Friday, April 10, 2009

The Boy Who Lived or You Know Who

This was something I wrote around an year back..

Rowling did her best to portray Tom Riddle as the Ravana of her Ramayana and quite succeeded in it. But I beg to differ. Even Ravana was a pundit. Good or evil is only a matter of perception. We believe something
is good if its convenient.

Lets not hate Tom from the outset just because Rowling showed him that way. Come to think of it, Tom had a very disturbing childhood, much more than Harry had. His Muggle father abandoned him and his mother. His grandfather Marvollo cursed his mother for the ill-fate. Young Tom must have been deeply affected by all this. His loathing for the Muggles was natural given the state of affairs.

Tom's stay at the orphanage wasn't good too. He knew he was different and that's why he felt alone. This made him restless and reinforced his hatred for Muggles. What he did during those days is known to all.
Now 'the boy who lived' never had a hapy childhood too. But he never had a chance to rise against the wrongs unlike Tom. Harry stayed as a mere puppet of the Dursleys. I m sure if Harry had the freedom, he
would have turned into some Frankenstien himself, given his lack of self-control that was made evident in book 5 when he shouted at Ron, Hermione and even Dumbledore.

Hogwarts was a welcome change for both our protagonists. Tom was a better student but Harry was counselled at every step by Dumbledore. On countless occasions Harry was saved by his dead mother or his friends. On the contrary Tom was on his own. For a lonely adolescent, power tales of the Dark Arts were fascinating and awe-inspiring. Hence such a recourse wasn't unexpected.

Tom's hatred for Muggles, his hunger to be the all-powerful immortal God made him a murderer. Maybe the path he chose was extreme. But think about it, he was a man who was never loved by anyone, one who never realised the power of love.

P.S: I do not think Harry Potter books should be thrown away. In fact, I am a great fan of the series. Neither do I wish to justify Voldemort's character. It's just something that had crossed my mind.

Comments are welcome.


Antariksh Bothale said...

The best thing about the Harry Potter series is that JKR has not painted her characters black and white. You can't absolutely hate any character nor can you blindly idolize any one, 'coz all of them have their flaws.

Also, I quite like the way JKR has made characters with negative stereotypes and then made them excel. Look at Neville. Fat, seemingly dumb in the beginning of the series, but undergoes a complete transformation by the end.

GuyNxD said...

very true..her portrayal of chahracters was awesome...each one had its distinct personalities..

GuyNxD said...

and welcome to my blog!

anasuya said...

Chanced upon this somehow. And yes, the gray nature of the characters spurs a lot of thought and I'd like it if more authors wrote that way. You talked about Tom, and Antariksh about Neville. In the fray worth analyzing are also Snape - very much so, and James and Sirius.

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