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Identity Formed by Choices in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, a Novel Series by J.K. Rowling

While the entire Harry Potter series operates to establish the identity of the principal character, the first installment in J.K. Rowling’s bestselling books, entitled Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, clearly presents a pattern which starts early on in the life of the protagonist, Harry Potter. Contrary to performs which may well emphasize the influence of coincidence or destiny, it is evident that Harry chooses what his identity will be, rather than letting fate and circumstance figure out it for him. As Rowling is introducing readers to the young protagonist, she follows a pattern, especially all through the initial book of the series, in order to illustrate how Harry takes that act of shaping his identity into his own hands.

Upon starting the novel, readers immediately discover that small eleven-year-old Harry Potter lives with his unsavory Aunt and Uncle Dursley. It is also made apparent that he is rather unloved by his caretakers and is forced to live in a cupboard under the stairs. He is abused and neglected, even though his cousin is spoiled and fattened. Come his eleventh birthday, Harry learns he is a wizard and is taken to a entire new magical planet with a friendly half-giant named Hagrid. Now he is faced with a selection. Will he choose to trust this new world and these new people, or will he approach this with apprehension and distrust since of the way he has been treated for his complete childhood?

In a psychological study on the behavior effects associated with child abuse by Carrie A. Moylan et al, it was discovered that “children exposed to domestic violence and/or youngster abuse are a lot more most likely to knowledge a wide variety of adverse psychosocial and behavioral outcomes” (Moylan et al 53). Child abuse is an action that comes with a lot of adverse consequences. It is normally recognized that several kid abuse scenarios do not end nicely and cause long term problems for the victim such as trust concerns, low self-esteem, and anger as properly as much more severe troubles like suicidal depression and anxiousness. Abuse changes the behavior of the victim each internally and externally. Following a lot of trials of observing a wide assortment of youngsters, the study found that “youths…who had been direct victims of kid abuse were far more consistently at threat for the complete range or internalizing and externalizing behavior problems” (59).

With the earlier information taken into consideration, it is simple to assume that Harry would face his new globe with as a lot animosity as he was provided in his old globe. Readers would not blame Harry for approaching everything with caution and distrust since he has been shown practically nothing but cruelty for the majority of his childhood. However, Harry reacts in the opposite manner. He quickly receives everybody in the magical world with eagerness and gratitude. He willingly plunges into the quirky magical village and presents numerous questions about the new world he is apart of. The morning he leaves for Hogwarts, he is overcome with excitement: “Harry woke at 5 o’clock the subsequent morning and was as well excited and nervous to go back to sleep” (Rowling 90). When arriving at college, he never shows worry, but instead exudes excitement. He partakes of the welcoming feast without any hesitation or questioning of the motive behind the presentation of the extravagant meal. When Harry is faced with the decision of letting his past despair create his future or break out of that cycle to make a new life, he chooses happiness, refusing to let his circumstances define him.

After getting introduced to the new magical world, Harry is presented with a piece of info that would seem to alter his view of himself. He learns that he alone survived an attack from the most unsafe and dark wizard of their time, Lord Voldemort. Not only did Harry survive the attack that killed his parents with only a scar to show at one particular year of age, but also he manages to make Voldemort disappear with no a trace. Harry carries the nickname “The Boy Who Lived” from his infancy. He also is credited with becoming a hero for receiving the evil wizard out of society. If one particular had been to be told that they have been accountable for all of these great acts right after getting brought into a society where everyone only knows them because of that, it would be easy to take benefit of these titles and create a hero complex.

Hubris, according to, is defined as “excessive pride or self-confidence” (hubris). This type of self-image can lead to thoughts that 1 is far better then others or worthy of being known as a hero. In an write-up in a psychiatry journal about the dangers of hubris, Dianne Trumball brings to the focus of the reader the concept that men and women with hubris as a defining personality trait “see themselves as embodying the requirements of archetypal, action-oriented heroes who can adjust destiny” (Trumball 343). It would be rather simple for Harry to assume this personality trait if he just accepted what the other wizards and witches were telling him about who he was. It would be significantly simpler for him to accept that truth that he is a prominent, superior hero and proceed in this manner in his new life than it would be for him to start off from the bottom and establish his identity.

