Discussion and Link-Up: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Half Blood

It’s the last day of the year, and most of the bloggers I follow have been posting annual recaps.  I won’t be recapping my whole year, but I did decide to share some ways to celebrate, Harry Potter style.  Below is a list of past Harry Potter-related posts and links I enjoyed throughout 2015 as well as ideas for throwing a Harry Potter themed New Year’s Eve party.

This is the last link-up, so be sure to share your HP-related posts before January 28th for your chance to be featured in next month’s discussion post!

 

Discussion and Link-Up: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Order of the Phoenix

Welcome to the fifth month of the Harry Potter re-read!  Each month I’ll be reading a book from the series, in order, until Harry Potter Book Night on February 4th.  Also, each month’s discussion includes a link-up for all your lovely HP related posts, and I’ll feature one or more of them from the previous month’s link-up.  This month, check out L.C.’s “Confession from Someone Still Waiting for Their Hogwarts Letter”.  Don’t forget to add your links to the link-up at the end of the discussion questions!

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Discussion Questions

  1. Though Hermione formed S.P.E.W. in the last book, HP and the Goblet of Fire, she continues to plan and enact projects to help the house-elves gain their freedom.  She makes and leaves for the elves to find various items of clothing, despite everyone’s, including the elves, insistence that they don’t want to be free.  Do you think the elves really don’t want freedom and Hermione is wrong to continue trying to force freedom on the elves?  Or, do you think Hermione is right and should continue her work?
  2. We never get a solid explanation for why Professor Umbridge is so hateful towards most of the students.  Do you think it’s only because of her support of Cornelius Fudge and the belief that Dumbledore is attempting to overthrow him?  Or, do you think there is more to it than that?
  3. Harry is shocked to discover that his Dad was a bit of a bully, at least towards Professor Snape.  However, Harry’s thoughts concerning Draco suggest that, given the opportunity, he might take similar action.  Though Sirius and Lupin don’t go into detail about Professor Snape’s behavior as a teenager, do you think he is the way he is because he was bullied?  Or, do you think he was like Draco, and the bullying he received was retaliation?
  4. Dumbledore expresses his regret over not telling Harry the truth because of Harry’s age.  Do you think this is J.K. Rowling’s response to some of the adult criticism of her books, particularly HP and the Goblet of Fire, for including death and other dark subjects in the storyline?
  5. Do you think the Fountain of Magical Brethren shows a parallel between Wizards’ and Witches’ feeling of superiority and European Exceptionalism?  Do you think Dumbledore’s words about the statue being a lie and how the mistreatment of others is the root of what is happening now is J.K. Rowling’s message to her readers that much of the pain and suffering in the world today is a result of Europe’s past treatment of non-Europeans?

Do you have a Harry Potter related post?  Share it for the chance to be featured in next month’s discussion!

Discussion and Link Up: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Chamber

Welcome to the second month of the Harry Potter re-read!  Each month I’ll be reading a book from the series, in order, until Harry Potter Book Night on February 4th.  This month’s discussion is a bit different from last month’s.  This time around, I’d like to discuss the impact of emotional abuse on children and if Harry is a realistic example of an abused child.

While reading Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, I began thinking about Harry’s behavior during his time with the Dursleys and how it compared to mine when I was growing up in an emotionally abusive home.  Like Harry, I remember doing everything I could after a certain age to be as invisible as possible.  I tried to disappear and I rarely ever had more than a couple close friends at a time.  Unlike Harry, I moved so many times that I stopped making friends and retreated into my world of books.  I never learned how to deal with bullies like Malfoy, Crabbe, and Goyle, but there were times when I stood up for myself or someone else the way Harry does.  However, Harry has a remarkable sense of justice that very few kids his age have let alone children who have been neglected or abused.  He also never acts out in self-destructive or harmful ways.

Harry doesn’t seem to be nearly as damaged as I felt, and I’ve been wondering why that is.  Perhaps it’s because the Dursley’s aren’t his parents.  Knowing this, maybe Harry understood the way he was treated wasn’t normal, and he was just unlucky in the relatives department?  That’s a bit difficult to believe since he’s known nothing else, having been placed in their “care” when he was a baby.  Maybe there’s another reason I’m just not seeing?

I also can’t decide whether or not Harry suffers from a lack of self-esteem and confidence as most abused children do.  Perhaps he does, and that’s why he shies away from special attention?  Granted, the kind of attention he gets in Chamber of Secrets is more excessive than probably any kid would want to deal with, but he also shies away from the attention he gets for defeating Voldemort.  He doesn’t seem to have a problem with the attention he gets for being the youngest member of the Gryffindor Quidditch team, though.

I would love to know your thoughts on this subject, either in the comments or a separate post.  Also, share any of your Harry Potter-related posts in the link up.  I’ll feature at least one post each month, and if I decide to do a giveaway for Harry Potter Book Night, those that link up will get bonus points.  While you’re at it, check out the other posts such as this recipe for chocolate frogs from The Daily Mayo.

Chocolate Frog

 

Monthly Discussion: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

3

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was first published in the UK in 1997.  The series has become so popular that people of all ages around the world have been reading and talking about them for the past eighteen years.  While I didn’t find out about the books until the first movie adaptation and HP fans took over movie theaters everywhere, by time the final book was released I was in line to get my copy of it along with everyone else.  I didn’t care that I was an adult in my early 20s getting extremely excited about a middle-grade Fantasy book.  I had to have all of the books, and all of them had to be hardcover editions.  To give you an idea of how rare that is, the only other complete series I own that are all hardcovers is C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia.

Despite my love for all things Harry Potter, I’ve never re-read the series, until now.  For anyone who wants to join me as I continue to read each book over the next six months, I’ve put together some discussion questions.  The discussion questions for each book will be posted on the last day of each month, and then there will be a final Harry Potter Book Night celebration post, possibly with a giveaway, on February 4th.  There will also be a link up each month for all of you to share your HP related posts.  I will look through all of them and then feature one or more in the following month’s discussion post.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone Discussion Questions:

  1. How does Harry’s experience with living with the Dursleys build his character?
  2. How are Dudley and Draco alike? How are they different?
  3. Why do you think Harry Potter was sorted into Gryffindor instead of any of the other houses?  Why do you think he didn’t want to be sorted into Slytherin?
  4. With so much corruption coming out of the house of Slytherin, why do you think it is one of the houses at Hogwarts?
  5. If you consider the other houses to be symbols of several virtues (bravery, loyalty, wisdom), is Slytherin’s cunning and using “any means/ To achieve their ends.” a virtue?  Why or why not?
  6. What makes the friendship between Harry, Hermione, and Ron a real friendship?  Is Malfoy’s friendship with Crabbe and Goyle a real friendship? Is Voldemort’s relationship with Quirrell a real friendship?  Why or why not?
  7. What do you think of Harry and Ron’s reliance on Hermione’s intelligence to get them out of difficult situations?
  8. If you had an invisibility cloak, what would you do and where would you go?
  9. What do you think you would see if you were to look into the mirror of Erised?

If you’ve got a Harry Potter related post, share it in the linky.  Feel free to answer the discussion questions, write your own, or do something else entirely.  As long as it’s related to Harry Potter, preferably the first book, you can share it for the chance of it being featured in next month’s post.