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Well Said - Harry Potter, Sorting Hat and Albus Dumbledore

Updated on May 28, 2015
anusha15 profile image

A Software Developer, who loves to design eCards and write poetry in her free time. It's wonderful to help others express their feelings.

Thumbs Up! JK Rowling gives so many meaningful messages via her Characters.
Thumbs Up! JK Rowling gives so many meaningful messages via her Characters. | Source

The Background

P.S. - Those who've read Harry Potter, and rather know it by heart, could skip the background.
Those who've not read, the section contain Plot Spoilers

In the first part of the series, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Harry arrives at the great castle of Hogwarts school and is selected in the School House Gryffindor. The selector is none other than a Hat - a magical object which possesses selecting intellect of the four ancient founders of the school. Harry, who has been kept away from the magical world since birth, receivesa little bit of information about the school houses - enough to understand that all cunning, dark wizards belonged to Slytherin - including the wizard that killed Harry's parents, that his friend Ron's whole family belonged in Gryffindor.

The Sorting Hat sits on the head of new wizards, and sorts them into the houses they belong to. When it's Harry's turn to get sorted and he dons the Hat, the Hat is a little perplexed, where to put Harry Potter - he has talent, thirst to prove himself - Harry starts thinking - "Not Sytherin, not Slytherin"! the hat asks him, think about it, you could be great - Slytherin will help you becoming great. But Harry is not tempted. And the Hat puts him in Gryffindor.

In second part of the series, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Harry is in a dilemma. He has come to accept that he has a lot of similarities with the founder of Slytherin house, ancient and great wizard Salazar Sytherin himself, with Lord Voldemort (the heir of Slytherin) and thus he could have actually belonged to Slytherin house instead of Gryffindor.

These doubts upset him, and he raises them in the end of the book in front of Dumbledore. The great Headmaster of the school tells Harry, that his similarities with Voldemort are a fact but another fact is his choice to be a Gryffindor. That he could resist the temptation of power more than once, that he could value the love, friendship more than greatness, that he could choose right from wrong was what defined who Harry Potter was.

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

— Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Choices Define you, not just Capabilities

That was very well said. Not just well said, it was wow said! There are many people who are skilled to do something, say a sharpshooter. But whether the shooter shoots for a sport, or s/he becomes an assassin, is entirely the shooter's choice.

If we do not talk about the extremes (good or bad), many times in life, we will find ourselves wondering, "this is what I'm good at, so this is what I should do". But that's not the case. In fact, whether you want to do it or not, is actually important. It will tell you where your heart lies, and even more important is - whether you choose to do it or not. Sometimes "wanting" is a rather tricky word. You might be tempted by something your conscience knows to be wrong. The decision, the choice will tell you how strong you are.

It will define who you are.

The Column's Introduction

About The Column Well Said: With the span of time, the complete memory of your favorite story might not be as fresh in your mind, but the core message, and your strong feeling about it, makes a lasting impression. The hubs under the column choose some story/quote/book/movie/poem, and the meaningful message(s) expressed by it, which were thought provoking. Check out the complete column introduction. Or have a look at all the entries of the column - Well Said. Here is RSS Feed URL of the column if you would like to subscribe to it with your Google Reader (or any other aggregator)

Harry Potter series by JK Rowling does not require an introduction. It was such a massive success and Potter and his friends are such popular characters that it is not an exaggeration to say that Potter Mania is a milestone in history of fiction. Rowling has created a world not only to entertain, but she has seamlessly integrated so many subtle messages through dialogues in her books that simply are as fascinating as they are deep, meaningful.


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    • anusha15 profile image

      Anusha Jain 6 years ago from Delhi, India

      @cracker10: It's amazing how books can give us lessons to remember for lifetime. Thanks for the votes.

      @ Giselle: I'm glad you liked the idea. This thought stayed with me, since I first watched the movie. I watched it dubbed in Hindi (my mother tongue first) and the thought, translated, sounded so well then too :) Later I watched the movies in English and read the books - this is one of my favorite dialogues of all time :)Thanks for your generous remarks Giselle, your comments are as always very motivating.

      @ Naveen: Yeah, and they portray this profound philosophy with such an ease, often ironically due to their unreal world. Thanks for stopping by and commenting Naveen.

    • profile image

      Naveen 6 years ago

      Good article !! One of the reasons I like magical/mystical movies is some profound philosophy they carry in its stories. Dumbledore's words are indeed "wow said".

    • profile image

      Giselle Maine 6 years ago

      I think your "well said" column is a great idea. And I love the theme of this one about our choices defining ourselves instead of our capabilities. I especially liked your line "whether the shooter shoots for a sport, or s/he becomes an assassin, is entirely the shooter's choice." - such a good illustration there. I think this article will work well for teens and adults alike through your lively yet strong words, and through the broad appeal of Harry Potter.

    • crackers10 profile image

      crackers10 6 years ago from DreamWorld

      Wow,I love that I just got a life lesson in the form of the Harry Potter books :) Great idea and very well executed. Voted up and interesting!