Monday, March 4, 2013

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets [Re-Read]

Of the seven series of Harry Potter, this second series is probably the one I have forgotten the most. I did not remember anything about what is The Chamber of Secrets or what was inside it, so I entered this story quite like a total stranger. Flowing with the story, I began to remember why I loved this story when I first read it years ago, and why—unlike most of serial stories—I didn’t find this second series boring. From the early pages, important things have already emerged, one by one, while Rowling took us to remember few details from the first series.

In this second series, Dobby opened the whole story with his warning to Harry to not going back to Hogwarts, because something dangerous has already waited for him there. I don’t know why I’ve never liked Dobby from the beginning. I know, he ought to be cute and kind, but he annoys me often with his excessive adoration to Harry. Dobby seemed to think only of himself and his own kinds when he created dirty tricks to prevent Harry from going back to Hogwarts; tricks that in the end put Harry in dangers. He did it because the elfs were afraid of their future if Voldemort back to reign the wizardry world, and Harry was their only hope because he’s the only wizard survived from Voldi’s attack. Isn’t it very selfish and narrow minded?

Apart from that, everything goes quite enjoyable until the end—oh, except whenever the pathetic Gilderoy Lockhart appeared! The most amusing part of him was when he lost his memory in the Chamber of Secrets! LOL… Harry and Ron’s adventure with the flying car was my favorite, it showed how it’s only natural for them—as ordinary teenagers—to not wisely think of any other way to go to Hogwarts than flying the car. They didn’t think of consequences, they only enjoyed the freedom of taking their own control, the delight of new adventure, and the exciting chance to show off to the whole school; typical teenagers…

Rowling was quite witty too here, when she narrated Hermione—when teacher asking questions—as ‘sounding as usual as though she had swallowed the textbook’…. :P And of course, the early-term quiz in Defense Against Dark Arts class made me laugh heartily, when Lockhart’s questions were all about him; from his favorite color to ideal birthday gift for him, LOL!!

In this second series Rowling begin to talk about racism issue, by picturing that in wizardry world there are people who think they were the highest species in the world, and to get rid of others than their race would make the world better. The Pureblood, mudblood, and squibs issues dominated the whole story.

Here’s also where Rowling begin to introduce us to Voldemort; she takes us to understand Voldemort’s background that made him the darkest and cruelest cold-hearted wizard. Again Rowling reminds me that one’s character is partly built from his childhood—by education and circumstances—but what he would have become in the future, was also defined by his own choices and decisions. In the case of Tom Riddle, he was an orphan from a mudblood couple, raised in hatred surrounding (his father ignored him because his mother was a witch), and then lived bitterly in an orphan house, and became a solitary child who couldn’t love and—in consequence—didn’t find love in others. I think the ‘hatred’ aspect had made him evil. If we compared Riddle with Potter, Potter was an orphan too, but although he lived miserably with the Dursleys, he was loved by his parents and later on by his friends. And that created a big difference in how they became and how they chose their future. Both Riddle and Potter possessed qualities of being a Slytherin, but Riddle—with his hatred and bitterness—chose Slytherin and dark arts for his future, while Potter insisted to choose Griffindor when the Sorting Hat gave him the alternative of being in Slytherin.

And there are still few other things that caught my attention. First, how brave Harry was when he was face to face with Voldemort (in Riddle’s image) in Chamber of Secrets. He even insulted him when Voldi said that he had become the great sorcerer in the world. And when his life was in danger, Harry showed his loyalty to Dumbledore by defending him, which summoned Fawkes the Phoenix to the rescue.

I also admired the strong bound of Harry, Ron and Hermione’s friendship in their second year. When each of them faced difficulties, the others would stand by and supported their friend. When Ron and Hermione found out that Harry could speak Parsletounge—which was a terrifying fact—they did not accused him of being a Slytherin heir or stayed away from him like others; they trusted Harry of what he was, and concerned about that fact together. When Ron was belching slugs after using his repaired wand, Harry and Hermione did not laugh at him, they helped and took care of him. When Hermione accidentally turned to a cat after drinking Polyjuice, Harry and Ron did not laugh or tease her either. It is so comforting to have friends that always support us, in good or bad.

One thing I’m still wondering though, how do you think the Dursleys sent Harry his gift brought by the owl?

Four stars for Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, a book which is, I think, suitable for 12 years and above teenagers and, of course, adults!

Lastly, I always love these wise quotes from Dumbeldore….

Help will always be given at Hogwarts to those who ask for it.

It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.


*I read ebook version*

*This book is counted as*

2nd book for Hotter Potter


  1. I find your comments about Dobby to be interesting. But I wouldn't consider him selfish and narrow-minded. Dobby's not human, and if he WERE human, he'd clearly have a few screws loose in the head. It would seem that the species as a whole is "narrow-minded" in that they are unable to see perspectives that are not their own. But this is not a fault with Dobby so much as part of what he is.

    I totally agree with you about the gift from the Dursleys. There are some things in this series that don't make sense, and that's one of them. I didn't notice them the first time I read the series because I started it before it became a world-wide phenomenon. Kids books have flaws. So I don't pay THAT much attention to them unless they are BIG flaws.

    But Rowling's skill improved as the series progressed, and the later books don't have as many flaws. So that's how I viewed the books - as a seamless network. So when I recently re-read the earlier books those flaws that I found quite ignorable when I first read the books were huge glaring flaws this time. I'd set Rowling up on a pedestal....and forgot that she had to climb up there. :)

    1. You have a point about Dobby there, maybe I should see him as he is. :)
      It's funny how we find those flaws only on the re-reads, because I found Rowling as a perfect genius when I read them for the first time. But well, Rowlings developed, and so did us...

  2. Hmmm...probably the Dursleys have a hidden owl inside the house? hihi... Mba, quote favoritnya pun aku sukaaa :)

    1. hahaha... or Hedwig has 'forced' them to give a present for Harry? :))