Character Analysis of Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s Stone

July 31, 2020 by Essay Writer

In the book, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, the character that stood out the most was Harry Potter. However, Neville felt like a good choice because he isn’t talked about a lot in the book; yet is still important. Throughout chapters 7-9, you could tell that Neville has a fixed mindset; he shows it off pretty well.

In the book, Mindset, by Carol S. Dweck said that a fixed mindset is the belief that our traits are fixed or unchangeable, you want to prove yourself over and over (Dweck 6). A fixed mindset is someone who doesn’t like facing challenges and will get butthurt if that person fails at something and someone who doesn’t quite believe in themselves. That shows that Neville, in fact has a fixed mindset. However, Neville comes a long way throughout the book, for the majority of it, he definitely has a fixed mindset; but towards the end he starts to develop a little bit of a growth mindset. From reading Harry Potter, I can tell that Neville has a fixed mindset because he wasn’t motivated and didn’t have people who believed in him, clumsy and not a fan of challenges, and he felt like he couldn’t fix his traits.

Being accepted into Hogwarts you need to be a wizard, but for Neville he wasn’t quite motivated enough and from that I don’t believe that is all his fault. Neville Longbottom is a boy who was raised by his grandma, who is a witch. By having a relative who is magical, I would think that Neville’s grandma would motivate and support him. However, instead she did the opposite along with his other family members. In chapter seven, when Neville was talking about his family he said, “…they thought I might not be magical enough to come…”(Harry Potter, 125). That tells you that his grandma, aunt, and uncle didn’t believe in him. They thought that he couldn’t make it into Hogwarts. From Neville’s families attitudes, they reflect on Neville, making him have a fixed mindset. Longbottom also stated in chapter seven that they were all so happy they cried. That shows that Neville’s family were so surprised and shocked that they cried. Neville said, “And you should have seen their faces when I got in here…” (Harry Potter, 125). His grandma’s and aunt’s and uncle’s faces were in shock because they didn’t think that Neville had a chance in getting accepted into Hogwarts. From his family not believing, I could imagine Neville not believing in himself. Therefore, getting accepted into Hogwarts he must be feeling like he needs to do great to make his grandma proud. With doing so that is going to make challenging for him. People with a fixed mindset do not take challenges very well and with Neville being clumsy doesn’t help.

When coming to Hogwarts all the newcomers needed to be split up into four different houses which include; Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, and Slytherin. As they arrive that is the first thing they do, they split up. The students line up and have to wait until their name is called. How this process works is once their name is called they sit on a stool and a hat is placed on their heads, the magic hat decides what house they will be placed in. When Nevilles name was called, he walked up to the stool and as he was walking to the he tripped, being his clumsy self. At first, I thought he would’ve been placed in Hufflepuff where all the other students are with a fixed mindset. Neville was assigned to live in Gryffindor alone with Harry, Ron, and Hermione. “Where dwell the brave at heart, their daring, nerve…” (Harry Potter, 118), Neville being brave enough to attend Hogwarts he was also placed in the right home. Being placed into Gryffindor might help Neville expand his horizons and develop a growth mindset alone with the other students in Gryffindor. Throughout the book he becomes involved in some challenges. It may be because of the other students or his lessons, he doesn’t seem to be handling it very well. The time Neville was in Snape’s class and didn’t do the experiment correctly, “Neville managed to melt Seamus cauldron into a twisted blob…” (Harry Potter, 139). He felt as if this was going to be a challenge, but did it anyways and failed. Neville ended up having to go to the hospital wing because he did something he really couldn’t do and the outcome was him getting boils all over his nose. Neville is showing that he has a fixed mindset by not being able to do that potion the right way, by being clumsy. He could’ve avoided this mess if he challenged himself by taking it slow and doing it correctly the first time. Neville did this maybe because he feels as if he can’t fix his traits and become a true wizard.

Neville not being able to fix his traits kind of ties back to his challenges that he has been facing. If he won’t challenge himself then he won’t try and fix his traits. For example, when they had flying lessons, Neville was scared to fly on the broom, “Neville had never been on a broomstick in his life…” (Harry Potter, 144), his grandma wouldn’t let him near a broomstick because she knew he wouldn’t get into Hogwarts so what’s the point? While trying to fly on the broom, he couldn’t get his broomstick up to his hand, he tried the spell to get the broomstick from the ground to their hands but it didn’t work. Even though he wanted to stay on the ground, he was even more nervous to stay on the ground because he didn’t want to be the only person on the ground. Therefore, Neville pushed off the ground and went straight up, “Harry saw his scared white face look down at the ground falling away…” (Harry Potter, 147). In that moment that shows that Neville is starting to develop a growth mindset. Even though it didn’t go as planned, Neville didn’t give up, he tried flying on the broomstick. With that being said, Neville doesn’t want to accept the challenge by flying so he never attempted to fly on a broom again. Neville ends up breaking his wrist, that is another example of how clumsy he is. Therefore, by not fixing his traits means he gives up after trying something that is challenging to him, like flying and also in Snape’s class. Instead, he will try one thing and if it’s too hard then he will give up and not try again. Being like Neville and not wanting to improve should help you better understand that he has a fixed mindset.

Throughout Harry Potter, Neville had developed a fixed mindset. There were many ways to tell that he had one, also. For example, if it was by his living situation or just by him being at Hogwarts, it’s pretty easy to point out. Even though he wasn’t brought up in the book a lot like Harry Potter, there are still many different ways to find out that he has a fixed mindset that overpowers Neville having a growth mindset in the book. Neville did quite a bit of trying something and then not doing it again because it was too challenging for him, and that’s one of the few characteristics of having a fixed mindset. Neville is still important because he’s one of the few characters in the book with a fixed mindset From reading Harry Potter, I can tell that Neville has a fixed mindset because he wasn’t motivated and didn’t have people who believed in him, clumsy and not a fan of challenges, and he felt like he couldn’t fix his traits.

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