The Harry Potter books are very successful upon their being published. The Harry Potter books describe us as muggles, non magical people who live our lives not knowing the existence of wizards. The books allow us to envision a magical world that we are unable to see. Wizards are usually tolerant and good toward muggles. The book thins the line between real life and fantasy. People love an unlikely hero who isn’t supposed to succeed and one who is an underdog in life. Harry Potter with a scar on his forehead, usually broken glasses, his small skinny frame and lateness about learning the wizard world, is that underdog hero that everyone covets to see. He succeeds in his endeavors because he is enthusiastic, he has a significant amount of courage, and the best friends anyone person could hope to have. He is one of the most courageous characters you will ever read about in a fantasy novel.
It’s stunning how much more he cares about other people than he does himself. He and his friends would die for each other which is the trademark of a friendship that can go no higher. The book contains all the elements of adventure stories, coming of age, monsters, magic, sports, and miracles. It’s like a snickers bar. Everyone loves chocolate, caramel, peanuts and nougat. Put them all together and you have one tasty concoction. There is also, for the first time, a magical town introduced called Hogsmade. According to the book, it’s the only all-magical town in Britain. Starting in the third year, the students are allowed to travel there, which is only a few miles away, on scheduled visits.
Ron Weasly is the best friend of Harry Potter. His self Esteem is as erratic as the stock market. Unlike Harry, he has no financial means. His father is a member of the Ministry of Magic and his family is backed by generations of pure blooded wizards, but Ron is often picked on by Malfoy for wearing tattered robes, for living in an old house, and for not having a rich father. Ron is deeply loyal to the people he loves as is evident in this book when he simply refuses to speak to Hermione for turning Harry’s new broomstick into Professor McGonagall. He and Harry are inseparable. Ron tends to be perceived as a sidekick to Harry, which is not true at all. Ron feels valued by Harry and doesn’t seem to mind this that much, but sometimes he seems to feel pushed to the side. He is adventurous and sometimes mischievous but usually with good intentions.
In at nutshell, Hermione Granger is a know-it-all who is never shy to voice her opinion. In the same way that Harry represents courage and Ron represents loyalty, Hermione represents the only brain the trio seems to have. I honestly wonder what they would do without her. They always rely on her expert spell knowledge and quick thinking. Hermione was born to a muggle family, but she is the top student in her class. Her muggle blood makes hear a favorite target for the antagonist of the trio, Draco Malfoy. Although she disapproves of Ron and Harry’s behavior (sometimes), she stands by them. When in doubt, she turns to books. She is a type of person that believes a book has the answer to almost any problem.
In the book, she’s stressed by work constant conflicting with Ron, so several times she snaps and lets loose of the rule breaking demon inside of her, once hitting Malfoy, and another time walking out on Divination class when the professor insulted her. It is her magic hourglass, called the time turner that allows her to go back in time to take extra classes, and helps her and Harry save Sirius and Buckbeak.
Harry Potter is the thirteen-year-old protagonist of the story and the entire series. He is famous in the wizard community for being “the boy who lived”. When he was one year old, the most powerful dark wizard Lord Voldermort tried to kill him but the curse rebounded upon him and he nearly died. As a result of the curse rebounding back at Voldermort, Harry was left with a small lightening shaped scar on his forehead. Harry doesn’t remember these events, and because was orphaned by Voldemort’s attack, he lives with his aunt, uncle, and cousin.
His relatives do not tolerate any mention of magic in the house. They call it the “M” word. He was raised just short of constant abuse. He is humble and doesn’t like to take credit for accomplishments so he stays away from special treatment and praise. He wants to live a normal life in the wizarding world. He always succeeds in his quests through a mix of skill and help from his friends and then some more help from his friends. Harry runs into Sirius Black because he entered the Whomping Willow in attempt to rescue his best friend Ron. Harry would do anything for his friends Ron and Hermione. Even though he is not the most powerful wizard, or the most skilled wizard, Harry bests more experienced and more talented wizards because he is brave, quick, and resourceful.
There are many themes in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. The author J.K. Rowling is very good with putting meaning behind her words. Some of it is subtle and some of it is easily noticeable. One of the themes that I noticed is that nothing may seem what it is, that everything has another side or is two-faced. This is evident in multiple instances. We first see it when the Defense against the Dark Arts Teacher, Professor Lupin, who spends much of his time being good professor that all the Gryffindors like, and then another part as a being werewolf. We now can concur that everything is capable of having another side. We see it once again when Sirius Black turns out to be innocent. Everyone thought he was a mass murder who killed 13 people, but he wasn’t. Hermione, who normally abides by rules and follows them like the bible begins to break the rules.
This one may be a stretch but Buckbeak the Hippogriff’s execution was reversed through an intrusion in time with Hermione’s time turner. Nothing in this story is ever what it seems like. It’s such a page turner that keeps you guessing and guessing again. Everything stands in a pole position to surprise you. In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, every story has two sides. It’s like the Schrödinger’s cat thought experiment for Quantam Physics. We have to believe that the cat is both alive and dead at the same time. It’s the same way with this book. We have to believe that both possibilities can happen.
POINT OF VIEW:
The point of view for the entire book is third person limited. Third person limited point of view is essentially living through only one character, usually the main character. In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, the character you live through is, you guessed it, Harry Potter. We get a sense of Harry’s thoughts and senses constantly. We always not what he is thinking and feeling. In this book, we never stray from Harry’s mind. Every single part of the book we read through Harry’s, eyes, ears, smell, touch, tastes, and thoughts.