In his book, The Philosopher’s Stone, Rowling J.K. shows the world that good things will always triumph versus evil. This book begins with a perfect description of the Dursley’s family who live on Privet Drive. Vernon Dursley, Harry’s uncle is an overweight man, shabby in appearance with a bushy moustache. Petunia, his wife is a thin blonde-haired woman talented in spying on everything. Their obese and totally spoil son Dudley crowns the family. The Dursley’s do not like anything peculiar in life. Petunia has completely ignored her sister Lily Potter who has magical powers. They feel that the Porters are strange and should not be contacted. Harry Potter the main character in the book was orphaned after Lord Voldemort kills his parents. Abandoned by the Dursley’s doorstep, Harry begins a life of hardship in a family that does not want him. This paper reveals the actions of the Dursley’s family versus Harry. It shows how the good will always triumph over the evil actions of man.
Harry and his cousin are age-mates (both are eleven years old). However, their features are a sharp contrast. Harry is thin with jet green eyes and black hair. His face has a scar on his face that looks like a thin bolt of lightning. His cousin Dudley is fat and looks annoying.
The Dursley’s do not want Harry to know anything about his parents’ death, his magical abilities. They lie that his parents died in a road crash. They Dursley’s are evil. They are the only relatives that Harry knows and yet do not tell him the truth. They lock him in his “bed” a cupboard under the stairs while their son lives in a big bedroom and even has a spare one (Philosopher 7). Any evil that they tend to do to Harry is overshadowed by strange acts of magic.
On Dudley’s birthday, he is showered with 36 presents and nothing is given to Harry. The previous year he had 37.When Vernon asks his son about the presents, he complains that they are less and he does not care how big they are” (Philosopher 13). Because this year he has one present less, he throws a tantrum and his parents offer to take him to the zoo with his best friend, Pier. After the neighbor declines to stay with Harry, Uncle Vernon cautions him that if they go to the zoo, no “funny business” should occur. They want to avoid the magic that happens around Harry all the time. After Aunt Petunia had shaved his hair, it grew overnight back to its initial length.
At the zoo, Harry looks at the large Brazilian boa constrictor. He felt like the snake’s life and his are similar. The snake is kept in a glass case, lonely in captivity, away from its natural ecosystem and homeland. Harry felt compassion for the snake; they winked at each other and began a dialogue about its home and breeding. Dudley’s violently pushes Harry to the floor in front of the glass cage. The glass vanishes and the snake slithers out. This snake somehow blocked Harry form further harm since they share a lonely and miserable life: living in cages and with people that they dislike.
In the car, Uncle Vernon rebukes Harry for the action. At home, he is cramped into his cage for several hours. Harry only remembers a bright flash of green light and a severely burning pain on his forehead. The following morning, Harry receives letters from unknown people and they focus on his life with the Dursley’s. His uncle tears them and orders him to sleep in Dudley’s extra bedroom. Uncle Vernon wonders how the outside world would have had known the life of Harry. Vernon moves his family together with Harry to shabby places, so that they can avoid the letters. This letters symbolize that people in society are aware of the evil acts that Harry is subjected to by the Dursley’s.
The Dursley’s are evil. They treat Harry with indifference while giving their son everything. The Dursley’s refer to Harry as “the boy.” They treat him “like a dog that had rolled in something smelly” (Chamber of Secrets 5). They did not want any person in society to know Harry’s special abilities in magic. This is why they prohibit him from knowing anything about the wizard world. Uncle Vernon ignores and dismisses all claims that Harry makes about magic. Vernon even goes as far as blocking Harry’s entry into the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. However, the letters came in huge numbers and surrounded everyone in the house. After Harry joined the school, he still treats him badly.
Dumbeldore knew of Harry’s maltreatment. He said that Harry got out of it without injuries. “He has known nothing but neglect and cruelty at your hands. He has escaped appalling damage” (Half Blood Prince 55). Harry survives the whole of his life through exercising resiliency. He tries to live his life and continues experiencing the magic although it attracts Uncle Vernon’s venom. In spite of the traumatizing experiences while living with the Dursley’s, he still is determined to succeed in life.
At the school, Harry exhibits competency and works hard, gets good grades and even becomes the captain due to his athletic prowess and leadership skills. This illustrates that he is a student who was liked by other students due to his good acts. This shows that even though Harry was subjected to all kinds of abuse, he still did good acts to other people. He established close relationships with Sirius Black, his godfather. He is secure with his girlfriend and treats her well. This shows that even though he was maltreated in his early life, he still has some compassion and tries to do good to others. In this book, Rowling tries to show the world that although many people do evil, the good will always triumph. He also shows the world that revenge has never been a solution to one’s problems but resiliency can indeed be part of the solution.
Rowling, Jeffrey K. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Book 2). New York, Scholastic Paperbacks, 2000.
Rowling, Jeffrey K. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Book 6). New York, Scholastic Paperbacks. 2006
Rowling, Jeffrey K. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. New York, Bloomsbury Books, 1997