Last post

Since our blog assignment has come to an end, it’s time to review what I’ve learned and enjoyed about this type of work. Honestly, when I first found out we were going to make a blog, I was expecting to hate it. Having to write many posts about the different categories in a book seemed tedious and too demanding, but it has actually been quite amusing. Although we had deadlines and were given tasks, this assignment felt pretty casual. Reading a chosen book and writing on a blog feels more relaxing than doing any work from a textbook. Since we chose the book ourselves, everyone probably chose one they’re interested in, making the tasks more easy to complete. Every task we were given was also relevant to the report/analysis, so everything we’ve done here will definitely help while writing that. Working with a book like this was creative and productive, and I really enjoyed it.

This assignment has definitely helped me become more observant over what I read. We got the tasks around one week before the deadline, so I had to be critical over everything I read since I had no idea what the next task might be.

The fact than anyone in class would be able to read my blog, made me work a little harder on every task than I probably would if it was just a handed-in homework. Reading the others’ blogs was also a great way to learn. Maybe they introduced each task in a good way, had an interesting thought process or had smart word use, whatever it was, it was definitely helpful. It was interesting to see their writing technique and what skill level they’re at. The comments was also very nice to receive. They weren’t that constructive, but they were definitely heart warming.

Thanks for reading my blog and good luck with your report/analysis!

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Theme

All books have more than one theme, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is of course no different. There’s a bunch of different themes, that often have a connection to each other, that makes up the whole story.

Friendship, or rather, the importance of friendship is a theme that follows trough the entire story. This is mostly shown between Harry, Ron and Hermione. Ron got a girlfriend, Harry started developing feelings for Ron’s sister, Ginny, and Hermione started developing feelings for Ron. Neither Harry nor Hermione told Ron about these feelings, and he remained oblivious about it. The two of them didn’t want to hurt him in any way or complicate his relationship. Even with these factors making things slightly awkward between them, they still cared deeply about each other and helped each other out multiple times in the book. At the end of the book, Harry wants to go out on a dangerous quest alone, but his friends won’t let him and joins him on his journey, even while knowing that it can result in death. Harry is constantly supported by his best friends, which separates him from Voldemort, or Tom Riddle. He didn’t have or ever did have any friends at all. He grew up being the “strange, abnormal kid” at an orphanage and didn’t have and friends there nor gain any when he attended Hogwarts.

Identity is another important theme in this book. Harry and his friends are close to graduating Hogwarts, but for them, this isn’t just about graduating; while they’re struggling to get a good education, war is raging. They have to learn much about themselves and build up their identity; who they trust, what they believe, who they love and what their plans after Hogwarts are. Throughout the story, Harry sees a bunch of memories revolving Tom Riddle during his years at Hogwarts, and it’s one instance we get to see him ask himself these questions. We see him struggle with his identity until he creates a new one that will serve his dark goals, Voldemort.

Good vs. evil is a central theme in the entire Harry Potter series along with many other franchises. At this point it’s become a cliché, but still, it’s interesting seeing how different series and books handle this theme. In the Half-Blood Prince specifically, we learn much more about Voldemort’s past. While Voldemort is the main villain in the series, this book shows how he came to having a desire to inflicting evil deeds upon the world in the first place while the other books in the series shows him doing evil actions. This book has left many to wonder; if Tom Riddle had experienced more goodness while growing up, would he still have ended up as Voldemort? In other books in the series, we mostly see the battle between the good and the evil as an entirety, while this one focused on both the good and evil within individual people. Even Harry, who represents the “good”, finds himself playing around with dark magic at times.

 

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Point of view

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood-Prince mostly follows Harry, so I would say the book was written in third person limited, which means the book follows the perspective of one character only. Still, there are parts where Harry isn’t even present, like for example the first chapter which only shows the prime minister and minister for magic. Because of this, determining the point of view of the whole book can be a little difficult. What’s certain though, is that a narrator is telling the story. Someone who’s close enough to observe the action, but isn’t involved in it. However, the story is mainly revolved Harry and we, the readers, can follow his thoughts as well as his actions, which is limited to him.

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Book analysis or book report?

The final task of the book project is to write either a book report or analysis. While there aren’t many differences, the analysis has to be a little longer, include more entries and is overall a bit more complex. The biggest difference is probably that the report can only get you the grades 1-5, while with the analysis you have the chance to get a 6. Because of that reason alone, I’ve chosen to write a book analysis. Although it’ll be a little more difficult, I think it’ll end up just fine.

