Depicting children to a child readership in Harry Potter and The Worst Witch [Stylistics essay]

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A linguistic study of extracts from Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and The Worst Witch, identifying how the texts are oriented towards child readers.

Transcript of Depicting children to a child readership in Harry Potter and The Worst Witch [Stylistics essay]

Stylistics: Second Assessed EssayCandidate Module Title Module Tutor Question 316773 Stylistics Charles Owen/Murray Knowles With reference to a text or texts of your choice show how authors use linguistic devices to slant and orientate their work towards readers. You might want to refer to narratives for children in your discussions Depicting children to a child readership in Harry Potter and The Worst Witch

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Candidate 316773 Stylistics Second Assessed Essay Depicting Children To A Child Readership in Harry Potter and The Worst WitchApril 2002

Depicting Children To A Child Readership In Harry Potter & The Worst WitchIntroductionThis essay will examine language in extracts from the childrens books Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone and The Worst Witch (both reproduced here as appendixes). Three linguistic strategies that slant and orientate the extracts to particular child readers will be identified: The complexity of Harry Potters narration, which is aimed at older readers, compared to that of The Worst Witch. Reader-alignment or focalization1 with one child character (in both extracts the eponym). Similar constructions of a conventional ideology in both extracts.

Analysis will be based on Toolans (1998) stylistic categories2 and Knowles (1996) investigation of ideology.

1 The ways in which Harry Potter presents a more complex narrativeThe Worst Witch uses mainly pure narration (Toolan 1998, 112). There is no free indirect thought, or even indirect thought. The narrator is foregrounded as an individual human storyteller using a first-person pronoun: as I have mentioned before (3). S/he has complete objective knowledge, the generic sentences about broomstick riding demonstrating his/her status to make inconvertible and foundational orientations (Toolan 1998, 64). Reflecting the use of illustrations, there is a comic-book feel to the prose. The idea that flashed into Mildreds head evokes the light bulb = idea convention. Nonetheless, there are still some complex presuppositions. The modalised aside she disappeared literally, for instance, foregrounds the extracts textuality. The reader is expected to know that there is a common figurative use of disappeared in fiction, which actually just means left or has gone, which is debased in the magical world. Ultimately however, a relative lack 2

Candidate 316773 Stylistics Second Assessed Essay Depicting Children To A Child Readership in Harry Potter and The Worst Witch of modality in the Worst Witch makes for a non-ambiguous, very clear narrative. This world of definites is most suited to younger children. Harry Pottes narration is more complex. The reader must interpret events from the validity of various character discourses, aided by probability modality. Rons judgement of Malfoy's boasts: I bet that's all talk first introduces the idea that a character may say something not because it is true but to elevate their social standing. Doubting probability modality frames subsequent indirect speech: the way Seamus Finnigan told it, as does mockingly generalising usuality modality: most of his childhood. The formulaic nature of all of these boys stories (which establishes a male culture of boasting) is emphasised through a lexical similarity chain of close encounters and/or opposition with the muggle (non-magical) world: narrowly escaping Muggles in helicopters (11) almost hit a hang-glider (13) zooming around the countryside (12) The summarised narratives have the shape of Labovian orientations, enforcing the sense that they are constructed rather than recorded. Rons story is a simple rehash of Malfoys, building a similarity chain from its elements. Where Malfoy was narrowly escaping (11) Ron almost hit, where the Muggle flying contraption Malfoy faced was a helicopter, Ron faces a hang-glider.

2 Reader Alignment With One Child Character2.1 Harry Potter as focalizer3 Stephens notes a tendancy for childrens fiction to focus attention predominantly on the individual psyche (1992, 3). Harry Potter demonstrates this; his experiences are to some extent bibliotherapy4; he roughly reflects the age and situation of the implied reader5, suffering conventional childhood anxieties6 despite the fantasy context. The cohesive identity chain Harry Potter is by far the longest in the extract, 49 instances by my analysis. The frequency of repetition is not significant in itself 7, but in that it emphasises the way in which the text is held together by everythings significance to Harry. His mental processes are the most reported; of the 27 here 14 are attributable to him individually, with another two attributable to him as part of a group. The extract begins with one such process:


Candidate 316773 Stylistics Second Assessed Essay Depicting Children To A Child Readership in Harry Potter and The Worst Witch

senser Harry

mental process had never believed

phenomenon that he would meet a boy he hated more than Dudley

This indirect thought establishes Harrys hatred of Malfoy as the theme of the forthcoming episode. Harrys mental processes are also the theme of the opening dialogue: senser I You circumstance always mental pro. phenomenon wanted to make a fool of myself in front of Malfoy [sarcastic]" dont know youll make a fool of yourself

The third-person narrator's omniscient eye is eschewed in favour of viewing events through Harrys perception. Consequently he is often present during events in which he plays little part. In sentence 17 Rons agentive actions are framed by a clause that positions him as medium-target, watched by Harry: agent Harry had caught medium-t Ron agent


Deans poster of West Ham football team medium-t

Harrys perception of events also frames the following dual verbal and mental process clause: said Broken wrist Phenomenon [unintended addressee] Harry Senser sayer her verbal pro. mutter

heard mental pro.

