The Boy Who Lived through Commitment

Jürgen: So, there’s this podcast called “Harry Potter and the Sacred Text” where they take each chapter of Harry Potter, read it through a theme, and talk about it. I have decided to read the books again while listening to the podcast.

Jose: I have heard about this before.

Jose: Do you want to listen, read, and discuss it together?

Jürgen: Sure, that sounds fun.

Jose: We could do like a chapter or two each week and discuss it when we meet.

Jürgen: Cool.

I see commitment as saying No, repeatedly and consistently. Commitment to someone or something requires you to pass up on opportunities and have a dogged determination to persevere when things go south. I see that commitment in two characters in this chapter, the things they are committed to are on either end of a spectrum but, the act is one and the same.

The first is Mr. Dursley’s commitment to being normal. He likes his routine, he wants to have his breakfast, drive to work, and sit with his back to the window. He’s constantly saying no and beating away these unusual sightings as statistical anomalies rather than a window into the otherworldly, all in his foolish quest to being normal.

The second is Minerva McGonagall. There she was, right after this great victory against the dark lord, committed to the next task, to do this reconnaissance mission of a muggle suburb without clear knowledge of why. She turned herself into a cat and sat on the wall all day while the rest of the wizarding world was celebrating away. She is this great maternal figure in the story, stern but loving, and acts as a perfect counterbalance to the wiser but mischievous Dumbledore.

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