Thinking Deeper about Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
1. The novel does not introduce the titular character, Harry Potter, until the end of the first chapter, and even then, only as a baby. Why do you think we are introduced to the Dursleys, Dumbledore, McGonagall, and Hagrid before Harry? Why does it take us five chapters to get to Hogwarts?
2. Why do you think Ron and Harry become such fast friends? Why do they also become such close friends with Hermione? What is the dynamic of these friendships?
3. What is Harry’s relationship to Hogwarts? How does Hogwarts function as a character in the novel?
4. What relationship do muggles have with the magical world? Could a muggle, for instance, make his/her way onto Platform 9 ¾ without assistance from a witch or wizard? Could a muggle be given a wand and cast a spell?
5. Do you think you would be able to anticipate what you would see in The Mirror of Erised? If so, what would it be? If not, what does that say about desire? Do you think what one sees in the mirror changes over time?
6. If you could “audit” one Hogwarts class (i.e. attend for no academic credit), what would it be and why?
7. Do you think the characters are sorted into the correct house? What house do you think you would be sorted into? Do you think students are sorted into houses based on attributes they currently possess or attributes they will or could possess?
8. What is the point of the House Cup? Why do you think students are sorted in the first place? Do you think it is fair that Gryffindor wins the cup in the end of The Sorcerer’s Stone?
9. Different animal groups are often identified by what are called different “animal collectives.” So, for instance, a group of bison is called a “herd” while a group of dogs is called a “pack.” More curious collectives would be a murder of crows, a memory of elephants, and an intrigue of kittens. What would a group of Gryffindors, Hufflepuffs, Ravenclaws, and Slytherins be called?
10. Would you rather have a broom or an invisibility cloak? Which of the two magical objects is more powerful?