Popular Literature Post * Due by 8am on October 9, 2014

Review the first three chapters of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Identify a trope, an archetype, or a use of symbolism in the book, and describe its use in your comment.

If you’ve read the rest of the book or series, feel free to refer to the text as a whole.

Regardless of how familiar you are with the series, you might have to do a little bit of research for more information. If you use an outside source, you need to cite it properly.

There’s one other rule to this post: once someone takes a topic, name or concept, it CANNOT be repeated. So better to post early to make sure you can discuss the topic of your choice!

I’ll start.

On page 8, Dumbledore references “Madam Pomfrey.” From reading the series, I know that her first name is “Poppy” and that she’s the nurse at Hogwarts. Madam Pomfrey’s name, like many characters’ names in the series, contains etymological hints about who she is and what she does.

The poppy plant (which is used to make opium!) is a powerful painkiller that’s been used for medical purposes for many generations. Her last name stumped me, though – the Harry Potter Wiki suggests a couple of possibilities: Pomfrey rhymes with comfrey, another medicinal plant, and “pomfrey cakes” are a kind of lozenge or cough drop.

I also like the fact that the “Madam” implies a possible French background and “Pomfrey” is the pronunciation of “pomme frites.” Which is French for “french fries.” 🙂


10 Responses to “Popular Literature Post * Due by 8am on October 9, 2014”

  1. mbugua2209 Says:

    Albus Dumbledore is an example of an archetype despite his awkward description in the first chapter.Tall thin ,very old with long silver beards and had a very long and crooked nose.He wore long clothes that swept the ground, and high-heeled, buckled boots.However,he is a leader and has much wisdom.He looks over his subjects very well.
    Albus becomes a great inspiration of Harry Potter.From the word go when he places Harry at the Dursley’s door step he seem to know what will become of him after he is gone .Professor McGonagall and Hagrid all seem to agree with the old Albus though they seem sad about poor little Harry left to live with the muggles.

  2. I first noticed a cat reading a map on page 2. This shows that the cat, who we later find out is a witch named Professor McGonagall is smart, devious, mysterious and stubborn. On page 4, the cat is seen still standing on the lawn, not giving up. This is obvious as the book goes on and we see more of Professor McGonagall being stern and not flexible.

    Professor McGonagall is seen being smart because her way of protecting the Sorcerer’s Stone is a game of Wizards’ Chess. She is mysterious because when Ron and Harry are late to class, they think the professor is not there. However, she is, in the form of a cat because she is the transfiguration teacher. She is protective because as the series goes on, she kept an eye on Ron, Harry and Hermione. Even though they are all Gryffindors, which she is the head of, she doesn’t favor them–she treats everyone the same. Although at the same time, she is like a motherly figure to Harry because she was close to his parents.

    Minerva is Professor McGonagall’s first name. According to The Pensieve, “Minerva” is the Roman Goddess of war and wisdom. She is identical to Athena, who is also a Goddess. “McGonagall” has a Scottish origin– ‘Conegal’ meaning the bravest. You can see she is possesses all these qualities.


  3. Right from page 1 we are introduced to the owls.But page 4 further reveals “And finally,bird-watchers everywhere have reported that the nation’s owls have been behaving very unusually today…” and experts are unable to explain why the owls have suddenly changed their sleeping pattern.I think this is a symbolism.

    From the notes of Harry Porter and the clash of symbols I see Harry’s world is filled with animals that traditionally signify darkness or evil and among the animals were the owls.So since Harry was going to be brought to his uncle and aunt’s place there had to be a sign signifying his coming and the presence of his dark forces which he did not know he possessed.

  4. Remus Lupin also known as “Moony” is announced later in the series as the a professor of defense against the dark arts. He is infected with Lycanthropy (which is for all intents and purposes a werewolf). His name reflects this! Lupin comes from lupinus which is Latin for “wolf-like”. Also, Canis lupus is the scientific name for a wolf.
    According to the Harry Potter Wiki his first name, Remus, can be related with a Roman myth. Romulus and Remus were brothers who fought to death to control Rome. Remus was left to die, but a mother wolf came and raised Remus as her own. Also, Remus’ code-name in the “Potterwatch” group was Romulus. Confirming that his first name is a reference to this myth.


