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    Mystery and suspense in the Harry Potter novels Essay

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    Aragog knew what the monster from the chamber of secrets was, but because it was so feared by spiders, he did not name it. This, although an important clue, did not seem to help Harry very much, or so he thought. Suddenly it hits Harry, “Ron – that girl who died. Aragog said she was found in a bathroom.” “What if she never left the bathroom? What if she’s still there?” Then Ron catches on – Moaning Myrtle.

    On the way to Myrtle’s bathroom, Ron and Harry are caught by Professor McGonagall who asks them what they are doing. Harry thinks on his feet and tells her that they were going to visit Hermione. She is very sympathetic and grants them permission. This visit proves to be most helpful. In Hermione’s right hand, a piece of paper is clenched which explains all about the Basilisk. Beneath the print was a single word in Hermione’s handwriting – “pipes”

    Of the many fearsome beasts and monsters that roam our land, there is none more curious or more deadly than the Basilisk, known also as the King of Serpents. This snake, which may reach gigantic size, and live many hundreds of years, is born from a chicken’s egg, hatched beneath a toad. Its methods of killing are most wondrous, far aside from its deadly and venomous fangs, the Basilisk has a murderous stare, and all who are fixed with the beam of its eye shall suffer instant death. Spiders flee before the Basilisk, for it is their mortal enemy, and the Basilisk flees only from the crowing of the rooster, which is fatal to it.

    A light switched on in Harry’s head and he pieced all the puzzle pieces together. The reason only he could hear the monster was because it was a snake and he understood Parseltongue (snake talk). The reason nobody died was because they didn’t look straight at the Basilisk. Colin saw it through a camera, Justin saw it through a ghost, the ghost got it full blast but could die again, and Hermione and the prefect saw it through a mirror. The Basilisk has been getting around through the pipes. Hagrid’s roosters were killed because the crow was fatal and Aragog feared it because he was a spider and spiders were the Basilisks’ mortal enemies.

    From this point, the book really sped up as if a bike had slowly been peddling up hill and now it was racing quickly down the other side. It is now revealed why Professor Lockhart was introduced to the book. He was instructed by the teacher to fight the monster in the chamber of secrets because he had been boasting that he knew where the entrance was and what the beast was. This also got him out of the teachers’ way.

    Gideroy Lockhart’s secret is revealed when they find him packing. He did not do any of the things he had said he had done in his books and he was completely fake. He knows nothing about defense again the dark arts (which is the subject he teaches) and is a coward. He then attempts to wipe Harry’s and Ron’s memories and leave quickly, but the spell backfires on him and he loses his memory. The story is made very personal when it hits close to home and involves Ron’s own sister, Ginny Weasley.

    Just as in book one, the attention is put on the main character, which the series is based on, Harry at the end of the novel. In book one, Harry, Ron and Hermione are going through the line of enchantments and then Ron is left behind. Then Hermione is left behind which leaves Harry to go on and save the day. Once again, in this novel, first Hermione is petrified so she is out of the picture, then Dumbledore and Hagrid leave then Lockhart and Ron are trapped behind large boulders and only Harry is left to go and solve the mystery and save the day once again.

    When Harry comes face to face with Riddle in the chamber, he looks like he is still fifteen when in fact it is fifty years later. When the word “mystery” is thought of, the word “weird” can be connected to it. Near the end of this “mystery novel” the word “weird” is used in a description. “Tom Riddle had been at Hogwarts fifty years ago, yet here he stood, a weird, misty light shining about him, not a day older than sixteen.”

    Harry asks Tom for help, he looks at Tom as if he was a friend but then comes to the realisation that Tom is evil and the picture is turned around once again. Forcing both Harry and the reader to take another approach, a different approach and look at everything in a whole new way. This isn’t the first time this has happened in this novel.

    Tom Riddle writes his full name in the air using Harry’s wand and then with one slash of the wand, the letters rearrange from TOM MARVOLO RIDDLE to I AM LORD VOLDEMORT. Suddenly all the reader’s questions have been answered. The reader has found where Voldemort comes into the story and why the diary is important and why it was important that the fact that Harry could speak Parseltongue came into the novel. Harry is faced with a new wave of hatred and anger.

