Strange attitude of Dumbledores..

Nagini

Time Turners
As some of us have posted in the past, Dumbledore's attitude with regards to death of people he held dear or even serious situations he has a child like humour to him. I thought we could post anything from the books that goes to suggest this here and perhaps discuss what might be behind these.

I will go first with a couple that I have noticed from PS/SS

The first is when Dumbledore is confirming the deaths of the Potters for Professor McGonagall.

PS/SS said:
"You can't blame them," said Dumbledore gently. "We've had precious little to celebrate for eleven years".

"I know that," said Professor McGonagall irritably. "But that's no reason to lose our heads. People are being downright careless, out on the streets in broad daylight, not even dressed in Muggle clothes, swapping rumours".

She threw a sharp, sideways glance at Dumbledore here, as though hoping he was going to tell her something, but he didn't, so she went on: "A fine thing it would be if, on the very day You-Know-Who seems to have disapeared at last, the Muggles found out about us all. I suppose he really has gone Dumbledore?"

"It certainly seems so," said Dumbledore. "We have much to be thankful for. Would you care for a sherbet lemon?"

"A what?"

"A sherbet lemon. They're a kind of Muggle sweet I'm rather fond of."

"No, thank you," said Professor McGonagall coldly, as though she didn't think this was the moment sherbet lemons. "As I say, even if You-Know-Who has gone"

"My dear Professor, surely a sensible person like yourself can call him by his name? All this 'You-Know-Who' nonsense - for eleven years I have been trying to persuade people to call him by his proper name: Voldemort." Professor McGonagall flinched, but Dumbledore, who was unsticking two sherbert lemons, seemed not to notice. "It all gets so confusing if we keep saying 'You-Know-Who'. I have never seen any reason to be frightened of saying Voldemorts name."

"I know you haven't," said Professor McGonagall, sounding half-exasperated, half-admiring. "But you're different. Everyone knows you're the only one You-Know - oh alright, Voldemort - was frightened of."................

Dumbledore bowed hsi head. Professor McGonagall gasped.

Ok so that bit was a long one, but it was to make a point - his close friends and also members of the Order that he was also a member of had just died and he seemed so carefree! Sirius was nearly mad with grief, there is just no comparison.

Also, I spotted this one at the end of PS/SS with regards to the Flamels.

PS/SS said:
"Oh, you know about Nicolas?" said Dumbledore, sounding quite delighted. "You did do the thing properly, didn't you? Well, Nicolas and I have had a little chat and agreed it's all for the best."

"But that means he and his wife will die, won't they?"

"They have enough Elixir stored to set their affairs inorder and then, yes they will die."

Dumbledore smiled at the look of amazement on Harry's face.

"To one as young as you, I'm sure it seems incredible, but to Nicolas and Perenelle, it really is like going to bed after a very long day. After all, to the well-organised mind, death is but the next great adventure. You know, the Stone was really not such a wonderful thing. As much money and life as you could want! The two things most human beings would choose above all - the trouble is, humans do have a knack of choosing precisely those things which are worst for them."

Harry lay there, lost for words. Dumbledore hummed a little and smiled at the ceiling.

Twice in one book Dumbledore has reacted childishly when faced with death. We all react differently, but when it came to the Flamels there was no hint of sadness! Does this mean that Dumbledore has no feelings towards the Flamels? His statement there too seemed condesending...

If you find anymore, please share them here. :)
 

MissWhizbee

Time Turners
I will be looking for further quotes from DD because I have too always found it fascinating that he is so carefree. But I did want to share my thoughts on the point you have brought up about his attitude toward death in these two passages. DD has been around for a very long time and as most older people do, he seems not to fear death because he has been around so long. Also, we know from OoTP that DD says to Voldemort that there are things worse than death, I wonder if he doesn't think that death is a particularly bad thing at all. Does he know something no one else does?
 

Alz

Administrator
Staff member
I always see the classic Star Wars quote "Strike me down and you will make me stronger" when I see Dumbledore and Voldemort in OoTP ... like he is trying to get Voldemort to kill him - notice the casual stroll as the AK spells are flying around - he isn't worried about death ...
It could be like what MissWhizbee said - he has been around such a long time that he is used to seeing people living and dying he has become somewhat de-sensitised to it ...?
 

