Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Chapter Summary and Analysis - Part One
This, actually, is the book which prompted my interest in the Harry Potter series. Unfortunately, the US market didn't "catch on" to the J K Rowling books until they had already been a success in Brittan. Because of the (sometimes even angry) detractors claiming they should not be read by children; the parents of my patients began asking for my advice. After all, how do you keep your child from even wanting to read the book when nearly his whole school class is talking excitedly about it? And, after all, having your son or daughter sit down and actually read 341 pages - and do it willingly - can't be all bad… can it?
I've recommended to several parents that they begin a nighttime reading ritual with their child, to good effect. And I've even had the chance to read a chapter or two to some patients I was working with on their learning disabilities. I had a copy in my office and when I needed to evaluate an older child's reading ability I let them read a paragraph from the latest book. Many times they didn't want to quit! If a parent is concerned about what their child is "learning" from the books, reading it with them (or at least discussing it with them afterward) is ideal. Especially what Dumbledore has to say!
- Literary annotations:
In this category are special annotations about literary aspects of the chapter. Author's intent, style, and explanations of word meanings are some of the types of entriesParent's Guide annotations:
In this category are annotations for parents and other care givers of children. Ideas for discussions which will not only make the story more interesting but enable children to understand how it can apply their own lives. Hero's Journey annotations:
In this category are special annotations about how the book is following Joseph Campbell's outline for the "master mythological styling."
- The Worst Birthday
- It was a typical morning at the Dursley breakfast table. Uncle Vernon harassing Harry about keeping his owl quiet during the night but not listening to a word of explanation, and Aunt Petunia 'force-feeding' Dudley more bacon despite the fact that he was so fat he lapped over the chair's bottom. They didn't treat Harry any better, but acted like he was a bomb ready to explode ever since he had returned for his first Summer holiday after entering Hogwarts the school where he was learning about 'the M word' (uncle Vernon's term for 'magic'). Harry desperately missed his school (except for Snape the potion's master) and all of his supplies which had been locked in the cupboard under the stairs. Completely ignoring that today was Harry's twelfth birthday, uncle Vernon rehearsed, again, his instructions for the important dinner party that night which might land him a big business deal and more money. The only good thing was that Harry was to be excluded to his bedroom, under threat of punishment for the whole time, so he wouldn't be an embarrassment.
He sat by a hedge singing 'happy birthday to me…" to himself and thinking that his friends, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, had abandoned him because they hadn't written not even a card. He was startled by some green eyes peering back at him from the hedge but was then interrupted by taunts from Dudley about everyone having forgotten his birthday. The only thing that he could think to do was to mutter some magical sounding nonsense words that would send the frightened Dudley tattling to his mother. The punishment of hard work all day or nothing to eat was worth it. Tired and still hungry after his supper of bread and cheese, he trudged up to his room, midst bellowing threats from his uncle, only to find that he was not alone. Someone, or something, was sitting on his bed.
- Dobby's Warning
- Within downstairs earshot of the Dursley's who were sycophantically welcoming Mr. and Mrs. Mason, Harry starred at a green-eyed creature with bat-like ears, dressed in a dirty pillowcase sitting on his bed. Dobby the house-elf gave an obsequious bow and claimed he had longed to meet Harry for years. Harry's politeness kept sending Dobby into loud wails of anguish over being "treated like an equal." He served in a wizard household who made him punish himself for any disobedience, Dobby said, and would have to serve them his whole life because they would never set him free. He told Harry that he had come to warn him not to go back to Hogwarts because he would be in mortal danger and "you are too good to loose." For months, Dobby said, there had been a plot to make terrible things happen at the school. The elf refused to say specifically who was plotting; but, when Harry guessed Voldemort, Dobby's eyes widened and he said "No, not He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named" as if he was giving a clue. But, not understanding, when Harry pressed, Dobby began hitting himself with a lamp for punishment so loudly that it brought uncle Vernon bounding up the stairs.
