8 Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

Fantasy and Harry Potter

Fantasy is an enormously popular genre and this study will hopefully keep you engaged and entertained. We will look at a number of texts including the novel Harry Potter. Symbolism will be a key focus in this study as will the use of stereotypes to create meaning for the audience. We will look at the use of conventions and techniques and you will be given the opportunity to both analyse and create fantasy texts.

What is fantasy?

  • When we speak of just the word itself we are referring to an imagined dream or event.
  • We also refer to the word when we are speaking of wishful thinking.
  • When we refer to fantasy in the context of literature we are referring to stories that have certain definable elements that make the story unreal.
  • There are many such elements.
  • They vary from mythical beasts roaming an imagined world to natural settings in which animals take on human characteristics.
  • There are recognizable conventions of fantasy, such as toys coming to life, tiny humans, articulate animals, imaginary worlds, magical powers, and time-warp tales. A story needs to possess only one of these features in order to be classified as fantasy.
  • However, some great stories use a combination of fantasy elements. I tell my students simply this: a fantasy is any story in which at least one element cannot be found in our human world.

Film Trailer

Harry Potter

Title: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone OR Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Published: 1997 by Bloomsbury

Book Number: 1st in the series

Genre: Fantasy

Point of View: 3rd Person POV

Plot Structure: Chronological

Setting: London-4 Privet Drive, Hogwarts

Conflict: External

Characters: Harry, Hermione, Ron, The Dursley’s, Draco Malfoy, Voldemort, Hagrid, Dumbledore

Theme: Magic, Good vs Evil, friendship, courage, bravery

Harry Potter Characters

The main protagonist who transforms from weak and timid, to a brave hero. Harry lives with his horrible family, the Dursley’s, as his parents were killed by the dark wizard Voldemort. Harry survived and is now known as ‘the boy who lived.

Hermoine Granger

Hermione is a very intelligent, goody-two-shoes who comes from a muggle family. She becomes best friends with Harry and Ron.

Ron Weasley

Ron is Harry’s first friend at Hogwarts and becomes his best friend. He is a shy boy who  comes from a poor wizard family.

Albus Dumbledore

Albus Dumbledore is the kind, wise headmaster of Hogwards. He is a very famous wizard who often looks out for Harry.

Lord Voldemort

A great wizard gone bad. When he killed Harry’s parents, Voldemort gave Harry a lightning-shaped scar. Voldemort has thus shaped Harry’s life so that Harry’s ultimate destruction of him appears as a kind of vengeance