    While Harry was in Dumbledore’s office earlier in the novel, he watched Fawkes erupt in flames and be reborn. Dumbledore then educated Harry all about Phoenixes. There had to be a reason for this. Nothing is put into a movie or book unnecessarily, the reason is found at the end of the novel. Fawkes saves Harry by confusing the Basilisk and puncturing its eyes. Then he healed Harry’s wounds to save him and then lastly, he pulled Harry, Ron, Ginny and Lockhart out of the chamber.

    The novel and mystery ends the same as it did in the last Harry Potter novel. Harry speaks with Dumbledore and is spoken to one on one, like an equal. He shares his secrets and fears with Dumbledore and in turn, Dumbledore seems to be giving him special treatment. Harry is rewarded with house points and so is Ron. Hermione wakes up and there is a giant feast. As in most mysteries, there is a happy ending but the end is left open for next time.

    Samantha Singer 2.11.02 – 4.11.02

    Tom Marvolo Riddle alias Voldemort

    Lord Voldemort, the Dark Lord, was born Tom Marvolo Riddle. His mother lived just long enough to name him Tom after his muggle father and Marvolo after his grandfather. His mother was a witch and a descendant of Salazar Slytherin.

    Salazar Slytherin was one of the four founders of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The house “Slytherin” is named after him. Tom was a student at Hogwarts and was a member of Slytherin house. During the holidays, he lived at a muggle orphanage. A muggle is someone with “not a drop of magical blood in them.” A rare quality in the wizard world was the ability to speak “Parseltongue”. Slytherin possessed this quality and that was the reason the symbol of Slytherin house is a snake. Voldemort also possessed this rare quality and so did Harry. It was thought that when Voldemort attempted to kill Harry, some of his powers were taken from him and transferred to Harry, which is how he obtained the ability to speak “Parseltongue”.

    Tom had been the brightest student at Hogwarts during his time there (50 years before Harry Potter) and in his final year became head boy. During his time at Hogwarts, he preserved his sixteen year old self in a magical diary. In Harry’s second year at Hogwarts, he found this diary and communicated to Tom through it. Ginny Weasley poured her soul out to Tom through the diary and this took nearly all the life from her and transferred it to a sixteen year old Tom who was able to come out of the diary and attempt to kill Harry once more.

    This was the third attempt at killing Harry. When Harry was a baby, Lord Voldemort was after his parents, and after killing his father, attempted to kill Harry. But because of the love Harry’s mother had for him and the fact that she offered for Voldemort to take her life in place of his, Voldemort was unable to kill Harry and instead his powers were drained from him. Barely living and powerless, he went into hiding. Harry grew up with no parents and had to live with his very cruel muggle aunt, uncle and cousin. On his eleventh birthday, he found out he was a wizard and his life began to change. He was accepted to Hogwarts and at the end of his first year, came face to face with Voldemort yet again, and once again, Voldemort failed to kill him.

    While still at school, Tom was going under the name of Voldemort, but this name was only known and used by his close friends. After finding out that he married and had a child with a witch, Tom’s father left his mother and this is why Voldemort despises muggles, or blood bloods as they are rudely referred to as.

    After leaving school, Voldemort underwent many changes and when he resurfaced, he was barely recognisable. Now also referred to as the “Dark Lord”, Voldemort gained many followers. He and his followers killed many people just for fun and despised muggles and muggle born witches and wizards. Many people feared Voldemort, and just speaking his name brought a great sense of fear. Many people believed that speaking his name brought about his presence and merely referred to him as, “He who must not be named.” An example of a family who call Voldemort this is the Weasleys. Harry however, does not fear speaking Voldemort’s name and freely refers to him as nothing other than “Voldemort”.

    When Harry came face to face with Tom Riddle in the “Chamber of Secrets”, he was mistaken about him. Harry believed that Tom was a kind person and that when Harry explained their unfortunate predicament, he would be more than happy to help Harry save Ginny Weasley. But he was wrong. After dropping his wand in an effort to help Ginny, he asked Tom if he had seen it and found Tom with it in his hand. After asking for it back and receiving a negative reply, Harry came to the realisation that Tom was not there to help him, but instead to do the exact opposite.

