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PoA Section One: In Which Harry Turns Thirteen

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PoA Section One: In Which Harry Turns Thirteen

Post by romaiel on 2011-03-02, 06:11

Hello fellow witches and wizards!

Welcome to the third installment of the Grand Online Book Discussion where we feature Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban.

Over the month of March, eleven (11) threads will be created to facilitate the discussion of the book’s 22 chapters. Each thread will contain a synopsis of the featured chapters and questions that will kick-off the discussion. Everyone is encouraged to participate and share their thoughts. Discussion leaders will be on hand to moderate and/or participate in the threads to keep the ball rolling.

We look forward to reading your responses. Cheers! Very Happy


Warm regards,

Prefect Penny (hermgranger), Prefect Rome (romaiel) and Jacq (Elerrina)





PoA Section One: In Which Harry Turns Thirteen

Chapter 1 – Owl Post
In this chapter, we are reminded of Harry’s previous adventures during his first two years at Hogwarts, as well as how he spent his summer at the Dursley’s. Also, he quietly celebrated his 13th birthday in his room, receiving gifts and cards from friends.

Chapter 2 – Aunt Marge’s Big Mistake
In this chapter, Harry tries to be on his best behavior in order to get a signed permission slip to visit the village of Hogsmeade on weekends. However, this is threatened by the visit of Aunt Marge, Uncle Vernon’s sister, whom he utterly hates. Harry agrees go along with Uncle Vernon's plan and has done so successfully until Aunt Marge’s insults about Lily and James Potter puts his temper to the test. This drove Harry to inflate her, hastily gather his possessions and abruptly leave Privet Drive without a signed permission slip.


Discussion Question/s:

  1. Among the gifts that Harry received for his 13th birthday, which for you is the best and what are your thoughts on the gift-giving skills of the person who sent it?

  2. Harry has always dreaded Aunt Marge’s visits as she constantly insults him. If he was able to previously withstand it, do you think that Harry losing his temper this time is justified given Aunt Marge’s insults of his parents when the trade-offs were a signed permission slip to Hogsmeade and, even worse, potentially be kicked out of Hogwarts for practicing underage magic?

  3. Since he just turned thirteen, what behaviors or thoughts did Harry display in these two chapters that you would expect from a person of that age? Do you see any complications or differences of Harry being a wizard in his life as thirteen-year-old?

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Re: PoA Section One: In Which Harry Turns Thirteen

Post by tiffy on 2011-03-03, 22:49

1. Among the gifts that Harry received for his 13th birthday, which for you is the best and what are your thoughts on the gift-giving skills of the person who sent it?

The best gift for me would be Hermione's because it was the least thing that Harry had expected to get from her. It was well thought out, unlike Ron's gift which was sort of like a souvenir (think keychain) and Hagrid's was, well, certainly not about Harry. Regardless of which gift was the best, I think Harry appreciated their gestures, after all it's the thought that counts. Smile

2. Harry has always dreaded Aunt Marge’s visits as she constantly insults him. If he was able to previously withstand it, do you think that Harry losing his temper this time is justified given Aunt Marge’s insults of his parents when the trade-offs were a signed permission slip to Hogsmeade and, even worse, potentially be kicked out of Hogwarts for practicing underage magic?


It was mentioned in the book that Aunt Marge's last visit was the year before Harry started at Hogwarts so maybe it was after learning who his parents really were and that nothing the Durleys told him were true, he just had to stand up to Aunt Marge even if it costs him the permission slip. Belittling his parents' death was too much for him to bear, he just couldn't take it anymore. I think it was alright for Aunt Marge to insult him but hearing her insult his parents like that was crossing the line. (Personally, I think Marge had too much to drink that time that's why she said all those mean things about Harry's parents.)


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Re: PoA Section One: In Which Harry Turns Thirteen

Post by lianne on 2011-03-04, 01:14

Eeeeee! Favorite book! I must reply. LOL

Hermione aimed to please. It was a well thought of gift. She knew what Harry enjoyed/wanted and she really went all out to buy it. Of course I'm assuming the broomstick servicing kit was expensive. And (I may be wrong or stretching here) I think it's also her way of paying back Harry for 'saving' her the school year prior? I mean, look at the other birthday gifts she got him after this. They were thoughtful gifts but not meant to be noticed.

