‘Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix‘ is the pinnacle of multiple plots coming together to converge into a singular and decently satisfactory climax. It is very interesting to see several characters in the book series get strong development, especially in this book. This includes the story arc of the prophecy and Harry’s endless connection with Voldemort, Neville’s sudden emergence of bravery and acceptance of his parents’ plight, and the Weasley Twins’ development from just the mischievous and playful duo to fully developed ingenious inventors and entrepreneurs.
The Struggle of the Self
The Struggle of the Self is one of the most essential elements that make this book stand out from its predecessors. The struggle of the self is but the constant molding of one’s own identity based on response to their own innate thoughts and the occurrences in their surroundings.
In Harry’s case, this struggle is the most complicated one. He is strangely connected to Voldemort, his mortal enemy, in his mind and can sometimes access random memories, experiences, and feelings of Voldemort. Furthermore, he is constantly made to relive his worst memories with constant reminders of his surroundings and frequent interactions with strange magical creatures like dementors and thestrals.
The Ministry of Magic is also frequently trying to make it difficult for him to be comfortable because of his claim about Voldemort’s return. His struggle is still complicated when one of his most important mentors and father figures, Albus Dumbledore, decides to stop talking to him entirely. However, despite his frustrations and complicated bouts of anger and sorrow resulting from both his own self and his connection with Voldemort, Harry triumphs and doesn’t let himself be lost to Voldemort’s cause when the latter tries to possess him.
Hermione herself undergoes an interesting change after the Quidditch World Cup in the previous book. She is shocked to know how house-elves are treated by wizards and are very adamant about making changes for the better. She creates her own organization called S.P.E.W after which she engages quite frequently in making house-elf rights a reality. Furthermore, she is also actively convincing Harry to lead them all into a proper training routine in the Defense Against the Dark Arts, something the interference of the Ministry has completely changed for them.
Ron is not devoid of these complications. Constantly a subject of his brothers’ jokes and growing under his overperforming elder brother’s shadows, he is in constant turmoil, trying to lead the way despite these difficulties. He somehow makes sense of his world and eventually figures out life, at least by the end of the series, if not in this book.
Neville Longbottom has a lot of struggles to face and eventually comes to terms with all of them. Primarily, he has been treated like a meek boy with no talent all his life, but when he realizes that the woman who tortured his parents has escaped Azkaban prison, he decides to become braver and try to learn as much magic as possible. He even faces her bravely at the Department of Mysteries and doesn’t hesitate to fight the death eaters when they threaten the well-being of his friends.
Another struggle that Neville faces difficulty in coming to terms with is that of letting his friends know that his parents are permanent residents of St Mungo’s Hospital and that they were tortured by some death eaters with the Cruciatus Curse. However, as Harry, Ron, Ginny, and Hermione meet him there with his parents, he has to accept the consequences and eventually accept for his own sake that it’s alright for his friends to know of his parents’ plight.
The Weasley brothers undergo a very complicated struggle to come to terms with their passion and interests. They have wanted to build a joke shop instead of completing their schooling, but constant reminders from their mother about how education is important to make it difficult for them to follow their passion.
However, when Umbridge takes control of the entire school and tries to manage the school according to her whims, they are driven strongly by the need to retaliate boldly and therefore end up permanently closing their opportunity to ever enter Hogwarts as students. However, they do end up living their dream in the next book, and it is revealed that they have become very successful owners of a sprawling joke shop called the Weasley Wizard Wheezes.
Other characters in this book that are portrayed as undergoing a struggle with their selves include almost everybody else. Be it Severus Snape, a former death eater who now has to come to terms with the return of his master, Lord Voldemort, or Albus Dumbledore, who has to cease any conversation with his favorite pupil Harry Potter, due to the risk of letting Voldemort possess his mind. Therefore, this book is all about a constant struggle with the self to claim an identity that eventually triumphs over self-doubt and uncertainty.
Who are the members of the Dumbledore’s Army?
Dumbledore’s Army is a group of Hogwarts students created to learn defensive magic, something that was denied in their Defense Against the Dark Arts classes. Harry Potter is the leader and teacher of defensive spells at Dumbledore’s Army. Other members include Hermione Granger, Ron Weasley, George and Fred Weasley, Ginny Weasley, Luna Lovegood, Neville Longbottom, Padma Patil, Parvati Patil, Michael Corner, Anthony Goldstein, Cho Chang, Marietta Edgecombe, Luna Lovegood, Hannah Abbott, Dean Thomas, Seamus Finnegan, and many others.
Was Dolores Umbridge a death eater?
Despite being a very wicked and demanding witch who constantly made life difficult for Harry and his friends, Dolores Umbridge was never a death eater. She stayed very loyal to the ministry and the Minister of Magic himself. She, however, supported several death eaters indirectly in the story of ‘Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix‘ and later supported them directly when they took over the ministry in later books.
How did Harry and Hermione escape Umbridge at the Forbidden Forest?
Harry and Hermione were both waiting for an appropriate moment to get rid of Umbridge when they took her to the Forbidden Forest under the guise of showing her Dumbledore’s supposed secret weapon. However, they got their chance when Grawp, Hagrid’s giant half-brother, showed up in the forest. It made the escape far easier when the centaurs too, arrived, and Umbridge insulted them, after which they forcibly took her captive.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Review - A Pinnacle that Tackles the Struggle of the Self
Lasting Effect on the Reader
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Review
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is the longest book ever written in the Harry Potter series but remains one of the most interesting and entertaining books in the series too. It has a lot of interesting characters, plot lines, and incidents. However, it is most popular for how well it focuses on the development of its characters. Almost every character in this book undergoes significant change and prepares themselves for the rest of the series which is meant to be loaded with very interesting and polarizing events.
- It is a very interesting book that ties several different tropes into one standard plot trajectory.
- It consists of several new details and characters that make the magical world all the more interesting to read about and engage with.
- It is filled with several life lessons that a careful reader could easily learn a lot from, especially the tropes that show how well the characters develop from their childhood to an emerging adulthood.
- It is the longest ever Harry Potter book, making it very time consuming to read.
- It is not always very accurate in continuity and skips several existent canon points to adjust itself to the new developments.
- It is mostly restricted to events at Hogwarts like exams and new school rules, without anything interesting like its predecessor, where there was a tournament.