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Discussion On: The Letters from No One (Page 2)

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Cutecj

Goldie

Cutecj

Joined: 25 May 2012

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Posted: 01 January 2013 at 2:00am | IP Logged
 When September came he would be going off
to secondary school and, for the first time in his life, he wouldn't be
with Dudley. Dudley had been accepted at Uncle Vernon's old private
school, Smeltings. Piers Polkiss was going there too. Harry, on the
other hand, was going to Stonewall High, the local public school. Dudley
thought this was very funny.
"They stuff people's heads down the toilet the first day at Stonewall,"
he told Harry. "Want to come upstairs and practice?"
"No, thanks," said Harry. "The poor toilet's never had anything as
horrible as your head down it -- it might be sick." Then he ran, before
Dudley could work out what he'd said

Dudley couldn't be slower and thicker.ROFLROFL

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Mione

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Ephemera

IF-Sizzlerz

Ephemera

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Posted: 02 January 2013 at 1:03am | IP Logged
Hey Potter Heads i got this from hp-lexicon.orgBig smile

thought of sharingEmbarrassed

A Reader's Guide to Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

Chapter Three:
The Letters from No One

 

On this page:The Letters From No One, PS3, by Mary GrandPr

Synopsis by William Silvester 
Notes and links by Steve Vander Ark and Michele L. Worley

US hardcover edition: pages 31 - 45 
UK paperback edition: pages 39 - 54 
Timeframe: 23 July through 31 July, 1991 [Y11]

In which Dudley gets his new uniform and a letter arrives for Harry which Uncle Vernon destroys, prompting a veritable deluge of letters over the next few days. Uncle Vernon then attempts to outrun the delivery of the letters and eventually takes his family to an abandoned hut on an island in the ocean.


Interesting facts and notes on the text of this chapter:

The severe stress Vernon suffers at the onslaught of the Hogwarts letters via owl post probably has a lot to do with his extremely hostile reaction to the various owls who arrive at number four on the night of the Dementor attack four years later.

By the time he was let out of his cupboard again, the summer holidays had started...

Dudley's birthday, as we are about to discover, is 23 June, so the school summer term was almost over anyway. We don't know the exact date when Harry was released, however, since the next date reference we're given is for "One day in July..." in paragraph six.

One day in July...

This day is the 23rd. We know this because we learn in a few more sentences that the next day--the 24th--is when the first letter arrives from Hogwarts for Harry. Since July 31 is a Tuesday, as we'll learn at the end of this chapter, we can count back and determine that "One day in July" is actually Monday, 23 July, 1991. Harry stays with Mrs Figg.

There was a horrible smell in the kitchen the next morning when Harry went in for breakfast.

It is now Tuesday, 24 July, 1991.

...a postcard from Uncle Vernon's sister Marge, who was vacationing on the Isle of Wight...

The Isle of Wight is located off the southern coast of England. It became a popular holiday resort during the reign of Queen Victoria, who was particularly fond of her home there, Osbourne House.

Harry saw a purple wax seal bearing a coat of arms; a lion, an eagle, a badger, and a snake surrounding a large letter H.

This is the Hogwarts crest, of course. The animals represent the four houses: the lion for Gryffindor, the badger for Hufflepuff, the eagle for Ravenclaw, and the snake for Slytherin. The crest appears in the center of this illustration by Riikka Jntti:

Hogwarts crest

 

"Marge's ill," he informed Aunt Petunia. "Ate a funny whelk. --."

For more about Marge's eating habits, follow this link about the whelk.

His face went from red to green faster than a set of traffic lights. And it didn't stop there. Within seconds it was the grayish white of old porridge.

This is the first example of one of Rowling's little writing quirks: people's faces changing color to indicate emotion.

"Er - yes, Harry - about this cupboard. Your aunt and I have been thinking...you're really getting a bit big for it...we think it might be nice if you moved into Dudley's second bedroom."

This is the first time any of the Dursleys have been shown addressing Harry by name. The charitable view here would be that the Dursleys, realizing that somebody out there is keeping an eye on Harry, have decided to treat Harry a little better in their own interests. (This would seem to be supported by Harry's observation that Vernon seems to be trying to be nice to him at breakfast the next morning.) However, it seems likely that they were trying (foolishly) to prevent delivery of further Hogwarts letters by invalidating the address.

