95 pages 3 hours read

J. K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Fiction | Novel | Middle Grade | Published in 1997

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Character Analysis

Harry Potter

Harry Potter is the main protagonist of the book and series. As a baby, Harry is described as having “under a tuft of jet-black hair over his forehead […] a curiously shaped cut, like a bolt of lightning” (11). Harry’s scar is an iconic representation of the battle with Voldemort that will define his young life and provide the conflict for the series. The scar identifies Harry throughout the magical world as the Boy-Who-Lived; it becomes a symbol for him and his role as the novel’s hero. It also manifests his history with Voldemort. He is the only son of the Potters and the lone survivor of Voldemort’s wrath. Voldemort’s failure to kill Harry as an infant becomes one of Harry’s defining circumstances: “He couldn’t kill that little boy. No one knows why, or how, but they’re saying that when he couldn’t kill Harry Potter, Voldemort’s power somehow broke—and that’s why he’s gone” (9). This event changes the course of Harry’s life and his destiny.

Harry’s other physical descriptors are linked with how the Dursleys treat him. He is described as “small and skinny for his age,” looking “even smaller and skinnier than he really was because all he had to wear were old clothes of Dudley’s” (14).