There are several standout moments for me in Chapter 7 of Chamber of Secrets, titled “Mudbloods and Murmurs.”
First off, Harry is so kind to Colin Creevey. Colin is in this new world, and he is in the same house as the newest celebrity in recent wizarding history. He is in awe of Harry and immediately idolizes him, following him around and being over attentive. We know Harry found this annoying, heck, I would be annoyed and I doubt I could have handled the situation with as much grace as Harry does. He’s firm at times with Colin, like when Colin wanted his autograph, but never in a bullying or demeaning way. He tries his best to be patient with Colin. Maybe Harry sees a tiny bit of himself in Colin, they are alike in the fact that wizarding society was a complete revelation to them, never knowing what made them different until they received their Hogwarts letter. Harry had a bunch of questions he wanted answered as well in his first year, maybe in not so annoying a fashion as Colin asked them though.
The second stand out moment has to do with the writing itself. I wanted to point out some of the genius of J.K. Rowling’s writing here in this chapter. When Chamber was published it was only the second book available to us, so this world is still a little new. Some people may have accidentally read Chamber first before Sorcerer’s Stone and so may not have known particular details of the wizarding world that we learn in book one. Rowling so brilliantly uses Colin’s curiosity about his new reality to also give us a refresher on some important information, for example about Quidditch. I’ve read other books where this kind of information was just shoved in the narrative so awkwardly, but Rowling so seamlessly adds this into her story that I couldn’t discuss this chapter without pointing it out.
The last stand-out moment in this chapter happens during the ‘mudblood incident’. Draco uses that derogatory word to one-up Hermione’s humiliation of him. The reaction is immediate on both sides, Slytherins stepping in front of Draco, and the Gryffindors in an uproar in defense of Hermione. This stands out to me because the only people that really know Hermione in that group are Ron and Harry, yet all of the Gryffindors are outraged on her behalf. Is it just because she is Harry’s friend, and therefore thinking ‘a friend of my friend is MY friend.’ Or is it just the fact that Hermione is in their house? I like to think that they would have reacted the same way to anyone being called ‘mudblood’ regardless of what house they are in.
These were just a few examples of the brilliant writing and awesome character moments of Chapter 7 of Chamber of Secrets.
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