full title Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
author J.K. Rowling
type of work Children's novel
genre Fantasy, coming-of-age, detective fiction
time and place written 1999, Edinburgh
date of first publication 1999
publisher Scholastic Inc.
narrator Third person, following Harry
point of view Although the narrative is written in third person, we see the things that Harry sees, from Harry's point of view. We have the liberty to witness his private thoughts, although most of the point of view is observing occurrences outside of Harry, not inside.
tone The tone is quite matter-of-fact, using dialogue and description to portray characters with a very clear fondness or lack thereof.
setting (time) Present-day
setting (place) England, primarily in the fictional hidden wizard communities and at Hogwarts School
protagonist Harry Potter is the hero and protagonist. The story follows his adventures and growing-up process.
major conflict The major conflict is the search to catch Sirius Black, an escaped convict from the wizard prison Azkaban, to protect Harry from him, and for Harry to come to terms with Black's supposed role in his own parents' death.
rising action The rising action involves a series of appearances of Sirius Black within Hogwarts and even inside Gryffindor tower, where Harry lives and sleeps; these appearances are intermingled with several fearful sightings of a large black dog, believed to signify death.
climax The climax is the moment when Harry follows the black dog down a hole in the Whomping Willow to discover that the dog is in fact Sirius Black in animal form, and that Sirius himself is innocent and must have his name cleared before it is too late.
falling action The falling action occurs when Harry and Hermione turn back time to liberate Sirius Black as well as Buckbeak, a hippogriff convicted of savagery, and during the time after their success, during which everything at Hogwarts returns to normal. During this time, everything is tied up and made to fit neatly into the plot.
themes Injustice of Legal System Duality of Life Importance of Loyalty
motifs Culprit Framing Foreshadowing of Evidence
symbols Names Quidditch as a social indicator
foreshadowing When Professor Lupin is fighting the Boggart, it turns into a silvery orb; Lupin is sick once a month, and the evil Professor Snape gives a substitute lecture on werewolves. All of these events ultimately foreshadow Lupin's identity as a werewolf. Furthermore, Black breaks into Harry's bedroom but slashes Ron's bed, not Harry's; Scabbers loses hair when Sirius Black is on the loose, and he wiggles wildly when the black dog and Crookshanks come near. These events lead up to the realization that Black is not after Harry but rather Ron's rat, Scabbers, who is in reality the disguise of a man named Peter Pettigrew. Hermione is reported to be present at three classes at the exact same time; therefore it is not a shock when we learn that she has been tampering with time.