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The Role of Magical Animals in Rowling’s Novel ‘Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone’

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In everyday reality, one can only command as few animals as possible, the connection between humans and animals in everyday life is much more ordinary, however, in the magical world of Harry Potter, animals have a greater role, significance, and connection with people. In J. K. Rowling’s ‘Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone’, the magical nature of animals speaks of Rowling’s world where animals communicate with humans in unusually magical ways.

One magical creature that stood out in the story, which helps show the magical qualities that Harry possesses, is the snake. The boa constrictor in the zoo which Harry’s family has visited understands Harry and speaks to him. When Harry sees the boa constrictor and sees the sign which says, ‘This specimen was bred in the zoo’, Harry asks the snake whether it has ever been to Brazil and mysteriously “the snake shook its head” (Rowling, 28). The snake then suddenly slithers out towards the floor away from its cage in which Harry also hears the snake tell him in a low hissing voice, “Brazil, here I come…Thanksss, amigo” (28). Only an animal with magical, mythical qualities can communicate with a human being. Moreover, this talking boa constrictor helps Harry become aware of his own magical qualities, such as being able to communicate with a snake. The boa constrictor represents animals that can communicate their sentiments with humans in a world of fantasy in the same way that the Biblical Adam used to communicate with all creatures.

Magical creatures also serve as messengers in this novel. The owls in ‘Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone’ demonstrate magical intelligence and wisdom. These owls, including Harry’s owl Hedwig, are good at identifying their owners as well as doing such things like taking their packages to them. For example, before the meal of the day, “about a hundred owls had suddenly streamed into the Great Hall during breakfast” dropping letters and packages for the students straight into their laps (135). At one point, six owls carry a long package and “dropped it right in front of Harry knocking his bacon to the floor” (164). Hedwig also delivers important secret messages to whom it is told to deliver messages to (237). Each owl seems to be each of their owner’s GPS system, which can accurately track them, they even seem to have a GPS system of their own that can track particular people like Harry. Indeed, this is an example of high magical intelligence because this is unusual for any ordinary animal or owl.

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There also happens to be a group of magical creatures that would only appear in mythologies possessing nurturing type qualities. Firstly, the magical being that is quite similar in appearance to the three-headed mythological watchdog Cerberus. Hagrid’s loyal three-headed watchdog named Fluffy guards something that is being targeted by Voldemort (192). According to Hagrid, Fluffy is bought from a “Greek chappie” that he met in a pub Hagrid lent the dog to Dumbledore to guide something that he could not tell Harry and the others about (192). The unknown item that is being guarded by Fluffy is the Sorcerer’s stone or the one element that can resurrect Voldemort so that he can wreak havoc at Hogwarts. The role of Fluffy here is to not let anyone, including Voldemort, get past the trapdoor where the stone is. However, what accounts for the magical quality of Fluffy is his having three heads instead of just one. Nonetheless, the appearance of three heads communicates threat and fear to any human that sees it.

Another mythological creature that appears in the novel is the dragon named Norbert. Although legends say that dragons are ferocious and destructive creatures, especially because they possess abilities such as breathing fire etc. Norbert is a dragon that has drawn out the compassion in each of the characters in the story. In fact, Harry and his friends, including Hagrid, have seen Norbert hatch from an egg (236). Norbert is a dragon whose existence is protected by Harry and his friends at all costs from those who want to kill him as well as protect Hagrid from the violation of owning such a destructive creature. They are able to let Norbert escape, but eventually, the authorities have caught the dragon and have killed him. Although the dragon plays a minor role in the story, it draws out the sympathy of Harry and his friends in protecting a feeble and kind creature that everyone in the world of magic thinks is dangerous. Nonetheless, the dragon has nurtured the friends’ compassion and has made them see things differently from others.

The third and last mythological creature in the novel is the unicorn. As a creature with a nurturing aspect, unicorns are depicted in the story as possessing blood that can give immortality to someone. Harry and his friends find a dead unicorn because Voldemort has been feeding on their blood for his immortality (255). Unicorns do not exist in real life, but in J. K. Rowling’s world, they do. They have beauty and grace that popular legends speak of, as well as the nurturing quality of immortality through their blood. Therefore, the unicorn has communicated to any human being in the story the gift of immortality through sacrifice.

The animals in Rowling’s world are magical creatures that have a strong connection to humans in general. These animals speak to humans, act as their intelligent messengers, and teach them the nurturing spirit through loyalty, compassion, and sacrifice. Overall, these animal characters represent the Edenic, paradise-like world where there seems to be no gap between man and all creatures and where both communicate with each other.

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The Role of Magical Animals in Rowling’s Novel ‘Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone’. (2022, August 25). Edubirdie. Retrieved November 29, 2022, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/the-role-of-magical-animals-in-rowlings-novel-harry-potter-and-the-sorcerers-stone/
“The Role of Magical Animals in Rowling’s Novel ‘Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone’.” Edubirdie, 25 Aug. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/the-role-of-magical-animals-in-rowlings-novel-harry-potter-and-the-sorcerers-stone/
The Role of Magical Animals in Rowling’s Novel ‘Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone’. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/the-role-of-magical-animals-in-rowlings-novel-harry-potter-and-the-sorcerers-stone/> [Accessed 29 Nov. 2022].
The Role of Magical Animals in Rowling’s Novel ‘Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone’ [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Aug 25 [cited 2022 Nov 29]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/the-role-of-magical-animals-in-rowlings-novel-harry-potter-and-the-sorcerers-stone/
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