The month-old video camera...

This phrase gives us the information we need to pinpoint Dudley's birthdate.

The camera was given to Dudley on his birthday. That was, according to this phrase, a month ago. We can safely assume that this is not intended to be read as literally one month exactly, but approximately one month. We know from the number of days between this reference and Harry's birthday, which we know to be Tuesday, 31 July, that the day Harry is moved into Dudley's second bedroom is Tuesday, 24 July.

Making the assumption that months in Harry Potter's world have the same number of days as months in the real world, we can work back approximately one month to find which Saturdays will qualify. The closest match, off by only a day, is Saturday 23 June.

This deduction, while completely logical, is not quite canon.

Next morning at breakfast, everyone was rather quiet.

It's the next day, so now it's Wednesday, 25 July, 1991. Note once again that while this day and date is inescapably canon, it does not match the actual day of the week on which July 25 fell in 1991. The calendars in Harry's reality just don't match those in ours.

The repaired alarm clock rang at six o'clock the next morning

So now it's Thursday, 26 July.

"Oh, these people's minds work in strange ways, Petunia, they're not like you and me..."

This statement by Vernon Dursley is true on many levels. For example, a wizard sees nothing unusal about a tent that is small on the outside but holds the equivelent of an entire cottage inside.

...trying to knock in a nail with the piece of fruitcake Aunt Petunia had just given him.

Of course, this could have been the proverbial Christmas fruitcake that never gets thrown out, and really does seem to be hard enough to do this.

The Letters From No One, Keith Johnson

On Friday, no less than twelve letters arrived for Harry...On Saturday, things began to get out of hand...On Sunday morning...

The days go by and the number of letters gets larger and larger. This is Friday, 27 July, Saturday, 28 July, and Sunday, 29. It's interesting to speculate who was actually doing all these odd spells...inserting letters into empty eggs, forcing them through boarded up windows, and the like. Are the letters themselves bewitched to try to get past barriers? Was this the work of McGonagall, having a bit of fun thwarting Vernon Dursley's feeble attempts to deny that magic exists? Was Dumbledore orchestrating this whole circus?

"That does it," said Uncle Vernon, trying to speak calmly but pulling great tufts out of his mustache at the same time.

Here's another of Rowling's writing quirks. Uncle Vernon pulls hair out of his mustache when he's upset. This would be incredibly painful, actually, and even the hair of a bushy mustache isn't very long, offering little to grip. Makes a nice visual, however, no matter how unlikely it is. Of course, Vernon's face can also change colors. Maybe he's got a bit of magic in him after all.

Naw.

...his father had hit him round the head for holding them up...

One of the few examples of actual physical abuse from the Dursleys. Dudley is having a very difficult week. So is Vernon, for that matter.

...while he tried to pack his television, VCR, and computer in his sports bag...

When this phrase was written in the mid-1990s, all of these items would have been ludicrously large to pack into a car for a trip. However, technology is changing and future readers will be visualizing portable DVD players and handheld computers and wondering why Uncle Vernon was having such a problem with this.

Railview Hotel, Cokeworth

What a dismal sounding place this is! The name suggests that it overlooks nothing more interesting than a railway line and that it's located in a town that produces steel.

If it was Monday -- and you could usually count on Dudley to know the days of the week, because of television -- then tomorrow, Tuesday, was Harry's eleventh birthday.

It's now Monday, July 30, 1991. In the "real" 1991, July 30 was a Tuesday, so Harry's reality is a day different from ours at this point. If only it were so easy.

The incompatiblilty of the calendar in the books and those of real life is a lot greater than this. We discover here that Harry's birthday falls on a Tuesday. In chapter one we learned that Harry was delivered to the Dursleys on a Tuesday as well. If we count the days on the calendar between that Tuesday--November 1 of the year that Harry was 1 year old--and the day that he turns 11, it simply can't be another Tuesday. The number of days is not correct.

Rowling is making no effort to match any real calendar here. She has verified that the year is correct, but is simply not paying attention to the days and dates. That won't stop us from blathering on about it, of course. We're fans. That's what we do.

Of course, his birthdays were never exactly fun - last year, the Dursleys had given him a coat hanger and a pair of Uncle Vernon's old socks.

