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Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

J. K. Rowling
Main Ideas

Key Facts

Main Ideas Key Facts

full title Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

author J. K. Rowling

type of work Children’s novel

genre Fantasy, coming-of-age narrative

language English

time and place written Scotland, 2004

date of first publication July 16, 2005

publisher Scholastic Inc.

narrator Third-person, very close to Harry Potter

point of view Third-person subjective, with insights into Harry’s private thoughts

tone Ominous, suspenseful, clever

tense Past

setting (time) Present day

setting (place) Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, United Kingdom

protagonist Harry Potter

major conflict Harry and Dumbledore must collect six Horcruxes belonging to the evil Lord Voldemort to render him mortal again.

rising action Katie Bell is cursed and Ron is poisoned, both by objects intended for someone else. Harry tries to establish the guilt of Draco and Snape.

climax Snape, Professor of Potions, murders Dumbledore, headmaster of Hogwarts.

falling action Dumbledore is buried, and Hogwarts may or may not reopen the following year.

themes The importance of friendship, the power of self-sacrifice, trust

motifs Watching, names, duplicity

symbols The Half-Blood Prince’s Potions Book, Merope’s locket, Dumbledore’s Pensieve

foreshadowing Harry overhears a suspicious conversation between Snape and Draco Malfoy. Harry is paralyzed while invisible in Draco’s train car, just as he is when Dumbledore is killed.