Topics for Discussion

1. Should Harry have used magic in reaction to Aunt Marge’s hateful comments about his parents? What were his alternatives? Should he have been punished by the Dursleys, the Ministry of Magic, or both?

2. How does the permission slip to visit Hogsmeade symbolize Harry’s being in limbo between childhood and adulthood? When do the children characters switch roles with adults in this novel?

3. Discuss the irony of someone being indebted to a person he or she loathes. What would be ironic about having someone you dislike indebted to you?

4. What is Harry’s worst fear and what does this symbolize about him? Do you think he should fear something else? Describe how the Dementors reveal unseen emotional scars that Harry bears and expand your discussion to the psychological stresses’ effect on various characters in this book.

5. Why are the appearances of people, places, and things often deceptive? Are rumors usually not factual? When can rumors be trusted to be true?

6. Analyze the relationship between Lupin and Snape. How do the professors differ? How are they alike? Why does Lupin tolerate Snape’s derision? Discuss Lupin’s role as a father figure. What clues in the story suggested that Lupin was a werewolf?

7. How does Hermione change in this novel? What changes do you think will be permanent? How will she be the same when she returns to Hogwarts? Why is she so serious about her schoolwork? Why can Harry’s friends not understand his angst about his parents? What revelations about students help to develop their characters and suggest possible future plot developments?

8. Discuss Harry’s decision not to kill Black or Pettigrew in the Shrieking Shack. What do you think he should have done?

9. Why does the Minister of Magic Cornelius Fudge talk to Harry like an equal? Why does he trust the Muggle Prime Minister with the information that Sirius Black is a wizard?

10. What inconsistencies can be detected in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban? For example, how did Sirius Black access his Gringotts’ vault to pay for the Firebolt while he was a fugitive?

11. Tell how the Dursleys are gradually losing power over Harry and he is becoming more empowered to be autonomous.

12. Who would you choose as your Secret-Keeper and why?

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