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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Symbols & Motifs

Harry’s Scar

The lightning bolt scar on Harry’s forehead is a physical symbol of his connection to Lord Voldemort. The scar is the only evidence of their face-off when Harry was an infant. When Professor McGonagall and Dumbledore first place baby Harry on the Dursleys’ doorstep, they note, “He’ll have that scar forever. […] Scars can come in handy” (11). Though she tries to convince Dumbledore to remove it, he insists that he would not even if he could. To outsiders, the lightning bolt scar symbolizes Harry’s triumph over Voldemort. People recognize him by his scar, so much so that Harry sometimes tries to cover it to avoid being easily identified. Harry’s attempt to cover the scar stems from his aunt’s hatred of it when he was younger. Petunia, eager to stamp out any hint of magic in Harry, cuts his hair so that his bangs would “hide that horrible scar” (18). The scar symbolizes different things to different people. For magical folks, the scar represents Voldemort’s demise. For the Dursleys, it represents everything that they hate most in the world—Harry’s magic and his lack of normalcy. However, for Harry, the scar represents a more profound and unsettling link to the dark wizard.