But the socks come in handy starting in Harry's third year, when he uses them to muffle his Sneakoscope, and in his fourth year when he uses them as an emergency Christmas present for Dobby (who loves any socks).

 

Characters introduced in this chapter:

Characters returning in this chapter:

Settings and locations introduced or returning in this chapter:

Exceptional character moments:

  • The first Hogwarts letter is used to emphasize how very alone Harry is - that he has no friends and no other relatives; he never even gets junk mail.

  • Under very severe stress, Vernon pulls out tufts of his own mustache.

  • From the state of the books in what was once his 'second bedroom', it seems that Dudley doesn't like to read.

Spells:

  • none yet

Links and Resources:

  • none yet

Memorable lines:

  • They also carried knobbly sticks, used for hitting each other while the teachers weren't looking. This was supposed to be good training for later life.

  • ...he didn't belong to the library, so he'd never even got rude notes asking for books back.

  • "Oh, these people's minds work in strange ways, Petunia, they're not like you and me..."
  • By nightfall Dudley was howling. He'd never had such a bad day in his life. He was hungry, he'd missed five television programs he'd wanted to see, and he'd never gone so long without blowing up an alien on his computer.

Strictly British:

Timelines/Calendar:

July / August, 1991

SUNMONTUESWEDTHUFRISAT
Jul;y 22

July 23

Harry stays with Mrs Figg when Petunia takes Dudley out to get his new Smeltings school uniform.

July 24

Harry's new school "uniform" is soaking in a vat of evil-smelling dye at Breakfast. However, the first letter arrives and everthing begins to chamge in Harry's life. For starters, he's moved to Dudley's second bedroom

July 25

another letter arrives, but Vernon takes it. Harry resolves to get up early the next dayand meet the postman

July 26

Harry gets up at six and sneaks downstairs, only to discover Uncle Vernon waiting for him in the hall. More letters arrive.

July 27

twelve letters arrive for Harry

July 28

twenty-four letters arrive inside of the eggs delivered by the milkman

July 29

Uncle Vernon looses it when hundreds of letters come flying on through the fireplace; he packs up the family and drives around, eventually stopping for the night in Cokeworth

July 30

Uncle Vernon drives around Britain looking for a good place to hide, settles on the hut on the rock

July 31

midnight: Hagrid knocks on the door of the hut on the rock

August 1
August 2
August 3

August 4


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MioneCutecj

Cutecj

Goldie

Cutecj

Joined: 25 May 2012

Posts: 2018

Posted: 02 January 2013 at 1:44am | IP Logged
wow laksh amazing info.
Thank you for sharing.

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Ephemera

Ephemera

IF-Sizzlerz

Ephemera

Joined: 08 July 2012

Posts: 10954

Posted: 02 January 2013 at 2:17am | IP Logged
well am planning to post each excerpt as and when thread opens...
can i post in last two threads too??Confused will people go through it?Confused

Cutecj

Goldie

Cutecj

Joined: 25 May 2012

Posts: 2018

Posted: 02 January 2013 at 3:21am | IP Logged
If you post i will gladly read.
You can PM Damini cause she's opened the thread.

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Ephemera

twila

IF-Dazzler

twila

Joined: 08 March 2012

Posts: 4570

Posted: 02 January 2013 at 5:02am | IP Logged
Wowy! Tfs Laksh!

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Ephemera

Cutecj

Goldie

Cutecj

Joined: 25 May 2012

Posts: 2018

Posted: 07 January 2013 at 2:55am | IP Logged
Hey guys. I thought of posting part of the chapter being discussed  so that we can revisit the HP world.

