?

Log in

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Chapter One The Worst Birthday - Readdown to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Readdown to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

[ About the Community :: userinfo ]
[ The Archives :: archive ]
[ Introduction and Rules :: Read the Introduction ]
[ Table of Contents :: Previously Covered Chapters ]

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Chapter One The Worst Birthday [2007 Feb. 25th|11:04 pm]
Readdown to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
hp7_readdown
[readdown_mod]
It's time to start year two and discuss what we read in the first chapter of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets The Worst Birthday.
linkReply

Comments:
[User Picture]From: pica_scribit
2007-02-26 11:05 pm (UTC)

CoS:01 - The Worst Birthday (Bloomsbury 1998)

I want to start by saying that Chamber of Secrets is probably my least favourite of the books. I'm not sure if I can quite explain why, since it does have some marvelous characters (Lockhart), and one of my favourite lines ("Never trust anything that can think for itself if you can't see where it keeps its brain!"). This book and the first one feel very much like children's books, but the first book has the whole introduction of the wizarding world going for it. After CoS, Harry and his friends aren't children anymore; they are teenagers -- young adults, even -- and I feel like the books also grow up a lot after this. So if I'm a bit critical in the next few weeks, you'll know why.

Just a few points here, since a lot of this chapter is re-introduction of characters and themes.

1) We start with Vernon Dursley again. I still think starting the first book with him is a brilliant move. It's an interesting choice to give him first mention in the second book as well.

2) Doesn't sound like the Dursleys are very frightened of Harry any more. They were pretty scared of him in the last book. At least, Petunia and Dudley seemed to be. But when this chapter opens, it seems like things are pretty much back to normal at #4.

3) "You didn't say the magic word." I'm glad Harry thinks good manners are so important. I do too. It's another way in which he contrasts with the Dursleys.

4) "He missed Hogwarts so much it was like having a constant stomachache." Awww...I remember the things of my youth that I loved that much. I didn't get to spend ten months out of the year at them, though. Lucky bastard.

5) The Dursleys are so weird. They want to pretend they are perfectly normal, but they have to rehearse social situations. They probably don't realise that most people don't do this. Why do they have to? Because they are naturally spiteful and rude people who have to be scripted in social graces which do not come naturally. It's a good thing that Harry is able to keep his sense of humour about them. So long as he realises they are ridiculous, he's in no danger of ending up like them.

6) If Harry even wishes he could see Draco, he must be feeling pretty bad. I think this is out first hint of angsty!teenage!Harry. All his feelings about his life seem really extreme. He's so miserable he'd even be happy to see Draco, and he misses Hogwarts so much his stomach hurts. He even doubts the friends who went into danger with him just a couple months before.

7) Harry gives better than he gets from Dudley. Dudley's really too stupid to compete with Harry.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: crescent_gaia
2007-02-27 08:16 pm (UTC)

Re: CoS:01 - The Worst Birthday (Bloomsbury 1998)

You know, I've never thought of this book that way. I've always seen it as the next book and since they're just on the brink of being teenagers, the book is allowed to be a bit of a children's book. It's not one of my favorites or least favorites, but I get where you are coming from as well. That and I hate Lockheart with all of my being (minus the movie!Lockheart).

1) We start with Vernon Dursley again. I still think starting the first book with him is a brilliant move. It's an interesting choice to give him first mention in the second book as well.
Well, this also gives a bit of a precedent for her to open all of her novels with. With the exception of HBP, this usually leads to Harry leaving the Dursleys through wild and crazy incidents. Besdies, laughter is a good way to open up a book.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: pica_scribit
2007-02-27 10:12 pm (UTC)

Re: CoS:01 - The Worst Birthday (Bloomsbury 1998)

I just meant that the first character we see in both books is Vernon. He gets almost a whole chapter in PS, telling us all about his day, and then in CoS, he's the first person to be mentioned again.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: crescent_gaia
2007-02-28 06:29 am (UTC)

Re: CoS:01 - The Worst Birthday (Bloomsbury 1998)

I see what you mean now and I somewhat agree with you. I think it might be to show that Vernon is in charge in the muggle world and the muggle world is f*cked up.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: __incendiarywit
2007-03-02 02:21 am (UTC)

Re: CoS:01 - The Worst Birthday (Bloomsbury 1998)

I agree, the 2nd book is definitely my least favorite. I actually didn't start 'loving' the series till book three. We'll still have fun with this one though. =P
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)