Study Questions and Essay Topics for
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

-- Review resource topics --

1 -- Harry was an orphan taken in by his aunt and uncle when his parents were killed. In your opinion, did they love him. Give examples to justify your opinion.

2 -- Growing up an orphan could have a significant influence on a persons personality. How would you describe Harry's personality? List the words you would use to describe both he and his cousin Dudley.

3 -- Learning that he was a wizard changed Harry's life greatly; yet, in some ways it remained the same. Compare and Contrast Harry's life at the Dursley's with his life at Hogwart's. Give examples of both good and bad areas.

4 -- List four to seven words which give the best description of the following persons: a) Professor Snape; b) Professor Sprout; c) Hagrid; d) Professor McGonagall; and, Professor Dumbledore. Use descriptive words for BOTH their physical appearance and personality; and, give one example to justify your assessment.

5 -- Rank Harry, Ron and Hermione in order of how good a student they are. Give an example to justify your ranking them in that order.

6 -- Harry and Draco Malfoy grew up in vastly different families and were treated differently in them. Describe how they were treated that would explain each of their personalities.

7 -- Making value judgments about others in an arrogant, condescending way then acting in a way which causes them embarrassment or harm is called --- Bigotry. It is similar to being "prejudiced" but worse. List three "bigots" found in the story and give reasons for your assessment.

8 -- The Mirror of Erised shows the person looking into it: the "deepest desires of their heart." Tell what both Harry and Ron saw when they looked into it; AND, describe why you think what they saw was really the "desire of their hearts." Also, what might Hermione see if she had looked into it, and why?

9 -- The author (J. K. Rowling) has said that she would write seven books about Harry's years at Hogwarts, one for each of his years there. He will grow from 11 to 17 years old which we call: "coming of age." Even though he has a ways to go yet, Harry changed somewhat during his first year at Hogwarts. Tell how you think he changed and give examples and reasons.

10 -- Author's sometime use irony in a story in order to make the reader's experience with the book more personal and meaningful. Tell how the author used irony in developing the theme: "Love," which both began and ended the book. (hint: the effects of Harry's mother's sacrifice).

Extra Credit -- Tell what YOU would see if Dumbledore let you look in the Mirror of Erised and give reasons why.