Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Contrasting Regions Quotes Page 1
How we cite our quotes:
Viewers as far apart as Kent, Yorkshire, and Dundee have been phoning in to tell me that instead of the rain I promised yesterday, they've had a downpour of shooting stars! (1.24)
Muggles are ready to explain away anything out of the ordinary, and wizards often take advantage of this when trying to cover up or keep secret bits of magic that have slipped through the cracks. Here, they've wreaked havoc with the Muggle weather system, creating celestial disturbances the newscasters are classifying as "shooting stars."
"You'd think they'd be a bit more careful, but no – even the Muggles have noticed something's going on. It was on their news." She jerked her head back at the Dursleys' dark living-room window. (1.53)
McGonagall couldn't be clearer here about the separation between worlds. The celebrating wizards are growing careless, letting confusing signs and fragments slip as they rejoice at Voldemort's defeat. But by referring to the people inside the house as "Muggles," and by separating out the news they watch as "their news," McGonagall clarifies that there are huge gaps in understanding and knowledge separating the Muggles from the magic-wielding folk.
But Hagrid simply waved his hand and said, "About our world, I mean. Your world. My world. Yer parents' world."
"What world?" (4.45-46)
Non-magic England and magic England aren't just separate regions: they're completely different worlds. Hagrid's careful use of pronouns – "our," "your," "my," and "yer parents'" – clearly distinguishes that he and Harry belong in this other, new world. This world may be one full of magic and delight, but it's also one that Harry's been completely in the dark about. He may belong in it without question, but he doesn't know anything about it.