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HBP Analysis A deeper and meaningful look at the details of HBP

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Old 26-05-2007, 19:21   #1
tobias
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It's Dumbledore's fault

HBP, p572
" 'It's all my fault, all my fault,' he sobbed. 'Please make it stop, I know I did wrong, oh please make it stop and I'll never, never again...' "




I was looking at the moment the big man first met young Tommy. I watched the first interaction and I wondered about the way it went and could have gone.

DD finds out that this young man is not just a bully, but a nasty piece of work: hanging rabbits, tormenting kids- permanent scarring, and other horribles. Now I figure that DD has watched this kid from the beginning. (He knew that Tom had objects stolen from other children.) So DD knows all the little quirks.

So...

Why was the first bit of adult magic that DD showed this twisted little boy full of such overtones of dominance and destruction?

HBP, pg 272

" Harry was sure that Dumbledore was going to refuse, that he would tell Riddle that there would be plenty of time for practical demonstrations at Hogwarts, that they were currently in a building full of Muggles and must therefore be cautious. To his great surprise, however, Dumbledore drew his wand from an inside pocket of his suit jacket, pointed it at the shabby wardrobe in the corner, and gave the wand a casual flick.
The wardrobe burst into flames.
Riddle jumped to his feet; Harry could hardly blame him for howling in shock and rage; all his worldy possessions must be in there. But even as Riddle rounded on Dumbledore, the flames vanished, leaving the wardrobe completely undamaged.
Riddle stared from the wardrobe to Dumbledore; then, his expression greedy, he pointed at the wand. "Where can I get one one of them?"


Now the great teacher has completely missed his audience with this presentation. If he was headed for shock and awe, well he got half.

Do not misunderstand: I am not suggesting that there should have been pink fuzzy bunnies carrying the stolen items from the wardrobe. But go back to the running commentary from our narrator Harry and see the obvious solution to the moment: waiting until at the school.

So why was the first bit of adult magic that DD showed this twisted little boy full of such overtones of dominance and destruction?
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Old 26-05-2007, 19:36   #2
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Re: It's Dumbledore's fault

That is a very good question. My thoughts are that Dumbledore knew that Riddle already thought quite a bit of himself. He could do magic already, at least magic that he thought was pretty good. DD had to scare him, and . . . it did shock him. untill it dissappeared . . . that is when Riddle became greedy to learn more.

Dumbledore put the feear of Dumbledore in Riddle . . . a fear that lasted till Dumbledores death. Dumbledore was the only wizard that Voldemort ever feared. That seed was planted in the young still somewhat impressionable Tom Riddle that day, and continued to thrive. Dumbledore could ill afford to show any manner of perceiveable weakness in front of Riddle. A show of strength was necessary.
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Old 27-05-2007, 20:15   #3
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Re: It's Dumbledore's fault

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sirius Potter Fan View Post
Dumbledore put the fear of Dumbledore in Riddle . . . a fear that lasted till Dumbledores death. Dumbledore was the only wizard that Voldemort ever feared. That seed was planted in the young still somewhat impressionable Tom Riddle that day, and continued to thrive. Dumbledore could ill afford to show any manner of perceiveable weakness in front of Riddle. A show of strength was necessary.
That touches on a question I've been tossing around in my mind for a few months: Why did Voldemort fear Dumbledore? I believe the answer may not be as obvious and elementary as we all assume.....

Thoughts?
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Old 28-05-2007, 07:35   #4
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Re: It's Dumbledore's fault

That is possible . . . even likely. Dumbledore keeps his reasons to himself on most things till it is usefull to reveal them. He continued to only tell Harry what was needed in each year, and I believe that there is certainly that he will tell Harry in DH through the pensive or other ways. So . . . perhaps it is that Dumbledore knows a secret about Riddle . . . and of course Riddle knows that he knows? That could cause Voldemort to fear Dumbledore. Or it may even be that he only thinks that Dumbledore knows something as well, but something that Harry could use . . . so much puzzle but not enough pieces!
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Old 29-05-2007, 05:09   #5
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Re: It's Dumbledore's fault

And see, that would be the type of thing I would see DD involved in- having knowledge that Tom thinks will be used against him. Not that the big man would blackmail, but Tom would think he would (since Tom would... ;>)

This strong arm bullying thing just does not go along with the DD we see today.
I wonder if this was Albus's one try at being a jerk and since it worked so badly he never tried it again... Maybe this instance is what made possible the calm "Go ahead and destroy my things, I have too many anyway" Dumbledore we saw at the end of OotP.

I was headed toward a theory with the question.

Dumbledore caused Voldemort with his choice of magic on that day.
Tom was not the greatest of characters, true. But he was a little boy. Little boys grow up and if they are given examples to follow, they will. Dumbledore is the greatest wizard we know, and his careless use of magic in this case and his careless choice of magic in this case showed Tom that the powerful need not worry about Decrees against use of Magic, or the feelings of the weak.

Tom learned that the powerful may do whatever they wish.

Tom also thinks that Dumbledore dislikes him and so if Tom wishes to be powerful he must find another source for instruction. Dumbledore leans toward the light, therefore Tom will go to the opposite.

So:
1) Tom saw the immense power available and how to use it carelessly to intimidate.