Even so, Harry does not do this. Harry’s personality is the opposite of hubris. He does not initially think that he was responsible for the heroic act of defeating Lord Voldemort simply because he sees himself as not capable of these actions. He seems himself in a much humbler light than the individuals of the magical society view him. This is very best displayed when he and Hagrid are consuming dinner following a lengthy trip to Diagon Alley[1]:

“Everyone thinks I’m special,” he mentioned at last. “All these individuals in the Leaky Cauldron, Professor Quirrell, Mr. Ollivander…but I do not know something about magic at all. How can they expect great issues? I’m popular and I can’t even bear in mind what I’m renowned for. I do not know what occurred when Vol-, sorry – I mean, the evening my parents died.” (Rowling 86)

This bit of dialogue in the novel shows that Harry does not see self-confidence in himself, and he does not recognize how the men and women of the magical world could see him as so essential to society. This self-perception carries more than to when Harry is lastly brought to Hogwarts and surrounded by his peers. When he lastly finds out what residence he is to join inside Hogwarts, he is simply happy to be a part of a “family,” and he does not notice any particular therapy: “He was so relieved to have been chosen and not place into Slytherin, he hardly noticed that he was getting the loudest cheer but. Percy the prefect got up and shook his hand vigorously, whilst the Weasley twins yelled, ‘We’ve got Potter! We’ve got Potter’” (121-122). On the contrary, Harry chooses to define himself as a hero by way of his actions in his new surroundings with no just accepting the title. He actively seeks out to reside up to the title of a hero by proving himself worthy.

All through his whole initial year at Hogwarts, Harry partakes in actions that allow him to earn the title of a hero. He does this by means of becoming sort to other individuals, becoming an active participant in college activities, and even breaking guidelines when it implies a better outcome for other individuals. His very first possibility to show his accurate heart is when a rich and highborn student named Draco Malfoy offends the initial pal Harry has made, the half-giant caretaker Hagrid that came to take him away from his aunt and uncle: “‘I heard he’s a sort of savage – lives in a hut on the college grounds and every single now and then he gets drunk, tries to do magic, and ends up setting fire to his bed.’ ‘I consider he’s brilliant,’ said Harry coldly” (78). This show of defense for the initial sort person Harry had met is only the starting of the commence of actions that lead him to earn his title. Harry mainly partakes in actions that are technically breaking school guidelines, but he knows they have to be broken in order to help or protect a person else.

Very early on in the college year, Harry is presented with his 1st selection and chance to break the rules. In the middle of a broom-flying lesson, the bully Draco has stolen a possession from a significantly quieter boy, Neville Longbottom, and Harry tries to get it back for him. The students were told to remain grounded and not fly the brooms with out the instructor but when Draco requires the other boy’s possession up into the air, Harry decides it is greater to stand up for Neville and chase after Draco as an alternative of standing back idly. He breaks the rule of staying grounded and is caught by a professor, but the other students rejoice his actions and revere him. In an additional instance, he and Ron venture into a bathroom to face a deadly troll in order to save their other friend, Hermione, when all students have been told to go to their residence widespread rooms and keep there for security. Though points have been taken away for not being where they were supposed to be, points have been also given to Gryffindor property since Harry and Ron had been in a position to defeat the troll and save an additional student from her death.[2] Although it was primarily extremely dangerous and broke school guidelines, Harry became respected by his other students, particularly Hermione and his head of residence, Professor McGonagall. Arguably most importantly, Harry disobeys college rules by getting into a restricted region in order to cease the sorcerer’s stone, a stone that provides immortality, from falling into the wrong hands. Even though he did not count on to, Harry also defeated Voldemort for a second time by destroying the body his spirit had been using as a host. With the consequences of his actions taken into consideration, all punishment for breaking the guidelines is dissolved and Harry is rewarded with property points for potentially saving the wizarding planet for a second time.

These are all examples of anything named civil disobedience. In an write-up by R.P. Churchill in the Worth Inquiry Book Series, civil disobedience is defined as “an attempt to bring about a modify in the law or in the government policy via the violation of a law that is believed to be immoral, unconstitutional, or irreligious” (Churchill 66). Even though the school rules by themselves might not be regarded immoral or unconstitutional, when placed into every certain circumstance, the guidelines become less than savory. Harry understands this and knows that he should decide on to break the rules in order to do what is appropriate. Even though he is technically undertaking some thing that is incorrect, the very good that comes from his actions overshadows the undesirable, and he gains respect and enjoy from others. Whilst the magical planet already gave him these issues, Harry earns them for himself by choosing to be a excellent individual and stand up for what is proper as an alternative of just sitting in the glory of the provided title of a hero.

Rowling demonstrates via this very first novel in her magical series that a person’s identity is formed by the alternatives that they make. She does this by putting her own protagonist by way of a series of trials and providing him choices to make. This pattern that she establishes in her writing is simple to find and can help the reader recognize the point she is trying to make. By way of her storytelling, Rowling conveys that a person’s identity is not determined by our situations or by fate, but by the choices that a individual tends to make throughout their life. It is the reader’s choice what they do with the premise that Rowling has presented.
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