On Harry Potter

Time and Time Again

By Michelle K. Gardner, Peter A. Hancock

Just when we think we understand what time is, curious things happen, and we begin to realize that time is actually not at all what we considered it to be. For Harry Potter, as well, time changes and distorts along with the different challenges he meets and the different adventures he has. In recalling the terrified, pleading screams of his mother (Prisoner of Azkaban) and watching his godfather’s fall through the ragged veil (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix), Harry has experienced some of the subtleties of time in its many different forms. While the Muggle world continues to believe that time is a simple, linear experience, the wizarding world knows time is much more. Remember the frenzied anticipation of the Hogwarts student body leading up to the Yule Ball (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire), or the long, drawn-out boredom of sitting in the History of Magic class with Professor Binns, not knowing when and if the lecture would ever end (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone)? Is time then just a simple, linear experience? Certainly not. In actuality, time does very strange things at the most critical points in our lives. “For a second that contained an eternity, Harry stared into Cedric’s face . . .” (Goblet of Fire 638). Was Harry’s awareness of time here just another tick of the clock? Time changes with the context and nature of the things that are happening to all of us. It speeds up and slows down  …

More from Michelle K. Gardner

More from Peter A. Hancock

Stay Updated

on our daily essay, giveaways, and other special deals

Our Books

Subscribe via RSS