Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Good vs. Evil Quotes
How we cite our quotes:
"Dumbledore isn't fond of the Azkaban guards," said Mr. Weasley heavily. "Nor am I, if it comes to that [...] but when you're dealing with a wizard like Black, you sometimes have to join forces with those you'd rather avoid." (4.3.39)
Arthur helps set up one of the major moral dilemmas of this novel: is it ever OK to team up with bad things or to do bad things in order to fight evil? Do the ends justify the means? Arthur implies that they do here, but Dumbledore's intense dislike of the Dementors implies that he disagrees.
"Dad had to go out to Azkaban one time, remember, Fred? And he said it was the worst place he'd ever been, he came back all weak and shaking [...] They suck the happiness out of place, Dementors. Most of the prisoners go mad in there." (6.1.13)
The details we hear about Azkaban start to cast the wizarding community in a very different light. Before, all we knew of the wizarding world came through places like Hogwarts and Diagon Alley – cool, fun places. Details about Dobby, the Malfoys' mistreated house elf, didn't seem to apply to the entire wizarding community, just to the "darker" Voldemort-following ones. But Azkaban is an institution that "good" wizards support and use to lock up "bad" wizards. So, is Azkaban "cruel and unusual punishment," or is it morally justifiable?
"Dementors are among the foulest creatures that walk this earth. They infest the darkest, filthiest places, they glory in decay and despair, they drain peace, hope, and happiness out of the air around them. [...] If it can, the Dementor will feed on you long enough to reduce you to something like itself [...] soulless and evil. You'll be left with nothing but the worst experiences of your life. (10.2.33)
Dementors make Voldemort sound like the Easter Bunny. OK, not really. The Dementors really represent all the darkness that Voldemort channels in his campaign for world domination. It's fitting that we focus on the Dementors in this book rather than on Voldemort himself. This novel deals with the past and, in a way, the Dementors are Voldemort's past – a legacy of darkness and evil and other bad mojo that Voldemort draws upon in his own evil deeds.