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Sorting, Longing, Seeing and Saving: An Analysis of Magical Devices in Harry Potter Books One and Three

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´╗┐Sorting, Longing, Seeing and Saving: An Analysis of Magical Devices in Harry Potter Books One and Three Within the Harry Potter series, J. K. Rowling creates an entirely new world, and within that world are significant magical devices that become crucial to character development, the individual novels, and the storyline as a whole. In the first volume, Harry Potter and the Philosopher?s Stone, the two most significant magical devices are clearly the Hogwarts Sorting Hat and the Mirror of Erised. Both of these not only help further the plot, but play hugely important roles in Harry?s growth from boy to teenager. Similarly, in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, the Marauder?s Map is introduced, as well as Harry?s Patronus. Though not quite a physical object, the Patronus ultimately proves to be a magical device unto itself, and becomes the most significant agent. Upon Harry?s first arrival to Hogwarts, he awaits sorting into one of the four Hogwarts Houses. The decision is made by the school?s Sorting Hat, an ancient hat owned by Godric Gryffindor himself, enchanted by the four Hogwarts founders to choose those most worthy of their respective houses. The Sorting Hat?s song describes the school?s four houses and the character qualities associates with each: ?There's nothing hidden in your head The Sorting Hat can't see, So try me on and I will tell you Where you ought to be. ...read more.


That Harry is finally able to let go of these images of his family and accept the truth is demonstrative of his immense personal strength and conviction. These attributes of Harry?s personality are revealed once again when he is faced with the mirror before Quirrell and Voldemort, and instead of seeing his family, he sees himself with the Philosopher?s Stone; which, subsequently, appears in his pocket. Harry proves that he is able to place the good of the whole before his own personal gain. Moving on to the third novel, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, similar themes dealing family are prevalent. Fred and George Weasley, who stole the Marauder?s Map from caretaker Filch?s office, pass it on to Harry shortly before Christmas. The map contains an extensive drawing of the school and its grounds, various secret passageways, and most remarkable, tiny dots that identify everyone inside Hogwarts parameters and their respective locations and movements at any given time. When tapped with a wand and the phrase ?I solemnly swear that I am up to no good? is uttered, the map is revealed, with the message ?Messrs Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs, purveyors of aids to magical mischief-makers, are proud to present the Marauder?s Map.? [PA, 144] The map is cleared when the user says ?Mischief managed?. ...read more.


It not only is able to save him in dire circumstances, but is a deep connection between him and his deceased father. Lupin teaches Harry to conjure his Patronus, ?which will work only if you are concentrating, with all your might, on a single, very happy memory.? Harry?s happiest memories are his parents, and this gives him the strength to fight the dark in the world. All the magical devices in the Harry Potter series serve a purpose to further the plot and develop the characters. In Philosopher?s Stone, the two most significant are the Sorting Hat, because it creates a framework for the divisions and alliances within the Potter world, and the Mirror of Erised, because it is central in defeating Quirrell and gives Harry his first glimpse of his parents standing before him. In Prisoner of Azkaban, the Marauder?s Map is significant as it helps the trio solve the mystery of Peter Pettigrew and Sirius Black, and also ties Harry to his father, giving him more knowledge of his parents. Ultimately, however, it is the Patronus in Prisoner of Azkaban that becomes most crucial, as it is a test to the power of positive thought and memory, and in the end protects the lives of Harry in Sirius. ...read more.

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