Harry Potter And Sorcerer Stone By Rowling Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling is a children's novel about a young boy, Harry Potter, and his adventures at Hogwarts, a school for wizards and witches. The novel is filled with humorous tales of exciting escapades in and around the school. There are many characters in the novel, and they do not always get along well. They make fun of each other and judge each other by a certain set of standards.
Some of these standards include wealth, intelligence, family and athletic ability. These are all superficial ways of judging people. Being a children's author, Rowling shows her readers other, more important ways of categorizing others through less apparent methods. These true values that she emphasizes are judging others by their character and heart. The false values by which children judge each other are more blatant in the novel because they are illustrated through conversation instead of actions. The main ways that they judge each other are: financial status, family background (Muggle or wizard), house affiliation, intelligence and athletic ability.
Almost every character has some good values and some bad values in the novel. By illustrating the characters with faults, Rowling makes them more realistic and believable. The first skin deep value used to measure the status of a character is money. Just as in the real world, some people have more money than others. One character that seems to be very well off in the wizard world is Draco Malfoy. He has all of the newest and nicest books and school supplies on the first day.
His owl is of the nicest breed. When the students receive mail at meals, Malfoy frequently receives packages of goodies from his family and he is not humble about it. He is quite a contrast to Ron Weasley and his family. Ron comes from a poor family. Everything he brings to school with him seems to be a hand-me-down. Ron says, "you never get anything new, either, with five brothers.
I've got Bill's old robes, Charlie's old wand, and Percy's old rat." (p. 100). Malfoy likes to use this weakness to make fun of Ron. He makes comments such as, "What would you know about it, Weasley, you couldn't afford half the handle" when Harry gets a new broom (p. 165). Later, when they run into Hagrid, Malfoy says to Ron, "Are you trying to earn some extra money, Weasley..that hut of Hagrid's must seem like a palace compared to what your family's used to" (pp. 195-196).
These are very cruel comments, but money is not the only way that Malfoy judges others. Family background is the second shortsighted way of judging people in the book. Whether a character comes from a Muggle family, a pure Wizard family or a mix between the two seems to play an important role in the book. For example, Draco Malfoy is from a pure Wizard family and he takes great pride in it. He often judges others by this measure. On the train to Hogwarts he says to Harry, "You'll soon find out some wizarding families are much better than others, Potter.
You don't want to go making friends with the wrong sort." (p. 108). Harry has Wizard parents, but he has lived with Muggles his whole life so he has no experience in wizardry at all. Harry's friend, Hermione Granger, is from a pure Muggle family. For this reason, Malfoy makes fun of her on more than one occasion. Ron is also from a pure Wizard family, but he does not make fun of those who are not.
There are still other shallow ways of judging others. One of these ways is which house each person belongs to. Each person is assigned to a house when they get to Hogwarts. There is much competition between the houses, but the greatest competition is between Gryffindor and Slytherin. When introducing the houses the Sorting Hat says, "you might belong in Gryffindor, where dwell the brave at heart, their daring, nerve, and chivalry set Gryffindor apart;.. or perhaps in Slytherin you'll make your real friends, those cunning folk use any means to achieve their ends." (p.
118). Slytherin has a history of having its members from pure Wizard families and of winning the House Cup many times. Draco Malfoy is part of that house. However, it is not necessarily the best house. There have also been a number of bad Wizards that belonged to that house.
Voldemort, a master at dark arts came from Slytherin. Gryffindor also has a good reputation. On the train to Hogwarts hermione says, "I've been asking around, and I hope I'm in Gryffindor, it sounds by far the best; I hear Dumbledore himself was in it." (p. 106). The competition is so fierce between the houses that even the professors get involved. Many of them seem to be prejudiced in awarding and taking points from their own or opposing houses.
For example, Ron says, "Snape's head of Slytherin House. They say he always favors them." (p. 135). Characters are also judged by their intelligence. Hermione is the smartest person in the class so she has a good reputation. Rowling describes her when she writes, "Hermione was on the edge of her seat and looked desparate to prove that she wasn't a dunderhead." (p.
137). By the end of the novel she accomplishes this through her final exam grades, "Harry had almost forgotten that the exam results were still to come, but come they did..Hermione, of course, had the best grades of the first years." (p.307). Neville Longbottom, on the other hand, is not so intelligent. He does not do very well in school so his reputation is not as good. Hagrid has the lowest reputation for intelligence. He is not very smart and is not even allowed to use magic because he was kicked out of Hogwarts. Whenever he does use magic he seems to mess it up in one way or another.
This is not really a good way to judge others, but it is used quite often, especially by Draco Malfoy. He enjoys making fun of Hagrid for his stupidity. Neville Longbottom has a below average intelligence, as well as below average skills at just about every task that involves magic. His magic skills overall are very poor. For example ...