How to Cite
Teaching of Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone in the Light of Barthes Narrative Codes at BS English Level
J. K. Rowling has written seven novels in the Harry Potter series. This fiction series has also inspired the educationists and academicians and it has been introduced in different western colleges as part of their syllabi. Warner Brothers made the films based on all the novels of Harry Potter series. Harry Potter World, the studio where these movies were made, is a tourist spot in London and thousands of fans from all over the world visit it every week. The present study explores teaching of Harry Potter and The Philosopher's Stone in the light of Barthes's Narrative Codes with emphasis on hermeneutic codes and their roles in the building blocks of narrative structure of the novel. The result of the study shows the extensive use of enigma and delays in the series to make it captivating and interesting for the readers.
Harry Potter series has attracted the attention of children and adults around the globe. The way the books were marketed has eclipsed its literary value or literary judgments, if any, on the series. According to Dammann (2008), Rowling, through this spellbinding story, crafted a global phenomenon, outselling every book in history with the exception of the Bible and Mao Zedong's Little Red Book. The seven Harry Potter books have so far been translated into 67 languages, amassing the 400 million figure since the publication of the first book in the series, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, in 1997.
The phenomenal success of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone paved the way for the author to produce a sequel of the first novel. The boarding school setting, magic and war between good and evil makes it a perfect fantasy novel. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone is being taught as the BS English level. International Islamic University, Islamabad and Government University, Faisalabad offers the course Popular Fiction in their BS English Programme. The novel Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone is taught in the course of Popular Fiction in both the universities. The university teachers teach the novel through traditional lecture methods with emphasis on themes and characters. There is a space for a new teaching method to teach the novel effectively. The present study presents the teaching method of the novel in light of Barthes's post-structural narrative codes.
The discipline of Narratology has emerged with the seminal structural analysis of narratives by Vladimir Prop, Roland Barthes,Gerard Genette, William Labov, Mieke Bal, and Seymour Chatman.
Toolan (2001) has mentioned the following hallmark features of a narrative: Narrative carries a degree of artificiality or constructedness not usually apparent in spontaneous conversation. A narrative has a sequence and it is planned (even in the oral narrative); 2) It carries a degree of prefabrication- it seems to have seen or heard or thinks we have seen or heard before. sequenced and interrelated events); 3) It is usually in the form of trajectory-beginning to end and giving some resolution. (crisis to resolution progression); 4) Narratives have to have a teller a narrator, story and narrate; 5) Narrative has a special feature of language which is used to refer to events and happenings; 6) Narrative involves recollection of the events took place remotely from the teller and the listener.
The above-mentioned features are the defining criteria of a narrative. It emphasizes the sequence, a degree of artificiality, resolution, special use of language and the recollection of events that took place in a different time and place. Typically a narrative covers the events that took place in the past. Texts which do not reflects these defining features of narrative are considered as non-narratives and the texts which show some of the above-mentioned features are called semi or marginal narratives.
Language is an important aspect of all the narratives. This role of language is emphasized by Ryan (2010) Language as the superior medium of representation for the explicit expression of causality: Only words can say "the king died and then the queen died of grief" because the only language is able to make relations of causality explicit (p.271) He furthers explains the pivotal role of language in narrative by considering language as the important tool for the act of narration. Sounds and images cannot build a comprehensive narrative world. The sounds have no meaning and images can show but they cannot refer.Onega & Landa (1996) define narrative in the following way:
A narrative is the semiotic representation of a series of events meaningfully connected in a temporal and causal way. Films, plays, comic strips, novels, newsreels, diaries, chronicles and treatises of geological history are all narratives in this wider sense. Narratives can, therefore, be constructed using an ample variety of semiotic media: written or spoken language, visual images, gestures and acting, as well as a combination of these. Any semiotic construct, anything made of signs, can be said to be a text. Therefore, we can speak of many kinds of narrative texts: linguistic, theatrical, pictorial, filmic. Any representation involves a point of view, a selection, a perspective on the represented object, criteria of relevance, and, arguably, an implicit theory of reality. (p.6).
