Question Hermione working together as friends to

Question – Discuss the concept of love in the novel Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.J.K. Rowling presents the theme of love to be something that is the most powerful expression anyone can have together.

Love is defined as an intense feeling of deep affection. Similarly, J.K. Rowling defines love as a gradual increase of affection for someone and depending on what kind of relationship it is, it might take a few minutes or it could take an entire year. At the end, of the novel, we see how Harry and his mother’s love being remembered. This relationship reflects the sort of actions people would commit themselves to to save a loved one. In this case Harry’s mother protected him from being killed by Voldemort and sacrificed her own life to save him. Additionally, in the novel, many friendships were made while Harry was studying at Hogwarts.

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We first see the support that Hagrid has given Harry through his school year. We also see Ron and Harry’s friendship since the beginning of his year at Hogwarts. Later on we also see the teamwork between Harry, Ron and Hermione working together as friends to stop Voldemort.

Finally, we also see Harry’s change in affection towards himself from living in a small, dirty cupboard in the Dursley’s house as a boy to living in a room with all of his friends at Hogwarts as a wizard. He expresses his difference in emotions through actions such as eating luxurious meals instead of eating the bear minimum. J.K. Rowling shows how relationships grow and how they change over time. She uses the concept of love in the novel to show that you should always love the people that impact your everyday life because other people don’t have anyone for help.

 J.K. Rowling shows Harry’s motherly love when he sees his parents in the Mirror of Erised. When Harry was looking at his mother ‘he noticed that she was crying; smiling, but crying at the same time’ (Chapter 12 – Page 224). When Harry Potter’s mother is ‘smiling’ with Harry smiling back, this shows the bond between the two characters. The fact that she is also ‘crying’ shows that she not only loves Harry, but also cares for him knowing that he is safe. The fact that the mirror ‘shows us nothing more or less than the deepest, most desperate desire of our hearts’ (Chapter 12 – Page 229) emphasises how much Harry wants to see his parents again.

Not only does he want to just see them, he’s desperate to, which shows Harry’s love for his parents. This emphasises Rowling’s message that you should love your parents with all your heart because people are unfortunate enough to not have any parents or family to care for them. Therefore, Rowling using the Mirror of Erised to show Harry’s parents emphasises how desperate he is to see his parents because he loves them.

 Additionally, J.K. Rowling shows Harry’s motherly love when people remind Harry that his mother was protecting him from mortality. At the end of the novel, Voldemort explains to Harry his ‘mother needn’t have died … she was trying to protect you” (Chapter 17 – Page 316). The fact that his mother was protecting Harry, knowing that she is likely going to die, shows that she is not only a brave character, but she cares about his son and will do anything to save her child.

Similarly, Dumbledore also says ‘Your mother died to save you. If there is one thing Voldemort cannot understand, it is love. He didn’t realise that love as powerful as your mother’s for you leaves its own mark. Not a scar, no visible sign to have been loved so deeply, even though the person who loved us is gone, will give us some protection for ever.

‘ (Chapter 17 – Page 321). The phrase ‘love as powerful as your mother’s’ emphasises that his mother’s love to Harry was very strong that it creates a powerful connection that no one can take apart. The fact that he describes love as ‘protection for ever’ shows the extent and power that love creates, that it is a shield that will protect you from anything that goes in the way of love. Therefore, Rowling tries to show the immense and extended power that love can create against evil.

 J.K. Rowling shows the friendship between Ron and Harry as a team that motivates each other and supports each other. We first see this when Ron gets chosen to be in Harry’s house, ‘Harry claps loudly with the rest as Ron collapsed into the chair next to him’ (Chapter 7 – Page 131). This shows that Harry is happy that Ron is in the same house as him, which shows that they are friends since the beginning of the school year. Additionally, the fact that Harry claps shows that he is supportive of his friends.

Later on in the novel, they are faced into a situation where they must fight a troll.They both work together to save Hermione: Harry puts his wand ‘straight up one of the troll’s nostrils’ whilst ‘Ron pulls out his wand’ and used magic and made the troll ‘fall flat on his face’. The teamwork used in this scenario shows that they trust each other enough to help them when in a dangerous position.