  5. Since I am not very familiar with the whole Harry Potter series I am going to talk about one of the biggest archetype which is Harry Potter himself. His Story is a classic rag to riches story. He is a miserable orphan who lives with his aunt but once he turns 11 he is off to save the world. He is the hero in our story. He is the only one that can defeat the bad guy.
    I also wanted to talk about how according to our reading psychologists said that Harry Potters story symbolized the process of growing up basically. I thought this was interesting so I went to research it and came across this website http://harrypotterforseekers.com/alchemy/alchemy.php and it talks about different symbolism in the Harry Potter Books. This website caught my attention because it talks about alchemical symbolism. the website states “The living Alchemy we’re talking about here is a method of changing a human being from a mortal, biological phenomenon of nature into an immortal Child of the Divine Spirit. This is symbolically referred to as “turning lead into gold”. Which I agree is what happens in this story.

  6. Dobby the elf is an archetype in the Harry Potter series. Dobby is a house elf that was bought with a piece of clothing. I think of him as being an archetype because when I first watched the movies it reminded me of slavery in the United States. Dobby is to do everything and anything his master tells him. If not he will get punished. Just as slaves got punished when they disobeyed their master in the 18th and 19th century. Which brings me to the point that Dobby has to call his “owner” master as Aftican American slaves had to. In Dobby-Harry Potter Wiki it gives an example of a quote Dobby say, “Dobby is used to death threats, sir. Dobby gets them give times a day at home.” Explaining that he is not take his threat as anything since he’s used to it, as how many slaves were also used to it. Even though he always did what he was told, he knew what was right and wrong. “He longed to be free from them” is said in the Dobby-Harry Potter wiki. Which I’m sure most slaves wanted also.


  7. I wanted to do the symbolism of Harry ‘s scar but since someone already took the name Harry I don’t think I can do him any more. So I was looking into the Dursley ‘s and even though I know we all dislike them for treating Harry so bad I think the archetype that is described here could be sort of a “love – hate relationship” towards them because many times we have characters that do very bad things but in a sense were also suppose to feel some sort of compassion for them. In this case even though they treat him really bad they still took him and put a roof over him. I’m not real sure how to feel about the Dursley ‘s. They seem very ignorant about their surroundings and like in the beginning of The Lego Movie everyone lived in a very controlled and unified community, so my thought of the Dursleys being extremely blown away about what is going on in there life could be explained but don’t get me wrong I honestly don’t like them myself.

  8. Victorino Says:

    Page 14, it’s Dudley’s eleventh birthday and i noticed that he has received a lot of presents. Dudley Dursley represents an archetype of a spoiled kid. Dudley has problems with the way he behaves and it is his parents fault. I read a little bit more about Dudley on http://harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/Dudley_Dursley and it shares more about how his parents way of raising him is already affecting him. I think that Dudley would not be so rude to Harry if it wasn’t for his parents. The kid did not know who he was at a young age and was looking for his identity. Later on Dudley matures so he realizes that Harry is a good guy and they become friends. Dudley gets to a point where he becomes obese and goes in a diet. The diet is difficult to keep up but Dudley starts boxing. The fact that Dudley was involved in boxing reminded me of a street fighter video game character Dudley. I really got interested in Dudley because he seems like a bully but he is not. Parents damage the life of their kids sometimes.

  9. Draco Malfoy is one of the main characters in the Harry Potter series. He is apart of the Slytherin House, which is mostly made up of pure blood students. I think that Draco Malfoy is used as symbolism to describe what a pure blood should look like, Blonde hair, blue eyes and fair skin. I think it has a deeper message, like that of Hitler’s idea of who should be the dominant race. Draco Malfoy and his gang give the muggle born students, like Hermoine, a hard time. I think that Draco, is suppose to be disliked but also felt bad for, since he was born into his identity and follows the steps of his father who is against Harry Potter, that is until the end of the books, when he helps Harry over come Lord Voldemort. He is also an archetype as he can be viewed as the villain of the story since he is most likely found doing bad deeds to get Harry Potter and his friends.

  10. armstrong251994 Says:

    Lord Voldemort, is one of the main antagonist against the hero Harry Potter. Lord Voldemort is an archetype that represents an evil Christ figure that is the evil overlord of the wizards. He is portrayed as if you are going to say his name you must say “He who should not be named.” He is the reason for why Harry is the hero and the Christ figure. The reason he is an evil overlord is he shown as the most powerful wizard known to the wizard world. In the end he bites off more than he can chew. Harry the hero beats our evil overlord to make the wizard world better again.

    Voldemort sounds like to me the word named Voldermortist, which means “Lord of Evil” or “Dark Lord”. Also founding out that it is a french word also as in “Vol de mort” which means the flight of death. Which I like the first one first instead of the french meaning.

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