CHAPTER THREE
THE LETTERS FROM NO ONE
The escape of the Brazilian boa constrictor earned Harry his
longest-ever punishment. By the time he was allowed out of his cupboard
again, the summer holidays had started and Dudley had already broken his
new video camera, crashed his remote control airplane, and, first time
out on his racing bike, knocked down old Mrs. Figg as she crossed Privet
Drive on her crutches.
Harry was glad school was over, but there was no escaping Dudley's gang,
who visited the house every single day. Piers, Dennis, Malcolm, and
Gordon were all big and stupid, but as Dudley was the biggest and
stupidest of the lot, he was the leader. The rest of them were all quite
happy to join in Dudley's favorite sport: Harry Hunting.
This was why Harry spent as much time as possible out of the house,
wandering around and thinking about the end of the holidays, where he
could see a tiny ray of hope. When September came he would be going off
to secondary school and, for the first time in his life, he wouldn't be
with Dudley. Dudley had been accepted at Uncle Vernon's old private
school, Smeltings. Piers Polkiss was going there too. Harry, on the
other hand, was going to Stonewall High, the local public school. Dudley
thought this was very funny.
"They stuff people's heads down the toilet the first day at Stonewall,"
he told Harry. "Want to come upstairs and practice?"
"No, thanks," said Harry. "The poor toilet's never had anything as
horrible as your head down it -- it might be sick." Then he ran, before
Dudley could work out what he'd said.
One day in July, Aunt Petunia took Dudley to London to buy his Smeltings
uniform, leaving Harry at Mrs. Figg's. Mrs. Figg wasn 't as bad as
usual. It turned out she'd broken her leg tripping over one of her cats,
and she didn't seem quite as fond of them as before. She let Harry watch
television and gave him a bit of chocolate cake that tasted as though
she'd had it for several years.
That evening, Dudley paraded around the living room for the family in
his brand-new uniform. Smeltings' boys wore maroon tailcoats, orange
knickerbockers, and flat straw hats called boaters. They also carried
knobbly sticks, used for hitting each other while the teachers weren't
looking. This was supposed to be good training for later life.
As he looked at Dudley in his new knickerbockers, Uncle Vernon said
gruffly that it was the proudest moment of his life. Aunt Petunia burst
into tears and said she couldn't believe it was her Ickle Dudleykins, he
looked so handsome and grown-up. Harry didn't trust himself to speak. He
thought two of his ribs might already have cracked from trying not to
laugh.
There was a horrible smell in the kitchen the next morning when Harry
went in for breakfast. It seemed to be coming from a large metal tub in
the sink. He went to have a look. The tub was full of what looked like
dirty rags swimming in gray water.
"What's this?" he asked Aunt Petunia. Her lips tightened as they always
did if he dared to ask a question.
"Your new school uniform," she said.
Harry looked in the bowl again.
"Oh," he said, "I didn't realize it had to be so wet."
"DotA be stupid," snapped Aunt Petunia. "I'm dyeing some of Dudley's old
things gray for you. It'll look just like everyone else's when I've
finished."
Harry seriously doubted this, but thought it best not to argue. He sat
down at the table and tried not to think about how he was going to look
on his first day at Stonewall High -- like he was wearing bits of old
elephant skin, probably.
Dudley and Uncle Vernon came in, both with wrinkled noses because of the
smell from Harry's new uniform. Uncle Vernon opened his newspaper as
usual and Dudley banged his Smelting stick, which he carried everywhere,
on the table.
They heard the click of the mail slot and flop of letters on the
doormat.
"Get the mail, Dudley," said Uncle Vernon from behind his paper.
"Make Harry get it."
"Get the mail, Harry."
"Make Dudley get it."
"Poke him with your Smelting stick, Dudley."
Harry dodged the Smelting stick and went to get the mail. Three things
lay on the doormat: a postcard from Uncle Vernon's sister Marge, who was
vacationing on the Isle of Wight, a brown envelope that looked like a
bill, and -- a letter for Harry.
Harry picked it up and stared at it, his heart twanging like a giant
elastic band. No one, ever, in his whole life, had written to him. Who
would? He had no friends, no other relatives -- he didn't belong to the
library, so he'd never even got rude notes asking for books back. Yet
here it was, a letter, addressed so plainly there could be no mistake:
Mr. H. Potter
The Cupboard under the Stairs
4 Privet Drive
Little Whinging
Surrey
The envelope was thick and heavy, made of yellowish parchment, and the
address was written in emerald-green ink. There was no stamp.
Turning the envelope over, his hand trembling, Harry saw a purple wax
seal bearing a coat of arms; a lion, an eagle, a badger, and a snake
surrounding a large letter H.

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Ephemera

Cutecj

Goldie

Cutecj

Joined: 25 May 2012

Posts: 2018

Posted: 07 January 2013 at 7:31am | IP Logged
will post more of the chapter later.
Discuss away.

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