A similar shift to Harrys perception occurs within the pure narration about Nevilles inability to fly. Here modality is attributed to Harry rather than the narrator: Privately, Harry felt [Nevilles Gran] had good reason. Similarly, background information on the unreliable nature of Hogwarts brooms (sentence 41) is conveyed through gossip Harry has heard from older pupils. Crucially, there is also ambiguity between pure narration and Harrys free indirect thought. Early in the extract it is difficult to attribute the statement Still, first-year Gryffindors only had potions with the Slytherins, so they didn't have to put


Candidate 316773 Stylistics Second Assessed Essay Depicting Children To A Child Readership in Harry Potter and The Worst Witch up with Malfoy much to the narrator or Harrys FIT, especially as it directly follows Harrys mental process in sentence one. Either way, it is a distinctly anti-Slytherin statement that aligns the reader with Harry and the Gryffindors. The use of Still marks the speaker qualifying the preceding statement, by indicating that matters are not too bad for the first year Gryffindors because they didn't have to see the Slytherins very often. The use of the cohesive conjunction so is also notable. Used instead of the more general-purpose rejoinder and, it implies that the Gryffindors naturally avoided Malfoy. There is no suggestion that they should try to put up with him, or that making friends with him would be a positive thing to do. Malofy is portrayed as unambiguously bad. 2.2 Mildred Hubble as focalizer As in Harry Potter, Mildreds focalization is aided by the use of a realist mode that allows the reader to treat fantastic occurrences as part of everyday life. Take, for instance, the nominalisation (Knowles, 59) of the fantasy experience of riding a broomstick as broomstick riding in sentence 2. This facilitates the naturalisation of this particular magic experience as part of the everyday school routine. Also like Harry Potter, the orientation of all events around the eponym places other characters in do-er and done-to participant roles in the same instance: agent [Mildred] leaving medium-t her kitten Agent


a leaf medium-t

along the ground circ

The readers alignment with Mildred is also heighened by our sympathies with her kitten. In the extract kittens are made to resemble their owners using unification strategies: it looked as though her kitten was going to have the same trouble (8). The narrator claims that Riding a broomstick was no easy matter rather than difficult. Phrasing the information this way specifically refutes the position of Ethels cat, turning us against Ethel and towards Mildred. Lexis makes Mildreds actions seem more dynamic and engaging. Instead of running she dived into the school. Rather than thinking An idea flashed into [her] head (a material process). Sentences 3 to 7 are overtly instructive, constantly placing the narrators addressee in the position of an agent/medium-i in the hypothetical situation of riding a broomstick. This brings the reader closer to Mildred's experience, because it


Candidate 316773 Stylistics Second Assessed Essay Depicting Children To A Child Readership in Harry Potter and The Worst Witch encourages readers to regard themselves as the symptomal subject experiencing broomstick riding, as the addressee, the you. An entire hypothetical drama involving the reader is thus enacted: in which case you would either fall off or find yourself hanging upside-down and then you would just have to hold on with your skirt over your head until a friend came to your rescue8. It is a progression of the idea that focalization means the reader's own selfhood is effaced and the reader internalizes the perceptions and attitudes of the focalizer and is thus reconstituted as a subject within the text (Stephens 1992, 68). 2.3 Aligning The Reader With The Gryffindors In many ways Mildred Hubble is an outsider, constantly fearful of exclusion as emphasised by the differentiating statement Everyone else is all right (14). This is not the case in Harry Potters alignment strategy, which incorporates an entire social group. Several strategies of symbolic construction using unification and differentation (Knowles 1996, 47) join together the characters with whom the reader is supposed to sympathise and those that s/he is meant to despise. The most obvious of these is the creation of the school houses Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw and the binary opposites good Gryffindor and evil Slytherin. The power struggle between the latter two houses is emphasised in their speech-acts. When speaking to a member of the other house conversation is not based on the initiating-act and response system that Toolan describes as normal conversation (1998, 192) but usually in commands and counter-commands. Harry's repeats Give that here, Malfoy and Malfoy responds Come and get it, Potter! (83) and Catch it if you can, then (100) . Using a macro-linguistic unification strategy the members of Gryffindor or Syltherin often act as homogenous entities. When Malfoy begins arguing with the Gryffindors The other Syltherins joined in (72). The framing clause after direct speech is often ellipted, obscuring individual identities and heightening the impression of two conflicting voices (see various instances between sentences 71 and 77). The first-year Gryffindors in the following table are cast in the role of a single participant, often unified using pronouns such as they or them all: sentence Carrier 2 first-year Gryffindors relational process (only) had attribute Potions with the Slytherin


Candidate 316773 Stylistics Second Assessed Essay Depicting Children To A Child Readership in Harry Potter and The Worst Witch 2 3 3 3 medium/agent They They They [the notice] Senser They didn't have to put up with didn't [have to put up with] spotted made mental process. spotted medium-t Malfoy [Malfoy much] them all groan phenomenon a notice

