On Harry Potter

Harry's Curiosity

By Susan Engel, Ph.D.

Poor Harry. His curiosity gets him in big trouble. Right from the start, he suffers terribly because he’s so interested in answering questions, solving puzzles, and figuring things out. His curiosity causes him endless time locked in a closet, smacks on the head, and other nasty punishments at the hands of the Dursleys: his aunt, uncle, and cousin, who hate him because of his secret past.

Lucky Harry. His curiosity helps him to be smart and appealing, and it launches him on many of his adventures. Right from the start he wants to find things out, and his inquisitiveness leads him on escapades that bring him pleasure, excitement, satisfaction, knowledge, and, in the end, the high regard of all around him.

What is it about Harry and the events, objects, and people around him that make him so curious?

The Harry Potter series tells the story of one child’s quest to satisfy his curiosity. Most of the exciting events of the books occur because Harry is trying to figure something out. His curiosity is the invisible backbone to the story, just as it is the invisible backbone to much of children’s thinking and behavior. As we watch Harry try to answer questions and solve mysteries, the psychological components of curiosity come to life. Is Harry more curious than other children? If he is, what made him this way? What happens when the Dursleys try to crush it out of him?

Researchers view curiosity as both an internal and stable characteristic (a trait) of a  …

More from Susan Engel

Stay Updated

on our daily essay, giveaways, and other special deals

Our Books

Subscribe via RSS