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Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

by J.K. Rowling

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Quote #4

From something the Minister let slip when telling me you are now a prefect, I gather that you are still seeing a lot of Harry Potter. I must tell you, Ron, that nothing could put you in danger of losing your badge more than continued fraternization with that boy. Yes, I am sure you are surprised to hear this – no doubt you will say that Potter has always been Dumbledore's favorite – but I feel bound to tell you that Dumbledore may not be in charge at Hogwarts much longer and the people who count have a very different – and probably more accurate – view of Potter's behavior. I shall say no more here, but if you look at the Daily Prophet tomorrow you will get a good idea of the way the wind is blowing – and see if you can spot yours truly! (14.191)

Percy has turned his back on the Weasley family and thrown all of his fortunes in with Cornelius Fudge. When he hears that Ron has been made a prefect, he thinks Ron is following in Percy's own footsteps. So, he reaches out to his little bro. But what do you think Percy's motives are in sending this letter? Does he really think that he can convince Ron to dump Harry and shift his allegiance away from Dumbledore? If he does lure Ron to his side, does Percy hope that it will give him vindication that his father and the rest of his family is wrong? Does he want Ron to pass on the messages in the letter to his mother and father? Or does Percy think that Ron might show Harry this letter after all? Is this letter a little jab at Harry? What do you think is going on in Percy's head when he sends this nasty little note?

Quote #5

"Yes, but the world isn't split into good people and Death Eaters," said Sirius with a wry smile. (14.239)

Sirius claims that he doesn't see the world in black and white. He recognizes that Dolores Umbridge doesn’t have to be a Death Eater to be evil. But when it comes to Snape, Sirius isn’t quite as perceptive. He just can’t believe that Professor Snape, who was once a Death Eater, could ever be one of the good guys . J.K. Rowling points out this contradiction in Sirius's character:

Sirius is very good at spouting bits of excellent personal philosophy, but he does not always live up to them. For instance, he says in "Goblet of Fire" that if you want to know what a man is really like, 'look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.' But Sirius loathes Kreacher, the house-elf he has inherited, and treats him with nothing but contempt. Similarly, Sirius claims that nobody is wholly good or wholly evil, and yet the way he acts towards Snape suggests that he cannot conceive of any latent good qualities there. Of course, these double standards exist in most of us; we might know how we ought to behave, but actually doing it is a different matter! (source)


Sirius's own inconsistency is proof of what he is saying: Sirius is a good man, but he has bad sides to his character. His complete inability to forgive Professor Snape or to move on from childhood rivalries indicates his own enduring and dangerous immaturity.

Quote #6

"Yep," said Hagrid sadly, "eighty left, an' there was loads once, musta bin a hundred diff'rent tribes from all over the world. Bu' they've bin dyin' out fer ages. Wizards killed a few, o' course, bu' mostly they killed each other, an' now they're dyin' out faster than ever. They're not made ter live bunched up together like tha'. Dumbledore says it's our fault, it was the wizards who forced 'em to go an' made 'em live a good long way from us an' they had no choice bu' ter stick together fer their own protection." (20.94)

Hagrid's experiences with the giants raises all kinds of questions about the role of magical creatures in the politics of the wizarding world. If there are so few giants left (thanks to their quarrelsomeness), why would they be useful in the war effort at all? How many groups of intelligent non-human magical creatures are there? We know that there are centaurs, house-elves, and goblins, but what about the veela from Book 4? Or the merpeople? Or the leprechauns? Are they all going to choose sides between Voldemort and the Ministry of Magic? What reasons would they have for choosing one or the other side?

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