Harry forced Dobby into the closet just in time to receive a tongue-lashing and threat of "wishing you'd never been born!" Dobby eventually revealed that he'd been stopping Harry's mail so he would think his friends had forgotten him and he wouldn't go back to school. When Harry refused to promise that he would not go back to school, Dobby dashed out the door and downstairs into the kitchen. Harry found that the elf was levitating aunt Petunia's pudding to the ceiling. And, as before, when Harry refused to make the promise, Dobby let it drop and splatter all over the kitchen then disappeared with a crack. Uncle Vernon was livid with rage and handed Harry a mop with a promise of punishment deferred until the guests had left. His uncle still might have been able to make the deal except that a large barn owl swooped into the room and dropped a letter on Mrs. Mason's head. Being extremely phobic of birds the woman ran screeching from the house. The letter, addressed to Harry, was from Mafalda Hopkirk of the Ministry and claimed that they knew a 'hover charm' had been used and that if he did magic again outside of school he could be expelled. Uncle Vernon drug Harry upstairs by his collar and fumed that he was locking him up and would never let him go back to the school. He put bars on Harry's window and locks on his door. Aunt Petunia passed food in through a cat-door they installed and only allowed him the bathroom twice a day. On the fourth night Harry was awakened from a hunger-induced dream by someone looking at him through his window it was Ron!
- Pudding: A British term meaning almost any kind of dessert; unlike the specific U.S. meaning of gelatin.sycophant: In Athens, a man who prosecuted another maliciously, on a trumped-up charge, for the sake of private gain. Often there was no public prosecutor; so a private individual might gain financial rewards for successful prosecutions, or blackmail to avoid prosecution. Today ‘sycophantic’ means ‘obsequious’. In Greek and German, the term is still used to describe a slanderer or a calumniator.
In Obert Skye's Leven Thumps series of children's books, "sycophant" also refers to a race of small furry creatures whose job is to aid people who have entered Foo.Abuse: Uncle Vernon's treatment of Harry seems designed to strip any sense of self-worth; and demonstrates his capability of abuse by incarcerating Harry behind bars and starving him. Unfortunately, this abuse seems to be largely ignored, or 'incidental' by the author in favor of moving the plot along other directions. This example of abuse should not be overlooked to a child reader. It is unacceptable; but, luckily, most younger readers will have never experienced anything like this so might not relate to it except as fantasy.
Parents should express how bad they feel about Harry needing to "act like I don't exist." It would be an excellent time to state that "if anyone ever says something to you that makes you feel like "you don't exist" (including parents) you want them to talk to you about it.
- The Burrow
- Harry ran to the window to see if it really was Ron, and it was and Fred and George (Ron's twin older brothers) and they were in a turquoise car floating outside the window! Ron chastised Harry for not answering any of his letters and said that when their dad came home from work at the Ministry with the news that Harry had done an illegal charm they decided to come and see what was the matter. Unbelievably, Harry only told them that it wasn't he who had done the charm then asked them to inform Hogwarts that the Dursley's wouldn't let him come back to school. Ron told Harry to stop "gibbering" and that they had come to rescue him. Amazingly, they put ropes around the bars in the window and pulled them out with the car. Then George and Fred used a hairpin to pick the lock on Harry's door so they could get his school trunk and things from the closet. And, even more amazingly, they did it all without awakening any of the Dursley's that is, until Hedwig saw Harry climb out the window and thought she would be left behind so let out a screech. Harry dashed back to get Hedwig and was just leaving the window when uncle Vernon stormed through the door. The twins yanked Harry's leg from uncle Vernon's grasp, slammed the door shut and shot up toward the moon. They let Hedwig out to fly for the first time all summer.
Harry told them all about Dobby. The only person they could think of, who didn't want Harry back at school, was Draco Malfoy. The Weasley's said that their dad worked at the Ministry of Magic (in the misuse of muggle artifacts office) and had told them that Mr. Malfoy had been a "you-know-who" supporter and was very rich. They conjectured that the Malfoy's might own a house-elf which might have been sent by Draco to stop Harry from returning to school; and that it had been lying about the trouble. During the trip Harry also learned: that the Weasley's owned an old owl named Errol; that Percy had been acting strangely and wouldn't let them use his owl Hermes; that their dad loved muggle artifacts and would "magic" them when he could - even though illegal; and that they hadn't told their parents they were "borrowing" the car. Only a short distance from Ottery St. Catchpole, the Weasley house looked like a once stone pigpen which had been added onto until it was several stories high. It had five chimneys, a red roof and was so crooked that it needed to be held up by magic. There were chickens in the yard, a sign that said "the Burrow" and a kind-faced, but obviously angry, woman bulleting straight at them and scattering chickens in her wake. Upset so much that she could hardly speak, they heard: "Empty beds… car… could crash… worried sick… wait till father home… died or been seen… father could loose his job… ." Then, seeing Harry, she stopped and invited him inside for breakfast.
