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Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets


by J.K. Rowling

Perseverance Quotes in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph)

Quote #1

"Petunia" roared Uncle Vernon. "He's getting away! HE'S GETTING AWAY!"

But the Weasleys gave a gigantic tug and Harry's leg slid out of Uncle Vernon's grasp – Harry was in the car – he'd slammed the door shut – (3.40-41)

Perseverance – the ability to follow through on something even when it gets difficult – is a virtue. Arguably, Uncle Vernon has perseverance in his efforts to (a) make Harry's life miserable, and (b) squash the magic out of Harry. Of course, much though we may admire the idea of dedication, Uncle Vernon's goals are obviously insane. Why do you think he's so mad that Harry is getting away? Why does Uncle Vernon want to keep Harry at home when he hates him so much?

Quote #2

"Dunno how Mum and Dad are going to afford all our school stuff this year," said George after a while. "Five sets of Lockhart books! And Ginny needs robes and a wand and everything..."

Harry said nothing. He felt a bit awkward. Stored in an underground vault at Gringotts in London was a small fortune that his parents had left him. (4.28-29)

The Weasleys are poor and Harry is rich, which creates some tension between Harry and Ron (tension that really explodes around Book 4). Despite their poverty, the Weasleys accept Harry into their home with open arms, never making him feel like a burden (unlike the Dursleys). They make do with what they have. Yet their poverty is also important as an illustration of one of the rules of Harry Potter's world. You can't just conjure stuff out of nothing. Even though magic can make your life a lot easier, it can't make problems like poverty go away. The Weasleys may be accomplished wizards, but they can't just create gold – magic doesn't work like that in this series. So social problems like poverty persist.

Quote #3

Mr. Malfoy's lip curled.

"I have not been visited yet. The name Malfoy still commands a certain respect, yet the Ministry grows ever more meddlesome. There are rumors about a new Muggle Protection Act – no doubt that flea-bitten, Muggle-loving fool Arthur Weasley is behind it —" (4.76-77)

Perhaps this quote is an example of persistence rather than the more positive virtue of perseverance. We're going to include it here anyway because this category is about things that go on, negative or positive. Lucius Malfoy's conversation with Mr. Borgin in Knockturn Alley indicates how little respect he has for Arthur Weasley. We find it interesting that Lucius's hatred for Arthur carries over to the next generation. Obviously, Draco despises Ron. The Harry Potter series often focuses on how the past continues to influence the present. Here is our first inkling that the resentments of prior generations are influencing events happening right now in the novels. For a clearer example of this kind of persistence, check out Professor Snape's relation to Sirius Black in Book 5, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

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