Onega & Landa (1996) divide narratology in comparative narratology, theories of authorship, theories of enunciation, theories of action or fabula, theories of story and narration, theories of reception, theories of self-referentiality and intertextuality, and applied narratology. Moreover, Fludernik (2009) states that narrative is everywhere, not only associated with literary genres. It is associated with the act of narration and is likely to be found where someone tells us about something. Thus, we are all narrators in our lives because, at one point or the other, we narrate something to others. Everyone has his or her own narrative and peculiar method of narration. The narratives are in different forms and have different functions. The narratives can be divided into broader categories of written narratives and oral narratives. However, Malmkjaer (1995) provides the division of types of narratives:
Narrative texts are of two types: (1) personal experiences of the informant or her/his acquaintances; and (2) traditional myths and legends. The latter are the most popular form of texts with linguistic fieldworkers and are unquestionably a goldmine of information, but they are, in fact, more difficult to work with than the former, for their very status as myths sanctioned by tradition means that their form may be rather conventionalized and hence less indicative of the actual productive use of the language in everyday life (p. 166).
The personal narratives are usually in oral form but in literate societies can be found in written form as well. The narrative is the representation of one or more real or fictional events narrated by one or more narrators to one or several narrates (Prince, 1987, p. 58). For example, my dog is bitten by a flea is a narrative because it tells of an event. The narrative may be fictional or non-fictional, in the case of the former, the events are narrated by the narrator, whereas, in the case of the latter, such as history, the events are given by the writer as a mediator.
Roland Barthes exerted a profound influence on the discipline of narratology. His article "An introduction to the Structural Analysis of Narrative" highlights the correspondence between the structures of a sentence within a narrative. Barthes (1977) is of the view that narratives are uncountable in the form or written or spoken having different images and gestures.
Barthes's (1977) view is widely cited by the researchers and authors for the understanding of the story and the structural analysis of narrative. According to Barthes narrative cannot be understood a. by just unfolding the story but the important thing is to understand a narrative is not only to follow the unfolding of the story but also to identify a number of strata. To read or listen a narrative does not mean to move from one word to the other but to move from one level to the next. Narrative meaning is created through the integration of functions into action and subsequent actions are beings integrated at the level of narrative. Functions consist of all the elements of the narrative. Even the most trivial function in a narrative, such as a telephone ringing, or the lighting of a cigarette, has meaning. Barthes divides functions into two sorts. Distributive functions involve a kind of cause and effect logic: if a telephone rings it will either be answered or not. We find the meaning of such functions in what comes immediately after them. Contrasted to distributive functions comes to another type which Barthes calls indices: these are details that can be collected together and help to produce a kind of meaning that is not essentially chronological. In the same work, he introduced terms, cardinal functions (nuclei), catalyzers and informants in the narratives.
Roland Barthes has pointed out five codes in his book S/Z and applied it to the story "Sarrazine". He has divided the action of the story into five codes, which are common to all texts. These narrative codes are the building blocks of the narrative. The structuralist model of narrative analysis was focused on similarities in all the narratives. The poststructuralist model of Barthes is different in a way that the reader was considered an important part of the narratives and also emphasized that the echoing of other texts (intertextuality) is an important aspect of a narrative from the perspective of the reader. This integration of narratology with intertextuality is the motivation for the present research. Barthes (1977) describes the text as:
Woven entirely with citations, references, echoes, cultural languages (what language is not?) antecedent or contemporary, which cut across it through and through in a vast stereophony. The intertextual in which every text is held, it itself being the text-between of another text, is not to be confused with some origin of the text: to try to find the 'sources', the 'influences' of a work, is to fall in with the myth of filiation; the citations which go to make up a text are anonymous, untraceable, and yet already read: they are quotations without inverted commas. (p.160).
Five narrative codes of Barthes namely semantic (connotative) code, hermeneutic code, symbolic code, Proairetic code, and cultural code unveil the narrative structure of a narrative. Semantic codes create characters, shapes, symbols and settings. Hermeneutic codes deal with the enigmas and delay in a narrative. Symbolic codes refer to the binary opposition in the text at the macro and micro-level. Proairetic codes create the action and results of an action in a narrative. Cultural codes refer to a body of knowledge which "exist[s] outside of the world of the text".
Roland Barthes's narrative model has been applied to the selected text. Barthes has introduced five narrative codes to unveil the narrative structure of the text. The present study is delimited to the application for hermeneutic codes for the teaching of Harry Potter.