Ron's was kind of a surprise. I mean, he obviously just saw the sneakoscope, didn't think too much about it and bought it for Harry. In the end, it turned out to be a really good gift had they realized it sooner. I'll have to check this, but I think this was might have been the same sneakoscope Harry used in DH...Anyhoo, my point is, Ron knows Harry too well that he makes unconscious good decisions when it comes to presents. Very Happy
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Re: PoA Section One: In Which Harry Turns Thirteen

Post by Elerrina on 2011-03-04, 09:19

I definitely have to agree that Hermione's gift was the best of the bunch, which is interesting given that Harry seemed to be expecting the worst from Hermione. When he first sees the gift, he thinks, "knowing Hermione, it was sure to be a very large book full of difficult spells." But it isn't, and it turns out to be Harry's favorite gift, if the time he spends thinking about it is any indication.

Maybe at this point, J.K. was already introducing the idea that we shouldn't be making assumptions about people based on what we think we know about them, because they might surprise us Very Happy
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Re: PoA Section One: In Which Harry Turns Thirteen

Post by allanwhistletop on 2011-03-04, 13:00

Among the gifts that Harry received for his 13th birthday, which for you is the best and what are your thoughts on the gift-giving skills of the person who sent it?
Harry would have appreciated every gift that he received because it's the first time he received something on his birthday! It was his best birthday ever, so I guess he was so happy of receiving anything. Though I do think Hermione's gift had so much thoughtfulness (ha! Girls are gooood!), considering what Harry wants or needs based on his personality and likes. Ron is just like a friend of mine when giving gifts to me, he does not give gifts based on what a friend desires the most but generally what is available and might be needed in the future (or some other weird reason). But just like me, Harry appreciated everything since there is thoughtfulness in just remembering a birthday, which what really counts. ☺☺

Harry has always dreaded Aunt Marge’s visits as she constantly insults him. If he was able to previously withstand it, do you think that Harry losing his temper this time is justified given Aunt Marge’s insults of his parents when the trade-offs were a signed permission slip to Hogsmeade and, even worse, potentially be kicked out of Hogwarts for practicing underage magic?
I wouldn't say it was justified, but I would say it was uncontrollable at that time. It seems students have a hard time controlling their magic when they become too emotional, which would have made the law for underage magic hard to comply with in certain subsets of young ones and teens who experience emotional upheaval at this stage of their lives. Harry is no different, and with just learning his true nature and history two years ago, it was a difficult task for him when he is often provoked at Privet Drive. What I don't understand is why include accidental magic as punishable by expulsion when it is accidental by nature with no intention of using magic but a magical outburst at best. Dobby's use of magic last time was intentional so it may have violated the law (which shouldn't have been the case, right?), but this was out of Harry's hands and I think Harry shouldn't be eligible for punishment.

Since he just turned thirteen, what behaviors or thoughts did Harry display in these two chapters that you would expect from a person of that age? Do you see any complications or differences of Harry being a wizard in his life as thirteen-year-old?
Yup, at this age going on to his teens, Harry is leaving his childhood past and starting to become an emotional teen that he is going to be. Hormones are starting to surge, and that means he has this certain days of emotional and personal turmoil at this stage. Look at what happened to Aunt Marge, and then suddenly deciding to run away from his house. Comparing himself to last year, he has become more confident and brave at this time and willing to survive even outside. Last year, he was afraid of becoming a lonely expelled wizard when he dreamed it after Dobby's incident, but now he has accepted whatever happens to him after expulsion. Wow! What a year makes for him!
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Re: PoA Section One: In Which Harry Turns Thirteen

Post by hermgranger on 2011-03-07, 22:49

1.Among the gifts that Harry received for his 13th birthday, which for you is the best and what are your thoughts on the gift-giving skills of the person who sent it?