The Gryffindors add value to Harry's escapade. A rise in social standing is demonstrable from the evaluative adjective: an admiring whoop from Ron (90). Harrys daring act differentiates boys and girls for the only time in the extract [Harry heard] screams and gasps of girls back on the ground (90) adding an element of sexual pride to his success. 2.4 Aligning The Reader Against Draco Malfoy For the reader to successfully identify with Harry they must detest his enemy Malfoy, the other who must be expurged (Knowles 1996, 57). He is unified with the other enemy, Harrys step-brother Dudley, in sentence one. The rather melodramatic modality of Harrys first mention of Malfoy, commenting darkly, heightens his importance and aligns him with evil. The narrator modalises against him. He does not simply take Neville's Rembrall but does so using a word with stronger connotations of wrong-doing, snatched (32). When Malfoy leaves with his drones/henchmen (themselves connotating an evil character) the particularly evil-loaded verb sloped is used. Using the evaluative aside of course in sentence 24 the narrator takes his bad nature for granted. These negative characteristics unify him with the other Slytherins, who are hard-faced (74). Malfoys negatively-modalised boastful stories and gloating nature are central in establishing an ideal of humility. In The Worst Witch similar negative evaluative adjectives enforce this ideal when describing Ethel as rather smug (2). The reader is distanced from Malfoys point of view because it is reported only as indirect speech within Rons direct speech: I know Malfoys always going on about how good he is at Quidditch, but I bet that's all talk (9). The narrator supports Ron's point of view in a heavily modalised narrative report of Malfoys discoursal act: Malfoy certainly did talk about flying a lot (10). Rons boasts are softened in comparison with Malfoys. Where Malfoy attempts to address everybody, speaking loudly, it is implied that nobody really listens to Ron, as the narrator describes his 7

Candidate 316773 Stylistics Second Assessed Essay Depicting Children To A Child Readership in Harry Potter and The Worst Witch addressee as anybody whod listen (13). Harry is the opposite of Malfoy because he doesnt express his opinions about people. Instead, he opines on Nevilles shortcomings privately. Even the morphology of Malfoys name connotates negativity9. Its mal prefix evokes words of inadequacy such as malcontent, and malnourished. His house, Slytherin, obviously connotates slithering and relates to their emblum of the snake. This negativity works either by presupposition (the reader recognises it from other texts) or as an active propagator of traditional iconography. If s/he already understands the negative connations held towards snakes in Western culture, from the Garden of Eden onwards, Malfoy is immediately negative. If, however, the reader is unaware of the archetypal snake/evil connotation it is established in Malfoy's detestable actions. The reader can subseqently apply these connotations if they encounter this archetype in another text. 2.5 Alignment Through Exciting Situations: Differentiating The Fantastic As has been mentioned, reader-alignment is partly created by placing the eponym in a similar social situation to the reader, the school. Equally important, however, is the idea that the eponym is enjoying experiences that the reader never will. In Harry Potter a macro-linguistic strategy that constantly diffentiates the magical and the muggle always treats the magical as superior and more exciting. This is done through the interaction of cohesive lexical chains10 within the boasting patterns: Pupil Malfoy Seamus Finnigan Ron Ron Magical Experience flying and narrowly escaping flying: zooming around modality heightens drama flying (almost hit) love of Quidditch Muggle Context Muggles in helicopters around the countryside a hang-glider Dean Thomas love of football, which is unexciting in comparison with Quidditch because it is a game with only one ball where no one was allowed to fly prodding Dean's poster of West Ham football team


expecting photographs to move as they do in the magical world


Candidate 316773 Stylistics Second Assessed Essay Depicting Children To A Child Readership in Harry Potter and The Worst Witch

In The Worst Witch a similar idea can be found in condemnation of the non-magical world as easy when Miss Hardbroom condemns Mildred using imagery that presupposes the reader recognises features of a bicycle: perhaps it would be even easier with handlebars and a saddle (34). This differentation of the magical/fantastic and the real enforces the possibility of textual verisimilitude. In Stephens view (1992, 4) both texts therefore promote a system based on one-to-one relationship[s] between objects and their representation [that masks] the processes of textual production of meaning: representation becomes equated with truth. Both extracts, therefore, propagate a strictly orthodox ideology.

3 IdeologyThough neither text seems to operate with an overt political mandate (intended surface ideology), their passive ideology11 is particularly significant. Treating ideology strictly as relations of dominance (defined in Knowles 1996, 43) these extracts do not so much slant and orientate themselves towards readers as slant and orientate readers to the idea that the school is an incontestable institution in which teachers hold complete power. 3.1 Ideology In Harry Potter The school provides an underlying fabric of authority in Harry Potter. In the first paragraph every relational process - those that are incontestable as they describe the way that things are - is related to school infrastructure: Carrier first-year Gryffindors Flying lessons Gryffindor and Slytherin rel. pro. had would be would be attribute Potions with the Slytherins starting on Thursday learning together circ only

The information on the notice pinned up in the Gryffindor common room (presumably put there by a teacher) can be regarded as a non-verbal speech-act. On the surface it appears to be an inform, simply providing pupils with information. However, Harry's acknowledgement-style response, Typical indicates that it may in fact be a command. It demands that pupils attend certain lessons on a certain date. In either case, the teacher's voice is superior as the knower, the addressee as subordinate. The