    To kill him. At the same time, Harry realised that Tom did not mistake Hagrid as the Heir of Slytherin; instead, he framed Hagrid to get himself off the hook. Although Harry was fooled by Tom Riddle, and Professor Dippet, the headmaster at Hogwarts during Tom’s time, was also fooled, one person had never been fooled by the antics of Tom Marvolo Riddle. This person was Professor Albus Dumbledore, the headmaster of Hogwarts.

    It is during this time in the Chamber of Secrets when Tom speaks to Harry and tells him that they are very similar, Because there are strange likenesses between us, Harry Potter. Even you must have noticed. Both half-bloods, orphans, raised by muggles. Probably the only two Parselmouths to come to Hogwarts since the great Slytherin himself. We even look something alike.

    Harry is greatly upset by this, the one person he despises and hates with a passion, thinks that he is similar to Harry. Dumbledore assures Harry that they are also very different because Harry chose good while Voldemort chose evil. It is our choices that determine where we go in life. This idea is also used in the film, The Matrix.

    Tom Riddle, or Voldemort, has great motive to kill Harry because he has tried twice before and failed. He could not kill Harry when Harry was a baby and failed to do it the year before so now he wants to finish the job once and for all.

    Other characters may find it hard to understand Tom Riddle/Voldemort, because Tom was always a very bright student at Hogwarts and was relied on by professors as head boy. He was thought to be able to achieve great things and no one other than Dumbledore ever suspected him to do anything remotely evil, as it turned out, he became the leader of evil, and known as the “Dark Lord”.

    Voldemort killed innocent muggles and magical people alike just for fun. He was ruthless and evil and had a high-pitched evil laugh. Due to the fact that he killed for fun, nothing would have gone through his head while murdering a numerous amount of people. While trying to kill Harry, he would have been thinking that he must finish his unfinished business and regain his position as the most powerful dark wizard. While killing muggles, he would have been thinking about revenge on his muggle father who left his witch mother because he found out she was a witch.

    When Ginny wrote in Tom’s diary, he was bored hearing about her pitiful woes and worries but he was polite and sympathetic towards her and he got what he wanted from her. When Harry finds his diary he is excited and speaks to Harry like a new friend. He gains Harry’s trust too. When Ginny writes to Tom again, he is angered that she is the one writing to him and not Harry. He makes Ginny come down to the chamber and wait for the honourable Harry Potter to save her and give him, Tom, a chance to kill Harry. When he comes face to face with Harry he wonders whether there is anything special about him that made it so hard for him to kill Harry. “I can see now – there is nothing special about you, after all. I wondered, you see.”

    Tom is cocky and believes that he can defeat Harry now and becomes angered with the Basilisk (monster of Slytherin), when it chases the Phoenix instead of Harry. When Tom believes he has defeated Harry he speaks like he is high and almighty and tells Harry that Lord Voldemort got him in the end and it was inevitable. “You’ll be back with your dear Mudblood mother soon, Harry … She bought you twelve years of borrowed time … but Lord Voldemort got you in the end, as you knew he must.”

    When he realises the phoenix tears heal wounds, he feels foolish but quickly covers it by stating that he would rather it this way so it is one on one, Voldemort against Harry, but Harry quickly kills him by plunging the Basilisk fang into the diary where it burns a hole like acid would have done. Ink poured out of the book in torrents and Riddle vanished with a contorted look of pain on his face. He was defeated.

    After Harry had done a lot of explaining about what had occurred in the Chamber of Secrets and how they had found out about where it was and what was in it, he was rewarded and the book ends on a cheerful note with Harry saving the day again. Voldemort is still hiding somewhere out there in the world, so it leaves it open for him to return yet again in the next novel to try and defeat Harry once again, using another method and managing to affect another Defence against The Dark Arts teacher.

    This essay was written by a fellow student. You may use it as a guide or sample for writing your own paper, but remember to cite it correctly. Don’t submit it as your own as it will be considered plagiarism.

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