It deals with the questions in the text and its response and other events which could help to formulate a question or delay in answers. Resultantly, they formulate an enigma and then events lead towards its solution. It identifies the mysterious and unexplained elements in the text. It looks at the questions that create suspense in the story and create expectations of the reader(s) about the solution of the puzzle(s) or in Barthesian term "enigma". Barthes (1974) further explains the different phases of questions, delays, and solutions.
Figure: 1 Formulation, Delay and Disclosure of Enigma (p. 85)
The first stage is thethematization and formulation of an enigma. Then promise of an answer, snare, ambiguity, jammed answer, partial answer and disclosure.The first stage is the thematization of the enigma that includes subject and theme and then the formulation of the question or enigma. The second stage consists of delays in the disclosure of an enigma. It is the most important stage in hermeneutic codes. The delays make the reader more curious to know about the disclosure or answer(s) to the enigmas. The one type of delay is the 'promise of answer' as mentioned in the above figure 3.1. Another type of delay is a snare that is misleading. According to Barthes (1974), "Narratively, an enigma leads from a question to an answer, through a certain number of delays. Of these delays, the main is unquestionably the feint, the misleading answer, the lie, what we will call the Snare" (p. 32). The snare is set by the discourse for the reader. Barthes further explains that snare remains there after the revelation of truth. As in Balzak's story, Sarrasine ignores the true sex of La zambinella even after knowing the reality.
Sometimes the narrator provides the partial answer and the rest of the answer is presented later. The jammed answer is another type of delay in which there is no hint or clue about the solution of the enigma and the narrator or characters show their helplessness to solve the enigma. Ambiguity is the type of delay in which the reader(s) is unable to understand the situation and something supernatural and against the laws of physics or law of nature. The last stage is the disclosure or answer to the enigma. In short, hermeneutic codes deal with the questions and delays that whet the curiosity of the readers and make the narrative intriguing for the reader.
Hermeneutic Codes in Chapter1
The title Harry Potter and Philosopher's Stone is important as it has two major elements. First, it indicates the name Harry Potter who is an important character in the novel. The second part of the philosopher's stone that connotes magic and the power of a person who uses it for his benefit(s). The title has binary code; on the one side Harry Potter and on the other side philosopher's stone. The title raises a question: who is Harry Potter? What is the relationship between Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone? The readers expect that there is a philosopher's stone and Harry Potter wants to get hold of it or Harry Potter is the one who will stop the philosopher to use his stone. Therefore, the title is enigmatic as well and with the narrative progression, the reader will get the disclosure of this enigma. The first enigma of the narrative is the philosopher's stone and its link with Harry Potter. HER(Enigma:1)
The title of the first chapter "The Boy
who Lived" is also enigmatic and could be interpreted in different ways. It
shows that the boy lived a life but what type of life it was. Two words "who
lived" also show that he may have faced some challenges. What were those
challenges? HER (Enigma:.2). The reader can expect that the first chapter is
about the life of the boy that is probably Harry Potter. The title of the
chapter whets the curiosity of the readers. The second sentence of the story
creates the expectation of the reader. "They were the last people you'd expect
to be involved in anything strange or mysterious because they just didn't hold
with such nonsense" (p. 7). Whether the Dursleys will remain away from
mysterious things or they come across something mysterious which is not
desirable to the family? The third paragraph is very important and puts many
questions. The Dursleys had everything they wanted, but they also had a secret,
and their greatest fear was that somebody would discover it (p. 7). They have a
secret and they do not want the revelation of this secret. Mrs. Dursley has a
sister who has a husband and a son but they are not like them and they do not
want to be associated with them. "The Dursleys shuddered to think what the
neighbors would say if the Potters arrived in the street"
(p. 7). What is the secret which Dursleys want to hide? Why they don't want Potters in their street? HER (Enigma: 3)
The next paragraphs also have mysterious things and raise questions. "The first noticeable thing is cat reading a map and strangely dressed people" (p.8). How a cat can read a map? HER (Enigma: 4). Mr. Dursley was worried about these things in his office. On his way to the bakery, he heard the people saying: "The Potters, that's right, that's what I heard yes, their son, Harry" (p. 9). There is something about Potters and their son, Harry. When Mr. Dursley left the office, he saw a man knocked to the ground and uttered "Rejoice, for You-Know-Who has gone at last! Even Muggles like yourself should be celebrating, this happy, happy day!" (p. 10). Who is you-know-who? HER (Enigma: 5). What is the meaning of word muggles? HER (Enigma: 6).