Candidate 316773 Stylistics Second Assessed Essay Depicting Children To A Child Readership in Harry Potter and The Worst Witch position of the teacher is asserted in eternalisation strategies such as Professor MacGonagalls exclamation Never- in all my time at Hogwarts, which presupposes that she has been at Hogwarts for a much longer time than any pupil. In Harry Potter 12 material process verbs refer to individual teachers. The majority, 10, express processes in which she is a do-er rather than done-to element. Three of these teacher-dominated processes are transitive, establishing them as the causer of events that affect other entities or objects. Sentence 53 53 55. Agent Madam Hooch Madam Hooch I Mat. Pro. showed [was] correcting blow Medium-t them their grip my whistle [when] Circumstance how to mount their brooms without sliding off the end

Excluding Madam Hoochs unsurprising dominance over her whistle, both affected instances are Hogwarts pupils. As Toolan has suggested, experiential structures with the sequence agent-material-process-medium-target, where both participants are human, may be somewhat exceptional (93). Madam Hoochs dynamic participant role affects a whole group rather than individuals, marking her out as being extremely powerful. She is given absolute authority, how to mount their broomsticks is not modalised, and as such does not allow for the possibility that her demonstration could be wrong. Indeed, the narrator deems any deviation from Madam Hoochs system incorrect; Malfoy had been doing it wrong (54). The idea that adults are rightly in charge is stressed when Harry, with whom we are aligned, regards Nevilles grandmothers caution as being for good reason (19). Madam Hooch is attributed with knowledge of absolute truth. We are told that Neville has broken his wrist not by the narrator but because Harry hears her mutter this analysis its validity is never questioned. Neville falling off his broomstick because he doesn't do what his teacher says is a piece of rationalisation ideology that justifies teachers dominance. Madam Hooch makes requests in the shape of informs, as though her addressee has no option other than to respond: Now, when I blow my whistle, you kick off from the ground, hard (55). The undmodalised futurity in which she speaks also indicates that her description is the way that things will be. She has total, objective authority.


Candidate 316773 Stylistics Second Assessed Essay Depicting Children To A Child Readership in Harry Potter and The Worst Witch At the end of the extract Professor MacGonagall prevents her pupils from articulating their opinions (the way things really were, enforcing reader-alignment with the children) in a series of commands: Be quiet, Miss Patil 12- . . . That's enough Mr Weasley (111-112). The sayer of each protestation can only be retrieved from her interrupting replies. She uses a common adult (especially teacher) technique, referring to children using their surnames and a premature adult title: Miss Patil, Mr Weasely. By talking to them in the language reserved for those who are important, she stresses their true status and lack of importance. Here, however, we encounter one of the inherent problems of analysing microtexts. It appears that Professor MacGonagall has ignored her pupils here, but she may really have understood the true nature of the situation; instead of punishing Harry after the end of the extract, she appoints him the youngest ever seeker of his Quidditch team. 3.2 Ideology In The Worst Witch The Worst Witch stipulates that the correct relation of dominance is teachers above pupils, and then pupils above their cats. This is reflected in a lexical similarity chain about commanding: you ordered the stick to hover (3) you could make the stick do almost anything (6) listen! she said severely (11) [to the kitten - more abstract] I would remind you that there is a potion test tomorrow morning (40) (more abstract) Mildred, being the worst witch has more difficulty in asserting dominance over her cat than the other young witches. She initially performs transitive processes that place her in the position of power: sentence 9 10 medium-i/agent She Mildred put picked up medium-t it [the kitten] her kitten circ. on the broomstick

However the situation is reversed in the kittens reaction: sentence medium-i/agent 16 The kitten gazed sadly 16 [the kitten] Licked medium-t at her [Mildred] her nose circ. / instrument on the broomstick with its rough tongue

Teachers are as objectively powerful as in Harry Potter. Three material process verbs


Candidate 316773 Stylistics Second Assessed Essay Depicting Children To A Child Readership in Harry Potter and The Worst Witch refer to Miss Hardbroom (H.P.). She is the do-er in all three. However, of the two transative processes humans (Maud and Mildred) are the affected incidents in only one: Agent Mat. Pro. I (Miss Hardbroom) would remind Medium-t You Circumstance that there is a potions test tomorrow morning

Perhaps the most significant element of this element is the relational process in the circumstance position. Like Madam Hooch, Miss Hardbroom does not modalise the future, enforcing the idea that this future test is an incontestable fact. Maud enforces the teachers dominance in the inform, That's cheating (30), which presupposes a correct way of doing things - the teachers way - from which Mildred has deviated. Miss Hardbroom speaks to the girls with false-politeness that emphasises her superiority. She refers to Mildred as my dear in the same diminutive tone as Professor MacGonagall did referring to children by their surnames. 3.3 Transgression Of School Authority This school rules-dominant ideology is, however, challenged to some extent in both texts. Alignment with Mildred and more importantly the expurgation of the other, Ethel, demonstrates that there are positive attributes to the transgression of this system. The undesirable characteristics embodied by Ethel are a high level of skill (she can ride a broomstick well ) and, later in the story, academic ability since we are told Ethel was one of those lucky people for whom everything goes right. She was always top of the class, her spells always worked, and Miss Hardbroom never made any icy remarks to her (1974, 197). The Harry Potter extract also questions the absoluteness of teachers power. Madam Hooch cannot prevent Neville from injuring himself. Her position as iniator within her own hypothetical speech when I blow my whistle is reversed in a prepositional phrase introducing the actual event: circ. before agent. the whistle had touched circ Madam Hooch's lips

