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Foils - a foil is character in a play who sets off the main character or other characters by comparison. Dudley is a foil for Harry, Draco is a foil for Harry, and the Dursleys are foils for Wizards.
The Dursleys represent the worst aspects of the Muggle world, the kind of intolerance that forces wizards to stay secret. They stand in direct contrast to the Potters and to the majority of the wizard community. As McGonagall tells Dumbledore, “You couldn’t find two people who are less like us.” Dudley himself serves as a foil for Harry. Dudley is ungrateful for being so spoiled and rarely thinks of others. Harry is mistreated yet considerate.
Hyperboles - a hyperbole is a figure of speech in which an overstatement or exaggeration. Hyperboles are present both in the length of Harry’s punishment (he’s grounded all summer) and in Dudley’s ability to ungratefully destroy so many of his birthday presents. Hyperbole is present throughout this chapter, especially in the flood of letters that descends in to the house and the lengths to which Mr. Dursley goes to keep Harry out of contact with the mysterious letter writer.
Juxtaposition - Juxtaposition is placing two contrasting people, objects, or reactions next to one another. When Dudley shows off his uniform Harry and the Dursleys have opposite reactions: Harry’s holding back from laughing is juxtaposed with the Dursleys’ pride.
“You could make out his eyes, glinting like black beetles” and “Uncle Vernon made another funny noise, like a mouse being trodden on” are both similes.
Metaphors - a metaphor is a figure of speech wherein a comparison is made between two unlike quantities without the use of the words “like” or “as.” Rowling uses metaphoric language and color in this sentence: “His face went from red to green faster than a set of traffic lights...Within seconds it was the grayish white of old porridge.”
Vernacular speech - Hagrid’s dialogue (“Got summat fer yeh here”) shows that Rowling writes with vernacular speech and British slang. Writing characters’ dialogue in the vernacular, rather than in proper English, was popularized by Mark Twain. The word “summat” is a slang word from northern England meaning something.