Harry Potter: The Main Themes, Literary Techniques And Devices. Time, Setting And The Plot

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Introduction

Literature is the heart of a language that manifests human language in real sense which the writers can express their ideas and use their imagination to create an artistic world rich of mysteries and creativity including poetry, drama and fiction through its elements.

This chapter is about the magnificent story Harry Potter that is full of fantasy and supernatural creatures and rich of its themes and characters including the protagonist Harry and his surroundings and the antagonist Voldemort.

Definition of Literature

Literature is like a mysterious world that is full of Knowledge, imagination, fantasy and inspiration. It encourages individuals to improve their knowledge in a various field through reading by tasting the flavor of the things that is surrounding them. It represents the culture and tradition of a language or people via discovering their lifestyle and believes that make them more open minded to this world and well-versed.

Types of Literature

Literature in general is based on three main types which are Poetry, Drama and Fiction and any type of writing is considered as a type of these three genres: Poetry, Drama and Fiction.

Fiction is defined as any kind of written text based on fantasy, imagination and supernatural things. It is structured in a complete sentences and clear paragraphs and dialogues without focusing on the sound and the rhythm as poetry.

Literary Definition of Fiction

It is a meld of creativity, imagination and fantasy which makes the reader travel from a place to another without moving a leg. It makes him/her living the story that has some resemblance to real life events and characters in a supernatural way. Fiction contains certain symbolic and thematic features known as “literary merits.” In other words, fiction narrates a story, which aims at something bigger than merely a story. In this attempt, it comments on something significant related to social, economical, or human related issues.

The author of a fiction work is full of imagination that invents the story and makes up the characters, the plot, the dialogue and the setting. Fiction genre is not made to tell a true story. Instead, it leads the reader to experience situations that they may never have experienced in real life. It takes them to places that they may never visit and introduces them to some characters they may never meet. Moreover, Fiction can inspire, encourage, and engage people in new ideas; it can help them see themselves and their world in new interesting ways.

When people read fiction, they can be someone they would never otherwise have the chance to become ; another gender, another age; someone of another nationality or another circumstance. They can be explorers, scientists, supernatural men, artists or soldiers.

Elements of Fiction

The elements of fiction are one of the writers’ tools to make their work more professional and coherent. On the one hand, they are used to entertain the reader as well as make him/her figure out the different literary pieces including character, setting, plot and theme. On the other hand, the more the reader becomes familiar with these various elements; the better he will understand and analyze different stories.

The Character (s)

Characters differ from one to another depending on their mental, emotional and social background and it could be people, animals, or animated object. The importance of the character in the story whether the primary, secondary, minor or main character, reflects their role and how they are developed. they make the reader experiences the tale, and the trick so that they feel the total real fictional characters ..

Major characters

  1. Harry potter : the protagonist
  2. Hermione granger: Harry’s best friend and the smartest girl at Hogwarts School.
  3. Ron weasley: Harry’s loyal friend
  4. Professor Dumbledore: the headmaster of Hogwarts School.
  5. Voldemort: the antagonist. The direct enemy of Harry potter

Minor characters

  1. James potter: Harry’s father
  2. Lily potter: Harry’s mother
  3. Vernon dursley: Harry’s muggle uncle
  4. Petunia dursley: Harry’s aunt and Vernon wife
  5. Professor Flitwick: he Hogwarts Charms professor and the head of Ravenclaw House

The Setting

The setting is the physical environment for actions and characters in a story including social conditions, historical time, geographical locations, weather and timing. It is the external world that everyone has to deal with because all internal changes in characters are affected by setting. It includes the time and the place which control and define characters and force them to interact with it wherever they go or not, and whatever they do. In addition, it develops and demonstrates to the reader who the characters are.

Plot

The plot demonstrates the connections, and the structure of the story which makes the reader interested and motivated to read the whole story. It is a storyline of a text that the author develops as a series of events to create a story in a logical manner . Example:

Harry Potter the protagonist is an orphan boy who was living with his maternal aunt and uncle and their jealous son. At the age of 11, Harry realized that he is a wizard and he knew that he is quite famous in the world of magic and that there was an evil wizard, the antagonist Lord Voldemort, who killed his parents and wanted to kill him because he wanted to revenge.

Theme

The theme allows the reader to get involved with the story through the character’s experiences and conflicts. It facilitates the prediction of what will happen next. Also, it is considered as the central idea or the moral of the story. In addition, it is abstracted from the character’s and the action’s details that compose the whole story. The themes provide a unifying idea in which the plot, characters, setting, and other elements of a story are organized .

