Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

by J. K. Rowling

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What are some examples of foreshadowing in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone?

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This first book in the Harry Potter series is filled with foreshadowing. For example, in the opening chapter, Harry's ability to communicate with the snakes on the trip to the zoo foreshadows the power he will wield in the wizarding world: we know from the start he is no ordinary boy, but we don't yet know why.

Hagrid later tells Harry that he would be "mad" to try to break into and rob Gringotts—this foreshadows that in a later book in the series, Hermione, Harry, and Ron will do this "mad" act and break into Gringotts.

When Snape looks into Harry's eyes on first meeting him, Harry's scar begins to burn. This seems to foreshadow Snape's malicious character, but it's actually a red herring, since Harry's scar is burning due to the presence of Voldemort in the guise of Professor Quirrell nearby. Snape's intense reaction to meeting Harry also foreshadows the importance of the emotion of love to the scar and to the series: we will later find out that it was Harry's mother's love for him that saved him from Voldemort, and we later also find out the Severus Snape was in love with Lily (Harry's mother).

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In Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone what is example of foreshadowing that J.K. Rowlings used?

A great deal of foreshadowing happens in the first chapter when Mr. Dursley leaves for work and notices a cat reading a map at the end of his street. When he glances back before he turns away, the cat seems to be reading the street sign. Then, on his drive, he notices a number of individuals walking around wearing long, colorful cloaks. He assumes that this is some new youthful fashion until he sees old people wearing them too, and one group is talking excitedly about the Potters, his in-laws, and their son, Harry. As he leaves work, he bumps into a cloak-clad old man who hugs him and says,

Rejoice, for You-Know-Who has gone at last! Even Muggles like yourself should be celebrating, this happy, happy day!

On the news, Mr. Dursley learns that "the nation's owls have been behaving very unusually today." Further, a high number of shooting stars have been reported in one town. When he peers out his bedroom window that night, he sees the cat again, and it appears to be waiting for something. All of these clues foreshadow the strange events which are about to befall the Dursleys. Obviously something quite odd—even otherworldly—is about to happen.

In addition, Albus Dumbledore and Minerva McGonagall get a glimpse of the baby, Harry Potter, who has a scar on his forehead shaped like a lightning bolt. If one is familiar with Greek mythology, one knows that the lightning bolt is associated with the most powerful god on Olympus, Zeus. Though this child may appear to be weak and vulnerable and helpless, the shape of his scar seems to foreshadow the strength and power that he has inside of him.

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In Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone what is example of foreshadowing that J.K. Rowlings used?

Remember that foreshadowing is defined as any hints or clues that the author places earlier on in the novel that act as predictions or indications of what will happen later on. If we think about this definition, there are certainly lots of examples of foreshadowing in this great book - authors use foreshadowing to create suspense.

One of the most important examples comes in Chapter 2, entitled "The Vanishing Glass." In this chapter, we see an example of Harry's latent magical ability as he makes the pane of glass separating Dudley and the boa constrictor vanish so that Dudley falls in:

Harry sat up and gasped; the glass front of the boa constrictor's tank had vanished. The great snake was uncoiling itself rapidly, slithering out on to the floor - people throughout the reptile house screamed and started running for the exits.

This event of course foreshadows Harry's identity as the son of a witch and a wizard and as somebody chosen to go and study at Hogwarts to become a wizard himself.

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