Mr. Dursley reaches home and the weather forecast was unusual. Mr. Durseley was worried about the developments and was pondering over it. "Mr. Dursley sat frozen in his armchair. Shooting stars all over Britain? Owls flying by daylight? Mysterious people in cloaks all over the place? And a whisper, a whisper about the Potters" (p. 11). What is the meaning of shooting stars all over Britain? What is going to happen? Why abnormal things are happening everywhere? (HER Enigma: 7) What are the reasons behind these strange happenings? Who is responsible for all this fuss? Could these things be associated with Potters? Has Dursley done any harm to the Potters? Why does Mr. Dursley worry about these things? HER (Enigma: 8).
Partial Answer to Enigma 8: Mr. Dursley was worried that if these developments were linked with Potters then they must have come near them because Dursleys don't want to keep any relationship with them. The reply does not appear in the text but it is based on the worry of Mr. Dursley about the strange things happening. There is a possibility that these strange things are associated with the Potters. The word mysterious is used four times in the first chapter. It shows that something is hidden and different from normal and adds more to the hermeneutic codes.
"What they're saying," she pressed on, "is that last night Voldemort turned up in Godric's Hollow. He went to find the Potters. The rumour is that Lily and James Potter are - are - that they're - dead. Professor McGonagall's voice trembled as she went on. "That's not all. They're saying he tried to kill the Potters' son, Harry. But - he couldn't. He couldn't kill that little boy. No one knows why, or how, but they're saying that when he couldn't kill Harry Potter, Voldemort's power somehow broke - and that's why he's gone." Dumbledore nodded glumly. (p.15)
The above-quoted paragraph from the novel is very important in terms of an enigma. Why did Voldemort kill James and Lily? HER (Enigma: 9) Why was he unable to kill Harry and his power broke? HER (Enigma: 10). Who is Professor Dumbledore? How does he know about the parents of Harry? Who is Professor McGonagall? Are they working in a university or a college? HER (Enigma: 11)
Answer to Enigma 6: The proper name of you-know-who is Voldemort and he is the one who killed Harry's parents.
Jamming of the Answer to Enigma 12: There is no answer about the reason behind the survival of Harry 'We can only guess,' said Dumbledore. 'We may never know.' (p. 15)
These people will never understand him! He'll be famous - a legend -- I wouldn't be surprised if today was known as Harry Potter day in the future -- there will be books written about Harry -- every child in our world will know his name!" (p. 15) HER (Enigma:12)
"Under a tuft of jet-black hair over his forehead they could see a curiously shaped cut, like a bolt of lightning." (p.17) HER (Enigma:13)
"Well," said Dumbledore finally, "that's that. We've no business staying here. We may as well go and join the celebrations." (p.17) HER (Enigma:14)
Why will the boy be famous? What are the reasons behind his fame? "Famous for something he won't even remember!" (p. 16). So, there must be something that happened and made him famous and the boy even cannot remember or recall that important event? What is the authenticity of this prophecy that the boy would be a legend and the books would be written about him and every child of the world would know his name? How the scar appeared on Harry's forehead? What types of celebrations are going on? What is being celebrated? And where is it celebrated?
Partial Answer to Enigma 1: Harry Potter is an orphan baby who survived the attack of Voldemort. Professor Dumbledore thinks that the baby would be famous and books will be written about him. The reader yet does not know about the link of Harry Potter with the Philosopher's stone.
Partial Answer to Enigma 2: The boy in the title of the chapter is Harry and he is the one who survived but still the reader does not know how and why he survived.
Partial Answer to Enigma 3 & 8: Dursleys do not want Potters and their son in their street as they are not Dursleyish. What aspect of Potters disturbing them? It is yet not clear from the text.
Ambiguity about Enigma 4: It was not the cat but a woman transfigured herself in the form of a cat. Since she was actually a human and can read the map. But the half enigma remains there: how she transformed from woman to cat and vice versa. How did she achieve such great power of transfiguration?
Ambiguity about Enigma 7: Professor McGonagall tells that it "Shooting stars down in Kent - I'll bet that was Dedalus Diggle. He never had much sense." (p.13) but who is this Dedalus Diggle who is behind shooting star? How a common man has got supernatural power?
