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Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban


by J.K. Rowling

Memory and the Past Quotes in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

How we cite our quotes: Chapter.Paragraph or Chapter.Section.Paragraph (depends on whether or not the chapter had sections - some did not)

Quote #1

Harry remembered only too well the occasion where Ron's old wand had snapped. It had happened when the car the two of them had been flying to Hogwarts crashed into a tree on the school grounds. (1.48)

We get a lot of sentences like this throughout the novel, in which Harry recalls things that have happened in the previous jam-packed years at Hogwarts. While this could be seen as regularly scheduled visits by the Exposition Fairy (little details thrown in to get everyone up to speed), we think that these sentences have a deeper meaning. They help to reinforce how this novel functions as a meditation on the past.

Quote #2

"Anyway, they cornered Black in the middle of a street full of Muggles an' Black took out 'is wand and 'e blasted 'alf the street apart, an' a wizard got it, an' so did a dozen Muggles what go in the way. 'Orrible, eh?" (3.73)

It's interesting that Stan speaks of Sirius's actions as something he has first-hand knowledge of, even though he was a child at the time (Stan is described as someone in his late teens). The massacre Sirius committed has become a collective memory, or a big event that everyone in the wizarding community "remembers," kind of like how Americans "remember" events like Pearl Harbor or the fall of the Berlin Wall, regardless of whether or not they were there, or were even alive, at the time.

Quote #3

He knew he was being stupid, knew that the Nimbus was beyond repair, but Harry couldn't help it; he felt as though he'd lost one of his best friends. (10.1.1)

Harry has so many memories of his Nimubs that it's become a sort of "friend" to him. And as anyone who's seen Toy Story knows, inanimate objects can indeed be really great friends.

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