Novel

It has a certain complexity than novellas that deals with human experiences in an imaginative way. Novels usually have more than one plot and many characters involving a group of persons in a specific setting throughout a series of events that are unfolded by the actions, speech and thoughts of varied characters. Novels can be as long as their authors want them to be. There is no outer limit to their length.

One famous example of fiction novels is Harry potter by J.K.Rowling. The story narrates various adventures of the main character Harry and his friends Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley; all of them are pupils at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. It is a kind of fiction’s stories that influences many persons in this world in enhancing their cultural awareness, and it motivates many writers to do a similar work and the same global echo.

ROWLING J.K. Small Biography

Joanne Rowling was born in July 31, 1965.She is a British author and screenwriter. Best known for her seven-book Harry potter Children’s book series. The bestselling book Series in history with more than 400 million copies Sold and one of the most popular movie series of all time. She also writes novels for adults like: Casual Vacancy, Career of Evil and some other detective series including crime novels Under the pen name Robert Galbraith.

The idea of Harry Potter came to her in 1990, when she was stuck on a delayed train between Manchester and London. In the same year, she moved to Porto to teach English as a foreign language. In parallel with her teaching work, she sketched the plot of the different volumes of the saga and began writing the first part.

J.K.Rowling has attracted success both in terms of a massive sales figures and critical acclaim. This study will look at her books and considers some of the reasons for their phenomenal success. This will be done against a back ground of how Harry potter relates to other contemporary children’s books so that students and teachers can place them in the context for which they were written.

After writing the story on which the script of the play The Cursed Child (2016) is based, she also tried scriptwriting for the film, with Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016) [Fantastic Animals], an experience that should continue if the next four films are released.

Harry Potter Story

The Novel Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone is about an orphaned boy named harry a skinny boy with black hair and bright blue eyes who has grown up to become a pale. A giant named Hagrid appears and gives harry all the important news. In the beginning Harry is told that his parents had a car accident but unfortunately, they were killed by Voldemort, the evil wizard who made a scar in Harry’s forehead to sign him in order to kill him when he gets reborn.

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Harry lived with the Dursley, his muggle aunt, uncle and cousin. The Dursley family, who took him in Harry’s relatives decide to conceal his magical heritage from him and make him live in a cupboard under the stairs for ten years. He was young when he realized that he is a wizard and he has the capacity to communicate with snakes a well. Harry was invited to attend Hogwarts School of witchcraft and wizardry. Reubeus Hagrid the giant man brought him to London and took him to the secret magical location hidden behind the famous wizarding pub. During that trip, Harry met Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley and they became his best friends.

When Harry entered the wizardry school for the first time, he was amazed and surprised that he is famous. On the one hand, he noticed that everyone at the school is wearing an official uniforms depending on their branches of house’s categories, and the ministry of magic is well organized and strict; besides, teachers were disciplined and competent in their classes. In the other hand, he has observed the love between the students he needed in his life and the respect between men and women, every one there was respectful using only formal way to talk with each other except a few members who did not like him because of his past.

Harry discovered the truth about himself, his family and the terrible evil that haunts the magical world .Upon arrival, the Sorting Hat places Harry, Ron and Hermione in Gryffindor House one of the four house branches found at this school. Draco Malfoy, an arrogant and elitist student, gets placed in Slytherin house. At the end of their first week at Hogwarts, Harry and Ron discover that Gringotts, the wizarding bank, was broken into and a vault that Harry and Hagrid visited had been the subject of the robbery. Later, the head of Gryffindor allowed Harry to play Quidditch, a game like aerial soccer on broomsticks when discovered that harry has a talent for riding broomsticks and this game was very popular at howgwart’s school.

At the first Harry’s Quidditch match, Harry’s broom got manipulated, nearly knocking him off by . Professor Severus Snape , the head of Slytherin House and Hermione has noticed that and she saw him staring at Harry and mouthing words, making her believe that Snape has caused the broom to get uncontrolled with a dark curse. At that moment Hermione sets Snape’s robes on fire, in order to allow Harry to survive.

At Christmas, Harry received an Invisibility coat that belongs to his father, which makes its wearer invisible. Harry worn it to discover the Restricted area in the library to look for information about Nicolas Flamel, Eventually, Harry figured out that ‘Nicolas Flamel is the only known maker of the Sorcerer’s Stone, which produced the immortal drink.

Harry noticed that Snape making some effort to get information from Quirrell about Fluffy the three headed dog; Quirrell denied everything and he pretended that he does not know what he’s talking about. Harry and his friend were sure that Snape is doing his best to steal the Philosopher’s Stone in order to reborn Lord Voldemort.

