Recap: Order of the Phoenix

Chapter 2 of Order of the Phoenix, A Peck of Owls, is probably one of my favorite chapters in the whole series. So much action & a ton surprising things happen! We find out about Mrs. Figg, Harry is nearly expelled, Dursleys learn about dementors though Petunia already knew(!!!!!), Harry is nearly kicked out of the Dursleys, and Dumbledore sends Petunia a Howler. Wow. J.K. does an awesome job of conveying the quick updates as owls come in with news. We’re as confused, scared, and frustrated as Harry with the unfolding news. I probably also love this chapter because the Howler Aunt Petunia receives was so mysterious & I loved speculating about it.

One of the things I love about the Harry Potter series (one of MANY I’m sure you’ve learned by now) is how something in the wizarding world applies in our world. A dark example of this is the concept of a pureblood witch or wizard being better than a Muggle-born. It’s racism. I like that J.K. put deep, dark, real concepts in her books because I think people are more likely to discuss racism in a book than racism in real life.

Along these lines are the Death Eaters. It won’t be new to anyone for me to compare them to KKK members but there’s a specific passage in this book that really raises this: In chapter 9, page 154, Harry and Mr. Weasley run into Lucius Malfoy in the Ministry of Magic. Harry is particularly upset since he “had last seen those cool gray eyes through slits in a Death Eater’s hood, and last heard that man’s voice jeering in a dark graveyard while Lord Voldemort tortured him.” When I read this, I couldn’t help but remember terrible thing I’d read in the nonfiction book They Called Themselves the K.K.K. by Susan Campbell Bartoletti.

This book is really when I start to love Ginny and McGonagall even more.  They each really stand out.  Don’t get me wrong, I love them both throughout the whole series, but in this book they step out of the shadows a little bit and truly become memorable characters.  One of my favorite parts is after George and Fred leave (and leave us the fabulous “Give her hell from us, Peeves” line), Peeves does all sorts of things and Harry thinks he hears McGonagall tell Peeves how to correctly unscrew the chandelier.  And with Ginny, I love that when she learns Harry wants to speak to Sirius after seeing his dad in Snape’s worst memory, she instantly starts thinking how they can do it.

Wow, if I thought the end of Goblet of Fire was a race to the finish, this ending is really jam-packed too.  Another of my favorite chapters in the whole series is The Lost Prophecy.  We *finally* learn some answers to mysteries we’d be wondering since Sorcerer’s Stone.  I love Harry’s loud anger juxtaposed with Dumbledore’s quiet sadness.  Harry’s demand that Dumbledore let him out– “if you don’t let me -” “By all means continue destroying my possessions,” said Dumbledore serenly. “I daresay I have too many.” — kills me everytime.

– Jill


3 Responses to “Recap: Order of the Phoenix”

  1. 1 Shirantha August 8, 2011 at 12:06 am

    Yes I agree with your comments. The start and the finish is quite exiting. I went through the last 5 – 6 chapters so quickly (just like in Goblet of Fire), I had to re read them to make sure i didnt miss any.

    Just like the Weasley twins creating chaos for Umbridge, I really like the ways Professors McGonagall and Flitwick supported it. (The movie scene of Professor Flitwick after the exams, now thats something)

    Saying that I still belive the middle part was sometimes a bit too boring, I think there was too much of Umbridges there.

    As for characters I liked Sirus the most. When I first read, I thought J.K was nicely getting him “involved” in what to come and becoming the best adult friend Harry could trust. So it was both sad and dissapointed that he had to just “die” just like that. It was too quick for my liking. Sirius deserved more that that for what he had to go through in his whole life (Rejected by his family, Losing his best friend in James, 13 years in Azkaban, no justice even after his freedom).

  2. 2 ngtjennifer August 8, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    I always kind of dread re-reading this book because it is so damn long, but I end up loving it every time. I remember this was the book that really and truly shocked me several times when I was reading it. Harry gets expelled!!! Harry is banned from Quidditch!!! Harry uses an unforgivable curse!!!

    My favorite chapter in the whole series is Career Advice, because of the scene between McGonagal and Umbridge (“Are you sure you do not want a cough drop!!”) and Fred and George’s big exit. The thing that gets me every time is when Flitwick leaves part of the swamp behind just because it is a good bit of magic. Awwwwwwww 🙂

  3. 3 ngtjill August 21, 2011 at 11:06 am

    @Shirantha – You’re right about Sirius. He does have a tough life, and it’s sad that we don’t get to see any kind of acknowledgement from the magical world that he is actually innocent once Voldemort and Wormtail resurface.

    @Jen – When I was re-reading the part where Harry is banned, I always have to think ahead and make sure he does get to play again before leaving school. And I’m always shocked when he uses an unforgivable curse too! I think that really says something about the “hero” character.

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