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Who is the antagonist and protagonist in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and why?

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sboland | Student, Undergraduate | eNoter

Posted November 21, 2010 at 2:08 PM via web

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Who is the antagonist and protagonist in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and why?

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lmetcalf | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted November 21, 2010 at 3:25 PM (Answer #1)

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The protagonist of story or novel is the hero -- the person we are rooting for or that is the focal point of the story.  Sometimes they can be horrible people, but in this case, the protagonist is Harry Potter.  He is the very special boy who is finally learning the truth about his talents and his place in the world -- a wizarding world he knew nothing of until now.

The antagonsist(s) of a story or novel are the characters who create the conflicts for the protagonists.  There are several characters who fit this bill in the novel. 

The most obvious, and prevasive, is Voldemart who is determined to take over the magical world with his evil ways.  He must destroy Harry in order to do it, and while Harry likes Hogwarts school and his new friends, he doesn't know whom to trust.

Other antagonists in this novel:  The Dursley's -- Harry's aunt and uncle who are his guardians, but who treat him very poorly;  Draco Malfoy -- the bully from Slytherin; Professor Snape whom Harry and the other kids think is trying to hurt Harry (though in the end it is revealed that he was protecting Harry); Professor Quirrel, it is revealed, is the true "bad guy" of the novel as he is the working working for Voldemort  and who wanted the Sorcerer's Stone.

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Wiggin42 | TA , Grade 11 | Valedictorian

Posted April 27, 2014 at 10:49 PM (Answer #2)

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In a broad sense, the protagonist is Harry and the antagonist is Voldemort. However, Harry doesn't really come into contact with Voldemort until the very end. He doesn't even realize it is Voldemort until the very end. So its tempting to say that Quirrel is the antagonist. Yet, "no one suspects poor stuttering Professor Quirrel". Harry suspects Snape throughout the whole novel but it wasn't Snape! 

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