Weasleyfanforever

Time Turners
Herre are a few more instances of Dumbledore's odd attitude:

OotP said:
Dumbledore's voice. `On the contrary… the fact that you can feel pain like this is your greatest strength.' Harry felt the white-hot anger lick his insides, blazing in the terrible emptiness, filling him with the desire to hurt Dumbledore for his calmness and his empty words.

OotP said:
`You do care,' said Dumbledore. He had not flinched or made a single move to stop Harry demolishing his office. His expression was calm, almost detached. `You care so much you feel as though you will bleed to death with the pain of it.'
OotP said:
`Oh, yes, you do,' said Dumbledore, still more calmly. `You have now lost your mother, your father, and the closest thing to a parent you have ever known. Of course you care.'

`YOU DON'T KNOW HOW I FEEL!' Harry roared. `YOU - STANDING THERE - YOU =

But words were no longer enough, smashing things was no more help; he wanted to run, he wanted to keep running and never look back, he wanted to be somewhere he could not see the clear blue eyes staring at him, that hatefully calm old face. He turned on his heel and ran to the door, seized the doorknob again and wrenched at it.

OotP said:
`By all means continue destroying my possessions,' said Dumbledore serenely. `I daresay I have too many.'

At least once, Dumbeldore is not only described as calm, but hatefully calm. He is also described as serene, and even detached. It could be argued that Dumbledore was putting up a facade, trying to seem that he was calm and detached, so that it would hurt him, and in turn Harry, less. I don't think so though. I don't think he would be described as "hatefully calm" if it were just to supposed to look like he was trying not to show his hurt...
 

catchthesnitch

Curious Yellow
I've always thought this attitude comes from Dumbledore's wisdom, and I don't think its necessarily a supression or an inability to feel. Its choosing what to feel and how to feel it, like a filter.

After all of the calmness contrasted with Harry's ranting and smashing and yelling at the end of OOTP, Dumbledore does show some emotion -- he sheds a tear. He actually cries.

I think a lot of Dumbledore's character up until now -- the lemon drops, the casualness was built in to show stark contrast to that very moment -- when the tear drops from Dumbledore's eye, brought on by his mistakes in "raising" Harry, and the ultimate effect -- the death of one of his favorite students, Sirius Black.

I tend to agree that Dumbledore fears very little and he certainly does not fear death. A great deal of human emotion is fear-driven. What he did fear -- screwing up Harry's life -- did come true and he paid the emotional price for it.
 

Nagini

Time Turners
Blaise said:
I always see the classic Star Wars quote "Strike me down and you will make me stronger" when I see Dumbledore and Voldemort in OoTP ... like he is trying to get Voldemort to kill him - notice the casual stroll as the AK spells are flying around - he isn't worried about death ...
It could be like what MissWhizbee said - he has been around such a long time that he is used to seeing people living and dying he has become somewhat de-sensitised to it ...?

Yes, I like that angle and I noticed that Luna Lovegood had the same sort of approach. Perhaps Dumbledore and Luna know something about death? Didn't Luna say something about being able to contact dead people and mentioned the veil?

The sherbet lemon statement from Dumbledore got me as I am sure he used that as a password into his office. This made me thing that JKR is trying to point us back to that chapter to question his odd behaviour. I dont have the books to hand or I would have looked up the quote from Luna and the bit where Dumbledore has the password Sherbet Lemon.
 

Alz

Administrator
Staff member
Wait - how did Dumbledore screw up Harry's life - in the context of JKR's direction of writing?
Many a speculation can be formed based on Dumbledore's actions that arent written so obviously ... but in the context of face value and all?
Dumbledore was 'protecting' Harry is how we are suppose to read it - and in this context he didnt go far wrong ... the tear if you ask me is for effect ...
I am buying more into the theory that Dumbledore has become complacent in death a bit like Voldemort - just to the opposit ends of the spectrum - Voldemort fears it and will do anything to stop it - Dumbledore has seen so much of it he doesnt see the real fear in it - in fact I think he feels it is time for him to try it - a resignation of the fact that he has lived and long and happy life and his last challenge Harry is all growing up and no longer requires the full Dumbledore experience
 

catchthesnitch

Curious Yellow
Blaise said:
Wait - how did Dumbledore screw up Harry's life - in the context of JKR's direction of writing?