Harry, Hermione, Ron and Draco are caught out late at night, and they obliged them to serve detention with Hagrid in the restricted Forest. Harry saw an unknown person drink the blood of an unicorn, which made Harry’s forehead scar start lightning and burning. Harry was told that the drinker of the unicorn blood will keep any one immortal, and that the unknown person in fact was Voldemort.

-Harry, Hermione and Ron find out that Hagrid has told a hooded stranger how to get past Fluffy, and they believe the theft of the Stone is imminent. Rushing to finally confide in Professor Dumbledore their news, they meet Professor McGonagall, who is shocked to find out how much they knew about the Stone, but reassures them all the same that it is safe in the castle. She also tells them that Dumbledore has been sent away on an important mission by the Ministry of Magic. Positive that Dumbledore’s summons was a red herring to take Professor Dumbledore away from Hogwarts, the trio make plans to thwart Snape’s theft of the stone. They set out to reach the stone first, navigating the security system set up by the school’s staff, which is a series of complex magical challenges. The three make it through together until finally, Harry must enter the inner chamber alone. There he finds that Professor Quirrell, not Snape, is attempting to steal the Stone. Realizing that Snape was trying to protect him from harm all along, Harry confronts Quirrell and survives a second encounter with Lord Voldemort, who has possessed Quirrell and appears as a ghastly face on the back of Quirrell’s head. Quirrell crumbles when he touches Harry’s skin, and Harry passes out because of his close proximity to Lord Voldemort. Voldemort then pitilessly abandons Quirrell, who dies in the aftermath of his possession.-

Harry woke up finding himself in the hospital. Dumbledore told the truth to Harry that his mother died to protect him when he was a baby. Her sacrifice provides Harry with a magical protection from Voldemort’s spells and also stopped Voldemort from touching Harry without suffering terribly. Dumbledore also said that the Sorcerer’s Stone has been destroyed to prevent future attempts by Voldemort to steal it.

Finally, at the feast in the end of the year, the House Points totals are given: Gryffindor is in last place. However, Dumbledore gives a few ‘last-minute additions’, granting points to Harry, Ron, Hermione and Neville for their bravery and service towards school, so that Gryffindor wins the House Cup .

The Time and The Setting of The Novel Writing

The Harry Potter books were written in England and were published during the period from the 30th of June 1997 till the 21st of July 2007. The genre of the series is fantasy, mystery and thriller. The books record the happenings in the life of a boy named Harry Potter as he battles the evil wizard, Voldemort. Each book also features his time at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry except the last one in which Harry skips his last year of school to try to defeat Voldemort for once and for all.

Themes

As it has been mentioned before the theme allows the reader to get involved and in touched with the story which make him live and experiences the morals that the author wanted to convey. It is like a mirror which reflects society and people in the real life for example: good and evil, love, death and friendship.

Good and Evil

The author J.K Rowling has shown that the conflict between good and evil is one of the main themes throughout all the stories. The antagonist Voldemort embodies evil is the main enemy for the protagonist harry to fight against. The author has provided two characters which allow the reader to both compare and contrast, although Voldemort was shown to have been once a child and an orphan like Harry. It is that the similarities end.

Love

Love plays a crucial role in ‘Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,’ as well as all of the remaining books in the series. The author shows the power of love from the beginning of the narrative by demonstrating that Harry’s ability to survive Voldemort killing curse is a result of his mother’s real love. By sacrificing her life to protect her son, she gave him a magical form of protection that shielded him from Voldemort curse and nearly destroyed the dark wizard. As Professor Dumbledore asserts, Voldemort is incapable of understanding love, particularly in comparison to the strength of his own dark power, and so he was taken entirely by surprise when it came to Lily’s sacrifice.

Death

Death is one of the most major themes in Harry potter’s books. The author J.K.Rowling once stated, ‘My books are largely about death.” There are various deaths throughout the story. It makes the readers understand and feel the emotions and the pain of losing loved ones. Some of them were Harry’s parents, Sirius, Dumbledore, Fred, Tonks and Remus, Hedwig.

Rowling made a clear distinction between the natural process of death and Voldemort’s warped attempts to ‘defeat’ it, and remain immortality. After his failure of killing Harry, Voldemort spent the next ten years existing only as ‘shadow and vapor,’ neither dead nor alive. Voldemort achieved a twisted form of immortality, but his stubborned’s mind and arrogancy to accept the natural order of life and death shown his evil nature and further differentiates him from Harry’s pure heart.

