Meredith White's Reviews > Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling
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's review
Jul 31, 2011

it was amazing
Read from August 13 to 17, 2011

One of my favorite things about the Harry Potter series has been how every book builds on the other, and not just in a sequential pattern, but each book fills in a gap... and then leaves you with a new question that you can only hope will be answered in the future book. While, I couldn't wait to finish Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, part of me dreads the end of the series, because this 'fill me in/leave me in the dark' pattern must come to the end, and there must be conclusion to this story... at least this part of the story.

So far, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire has been THE longest one in the series - not just the 734 pages, but the chapters have increased and the resolutions take longer to appear. At points, I was annoyed - I wanted the chapter to end, to get to the point, and move on to the next 'opportunity'; however, like another reader noted on a review I read, it could be that I was just trying to 'speed' through the book, rather than taking in the detail. On a side note, I'm going to take my time on the next book (over 800 pages), and not rush. Back to Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire... I loved this book. I've seen the movie, and I knew that this book in the series, because of its creativity, ingenuity and unknown, would keep my attention. Once again, I wasn't disappointed!

There was something different about The Goblete of Fire as opposed to the previous books in the saga, and I have a feeling that returning to the more innocent days of Harry Potter will not be an option. Not to say that Harry Potter ever had an innocent life, but this particular book brought in more adult, difficult, frightening concepts that hadn't appeared prior. I think that this consideration brings about my first reflection -

* The innocence of youth is quickly fleeting and impossible to return to: Harry thought that the difficulty of living with the Dursleys was the most difficult and horrible thing to survive - only, in this book, to experience incredible loss, physical pain, and adult choices, all things that pale in comparison to living with awful relatives. As a child, we think that life will be better as adults, only to be adults wishing to return to the innocence of childhood. This thought helps me to consider another great point:

* Our job as adults is to protect the innocence of youth as long as possible: I think that Dumbledore attempts to achieve such protection of Harry by making it impossible for him to enter himself into the Triwizard Tournament. While Harry is ultimately entered anyway, Dumbledore did his due diligence to protect Harry, even from himself. Our responsibility to protect children is both difficult and easy - more difficult though, in that it may cause children to not understand and then turn on the adult, unless the adult has proved themselves trustworthy.

* Measure a man by the way he treats his 'inferiors': A quote in the book (listed below) by Sirious Black took me by surprise, and I had to reread it at least three time. In reference to the behavior of a master toward his house-elf employee, Sirious tells Harry, Ron and Hermione that you can measure a man by the way he treats his inferiors, not his equals. What a piece of WISDOM from Harry Potter! It is easy to treat one's equal (or even their superior) with respect, equality, etc. but how often have I seen those that have a less position or poor past that have been horribly and disdainfully treated? People have their reasons - entitlement, lack of personal confidence or just being rude, but why not treat people with respect simply because of what they are - people? Harry has displayed such integrity since the first book, but in this book, he is affirmed for his character. I can't help but think that this theme will reappear (and quite prominently, for sure) in the future books.

* Courage will cost: Courage to stand for what is right will cost something - popularity, resources or even one's life. Am I willing to pay the cost to stand or would I be the one cowering in fear and begging for mercy? I can't help but think that there have been times that I did the later.

* Don't expect to understand the past of others, but do be willing to show compassion: I appreciate in this book how Dumbledore so quickly shows the incredible (and difficult) concepts of mercy and compassion. Toward Snape, he shows utmost trust and mercy, even when Snape is the last to deserve such a gift. On the otherside, Dumbledore helps Harry to understand the depth of compassion, when he shares with Harry the tragic story of Neville's parents. Harry had had no idea that kind, goofy Neville had a history similar to Harry's - his parents had given the ultimate sacrifice, and Dumbledore encourages Harry to show compassion, now that he was armed with such information (but different from pity, Dumbledore also encourages Harry to keep the information to himself and allow Neville to share as he decided).

* What will be will be: Hagrid, the half-giant gameskeeper of Hogwarts and friend of Harry Potter, tells Harry quite assuringly that he knew that someday what they hoped would not happen would happen, and in fact, it did (does that make sense?!). Often, there are times when we would happily live in denial, expending all of our energy trying to will away what already is. Maybe I'm only speaking of myself? Rather, instead, I should have been spending my energy on how to deal and address what IS. I think that the comfort of fantasy is much easier and more appealing than the difficulty of the real; however, to only live in the fantasy will never accomplish (nor deal with) the real. Ok - too deep - but it gets the point across. Deal with what is - it is coming, whether or not we are ready.

I could continue on and on with the concepts of friendship, loyalty, courage, and love that display themselves, but I think this is enough. I walked away feeling challenged just by Harry's courage, Hermione's preparation and knowledge, and Ron's loyalty. How can I take all three and become more like such valuable characteristics?

"If you want to know what a man's like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals." ~Sirious Black, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

"You fail to recognize that it matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be!"
~Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

" It had ter happen. Well, now it has, an' we'll jus' have ter get on with it. We'll fight. Migh' be able ter stop him before he gets a good hold. That's Dumbledore's plan, anyway. Great man, Dumbledore. 'S long as we've got him, I'm not too worried."
~ Rubeus Hagrid, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

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Reading Progress

08/17/2011 page 600

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