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