The inside was as wonderful as Hogwarts, Harry thought. A clock had only one hand which pointed to advice, like "you're late," instead of numbers. Shelves contained magical cookbooks, a radio played a wizard station and Mrs. Weasley levitated food into frying pans then onto their plates. She said she didn't blame Harry for her son's foolishness and that they would have come for him by Friday if he hadn't written. Harry could go up to bed, she said, but told the other's to go "de-gnome" the garden as she consulted a book by Lockhart on the method. She looked at the cheeky, blond wizard slyly winking on the cover and George muttered "mom fancies him" to Harry. Determined not to miss any of this, Harry went into the garden with the others only to see Ron holding a small, leathery, bald, potato looking creature by its feet. Ron swung the gnome around his head several times then threw it about 20 feet over the hedge. The procedure makes them too dizzy to find their way back, Ron said, "but they always do because they like it here." Harry threw his about 50 feet when it bit him with its razor sharp teeth. When Mr. Weasley returned home, Mrs. Weasley started up again, this time bringing him into the fracas. His only excuse was that there was a "loophole" in the law which allowed him to magic individual parts before they were assembled into a Muggle artifact. "But you wrote the law," she was bellowing as the kids drifted away back into the house. Climbing a crooked staircase, they passed an open door on the third floor where Ginny, the youngest sister, seemed to close the door in a panic. Ron said she wasn't normally like that and was probably shy because of Harry. On the fifth floor a sign announced "Ronald's Room" and they entered to find the walls completely covered with Chudley Cannon Quidditch posters. The spellbound Harry took in the room's cluttered school books, Martin Miggs comic books, fish tank of frog spawn, Scabbers the rat, self-shuffling cards, noise from the ghoul in the attic and a tiny window through which they could see the gnomes sneaking back into the garden. Looking embarrassed, Ron ashamedly excused that his room was small; to Harry, however, it was "the best house I've ever been in," and he said so.
- Cheeky: A British term meaning forward, rude or disrespectful.Fancies: A British term meaning to be attracted to, or enamored with someone. Like having a 'crush' on someone in the U.S..Hairpin: A term used for the small, narrow bent clip used by women to hold their hair in place. May be called a 'bobby pin' in the U.S..Material possessions: This would probably be an excellent time to discuss things like differences in wealth and possessions with your child and the feelings children could have when comparing themselves with others. It is wonderfully ironic that both Harry and Ron had identical (but opposite) feelings about their own homes. Ron was ashamed of his home and bedroom while Harry thought it was the "best he'd ever been in."
- At Flourish and Blotts
- Even though the Burrow was full of mirrors which critiqued people's appearances, ghouls who couldn't stand any quiet and explosions coming from Fred and George's bedroom, Harry was the most astonished over the difference that he was actually in a place where everyone seemed to like him. Ginny even flustered into herself whenever Harry noticed her. The school letters this year told them to buy seven of Gilderoy Lockhart's self-serving books, which would really be a burden on the Weasley's who had five children, including Ginny, at school this year. Bill and Charlie, the oldest brothers were working away in Egypt for Gringott's and Romania with Dragon's. Percy, now a prefect, had gotten twelve O.W.L.'s (Ordinary Wizarding Level exam's) and was wearing his badge imperiously around the house. A letter from Hermione said that she was doing 'school work.' Harry shared his Nimbus 2000 with the others when they played Quidditch, then learned how to throw Floo powder into the fireplace to travel to Diagon Alley. Unfortunately, he didn't quite get it right and fell out of the other end onto a stone floor breaking his glasses. He was in a shop full of evil looking artifacts; but, before he could leave, two persons were entering the door Draco Malfoy who was whining to his father about buying a new broomstick to be better than that "Harry Potter with the stupid scar."
