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Course Hero. "Harry Potter (Series) Study Guide." October 13, 2017. Accessed November 15, 2018.


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Harry Potter (Series) | Quotes


It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live, remember that.

Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

When 11-year-old orphan Harry Potter looks into the magical Mirror of Erised, he sees his deepest longing reflected there: his parents, lovingly beside him. Headmaster Albus Dumbledore advises Harry to stop coming to look into the mirror and moves it to a new location. To stop dwelling on what cannot be but rather live life is excellent advice. However, this advice takes on greater meaning later in the series when Dumbledore's past is revealed and his deepest longing—to have his sister Ariana alive again—causes him to make a fatal mistake.


After all, to the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure.

Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Throughout the series, the fear and rejection of death is the driving force of Voldemort's actions. Voldemort creates Horcruxes and pursues the Sorcerer's Stone to avoid death. However, Dumbledore offers a different view: death as the next great adventure. Dumbledore does not fear death, and he considers the fear of death Voldemort's greatest misunderstanding. In the final book, readers learn that Dumbledore, though dead, still exists and can advise Harry in his hour of greatest need. Just as he says, he went on to the "next great adventure."


There is no good and evil, there is only power.

Professor Quirrell, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Professor Quirrell, sharing his body with the half-alive Voldemort, expresses a sentiment shared by Voldemort and his Death Eaters: power is the ultimate goal. In their view humans are not divided by good versus evil, but by powerful versus weak. However, the series clearly refutes this view, presenting love, courage, loyalty, and self-sacrifice as good, and the self-serving search for power as evil.


Some wizards ... think they're better than everyone else because they're ... pure-blood.

Ron Weasley, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Ron Weasley explains the dark side of the wizarding world after Hermione is called a "Mudblood." Among some wizards, the depth of one's magical ancestry is of the utmost importance. Those of the oldest magical families, in which magical abilities have been passed down for generations, are "pure-blood." Those who have a Muggle parent or whose ancestry has some recent Muggles in it are "half-blood." Those born of Muggle parents are "Muggle-born" and are rudely called "Mudblood" by some. The focus on ancestry is part of the series' focus on classism concerning the theme of discrimination and oppression.


Our choices, Harry ... show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.

Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

When the Sorting Hat suggests Harry might be a good fit for Slytherin House, Harry objects, pleading to not be placed in Slytherin. The Sorting Hat places Harry in Gryffindor instead. Later, Dumbledore uses this choice to explain how a person's choices fundamentally form and express identity, not the natural gifts and tendencies one was born with. Although Harry carries the burden of a prophesied destiny, from the beginning, Dumbledore maintains free will is far more important.


Dementors affect you ... because there are horrors in your past ... others don't have.

Remus Lupin, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

When Harry experiences an extreme reaction to the presence of Dementors (dark guards of Azkaban Prison), Professor Remus Lupin explains Dementors cause people to recall their most terrible experiences. Since Harry witnessed the murder of his parents at Voldemort's hands, Dementors cause him to relive his parents' last moments.

Since the books focus on Harry's fame and heroic actions at Hogwarts, it may be easy to forget the pain and abuse he has endured. Harry's adventures are exciting, but Rowling never shies away from the darker side of human existence.


You think the dead we loved ever truly leave us?

Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

After Harry is disappointed to learn the Patronus he saw was conjured by his own self rather than his father, Dumbledore comforts him with the reassuring idea that those we have loved stay with us. He suggests they live on in ourselves. Dumbledore does not say Harry's father exists as a memory, an idea that lacks teeth; he says, "Your father is alive in you, Harry, and shows himself most plainly when you have need of him."

This sentence also foreshadows the ending of the series when those Harry loved actually do appear to help him in his hour of greatest need.


It matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be!

Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Dumbledore criticizes Fudge for thinking pure-blood wizards and witches are somehow better than others, noting this idea has always been a flaw in the Minister of Magic. Dumbledore contradicts this position, saying what someone is born—pure-blood, half-blood, or Muggle-born—is of no consequence. Instead, what one becomes over time, as a result of one's choices, makes the person who he or she is. Dumbledore, who made his own mistakes in his youth and learned many lessons, speaks this wisdom from experience.


We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided.

Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

After the return of Voldemort to his body and the death of Cedric Diggory, Dumbledore addresses the assembled students and teachers at Hogwarts. He warns them hard times are ahead, and the only way to overcome Voldemort is to stay united.

Part of the way Voldemort causes fear among the community is by turning people against each other. A culture of fear and the possibility of traitors and tattlers in their midst cause people to act only to preserve their own lives rather than work toward a common cause. Only by banding together, in Dumbledore's Army and the Order of the Phoenix for example, can they effectively oppose Voldemort.


Yes, but the world isn't split into good people and Death Eaters.

Sirius Black, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Sirius Black, explaining the fact Dolores Umbridge doesn't have to be a Death Eater to be a terrible person, reminds Harry humans are far more complicated than the simple categories "good" and "evil." Rowling paints her "good" characters as complex beings who make mistakes, make bad choices, and act selfishly. She creates a whole range of characters who are various degrees of "bad"—from evil Voldemort to cruel Umbridge to selfish Cornelius Fudge.


They'll come back, they always do in the end.

Luna Lovegood, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Luna Lovegood is speaking here about her classmates' practice of stealing and hiding her possessions and how she manages to find them each time. Her words also resonate with the series' focus on death, resurrection, and immortality, from the phoenix Fawkes to the Resurrection Stone. Many objects and people "come back" in the end.


Voldemort himself created his worst enemy, just as tyrants everywhere do!

Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

In explaining how Voldemort created a powerful enemy with the power to vanquish him in Harry, Dumbledore makes a larger point about tyrants. Voldemort is a tyrant—he rules by fear and a show of might; he allows no dissent. In the final book of the series, the rule of Voldemort takes on even more characteristics of tyranny. The Ministry of Magic, a more democratic institution, falls to the Death Eaters. Voldemort and his Death Eaters begin rounding up and imprisoning anyone who dares step out of line.


You are protected, in short, by your ability to love!

Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

The power of love to protect a person from evil appears in Harry's life in two ways. First, the sacrificial love of his mother's final act gives Harry a protective magical charm that makes it impossible for Voldemort to touch him. Even when Voldemort finds a way around this charm, Harry's ability to love others makes it impossible for Voldemort to enter Harry's mind or possess him. Dumbledore explains it this way: "Despite your privileged insight into Voldemort's world ... you have never been seduced by the Dark Arts." Harry responds he couldn't follow Voldemort, who killed his parents. This idea is evidence, Dumbledore concludes, it is love that protects Harry from the temptation of becoming one of Voldemort's followers.


Pity the living, and, above all, those who live without love.

Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

The importance of love is a constant theme in the Harry Potter series. Out of love, Harry's mother sacrificed herself and, in doing so, gave him powerful magical protection. It is Harry's love for his godfather that protects Harry from possession by Voldemort. In this quote Dumbledore reminds Harry not everyone experiences or understands love. Love is so essential to life that to live without it is far worse than dying.


Is this real? Or has this been happening inside my head?

Harry Potter, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Paused between life and death after confronting Voldemort, Harry meets the late Professor Dumbledore—who was killed at the end of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince—in what appears to be King's Cross Station. They discuss the events that have led up to this final confrontation and Harry's options. When Harry asks, "Is this real?" Dumbledore replies, "Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?"

Dumbledore has always maintained death is simply a new adventure, not something to be feared or rejected. Here, his calm words reassure Harry reality encompasses far more than what the physical self can sense. Reality encompasses the physical life as well as that which is beyond it. It encompasses the observable world and the life of the mind. All are real.

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