I minced my words there, Blaise. The entire monologue there is about how Dumbledore should have told Harry about the truth earlier, and that that mistake has led to other mistakes, which led to Harry going after Sirius in the MoM. Not necessarily screw up his life, but by concealing the truth, led Harry on a semi destructive path.
 

Alz

Administrator
Staff member
catchthesnitch said:
I minced my words there, Blaise. The entire monologue there is about how Dumbledore should have told Harry about the truth earlier, and that that mistake has led to other mistakes, which led to Harry going after Sirius in the MoM. Not necessarily screw up his life, but by concealing the truth, led Harry on a semi destructive path.
Interesting isnt it ;)
Dumbledore was just protecting Harry till the right time I suppose ... right ...right :eek:
 

Tinkerbell

Time Turners
My thoughts probably don't help much in dissecting the issue as it were, but in my experience if you are involved with a particular event on a regular basis, you become a little 'immune' to it, and sometimes treat it with disrespect or even disdain, and I think that this is perhaps where Dumbledore's attitude comes from - he has, over the years, experienced death and loss on a regular basis, and has possibly hardened his heart to it, which to others looks like he does not care.
 

kashlie

afraid of my own shadow
Okay, can I just add that Dumbledore does not always react that way? For example, when Arthur was injured by the snake in OotP, 'Dumbledore stood up, so quickly it made Harry jump...' and throughout the passages in his office, he does a lot of 'swooping' and sharp talking.
I understand that the matter was urgent, but throughout the other books I don't remember him ever reacting this way. I think it was the beginning of a change for Dumbledore.
 

Jenelle

Supreme Mugwump
I always thought that he reacted that way to AW because he wasnt dead yet, he had time to save him. As for DD not acting like he cares, I think that like others have posted he has seen so much death that if he SHOWED his sadness over it then he would be emotionally unstable all of the time, DD has many friends that have died since LVs power trip and I can totally relate to his actions. When someone I know dies I feel sad and angry on the inside but on the outside I stay strong for those around me and keep my sadness inside until I am alone...remember DD paces in his study a lot, maybe he is having his alone time and thinking about the people he has lost and trying to figure out ways of helping others. Just my thoughts.
 

happy_hannah

Time Turners
im just going to throw this out there, but the first quote, the one about the potetrs death made me stop and think for a bit , especially the 'we've had little to celebrate' yada yada. but is it possible that dumbledore in a way sacrificed the potters because he knew it would end voldemort, perhaps he even discussed it with lily and they planned it? i mean he was the first to hear the prophecy he could put two and two together it just took a bit of calculating to make sure voldemort 'marked him as his equal' and stuff, maybe snape helped out. And , just maybe this is how he got james' invisibility cloak, to be at godrics hollow and make sure the plan worked, remember j.k wouldnt answer the question if anyone else was there on that night? i think this could be what dumbledore was remembering that night he drank the potion, it sounds crazy but this is what i would bet my money on
 

secret seeker

The Half Blood Prince
I think Dumbledore knew what most people believe, that there is life after death.

To believe so strongly in this, not only brings hope, and faith, it crushes fear and doubts, and brings a new perspective on life.

I hate to use this quote, purely because I like to keep the two seperate, but Gandalf said this, in Lord of the Rings, and it fits nicely;

" Many live who deserve to die, Frodo, and many die who deserve to live. Do not be so quick to deal out Death and Judgement. It is not up to us to determine who live, and who die, Frodo, just what to do with the time given to us."

Only wisdom, and a yearning to understand life, and choices, consequences and actions, bring about such a perspective.

After a while you conclude, otherwise, life really would be meaningless.

Im not religious, just have faith in my choices and believe in them.
 

Seeker615

Ghosthunter
I guess the part that bugs me is how he left Harry with the Dursleys and didn't really seemed worried. Harry had lost both his parents and Dumbledore two friends and he seemed oblivious to the hugeness of the situaton.

Maybe he was hiding his real emotions. Maybe it was something he needed to do or was trained to do. Police officers and doctors sometimes have to detach themselves to do what needs to be done. I am guessing he may have let his guard down back in his office. (I hope he did)
 
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