A lexical cohesive chain of school-style learning is established, and Harry gradually breaks the rules:


Candidate 316773 Stylistics Second Assessed Essay Depicting Children To A Child Readership in Harry Potter and The Worst Witch [Flying] was something you couldn't learn by heart out of a book (21) [Hermione] bored them all stupid with flying tips she'd got out of a library book called Quidditch through the Ages (22) Hermiones lecture (23) [Flying] was something [Harry] could do without being taught this was easy, this was wonderful (89) The narrators statement everybody was very pleased when Hermiones lecture was interrupted presupposes that Hermiones academic nature is universally disliked. So does Harrys transgression of academic authority, with its positive results (the Remembrall is saved) actually destabilise the prevailing ideology? In fact, it may simply be a dramatic effect based on the archetypal charm of the rebel for the cause of good. This transgression, namely that in exceptional circumstances conventional rules can be broken for overall benefit, can be seen best in terms of Chomskys idea of fixing the limits of possible thought (explained in Knowles 1996, 67). It conveys an attack upon the dominant ideology through the framework of the dominant group, limiting the possibility of genuinely destabilising ideas about the validity of this ideology.

ConclusionIn conclusion, stylistic analysis proves my three assertions: that the narration of Harry Potter is more complex, that the eponym in both extracts is focalized, and that both extracts construct a similar conventional ideology. My analysis has its shortcomings, however. It (and perhaps stylistics in general) does not allow for plurality of readerresponse (Stephens 1992, 4). As Stephens points out "even if (real) audiences were prepared to adopt the subject position of the implied reader it was not the inevitible outcome that they also adopted the ideological frame implicit in that position" (1992, 64). Moreover, my findings are purely descriptive, it being difficult to appraise the significance of my analysis without becoming caught in what Stanley Fish describes as: a serious defect in the procedure of stylistics, the absence of any constraint on the way in which one moves from description to interpretation, with the result that any interpretation one puts forward is arbitrary (Weber ed 1996, 96). My analysis does however raise broader questions about the nature of childrens literature. Aside from a (generally) more straightforward choice of lexis, and a tendency towards definiteness rather than ambiguity, it appears to use exactly the same linguistic strategies as adult literature. Linguistically, then, it is difficult to


Candidate 316773 Stylistics Second Assessed Essay Depicting Children To A Child Readership in Harry Potter and The Worst Witch define why Harry Potter should be any more of a socialising agent (Stephens 1992, 9) for children than adult texts are for adult readers. It is also unsurprising that the series has appealed to so many adults13.

Appendix IExtract from Harry Potter & The Philosophers Stone by J.K. Rowling (sentences numbered) CHAPTER NINE 1. Harry had never believed he would meet a boy he hated more than Dudley, but that was before he met Draco Malfoy. 2. Still, firstyear Gryffindors only had Potions with the Slytherins, so they didn't have to put up with Malfoy much. 3. Or at least, they didn't until they spotted a notice pinned up in the Gryffindor common room which made them all groan. 4. Flying lessons would be starting on Thursday - and Gryffindor and Slytherin would be learning together. 5. 'Typical,' said Harry darkly. 6.'Just what I always wanted. To make a fool of myself on a broomstick in front of Malfoy.' 7. He had been looking forward to learning to fly more than anything else. 8. 'You don't know you'll make a fool of yourself,' said Ron reasonably. 9. 'Anyway; I know Malfoy's always going on about how good he is at Quidditch, but I bet that's all talk.' 10. Malfoy certainly did talk about flying a lot. 11. He complained loudly about first-years never getting in the house Quidditch teams and told long, boastful stories which always seemed to end with him narrowly escaping Muggles in helicopters. 12. He wasn't the only one, though: the way Seamus Finnigan told it, he'd spent most of his childhood zooming around the countryside on his broomstick. 13. Even Ron would tell anyone who'd listen about the time he'd almost hit a hang-glider on Charlie's old broom. 14. Everyone from wizarding families talked about Quidditch constantly. 15. Ron had already had a big argument with Dean Thomas, who shared their dormitory, about football. 16. Ron couldn't see what was exciting about a game with only one ball where no one was allowed to fly. 17. Harry had caught Ron prodding Dean's poster of West Ham football team, trying to make the players move.