Ambiguity about Enigma 12: Who are these strange people including Professor McGonagall who seems creatures out of nature?
It is worth mentioning that the narrator floated 14 enigmas in the very first chapter of the narrative. From the title of the narrative till the end of the first chapter a reader is getting enigma after enigma and it whets the curiosity of the reader about the strange things about the identity of Harry Potter about the strange people. We can safely argue that the narrator has captured the attention of the reader and has cast a spell of enigmas in such an irresistible way that it would not let the reader think of anything else than the narrative.
Hermeneutic Codes in Chapter IV
The title of the fourth chapter "The Keeper of the Keys" arise the expectation that who is the keeper? What is the importance of the keys? HER (Enigma: 27).Hagrid informs Harry that they will await his owl post. After a few minutes, he stammered, "What does it mean, they await my owl?" (p.43) HER (Enigma: 28). The story about the death of his parents is quiet painful for Harry but still, he is interested to know about the killer of his parents-Voldemort. So Harry wants to know about him and Hagrid says"That's the biggest myst'ry, see...."(p.46) It shows Hagrid's opinion about the existence of Voldemort. There are different rumors about the life, death, and powers of you-know-who.
Jamming of Answer to Enigma 10: The important enigma is still unresolved in the narrative. Why Voldemort could not kill Harry? Hagrid tells Harry "Good question, Harry. Disappeared. Vanished. The same night he tried to kill you. Makes yeh even more famous. That's the biggest myst'ry, see... he was gettin' more an' more powerful -- why'd he go?" (p.46) Hagrid tells about the event but he is unable to determine how Harry escaped from the attack of Voldemort?
The above-mentioned statement of Hagrid raises new questions: Where is Voldemort? Will he come back to the world of Wizards? HER (Enigma: 29). There is no authentic information about the Voldemort. But those who believe he is alive are of the view that he is getting more power. It creates an expectation in the reader (s) that he would definitely appear soon in the narrative and probably our dear Mr. Harry Potter will have an encounter with the most powerful villain. But this could go another way around as well that he would not come back and Mr. Harry would never face the murderer of his parents.
Hagrid tells Harry that he was expelled from Hogwarts in the third year but Dumbledore let him stay on as gamekeeper. Hagrid is thankful to Dumbledore for showing trust on him and particularly in the case of Harry Potter. Harry is a smart boy and can understand if Dumbledore is that much great then why was Hagrid expelled from Hogwarts? HER (Enigma: 30) but at the moment Hagrid is not willing to tell Harry about his mistake for which he was expelled but may be the narrator would reveal it in the later part of the narrative.
Disclosure of Enigmas Presented in Chapter 1
The fourth chapter of the narrative is very important in terms of replies to the Enigmas. In this chapter, the narrator unveiled the enigmas and the questions incited in the mind of reader(s) in the first three chapters and even in the fourth chapter.
Partial Answer to Enigma 1: Harry Potter is an extraordinary wizard. But Harry's link with the Philosopher's Stone is not yet established through discourse.
Disclosure of Enigma 2
"No one ever lived after he decided ter kill 'em, no one except you, an' he'd killed
some o' the best witches an' wizards of the age -..an' you was only a baby, an' you lived"(p.46).These lines by the Hagrid are response to the second enigma -the title of the first chapter "The boy who lived". Harry Potter is the boy who lived and survived after the life-taking attack on him by Voldemort. He is the only one who survived after the attack of the Voldemort as he has already killed best witches and Wizards of the age but he could not kill Harry.
Disclosure of Enigma 3 and Enigma 8
Mrs Dursley has a sister and his husband and a son but they were not like them and
they do not want to be associated with them. Why they don't want them in their street?
Dursleys were afraid of the parents of Harry Potter as they knew they were wizards. They did not want to have any relation with them. Arrival of Hagrid in the fourth chapter has revealed this secret. It is the disclosure of enigma 3 & 8 of the narrative: Could these things be associated with Potters? Has Dursleys done any harm to Potters? Why Mr Dursley worried about these things?
Whatever happened in strange way in the first chapter was associated with Potters and Dursleys were not happy with all these developments. As they knew that the sister of Peutina was from the Wizard world and they don't like to be linked with them.
