My obsession with Harry Potter is not a secret. When Pottermore announced that they were going to start a Harry Potter book club a few months ago I was excited. One of my friends saw the announcement and passed it on to me. It sounded like a perfect place for me to geek out about Harry Potter with fellows Potterheads.
The bookclub officially started in mid-June, unfortunately for me it is limited to a Twitter chat (as of right now). The chat takes place on Friday at 11am which is when I am at work (damn bills needing to be paid!). So I can’t take part in the official chat. I glanced through the feed though and saw that some of the questions they asked were interesting.
After looking through the chat I decided that, once in a while, I am going to do blog posts on the questions that I really like or have a strong opinion about. It won’t be something I do every week, just when I like the questions asked. I figured this would be a fun way for me to still take part in the idea of the bookclub in some way.
The way it appears to be working is that they are going to break the books down into small sections. Last Friday was the first few chapter of the first book. They had three questions that they asked and the question that I found the most interesting was “Why do you think the Dursleys are so afraid of magic?”
From the first chapter I knew that the Dursleys were going to be people who feared and detested anything that was different or unexplainable to them. I knew that they were going to be people who liked life one way and one way only. Vernon came off as the worst of the three of them.
They are the kind of people who believe the world should run in a way that they can define and understand. If something different happens or comes up that is beyond their comprehension they want it gone. The last thing they want to do is learn a new way of life. For Vernon, especially if he can’t define it, it is dangerous.
The Dursleys are the type of people who don’t want to learn anything new. They don’t want to find out that their way of thinking may be wrong. To them the “other” is wrong and thus dangerous. Unfortunately today this attitude is all too prevalent.
I feel like Vernon was always this type of person from when he was a child. I feel like he grew up thinking he was superior and looking down on anyone different than him. Whereas Petunia was more open-minded at one time but jealously and resentment clouded that aspect of her personality. She was so hurt to not be a witch and to be rejected by Hogwarts that she internalized that anger and turned it into fear.
She met Vernon who thought in that narrow minded way and it fit in with her anger. He allowed her to build this wall and then hide behind it. She didn’t have to deal with why she was upset and angry, instead she made it so that the wizarding world and magic were to blame. She fell into this blackhole of fear and anger. It became so deep that it took having to hide and leave Harry behind to even begin to crack that exterior.
Dudley is his parents son and we know he inherited their narrow-mind set and fear of the “other.” Though his parting words with Harry showed that redemption is possible; if he wanted it.
Why do you think that the Dursleys fear magic?
It is no secret that I am a huge Harry Potter fan. I have read all the books a number of times. So when I found out that the an illustrated version of the first book was being released I was super excited. I was not able to get it right away though since it was released close to my birthday and the holidays. And I am forbidden by family members to buy anything for myself for those two months, so I had to be patient and wait.
I received the book for Christmas and began reading immediately, even though I was in the middle of another book at the time. I was eager to see what the illustrations looked like and how they affected the way I read the story.
Jim Kay has created some beautiful illustrations for this story. I flipped through the pages at first before reading just to see what the pictures looked like. They are bright and so full of gorgeous detail. Each picture is unique and has some fantastic colors to make your eyes drink in the scenes. They compliment the story perfectly.
As I read I found myself looking over the picture and easily falling into that scene. I love the illustrations because you can tell they are not based off the movies. The pictures are unique to themselves and I could tell this is how he saw the characters and the scenes play out.
The illustrations help the story flow forward and create and an even fuller world as you read. I highly recommend this version to anyone who has read the books before or has been looking for a reason to start reading them. For those who need a bit of visual representations to help pull them through a story, there is no better way to do that than with this version of the first book. For those who have read the series a number of times, this gives yet another dimension to the stories and opens up a beautiful new way to see the Harry Potter world.
It has been added to my Harry Potter shelf and I hope to one day use it to introduce my children (when I have them) to the Harry Potter world.