Friends: Through Thick and Thin
Friendship is something treasured among many, but friends often go through seasons of ups and downs during their friendships. It seems that no matter what happens though, they are able to work together to overcome any obstacles that come their way, and the bond between them is strengthened. The Harry Potter series written by J.K. Rowling is able to depict this phenomenon well with three of the main characters, Harry, Ron, and Hermione. In the course of Harry, Ron, and Hermione’s friendship, they have been through many journeys that have had positive effects making their friendship stronger, as well as negative effects weakening it to the point of ruin.
Throughout the series, Rowling expresses the importance of friendship, especially when it comes to overcoming challenges and difficult tasks. In the first movie Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Harry is completely isolated before coming to Hogwarts. Not only does he not have a loving family environment, but he does not have any friends to serve as a support system. Psychology researchers have noticed and created what is called the attachment theory (Goodfriend 75). This theory focuses on how the familial environment during one’s formative years affects one’s ability to begin and maintain normal, adult relationships – including romantic relationships. However, after becoming a student at Hogwarts, Harry quickly creates a large group of friends. More importantly, he creates a close relationship with Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone). All of these children have been removed from their homes and are forced into constant interaction with friends and peers (Christie 6). For most of the students at Hogwarts, a strong group of friends helps with things like homesickness and difficult classes. But in Harry’s case, Rowling seems to draw a more obvious parallel between friendship and difficult life challenges. The only way that Harry is able to reach the Mirror of Erised in the dungeons of Hogwarts is with Ron and Hermione’s help. Hermione and Ron both tackle specific challenges that Harry would have been unable to face on his own. Harry’s friendship with Ron and Hermione saves his life and allows him to keep Voldemort from finding the Sorcerer’s Stone. He also becomes part of a couple groups. Groups are important and provide us with innumerable benefits. For example, when Harry becomes a Gryffindor and joins the Quidditch team it adds more to his life than just labels or new friends (Beers 33). These group memberships change the way Harry defines himself, and for Harry (like the rest of us) group memberships are an important source of self-esteem. Harry learns that he can rely on himself while still drawing upon the support system and exceptional magical talents of his close friends.
In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets we see that once Harry returns to the Dursley’s house he no longer has his support system readily available. The Dursleys tend to classify all wizards as bad and do not really appreciate the complexity of the group (Beers 38). They maintain their beliefs that wizards are strange and magic is bad no matter what Harry tells them. He gets locked up in his room and some of the Weasleys show up to rescue Harry with their flying car. Harry is clearly very grateful to have a close friend that will allow him to spend the remainder of the summer at his house. Once Harry, Ron, and Hermione get well into their second year of school unfortunate events begin to happen. The chamber of secrets has been reopened by the heir of Slytherin and select individuals at Hogwarts are being petrified (Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets). Harry, Ron, and Hermione are determined to find out who the heir of Slytherin is, so determined that they make a polyjuice potion to find out if Draco Malfoy is the heir or if he knows any information. Hermione ends up getting petrified as well but was still able to...
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