Monday, August 13, 2012

Book 2- Some thoughts 2

Just as HP 1 was more of a school adventure, HP 2 is a whodunit. What's a whodunit? A detective story.

Most of what I write now will sound like a lot of gobbledygook to those who haven't read the book. Then again, it might compel them to pick it up!

It has all the ingredients of detective fiction. There is a plot. The protagonist is in danger. Someone in the know warns the protagonist, but to no avail. There are strange, unexplained sinister things that happen. The culprit is unknown, but there is a theory about them. As always, the culprit cannot resist leaving a cryptic message. There are several bodies left at the scene of the crime. Not dead bodies here, but petrified. That, of course, is even more inexplicable, though one smart detective gets to the explanation. Hot on the trail, the detective too becomes a victim. More red herrings, as the suspicion falls on the most obvious person, who, of course turns out in the end to be innocent. Lots more action and drama, before the mystery is solved.

In HP 2, Rowling introduces a few things that will be significant later.

One- Tom Riddle as a 16 year old preserved in the diary. He disappears when Harry stabs the diary with the Basilisk fang. "There was a long, dreadful, piercing scream." Obviously, there was something alive in the diary, which had just been destroyed. Moreover, a Basilisk fang could destroy it.

Two- Harry drew the sword of Gryffindor from the Sorting Hat just as the Basilisk was attacking him and he had to do something to kill it! Only under conditions of need and valour could the sword be drawn from it.

Three- A wand that is broken may be repaired, but it does not gain back its power, and may not work as earlier. Sometimes, in fact, spells may even rebound! Also, another's wand may not really work for someone, though spells could be cast.


There is are distinct similarities between Harry and Voldemort. "There are strange likenesses between us, Harry Potter. Even you must have noticed. Both half-bloods, orphans, raised by Muggles. Probably the only two Parselmouths to come to Hogwarts since the great Slytherin himself." (Wonder what that says of Slytherin's bloodline until Tom Riddle. They clearly were Parselmouths, but equally clearly weren't tutored at Hogwarts!) "We even look something alike-" 

Other than their wands sharing the same core, surprisingly from Dumbledore's phoenix, Fawkes' tail, they were poles apart! "It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities." 

1 comment:

  1. "It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities."
    I just love this line...