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Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2



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  #21  
Old October 21st, 2007, 12:34 am
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Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2

Just a friendly reminder that this thread is about Dumbledore himself not JKR's decision to reveal his homosexuality

I had an interesting thought, what do people think of Dumbledore's belief in the power of love post his presumed heartbreak over the ending of his friendship with Grindlewald?


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Old October 21st, 2007, 12:36 am
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Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2

Quote:
Originally Posted by lushesx3 View Post
The revlelation about Dumbledore's sexuality isn't really a big surprise. I used to wonder a bit whether his trust of Snape came from some kind of secret relationship between them. That said, I think it's an irrelevent revelation now that the book is over, and I think it's something she should've left up to the fans to decide. For example, i would've been dissapointed if that actually was the explanation for his trust of Snape, not because I have any problem at all with homosexuality, but because it just seems like such an easy way out for the author. The same thing for DD's relationship with Grindelwald . I wish that she would've been more creative, within the range of her genre, to come up with an explanation of DD's character.
I don't think Snape was his type. I don't see where they would have any connection except that Dumbledore understood Snape's love of Lily. Snape to me seems like a bitter man who treated children poorly and I don't think that would appeal to Dumbledore.

Edited to answer Jessica's question...
I think Dumbledore believedin the power of love very much because he didn't go after Gridlwald right away and I'm sure he had a hard time having to defeat him. I believe he believes that love is very powerful.


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Old October 21st, 2007, 12:41 am
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Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2

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Originally Posted by Artemis_Fowl_2 View Post
I don't think Snape was his type. I don't see where they would have any connection except that Dumbledore understood Snape's love of Lily. Snape to me seems like a bitter man who treated children poorly and I don't think that would appeal to Dumbledore.

Edited to answer Jessica's question...
I think Dumbledore believedin the power of love very much because he didn't go after Gridlwald right away and I'm sure he had a hard time having to defeat him. I believe he believes that love is very powerful.
oh yeah, I'm nbot saying there was ever anything between them, since we know for sure what went on there, I just meant I used to wonder before the seventh book.


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Old October 21st, 2007, 12:49 am
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Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2

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Originally Posted by Jessica View Post
I had an interesting thought, what do people think of Dumbledore's belief in the power of love post his presumed heartbreak over the ending of his friendship with Grindlewald?
He certainly never lost his belief or understanding of love. Knowing his sexuality doesn't alter anything. Knowing he loved and lost makes certain things he's said to Harry over the years all the more poignant.
OotP, The Lost Prophecy"Do you see, Harry?" Do you see the flaw in my brilliant plan now?

****
"In other words, I acted exactly as Voldemort expects we fools who love to act. Is there a defense?"
HBP, Horace Slughorn"It was cruel," said Dumbledore softly, "that you and Sirius had such a short time together. A brutal ending to what should have been a long and happy relationship."

****
"Sirius represented much to you that you had never known before," Dumbledore said gently. "Naturally the loss is devastating..."


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Old October 21st, 2007, 1:16 am
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Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2

I didn't mean because of his homosexuality at all. I was just referring to the tragic consequences of love in his own life. I think it's amazing that he can be so confident and hopeful about love and it's power to do good.

I hope that he did find love. I'm inclined to believe that he and Doge were more than friends. I'd like to think they had a long happy relationship together.


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Old October 21st, 2007, 1:37 am
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Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jessica View Post
I had an interesting thought, what do people think of Dumbledore's belief in the power of love post his presumed heartbreak over the ending of his friendship with Grindlewald?
This is an interesting revelation. Dumbledore felt many of the same feelings that Snape felt. They both had a relationship break up. They both had been strongly influenced by their "loved one". They both felt guilt over something that related to the relationship.

Dumbledore understood something that was very important - that love was an extremely powerful force. He knew that people could exert a very strong influence over the people they loved. This power could be used for both good and evil. Voldemort used fear and hate to control his followers. But love can be just as effective. I believe that is what happened with Dumbledore and Grindelwald.

When Snape approached Dumbledore, full of remorse for what had happened to Lily, and claiming his love for her, Dumbledore understood completely what the power of love could do. This time he was using it for good. This time Dumbledore was able to take Snape's love for Lily and use it to turn a former Death Eater into his most loyal follower. I think Dumbledore would not have recognized how powerful love could be if he hadn't experienced it first hand, with Grindelwald.


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Old October 21st, 2007, 1:40 am
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Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2

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Originally Posted by Jessica View Post
I didn't mean because of his homosexuality at all. I was just referring to the tragic consequences of love in his own life. I think it's amazing that he can be so confident and hopeful about love and it's power to do good.