Candidate 316773 Stylistics Second Assessed Essay Depicting Children To A Child Readership in Harry Potter and The Worst Witch 18. Neville had never been on a broomstick in his life, because his grandmother had never let him near one. 19. Privately, Harry felt she'd had good reason, because Neville managed to have an extraordinary number of accidents even with both feet on the ground. 20. Hermione Granger was almost as nervous about flying as Neville was. 21. This was something you couldn't learn by heart out of a book -not that she hadn't tried. 22. At breakfast on Thursday she bored them all stupid with flying tips she'd got out of a library book called Quidditch through the Ages. 23. Neville was hanging on to her every word, desperate for anything that might help him hang on to his broomstick later, but everybody else was very pleased when Hermione's lecture was interrupted by the arrival of the post. 24. Harry hadn't had a single letter since Hagrid's note, something that Malfoy had been quick to notice, of course. 25. Malfoy's eagle owl was always bringing him packages of sweets from home, which he opened gloatingly at the Slytherin table. 26. A barn owl brought Neville a small package from his grandmother. 27. He opened it excitedly and showed them a glass ball the size of a large marble, which seemed to be full of white smoke. 28. 'It's a Remembrall!' he explained. 29. 'Gran knows I forget things this tells you if there's something you've forgotten to do. 30. Look, you hold it tight like this and if it turns red - oh ...' 31. His face fell, because the Remembrall had suddenly glowed scarlet, '... you've forgotten something ...' 32. Neville was trying to remember what he'd forgotten when Draco Malfoy, who was passing the Gryffindor table, snatched the Remembrall out of his hand. 33. Harry and Ron jumped to their feet. They were half hoping for a reason to fight Malfoy, but Professor McGonagall, who could spot trouble quicker than any teacher in the school, was there in a flash. 34.'What's going on?' 35.'Malfoy's got my Remembrall, Professor.' 36. Scowling, Malfoy quickly dropped the Remembrall back on the table. 37. Just looking,' he said, and he sloped away with Crabbe and Goyle behind him. * 38. At three-thirty that afternoon, Harry, Ron and the other Gryffindors hurried down the front steps into the grounds for their first flying lesson. 39. It was a clear, breezy day and the grass


Candidate 316773 Stylistics Second Assessed Essay Depicting Children To A Child Readership in Harry Potter and The Worst Witch rippled under their feet as they marched down the sloping lawns towards a smooth lawn on the opposite side of the grounds to the Forbidden Forest, whose trees were swaying darkly in the distance. 40. The Slytherins were already there, and so were twenty broomsticks lying in neat lines on the ground. 41. Harry had heard Fred and George Weasley complain about the school brooms, saying that some of them started to vibrate if you flew too high, or always flew slightly to the left. 42. Their teacher, Madam Hooch, arrived. She had short, grey hair and yellow eyes like a hawk. 43. 'Well, what are you all waiting for?' she barked. 44. 'Everyone stand by a broomstick. 45. Come on, hurry up.' 46. Harry glanced down at his broom. 47. It was old and some of the twigs stuck out at odd angles. 48. 'Stick out your right hand over your broom,' called Madam Hooch at the front, 'and say; "Up!"' 49. 'UP!' everyone shouted. 50. Harry's broom jumped into his hand at once, but it was one of the few that did. 51. Hermione Granger's had simply rolled over on the ground and Neville's hadn't moved at all. 52. Perhaps brooms, like horses, could tell when you were afraid, thought Harry; there was a quaver in Neville's voice that said only too clearly that he wanted to keep his feet on the ground. 53. Madam Hooch then showed them how to mount their brooms without sliding off the end, and walked up and down the rows, correcting their grips. 54. Harry and Ron were delighted when she told Malfoy he'd been doing it wrong for years. 55. 'Now, when I blow my whistle, you kick off from the ground, hard,' said Madam Hooch. 56. 'Keep your brooms steady, rise a few feet and then come straight back down by leaning forwards slightly: 57. On my whistle -three -two -, 58. But Neville, nervous and jumpy and frightened of being left on , ground, pushed off hard before the whistle had touched Madam Hooch's lips. 59. 'Come back, boy!' she shouted, but Neville was rising straight , like a cork shot out of a bottle -twelve feet -twenty feet. 60. Harry saw his scared white face look down at the ground falling away; saw him gasp, slip sideways off the broom and WHAM -a thud and a nasty crack and Neville lay; face down, on the grass in a heap. 61. His broomstick was still rising higher and higher and started to drift lazily towards the Forbidden Forest and out of sight. 62. Madam Hooch was bending over Neville, her face as white as his. 63. 'Broken wrist,' Harry heard her mutter. 64. 'Come on, boy -it's all