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Setting

Harry Potter is a fantasy series. Since the books shows Harry’s life at school, each book is over the time of one year (give or take about a month). The Half-Blood Prince is no different, and is said to start July 1996 and end June 1997. Despite that, there is one huge thing that separates the Half-Blood Prince from the rest of the series; the memories. Throughout the book, Dumbledore shows Harry different memories from Voldemort’s past. I’m not quite sure when these memories took place, but they did show a young Voldemort (or Tom Riddle) both as a child at an orphanage and as a student at Hogwarts. Environment wise, the book takes place over a bunch of different places including Diagon Alley, Hogwarts, the Prime Minister’s office and the Dursley’s house. These all have their own, unique qualities and functions that add up to the well written story.

Although the Harry Potter series primarily focus on the Wizarding world, there are parts in the muggle world (our world, without magic) as well. We often see these two worlds coexist and occasionally interact with each other. In earlier books in the series, the main glimpses of the muggle world are interactions with Harry’s remaining family, the Dursleys. However, in the Half-Blood Prince, tension is built between the two worlds when Voldemort’s war against the muggle-born wizards and witches affects in the muggle world and well as the Wizarding world.

The main difference between the Wizarding world and muggle world is that the muggle world lacks magic. The Wizarding world has wands, spells, flying brooms, magical creatures and so on, which all goes down under the category “magic”, while the muggle world is just like our world. These two worlds are otherwise pretty much alike, they both have schools, jobs, homes, government and towns. Magic is really the only thing that dichotomises our world and theirs. I believe that was J.K. Rowling’s intention. It’s meant to feel real. Since these worlds are so close and little separates them, it feels more personal to the readers, like we’re in their world. Some parts of the muggle world is actual real places you can visit, like King’s Cross station in London where they’ve added platform 9¾ and half a cart that looks like it’s halfway trough the wall. In the books, the wall at platform 9¾ is where the muggle world and Wizarding world separates.

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Chapter 1- The Other Minister

The first chapter in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is about the meeting between the Prime Minister of the muggle world’s UK and the Minister for Magic.

After a series of strange and horrifying tragedies that’s been happening lately, the newly elected Prime Minister is awaiting a call from a president from a foreign country. All these tragedies, including a bridge collapsing and a hurricane, are inexplainable, yet, many people seem to believe the government is to be blamed. While waiting for this phone call, an enchanted painting of a little man with grey hair requests and urgent meeting between the Minister for Magic, Cornelius Fudge, and the Prime Minister. As the Prime Minister knows from their previous meetings, this is going to be regarding some bad news.

A large part of chapter 1 is flashbacks from previous meetings the two of them have had. As the Prime Minister, he has knowledge about the Wizarding world and events that can influence (most likely in a harmful way) the muggle world as well theirs. The Minister for Magic has appeared in the Prime Minister’s office several times to discuss matters including Sirius Black escaping from Azkaban (prison for the most evil wizards and witches), the possible return of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named and Death Eaters (He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named’s followers) escaping from Azkaban. Every time Fudge arrives, the Prime Minister gets a heads up from the enchanted painting before he appears in his fireplace.

In this meeting Fudge has arrived to discuss the current state of affairs in the Wizarding world along with how the recent events in the muggle world relate to this. To start explaining their current situation, Fudge says ‘We’re at war’. He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named is back, and after a mass breakout from Azkaban earlier that year, he got reunited with his followers. The reason this affects the muggle world, is that the Death Eaters are the ones responsible for all the damage to the city and citizens in it. This puts the Prime Minister in a difficult situation. He can prove that the government is innocent, however he’s not allowed to speak about the Wizarding world to the muggles.

At the end of chapter 1, Fudge reveals that he’s been kicked off the position as the Minister for Magic and the new wizard in charge, Rufus Scrimgeour, shows up to introduce himself to the Prime Minister. Of course, that’s not the only reason for his arrival, he was also obligated to inform him that the Ministry of Magic has decided to take measures to strengthen up the security around the Prime Minister and his office, like bringing in some Wizard staff members. After explaining the present situations, both Fudge and Scrimgeour vanished into the bright, emerald-green fire they arrived from.

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Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

The main reason I chose this book is that I’ve enjoyed the Harry Potter franchise for many years now, although I’ve only watched the movies and read the first two books. The Half-Blood Prince is one of my favorite movies in the series, so when this project was announced I figured it was a great chance to finally read it’s book like I wanted for a long time.

A brief summary

Like the rest of the books in the franchise, the Half-Blood Prince is about a young boy named Harry Potter that attends to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry with his best friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger. As the penultimate book in the franchise, the Half-Blood Prince introduces the readers to a bunch of new content, as well as explaining what some earlier shown items/concepts mean. In this book, Lord Voldemort has returned to power and commands his followers, the Death Eaters, to terrorise both the muggle world and the wizard world. Harry is suspicious about his rival, Draco, and believes he has become a Death Eater, like his father, since he saw him threatening someone to fix an unknown object. Harry desperately tries to convince his friends that he’s right, but they all have their own problems to worry about. With the help of Dumbledore, Harry receives some interesting information about Voldemort and the two of them work together to stop him.

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