Study Guide

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Identity

By J.K. Rowling

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During his sixth year at Hogwarts, we watch Harry and his friends struggle with some big aspects of their identity. As they get closer to finishing up their time at Hogwarts, and as a war rages outside and inside of the castle walls, the students are forced to examine themselves carefully: what they believe, who they trust, who they love, and what they want to become after school. We get a privileged look into this very moment in Tom Riddle's career at Hogwarts, and we watch him, too, struggle with his identity and, ultimately, build an identity that will serve his Dark goals. Voldemort shows us to what lengths a person will go to build an identity.

Questions About Identity

  1. Does Harry's self-identity change over the course of this novel? What about Hermione's? Ron's?
  2. Has Book 6 changed your understanding of Snape's identity? How would you characterize him?
  3. Why did Snape create the identity of the Half-Blood Prince for himself?
  4. What kind of identity has Voldemort made for himself?
  5. What does it mean to be the Chosen One? Is Harry special? If so, why is he special? What is the prophecy's purpose?
  6. What makes up a person's identity in the world of this story?

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