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A critical analysis of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Acritical analysis of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Thereis the transition in the way of life people living in Azkaban. Mostindividuals in this area practice witchcraft and wizardry. Moreover,it has gone to the extent that children are taught these vices inschools and even wizard jails have been formed in Azkaban. Therefore,the aim of this paper is to analyse the tension between appearancesand reality with outlining vivid examples from the novel and Cuaron’sfilm.

Theauthor portrays Harry Potter as a controversial character in hisbook. This is because Potter had attended Hogwarts School ofWitchcraft and Wizardry for the last two years (Rowling 20). However,the Dursley family which consisted of his uncle and relatives wouldtake away his magic books to reduce the magic he had within himself(Yates,David, and Rowling).This reason caused him to dislike the summer holidays since his uncleand aunt went a step further to restrict him from communicating withthe neighbours. On the other side of the film, his friends kept intouch with him by contacting him on the phone while others sendletters to bridge the distance between them (Rowling 27). When Roncalls, it happens that his uncle, Vernon Dursley picks the phone andspeaks harshly to him. He even alleges that &quotThere is no HarryPotter here,&quot while Potter is sited listening to theconversation between the two. Harry`s friends had sent their birthdaygifts to Harry together with letters informing him of the places theyhad travelled to during the summer holiday.

Harryand his uncle had a friendship which sprouted out of theirdifferences in their daily living. The film clearly illustrates thefriendship and loyalty which was experienced when Vernon`s Aunt paidthem a visit at their home. Vernon commanded Harry to behave wellduring his aunt’s stay at their place (Yates,David, and Rowling).Harry accepted the only condition that Vernon would sign hispermission form so that he could visit the village(Berndt, Katrin, and Steveker).Vernon had no option but on the requirements of Harry just because ofhis aunt. In the film, Harry could no longer tolerate thehumiliations he got from Vernon’s aunt and decided to use a littlemagic to cool her down. The novel also supports this argument sinceafter the Aunt had drank so much alcohol, he caused her to startswelling and even the buttons on her jacket begun to tear while shewas being raised at the top of the roof (Rowling 35). After thisincidence, Harry then escaped from Vernon’s home and went to hidesomewhere in the dark and plan his escape.

Itwas shocking disbelieve that a certain bus which took people to anydestination stood and the conductor requested Harry where he wastravelling to. In the film, the conductor, Stan Shunpike,hepersuades Harry to aboard the bus (Yates,David, and Rowling).While on the journey, Stan is busy reading an article about the DailyProphet when he saw a familiar person with a long sunken faceblinking at him. He then recalled that the man who had blinked at himwas at the news and his name was Sirius Black(Berndt, Katrin, and Steveker).He tore the front page of the article Harry was reading and returnedit to him. In the novel, the words of the article are revealed. Perthe novel, the article read, “We are doing all we can to recaptureBlack,&quot said the Minister of Magic, Cornelius Fudge, thismorning, &quotand we beg the magical community to remain calm&quot(Rowling 47). This quote illustrates that Sirius, the prisoner, hadescaped imprisonment and that he was a threat to anyone who triesknow about him hence illustrating the similarity that existed betweenthe novel and the film.

Whilein the bus, we can see the controversy which arises when theconductor unfolds the story of ‘Arry Potter blowing up his auntwhile Potter was one of the passengers in the bus. This caused Pottera lot of discomforts that worsened his situation even further andcaused him to become restless (Yates,David, and Rowling).Therefore, Harry was against the Wizard law, and his action wasenough for him to be jailed. Such an action by Harry was consideredpunishable per Rowling’s novel the same way Sirius had beenimprisoned though he escaped from prison. The two were supposed toserve a jail term in the Wizards prison located in Azkaban. However,the two were escaping from imprisonment with the aid of the Knightbus. Therefore, the novel and the film bear a lot of similarity.

ImmediatelyHarry came off the bus he was welcomed by Cornelius Fudge who wasthe Minister of Magic. It was as if Cornelius was waiting for himsince in the film, he is seen hanging around before the arrival ofthe Knight bus. This incidence caused Harry to shiver since hethought he had escaped the punishment only to walk into the ministerof magic immediately he alights from the bus. Harry becamedumbfounded because of the situation at hand. However, the two can beseen entering a restaurant to have a cup of tea (Yates,David, and Rowling).While they were taking a cup of tea, Fudge stated speaking to Harryabout the step had taken off from his uncle and aunt(Berndt, Katrin, and Steveker).He believed Harry should not have ran away even though he was safe atthat place he had escaped to. During their conversation, the authorof the novel illustrates that Harry was not comfortable when he askedCornelius whether he will be punished for the mistake he had done(Rowling61).It was against Harry`s expectations when Fudge said that they wouldnot punish him since that was a small mistake. He was then allocateda room where he would live during his stay in Fudge’s place. Thenovel and the film interrelate in many aspects.

