GRADE EARNED: A+ 1
The Boy Who Lived
Psychoanalysis of the main character in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
As the enticing tales of the “brave” Harry Potter continue, Harry grows from an 11-year old who finds out
he’s a wizard to a young adult riddled with obstacles he almost fearlessly overcomes. Yet the reader ponders: is
Harry truly this fearless? Is he truly this brave person everyone expects him to be? The answers is no. Harry is
forced to be brave. He’s the boy who lived. He defeated Voldemort’s death spell and does all these courageous
things. However, this does not necessarily make him a brave person. Society portrays Harry to be a superhuman that
can do and overcome anything. Nonetheless, deep down, Harry is just like us. He feels he must live up to everyone’s
Harry feels that he must live up to the image of “The Boy Whole Lived”. The reader first notices this on
page 216 when Professor Moody is demonstrating the Unforgivable Curses. One of these Unforgivable Curses is the
Death Spell. Moody called Harry out by addressing him as, “the only one person who has survived it”. Harry’s
initial reaction is to hide his face in embarrassment. But he couldn’t do that. He had to act normal because everyone
was looking at him as if he were a courageous legend. Unfortunately, he isn’t. Harry is trying to have a normal life,
but realizes how people perceive him as. Because of this, he feels he must be brave and that he must hide the fragile
boy that he is underneath his image.
Harry’s bravery is questioned again, a few chapters later. When he is faced with another paradigm after
Rita Skeeter (journalist from the Daily Prophet) creates a sensational and greatly exaggerated article of him. Harry
confided in Rita that he “still cries about them [his parents]” (314). From this, Rita implies him to be a weak boy
who cries himself to sleep. To add more fuel to this fire of lies, Rita writes about Harry’s “newfound love at
Hogwarts” (315). Rita then claims she acquired this false information from “Harry’s close friend, Colin Creevey,
who says that Harry is rarely seen out of the company of one Hermione Granger” (315). After this barrage of
deceptions is published, Harry is horrified and being taunted incessantly by fellow classmates Draco Malfoy and
other Potter adversaries who don “POTTER REALLY STINKS” buttons. They also tease him about his
“relationship” with Hermione Granger. All of
GRADE EARNED: A+ 2
this leaves Harry afraid to show his face. He even resorts to hiding himself under his Invisibility Cloak when he
leaves his dormitory. These are all examples of Harry’s false courage. Words hurt, and in Harry’s case, they’ve
ruined him. Harry couldn’t brush off his shoulders and get up when the bullies knocked him down. He stayed down,
because he couldn’t muster any courage to get up.
Towards the end of this book, Harry is haunted by the last task. This turns out to be a lethal hedge maze
where Cedric meets his demise. However, Harry is still crowned a winner and becomes more of a legend.
Unexpectedly, The Triwizard Tournament Cup is a portkey that sends Harry to Tom Riddle’s grave where he is
forced to duel Voldemort, who has risen again. Harry defeats the Dark Lord once again and returns to Hogwarts as a
“hero”. And who cares if poor Cedric is dead? Sure, it created a big scandal at the school. It even had everybody
whispering “Diggory’s dead!” (720). But of course, Harry was still given the limelight. Dumbledore even gave a
speech congratulating Harry and telling the entire school how he how “He risked his own life to return Cedric’s
body to Hogwarts” (722). Not to mention, he also praised Harry on how he showed “the sort of bravery that few
wizards show when facing Lord Voldemort ”, (723). This is something that added to the image of Harry Potter, the
boy who lived. Everyone now has something else to talk about when it comes to the legendary Harry Potter. In
reality, Harry only did what any person would do when it came to saving Cedric. And yes, it did take courage to
battle and defeat the Dark Lord yet again. But ask yourself this: would a truly courageous person take the limelight
when he does something great, but hide his face when a bitter journalist portrays him as a fool?
In conclusion, Harry Potter isn’t whom we all perceive him as. Yes, he resisted the Dark Lord’s death spell
as a baby. Yes, he was the youngest Quidditch Seeker. And yes, he won the infamous Triwizard Tournament.
However, Harry is just like us deep down. He still hides his face in embarrassment when he’s called out. He also
doesn’t take criticism well and cries about his parents. But if we were in his position, we would do the same. Harry
is merely a naïve boy who’s been mixed up in a pretty messed up and evil world. Harry isn’t the boy who lived. The
Boy Who Lived is merely a persona or superhuman, if you will, that is perceived through the eyes of society.