Literary References in Chapter Titles of HARRY POTTER AND THE ART OF SPYING

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A good spy always looks for hidden meaning in his or her sources. Can you spot the literary references in the Harry Potter and the Art of Spying chapter titles? We’ll start with the first five chapters that include important references.

Chapter 1   Saving Private Dudley—The Spies Among Us

Saving Private Ryan is a 1998 American epic war film set during the invasion of Normandy in World War II. It was directed by Steven Spielberg and written by Robert Rodat. The film is notable for its graphic and realistic portrayal of war, and for the intensity of its opening 27 minutes, which depict the Omaha Beach assault of June 6, 1944. The film follows United States Army Rangers Captain John H. Miller (Tom Hanks) and a squad (Tom Sizemore, Edward Burns, Barry Pepper, Vin Diesel, Giovanni Ribisi, Adam Goldberg and Jeremy Davies) as they search for a paratrooper, Private First Class James Francis Ryan (Matt Damon), who is the last-surviving brother of four servicemen.

 

Chapter 2   How to Get in Trouble Using Magic without Really Trying, Or, I Raise You One Owl and See You Another

How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying is a musical by Frank Loesser and book by Abe Burrows, Jack Weinstock, and Willie Gilbert, based on Shepherd Mead‘s 1952 book of the same name. The story concerns young, ambitious J. Pierrepont Finch, who, with the help of the book How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, rises from window washer to chairman of the board of the World Wide Wicket Company.

 

Chapter 5   Let History Be Your Guide—The History of the Order of the Phoenix

“Let Your Conscience Be Your Guide” is the debuting single for singer Marvin Gaye (April 2, 1939 – April 1, 1984) in May 1961. It was also the first release off Gaye’s debut album, The Soulful Moods of Marvin Gaye, in which most of the material was the singer’s failed attempt at making an “adult” record compared to Motown’s younger R&B sound.

 

Chapter 7   Harry Enters the Lion’s Den, Where the Truth (and Professor Dumbledore) Eventually Sets Him Free

The Lion’s Den refers to the story of Daniel (Radcliff?) in the lions’ den is found in the sixth chapter of the Book of Daniel in the Hebrew Bible, and in the lesser known story of Bel and the Dragon in the Greek versions. Daniel is an official in the Persian empire under King Darius. Darius (at the instigation of his other officials) had made a decree that no one was to offer prayer to any god or man except him for a period of thirty days. Daniel continued to pray as was his habit, knowing that praying would have him killed. For this action, Darius had him arrested and thrown into a lions’ den. However, he was unharmed, and after he was released the following morning, the people who had cajoled the king into making the decree (for the sole purpose of getting at Daniel) were thrown into the lions’ den themselves.

The truth shall set you free (Veritas vos liberabitLatin) is a variant of Veritas liberabit vos (the truth shall set you free), verse 8:32 of the Gospel of John. Pilate has the philosopher’s response in verse 18:38: “Quid est veritas?” (“What is truth?”).

 

Chapter 8   The Ministry of Magic as the Queen of Hearts: Sentence First, Trial After—Then Off with Their Heads!

‘Sentence first—verdict afterwards’ and ‘Off with their heads both come from Alice in Wonderland by written by English author Charles Lutwidge Dodgson under the pseudonym Lewis Carroll.  The Queen of Hearts is a character from the book Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by the writer and mathematician Lewis Carroll. She is a foul-tempered monarch.  . . . Alice observes three playing cards painting white roses red. They drop to the ground face down at the approach of the Queen of Hearts, whom Alice has never met. When the Queen arrives and asks Alice who is lying on the ground (since the backs of all playing cards look alike), Alice tells her that she does not know. The Queen then becomes frustrated and commands that her head be severed, stating:

‘Off with their heads!’

Later, the Knave of Hearts is tried for stealing the Queen’s tarts,

‘No, no!’ said the Queen. ‘Sentence first—verdict afterwards.’

. . .  ‘Let the jury consider their verdict,’ the King said, for about the twentieth time that day.

‘No, no!’ said the Queen. ‘Sentence first—verdict afterwards.’

‘Stuff and nonsense!’ said Alice loudly. ‘The idea of having the sentence first!’

‘Hold your tongue!’ said the Queen, turning purple.

‘I won’t!’ said Alice.

‘Off with her head!’ the Queen shouted at the top of her voice. Nobody moved.

Alice in Wonderland Ch. 12.

Click here for more hidden meaning  in the chapter titles of Harry Potter and the Art of Spying!

 

5 comments on “Literary References in Chapter Titles of HARRY POTTER AND THE ART OF SPYING

  1. Jeyna Grace says:

    Those titles, very clever!

  2. […] Last week, we revealed the hidden meaning in the five chapter titles from Harry Potter and the Art of Spying. Here are five more! […]

  3. […] Click here if you liked these and missed our earlier Hidden References posts.  […]

  4. […] deciphered codes, unearthed hidden messages in our chapter titles, and even explored the ethical dilemmas facing someone like Dumbledore. Yet, […]

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