Questions for Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
1. Find and discuss all the possible visible and invisible thresholds in Harry Potter?
3. What is the significance of the word “muggle”?
4. Explore the ways in which Rowling uses characters and place-names to enhance the story. Give examples.
5.There are only two people unafraid to call “You-know-who” by his real name. Who are they and why aren’t they afraid? How is this act of naming something one fears connected to the larger story? What does this say about the power of words and names?
6. Magic is one means by which Harry, Hermione, and Ron deal with forces that seem to be against them. What are some other ways? What skills do they rely on? Compare these actions with those of the muggle world?
7.Explain how the Mirror of Erised works? How is this revealing power an integral part of the story? What conclusions and connotations might we draw about the power of mirrors and the power of images and perception?
8. Define what a hero is and then compare and contrast at least two “contrary” heroes in the story? How are these journeys mythical? Mention some parallels with other heroic journeys?
9. Look at the various ways in which perception, reading, and illusion are at work to complicate and problematize our conception of reality? What is the role of imagination? What definition might we now give to the term magic?
10. Power. This book explores various kinds of power. Discuss and give examples of a few of these.