Draco begged to have a withered hand in a glass case, that Mr. Borgin advised was the "Hand of Glory" which would give light only to the holder - a thief's delight; but, Mr. Malfoy just belittled Draco that he just might not turn out better than a common thief if he continued to let that "non-wizard family" girl (Hermione) beat him in every exam. While Mr. Malfoy showed Borgin a list of items that he wanted to sell, claiming they would be seized if the Ministry raided his house, Draco read the card on a necklace of opals: "Cursed - has claimed the lives of nineteen muggles to date." Borgin put on his Pince-nez to read the list. He agreed to pick up Malfoy's dark objects the next day and they left. Harry snuck out after them and found himself in an alley that any respectable wizard would not be seen in: Knockturn Alley - according to an old hag selling poison candles. Fortunately, Hagrid, who was looking for some "Flesh-eatin' slug repellant," saw him and literally drug him by the collar back up the street into Diagon Alley. Harry had to do some fast talking to explain that he was lost and not just "skulkin' around Knockturn Alley." Meeting the others, Hermione was effusive, Fred and George were impressed he'd been in Knockturn Alley, Mrs. Weasley was frantic that he might have been killed, Ron was jealous and Mr. Weasley fixed his broken glasses. When Harry mentioned seeing the Malfoy's, Mr. Weasley was disappointed they weren't buying something illegal and said "I'd like to get him for something"! He was offended when Mrs. Weasley said "don't bite off more than you can chew… that family is trouble." "So you don't think I'm a match for Lucius Malfoy," he started to argue, but was immediately distracted by seeing Hermione's parents who were Muggles. They decided to split up and meet back at Flourish and Blotts in an hour to buy books. When Harry ran into Percy later in a second hand shop, he was reading a book entitled Prefects Who Gained Power: a study of Hogwarts prefects and their later careers and they thought it typical of him and told him so.
Finally, at the book store they found that Gilderoy Lockhart was there signing his books. Trying merely to pay for their books and avoid Lockhart, Harry was none-the-less spotted by the man and literally drug beside him for a "photo-op" with the Daily Prophet photographer. With great egotistical flourish Lockhart grandstanded for the press claiming that Harry had come specially to see him then made a grand gesture of bestowing a complete set of his books on Harry. He also announced that HE was going to be the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher at Hogwarts. Harry eventually pulled away in disgust and gave all the books to Ginny, dropping them into her cauldron; but, he was immediately confronted by a sneering Draco Malfoy who openly maligned him for wanting "press coverage." Ginny defended Harry then Malfoy turned on them both and taunted Ron for having poor parents. Ron dropped his books into Ginny's cauldron and headed for Draco only to be stopped by Mr. Weasley who told him to take it outside. Lucius Malfoy appeared as sarcastically offensive as his son. He called Mr. Weasley a disgrace to the name of wizard and picked up the second hand spell book from Ginny's caldron. Mr. Weasley tackled Malfoy into a bookshelf and had a cut lip when Hagrid pulled the two apart. Malfoy forced Ginny's book back at her with yet another rude remark and swept from the store. Hagrid said he should have just ignored Malfoy and Mrs. Weasley nagged him about brawling in front of Lockhart. Fred said he had heard Lockhart tell the reporter to work it into the story, for better publicity.
- Pince-nez: Fifteenth through nineteenth century spectacles which are supported without earpieces, by pinching the bridge of the nose. The name comes from the French language - pincer, to pinch, and nez, nose. In the U.S., by the late 1930s, they were popular mostly only with the elderly, including president Theodore RooseveltPeople type's: This is a good chapter to talk about how different people are and how they act. What do the Malfoy's do and what do you think about them when they do it? Does the way they act gain them friends? What would people think about YOU if you acted like that? Where does it seem Draco learned his actions from?
Also, How does Lockhart act and what do you think about him? Who, does it seem, is Lockhart's greatest admirer?
The two types of people are very different but in some ways alike. One type acts very hurtful, the other thinks only of himself. Neither show that they even consider others to be of any worth, so neither are people who are likely to be able to be a good friend to someone.