Friendship

Throughout the book, Rowling demonstrates the value of friendship, especially when it comes to facing challenges ,difficult tasks and hard situations, Harry was completely isolated, he did not have a loving family environment that takes care of him and treat him as a member of them, he did not have any friends to serve as a support system. But After he moved to the wizardry school and became a student at Hogwarts, Harry get in touched with the student and made a group of friends when he felt the importance and the value that he had never experienced. Moreover, the close relationship he made with Ron and Hermione helps him to overcome many obstacles. Yet, in Harry’s case, the author draws a parallel between friendship and difficult life challenges; the only way that Harry is able to reach the Mirror of Erised is with Ron and Hermione’s help. Hermione and Ron both tackle specific challenges that Harry would have been unable to confront alone, specifically Professor McGonagall’s challenge of the giant wizarding chess and Professor Snape’s challenge of the potions. In this case, Harry’s friendship with Ron and Hermione saves his life and allows him to keep Voldemort from finding the Sorcerer’s Stone.

The significance of Harry’s Friendship he made with Ron and Hermione distinguishes him from Voldemort. Even though Voldemort is far more powerful than Harry, he chose to be isolated and independent from people around him. Even Professor Quirrell, who drinks unicorn blood for him, is just a servant to Voldemort. Because Voldemort lacks the ability to form lasting friendships, he is always alone and has only himself to rely on. Harry, is able to rely on himself while still drawing upon the support and exceptional magical talents of his close friends .

Symbols

Harry potter story is full of marks, signs and characters used to signify an object, idea or a relationship which allow the readers to see the link between the story concepts and experiences.

Harry’s Scar

The scar that Harry received from Voldemort symbolizes all the unique things about Harry, he never thought twice about the scar until he realized the truth about his past, Harry’s forehead scar is a sign of honor, a sign of having survived a great battles and more to face in the future. It constantly links Harry to the past, not just to the epic battle against the evil Voldemort, but also to the loving parents who sacrificed themselves to protect him. The scar is also a symbol of Harry’s emotional sensitivity, because it hurts him whenever he feels the hatred comes toward him.

Quidditch

Quidditch is a very popular game like football nowadays; it is the significant of the virtues taught at Hogwarts. The Quidditch’simportance at Hogwarts demonstrates that magic is not only a theory, but a physical and practical application as well. Any wizard who uses it for such ends alone like Voldemort is no longer a member of the team-spirit philosophy of Hogwarts. A person should use magic with an awareness of others’ needs and values, just as winning at Quidditch depends on the successful interaction of several players acting cooperatively. No matter how talented a single Quidditch player like Harry might be, he or she cannot play the game alone.

The Mirror of Erised

Harry’s encounter with the Mirror of Erised symbolizes his growing self-awareness, as the magic mirror forces him to look within himself and face the question of what he really wants. Harry has never had to inquire into his own desires before, because the Dursleys never cared about his desires and, upon arriving at Hogwarts, he seems to have everything he needs in his daily schedule of classes and meals. But the Hogwarts experience is meant to be more than a routine of memorizing formulas and learning to transform matches into pins. It is meant to bring personal growth and character development, for which it is necessary to examine one’s soul.

Harry’s desires, as reflected in the mirror, are noble ones; he wants to see his family alive and then wants to find the Sorcerer’s Stone for the common good. Voldemort, on the other hand, is driven by nothing but his ego and his desires are wholly selfish. The Mirror of Erised shows the readers who they are (literally, the reflection of ourselves that we see in the mirror) is defined by what the readers want, their desires shape their identities; Harry is the one who ends up with the stone teaches the readers that they must temper their desires .

Conclusion

Literature’s world is limitless full of creativity and imaginations where the writers can express their feelings and experiences in their own artistic way of writing which represent their identity that reflect their social background and lifestyle that influences the readers and the world in many fields culturally, socially and economically.

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Harry Potter: The Main Themes, Literary Techniques And Devices. Time, Setting And The Plot. (2021, September 01). Edubirdie. Retrieved May 24, 2022, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/harry-potter-the-main-themes-literary-techniques-and-devices-time-setting-and-the-plot/
“Harry Potter: The Main Themes, Literary Techniques And Devices. Time, Setting And The Plot.” Edubirdie, 01 Sept. 2021, edubirdie.com/examples/harry-potter-the-main-themes-literary-techniques-and-devices-time-setting-and-the-plot/
Harry Potter: The Main Themes, Literary Techniques And Devices. Time, Setting And The Plot. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/harry-potter-the-main-themes-literary-techniques-and-devices-time-setting-and-the-plot/> [Accessed 24 May 2022].
Harry Potter: The Main Themes, Literary Techniques And Devices. Time, Setting And The Plot [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2021 Sept 01 [cited 2022 May 24]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/harry-potter-the-main-themes-literary-techniques-and-devices-time-setting-and-the-plot/
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