© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince


by J.K. Rowling

Choices Quotes in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

How we cite our quotes: (chapter.paragraph)

Quote #1

"Malfoy, revenge? What can he do about it?"

"That's my point, I don't know!" said Harry, frustrated. "But he's up to something and I think we should take it seriously. His father's a Death Eater and–" (7.8-9)

Malfoy seems to be on a revenge mission, and it's strange that no one besides Harry seems to be keeping a close eye on him. Is everyone distracted, or do they not think a Hogwarts student capable of executing orders from the Dark Lord?

Quote #2

"You took that from Sirius's house," said Harry, who was almost nose to nose with Mundungus and was breathing in an unpleasant smell of tobacco and spirits. "That had the Black family crest on it."

"I – no – what – ?" spluttered Mundungus, who was slowly turning purple.

"What did you do, go back the night he died and strip the place?" snarled Harry. (12.78-80)

Harry really sees red in this moment when he realizes that people are stealing from his godfather (the former Sirius Black). We can't blame him, but we are glad that Harry's friends are able to keep him from doing anything drastic in this moment. This is one of those times when we see that Harry is capable of great anger and fury. If he didn't have such a capacity to love and to empathize with others, we wonder if Harry would be kind of dangerous.

Quote #3

"She wouldn't even stay alive for her son?"

Dumbledore raised his eyebrows. "Could you possibly be feeling sorry for Lord Voldemort?"

"No," said Harry quickly, "but she had a choice, didn't she, not like my mother--"

"Your mother had a choice too," said Dumbledore gently. "Yes, Merope Riddle chose death in spite of a son who needed her, but do not judge her too harshly, Harry. She was greatly weakened by long suffering and she never had your mother's courage." (13.32-35)

Here, we see Dumbledore's great capacity for compassion and empathy as he imagines what Merope Riddle must have been going through. This moment reveals to us the real suffering and sadness that lies at the foundation of Voldemort's life. Harry seems almost outraged by Merope's offense against her son, and, therefore, Harry shows compassion for his mortal enemy. Do you think Dumbledore believes it's important that Harry sympathize with Voldemort? How can this knowledge possibly help Harry defeat his enemy?

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...