- The Whomping Willow
- The summer went way too quickly and they all celebrated the night before returning back to Hogwarts… Fred and George with fireworks they bought at Diagon Alley. Harry worried about what the Dursley's would be like when he had to return next year; but, quickly forgot about it when they all piled into Mr. Weasley's turquoise Ford Anglia, magic'd on the inside to hold everyone and everything in comfort. To Mr. Weasley's consternation they had to return to the Burrow three times for forgotten items: George's fireworks, Fred's broomstick and Ginny's diary. Mrs. Weasley still wouldn't let them use the Invisibility Booster and fly, so they arrived with only minutes to spare. Everyone trundled hurriedly through platform nine and three-quarters; except, Ron and Harry who crashed mightily into the solid wall causing a great disturbance with all the muggle's now noticing them. Completely baffled by why the gate had closed to them, Ron decided that they were "meant" to take the car to Hogwarts which they did. The Invisibility Booster gave out early on and they had to swoop up and down to keep checking on the Hogwarts express which they were following. Barely at the castle, in the dark, the little car gave out entirely and they crash landed into an old willow tree which immediately began bashing them with it's branches. Having had enough, the magic'd car expelled the boys and their trunks and meandered off into the forest. Hedwig flew up to the owlery in a huff and Ron noticed that he had broken his wand in the crash. They drug their trunks up to the castle where they saw the "sorting" just beginning through the window of the Great Hall. They noticed that Snape's chair was empty, largely due to the fact that the greasy haired professor was standing right behind them.
Almost gleefully Snape led them past the feast and into the dungeon where his office was located. He didn't allow them any explanation but began a tirade of accusations and insults. The train wasn't good enough for "famous Potter," he maligned, you wanted to make an entrance. He wanted to know what they had done with the car - they had been seen by muggle's, it was already in the papers. And, Snape accused them of damaging the Whomping Willow, a very valuable tree on the grounds. He left the two in order to go get the "people who have the authority to expel you," and Harry felt sick about what they might have done to Mr. Weasley's career. McGonagall was more angry that Harry had ever seen her, but at least she listened to their explanations. Then she easily destroyed their excuses by asking them why they had not merely sent a message by Hedwig or waited for the Weasley's to return? "We didn't think" was their only lame response. Snape entered smirking, with Headmaster Dumbledore, who also asked for an explanation. The boy's repeated everything, but making it sound like they had just stumbled upon the car outside the station. Ron offered to go retrieve their gear, thinking that they were expelled, but Dumbledore said "not today." Snape looked like Christmas had been cancelled and offered objections; but, they were dismissed by the Headmaster, and they left it to McGonagall to decide the miscreants fate. Harry quickly bargained that no points be taken from Gryffindor because school hadn't officially started when they did the deed. McGonagall agreed but gave them a detention in addition to Dumbledore writing their parents. She produced a plate of sandwiches for them and told them to go straight up to bed. They complied but had to wait until Hermione appeared to give them the password. All of the Gryffindor's were waiting and applauded, except Percy and Hermione who they tried to avoid by going up to their dormitory. There, they not only had to try and deal with the understanding that they "really shouldn't have enjoyed that, or anything"; but also, the guilt that, now it was over, they "really did." Harry wasn't worried about the Dursley's getting a letter. They would just be sorry that he wasn't killed, he thought. But he WAS worried about Ron and what his parents would say.
- Wrongdoing and excuses: Now, while you are pleasantly reading and there is no stress, might be a good time for an explanation that 'growing up' is more than just getting bigger. It seems life has made it so that a boy or girls body's ability to do dangerous things is always a bit ahead of their minds ability to think about the results and consequences.
An over-repeated life lesson should be to learn from a parent to "think of what will happen" before acting on a thought. "Will it hurt anyone?" "What will mom and dad think?"
And who should you listen to? Your friends or those entrusted with your safety? All of the back-slapping and compliments from friends in the world doesn't make up for some of the consequences of a wrong action.
- Gilderoy Lockhart
- The false pride of accolades from jealous bunk-mates is usually short-lived. In Harry and Ron's case, only until the next morning when they had to face Hermione, the professors and the reality of the consequences of their previous days ride. Sitting across from a stern-faced Hermione, the boys jumped when Errol, the Weasley's elderly owl, crash landed into a jug of milk. In its beak was a red envelope which Neville recognized at once as a Howler, a magically amplified audio letter which would explode if you didn't open it at once and it was already beginning to smoke. Before Ron took action, his mothers voice exploded from it for the whole student body to hear and knocking dust from the rafters. In a tirade like he had never heard before, his mother screamed: "STEALING CAR… JUST WAIT… WHAT WE WENT THROUGH… DUMBLEDORE'S LETTER… DIE OF SHAME… BOTH KILLED… ABSOLUTELY DISGUSTED… FATHER FACING INQUIRY AT WORK… BRING YOU HOME…" There was more, but these were the words which still rang in Harry's heart hours after the echo's had stopped in the hall. After all Mr. and Mrs. Weasley had done for him over the summer, he was riddled with guilt. Even Hermione's crustiness had disappeared… but, the day wasn't over yet!