I hope that he did find love. I'm inclined to believe that he and Doge were more than friends. I'd like to think they had a long happy relationship together.
I agree that he likely did find love, he lived a very long time, so perhaps he had several romances. However, imo, Dumbledore's love life pales in the face of his political life.

I am still re-reading in light of JKR's earlier revelation that Dumbledore manipulated Harry like a puppet and while she did not include other characters, I believe Dumbledore was manipulating everyone associated with his plan. While I find that behavior untenable, imo there is a balance with Dumbledore in that he was also a compassionate person who appeared to be at war with himself over the decisions he had to make at times. Dumbledore's recognition upon his death of his errors and his remorse and regret in that regard are admirable. However, the questions Dumbledore (and other characters) leave one with is, how far can a person travel outside of the realm of proper political behavior and still be redeemed? Is there no limit as long as one feels regret and remorse at the end?

I find these questions in relation to Dumbledore's character tough to answer.


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Old October 21st, 2007, 2:14 am
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Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2

A new interview snippet:
'Harry Potter' Author J.K. Rowling Outs Dumbledore At New York EventAs is sometimes not knowing the whole story. Like Rowling before "Deathly Hallows" was published, Dumbledore withheld key information from Harry, so as not to "spoil" his journey, prompting a 9-year-old fourth grader to ask if Dumbledore ever really did love Harry, or was he just manipulating him so that he would sacrifice himself in the end?

"That's a deep question, thanks for asking it," Rowling said. "Dumbledore did like Harry, and as he got to know him, he became like a son to him. But I wanted you to question Dumbledore. It is right to question him, because he was treating people like puppets, and he was asking Harry to do a job that most men twice his age wouldn't have been able to do." But if Harry had all the information, he likely would have been tempted into doing something else, so he had to trust Dumbledore, who ultimately did guide him to do the right thing, Rowling said.


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Old October 21st, 2007, 2:19 am
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Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2

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Originally Posted by wickedwickedboy View Post
I agree that he likely did find love, he lived a very long time, so perhaps he had several romances. However, imo, Dumbledore's love life pales in the face of his political life.

I am still re-reading in light of JKR's earlier revelation that Dumbledore manipulated Harry like a puppet and while she did not include other characters, I believe Dumbledore was manipulating everyone associated with his plan. While I find that behavior untenable, imo there is a balance with Dumbledore in that he was also a compassionate person who appeared to be at war with himself over the decisions he had to make at times. Dumbledore's recognition upon his death of his errors and his remorse and regret in that regard are admirable. However, the questions Dumbledore (and other characters) leave one with is, how far can a person travel outside of the realm of proper political behavior and still be redeemed? Is there no limit as long as one feels regret and remorse at the end?

I find these questions in relation to Dumbledore's character tough to answer.
I agree. I think there are certain things that I won't really forgive Dumbledore for, mainly the 7 Potters. i just couldn't believe he would sacrifice the lives of all those people who had been by his side and trusted him without consequence. In regard to Dumbledore's love life, I really can't picture him with a bunch of happy relationships. I think Dumbledore was extremely guarded later in his life, and he was too busy with his "master plan" and Voldemort to have time for a love life. And I just don't see the DD/Doge connection. Just my opinion, though!


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  #30  
Old October 21st, 2007, 8:39 am
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Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2

It actually explains a bit more about Dumbledore's character, especially what he said to Harry about the Ministry of Magic and the room of love ("greater and more terrible" I think are the exact words.) Knowing that he was in love with G.G, it explains his actions quite a bit more and, to be honest, it was something that I would have preferred to have read in canon

Also, I'm not sure if Voldemort considers homosexuality to be disgusting (although given his views on blood purity etc, it wouldn't surprise me) but, if he does, it's pretty funny that the only person more powerful than him was gay

[staff edit: Let's not go there!]



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  #31  
Old October 21st, 2007, 9:38 am
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Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2

Didn't he say something in DH about,

Feel sorry for those who live without love?

Well, I think this new revelation has a HUGE impact on analyzing his character and his life.

In one moment his sister dies, he alienates his brother, and his first love turns to a enemy.

Imagine having to hunt down and murder the person you love. That would scar anyone. No wonder he was scared of facing GG.



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  #32  
Old October 21st, 2007, 10:16 am
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Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2

Just to help out with the Elphias Doge evidence: reread his obituary that is at the beginning of Ch. 3 of DH. When I first read DH, I was thinking the obit was written by some sort of partner, and I was actually thinking (it WAS 3 am) that perhaps Dumbledore had a wife we never knew about and now that he was dead Rowling was going to reveal that Dumbledore had this amazing life Harry never knew about and I was thinking it was going to be so sad to learn about the wife and kids Harry never learned about. But instead, I realized by the middle of the obit that the writer was a male but yet the obit smelled of "a widow" as someone put it beforehand. Elphias Doge came across as a widow who lost their significant other. It was there that I began wondering. But I didn't expect Grindelwald so that I can say was surprising to learn, mostly because Rowling really didn't flesh out everything in DH as I would have liked. It was perfect for the Trio, but Snape and Dumbledore, while they had their time, it didn't feel like their stories were properly told in full.