Girls are known to be more thoughtful about the presents that they give. Plus, Hermione, with dentist parents, is able to afford more than the Weasleys. And given that Hermione tends to overthink about everything and anything, gift-giving couldn't possibly be an exception. The Broomstick Servicing Kit is something that Harry will like, though he will not think of getting himself. It is something people usually overlook, but would eventually be useful. He will only notice the new broom models and shiny snitches at the store. How many of the Weasleys did we hear of grooming their brooms? None. We are all probably familiar with the difficulty of buying gifts for boys. With Hermione, having known Harry for two years, she knows that Harry isn't exactly materialistic, but she doesn't know anything else personally that Harry might like. Getting him the Broom Servicing Kit seems to be sensible since Harry is known to be a great Quidditch player. It is a perfectly safe present.
However, we must keep in mind that Ron almost always unintentionally jokes about stuff that eventually come in handy. He bought the Sneakoscope for a laugh, didn't think that it would be actually useful. He just wanted to give something to Harry that he thinks that no one else would give him.

2. Harry has always dreaded Aunt Marge’s visits as she constantly insults him. If he was able to previously withstand it, do you think that Harry losing his temper this time is justified given Aunt Marge’s insults of his parents when the trade-offs were a signed permission slip to Hogsmeade and, even worse, potentially be kicked out of Hogwarts for practicing underage magic?

Like Tiff, this time around, compared to Harry's previous encounters with Aunt Marge, he already knows the truth about who his parents were, what they did, and what they died for. He felt the urge of defending them because he knew that his parents were of the decent lot, unlike how they were possibly described to him before Hogwarts. The number one rule in the Dursley household for Harry is to not ask questions. Based on Uncle Vernon's claim:
"He - didn't work,"... "Unemployed."
-Chap 2, pg 28, par 5, PoA, Scholastic ed, paperback

This was possibly what Harry knew when he was growing up. He's grown tired of these lies, of the thought that people are tainting the name of his parents. Plus, he didn't mean to actually blow up Aunt Marge. He was thinking about something else to distract him from doing the unthinkable. Though, it wasn't really Harry who performed the Hover Charm from the previous year. Since Harry has somewhat became more powerful in performing magic, but he hasn't mastered how to contain it. He's not exactly the most brilliant in his class, but he's powerful on his own.
We cannot deny that the previous year's wizard training wasn't able to achieve its objectives. Defense Against The Dark Arts is possibly the subject where students are trained to control magic, both internal and external. Having not enough training in this field gave him difficulty in containing himself.

3. Since he just turned thirteen, what behaviors or thoughts did Harry display in these two chapters that you would expect from a person of that age? Do you see any complications or differences of Harry being a wizard in his life as thirteen-year-old?

Teenage years could possibly be the time when we all want to go against what is implemented to us. Harry, someone who is not given the chance to do his coursework, would want to do his coursework. Teenagers want things that they don't have and loathe the things that they have. Each unexperienced thing is always more exciting than the experienced thing.
Additionally, Harry is always treated horribly. He is always not given a chance to justify himself and his actions. He was even masked by Uncle Vernon to be going to St. Brutus's Secure Center For Incurably Criminal Boys. Being full of these treatments, maybe, he was thinking, if this is what is expected of him, then he'll do it to fit the bill, to act like an actual criminal boy.
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Re: PoA Section One: In Which Harry Turns Thirteen

Post by geewitch on 2011-03-09, 14:56

Great discussion, guys!

I would like to see you quote more from the book to support your answers to the discussion question. It will make it more interesting, relevant, and will show you really put effort into it. Smile

Prof G
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Re: PoA Section One: In Which Harry Turns Thirteen

Post by mitchie08 on 2011-03-17, 23:06

Among the gifts that Harry received for his 13th birthday, which for you is the best and what are your thoughts on the gift-giving skills of the person who sent it?

-I think all..I think every gift is special to Harry....


Harry has always dreaded Aunt Marge’s visits as she constantly insults him. If he was able to previously withstand it, do you think that Harry losing his temper this time is justified given Aunt Marge’s insults of his parents when the trade-offs were a signed permission slip to Hogsmeade and, even worse, potentially be kicked out of Hogwarts for practicing underage magic?

-I think yes...Aunt Marge always makes Harry's day sick which could make his temper...Especially that Harry is not just a simple human but he's a wizard...
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