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Last Updated on July 29, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 359

  • In a two-page essay, compare the Ministry of Magic to your government: where do you see successes or failures in each? Where do you see abuses of power like those perpetrated by Cornelius Fudge or Delores Umbridge? Where do you see progress being made by leaders such as Albus Dumbledore or Arthur Weasley?
  • How does your school compare to Hogwarts? In his fifth year, Harry faces extremely difficult standardized exams. Provide examples of characters for which the tests were effective as well as individuals for whom the exams were not a fair judge of talent or intelligence. What is Rowling's attitude towards standardized tests? How does your school or community evaluate student progress? What are the benefits and shortcomings in each world? Write a one-page summary on your findings.
  • Professor Umbridge and the Ministry of Magic constantly censor and control the information available to both Hogwarts students and the wizardry community as a whole. Especially through the newspaper, the Daily Prophet, the Ministry attempts to control the messages presented to the community about Voldemort's return. The Ministry even goes as far as denying what it knows to be true in an effort to keep the peace. In a one-page essay, compare these governmental strategies with ones you observe today, in the age of terrorism and global threats. How and why might your government attempt to control threatening information? What are the benefits of managing information in this way? What are the dangers?
  • Analyze Professor Snape's role in Harry Potter's life. On one hand, he intentionally singles out Harry and mistreats him. On the other hand, he provides wise advice to him during Occlumency lessons: "Fools who wear their hearts proudly on their sleeves, who cannot control their emotions … stand no chance against [Voldemort's] powers…. Control your anger, discipline your mind!" How might this direction have helped Harry in the novel? Further, what does Rowling intend for readers to think about Snape? Clearly, Dumbledore and most of the Order of the Phoenix members trust him but Harry does not. What will Snape's role be in Harry's future? How should readers understand his character? Write a brief essay explaining your opinions.

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