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J.K Rowling had the idea for Harry Potter while sitting on a delayed train from Manchester to London King's Cross in 1990. She was unemployed and as poor as it was likely to be in contemporary Britain. Bloomsbury Children's Books first published the book in June 1997 under the pen name J.K. Rowling (Ostrowsky 2). Harry's wizarding universe is based on an island of pseudo-medievalism within the contemporary world. Castles, armor, forbidden forests teeming with fantastic beasts, and races of goblins and elves abound. There are many beloved heroes and heroines of children's literature -- from Cinderella to Oliver Twist and Hopkins begin their lives being raised by monstrously wicked, clueless adults who mistreat them in their childhood. (Winerip 1). The books illustrate that the terrific person, most people would love to have them as a best friend. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone empathizes the virtue of humility with selflessness, as Harry himself learns to act for the greater good.
Harry humility is no doubt embedded in him during the ten miserable years of neglect and cruelty with his horrible aunt and uncle, the Dursley and their spoiled son, Dudley. Nonetheless, Harry does not stop being humble when he gains fame and popularity at Hogwarts. His reaction to the discovery that everyone seems to know his name on the train to Hogwarts does not make him fuss over or pose, but rather only makes him hope that he can live up to his reputation. Harry parents were wizards of the highest renown. “But yeh must know about yer mom and dad,” he said. “I mean, they’re famous. You’re famous.” (J.K. Rowling 25) Hagrid was surprised of Harry’s ignorance of himself and of his family which underscores the separation of the Muggle and the Wizard worlds. Harry maintains a modest personality throughout the novel. The extra attention that Harry Potter receives because of his background makes him not only uncomfortable but insecure. Humility becomes a particular significant as a theme as he faces Voldemort in the dungeons of Hogwarts. Both Voldemort and Professor Quirrell are incapable of retrieving the sorcerer’s stone from the Mirror of Erised because they are thinking of the ways that the Stones can benefit them and their selfish needs. On the other hand, Harry thinks only of retrieving the Stone to save others from Voldemort’s oppression; therefore with his humble nature, it would never occur to him to use the Sorcerer’s Stone for his selfish purpose.
The writer also has described choices as a persistent theme in the narrative. Harry Porter didn’t choose to be an orphan; that was inflicted upon him by Lord Voldemort. He also didn’t decide on his fate to live with the bigoted aunt and abusive aunt; or, for that matter, even have wizard’s abilities (Winerip 01). In fact, pretty much of all driving force behind his early life’s agenda was set for him by the choices of others. He was therefore often “punished” for, essentially, “being.” Therefore, the author seems to be letting him discover the effects of his choices on his life’s consequence. Despite having, several other options, the sorting had put him in Gryffindor, due in large part his personal choices. “It’s our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” (J.K. Rowling 89) Harry seemed fated to follow the footsteps of Voldemort, yet he refuses to take a passive role when it comes to his future. As Professor Dumbledore describes to Harry, it is the choices that made by individuals that determine what kind of person they are and what kind of person they will become.
Throughout the book, J.K Rowling’s has expressed the importance of friendship, especially when it comes to overcoming adversities and difficult tasks. Before Hogwarts. Harry, was completely isolated and did not have any friends to serve as a support system. However, after becoming a student at Hogwarts, Harry quickly create a unique friendship with Ron and Hermione. Therefore in Harry’s case, Rowling draws a clear parallel between friendship and challenging life challenges. Thus signifying Harry was humble enough to acknowledge that as powerful as he was, he would be unable to defeat evil ( Voldemort) without the help of his friends. In this case, the scenario is when Ron and Hermione save Harry’s life and allow him to keep Voldemort from finding the Sorcerer’s Stone. Harry was also able to reach the Mirror of Erised in the dungeons of Hogwarts with the help of his two friends. Also, Harry’s friendship is also significant in that it further distinguishes him for the main protagonist Voldemort. Voldemort being powerful that Harry prefers to be isolated and independent from those that around him, pride is his fueling vice. Not even Professor Quirrell who drinks unicorn blood from him is nothing but a servant to Voldemort. "There are all kinds of courage," said Dumbledore, smiling. "It takes lots of courage to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends." (J.K. Rowling 197). Lack of Voldemort’s ability to make lasting friendship and loyalty is one his greatest weakness but Harry’s advantage over him.
Another critical theme depicted on the Harry Potter and the sorcerer’s stone is love. A kind of love that ordinary people to forego their selfish wants. Rowling exhibits the power of love from the beginning of the narrative by explaining Harry’s survival from Voldemort’s killing curse is as a result of a mother's love. Through sacrificing her life to save that of her son, Lily Porter gave Harry a magical for of protection that had shielded him from Voldemort’s curse and nearly destroyed the dark wizard. As Professor Dumbledore asserts, Voldemort is incapable of understanding love in comparison to the strength of his dark power and therefore was taken by surprise when it came to Lilly's’ sacrifice. “Your mother died to save you. If there is one thing Voldemort cannot understand, it is love He didn't realize that love as powerful as your mother's for you leaves its mark.” (J.K. Rowling). Harry Potter love for his parents instilled him with an earnest determination to rebel anything associated with the dark arts and defeat Voldemort.
In conclusion, the basis of the narrative is that good always triumph over evil. The book describes the struggle between good and evil and the ultimate triumph of the good through courage, friendship, and ingenuity of the human spirit, and the power of human love.
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J.K. Rowling. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. New York: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, 1997.
Ostrowsky, Morgan. "Failure. Rejection. Success: The J. K. Rowling Story." Failure. Rejection. Success: The J. K. Rowling Story (2015): 1. http://blog.uncollege.org/failure-rejection-success-j-k-rowling.
Weisz, Rabbi Noson. aish.com. 22 July 2000. http://www.aish.com/ci/a/48930092.html. 10 April 2017.
Winerip, Michae. "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone." The New York Times (1999): 2. http://www.nytimes.com/books/99/02/14/reviews/990214.14childrt.html.
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