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A Hero

Throughout the novel, Harry Potter is portrayed as a hero. This is mostly because of the events surrounding his birth, as he was the only one to escape the curse from Voldemort. Due to the event, Harry became famous, and has been living up to his reputation. If he had never defeated Voldemort as a child, he would be a normal wizard attending Hogwarts. However, due to his accomplishment, he is treated differently, and therefore gets more help and support from others around him. He is the one to defeat the dementors, saving Sirius Black’s life. Earlier in the novel, before knowing Hermione’s secret, Harry believes that it is his dad who he saw that had saved both his life as well as Siruis Black’s. However, later on, “it hit him – he understood. He hadn’t seen his father – he had seen himself” (411). This portrays his heroic actions as he defeated the dementors with his courage and abilities. If it weren’t for Harry’s fame, he would most likely be a normal wizard, just as Hermione. Even though Hermione has more knowledge, she isn’t given as much of an importance as Harry due to his fame. Most of Harry’s heroic deeds are dependent on his assistance from his friends and elders who not only support him, but also go through most of the events with him. Furthermore, he shows his heroic actions through the sympathy and kindness he shows towards others.  Although he had the option of letting Peter Pettigrew die since he was a traitor, he decided not to do so, and instead decides that he wants him to be taken to Azkaban. Therefore, if it weren’t for the events surrounding his birth, his deeds would not be performed with such courage and assistance from others.

Ged’s encounter with the shadow

In the book, “Wizard of Earthsea”, Ged believes that the shadow can only be defeated by light. When Ogion observes that Ged is able to defeat not only magicians, but also dragons, he sees that Ged will be able to defeat the shadow. This is when he gives him advice, through which Ged sets out on his boat to find the shadow. While one this quest, he is unable to find the shadow, making him furious, which is when he says, “I am here, I Ged the Sparrowhawk, and I summon my shadow!” (134) The shadow appears and then starts to run away, while Ged follows it.

While following the shadow, Vetch and Ged end up in an island, where he approaches the shadow. “Ged reached out his hands, dropping hiss staff, and took hold of his shadow, of the black self that reached out to him.” (179) This is when both darkness and light had joined, meaning that Ged had neither won nor lost. Ged realizes that joining with the shadow had made him a man who can’t be controlled by any power other than him. Through the constant search of the shadow, he he learns from the consquences of his actions, and therefore acts upon them. Furthermore, Ged acknowledges his shadow by both of them joining and becoming one. Also, by doing so, Ged finally frees himself and learns to accept the shadow.

Alice’s bodily changes

Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland” displays the changes in Alice’s size to represent several different things throughout the entire book.

Alice’s decision to follow a rabbit into Wonderland allows her to experience several different changes in size. Lewis Carroll represents these changes in Alice’s body as an indication of her adolescence. After drinking from the first bottle, she says “What a curious feeling!” (Carroll 56) indicating how she is still getting used to the fluctuations her body is undergoing. She soon realizes that she is too small to get the key from the glass table. The cake that she eats next makes her grow too big, making it impossible for her to get through the only door that held a key. Desperate for help, she asks the rabbit, who runs away. Alice then begins to talk to herself, saying, “I wonder if I’ve been changed in the night? Let me think: was I the same when I got up this morning? I almost think I can remember feeling a little different.” (Carroll 60) The change that she feels indicates her growth and change during adolescence. Carroll displays Alice’s size to signify the different feelings women undergo during puberty.

Alice’s bodily changes affect her social changes that she experiences in Wonderland. After eating the cake, she began to grow bigger, which came to her as a surprise and “for the moment she quite forgot how to speak good English.” (Carroll 58) The alterations that she undergoes during adolescence also affect her socially, as she forgets how to speak proper English. Furthermore, while having a conversation with the caterpillar in chapter five, Alice “felt that she was losing her temper,” (Carroll 88) as they talked about the fluctuations in her size that she had been facing. Her bodily changes instigated her to lose her temper at the caterpillar, showing her discomfort with such a change. Dealing with the bodily changes causes dramatic alterations in Alice socially.

The changes that Alice encounters in Wonderland indicate the nature of the place itself in several different ways. Some places make Alice lose her temper, where as some make her feel confused and curious. In chapter four, Alice had grown so large that she had no option other than to stick her hand outside the window. The other bottle from which she drank in chapter one had been labeled. However, she drank the one that was not labeled, as she knew “something interesting is sure to happen.” (Carroll 75) This indicates that Wonderland is in fact an interesting place, through which Alice experiences several changes.

Lewis Carroll mentions changes in size to show the transformations that Alice’s body undergoes during adolescence. Towards the end of the story, Alice grows enormously, reflecting her inner growth. Such a growth displays how she has matured throughout the story.

“Donkeyskin” and “Tale of the Black Cow” contrast

Charles Perrault’s “Donkeyskin” and the anonymous “The Story of the Black Cow” display several major differences. These differences include magical animals, gender, siblings, and several other differences.

While Charles Perrault’s story starts with a dying mother leaving behind a little girl for his husband to take care of, “The Story of the Black Cow” starts with a dying mother leaving behind a little boy. Most of the Cinderella stories portray a girl as the main character, showing a major difference in gender between the two stories. Although most Cinderella stories have a stepsister, Charles Perrault’s story did not consist of a sibling at all, creating yet another difference.

Both Charles Perrault’s story and the story of the anonymous had different magical creatures. In “The Story of the Black Cow”, the creatures were a black cow and a snake, however in “Donkeyskin”, they were a fairy and a donkey. The creatures in both stories, although were different, had helped their own way. The black cow, for instance, “asked for no favours for herself, but when the snake asked what she would like, she said she would like her son, as she called the Brahmin’s son, to be clothed in gold from head to foot,” (126) showing her care for the little boy. Also, the donkey in Charles Perrault’s story had provided a disguise for the girl through his skin, which had helped her escape her father’s desire to marry her.

Charles Perrault’s “Donkeyskin” mentions a father wanting to marry his daughter as he promised his dying wife to marry only if the girl was prettier than she. The girl, guided by her grandmother, runs away and uses donkey-skin as a disguise, later working as a servant. Both stories are different since the girl in Charles Perrault’s story suffers far more than the boy in “The Story of the Black Cow”. The suffering of the girl in “Donkeyskin” was to show “virtue may sometimes seem ill-fated, but it is always crowned with success.” (116). Although it seemed as if the girl was going through endless pain, the suffering had all paid off in the end. The ending of the two stories was also different. In “The Story of the Black Cow”, the boy goes back into the forest to look for the cow, when he finds a few bones of the dead cattle, “but just as he was about to do this who should appear but his old friend, the black cow.” (127). This ending shows how the boy never forgot about the cow who had taken care of him when he needed it the most.

The two stories, “The Story of the Black Cow” and “Donkeyskin” have several major differences that are shown above, which end up telling different morals along with the gender, magical animal, and sibling differences.

Maria Tatar. The Classic Fairy Tales.

New York: Norton & Company, 1999