When I began re-reading the Harry Potter series in May (clearly I didn’t make it very far), I remember wondering what I had committed myself to after finishing “Sorcerer’s Stone.” Because my experience wasn’t as exciting as it had been previously, I think I didn’t put much stock into finishing “The Chamber of Secrets”. Compared to my re-reading of “The Sorcerer’s Stone”, I liked “The Chamber of Secrets” a lot more than I thought I would.
Maybe because the characters have all be established or they are a year older, I’m not sure. In book one I found Harry to be petulant, Ron to be naively thoughtless and Hermione was arrogant. In book they all seemed toned down. While Ron still is Harry’s hype man, he seems much less fly by the seat of his pants. Harry isn’t quite so brash. He seems to realize that not everything he says needs to be spoken. Hermione has found a way to be ahead of the game, without telling everyone she is. Her actions are speaking louder than her words.
The movie adaptation of “Chamber of Secrets” is my least favorite out of the bunch. I find that the battle in the chamber is too dramatic and takes away from the idea the book is developing. As I arrived at this point in the book I realized that the fight between Harry and the basilisk only takes two paragraphs. I think downplaying the action keeps the reader focused on the main struggle between Harry and Voldemort and Harry making peace with what he considers as his “dark side”. The entire book is about abilities versus choices, which Dumbledore makes clear in the end. This is an important lesson for all of us.