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
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.
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.