The World of Hogwarts
Throughout the course an adolescent’s life they are told to follow the rules. Whether that is at school, home, or an organized function children are taught the importance of following the rules for their own safety. But sometime rules must be broke for the Sake of a greater purpose. Throughout the novel Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone J.K. Rowling establishes a balance of violating and rebelling against authority.
J.K Rowling established the balance of violating and rebelling authority when Harry rebels against the curfew and the restriction to students to enter the forbidden corridor (Chapter 9). Harry is challenged to a wizard duel by the threatening Draco Malfoy, but when it comes time to the duel Draco never shows up to the selected place. Harry and his friends are locked out of their dorms to wander the halls of Hogwarts, despite of the reprimand that may occur such as losing house cup points if they are found out of there dorms. “And you mustn’t go wandering around the school at night, think of the points you’ll lose Gryffindor if you’re caught and you’re bound to be.” (Rowling, 115). At this point Harry is breaking the rules to defend his honor against his enemy. Little does Harry know that by breaking these rules he is going to discover the three headed dog in the forbidden corridor. “Didn’t you see you see what it was standing on? ‘The floor’? Harry suggested. ‘I wasn’t looking at its feet, I was too busy with its heads.’ ‘No, not the floor. It was standing on a trapdoor. It’s obviously guarding something’. (Rowling, 120). Harry and his friends discover the three headed dog that is guarding something threw a trap door in the floor. The discovery sparks an interest to figure out what the dog is hiding, starting the adventure Harry and his friends are going to endure. Harry breaks the curfew and finds himself in the forbidden corridor, face to face with the three headed dog. Although he was not aware that he is breaking the rules as the three headed dog was on accident. The dog is protecting the stone. If the discovery was not made then Harry could not have helped stop Voldemort from obtaining the stone. Yet, his sense of justice, compassion, and loyalty override his concern for breaking the rules: the ends justify the means. In this particular case, Harry only enters the forbidden third-floor corridor by accident. Still, Rowling uses this instance to foreshadow the concept of connection that will often determine Harry’s course of action in the novel, despite the consequences.
Similar to the previous point Harry and Ron help out Hagrid with his illegal dragon and they get caught out bounds (Chapter 14). Harry and Ron used Harry’s invisibility clock to meet Ron’s brother Charlie to take Hagrid’s dragon away. On their way back from the tower Ron and Harry get caught by Finch. The admonishments resulted in one hundred and fifty points being taken from Gryffindor and they must attend detention. “Your detention will take place at eleven o’clock tonight. Meet Mr. Filch in the entrance hall.” (Rowling, 181). Harry disobeyed the rules in result he must attend detention in the forbidden forest where he discovers more information regarding the stone. While in detention Harry becomes paired up with Malfoy to search for who is killing the unicorns. Harry and Malfoy’s finding is shocking. “Then, out of the shadows, a hooded figure came crawling across the ground like some stalking beast. Harry, Malfoy and fang stood transfixed. The cloaked figure reached the unicorn, it lowered its head over the wound in the animal’s side, and began to drink its blood.” (Rowling, 187). Harry makes the encounter that Voldemort is back and is devious to steal the stone. If Harry had not landed himself in detention then he would not be aware that Voldemort is making revenge.
Harry is put to the test to stop Voldemort from obtaining the stone. But, in order to stop Voldemort, Harry must violate the rules which is defeating Voldemort (Chapter 16). To stop Voldemort Harry, Hermione and Ron must defeat a series of charms put in place by the teachers to get to where the stone is hidden. “We’ve had Sprouts, which was the Devils snare- Fitwick must’ve put charms on the keys- McGongall transfigured the chessmen to make them alive- That leaves Quirrell’s spell, and Snape’s…” (Rowling, 206). Harry successfully gets finished with every charm leaving Hermione and Ron behind. When Harry reaches the chamber that holds the stone he does not see Snape or Voldemort whom he was anticipating but instead he sees his Professor Quirrell. Harry advances the stone by looking into the mirror and lies to Voldemort as to where the stone is. Harry passes out, Dumbledore comes to his rescue and stops Voldemort from gaining the stone. Harry once again violates his curfew and goes into the corridor. In this situation the book is saying that Harry is able to see beyond the limits of Hogwarts and sight the cosmic dimension of Voldemort’s threats. He sees that the point system that rules everyone’s thinking in the school is insignificant compared to the scene that Voldemort will unleash evil upon the world.
After all, the phrase ‘rules are made to be broken’ is pointless. Why bother having any at all if everyone is just going to ignore them? I understand what it is implying though sometimes it’s better to let go of what you’ve been told and see what happens. Rules are there for a reason. If everyone broke them like Harry did there would be lots of chaos, theft and violence things that have to have control. No one wants that. Rowling does not argue in favor of ignoring all rules and regulation. Many of the rules at Hogwarts are instituted in order to protect the students; for example, the rule that prohibits students from going to the forbidden third-floor corridor ensures that students are not attacked by the three-headed dog. At the same times, however, Rowling realizes that rules must be broken in certain situations for the sake of the bigger picture. No one can make a difference, good or bad. If they always abide by the rules, and part of Harry’s appeal is that he is willing to risk the consequences in order to do what he believes is right.
Throughout the novel this book has established a balance of violating and rebelling against the Sake of a greater purpose. The purpose of this book was to prevent Voldemort from gaining the stone. Harry, Hermione and Ron broke multiple rules such as resisting curfew and going out of bounds. It is difficult to make the decision as to whether it is okay to violate or to not. Rowling did an excellent job finding the balance in order to overcome the ordeal.