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Themes

Family is a very important theme throughout Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. Harry misses the family he never knew – his parents – and hates the one he's stuck with – the Dursleys. Blood ties only go so far, and relationships don't necessarily mean that love is felt. Far from it, in fact. The Dursleys feed, clothe, and shelter Harry (barely), but they don't love him, and they certainly don't treat him as though he belongs. Instead, it's the people Harry meets at Hogwarts, both students and faculty, who care for and nurture him, and who slowly become his new, chosen family.

Questions About Family

  1. Which other characters, besides Harry, are deprived of their parents? Is being without parents the same as not having a family?
  2. The book describes a mother's love as one of the most powerful charms in the world. Do you agree? Why or why not?
  3. What kinds of sibling relationships do you see in the text? How do those compare to the friendships made at Hogwarts?
  4. Can you tell Fred and George Weasley apart?
  5. Do you think the book provides any substitute parental figures for Harry? If so, who might those be, and why?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.
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