It seemed the first day of school was to be filled with Gilderoy Lockhart, narcissist par excellence. In Herbology the know-it-all was inflicting himself on Professor Sprout who was trying to bandage the Whomping Willow; then, wrenched Harry aside from his class to advise him that he "understood why Harry had taken the car for publicity." Completely deaf to any one else's voice, most certainly Harry's protestations, Lockhart blundered ahead claiming Harry had "gotten a taste" of fame from their "photo op" at the book signing. He compared Harry's "popularity" over the Voldemort business with his own fame for winning five years of "best smile" awards; then, swept away in a flourish admonishing Harry to calm down and wait. Harry was stunned, and even repotting young Mandrakes, which required special ear-muffs, didn't remove the incredibly arrogant words from his mind. Hermione won 10 points for Gryffindor for knowing that Mandrakes were used as a powerful restorative for people who were cursed or transfigured, and another 10 for saying that their cries were fatal to anyone who heard. Justin Finch-Fletchley, a new boy, introduced himself and went on about how reading Lockhart's books had convinced his muggle parents to let him attend Hogwarts. The only distraction was the fact that Ron had spell-o-taped his broken wand and it still didn't work well, though the sparks and smoke were amusing. The real kicker was that Hermione had drawn little hearts by Lockhart's classes on her schedule, and was clearly smitten with him!
Outside at lunch, an annoying, motor-mouthed, first-year, Colin Creevey, begged Harry for a photograph then mentioned Harry could sign it. Unfortunately Draco Malfoy overheard the conversation and took it to an exaggerated level so he could draw a crowd - for autographs. He also didn't miss the opportunity to insult Ron's family requiring Hermione to prevent Ron from retaliating. And, who also should appear but Lockhart asking who was giving out signed photo's. He grabbed Harry next to him and had Colin take the picture; then, ignoring Harry's stammers, swept him into the DADA classroom admonishing him that "it looks a tad bigheaded." Their class was to take a three page test, all about Lockhart, from their reading of his books. Things like: my favorite color, want for my birthday, greatest achievement and fifty one other self-serving questions. Then Lockhart made a great deal about showing them a cage full of Cornish Pixies and releasing them into the room to cause mayhem. He told the class to "round them up" but his own spell was reminiscent of the one that Fred and George had told Ron would turn Scabbers yellow completely worthless. At the bell the class all escaped into the hall and even Lockhart told the three to "nip them back into their cage" as he slammed the door behind him. It was obvious to everyone, except Hermione, that Lockhart didn't have a clue what he was doing. "Look at all those amazing things he's done," Hermione advised. "What he says he's done," Ron muttered.
- Mandrake's: This is the common name for members of the plant genus Mandragora belonging to the nightshades family (Solanaceae). Because it contains deliriant hallucinogenic alkaloids and the lumpy roots sometimes resemble human figures, their roots have been used in magic rituals. All parts of the mandrake plant are poisonous and grows natively in southern and central Europe and around the Mediterranean. According to the legend, when the root is dug up it screams and kills all who hear it.Foreshadowing: Where future events in a story, or perhaps the outcome, are suggested by the author before they happen. It is up to the reader to be alert for the foreshadowing's but for some - it might be nice not to know.Narcissism: It is well to be proud of one's own accomplishments but Lockhart is a person who has carried it to the ultimate degree. Think of how he talks to not only Harry but to Professor Sprout. Are his actions only to build himself up or to tear someone else down as well. Seeing yourself in others: Most of us interpret the actions of others as being motivated by the same feelings and reasons which we have. So when a person does something that we notice, we assume that they are doing it for the same reason we would do it… even though we may not recognize it. Lockhart, hearing about Harry's car ride and autographed photos, incorrectly assumed Harry did it for the same reason Lockhart would… pride, publicity and notoriety.
Having such motives to this extent is called "Arrogance" and even "Narcissism." Almost being in love with yourself to the exclusion of others. Knowing such a person can be an effort and such-a-one has difficulty being a friend.