Harry Potter – II

Though her descriptions are sometimes exaggerating viz. descriptions of  Mrs. Durseley as having a rather horsy figure, Uncle Vernon not having a neck or the excessively fat torso of Dudley , but probably these are aimed at catering the minds of a younger audience and hence the childish humor employed.

The best part though is, her eye for details. The finesse with which she describes the lanes of Diagon Alley , Hogwarts Castle , Hogsmeade village , Chamber of Secrets, Ministry of Magic is incredible , and read to be believed.

The lamps hanging low on golden chains from this ceiling gave the impression that this long rectangular room was much brighter , though there were no glittering ,shimmering lights as Harry had seen in his dreams. The place was quite empty except for a few desks and, in the very middle of the room, an enormous glass tank of deep green liquid,big enough for all of them to swim in; a number of pearly-white objects were drifting around lazily in it. 4

The author makes another significant departure from the general tradition of  painting a character either white or black  , by depicting the grey shades in every one.  The convention for the books catering to the growing minds has been to portray the images of a ‘Good’ Hero and a ‘Bad’ Antihero , so as to instill in them clearly the greatness of goodness. But here , even the greatest man in the tale , Albus Dumbledore , confesses to Harry

Master of death, Harry, master of Death! Was I better, ultimately, than Voldemort?”

“I am not so sure. I had proven, as a very young man, that power was my weakness and my temptation. It is a curious thing, Harry, but perhaps those who are best suited to power are those who have never sought it. 5

The characters have just been defined as ordinary beings, with their own fallacies and fantasies without being judged. James Potter, Sirius Black all have been pictured as rule breaking blokes , but ultimately good at heart. Most of all, it’s the character of Severus Snape , which undergoes a lot of variations during the entire story, switching from grey to dark to finally good.

Even Harry and Ron have been shown to suffer with occasional pangs of jealousy, anger , hatred amongst themselves , leading to occasional logger heads between the otherwise two great friends.

Hagrid, the friendly gatekeeper , also constitutes a dark past, which even led to his expulsion from the school.

Bullied throughout the book , even Dudley Dursley finds his moment of  goodness in the final book , when the Durseleys and Harry are parting ways forever.

“I don’t think you’re a waste of space”

If Harry had not seen Dudley’s lips move, he might not have believed it. As it was, he stared at Dudley for several seconds before accepting that it must have been his cousin who had spoken; for one thing, Dudley had turned red. Harry was embarrassed and astonished himself.

“Well… er… thanks, Dudley.”

Again, Dudley appeared to grapple with thoughts too unwieldy for expression before mumbling, “You saved my life,”

“Not really,” said Harry. 6

And most importantly , one of the Malfoys, who have always been the enemy of Harry ,and everyone associated with the anti-Voldemart movement, is the one who,in a way, saves the life of Harry Potter.  Narcissa Malfoy, mother of Draco Malfoy, feigns Harry’s death to none other than Lord Voldemart so that she could go inside the castle and search her son. This establishes the superiority of maternal instincts over the evil instincts.

Moving again to her descriptions , it almost feels that she was herself exhilarating with joy while describing the wondrous magical world and its inhabitants. Her characterizations of House-elf(elves) , Centaurs , Phoenix . Ghosts, Ghouls, Dragons , Gnomes , Dwarves, Fairies ,Giants , Merpeople is joyful and enjoyable , to say the least. Most of these creatures have their origin in the folklores and mythology of muggles(i.e. us). But the details which she has carved out about their physiology as well as psychology are surprisingly too accurate. To each of these creatures ,she has attributed some or the other special trait ,which can be paralleled to different kinds of human beings in a society , if we try to perceive it at a deeper level.

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