Harry Potter Books 1 and 2 Discussion Questions
1. What was your first very first impression of Harry Potter himself? Did your impression change at the end of the first book?
I don't really remember what my first impression him was, due to the fact that I have read two more books in the series since reading the first one back in January and since I have read the first book at least four or five times and the first time I had read a book, it was after I had already watched at least the first three movies, so my impressions were probably vastly different than it probably should have been. But that being said, my first impressions of Harry is that he's definitely a kid whose a loner due to the fact that he's just different than all the other kids and also Dudley probably scares him off as soon as he can.
2. At what point in either book did you decide that you did, or didn't, like the story?
Um, probably when I first saw the third movie in 2003.
3. Is there anything you dislike so far? Something you would change if you could?
Like I said earlier, I have read these first two books many, many times, but honestly I would have made sure that it had a little more depth to them; they seem a little shallow, but honestly they are very addicting.
4. What is it about J.K. Rowling's writing that makes her books so appealing to so many people? Is it the characters? The plot? Something else? What do you love most about her writing?
I think it has to do with multiple things, but I think what I love about her writing is such that an adult, a young adult or a preteen can pick it up and find each find something different that makes it appeal to each of them.
5. In the first book, we are introduced to a very different world than the one we live in. What were some things that blew your mind when you first read about them?
What blew me away was that she makes it very realistic that you can think it can actually happen.
6. Despite being so different, what do you think makes the wizard world so believable? What makes it a place that people want to escape to?
I think that there is enough of the "muggle" world involved that one thinks it actually is believable and the reason that people want to escape to it because it is a different place, etc. Its probably the same reason that a lot people want to escape to the world of The Lord of the Rings.
7. In The Sorcerer's Stone, Professor Quirrel tells Harry, "There is no good and evil, there is only power, and those too weak to seek it." What does this statement tell us about Professor Quirrel? Do you agree or disagree with him?
What it tells me about Professor Quirrel is that he really wants power and will do anything to get any sort of power. I disagree with him because power inevitably makes one hungry for more power and at some point the people who do that do something really, really stupid that you just wish them gone, for whatever the reason.
8. In The Chamber of Secrets, Dumbledore tells Harry, "It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities." The sorting hat also suggested Harry could fine great fame and glory in Slytherin House. What choices does Harry make that lead him away from darkness? Could he have been the good wizard that he was if some of those choices were different?
He clearly understands the difference between good and evil and how to know what really is evil and I suppose somehow knowing what evil can do made him turn away from darkness and I also suppose it was the conversation he had with Hagrid in Diagon Alley that made him turn away from Slytherin House. I don't think he could have, as he would have not had the influences of Ron and Hermoine and others.
9. If you're re-reading the series, what are some differences you've noticed this time? Are there things you didn't pick up on before? Or did you find you liked/disliked something differently this time?
I am noticing the foreshadowing of things in the final books, especially in book two, things that play important roles in those books.
10. Just for fun: If you could make your own polyjuice potion, who would you disguise yourself as, and why?
I honestly don't know who I would disguise myself as.