2) Tom was placed on a path of darkness because of his own lack of interpersonal skills and antisocial tendencies

3) Dumbledore made Voldemort.
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Old 29-05-2007, 05:56   #6
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Re: It's Dumbledore's fault

I have to argue here Tobias. You make some interesting points, but I think a few things have been overlooked.

Tom Riddle was already well on his way to the "dark side" (if not there) before Dumbledore ever came to see him . . . hanging rabbits, tormenting young children, stealing . . . We are not talking about a 5 or 6 year old boy here, but one of 11, one who has admitedly led an underprivilaged life, but who is also long set in their behaviors. Voldemort's lack of being loved, and inability to love made him someone who could not have any consideration for others. Someone who cannot show consideration for others, will allways only seek to do what they feel will make themselves happy, no matter what effect it may have on others.

Riddle had not had a need for occlumency before being aware of the wizarding world, so I am certain that Dumbledore saw right through him so to speak; he saw what type of person he was. Dumbledore had no choice but to show strength. Had Dumbledore shown weakness then, he could never have held any kind of controll over Riddle.
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Old 29-05-2007, 08:27   #7
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Re: It's Dumbledore's fault

One thing I noticed was that Dumbldore knew right away that Riddle was obessed with power and being different.

I think Dumbledore may feel responsible for not nipping the problem soon after he arrived at Hogwarts. Riddle was aware that Dumbledore was keeping tabs on him through his schooling. I remember that Riddle didn't like it much. He was able to charm the other teachers but not Dumbledore.

Maybe he feels guilty for not giving the other teachers a heads up on Riddle or not keeping closer tabs on him during his school years. (I don't think things would have changed though)
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Old 29-05-2007, 18:35   #8
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Re: It's Dumbledore's fault

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sirius Potter Fan View Post
Riddle had not had a need for occlumency before being aware of the wizarding world, so I am certain that Dumbledore saw right through him so to speak; he saw what type of person he was. Dumbledore had no choice but to show strength. Had Dumbledore shown weakness then, he could never have held any kind of controll over Riddle.
SPF, this is exactly what I was referring to in the question I posed. Dumbledore showed strength when he refused to rise to the bait "Tell me the truth": Dumbledore waited. Not told the boy "Change your tone of voice", just waited. DD was the adult in the room and he won because Tom changed his tack and became more polite.

That was the type of control an effective teacher uses: it says to the student "I am the teacher and you are going to do this my way." No bargaining, no debate. This is McGonnagal: stern, everybody listens and obeys, everyone knows who is in charge (even Snape defers to her- watch what happens when she returns from the stunners and Snape was going for Harry).

The same strength was needed later, but instead DD used force to bully Tom into panic. There is a difference between strength of position and using force. Using force means that the more powerful wins. Not the right, but the more powerful.

This is not control, it is the illusion of control (or at best, temporary control): it says to the student "I am more powerful therefore because you are weaker you will do what I say." By saying this, the teacher is really saying "The powerful control." We do not want this control because at some point the student will catch up and when that happens they will take control because they are equally powerful or more so. This is Snape: everyone does what he says because he is nasty, but he cannot teach Harry anymore because Harry does not submit to the control anymore. Think about the movie of PS/SS for a moment. Remember Harry sitting taking notes in Snape's first class and Snape humiliates him thinking Harry is not listening? Snape lost control over Harry forever in that one moment, with his child reaction "You're not listening, so teacher spank..."

Control over students/children is only possible if the student wishes it. The student must want to yield to the authority for the authority to be effective. I cannot control my students by mere force alone- there must be a want on their part. I can force them to do what I wish only as long as they agree. When they no longer agree, all the force in the world will not be enough.

Yes, I agree that DD needed to have a strong showing on that moment- it was a challenge and there was an issue that needed to be addressed. But the show of force was not what was needed because there was no threat to DD: if he had used the same technique that he used earlier, he would have obtained the same results. Remember the goal in teaching is to bring the student to an understanding of how the adult reasons. Weakness shows when the teacher/adult loses control over him/herself. An adult fails when the adult no longer reasons/behaves like an adult. Throwing a tantrum by yelling or throwing things or verbally fighting the student shows weakness.

Burning a wardrobe to make a point is not strength.
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Old 01-06-2007, 20:07   #9
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Re: It's Dumbledore's fault

tobias - you are my new hero!

I am sat here nodding my head in agreement with all of your offerings in this thread - I am so with you!
I still believe Dumbledore has a dark side we will get to explore in book 7 and I cant go into how many things I found that cast doubt on Mr whiter than white - but one point you made I believe really captures DiE ...

Dumbledore made Voldemort

We have discussions along these lines in another thread where I was making the point Dumbledore bought Riddle into the magical world even when he saw the alarm bells ringing - I have had counter-arguments galore on that fact Riddle would have eventually became what he did even if Dumbledore left him to rot in the orphanage but I do disagree with some gusto - Dumbledore isn't adverse to playing with fire, heck he still was until his demise in book 6!
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'It's all my fault, all my fault'
'Please make it stop, I know I did wrong, oh, please make it stop and i'll never, never again..'
'Don't hurt them, don't hurt then, please, please, it's my fault, hurt me instead ...'
'Please, please, please, no ... not that, not that, I'll do anything ...'

Dumbledore - HBP Pg536

'Merely taking your life would not satisfy me..'
Dumbledore - OoTP "The only one he ever feared" Pg895
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