Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Book 3- Some thoughts 1

Owl post. We have encountered only Harry's owl, Hedwig, till now. The various other owls that populated books 1 & 2 were anonymous. Here, in HP 3, we suddenly realize that they are just as dis-similar as human beings. Hedwig with her maternal, proprietary air. Errol, the old owl near retirement who just goes about his work because he has to. And at the end of the book, Pidgewigeon, or Pig for short, the highly excitable, obviously just into teenage owl who adopts Ron. Fittingly, the book begins with a chapter titled Owl Post. And ends with one titled Owl Post Again.

Dementors. They provide a step up in dark themes in the HP series. Dementors 'suck out one's soul and leave an empty shell.'  Rowling, here, is alluding to and has derived the word from actual dementia. A person suffering from it becomes a shell of the person they were. All feelings, emotions and memories are lost when kissed by a Dementor. Rowling could also be alluding to depression, the severe, clinical kind, that destroys the person one is. She should know, as her mother was a victim of Multiple Sclerosis, and had passed away before Rowling became the literary phenomenon that she is.

So Rowling's counter-action or antidote to the Dementors? A powerful spell originating in a happy memory. Happy memories can keep depression at bay. The spell used, 'Expecto Patronum' is Latin for 'I await a patron'. A patron in ancient Rome was someone rich and influential who protected and mentored you.


We take another journey to the past in this book, and learn more about Harry's parents and their student days. We learn about the 'cool gang' of students comprising James(Harry's father), Sirius Black, Remus Lupin and Peter Pettigrew, their escapades through Transfiguration and their biggest invention, the Marauder's  Map. We are reminded of what Ollivander had said about James' wand: "Your father, on the other hand, favoured a mahogany wand. Eleven inches. Pliable. A little more power and excellent for transfiguration."     

1 comment:

  1. Never correlated dementors with dementia. Now that you have pointed it out, it seems so simple and logical too.
    I look forward to reading your thoughts on each of these books Sandhya.