Candidate 316773 Stylistics Second Assessed Essay Depicting Children To A Child Readership in Harry Potter and The Worst Witch right, up you get.' 65. She turned to the rest of the class. 66. 'None of you is to move while I take this boy to the hospital wing! 67. You leave those brooms where they are or you'll be out of Hogwarts before you can say "Quidditch". 68.Come on, dear.' 69. Neville, his face tear-streaked, clutching his wrist, hobbled off with Madam Hooch, who had her arm around him. 70. No sooner were they out of earshot than Malfoy burst into laughter. 71. 'Did you see his face, the great lump ?' 72. The other Slytherins joined in. 73. 'Shut up, Malfoy,' snapped Parvati Patil. 74. 'Ooh, sticking up for Longbottom?' said Pansy Parkinson, a hard-faced Slytherin girl. 75. 'Never thought you'd like fat little cry babies, Parvati.' 76. 'Look!' said Malfoy, darting forward and snatching something out of the grass. 77. 'It's that stupid thing Longbottom's gran sent him.' 78. The Remembrall glittered in the sun as he held it up. 79. 'Give that here, Malfoy,' said Harry quietly: Everyone stopped talking to watch. 80. Malfoy smiled nastily. 81. 'I think I'll leave it somewhere for Longbottom to collect -how about -up a tree?' 82. 'Give it here!' Harry yelled, but Malfoy had leapt on to his broomstick and taken off. 83. He hadn't been lying, he could fly wellhovering level with the topmost branches of an oak he called, 'Come and get it, Potter!' 84. Harry grabbed his broom. 85. 'No!' shouted Hermione Granger. 86. 'Madam Hooch told us not to move -you'll get us all into trouble.' 87. Harry ignored her. 88. Blood was pounding in his ears. 89. He mounted the broom and kicked hard against the ground and up, up he soared, air rushed through his hair and his robes whipped out behind him -and in a rush of fierce joy he realised he'd found something he could do without being taught -this was easy, this was wonderful. 90. He pulled his broomstick up a little to take it even higher and heard screams and gasps of girls back on the ground and an admiring whoop from Ron. 91. He turned his broomstick sharply to face Malfoy in mid-air. 92. Malfoy looked stunned. 93. 'Give it here,' Harry called, 'or I'll knock you off that broom!' 94. 'Oh, yeah?' said Malfoy; trying to sneer, but looking worried. 95. Harry knew, somehow, what to do. 96. He leant forward and grasped the broom tightly in both hands and it shot towards Malfoy like a javelin. 97. Malfoy only just got out of the way in time; Harry made a sharp about turn and held the broom steady. A few


Candidate 316773 Stylistics Second Assessed Essay Depicting Children To A Child Readership in Harry Potter and The Worst Witch people below were clapping. 98. 'No Crabbe and Goyle up here to save your neck, Malfoy;' Harry called. 99. The same thought seemed to have struck Malfoy. 100. 'Catch it if you can, then!' he shouted, and he threw the glass ball high into the air and streaked back towards the ground. 101. Harry saw, as though in slow motion, the ball rise up in the air and then start to fall. 102. He leant forward and pointed his broom handle down -next second he was gathering speed in a steep dive, racing the ball -wind whistled in his ears, mingled with the screams of people watching - he stretched out his hand - a foot from the ground he caught it, just in time to pull his broom straight, and he toppled gently on to the grass with the Remembrall clutched safely in his fist. 103. 'HARRY POTTER!' 104. His he art sank faster than he'd just dived. 105. Professor McGonagall was running towards them. 106. He got to his feet, trembling. 107. 'Never- in all my time at Hogwarts -' 108. Professor McGonagall was almost speechless with shock, and her glasses flashed furiously, '- how dare you -might have broken your neck -, 109. 'It wasn't his fault, Professor -' 110. 'Be quiet, Miss Patil-' 111. 'But Malfoy 112. 'That's enough, Mr Weasley. Potter, follow me, now.'

Appendix IIExtract from The Worst Witch by Jill Murray (sentences numbered) 1. Almost all the first-year witches were in the yard trying to persuade their puzzled kittens to sit on their broomsticks. 2. Several were already clinging on by their claws, and one kitten, belonging to a rather smug young witch named Ethel, was sitting bolt upright cleaning its paws, as if it had been broomstick riding all its life ! 3. Riding a broomstick was no easy matter, as I have mentioned before. 4. First, you ordered the stick to hover, and it hovered lengthways above the ground. 5. Then you sat on it, gave it a sharp tap, and away you flew. 6. Once in the air you could make the stick do almost anything 18

Candidate 316773 Stylistics Second Assessed Essay Depicting Children To A Child Readership in Harry Potter and The Worst Witch by saying', 'Right! Left! Stop! Down a bit! ' and so on. 7. The difficult part was balancing, for if you leaned a little too far to one side you could easily overbalance, in which case you would either fall off or find yourself hanging upside-down and then you would just have to hold on with your skirt over your head until a friend came to your rescue. 8. It had taken Mildred several weeks of falling off and crashing before she could ride the broomstick reasonably well, and it looked as though her kitten was going to have the same trouble. 9. When she put it on the end of the stick, it just fell off without even trying to hold on. 10. After many attempts, Mildred picked up her kitten and gave it a shake. 11. 'Listen! ' she said severely. 12. 'I think I shall have to call you Stupid. 13. You don't even italic try to hold on. 14. Everyone else is all right look at all your friends.' 16. The kitten gazed at her sadly and licked her nose with its rough tongue. 17. 'Oh, come on,' said Mildred, softening' her voice. 18. ' I'm not really angry with you. Let s try again.' 19. And she put the kitten back on the broomstick, from which it fell with a thud. 20. Maud was having' better luck. 21. Her kitten was hanging on grimly upside down. 21. 'Oh, well,' laughed Maud. 22. ' It's a start.' 23. Mine's useless,' said Mildred, sitting" on the broomstick for a rest. 24. 'Never mind,' Maud said. 25. 'Think how hard it must be for them to hang on by their claws.' 26. An idea flashed into Mildred's head, and she dived into the school, leaving her kitten chasing a leafalong the ground and the broomstick still patiently hovering. 27.She came out carrying her satchel which she hooked over the end of the broom and


