Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

How is Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone closely related to a hero's cycle?

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2015-04-13 23:14:27

Some of the steps in the hero's cycle are more relevant than

others, but Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone fulfils most

of the steps.

Step 1: The Call to Adventure.

Harry Potter's is told that he is a wizard and will begin

attending Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Harry also

learns that he is a famous wizard, having been the only person to

survive a killing curse when he was one year old.

Step 2: Refusal of the Call.

Harry initially refuses to believe that he could be a wizard,

saying that he is "Just Harry." He is convinced by Rubeus Hagrid

who asks if anything strange has ever happened around him. Harry

also learns that his aunt and uncle secretly always knew which is

why they punished him so harshly for things out with his control

such as his hair growing back extra quickly after a bad haircut.

Throughout the book Harry also feels as though he isn't worthy of

his fame having done nothing to deserve it.

Step 3: Supernatural Aid.

Being a wizard, Harry has the ability to cast spells which help

him achieve his goals.

Step 4: Crossing the Threshold

When Harry first enters Diagon Alley and experiences the

wizarding world for the first time. Here, he is greeted by people

who all know his name and are very excited to meet him.

Step 5: Belly of the Whale

When Harry leaves on the Hogwarts Express to travel to Hogwarts

he leaves behind the Dursleys and his muggle life.

Step 6: The Road of Trials

Harry faces many trials during his time at Hogwarts.

Step 7: The Meeting with the Goddess

This step involves the hero experiencing powerful and

unconditional love. Harry, an orphan who was raised by a family

that didn't want him, never felt loved. At Hogwarts he learned more

about his parents and how they died for him. He also found friends

who would later form his family.

Step 8: Woman as Temptress

Again, this step doesn't really apply to Harry as it involves

the hero straying from his quest, something Harry didn't do. In

fact later on he broke up with Ginny Weasley to avoid putting her

in danger while he carried out his quest.

Step 9: Atonement with the Father

Lord Voldemort tries to convince Harry to join him by using his

parents and saying that together, they could have achieved great

things. He even suggests that they could return Lily and James from

the dead. Despite this being something Harry really wants, he knows

in his heart that Voldemort is lying and refuses to help him.

Step 10: Apotheosis

Harry's recovery in the hospital wing which allows him to

reflect on what has happened.

Step 11: The Ultimate Boon

The news that Quirrell died and Voldemort fled without the stone

which will be destroyed to prevent him from trying to steal it

again. Harry successfully completed his quest.

Step 12: Refusal of the Return

Harry now considers Hogwarts his home and doesn't want to return

to the Dursleys for summer.

Step 13: The Magic Flight

This step calls for the hero to escape with the boon, however it

is not relevant in this situation.

Step 14: Rescue from Without

The knowledge that Harry's friends can write to him and that

they will be back at Hogwarts soon is what helps him return to the

Dursleys. That and they don't know he can't use magic outside of


Step 15: The Crossing of the Return Threshold

Harry realises that friends are extremely important and that

Hogwarts is now his home because that's where he is happy.

Step 16: Master of Two Worlds

Harry can return home for the summer and live in the muggle

world, then return to the wizarding world in September.

Step 17: Freedom to Live

This step becomes much more relevant in later novels, but for

now Harry is happy because he has finally found somewhere he can be

accepted and Voldemort's return has been delayed.

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