chapter  8
13 Pages

In Memoriam

This chapter argues for the relation between Harry Potter's exploration of grief and the chiastic structure of the series. This structure, in which the closing of the series echoes its opening, reflects the structure of grief in which the mourner, even as they move forward, instinctively looks back to the past. Mourning, like chiasmus, is reflective and compares the present with the past, the past with the present. The title of Tennyson's poem – In Memoriam – means 'to the memory of', and the phrase is used as a chapter title within Harry Potter. It is the title of the second chapter of Deathly Hallows. In Memoriam's chiastic verse form is echoed in its larger structural parallels. Allusion – such as Harry Potter's connections with In Memoriam – is one specific example of the general truth that texts create a relationship between those who write and those who read them.