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What is the theme, moral, or lesson of Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince?

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ocdr2b44 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 21, 2010 at 4:23 AM via web

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What is the theme, moral, or lesson of Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted March 21, 2010 at 4:29 AM (Answer #1)

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There are lots of themes and lessons in this book.

To me, perhaps the biggest lesson is that murdering people in cold blood tears your soul apart (at least in Rowling's opinion.)  This is the book where we learn about Horcruxes, and I think that is the message of the Horcruxes.

I think there are some other themes.  First, I think we see the theme of self-sacrifice.  Both Harry and Dumbledore are doing a lot of stuff that they would rather not have to do, but they are going to do it because it is necessary.  Dumbledore, for example, drinks the potion at the lake to get the locket.  And then he allows himself to be killed.  Harry sacrifices time with his friends and his fun to go through this all with Dumbledore.

You can also see the importance of true trust and friendship with the whole deal between Lavender and Ron and Hermione.  And we see Harry being a friend by backing off of doing anything about liking Ginny for a long time because he doesn't want to hurt his relationship with Ron.

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boryung | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Assistant Educator

Posted August 16, 2010 at 2:22 AM (Answer #2)

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I don't think that this novel contains as many lessons as in the Deathly Hallows, where Rowling explains through Dumbledore's words the moral of the entire series.

One lesson, I think, would be sympathy even for one's enemies. Though Draco Malfoy is a Death Eater who plotted to kill Dumbledore, Rowling potrays him sympathetically in several scenes. In one scene, he is crying due to worry for his family, and he is unable to actually kill Dumbledore. This shows that Draco has not yet been fully corrupted. I think that this ties in with Rowling's theme that the world is not morally black and white. Draco, who would appear to be an "evil" character, is clearly morally ambiguous. He also has a good, still innocent side to him.

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Wiggin42 | Student, Undergraduate | TA | (Level 2) Valedictorian

Posted May 31, 2014 at 10:07 PM (Answer #4)

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Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince has many themes, morals, and lessons depending on the angle you look at it from. The novel has a side story of Draco's coming of age. He is forced to make a difficult choice that isn't really a choice at: become a death eater or die with his parents. So, one of the most important lessons from this novel is not to judge people too harshly because its impossible to know what they are going through.

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