Answer to Enigma 4: The cat was reading a map and then that cat was transformed into a woman. Being a witch, it was not a challenge for her to shape her body in any form as those people who brought Harry to Privet Drive were from the World of Wizards and Witches.
Answer to Enigma 5: The most important enigma about the reality of you-know-who. Who is you-know-who? When Harry asked Hagrid to take the name of you-know-who. The response of Hagrid was ""Nah -can't spell it. All right -- Voldemort" (p.45).
Answer to Enigma 6: What is the meaning of the word 'muggle'. Hagrid used the word muggle for uncle Vernon. Harry being curious asked Hagrid "What" and the giant explained the term as ""A Muggle," said Hagrid, "it's what we call non magic folk like them" (p.43).
Answer to Enigma 13: Why and how the scar appeared on the forehead of Harry? When Voldemort killed .
Potters he also tried to kill Harry but could not kill him and Harry got a scar on his forehead. Hagrid unveiled this mystery of scar by saying "Never wondered how you got that mark on yer forehead? That was no ordinary cut. That's what yeh get when a Powerful, evil curse touch esyeh -- took care of yer mum an' dad an' yer house, even -- but it didn'twork on you, an' that's why yer famous"(p.45).
Answer to enigma 12: The boy would be famous and people will know about him and books will be written about him and he would be a legend. He is the only one in the world who survived after the attack of Voldemort.
Answer to Enigma 9: Why Voldemort killed James and Lily? They were nice wizard and witch. Both of them were extremely talented and were Head boy and girl in their school. Potters were closed to Dumbledore and were against the acts of Voldemort. Hagrid narrated the event and at the end he said "Maybe he thought he could persuade 'em... maybe he just wanted 'em outta the way" (p.45). According to Hagrid Voldemort wanted to kill all the people who were not on his side. In other words who were not ready to be the part of his dark plans .The only man who cannot be defeated by him was Dumbledore.
Answer to Enigma 11: Who is Professor Dumbledore? How he knows about the parents of Harry? Who is Professor McGonagall? Are they working in a university or a college? In this chapter, the narrator tells about the link of Potters with Dumbledore. Both of them were favourite students of Dumbledore. So he was concerned about their child. Secondly, He was the real enemy of Voldemort and it was his moral responsibility to safeguard those who were the victims of Voldemort. The letter from Hogwarts shows that Professor McGonagall is the Deputy Headmistress of the school. Dumbledore is the headmaster of the school. It is also a strange thing that they have title professor instead of a teacher.
Answer to Enigma 7 and 14: Two enigmas have been revealed in this chapter not through text but with the statements of Hagrid about Voldemort and magical world. Dalus Diggle is a magician who was behind shooting star. Wizards' world was celebrating the disappearance of Voldemort. Therefore, shooting of starts and celebrations were connected to the deliverance of magical world from the presence of Voldemort.
In this chapter, the narrator revealed all the secrets about the wizard world and about the identity of Harry potter.Enigma: 2 till 16are resolvedexcept enigma10:Why Voldemort killed Harry's parents? Why is he famous around the world? Who were the Professor Dumbledore and McGonagall? Who is Hagrid? Why scar appeared on Harry's forehead.
But still one enigma is there that is unrevealed, why Voldemort could not kill Harry? Why his power broke? What was there that saved or rescued Harry from the curse of Voldemort? Enigma 1: And the title of the novel is still a mystery: what is the philosopher's stone? The narrator kept these two secrets to stick the reader(s) with the narrative.
Revelation of Enigmas floated in Chapter 2:
The enigmas floated in second chapter are also addressed and resolved in this chapter.
Answer to Enigma 15: Harry is a wizard and because of his magical powers glass vanished in the zoo.
Answer to Enigma 16: Why Harry aunt is not telling the real cause of his parents death? Why is she telling lie about the death of his parents and he is not allowed to ask questions about them? Harry's parents were not normal human being. They were from the world of magic. Secondly, Dursleys do not know the actual cause of their death. They do not want to tell Harry that he was handed over to them by Professor Dumbledore. So they have fabricated a story of a car accident to satisfy the inquisitive nature of Harry Potter.
Answer to Enigma 17: How Harry's hair grown up again in one night? What are the reasons behind it? Because Harry was not a muggle and belongs to the world of magic and magical things could happen with this extraordinary boy.
