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MonkeyNotes-Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
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LIST OF CHARACTERS

Major Characters

Draco Malfoy

Draco, Harry’s archenemy at Hogwarts, represents arrogant snobbism. The pale, pointy-faced Slytherin student is in Harry’s class and shares a mutual dislike with Harry. Draco is rich and his family dotes over him, so he makes fun of Ron and Hagrid’s poverty and Harry’s horrible home-life.

Rowling uses Draco as a foil to contrast Harry with and create tension with Harry. Draco is very difficult to sympathize with, except that readers can see that he is jealous of Harry’s fame and has been raised in a “racist” household. It’s tough to speculate whether Draco will continue being only a nuisance, or whether he will develop into a full fledged threat or ally of Voldemort’s in later books. I predict that near the end of the series he will repent his evil ways and sacrifice himself in the name of fighting Voldemort.

Draco’s statements represent what Harry and Rowling hate most: bullies, spoiled children, arrogance, snobbism, and “racism” (against Muggles).

Bullies: “I think I’ll bully father into getting me one [a racing broom] and I’ll smuggle it in somehow.”

Spoiled children: “Harry was strongly reminded of Dudley. ‘Have you got your own broom?’ the boy went on.” Arrogance: “Father says it’s a crime if I’m not picked to play for my house, and I must say, I agree.”

Snobbism: ” ‘He’s [Hagrid] sort of servant, isn’t he?” Racism (against Muggles): “But they were our kind, weren’t they? ...I really don’t think they should let the other sort in...”

Name meaning: Draco is Latin for "dragon” and “serpent” and Draco is also a constellation. There was an Athenian tyrant named Draco who was known for his cruelty. He wrote a strict law code with harsh punishment such as being hanged for stealing a loaf of bread. The word “draconian” has therefore come to mean harsh and cruel and severe. Malfoy (Mal foi) means “bad faith” in French.


Dumbledore, Headmaster Albus

The Famous Wizards trading cards describes Dumbledore as such: “Considered by many to be the greatest wizard of modern times, Dumbledore is particularly famous for defeating the dark wizard Grindelwald in 1945, for discovering the twelve uses of dragon's blood, and his work on alchemy with his friend Nicolas Flamel. Professor Dumbledore enjoys chamber music and tenpin bowling.”

Dumbledore’s odd appearance alone makes him hated by people like the Dursleys: “[Dumbledore] had just arrived on a street where everything from his name to his boots was unwelcome.”

Dumbledore’s calm under pressure is juxtaposed with McGonagall’s worrisome state. McGonagall is a strong character and is not prone to franticly losing herself, but that particular night she’s panicked. She’s concerned about the wizard community being discovered by muggles, about Voldemort, about Hagrid escorting Harry, and about Harry staying with the Dursleys. Dumbledore was out celebrating baby Harry’s triumph over Voldemort while McGonagall was waiting and worrying outside the Dursleys’ house. Dumbledore is collected enough to call Voldemort by his real name rather than “You-Know-Who,” McGonagall is disturbed by the dark lord’s real name. Dumbledore’s cool, reminiscent of James Bond, is explicit in his offering McGonagall a lemon drop while she worries about Voldemort’s possible return.

Dumbledore is one of those powerful and pensively calm wizard characters. Similar characters are Merlin (Arthurian legends), Gandalf (the Hobbit), and Yoda (Star Wars). Based on these similarities, it’s plausible to see Dumbledore sacrificing himself in one of the last books in order to save Harry, who would then go on to become the leader of the anti- Voldemort movement.

Name meaning: “In fact, ‘Dumbledore’ is the Old English word for bumblebee. I chose it because my image is of this benign wizard, always on the move, humming to himself.” (Conversations, 55) Albus is Latin for white, and the white- bearded Dumbledore is the leader of the forces of good, which are often symbolized by white.

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