Our question dealt with what other characters in the Harry Potter book would see in the Mirror of Erised.
Hermione: head of Hogwarts or some other academic achievement,
a scholarship or award
surrounded by friends- being accepted
Malfoy: like his father, with his father smiling proudly
best at... (does it matter!)
seeing others "bow down" to him
Neville: smart, the star, being acknowledged
winning in the end
(we believe that Neville got what he would most desire at the end of the book)
not being kicked out of Hogwarts
he seems content already
trustworthy (especially with big jobs)
Dumbledore: wool socks!
world peace - everyone getting along in the end
Group Definition of Muggle: a human kind who has a closed or limited mind, who lacks the inner workings
and desires of imagination, who possesses no magical or supernatural powers, and who perceives life superficially
passion for creativity or non-material essences.
Dictionary Definition: (1) An alleged Kentist word for "tail" I.e. a tailed man; (2) A marajuana addict.
Explanation of the word "Muggle" from Harry Potter: Using definition (1) from the dictionary, the group
decided to link the
"tail" with an animal. Perhaps muggles relate or compare best to domesticated animals. Domesticated animals
have tails and include dogs, cats, pigs, cows, etc. These animals, under the authority of their masters, follow
orders and keep to a limited schedule of events driven by instinct. They really express no desire to go beyond
the limits that the master sets. In this sense, muggles, controlled by Society as a master, follow the rules set
by Society. They do not go beyond what is given to them, and certainly do not desire to do such things as magic
or imaginative play. Basically, they stick to the superficial things in life.
Using definition (2) we decided that muggles are not necessarily marajuana addicts, but perhaps like them in that
they have clouded minds. Like a drug, materialism presents illusions and false senses of security to the mind.
Everyone knows that you cannot take material possessions with you when you pass on, but muggles seem to ignore
that because they have become so addicted to what they can see, that it limits what they can do. The side effects
include greed, addiction, selfishness, and so on.
In a nut shell, our group believes that Rowling chose the word muggle to negatively represent humans which are
materialistic and weak in the spiritual sense. They have extreme limitations as well as side effects notable in
Usually names/locations were found to be very descriptive of the individual, or opposite/ironic.
Lilly- flower. only blooms during Easter & Christmas; intrinsically valued by Christians/Catholics; historical
value as well; white - pure, true, & honest
Vernon- "varmint" like Yosemite Sam always says
Dudely- "dud"; boring; without flavor, character, life, spice, or spark.
Hagrid- "haggard"; burley, disheveled, big
Petunia- flower; common; no intrinsic value/meaning.
Fluffy- ironic for a 3-headed watch dog who is guarding the "stone".
Snape- "snakey"; sneaky, slithers...slimes...
Slytherin- "snakey"; sneaky, slithers...
Diagonalley- not on a continuum; no straight lines; bends reality; slope of a line (up 3 to the right 2)
Weasleys- animal; small & insignificant (ironic b/c they are very significant); common;
Crabe- "crabby"; pinches; mean
Goyle- "gargoyle"; evil; extremely ugly
Hogwarts- a witch's "wart" on the tip of her nose
Prof. Sprout- professor of herbology; cute play on words
Madam Hooch- she's a "hoot"; owl like b/c she flys (prof. of flying)
Malfoyd- in Spanish, "mal" is "bad"
Gringotts- wizard bank; gobblin'ishy (group didn't say much about this one)
Dumbledore- he's the opposite of "dumb"; root of "ala" is white - pure, honest, & true
Neville- "nerdy"; dorky; plain
Prof. Quirrell- "quivery"; unstable; feeble; shakes
Privet Dr.- "private"; exclusive; privet is also a common shrub
Scabbers- appropriate for a rat; continuum
Platform 9 3/4- slope of a line 3/4 (up 4 to the right 3); diagonal; not on a continuum
Examples of Power in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone:
- The power of love: " If there is one thing Voldemort cannot understand, it is love. He didn't realize that
love as powerful as your mother's for you leaves its own mark...to have been loved so deeply, even though the person
who loved us is gone, will give us some protection forever" (299).
- The sustaining, life giving power of unicorn blood in keeping Voldemort alive: "The blood of a unicorn will
keep you alive, even if you are an inch from death, but at a terrible price. You have slain something pure and
defenseless to save yourself, and you will have but a half life, a cursed life, from the moment the blood touches
your lips" (258).
- Power of friendship: Harry would never have figured out everything about the Sorcerer's Stone or gotten through
the maze without his best friends Ron and Hermione.
- Power of personal integrity: Harry wanted to find the stone, not use it for himself; that is why it dropped into
his pocket. (300)
- Controlling power of fear: "They don't know we're not allowed to use magic at home. I'm going to have a
lot of fun with Dudley this summer..." (309). Harry won't really use magic on Dudley, but the threat of it
will be enough to keep him in check.
- Hypnotic power of the Mirror of Erised - Harry and Ron start fighting, lose touch with reality. (211)
- Power of notoriety - Harry is given special treatment/attention because of who he is in the magic world. He
is "Harry Potter, the boy who lived" (1). And he didn't even know he was famous until his 11th birthday!
- Magical powers dealt with in the book such as transfiguration, the ability to cast spells, make potions, etc.