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Motifs are recurring structures, contrasts, or literary
devices that can help to develop and inform the text’s major themes.
Although Harry’s intentions are generally sound, he is
often forced to lie, usually to authority figures, in order to complete
his quests successfully. In the Wizarding world, untruths are everywhere:
the Daily Prophet consistently prints lies about
Harry and Dumbledore, and the Quibbler prints stories
that seem to have no basis in truth. Harry often withholds information
from his friends and professors, and he even refuses to tell Sirius
the whole truth about his dreams. More often than not, Harry recruits
his friends to help with his lies. When Harry needs to break into
Umbridge’s office, Ginny Weasley stands at the end of a hallway,
telling students that Garroting Gas has been released. Members of
the D.A., too, must consistently lie about their whereabouts. When
Umbridge gives Harry a week of detention, she forces him to repeatedly
carve “I Will Not Tell Lies” into the back of his hand, but even
this punishment is based in a lie. Umbridge thinks that Harry is
lying about Voldemort’s return, but it is actually Umbridge who
is being lied to by the Ministry, since Voldemort is, indeed, back.
Both at Hogwarts and beyond, Dumbledore commands and receives
unconditional loyalty from his followers. The members of the Order
of the Phoenix have pledged their unquestioning dedication to Dumbledore,
and, despite the protests of the Ministry of Magic and
much of the Wizarding world, their loyalty holds fast, and they
believe, without question, what Dumbledore tells them about the return
of Lord Voldemort. At Hogwarts, many of the students and faculty
members remain extremely loyal to Dumbledore. After Dolores Umbridge
replaces Dumbledore as Headmaster of Hogwarts, the students and
faculty voice their protest by refusing to behave for Umbridge,
making her life at Hogwarts as difficult as possible.
Blood is both a saving and divisive force for Harry Potter
and his friends. Hogwarts students classify each other by blood
type—pure blood, half blood, or Mudblood—which leads to disharmony
and chaos. For Harry, however, blood often serves as his savior.
The first time Harry encounters Lord Voldemort, in Book I, Voldemort
has his face buried in a Unicorn and is hungrily sucking the animal’s blood.
Clearly, Voldemort’s own blood is not a sufficient life force, and
he is forced to feed on the Unicorn for survival. Harry’s blood, however,
is extremely powerful. Once Dumbledore has told Harry about the
contents of the prophecy, he explains that Harry’s heart is what
gives Harry the power to separate himself from Voldemort. Likewise,
Harry’s blood ties to his mother and his Aunt Petunia continue to
keep him safe.
Ace your assignments with our guide to Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix!