Review · Uncategorized

The Inner Struggle Between Good and Evil – Harry Potter Book Review

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince is the 6th book in the series and it’s significant in that it paves the way for the final battle between Harry and Voldemort. While most people have seen the movies and understand the story, I have found the books offer more insight into the emotions Harry felt. Throughout the book Harry’s emotions are incredibly deep and it anyone can relate to them. Also please note, many people now consider the Harry Potter series authorless or written by Daniel Radcliffe. I am one of those people as I believe an author that can inspire imagination in children should be able to have enough imagination to at least grasp that gender is spectrum and a social construct.

Much like the previous book (The Order of the Pheonix), Dumbledore is adamant on teaching Harry the reasons behind a persons character. In the Order of the Pheonix, he explained the reasons why Kreacher betrayed Sirius and allowed Harry to interpret both sides of the story. In the Half Blood Prince, the lessons on character were almost entirely on Voldermort as Dumbledore believed he needed to understand his past in order to defeat him. While this was a part of the reason, there was another important factor in teaching Harry about Voldemorts past, so he could draw parallels with his own. Both Harry and Tom Riddle grew up lonely and orphaned, one became humbled and the other turned to pure evil. At one point in the book, Dumbledore questions whether Voldemort was born evil or whether he became evil. When comparing Harry and Voldemort, they both grew up in similar circumstances, so what was the definitive part that made Harry choose good?

When analysing Harry’s childhood, he grew up abused and lied to. He was told his parents died in a car crash, though he still had family and there was some kind of connection to who he was. In contrast to Tom Riddle, he grew up with no connection to anyone, all he knew is that he could do these special things. One of the ideas Dumbledore explained, was that because Riddle was surrounded by Muggles, he assumed he was special and because of this, he was above them. This idea was further developed because Riddle had no idea who his parents were and so he created a fantasy that they were powerful. When comparing Harry and Riddle, it can be quite easy to understand what set them both on their individual paths. Dumbledore wanted Harry to draw these comparisons because in doing so, his own character could develop.

In the Half Blood Prince, Harry was around the same age that Riddle started to kill. Riddle started to become interested in his family because he had this unique ability to talk to snakes and thus he must be the heir of Slytherin. That idea came crashing down when he discovered his family lived in horrific conditions and were living in squalor. Yet, the biggest factor that contributed to what he became, was that his mother loved a Muggle – a group he thought he was above. Learning that he wasn’t special, he sought to erase his past through murdering his Muggle side of the family. Dumbledore believed it was important for Harry to understand this because the journey ahead would involve the discovery of secrets, lies and objects of true power. Glory would be within his reach and he would have to reject it. Throughout the book, Harry is shown to be very susceptible to the effects of gaining prestige. The potion book owned by the Half Blood Prince was an analogy for this. Harry almost gave into the praise he recieved and through trust in the book he severely injured Draco. Through having this insight, Harry could see the consequences of striving for someone else’s greatness, much in the same sense Voldemort strives for the Slytherin familys greatness. Through understanding the consequences striving for glory, Harry could have a chance of overcoming his obstacles, as the ones to come would be the hardest he ever faced.

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince is a fantastic book and while it is quite dark in comparison to the others, it teaches people to understand and learn from others, amongst other things. Life can be hard and having ones hopes and dreams crushed can have a profound effect on an individual, however taking a path that doesn’t give into those insecurities through seeking greatness is better in the end. This book had a profound effect on me and I felt it deserved an analysis. Thanks for reading!

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    Poetry

    Colleagues

    I came here to work.
      To learn,
      To achieve.
    Please don’t make me feel this way,
    There’s too many distractions.
    So I ask please…stop.
    Don’t turn an innocent crush into something more.
    I don’t know when it started,
    But now I like the attention,
       The flirting,
       The support,
    You said you have my back.
       Is that true?
       Why do you?
    I couldn't take the thoughts anymore,
       I need to focus.
    That’s why I confessed.
    Was it self-sabotage?
       Yes.
    Rejection hurts but maybe you’ll stop,
       Stop flirting,
       And glancing were my eyes aren’t.
    Why do I have to lower myself?
       To hurt myself to stop you?
    
    It didn’t work,
       It built you up.
    And now I’m left here.
    You said you understood why I had to hear you say it,
        All the while you glanced at my lips.
    I wish it would end here.
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    Poetry

    R U OK? Day Poem

    Trigger warning: Some of the words in this poem can imply suicide. It’s up to your own interpretation, however please be cautious.

    I’m waiting,

    For someone to notice.

    Each day is growing harder,

    Each breath becoming a gasp.

    The perfect storm is in my head,

    Yet, my words are obslete.

    How much longer will I endure?


    I’m counting down the days,

    Until my mind is at peace.

    I don’t know how or when the storm inside will subside.

    But exhaustion has set in,

    Every movement agony.

    How much more can I take?


    I’m so afraid,

    Of what I am capable of,

    And the consequences of trusting others.

    The world is cruel.

    All I can do is wait and see,

    If someone can pull the words out of me.

    By reaching out,

    To ask me,

    ‘R U OK?’


    Mental health is incredibly important and having struggled in the past, I wanted to write a poem for R U OK? day. There have been many times in the past which I wish I could’ve been asked that and I know there are people out there who need to be asked that right now. I try to make my blog a safespace for self-expression of my own thoughts through poetry because it helps with my healing, but it also helps others to know they’re not alone. If anyone needs to talk right now, my inbox is always open!

    Poetry

    Self Sabotage

    Life is going well lately,

    It’s given me inspiration to be someone.

    My heart is soaring,

    And my brain is racing.


    My thoughts are strong,

    Erratic,

    Never ending.

    I want something so badly,

    I’m afraid of failure.


    There’s only one way to avoid failing,

    Self sabotage.

    For I cannot be disappointed,

    If my undoing is a result of my actions.

    It’s so illogical, yet logical.

    Incredibly foolish, yet intelligent.

    When in the face of failure,

    Anxiety is my undoing,

    I am my own worst enemy.

    Poetry

    Stalemate

    All you do is hurt

    The laughter and love is gone.

    Yet, she stays.


    Mentally, I have left.

    I know the consequences of being around him.

    But you simply ignore it.

    When will enough be enough?


    What is left for him to take from you?

    … your children?

    He couldn’t possibly take that.

    We’ve seen and felt the abuse.

    So, tell me why… why are we still here?

    Trapped in a vicious cycle.

    In a war.


    I hope for the day we aren’t on a metaphorical battlefield,

    Where a war rages on for what seems like an eternity.

    If either side moves an inch, all hell breaks loose.

    The arsenal is equally matched.

    We will forever be at a stalemate,

    Until one side either falls or endures enough hits to come out victorious.

    The question is will that day ever come?


    It pains me to say it but no.

    Wars are only ever won when there’s death,

    The last man standing comes out victorious.

    It’s such a pity you choose to spend your life on the battle front,

    Against your will…

    I hope one day we can be free,

    Together.

    Poetry

    Delusional

    I thought it was really going to happen this time.

    The universe was on my side

    I could see my dream,

    Drawn by the stars,

    Spelled out by the gushing winds

    The universe was telling me something


    Yet, I never realised…

    Never realised it was drawn by the stars,

    Because my dream was too big.

    Spelled out by the gushing winds,

    Because my dream was too loud.


    The universe was warning me

    ‘Don’t pursue it.’

    ‘You’re a speck of dust in this eternal vacuum of time and space.’

    I was deluded.

    Poetry

    Change

    Sometimes our voices feel small

    We are drowned out by the world around us

    Never having our feelings heard


    Then, one small voice grows louder

    Someone starts to hear

    Now, there’s another voice

    It can be heard

    Their thoughts and opinions no longer drowned out


    Everyone’s voice is now growing louder

    No one is left unheard

    We all see a problem

    An issue that we have to yell to have heard and be seen

    That’s not good enough

    We will keep yelling,

    Until something is done

    Then, we can be silent.

    Only when we live in a world where the colour of your skin is irrelevant,

    And everyone truely is equal.

    Poetry

    Panicking

    I can’t breathe

    There’s fear…there’s pain…

    There’s panic…

    5 things I can touch, 5 things I can see.

    List them and breathe.


    Don’t think about anything else

    I can touch my blanket…my plush

    Everything was my fault, everything

    Stop. Focus. Three more things.

    My dog…my book…my iPad.

    That’s wasn’t so hard, see


    Why was I treated so badly?

    Everyone blames me…

    It was all my fault.


    Five things you can see.

    Breathe

    My Christmas tree…breathe

    My heater, my makeup…breathe

    My shoes and my lamp.


    You can breathe again

    Good, there’s no need to panic

    You’re in a safe place

    Review

    Why I Love Frozen 2 Pt. 1 (spoilers)

    Warning: spoilers. For those of you who just want to read my interpretation of the second movie, skip to paragraph four as the first few paragraphs is what the first Frozen movie meant to me.

    When the first Frozen movie came out, I remember seeing all the hype about it. So naturally, I gave in and watched the movie. I remember feeling emotional every step of the way when it came to Elsa’s and Anna’s relationship. Having a sister myself, I resonated with the idea that I would do anything for her, including shut her out when life got tough, I could relate to Elsa.

