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A posse of people consists of specific and international behavior that sets them apart from other distinctive groups. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling is a magical realism novel. In it, the protagonist, Harry Potter, sets off to Hogwarts – a school of wizardry. There, he learns about what it takes to become a wizard. Before he can start with lessons and lectures, new students like him are placed into particular houses by who they are as individuals. There are a total of four houses and they are known as Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, and Slytherin, however, only three of the four will be discussed. In How to Read Literature Like a Professor by Thomas C. Foster, Thomas describes symbolism as a particular meaning (or various amounts of meanings) behind practically anything, as it all depends on what had been deduced while reading. Due to this, it can be inferred that each house correlates to a certain kind of symbolism, their corresponding names revealing much about the houses as well.

Harry, along with his friends Ron and Hermoine, have been placed in the House of Gryffindor. A while before that though, when Harry is to be assigned to be in one of the four houses for the very first time, the new students are told by the Sorting Hat at the ceremony that “You might belong in Gryffindor, / Where dwell the brave of heart, / Their daring nerve and chivalry set Gryffindors apart;” (Rowling 118). The word “Gryffindor” shares a root with the word “Griffin” which is a type of mythological creature with the head of an eagle and the body of a lion. This creature typically represents strength and courage in Greek Mythology. As such, Gryffindors are mentioned to stand fierce when met with difficult situations. An example of this would be Neville, who is constantly attempting to persist alongside his peers, although he is often shown to flounder with internal struggles and is frequently challenged by those of Slytherin. Such behavior is recognized by Dumbledore as he awards Neville ten points for his courage (Rowling 306). Gryffindors are also rather daring, often placing themselves in the face of danger. Harry, Hermoine, and Ron are frequently seen placing themselves in danger for the greater good, as represented when they are off on a quest to retrieve the Sorcerer’s Stone from the Forbidden Corridor. This reflects how dearly Gryffindors hold a strong sense of morality, turning to even the most absurd of ideas to protect the good against what is evil.

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Slytherin has a rather controversial prominence in the novel. Being highly regarded as the root of evil, since Voldemort had once been sorted into that house, the house had gained a rather off-putting reputation. It is not entirely correct as the students that pertain to the house are trying their best to rid themselves of their adverse repute, though the qualities are still within every one of them. During the same opening ceremony in which the students were to receive the name of the house they would be in, Slytherin is to be brought up when the Sorting Hat states, “Or perhaps in Slytherin / You’ll make your real friends, / Those cunning folk use any means / To achieve their ends” (Rowling 118). The word “Slytherin” has a similar sound to the term “Slither”, which is easily associated with the movement of a snake. Snakes are depicted as guileful creatures, and this equates to the fact of how Slytherins are cunning. Slytherins are shown to be intelligent, though in the sense of using information for certain advantages, as did Voldemort when he used Professor Quirrell in an attempt to obtain the Sorcerer’s Stone to regain his body. Slytherins are also filled with vast amounts of determination. Howbeit, this determination is all for self-centered purposes in the novel. Snape held a close eye on Harry and was set on protecting him against Professor Quirrell for the sole reason of making it up to Harry’s deceased father, who had once saved his life. Slytherins have a strong sense of resilience and will stop at nothing if it means gaining something for any personal reason.

Out of all of the houses in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Hufflepuffs are seen as a more inferior type of group. Draco Malfoy had his fair share of negative opinions when he met Harry for the first time when they were to get their robes measured, saying, “Imagine being in Hufflepuff, I think I’d leave, wouldn’t you?” (Rowling 77). Although not taking away the spotlight for the entirety of the novel, it is important to note that positive words were said about the house, yet it exemplified mediocrity to every other student. When the Sorting Hat announced what the Hufflepuffs were capable of during Harry’s first Hogwarts Ceremony, it stated, “You might belong in Hufflepuff, / Where they are just and loyal, / Those patient Hufflepuffs are true / And unafraid of toil;” (Rowling 118). Hufflepuffs are described to be the most faithful out of all the other students in Hogwarts. They are patient and portray dedication, usually giving it their full potential in whatever task they are to face. Additionally, Hufflepuffs are introduced as honest and humble individuals, epitomizing everything they do with ethical morality, similar to that of a Gryffindor. Because of the lack of richness within Hufflepuff’s characteristics, they are looked down upon by the other houses. In other words, Hufflepuff does not exuberantly stand out in Hogwarts.

Coteries, factions, and blocs are included in literature to serve as dividers between a large number of people to distinguish them more efficiently. Every group symbolizes a grander meaning based on characteristics and behaviors. In Hogwarts, students are categorized by their personalities into four houses. Those houses have different views regarded towards them just as much as they differ from the other houses. Gryffindor, Slytherin, and Hufflepuff all provide insights as to what their house stands for. The students also have a lot to do with the representation of the houses as well. Harry is a Gryffindor, and Voldemort is a Slytherin. Both characters have contrasting characteristics that pertain to the house they are in. Each house has its ideals, thoughts, and views on how things should be done.

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