Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 18, ‘Dobby’s Reward’ (True/False Quiz and Discussion Points)

Chapter 18 Quiz: “Dobby’s Reward”

Mark True statements with a “T” and False statements with an “F.” Answers tomorrow with responses to discussion point posts (if there are any). Please don’t post your answers to anything except the Discussion Points after the True/False Quiz. If you disagree with my answers, please do send me a complaint about where I went wrong.

1. _____ The last chapter of Chamber of Secrets begins with Harry, Ron, Ginny, and Lockhart entering Professor McGonagall’s office after Fawkes – and Mrs. Weasley screaming, “Ginny!”

2. _____ Harry explains to the teachers and the Weasley parents that Ginny was the person who opened the Chamber of Secrets and released the Basilisk but he convinces them not to punish her.

3. _____ Dumbledore says Riddle/Voldemort was “probably the most brilliant student Hogwarts has ever seen.”

4. _____ Professor McGonagall leaves her office to “go and alert the kitchens” to prepare a celebratory feast, but, before she leaves, she convinces Dumbledore that Harry and Ron deserve to be punished for “breaking a hundred school rules into pieces” during their adventures.

5. _____ Harry tells Dumbledore that “Riddle said I’m like him” and Dumbledore explains that “Unless I’m much mistaken, he transferred some of his own powers to you the night he gave you that scar.”

6. _____ Mr. Malfoy tells Dumbledore that the Headmaster is “charmingly simple” for believing that “It is our choices… that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”

7. _____ Mr. Malfoy planted the diary in Ginny’s used Transfiguration textbook and gave it to her after his fight with Mr. Weasley in Flourish and Blott’s bookstore. He hoped that Ginny would be taken over by Riddle/Voldemort and that she would be blamed for the deaths of Mudbloods; this would probably have prevented the passage of Mr. Weasley’s Muggle Protection Act.

8. _____ Dobby’s Reward, the chapter title, is freedom, which Harry convinces Mr. Malfoy to give him in exchange for not telling the Daily Prophet what he did with Riddle’s old diary.

9. _____ Gryffindor wins the House Cup despite Ron and Harry’s losing points for Gryffindor by breaking rules – and almost everyone cheers when it is announced that “Professor Lockhart would be unable to return next year.”

10. _____ Ginny refuses to reveal her secret about Percy and Penelope in front of Fred and George because she is convinced they will tease their older brother about his having a girlfriend.

Discussion Points: (a) Echoes and differences with the Dumbledore denouement and return to King’s Cross in Philosopher’s Stone, (b) most interesting element in this chapter when viewed in the Deathly Hallows rear-view mirror; and (c) the importance of Chapter 18 in understanding the meaning of Chamber of Secrets and the series as a whole. Big Dobby chapter, folks! Check out the title…


  1. Rose Zeller says

    So far I have only taken the chapter 14 quiz (8/10), and I am valiantly resisting the subsequent chapters until I do the quizzes. I will be addressing the suggested discussion points as soon as I can, but first I want to say that I do appreciate a new look at Chamber of Secrets, which I had long regarded as one of the two weakest books, and more of a place-holder in the series than anything else.
    One of the difficulties of CoS is that it is so difficult to endure Professor Lockhart, but if not for Lockhart and his dumb dueling club, Harry would never have learned Expelliarmus, the spell that saves his life and becomes his trademark.

  2. 1.T, 2.F, 3.T, 4.F, 5.T,

    6.F, 7.T, 8.F, 9.F, 10.F

    Mouse, Ginny wasn’t won over in the way Quirrell was and Harry doesn’t blind the Basilisk with his sword. The last question is True or False because Ron holds the back of Harry’s robe.

    Discussion Point (a): Echo? Ms. Rowling sets a thematic point in the open in both books, the power of sacrificial love in Stone and the importance of choice in Chamber. We also get the stunners about Snape being a good guy in Stone and that Malfoy used Ginny to get at her father in Chamber. And, of course, the turn around in House points resulting in a Gryffindor victory over Slytherin. The differences are plot points consequent to setting; Harry is in the hospital wing in Stone so we get a Hagrid reconciliation but very ambulatory in Chamber so we get the liberation of Dobby.

    (b) In the DH rear-view mirror, we have the setting out of the choice theme which shapes Harry’s adventure in DH around his decision or choice to believe in Dumbledore. Dobby’s belief in Harry and consequent freedom is also critical in getting DH’s meaning because it is Dobby’s faith and sacrifice that compel Harry’s choice to believe. The place of the Malfoys at beginning and end of both these books is also notable as Rowling points to the meaning and ends of “bad faith.”

    (c) The importance of ‘Dobby’s Reward’ in Chamber and in the series as a whole is, as mentioned above, the pairing of Dumbledore’s explanation of the importance of choice in revealing who we really are and the liberation of Dobby. What was Dobby’s choice? He had heard there was a deliverer in the world, Harry Potter, and then discovered there was a plot among those of bad faith, his masters, that endangered the savior. Dobby chose to break with what Marx would call his species-being and serve his savior, sacrificing his kinship with his fellow house-elves, it turns out, forever. He seems a comic throw-away for all of the series but it is Dobby’s example of making the hard choice to believe and sacrificial death for love of his friends and his savior that causes Harry to choose to believe in the mission he has from Dumbledore while digging Dobby’s grave in DH.

    Chamber of Secrets remains my single volume favorite of the series, though I love each one for different reasons, because of its simplicity and brevity, its thematic openings, the Chamber morality tale, and the liberation of Dobby. And did I mention what Ms. Rowling tells us in this book about how we should read books? [See Looking for God in Harry Potter’s chapter on Chamber for that long discussion.] This was the book that made me realize that Ms. Rowling was an artist of the first order rather than a one-shot wonder.

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