Category Archives: Prisoner of Azkaban

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The Scariest Harry Potter Book is… Prisoner of Azkaban

Prisonercover[1]There’s no doubt in my mind that the title of this post is true. Sure, the Harry Potter books get more angst-ridden as the kids get older, and sure, the stakes get higher when Voldemort is trying to take over the world and generally deploy his Evil Schemes. But you can keep your graveyard incantations and Departments of Mysteries, your snakes and corpses and lakes full of zombies. Harry Potter is never as scary before Prisoner of Azkaban, and it never gets quite that scary again.

Because the scare quotient (if I can use that phrase) of Prisoner of Azkaban doesn’t depend on gross images or Gothic idioms, it doesn’t depend on dark magic or evil ideologies. The story does more than just startle or alarm us. It unsettles. It gnaws away at us with a, creeping, oozing fear that pricks under your fingernails and round your eye sockets. And it’s the only book with scary not just as decoration or set design; the fear is embedded in the story itself.

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Deceiving Appearances in Prisoner of Azkaban

crookshanks.gifWe continue now with the questions I have to answer for class.

Question: One of the continual themes in the books is how appearances can be deceiving – how does Prisoner of Azkaban address that theme and does it provide an easy answer?

The book certainly does not provide an “easy answer” for the question of deceiving appearances. There are several ways in which it demonstrates how complicated the matter might be. Three come to mind in particular – Professor Trelawney, Sirius Black, and the Crookshanks/Scabbers debacle.

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