are petrified including Ginny and Hermione. Ginny is taken into the chamber by Voldemort who is controlling her through an enchanted diary. All of this build-up to the climax.

Mood: The mood is the tone of the story. It is the author’s feeling towards the character rather than the reader’s feeling towards the character. It is the general feeling or atmosphere.

While Harry Potter does deal with his friends being petrified and has some dark scenes, it is a children’s fictional, fantasy book. It is a little darker than the Sorcerer’s Stone. It starts dark with Harry being stuck with the miserable Dursleys once again. But soon, Dobby appears and he is rescued by the Weasleys in a flying car and he spends the remainder of the summer with them. From the friendships formed, Dobby’s loyalty, the enchantment of Hogwarts, the danger and suspense in the cavern and forest to the amazing phoenix and the downfall of the basilisk and Voldemort, Harry’s journey of friendship, loyalty, and his determination to risk all to stop evil ensue fantasy and magic throughout the book.

I would recommend this book to a friend. The book kept my interest because Harry is so humble and kind. From the very beginning, you want him to return to Hogwarts despite the warnings. The friendships bring out the personalities of the characters and the bond formed keeps you cheering for them. There are so many magical characters and settings from Dobby, and Lockhart to the unlikable Malfoys and the many secrets of Hogwarts. There are wizards, basilisk, phoenixes, spiders, flying cars giants, muggles, magic, and fantasy. The entire series is an amazing read and I would recommend it to any reader of any age.

I chose this book for my report because I love Harry Potter and all the characters in the series. It is the second installment of the series and a book that can be read over and over with the same excitement as when you read it the first time. It never gets old and it is a fun read that is so enjoyable it reads quickly and you just can’t stop reading it once you start.

I would have read something by the same author because all of the books in the Harry Potter series are amazing and I plan to continue reading the series. Anything she writes is full of fun and fantasy and I hope she continues writing about Harry Potter.

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Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets’ Book Review Essay. (2024, April 18). Edubirdie. Retrieved July 23, 2024, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/harry-potter-and-the-chamber-of-secrets-book-review-essay/
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