Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

by

J. K. Rowling

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Professor McGonagall Character Analysis

The Transfiguration teacher at Hogwarts and the Head of Gryffindor House. Professor McGonagall is a tall woman with black hair, whom Harry describes as “strict and clever.” She can also transform herself into a cat. She often makes a show of being a stern rule-enforcer, however, she is not against the occasional bending of the rules—like when she discovers Harry’s talent for flying and thus recruits him to the Gryffindor Quidditch team, despite the fact that he was flying when he should not have been and first years are not usually allowed their own brooms.

Professor McGonagall Quotes in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

The Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone quotes below are all either spoken by Professor McGonagall or refer to Professor McGonagall. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Magic, Difference, and Belonging Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Scholastic edition of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone published in 1997.
Chapter 1 Quotes

“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!”

“Exactly,” said Dumbledore, looking very seriously over the top of his half-moon glasses. “It would be enough to turn any boy’s head. Famous before he can walk and talk! Famous tor something he won’t even remember! Can’t you see how much better off he’ll be, growing up away from all that until he’s ready to take it?”

Related Symbols: The Sorcerer’s Stone
Page Number: 13
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 10 Quotes

Hermione hung her head. Harry was speechless. Hermione was the last person to do anything against the rules, and here she was, pretending she had, to get them out of trouble.

Page Number: 178
Explanation and Analysis:
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Professor McGonagall Character Timeline in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

The timeline below shows where the character Professor McGonagall appears in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1: The Boy Who Lived
Magic, Difference, and Belonging Theme Icon
Power, Greed, and Desire Theme Icon
...which transforms into a woman with a tight black bun and an emerald cloak: Professor McGonagall. (full context)
Power, Greed, and Desire Theme Icon
Dumbledore wonders why Professor McGonagall hasn’t been celebrating. She says that people have been too careless with their celebrating, so... (full context)
Love, Family, and Friendship Theme Icon
Power, Greed, and Desire Theme Icon
Professor McGonagall explains to Dumbledore that Lily and James Potter are dead, and that Voldemort tried to... (full context)
Magic, Difference, and Belonging Theme Icon
Power, Greed, and Desire Theme Icon
Dumbledore tells McGonagall that Harry will be entrusted into the care of his Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon.... (full context)
Magic, Difference, and Belonging Theme Icon
Humility and Self-Sacrifice Theme Icon
Dumbledore assures McGonagall that the Dursleys’ home is the best place for Harry, and he will leave a... (full context)
Magic, Difference, and Belonging Theme Icon
Humility and Self-Sacrifice Theme Icon
...doorstep and tucks a letter inside Harry’s blanket. Hagrid then gets back on his motorcycle, McGonagall reverts to cat form and slinks away, and Dumbledore returns the light to the streetlamps.... (full context)
Chapter 7: The Sorting Hat
Magic, Difference, and Belonging Theme Icon
Love, Family, and Friendship Theme Icon
The door opens, and Professor McGonagall leads the students through the enormous entrance hall lit with flaming torches. She welcomes the... (full context)
Magic, Difference, and Belonging Theme Icon
...sort the students into Houses, exactly—wondering whether they might have to take a test. Professor McGonagall then leads them into the Great Hall, the sight of which causes Harry to think... (full context)
Magic, Difference, and Belonging Theme Icon
McGonagall leads the students to the front of the hall and places a pointed wizard’s hat... (full context)
Humility and Self-Sacrifice Theme Icon
Harry looks up at the table where the teachers are. Hagrid is there; Professor McGonagall is talking to Professor Dumbledore. Professor Quirrell, whom Harry met in the Leaky Cauldron and... (full context)
Chapter 8: The Potions Master
Love, Family, and Friendship Theme Icon
...planetary movements, Herbology, History of Magic, Charms, and Transfiguration. The latter is taught by Professor McGonagall, who is a very strict teacher. The first day, the students try to turn a... (full context)
Love, Family, and Friendship Theme Icon
...is the Head of Slytherin House, is infamous for favoring the Slytherins. Harry wishes that McGonagall (Head of Gryffindor) favored her House. Just then, the mail arrives, brought in by hundreds... (full context)
Chapter 9: The Midnight Duel
Love, Family, and Friendship Theme Icon
Power, Greed, and Desire Theme Icon
...it has forgotten something. Just then, Malfoy comes over and snatches it from Neville, but McGonagall sees this interaction and makes him return it. (full context)
Rules and Rebellion Theme Icon
Just then, Professor McGonagall runs over, scolding Harry furiously and telling him to follow her. Harry worries that he’s... (full context)
Love, Family, and Friendship Theme Icon
Rules and Rebellion Theme Icon
Professor McGonagall tells Wood that she’ll ask Dumbledore to bend the rule saying that first years can’t... (full context)
Chapter 10: Halloween
Rules and Rebellion Theme Icon
...is dropped in front of Harry. He opens the letter attached, which is from Professor McGonagall and says that he should not open the package at the table. It contains his... (full context)
Power, Greed, and Desire Theme Icon
Rules and Rebellion Theme Icon
...brooms. When Professor Flitwick passes by, Malfoy complains to him, but Flitwick says that Professor McGonagall told him about the special circumstances. Harry tries not to laugh at Malfoy’s horror, and... (full context)
Love, Family, and Friendship Theme Icon
Rules and Rebellion Theme Icon
A moment later, Professor McGonagall, Snape, and Quirrell dash into the bathroom. McGonagall is livid, demanding to know what Harry,... (full context)
Love, Family, and Friendship Theme Icon
Rules and Rebellion Theme Icon
Professor McGonagall takes five points from Hermione for her “foolish” behavior and sends her back to her... (full context)
Chapter 14: Norbert the Norwegian Ridgeback
Rules and Rebellion Theme Icon
...him up to the castle under the Invisibility Cloak. In the hall, they see Professor McGonagall giving Malfoy detention and taking twenty points from Slytherin as he tries to protest that... (full context)
Chapter 15: The Forbidden Forest
Rules and Rebellion Theme Icon
Filch takes Harry and Hermione to Professor McGonagall’s study. When they reach her, Neville is also there—he had been trying to warn Harry... (full context)
Chapter 16: Through the Trapdoor
Humility and Self-Sacrifice Theme Icon
Rules and Rebellion Theme Icon
...figuring that Snape or Voldemort must have been the hooded stranger. When they see Professor McGonagall, they ask to see Professor Dumbledore. McGonagall reveals that he left ten minutes prior to... (full context)
Magic, Difference, and Belonging Theme Icon
Love, Family, and Friendship Theme Icon
Humility and Self-Sacrifice Theme Icon
Rules and Rebellion Theme Icon
When McGonagall leaves, Harry figures that Snape sent the owl summoning Dumbledore, and that he’s going to... (full context)