    Elsa’s signature song ‘Let it Go’ was an amazing piece in which you could feel that after all the pain and suffering she went through, telling everyone finally let her be free to a certain extent. That pivotal scene in which she transformed into her new self after being free of her constraints and letting her power flow gave me chills. It showed how freedom from your constraints can allow you to transform. Yet, despite releasing all the pain of her life, she was still unable to let those who love her in (a feat I too have only recently came to discover is difficult) because she was still isolating herself. She was able to let go of the past and embrace her power, however; fear of letting others in was still ingrained in her. By refusing to let anyone in she hurt those she loved even more and almost lost Anna through freezing her heart. By the end of the movie, when Anna was frozen and Elsa was finally able to show her love, it was only through that release of emotion that she was able to unfreeze her.

    My love for the first movie stems because of my own childhood and how my sister and I can relate to both characters. Elsa and Anna were the only ones who knew the isolation they both experienced. I could draw parallels with our own childhoods. I resonated with Elsa as I had to be strong and put up a wall and my sister was Anna trying to figure the world out alone. Despite drawing similarities with my own life, I could only relate to Elsa and couldn’t relate to any other character. Frozen 2 changes that, most characters are relatable in one way or another and it’s commentary is outstanding.

    Anna’s Character Development

    The start of the movie opens up to an upbeat song titled ‘Some Things Never Change’, which sings about well… things never changing. In the song she describes how the world around her is changing, yet the loved ones who surround her remain the same. She sings how the way she is ‘…holding on tight…’ to everyone around. Anna is a very family oriented person and would do anything for the people she loved because she grew up in perpetual loneliness. She is afraid to lose the ones who she now holds so dear which is why she holds onto them so tightly. These actions are something a lot of people can resonate with as we often go through life losing the people we hold dear in one way or another. Anna’s character is very much relatable because she has so much fear in losing the ones she loves and compares her will to hold onto them as strong as a ‘old stone wall that will never fall’. This idea is one that many people can draw parallels with, I for one have often fought for those I love/value even to the point I will hold them as close as possible, however; this doesn’t always work.

    Holding on tightly to others doesn’t always turn out the way you want it to. Anna tried to keep Elsa close to her throughout the entire movie so she wouldn’t lose her again and have to experience the loneliness she felt throughout her entire childhood. At the end of the day, she couldn’t stop Elsa from adventuring alone to find herself. After that pivotal scene where Elsa strays too far and drowns, Olaf fades away and Anna realises that her sister is gone. The song ‘The Next Right Thing’, is a song that Anna sings coming from pure despair. The first line of the song explains how she’s ‘seen dark before’, suggesting that Anna has gone through depression in the past, yet nothing can compare for the darkness she is in now. She explains hows what is feeling is ‘cold…empty…numb’ and the ‘lights are out’. Anna is finally ready to ‘succumb to the darkness’ because ‘the life [she] knew is over’. The first lines of this song display how reliant Anna is on Elsa because without her there, only darkness remains. This is further evident with the next lines of the song in which she says ‘I have followed you around, I always have, but you’ve gone to a place I cannot find’. Elsa is Anna’s older sister and she is a role model to Anna. She later sings ‘the only star that guided [her] was [Elsa]’, further supporting that idea that Elsa has always taken care of Anna and has always been held on a pedestal by her. Without Elsa there she has no guidance or ‘reason’ to rise up, she only allowed herself to be guided by others to rise up for them in order for her to keep them held so tightly. This is something a lot of us can resonate with as sometimes we don’t act for ourselves, but for others, so they can see us in a good light. ‘The Next Right Thing’ produces a fantastic message which is to not rely on others or their guidance to rise up.

    The idea of not relying on others to feel validated and develop yourself as a person is one that many of us can relate to, and its not until we listen to the voice inside our own head that we can do that. In the second verse, Anna sings ‘a tiny voice whispers in my mind, “you are lost, hope is gone, but you must go on and do the next right thing”‘. This is the crucial moment in which Anna starts to listen to her own voice. The use of the word ‘tiny’ shows how small her own voice is inside her own head because its been pushed back so many times. The voice doesn’t use the word ‘I’, instead it uses ‘you’, demonstrating the disconnect from that voice inside her head. Anna doesn’t picture the voice as her own because she’s never listened to it and its only now that she is starting to. And in darkness, the voice is telling her ‘to do the next right thing’, to ‘not look too far ahead’ and ‘break it down to this next breath, this next step’. This process that the voice inside Anna’s head is telling her really resonates with me because in those moments I suffered with depresssion, just getting through the day, one day after another, life slowly was able to get better. Frozen 2 brought a whole new side to Anna that wasn’t present in the first movie. In the first movie she was always bubbly and determined, and in this move, her mental health issues are demonstrated incredibly well.

    I didn’t plan for the section on Anna to be this long, it wasn’t until I started reading and writing that I felt the need to express how I saw Anna’s character. So I will divide my analysis up into parts and continue to write about the other characters I could draw parallels with.