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Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

J. K. Rowling

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full title · Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

author · J.K. Rowling

type of work · Children's novel

genre · Fantasy, coming-of-age, detective fiction

language · English

time and place written · 1999, Edinburgh

date of first publication · 1999

publisher · Scholastic Inc.

narrator · Third person, following Harry

point of view · Although the narrative is written in third person, we see from Harry's point of view. We have witness his private thoughts, although most of the narration focuses on external occurrences rather than Harry's psychology.

tone · The tone is matter-of-fact, and the author's fondness for the heroes is clear.

tense · Past

setting (time) · Present-day

setting (place) · England, primarily in the fictional hidden wizard communities and at Hogwarts School

protagonist · Harry Potter

major conflict · Harry, Ron, and Hermione discover and destroy the creature that is coming out of the Chamber of Secrets and petrifying students.

rising action · A series of tragedies occur. One student after another is attacked and turned to stone; Ginny Weasley disappears into the Chamber.

climax · Harry, after a series of discoveries and mishaps, finally ends up inside the Chamber only to discover that Tom Riddle, whose diary and voice he had trusted up to this point, is another form of Voldemort, and the cause of all the attacks.

falling action · Harry defeats Voldemort inside the Chamber and explains his adventure to the teachers and Ginny's parents. The school calmly returns to its usual safe and contented state.

themes · Tolerance Community Connectedness The Importance of Choices

motifs · Culprit Framing Foreshadowing

symbols · Names Images of Warmth

foreshadowing · Expelliarmus, originating as a simple dueling club spell, in the end becomes a life-saver for Harry and Ron. The Dursleys' bigotry against Harry for being magical is echoed later by the Malfoy's bigotry against everyone except pure blood wizards. Everything happens for a reason in this book-the ability to keep the plot so tight is part of the author's magic-and so the story moves in a circular fashion. Harry begins and ends at Privet Drive with the Dursleys, advice is given and then proven useful, Dumbledore's phoenix rises from the ashes, and Harry defeats Voldemort once more.

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