Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone


J. K. Rowling

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Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone Themes

Themes and Colors
Magic, Difference, and Belonging Theme Icon
Love, Family, and Friendship Theme Icon
Power, Greed, and Desire Theme Icon
Humility and Self-Sacrifice Theme Icon
Rules and Rebellion Theme Icon
LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work.

Magic, Difference, and Belonging

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone is the first novel in a seven-part series centering on protagonist Harry Potter, who discovers that he is a wizard when he is eleven years old. The series tracks an epic battle between good and evil in the wizarding world, but the first book is, in its essence, a coming-of-age story. Harry spends his early life feeling different from the non-magical people (“Muggles”) around him, though…

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Love, Family, and Friendship

At the center of The Sorcerer’s Stone is the importance of love from both family and friends. Though Harry’s parents, Lily and James, love him a great deal, they die when he is very young, and he is placed in the care of his Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon, Muggle relatives who treat him terribly. When he goes to school at Hogwarts, Harry gains a group of friends—primarily Ron and Hermione—who…

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Power, Greed, and Desire

For Harry and his friends starting school at Hogwarts, magic comes with a certain degree of power: the ability to make a feather levitate, to turn a match into a needle, to fly on a broomstick. But Rowling also hints at what happens when adult wizards grow greedy for power and the dangerous ramifications of that desire. Thus, not only does Rowling associate greed and the desire for power with evil, but she also argues…

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Humility and Self-Sacrifice

In contrast to the ideas of power, greed, and desire held up as forces for evil, humility and self-sacrifice become the cornerstones of good character in The Sorcerer’s Stone. While antagonistic characters like Voldemort, Quirrell, and Dudley tend to focus on their own desires and needs, characters like Harry, Ron, and Hermione often think about others before themselves. In associating her protagonists—and Harry in particular—with these virtues, Rowling emphasizes the…

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Rules and Rebellion

Although the wizarding world provides Harry with freedom that he did not receive at his Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon’s house, there are still strict rules that he must follow in both the wizarding world in general and particularly at Hogwarts. Harry does not set out to be a troublemaker, but over the course of the novel, he ends up breaking rule after rule. Harry believes that when the rules are in conflict with doing…

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