Answer to Enigma 18: Harry had a dream about flying motorbike. What is the significance of the dream? It was in the subconscious of Harry that he does not belong to this world and he has a link with another world where magical things happened. So, in this chapter, it is also revealed that Harry is not an ordinary human being. He is a wizard who is famous all around the world of wizards.
Jamming of Answer to Enigma 19
How Harry can talk with a snake? How did he learn the language of the snake? Whether he has got this ability by birth or he learned it as a result of any incident during his childhood? There is no indication in the text about Harry's ability to speak with snakes. It cannot be established how he learned the language of snakes.
Reply to Enigma 20: It was because of the magical powers of Harry Potter that the glass vanished and the snake escaped from the Zoo.
Reply to Enigma 21: "When he had been younger, Harry had dreamed and dreamed of some unknown relation coming to take him away, but it had never happened; the Dursleys were his only family" (p.27). The dream was about his identity. He was not a member of the muggle world. He was wrongly associated with the world of muggles. His roots were in the world of Wizards and the dream of unknown relation was an indication to him about his real-world away from the world of muggles.
Revelation of Enigmas presented in Chapter 3
This section unfolds the mysteries presented in chapter 3.
Answer to Enigma 22, 23, 24, 26 and 27 "The Letters from No One" How the sender of the letter knows that Harry lives in the cupboard under stairs? Why is there no stamp on the envelope? Who was sending these letters and in such an unconventional way on Sunday? Why Uncle Vernon does not want Harry to read the letter? How the sender of the letter knew about the movement of Dursleys? Are they omniscient? The letters were sent by the wizards. The wizards were aware of the presence of Harry and they were vigilant about the movement of Harry. Since they were wizards, their minds work in a different way as compared to muggles. The senders were wizards and sending mail through owls. So, they do not need any stamp on the envelope as they were not sending mail through a conventional post. It does not matter whether it is Saturday or Sunday, the owl can deliver the mail. And the people in the world of Wizards know the exact location of Harry Potter. Resultantly, the move of Uncle Vernon to change the place and to avoid the mail did not work and they approached them even in the mid of the sea.
Answer to Enigma 25: Why Uncle Vernon does not want Harry to read the letter? Because he was aware of the fact that Harry is a wizard and the people in the world of Wizards will definitely want Harry badly in their world. So, he wanted to avoid it as by reading the letter Harry would come to know about himself and about his parents and his link with the world of magic.
Enigmas Presented in Chapter 4: The narrator employed many enigmas in chapter 4. The narrator uncovered them without delay in this chapter.
Answer to Enigma 28: "The Keeper of the Keys" arise the expectation that who is the keeper? What is the importance of the keys? Hagrid is the keeper of the keys at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. These keys are important as they belong to a magical place.
Reply to Enigma 29: What does it mean, they await my owl? In the world of magic, wizards and witches communicate with each other through owl posts. They expect that Harry would acknowledge the letter and will send his acceptance letter to Hogwarts through owl post.
Revelation of Enigmas presented from Chapter 1 till 4: All the enigmas presented in the narrative until chapter 4 have been resolved except Enigma: 1,10,30, & 31. Engima1: What is the Philosopher's Stone? Enigma 10: Why Voldemort could not kill Harry? Enigma 30: Where is Voldemort? Will he come back to the world of Wizards? Enigma 31 Why Hagrid was expelled from the Hogwarts?
There are many enigmas which were presented in chapter 4 of the novel and revealed in the last chapter of the novel. Some of the enigmas are revealed in the other novels of the series. The author of the novel makes the novel so captivating by employing countless enigmas and delays to the answers of those enigmas. There are partial answers to certain enigmas and the most interesting ones are the misleading answers to some enigmas. This is one of the techniques used by the author to make the novel a popular novel across the globe.
Harry Potter and The Philosopher's Stone is an important novel of Popular Fiction. It has many elements of a fantasy novel. The teaching of a modern novel through the traditional method is not a good choice. The teaching of the modern level demands a new method of teaching. The novel has multiple layers in it and the author has interwoven the story through enigmas and delays. The novel should be taught through textual analysis. The teaching of the novel through Barthes's Narrative codes may help the students to understand the art of dissecting the novel through a post-structural approach which is based on close textual analysis. The traditional methods of teaching overlook certain linguistic elements of a novel. The method may pave a new way for the teaching of the novel at the university level.