Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
by J.K. Rowling
Isolation Quotes in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph)
The next few days were some of Harry's worst at Hogwarts. The closest he had ever come to feeling like this had been during those months, in his second year, when a large part of the school had suspected him of attacking his fellow students. But Ron had been on his side then. He thought he could have coped with the rest of the school's behavior if he could just have had Ron back as a friend, but he wasn't going to try and persuade Ron to talk to him if Ron didn't want to. Nonetheless, it was lonely with dislike pouring in on him from all sides. (18.56)
There's continuity between the hatred that most of Hogwarts had for Harry in Harry Potter and the Chamber of the Secrets and now, with the Triwizard Tournament. Why is so much of Harry's school experience based on teasing and exclusion? Is it a genre thing – is this just what we expect of middle school and high school stories? Or does it seem particular to Harry's character and situation? Is there anything unique about Harry's particular isolation from his fellows?
Under the pretext of holding up a measuring cup to see if he'd poured out enough armadillo bile, Harry sneaked a sidelong glance at the pair of them. Karkaroff looked extremely worried, and Snape looked angry.
Karkaroff hovered behind Snape's desk for the rest of the double period. He seemed intent on preventing Snape from slipping away at the end of class. Keen to hear what Karkaroff wanted to say, Harry deliberately knocked over his bottle of armadillo bile with two minutes to go to the bell, which gave him an excuse to duck down behind his cauldron and mop up while the rest of the class moved noisily toward the door.
"What's so urgent?" he heard Snape hiss at Karkaroff.
"This," said Karkaroff, and Harry, peering around the edge of his cauldron, saw Karkaroff pull up the left-hand sleeve of his robe and show Snape something on his inner forearm. (27.67-71)
Occasionally, we can see that there's a challenge involved in focusing the entire novel (with the exception of maybe the first chapter) through Harry's eyes. The problem is that Harry has to be around in every scene to take note of the little details J.K. Rowling wants the reader to pick up. We only see what Harry sees, which means that Harry's eyes and ears have to be really observant for us to get a full picture of what's going on in the novel. In, like, 99% of cases, J.K. Rowling accomplishes this kind of foreshadowing through Harry's eavesdropping. He's always in the right place at the right time to overhear key points, such as when he and Ron listen in on Hagrid's confession to Madame Maxine. At the same time, it can get a little awkward that Harry has to be present so that the reader can find out the content of even super secret conversations. The idea that Karkaroff – who is a former Death Eater – would actually show his Dark Mark to Professor Snape in public while Harry's in the room strikes us as kind of hard to believe.
Ron speared a roast potato on the end of his fork, glaring at it. Then he said, "I hate being poor."
Harry and Hermione looked at each other. Neither of them really knew what to say.
"It's rubbish," said Ron, still glaring down at his potato. "I don't blame Fred and George for trying to make some extra money. Wish I could. Wish I had a niffler." (28.99-101)
Ron's poverty is extremely isolating. Thanks to the Dursleys, Harry knows what it's like to live with shabby clothes and hand-me-downs too, at least. But that was all before Ron met Harry, and now Harry is a very rich young wizard. What's more, the Weasley family's poverty gives them really low social status in the wizarding world. It's obviously had an effect on the choices of Fred and George (joke shop) and Percy (crazed ambition). One of the things that we really like about the Harry Potter books is that they're so frank about how much it can suck to be poor.