In Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone, what pedagogic purposes are established in relation to the places of Hogwarts and the Dursleys?

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accessteacher's profile pic

accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Considering these two locations, it is clear that Rowling places them as direct opposites of each other. Hogwarts is a place of the imagination, of constant change and mystery, secret passageways and magic. Privet Drive, by contrast, is dull, predictable and mundane. Rowling seems to be juxtaposing two very different worlds with these locations, and making a comment about the importance of magic and mystery for children. Note how Privet Drive is described at the beginning of Chapter Two, ten years after Harry was first delivered there:

The sun rose on the same tidy front gardens and lit up the brass number four on the Dursley's front door; it crept into their living-room, which was almost exactly the same as it had been on the night when Mr. Drusley had seen that fateful news report about the owls.

Privet Drive is defined by its boring normality. Where Harry thrives and grows, however, is not at his uncle and aunt's house, but at Hogwarts, a place that never stays the same due to the moving staircases and is full of magic and ghosts. Rowling seems to be pointing out that children need mystery and magic in their lives to really grow and flourish. This is shown by the way that Harry lives something of a stunted life at Privet Drive, and only begins to flourish when he is allowed to embrace magic and mystery.

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Wiggin42's profile pic

Wiggin42 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 2) Valedictorian

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The contrast between Privet Drive and Hogwarts emphasizes the wonderfulness of Hogwarts and the magical world. Hogwarts is home and the Dursleys are not even though they are related to Harry by blood. Privet Drive is dull and dreary; the Wizarding world is exciting. Privet Drive is everyone's reality, and Hogwarts is their wonderful. escape. This illustrates how much people seek an escape from the drudgery of everyday life. 

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