Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
book

Harry Potter and the Chamber of SecretsA review of the 2nd novel in the series written by J. K. Rowling. Harry Potter’s second year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Check it out!

 

The Book

In this novel, we follow Harry Potter during his second year at school.  A series of attacks leaving people petrified is happening.

Along with those attacks, messages, by the victims bodies,  on the walls of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry leave dire warnings about the opening of a  “Chamber of Secrets”. The threats also announce an “heir of Slytherin” that will kill everyone that is not a pure-blood wizard.

Along all year, Harry and his friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger embark on an investigation to find out what’s that all about.

 

Rowling had some difficult facing the possible comparison between the first and the second book. That uncertainty caused her to be over zealous before releasing the novel after some months of revision delay.

The book was a success despite some analysis saying it was too dark or not very suitable for younger children.

The usual religious debates around Harry Potter started to become a habit, unnecessary, in my opinion.

People have a tendency to forget that fiction is supposed to entertain and, eventually,  discuss basic philosophical issues; Not impose doctrines.

Moral issues like self-sacrifice and self-character development based on choices are discussed in the book, as well as personal identity.

A discussion about racism is also a topic raised, as well as a sense against incompetent self-favoring public service institutions.

 

A connection to book 6, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, can be noticed if you already know the saga up to that point.

 

I high gross film based on the novel was released in 2002 and has already become a classic.

 

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Book Cover Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Harry Potter Saga
J. K. Rowling
Children, Fantasy
Bloomsbury, UK – Scholastic, US (1999)
1998
hardcover, paperback, audible
341
9 - 12 years


Our Review

Act 1

After been framed and put into trouble with the Dursley’s by an elf called Dobby, Harry Potter gets grounded, risking his return to Hogwarts. That was, in fact, Dobby’s objective since he believes Harry will be in danger if he goes back to school.

Using a flying car, Ron and his twin brothers rescue Harry Potter to spend the rest of the holidays with them before school starts.

The Weasley family and their guest go to Diagon Alley and meet Hermione Granger. There they find Draco Malfoy, Harry’s rival at school, and his father, Lucius.

They also attend a book event by Gilderoy Lockhart, a swindler who has been appointed the new teacher of Defense Against the Dark Arts.

 

Trigger

For some mysterious reason, Ron and Harry can’t manage to reach the train to Hogwarts and are forced to take a sidetrack by stealing Ron’s father’s flying car.

After crashing into a sentient willow tree, the boys get grounded.

While in detention, Harry hears a sinister voice in his mind that leads him to find the first petrified victim, the cat called Mrs. Norris. On the wall a warning:

“The chamber has been opened. Enemies of the heir, beware.”

 

Act 2

As gossips about the Chamber fly around Harry and his friends start investigating. During a History of Magic class, they discover that The Chamber of Secrets, created by Salazar Slytherin, houses a terrible monster.

Slytherin was one of the schools founders that parted ways with the other three co-founders Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, and Ravenclaw over a racial matter about the wizarding purity of blood.

Harry breaks his arm during Quidditch. In the hospital, Dobby tells him that he had sealed the gate at the train station and also charmed the ball that hit him. His objective was to protect Harry from further danger.

The first school student victim arrives at the nursery.

This time, it is first-year Colin Creevey and the school enters panic mode.

Dueling classes are set up for the students. Lockhart and Severus Snape are the instructors. During the first instruction class, an unusual event reveals that Harry can speak snake-language.

Students around the school suspect Harry is the Heir of Slytherin and another attack happens increasing everyone’s mistrust.

Harry, Ron, and Hermione become shaky about Draco, a declared prejudiced fellow against Muggle-born wizards, being behind the attacks.

To spy on Draco, Hermione makes Polyjuice potion, which allows them to become Draco’s lackeys, Crabbe and Goyle.

 

Mid-Point

The meeting with Draco reveals that the Chamber had been opened 50 years before.

Myrtle Warren, an existentially mopey ghost, provides a new clue, a diary that once belonged to Tom Riddle, a former student that knew too well about the Chamber and a student’s deaths at the same period, 50 years before, supposedly caused by Rubeus Hagrid.

Hermione is attacked, and the school is locked down. Dumbledore and Hagrid have to stay away until further notice.

 

Act 3

Following instructions left by Hagrid, Harry and Ron trail the spiders into the Forbidden Forest.

There they find, Aragog, a monster-spider blamed for the attacks fifty years before.

Aragog explains that the real menace is a most fearsome monster even to spiders.

A note found with Hermione informs that it’s a basilisk, a giant serpent. That explains why Harry, and nobody else, could understand it.

The basilisk can kill just with a stare, but all victims were lucky enough to have had some optic protection when they faced it and only got petrified.

Harry figures out the basilisks victim from the past was Myrtle.

Ginny disappears, probably taken by the monster into the Chamber of Secrets.

They find its entrance is in one of the school’s bathrooms and jump into it forcing Lockhart to come along.

 

CLIMAX

After a confusion with the fraud professor, Harry, alone, has to face his final challenge to free Ginny from the ghostly memory of Tom Riddle, a character full of secrets… like the Chamber…

Spoiler

Inside the cavern, Harry, once again, meets the memory-ghost of Tom Riddle, who, in fact, is Voldemort. He wants to steal Ginny’s life essence and return from the dead.

