Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

  1. If Harry was raised in the same manner as his cousin, Dudley, would his humble nature remain? KW

  2. What if Sirius had adopted Harry early on, how would that have changed his life? Would he have tried to live up to his legacy? KW

  3. Does Harry’s upbringing make him more relatable for readers? GH

  4. How did growing up in a muggle household and not knowing anything about magic effect Harry? Would his interactions with magic be different if he had been introduced to it earlier? GH

  5. How did Harry’s lack of a role model effect the way he interacted with other male role models at Hogwarts? GH

  6. How does Harry’s upbringing in a muggle household affect the perceived gap between the muggle and wizard worlds? Is his influence different because he is so well known? GH

  7. The Dursleys are seen as the ultimate “muggle family.” They have a constant desire for normalcy and they strongly dislike Harry because he is quite the opposite. Whereas wizards have personality traits that seem to be enhanced, muggles appear to be very boring individuals. Taking into account every day situations and experiences, do you think most people have wizard-like mindsets or muggle-like mindsets? What about yourself? CM

  8. Due to his rough upbringing, Harry easily could’ve become a very hateful child. To our fortune, he remained kind and curious. Why do you suppose that is? Staying within the boundaries of book one, do you believe Harry is capable of hate? Why or why not? CM

  9. The reader’s first image of “muggles” are the stuffy, selfish, and simple Dursleys. Do you think that JK Rowling did this on purpose? (Maybe to set a tone or standard amongst individuals who do not possess magical abilities?) Explain. CM

  10. Harry is eleven at the time he finds out what truly happened to his parents. Everyone is shocked that he finds out so ‘late’ in his life. If he was to find out earlier, what do you believe would have been a good age? Would he have been able to fully understand the gravity of what happened? Was eleven even old enough? Discuss. CM

  11. Two themes that stand out very clearly in the beginning of the story are those of mystery and youth. There is mystery to be seen in Harry’s questionable past and fleeting dreams; and the youth that Harry projects as an eleven year old is central to his individuality. Can you identify another theme that is strongly seen in Harry’s time with the Dursleys? Does it continue to remain during his first year at Hogwarts? CM

  12. Why was Harry put in the care of the Dursleys? Though Petunia was his blood relative, wouldn’t James and Lily have designated different guardians for him? BM

  13. Imagine if Dudley had turned out to be a wizard. Considering how anti-magic his parents were, do you think this would have helped Harry or not? BM

  14. Considering how much the Dursley’s disliked Harry, why didn’t they try to give him up for adoption? Would Dumbledore have even let that happen? BM

  15. Given the cruel and unusual treatment Harry faced while growing up in the Dursley’s home, why do you think Dumbledore, or Hagrid to be specific, waited so long to reveal all the riches Harry’s parents had left him? Do you think it was right of Dumbledore to hide such a secret? If Harry were to have known about all the money his parents left him, how do you think it would have affected him and the overall plot of the novel? CG

  16. Were the Dursleys really as anti-magic as they came across or did they simply act in that manner because they actually were jealous because in comparison to the wizarding world, their lives were boring? JJ

  17. As the first chapter begins, Dumbledore points out to McGonagall that Harry should be raised away from a population that knows his name and his family’s entire history. How do you think that it could have potentially affected Harry if he was raised in that environment from the start? Would that have taken away some of the necessary characteristics of a hero that we need in a story?  Why or why not do you think that it is important to keep Harry separated from the wizarding world in his early years? Explain. AB

  18. Do you believe that  Dumbledore made the correct decision in placing Harry within the Dursley’s home? How would have  Harry’s upbringing  would have been different if Dumbledore had taken McGonagall’s comment on, “The Dursley’s  being the  worst  sort of muggles”, at heart?  If he  were to be placed with a wizarding family, or even a foster home or  orphanage , to what  degree  would  that have  affected  Harry’s personality and  actions in the books? TD

  19. It can be observed that in the  muggle world, that due to the Dursley’s  manipulating the  neighborhood as well as Dudley’s gang, there is perception of Harry that depicts him as a delinquent which result in him having no muggle friends. Could  this have played  a role into Harry’s willingness to leave the Muggle world behind  and accepting the Wizarding  world and in what way? If  he did  have  the opportunity to maybe make  a friend in the  muggle world ( which the Dursleys seemed to frown upon)  how  could  that have affected Harry’s decision to go to Hogwarts? Explain. TD

  20. Harry states that the Dursleys did not abuse him,but then enumerate several things that could  be considered so, for example, making him live in a cupboard  under the stairwell when Dudley has a two rooms all to himself or Petunia swinging a frying pan at him. What do you think of Harry’s explanation of the Dursleys and their involvement in  his life? Can Harry be  considered a reliable narrator or are his perceptions of the Dursleys altered or warped ( be it a positive or negative light) ? Explain. TD