Candidate 316773 Stylistics Second Assessed Essay Depicting Children To A Child Readership in Harry Potter and The Worst Witch then bundled the kitten into it. 28. The kitten's astounded face peeped out of the bag as Mildred flew delightedly round the yard. 29. 'Look, Maud!' she called from ten feet up in the air . 30. 'That's cheating! ' said Maud, looking at the satchel. 31. Mildred flew back and landed on the ground laughing. 32. ' I don't think H.B. will approve,' said Maud doubtfully. 33. 'Quite right, Maud,' an icy voice behind them said. 34.' Mildred, my dear , possibly it would be even easier with handlebars and a saddle.' 35. Mildred blushed. 36. 'I'm sorry, Miss Hardbroom,' she muttered. 37.' It doesn't balance very well -my kitten, so. ..I thought. ..perhaps. ..' 38. Her voice trailed away under Miss Hardbroom's stony glare and Mildred unhooked her satchel and turned the bewildered kitten on to the ground. 39. ' Girls! ' Miss Hardbroom clapped her hands. ' 40. I would remind you that there is a potion test tomorrow morning. 41. That is all.' 42. So saying, she disappeared - literally. 43. 'I wish she wouldn't do that,' whispered Maud, looking at the place where their form-mistress had been standing. 44. 'You're never quite sure whether she's gone or not. 45. 'Right again, Maud,' came Miss Hardbroom's voice from nowhere. 46. Maud gulped and hurried back to her kitten.


Candidate 316773 Stylistics Second Assessed Essay Depicting Children To A Child Readership in Harry Potter and The Worst Witch

Sources CitedHoey, Michael 1991 Patterns Of Lexis In Text Oxford: Oxford Univ.Press Kennedy, C 1982 "Systematic Grammar And Its Use In Literary Analysis" in Carter, R ed 1982 Language & Literature London: Allen & Unwin Knowles, G.M. & Malmkjaer, M.K. (1996) Language & Control in Children's Literature London: Routeledge Lodge, David "Repetition In The Novel" in Page, Norman ed 1984 The Language Of Literature Macmillan: London & Basingstoke Murphy, Jill 1978 The Worst Witch (1974 Allison & Busby) Suffolk: Puffin Rowling, J.K 1997 Harry Potter & The Philosopher's Stone London: Bloomsbury Stephens, J 1992 Language & Ideology In Children's Fiction London and New York: Longman Toolan, Michael 1998 Language In Literature: An Introduction to Stylistics, London: Arnold Weber, Jean Jacques 1996 The Stylistic Reader: From Roman Jakobson to the Present London and New York: Arnold Zipes, Jack Sticks and Stones: The Troublesome Success of Children's Literature from Slovenly Peter to Harry Potter New York and London: Routledge


1NotesDefined in Stephens as the perceptual point of view: the vantage point from which something is represented as being visualised. The point of noticing who is the text's focalizer at any given moment is tied up with attitude-making and the credence we give as readers to what the text offers (1992, 27).2

Namely processes & participants, cohesion, modality and attitude, recording speech and thought, lexis, speech acts and presupposition. 3 Defined by Stephens (1992. 57): A subject position is frequently constituted as the same as that occupied by a main character from whose perspective events are presented, that is, readers will identify with the character 4 Defined by Stephens as books which purport to help children confront and deal with specific problems in their lives (1992, 9). 5 Defined in Stephens (1992, 55): The implication for audiences of literary fiction is that they will, as part of the reading process, invoke an appropriate subject position from past experience, which may correspond to a lesser or greater degree with experiences described in the text, or else they will either be inscribed as a subject position ready-made within the text or construct a subject position from materials to hand in the text. . . the implied reader thus tends to blend into a notion of an ideal reader, the reader who will best actualize a books potential meanings. 6 any attempt to alter the mental state of another human being [the reader] is most successful where there is already a coincidence between mental states (Stephens 1992, 68) 7 David Lodge: the most frequently recurring word in a given text is not necessarily the most significant word (1984, 78) 8 Interestingly, the skirt over your head clause implies that the reader is female, yet The Worst Witch is certainly appeals to both male and female audiences. There is ripe material her for feminist stylistic analysis. All the characters are female, apart from the very top of the magical hierarchy, the chief wizard who makes a brief appearance (page 66) and is a man. 9 See Zipes (2001, 181) for similar analysis of the name Voldemort 10 Hasans term, denoting that the recognition of coherence in a text partly lies in cohesive ties forming chains that interact with each other (defined in Hoey 1991, 8) 11 Defined by Hollindale in Stephens 1992, 10. 12 Stephens notes the rise of multiculturalism in children's books from the 1970s onwards (1992, 51). The creation of this politically correct character a girl called Parvati Patil fails its principle aim however by focalizing her through the perspective of a majority culture (Harry and his white circle of close friends). Her presence only serves to enforce that she is a token other. Zipes feels that the novel is also sexist (2001, 178) though there is little evidence for this in my extract. 13 This also, of course, has a lot to with marketing as Zipes (2001) has pointed out, and with the different adult covers of the series, but this is not the place for an infrastructural critique.