Search for Knowledge
The largest mystery in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix surrounds Harry's search for knowledge of himself and his place in the wizardry world. The novel opens with Harry's constant attention to newspapers and news programs as he looks for any evidence of Voldemort's return. When he finds nothing in his searches, he looks to letters from Ron and Hermione for information. At Dumbledore's request, those letters similarly contain little helpful news. Once at the Order of the Phoenix, Harry's quest for answers becomes partially satisfied as he learns that Voldemort still lies in wait, spending his energies gathering supporters and looking for a new kind of "weapon." But the larger questions about Voldemort's long-term strategies and the Order's plans to defend the wizardry community evade Harry. Members of the Order, led by Dumbledore, contend that Harry should only be told what "he needs to know" and little else.
Harry's initial curiosity about Voldemort seems to be unfounded adolescent energy. Many adult readers might agree at the beginning of the novel that, although he did play a key role in the community-altering events of the previous year, Harry indeed should be protected from further involvement because of his youth. In fact, Dumbledore clearly expresses this view in the final scenes of the novel: "I cared more for your happiness than your knowing the truth…." But Harry's instincts...
(The entire section is 1347 words.)
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