Inthis new environment, it took Harry a couple of days to get used tothe transition he had undergone. There was a lot of freedom in DiagonAlley as per the film that he could eat what he wanted and have awalk so long as it was at this location ((Yates,David, and Rowling).).This is because Harry is seen to be surprised about the freedombrought about by the change of the environment. Moreover, he could dohis assignments in broad daylight, unlike the way he did while inMuggle sides of the world. He became used to eating breakfast andrelaxing his brains by watching the witches in the country. It isalso revealed by the author that Harry saved a lot during his stay inFudge since he had other five years of study ahead of him (Rowling67). During his stay in Diagon Alley, he met two of his friends whowere Ron and Hermione. They expressed their surprise when they sawhim since the mistake he had he could not have been free by now.

Thefollowing day, Harry was woken up by Tom so that they could preparefor their journey to King`s Cross. They dressed up for the voyageafter which they took tea before leaving for the train (Rowling 70).However, the journey was not to the expectation of Harry since whenhe compared this journey with the one of the Knight bus, the latterseemed to be eventful. This is because the ministry of the magic carsappears to be stationary as they did not move. Conversely, Harrynoticed that they could slide through gaps that were run by UncleVernon`s new company (Rowling 70). On their arrival, their luggagecan be seen to be offloaded after which they got ready for the otherpart of the journey (Yates,David, and Rowling).After their goods, had been loaded on the train, Mr Weasley and allthe children got into the train ready for the ride. The kids walkedin various apartments during the journey until they finally came to acommon room where multiple staircases separated boys and girls. Whenthey climbed the stairs, they reached a room which was circular andhad four beds. They were finally home and hence this instances showthat the novel and the film contain a lot of similarity.

Onthe entrance of the dining room the following day in the morning,they found that Drago Malfoy was entertaining a large group ofviewers with an individual story which was funny (Rowling 75). Theydecided to ignore what Drago was doing but immediately a particulargirl shouted Potter`s name and said that the Dementors were coming(Yates,David, and Rowling).This information infringed fear in Potter that his legs could nolonger contain him and he decided to sit down. The similarity betweenthe novel and the film is very clear since after an in-depthdiscussion, George encouraged Harry that the dementors who went toAzkaban grew weak and could not harm him in any way (Rowling 80).This gave Harry the strength to get assured of his safety in thetrain. The children, Harry, Ron, and Hermione, disbursed to theirvarious classes where the tutors took them through differentdisciplines.

Theclasses were on during the weekdays though Malfoy did not attendthese classes until on Thursday. He came to class with his right armcovered with bandages and held on a sling (Yates,David, and Rowling).Malfoy`s situation rose a lot of tension since the colleagues in hisclass thought he had narrowly survived a serious battle. It took ashort period for Professor Snape to arrive and requested the studentsto settle down. The students were making a Shrinking Solution, andMalfoy sat next to Ron and Harry so that he could get assistance fromthem (Rowling 83). However, he requested that someone to help him andWeasley was delegated the duty do so since he was his closestneighbour. The similarity of the novel and the film is clear since atthe end of the lesson, Harry and Hermione who had answered thequestions of the professor very well were requested to read thechapter on Boggarts and do a summary for him was to cover the topicthe following Monday (Yates,David, and Rowling).

Althoughthe classes continued well, the students developed hatred to someprofessors and they even begun making fun of them. For instance,Drago Malfoy and his team spoke ill of Professor Lupin. In the film,they are seen saying that he dressed like old house helps (Yates,David, and Rowling).However, most students did not care about the mode of dressing ofProfessor Lupin since they interested his lessons and they flourishedin his exams. Most of all, Harry enjoyed the classes of ProfessorLupin and wished that he would enjoy the other categories the sameway (Rowling 89). Therefore, it was realised that each studentpreferred individual professors than others and the Professors had noproblem with it.

Inconclusion, the novel and the film, Harry Potter and the Prisoner ofAzkaban present diverse views which create tension betweenappearances and the reality. The book expands our understanding ofthe magic world to some extent. However, it is not clear if thePrisoner of Azkaban was finally imprisoned or whether he just escapedand he was never accountable for the mistake he had done.


Berndt,Katrin, and Lena Steveker, eds. Heroismin the Harry Potter Series.Routledge, 2016.

Rowling,Joanne K. HarryPotter and the Order of the Phoenix.Vol. 5. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2013.

Yates,David, and J. K. Rowling. HarryPotter and the Deathly Hallows.Warner Bros. Entertainment Australia Pty. Limited, 2011.