Harry defeats the Basilisk and kills Voldemort for the second time.

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Act 4

Spoiler

As with all conclusion acts, we return to a modified Ordinary World; A world that can still be quite extraordinary to us, but is common to Harry Potter and his friends:

Harry helps Dobby to become a free elf. (climax for Dobby's sub-plot)

Hermione and all other attacked victims are well, and Hagrid is released from prison.

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Please leave comment with your opinion.

 

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6 thoughts on “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

  • 2016-07-12 at 10:48 am
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    Despite the fact that the equation is like the main book, this elegantly composed, energizing spin-off keeps kids stuck to the page. It softens no new ground up the arrangement, yet the plot is an arresting rush ride loaded with mammoth man-eating creepy crawlies, a phantom who prowls in the young ladies’ lavatory, mystery underground vaults, time travel, enchanted change mixtures, the close demise of a few noteworthy and minor characters, and a climactic meeting with the best fiendishness wizard of all of them, Voldemort. J.K. Rowling exceeds expectations at turns, turns, and astonishes, and numerous will discover the personality of the individual who opened the Chamber a complete amazement.

    Yours Truly,
    Carlton

    Reply
    • 2016-07-12 at 12:43 pm
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      Hello, Carlton,

      Thank you so much for sharing your extensive and thorough view.

      Cheers!

      Reply
  • 2016-07-12 at 3:19 pm
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    This is Harry Potter’s 2nd year at Hogwarts. Certain students are being attacked and messages are being left with them. The “heir of Slytherin” is coming after those who aren’t “pure blood’s.” So Harry, Ron, and Hermione set off on an investigation to find the heir and stop his sinister plan. In this book we also meet Dobby, a house elf, who is in the employ of the Malfoy’s, Drako Malfoy being Harry’s arch nemesis. Dobby has tried more than once to protect Harry, but it doesn’t exactly work out the way he had planned. He didn’t want Harry to go to Hogwarts, so he got him grounded. But Ron found a way to bust him out of the Dursley’s house, and Harry stayed with Ron’s family until it was time to leave for school. Then Dobby made it so the entrance to the school wouldn’t open for Harry, trapping him and Ron out in the “real world,” so Ron and Harry stole Ron’s father’s flying car and made it to Hogwarts just in time. And while playing Quiddich Harry breaks his arm because Dobby charmed the ball thinking that if Harry was out of commission, so to speak, he would be out of harms way. But that only made Harry more determined to find out who the culprit was.

    While in dueling class everyone finds out Harry has an unusual talent, he can speak to snakes, which he thought was normal, but he comes to find out is very rare indeed. And because of this talent people suspect Harry of being the killer. And when another attack happens they mistrust Harry even more. So Hermione makes a Polyjuice potion to change them to Drako’s friends so they can spy on Slytherin and see what’s going on. They find out the Chamber of Secrets was opened 50 years ago by another student. Harry meets Moping Myrtle in one of the bathrooms and learns about Tom Riddle and his diary and that there were deaths 50 years ago and that they were supposedly done by Hagrid.

    When Hermione gets attacked, Ron and Harry really step up to find the killer, because they will not let one of their own down. They find Aragog, a monster spider in the forest and try to get information out of him. He is willing to part with the information because he plans on eating them afterward. He tells them the real menace is the basilisk, which is a giant serpent. Harry can hear it when no one else can because of his ability to speak snake language. If you look into it’s eyes it kills you, but if you have some kind of eye protection, you get petrified. Hermione looked at it with a mirror, so was petrified.

    Harry figures out the Myrtle was one of the students killed by the basilisk 50 years ago in the bathroom and takes Lockhart, the Defense against the Darkarts teacher with him. His teacher is just a coward, who it turns out lets others do the dirty work and then takes away their memories and gives himself the credit. But Harry is too fast for him and Lockhart loses his memory instead. Then Harry must face the Basilisk because it has captured Ginny, Ron’s sister, to bring Harry to it. In the end Harry defeats the basilisk and Tom Riddle who is the shade of He Who Must Not Be Named, Lord Voldemort. He uses the a tooth of the basilisk to stab Tom Riddle’s diary and send Tom back to where he came from, thus bringing Ginny and Hermione and anyone else who was petrified back to life.

    Reply
    • 2016-07-12 at 4:14 pm
      Permalink

      Hello, there,

      Thank you for your thorough comment. I Appreciate the effort.

      Cheers!

      Reply
  • 2016-09-20 at 12:32 am
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    The Harry Potter Series is one of my favorite series of books. I read them all growing up. Your review of the 2nd book in the series is amazing. What a great, thorough review! I have 2 kids who are 4 and 6 and I can’t wait to read the books to them. They are still a little young to actually sit still and listen to a book with no pictures, but someday soon I’ll get to sit down and share the magic experience of the Harry Potter series!

    Reply
    • 2016-09-24 at 12:32 pm
      Permalink

      Hello, Meghan,

      It’s always nice to meet new Harry Potter fans in here. Thanks for sharing your experience and kind words. Cheers!

      Reply

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