Here it is the second blog… your very special Labor Day treat from me to you!! 🙂
So before I get into what this chapter is about and my interpretation of it I want to first say how much I love the title of this chapter. There are so many reasons to love it! I mean we get re-introduced to one of the best characters of the series, Hagrid, who is the keeper of not only literal keys but so many key moments of the series. Yet, most importantly I love this chapter title, because I have nicknamed one of my favorite people in the Student Affairs office, the Keeper of the Coffee! If you go to DU and indulge in the free coffee in this office, you’ve met Amanda and know just how amazing she is!
Anyways, side note over, we jump into this chapter. Here we pick up at the last chapter, where the Dursleys and Harry are on this really spooky island, trying to outrun the letters that won’t stop coming to Harry. It’s the middle of the night, Harry is counting down the minutes until 12AM and his birthday. There is a huge BANG on the door and everyone panics a bit. Another THUD, and then the door falls over, revealing a giant man standing right outside. We come to learn that this is Hagrid, the man we met in the first chapter of the book. He has come to make sure Harry actually gets his letter (which he knows the Durselys have not been giving them to Harry) and to take Harry to buy his books and supplies for school. Harry finally gets to read the letter stating that he has been accepted to Hogwarts. Hagrid is surprised to find out that Harry’s past has been hidden from him, and that harry has been lied to about who Harry is exactly. There are arguments, threats and pigtail spells casted, and in the end, Harry leaves with Hagrid, to start his wizarding life.
There are so many themes that can emerge from this chapter, however that one we are going to analyze is: coming face to face with reality.
Each set of characters in this chapter come face to face with some sort of reality and each deals with it differently.
Hagrid comes face to face with the fact that Harry knows nothing about his parents, Hogwarts or what a wizard even is. He reacts with anger and gentleness. Hagrid takes the time to explain to Harry the basics of his past, while berating Vernon and Petunia for keeping it wrapped in lies and secrecy. Hagrid is shocked, but it doesn’t keep him from moving forward.
The Durselys come to face with the reality that they have no control. Vernon fears the wizarding world, and is now standing in the presence of Hagrid (who isn’t supposed to use magic at all, but Vernon doesn’t know that. Vernon has spent years trying to control the narrative for so many years, and now, the narrative has been pulled out of his hands. Petunia faces her past, the past she’s been trying to hide for over a decade, realizing that she cannot manipulate her life story as much as she thought she could. They both react with disgust and anger mixed with fear. They are frozen not only in their world views but also literally in their stances.
Then there’s little Harry Potter. This kid comes to face the reality that he is way more special than he has been led to believe. I would like to believe that most kids who have lived a pretty crappy life would react with more enthusiasm when finding out their a wizard. However, more realistically Harry’s reaction is spot on to how a kid would react in these circumstances. For so long he has been told he’s weird, his thoughts are dangerous, that he doesn’t fit in, that there’s nothing special about him, and so it’s not unbelievable that at this moment he says “I think you must have made a mistake. I don’t think I can be a wizard”. He is in a state of utter shock and disbelief that he can have a life better than the one he is currently living.
While this doesn’t directly tie into our lives as 1L students, I do believe it ties in to most or at least a few of our reasons for going to law school. Most people I’ve come into contact with feel they have a purpose, that they aren’t being told ” _________, your a law student” (even though at times it feels like this) and are uncertain they can do it. I do believe this time will come and go numerous times over the next three years, but I want to relate it more to why we came to practice law.
This week I had the chance to go to a Juvenile Detention Center and take a tour. We faced a reality kind of grim seeing children in handcuffs. Leaving that tour I felt torn. I understood the purpose of a place like this and the function, but I also wanted to help these kids. You see most people go to law school not because they want to be rich, but because they want to change the world for someone.
We want to be the Hagrids of the world, the Keeper of the Keys, the keys that help unlock doors for the Harry Potters. We have a desire to help people feel like their lives matter, like they can be something more and that they are something special. We want everyone to have equal lives, equal rights and equal opportunities. My only hope is that those of us who want to be the Hagrids of society, never lose that desire.
Until Next Time,