Throughout the novel we see their friendly manner, which creates a stronger bond between them. Therefore, Rowling shows how the friendship between Ron and Harry is supportive and encouraging.  Another type of friendship J.K. Rowling expresses is the one between Harry and Hagrid: Hagrid assists Harry acquiring his school equipment. He also cares about how Harry’s doing and shows a great interest in it. This is shown when Hagrid asks Harry if ‘he would like to come and have a cup of tea with him around three. He wants to hear all about his first week’.

Hagrid’s friendly gesture used here shows his interest in others. Rowling tries to show how Hagrid is always there for Harry when he wants to talk or he is in a good or bad mood, Hagrid is always there. He also tries to comfort Harry by saying ‘make yourselves at home’ (Chapter 8 – Page 150).

The use of language and the way Hagrid talks makes the scenario sound more friendly and calm, showing that he is someone that you can have a personal talk about and gives Harry the trust he needs from Hagrid. Therefore, Rowling shows how the friendship between Harry and Hagrid is friendly and and helpful. Finally, Rowling also presents Ron, Harry and Hermione’s friendship as a team that help each other when going through each of the stages to get to the Philosopher’s stone. We first see this when Hermione ‘whipped out her wand, waved it, muttered something and sent a jet of the bluebell flames. In a matter of seconds, the two boys felt it loosening its grip as it cringed away from light and warmth … they were able to pull free.’ (Chapter 16 – Page 298). Without Hermione’s knowledge, Harry and Ron wouldn’t be able to be free from the plants, which shows that Hermione is helpful when it comes to wizardry facts and spells. We also see Ron’s strategic play when he’makes his move and she’ll take him – that leaves them free to checkmate the king’ (Chapter 16 – Page 304).

This shows that since Ron is good at chess, he knows the right moves to make when he plays the game, therefore he can be trusted with his own skills that he has, which makes him a good help. Finally, we see Harry’s leadership skills come into play when he tells ‘Ron; you come at it from above – Hermione stay below and stop it from going down – and I’ll try catch it’ (Chapter 16 – Page 301). This shows that Harry is able to control his friends and since they follow his orders, that makes them a good team. Therefore, Rowling shows how when presented with a task, teamwork is the key to success. J.K.

Rowling shows hoe Harry hates his life at the beginning of the play, however he sees that by the time he is at Hogwarts, we see a change that makes him love his life once again. We see his hatred to himself through the tone of his voice such as ‘Harry groaning’ (Chapter 2 – Page 20). This angry tone creates sympathy as a reader as it shows that Harry does not love his style of life at the moment. We can also see why he doesn’t because he lives ‘in a dark cupboard’ (Chapter 2 – Page 21). The fact that the rest of the Dursley family live in normal rooms makes Harry look unimportant and uncared for. The fact that his cupboard is ‘dark’ and also has insects in them, creates even more empathy as a reader as he not only is deemed as insignificant, but he also lives in terrible conditions, which dehumanises him.

However, this changes Once he goes to Hogwarts as he explains how ‘the Dorsey’s had never … allowed him to eat as much as he liked … Harry piled his plate with a bit of everything and began to eat. It was all delicious.’ (Chapter 7 – Page 132).

He describes how the Dursley’s had never given him anything he’d like to eat and compares it to the amount of food he can eat at Hogwarts. Comparing his past to his present shows that he knows that his life has changed for the better and he recognises it. The fact that he says ‘its was delicious’ shows that he loves his new life. Therefore, Rowling presents Harry’s self love as she shows the major change in his life. To conclude, J.K. Rowling presents the concept of love as something that you should cherish as a person because they do things for you that change you for the better.

We see Harry’s motherly love, such as Harry seeing his parents in the Mirror of Erised, which shows that he desires his mother very much. We also see the reflection of his mother protecting him as a child, which Harry should love her mother for as she sacrificed her life for his. Friendship also plays a big part in the novel, as he gets his motivation and assistance from them and without them he is not able to know as much as he can about Hogwarts.

Some examples of Harry’s friends are Ron, Hagrid and Hermione who all help Harry in some way which creates his strong and friendly character. We also see aspects of love for himself, as Rowling compares his past to his present to show Harry that his life has changed for the better and he should appreciate that. This ultimately creates Harry’s dominant yet kind-hearted character.   


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