Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Wand of Elder, Never Prosper


            Our main debate is who the hero really is in the Harry Potter series.  I think that it’s Harry.  While Snape and Dumbledore and really all of the other characters all helped him become the wizard he was, it was Harry who made the biggest choices.  Saving Malfoy’s life when they’d hated each other for seven years.  Approaching Snape as he was dying.  But the biggest difference, what truly separates him from Voldemort, and what always separates good from evil, is what he decided to do with power once he had it.
            At the end of the book, Harry is the owner of the Elder Wand.  Voldemort spent the entire seventh book searching for the Wand, and when he got it he used it to kill.  Harry, on the other hand, simply put the wand down, and repaired his own.  To do that takes a lot.  Harry was holding enormous power.  The question is, before his own wand was broken, or even just before he defeated Voldemort, would he have done the same?  Or would he have kept it?
            If he had kept it, though, I don’t think he’d have gone the same way as Voldemort.  And that is the difference between the two of them.  Tom Riddle came from a place where he wasn’t loved, as did Harry.  They were both fascinated by magic, and loved Hogwarts as the home they’d never had.  They were both popular.  But Tom, unlike Harry, never loved his friends, and being in Slytherin, he was cunning.  He wanted power.  His grandfather, Marvolo Gaunt, was entirely anti-muggle, and his own father was prejudiced against wizards.  This combined for a strong hate that his parents had left him in the orphanage. 
Harry, on the other hand, though an orphan as well, loved his friends, and was a Gryffindor.  He was brave.  And his parents were unprejudiced, and loved him, unlike Riddle’s.  He had good memories of them, unlike Riddle, who had none.  As Dumbledore says, it’s our choices that make us who we really are.  And choices are influenced by our experiences.  Harry has a more positive past, and Riddle’s….well, thinking back to his life at the orphanage and his background, it’s not altogether surprising the way he turned out.

11 comments:

  1. I agree with your thoughts in the last paragraph. Do you think that if Tom Riddle had a more loving childhood would he have still turned out to become the Dark Lord? After all, he spent the first eleven years of his life living in an orphanage where he may have been neglected or even bullied during the some of the most crucial years of his mental, emotional, and physical development.

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  2. I agree with you, Sophie! It takes a lot of self-control for someone to give up power, such as the Elder Wand. Even though Voldemort is evil, I think we can understand why he is so angry. He has a reason for being angry, but he doesn't have a reason for killing people.

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  3. This is a reall interesting idea. I agree that the self control Harry shows is amazing. But I have to say, it may not be suprising that voldemort went dark but that doesn't justify anything.

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  4. For the most part, I agree with you, but Harry's not completely all that great. There were a few moments in the series, mostly in the later books, where I've thought Harry was a total jerk. Just being bossy and stuck up and all SHUT UP, GUYS, I'M THE CHOSEN ONE. But yes. In the end, he chose the right thing

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  5. I agree with you. Harry did show a lot of self control, which really shows something about him. Good argument.

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  6. Well you mention that Harry is a Gryffindor. Are you saying that he is a Gryffindor as a person or would he have been different if he had gotten in Slytherin. The Sorting Hat almost did after all.

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    1. Can you imagine Harry as a Slytherin?
      *swoons from excitement*

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  7. I agree, Harry is definitley the hero of this series. He definitley did show an enormous amount of self control. On the other hand, though, I don't really think that Harry has had an experience in which he had as much power as Voldemort did. I think it would be interesting to see Harry with that power.

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    1. I think that Harry wouldn't abuse his power if it was equivalent to Voldemort. Instead he would try to go about with a normal life. I mean, he had all three of the Deathly Hallows by the end of the Battle of Hogwarts and decided to get rid of one of them (Resurrection Stone), and let another's power die (Elder Wand). The only one he keeps, is the one that is his family's heirloom and holds sentimental value to him. (Also, how else are his children going to be able to sneak around Hogwarts at night?)

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  8. I mostly agree with you. Harry is the star of the book! Throughout the whole series he sacrafises his life to protect the people he loves. But he is not the only one! All the people who fight with him against Voldemort are also risking their lives!

    Also I mostly agree with you on Voldemorts past. He had such a terrible childhood its as if he was never in control of anything until he became this horribly powerful dark wizard! But Harry spent the first 11 years of his life living in a closet being treated badly by his own family! Its a different kind a harshness but still!

    -Anouk 804

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