“It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live, remember that.”
If there ever was a more defining book in regards to my love for reading, it’s Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.
I was a reader long before I found my way to Harry, but this book is the one that really cemented my love for it. When I say “long before” I mean me before third grade hahaha. As I’ve grown older, my love for these books grows as well and through all the rereading I’ve done, the enjoyment of reading them does not dwindle. If anything, each reread gets more exciting and gives me more insight.
This month I decided it was time for another one of those rereads because I missed this world and upon finishing the book I decided that I really wanted to do a post to discuss Sorcerer’s/Philosopher’s Stone and how good this first book is while also pointing out some of the problematic things that I paid attention to during this read through. Things that of course have been there, but that I’ve never focused on before.
For starters, in every reread that I do of this series it never fails to amaze me that Harry
is such a pure character of sorts. He’s someone who grew up in an abusive environment for years and had to deal with it alone. He’s humble, he’s kind, he’s brave, and a good friend. Coming into the wizarding world he could have easily decided to use his fame to his advantage and yet he doesn’t. There’s so many layers to Harry’s character and through the series he grows, but at his very core he always exhibits the behaviors that he does in this book. I will forever consider Harry my favorite character in this series until the day I die. I’d also die for him with no hesitation. He’s my baby.
Something I’d never paid much attention to was the fact that everyone normalizes Snape’s behavior by saying things along the lines of, “oh it’s okay, he’s like that with everyone.” Why was everyone excusing Snape’s behavior like it was no big deal??? He’s not being strict, he’s being downright cruel to many of these children! And these characters normalize that behavior. I’ll never understand the appeal to Snape’s character and the sympathy that surrounds him honestly. I get liking him as a villain, but not as anything else. His character is something that I love ranting about as the series draws to a close so I don’t really have much else to say right now.
“It’s just a pity they let the old punishments die out…hang you by your wrists from the ceilings for a few days…”
- Can I just say that I’d never really spent much time pondering this quote from Filch before, but during this reread I was like, “HOW WAS THIS EVER A PUNISHMENT????” This isn’t a punishment, that’s tORTURE. I honestly sat therefor a while after reading it and wondered why parents ever let their children go to Hogwarts.
In my head Goblet of Fire is that pivotal moment where the books go dark and it all goes to shit and to some extent that is when it happens! But this time around as I got to those last pages of the final chapter of this book it dawned on me that between the abuse, the detention in the Forbidden Forest, Snape as a whole, and that reveal about Quirrell this book is already really dark. Things just get darker later on, but the element was already there at this early stage. I love it haha. It’s an excellent mixture of the little innocence that these characters still possess while still seeing them exposed to rather dark things and seeing the small shifts in their character because of that exposure.
One of the biggest things that jumped out at me this time around was how scenes containing Dudley tend to have him compared to a pig. Dudley is a horrible person and I don’t condone his actions, but those descriptions of him! It wasn’t okay and it just really rubbed me the wrong way and I know that in the following books that that comparison doesn’t stop. It’s disgusting.
Those are my current thoughts upon finishing this book up. I love it just as much as I always have and I can’t help but think that this is one of the best first books in a series ever. I love the world building, the characters and their introduction of them that doesn’t feel half-assed, I love that it leaves so many question that come unraveling as the series progresses, and I love that no matter how many times you read it, it feels like coming home.
As I continue to reread the books I might do more posts of these to talk about the things that jump out at me this time around! Actually, I might do them every time I reread a book.
Anyway, thank you so much for reading! And as a question, who’s your favorite character from the series?
Bonus: Favorite Quotes!
- “After all, He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named did great things–terrible, yes, but great.” -Mr. Ollivander, Pg. 85
- “Or yet in wise old Ravenclaw, If you’ve a ready mind, Where those of wit and learning, Will always find their kind” -Sorting Hat, Pg. 118
- “Ah, music,” he said, wiping his eyes. “A magic beyond all we do here!” -Dumbledore, Pg. 128
- “It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live, remember that.” -Dumbledore, Pg. 214
- “Always the innocent are the first victims.” -Ronan, Pg. 253
- “Always use the proper name for things. Fear of a name increases fear of the thing itself.” -Dumbledore, Pg. 298