How does J.K Rowling engage the reader, and make them want to read on?

Essay by ashwacHigh School, 11th gradeC+, October 2009

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From Rowling’s exposure of witch craft in the first two chapters, involving Professor Mc Gonagall’s cat transformation, and the events of the Boa constrictor in the reptile room, By Rowling identifying the magic in the story but however, not linking it to Harry, continues to allow the reader to ask how it happens, and when his ability will finally be revealed. The written language is still the same, as the previous chapters and continues using adjectives to describe the Dursleys such as sneered, croaked, and snapped, while Harry’s description still remain neutral, or not described.

The first speech from Dudley is his amazement of Harry receiving a letter.

‘Dad!’ said Dudley suddenly. ‘Dad, Harry’s got something.’The use exclamation marks are used through conversational speech however shows the urgency shown from the use of exclamation marks. It is written to show how Dudley’s characteristic is selfish and this contrasts from Harry’s vitality to Dudley’s absurdity.

Rowling continues to use other linguistic features, for different direct speech. She uses some words in italics, words ‘mine’ and ‘me’. This is used to emphasise and show the significance of a single word that she wants the reader to register. Rowling uses the same sentence ‘I want to read it’ this is said by both Dudley and Harry. However in Harry’s speech she uses italics on the word I, to signify and point out the difference of text registered, from two characters.

This is again used with the single word ‘mine’ by Harry. This is used to show the surprise and significance of something actually belonging to Harry.

Harry himself is surprised that the letters are addresses to him, having not been acknowledged or recognised for many years. With the letters titled ‘Mr H. Potter’ gives Harry himself and identity, something which has been abused and unacknowledged by the Dursleys since his arrival. The use of the ‘Mr.’ enforces Harry image of achieving an adult status. She uses continues to use dashes to break down a sentences, it helps connects the rest of the sentence, keeping the fear the character’s voice and letting the reader imagine it themselves. The use of capital letters is used to show volume used in the character’s speech and signify their emotion.

‘I WANT MY LETTER!’ he shoutedThis is an objective Rowling uses, to demonstrate the emotion that character’s feels. With this being Harry’s anger, it allows the reader to understand Harry’s anger; however it doesn’t answer the question of what the Dursleys are hiding. From the remainder of the text, it shows that many of the same devices used earlier are used again. This allows the audience-children to follow the dialogue quite easily. The use of dashes is also followed by 3 full stops; this is used to again slow down the original speed of the sentence. These are however use differently to dashes which are used in some of the direct speech as a way of showing stuttering, confusion or interrupted speech.

BibliographiesHarry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J K Rowling