What is the construction of freedom in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone?

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In Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, J. K. Rowling uses the construction of freedom in order to introduce and examine the differences between the themes of power and humility.

The Philosopher’s Stone is a stone which grants its owner immortality. Many people view immortality as complete and total freedom, essentially measuring freedom as the amount of time one has on Earth instead of measuring how a life was lived. In this fallacy, people also believe that since they are immortal, they are free from sin and can act however they want. It’s not freedom they desire, it’s really power that they’re after. This is of course represented by Voldemort throughout the narrative.

On the other hand, Harry’s rise to prominence from his cupboard to the most famous wizard does not change who he is fundamentally. Instead of allowing his personality to change, Harry instead fears he will not live up to expectations. Harry keeps his first friends and does not use his popularity to climb socially. It’s this humility which ultimately rewards Harry by granting him the stone. He does not want to use the stone for himself, but instead wants to possess it to save others. This rejection of power to stay true to your humility is a true exercise of freedom.

At the end of the narrative, J. K. Rowling leaves the reader with an important message about freedom. Freedom is not something that will be granted to you by an inanimate object. It is something you find in yourself as a product of your actions and a product of the decisions you make, especially during times of adversity.

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