Notes on Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone Themes

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Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone Topic Tracking: Good Vs. Evil

Good vs. Evil 1: The story begins with a description of the first conflict between the Dursleys and the Potters. The Dursleys, the typical boring English family are established in the role of the "evil" component, while the Potters are the "good" people of the story. Benevolent Harry is forced to stay with mean Uncle Vernon, Aunt Petunia, and Dudley Dursley. This dichotomy sets up Harry's rescue from the Dursleys as an important escape from evil early on in the novel.

Good vs. Evil 2: The second conflict and antagonist in the book is named Lord Voldemort. Voldemort epitomizes evil and villainy, as he is the murderer of Harry's parents and a creature destined to kill Harry and destroy Hogwarts. His short description in the beginning of the novel alludes to his evil presence throughout. Dumbledore, the epitome of goodness and benevolence, is the man describing Voldemort, illustrating a subtle battle between good and evil at the onset.

Good vs. Evil 3: Hagrid retells the story of good and evil, of Voldemort and his parents to Harry. Harry discovers the meaning behind his scar, sees a momentary green light and feels a sharp pain in his head. He sees the Dursleys, his current antagonists in full view, while he learns about Voldemort, his magical antagonist in hindsight. Harry wonders about his good magical powers and how he could have used them to fend off his evil aunt and uncle.

Good vs. Evil 4: When Harry meets Draco Malfoy, he meets his antagonist at Hogwarts. Draco is the mean little boy who becomes Harry's nemesis. Draco comes from a family that defected to the evil side of magic with Voldemort years ago. Although they returned to good magic, Ron and Hermione inform Harry that they never should have left.

Good vs. Evil 5: Although Draco's evil intentions were to get Harry expelled from Hogwarts, Harry's good nature and magic reigns true. Draco maliciously steals Neville's Remembrall and Harry flies after him, benevolently trying to retrieve it for his friend. The end result is Harry's being awarded the position of Seeker on Gryffindor's Quidditch team.

Good vs. Evil 6: Harry, Hermione, and Ron come face to face with an evil presence - the troll. They fight it with their good presence and magic and defeat it, illustrating once again that good triumphs over evil. Furthermore, an even greater good has come from this battle with the evil troll - Ron and Harry discover a good friend in Hermione.

Good vs. Evil 7: When Harry's broom flies out of control, it seems to be controlled by an evil force, outside his control. Hermione spies Snape from across the stands staring at Harry, as if he were placing an evil spell on the broom. She sets his robes on fire, destroying any possible spell that may have come from him.

Good vs. Evil 8: When Harry sees Snape seemingly threaten Quirrell in the forest, he believes Quirrell to be good and Snape to be evil. He informs his friends that they must safeguard the good Quirrell from the evil Snape, in order to save the Sorcerer's Stone.

Good vs. Evil 9: Harry and Malfoy are frightened by a horrible, menacing creature in the forest. Its presence gives Harry's scar a striking pain, making him realize that this creature is the embodiment of evil. When Firenze discovers Harry frightened in the forest, he informs Harry of the menacing presence that lives in the forest. Firenze flies Harry's good spirit away, saving it from the evil presence.

Good vs. Evil 10: When Harry sees Quirrell inside the final chamber, he comes face to face with evil's helper. Quirrell is hosting Voldemort in his turban and plans to destroy Harry. Harry must do whatever necessary to prevent the evil Voldemort from stealing the Sorcerer's Stone, for he will use it for evil instead of for good.

Good vs. Evil 11: As Harry physically fights with the two-faced monster of Quirrell and Voldemort, he is literally fighting the strong evil spirit that killed his parents and is trying to kill him. As he places his hand on Quirrell's face, it burns, illustrating that good overcomes evil.

Good vs. Evil 12: When Gryffindor defeats Slytherin, it seems that the good spirits and forces have officially and finally overtaken the evil one. Since Slytherin is associated with Voldemort and also is the house of Draco Malfoy, its defeat is celebrated. Gryffindor, the house associated with goodness and Harry Potter, is victorious.

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