I felt like there could have been a lot more there to learn, and Dumbledore is DEFINITELY one who has a lot more about him that Rowling has thought of that we don't know. And part of that stems to his domestic life. I wonder where he lived over the summer holiday? I wonder if perhaps he lived with Doge? Or alone? And I wonder about his relationship with Doge. I want to know if they were closer than just good friends and whether there was something there later in life.

And I agree, while many people looked at Dumbledore as asexual, and I did too until DH, I will agree that it makes sense that Dumbledore's "love" of someone would not be as superficial as rooted in something physical or anything rooted in the gender. It's the person. I have friends who are gay and some of them are very much about the attraction to the gender. But I agree, Dumbledore would feel love for someone depending solely on the person. Had Grindelwald been the exact same person, but female, I think he would have fallen for her. But seeing as what attracted Dumbledore about Grindelwald is what is important, the love was felt for that person - who happened to be male as well.

So again, I agree that Severus was not someone who he would be attracted to, and Severus was more like a stubborn nephew in Dumbledore's mind anyhow. He cared about him, but again, he was more concerned with the big picture. He cared about Harry like a son or grandson, but he still pulled strings. He pulled strings with other Order members, but probably not nearly as much as Harry and Severus. They were the two who were closest with Dumbledore, and therefore received the most "on a need to know basis" information.

I will admit Dumbledore was not my most favorite character at the end of DH. I was annoyed with how manipulative he was and how complex he had become. I was quite content I'll say with the goofy grandfatherly guy who had once swapped his wizard's hat for a bonnet which Severus had pulled out of a cracker, but alas, that was a man who was not bothered at the time by Tom Riddle too much.

I really really REALLY hope Rowling's encyclopedia that probably won't be out until ten years from now, will have PAGES UPON PAGES of information about her characters which she never got round to revealing. I'm hoping that she had all these other ideas and concepts in her head for interesting scenes and such, but never got round to fitting them in. So she at least filed them away for later, and can finally include stuff. I want more backstory on Dumbledore and his life growing up and all, and also later on in life too.


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  #33  
Old October 21st, 2007, 11:26 am
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Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2

I read it in the newspaper today (front page!), and I immediately rushed to the computer to check the Q&A/interview JKR gave and read it myself.

At first I was a bit speechless, but when I finished reading it made sense to me. DD was a brilliant man, even when he was young. I think he felt love (not the I love you mum and dad-love but the I want to spend the rest of my life with you-love) for the brilliance of another person, which (almost?) matched his own. You fall in love with a person who you can laugh with, who shares the ideas you have and who can give you the love you need. So I can imagine DD falling in love with GG, because he "fulfilled" this.

It seems to me it didn't matter to DD what a person looked like on the outside, but that he only looked at the inside. Maybe because he only ever saw this brilliance in a man/men, that's what made him gay.


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  #34  
Old October 21st, 2007, 11:54 am
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Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2

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Originally Posted by mwbashful18 View Post
He pulled strings with other Order members, but probably not nearly as much as Harry and Severus. They were the two who were closest with Dumbledore, and therefore received the most "on a need to know basis" information.
I would respectfully disagree that Harry and Snape were the closest with Dumbledore and recieved the most 'on a need to know basis' information. There were Order members running around doing things on a daily basis that we heard little about and that would mean that they had to meet with Dumbledore on a frequent basis imo (off page).

Those members were also included in Dumbledore's plans and he equally manipulated them in my opinion (with the exception of Sirius who often resisted said manipulations quite adroitly). We were given some insight to this when the advanced guard of the Order arrived to collect Harry and take him to Grimmauld or joined Harry at the MOM. But also Kingsley was spying for Dumbledore at the ministry on a daily basis from GoF and Remus Lupin was 'out on Order business' for much of OOTP and then spying among the werewolves among other things in HBP. Moody never retired to his home again after teaching and was still involved with the Order in DH, Tonks was also asked to perform duties as seen on page and Arthur was involved as well (woking at the Ministry and out on other duties as well as we saw when he was bitten by Nagini in OOTP). And there were more, Hestia and wizards and witches in the Order we saw very little of.

While we only saw or heard about bits and pieces of the work of others (because that was all that Harry saw), however, it was evident imo, that Dumbledore was as busy handing out 'need to know' information to other members as well in line with whatever he asked them to do - none of which was 'need to know' for Harry so we didn't know about it.

My point is, I believe that Dumbledore had a group of people that he regularly worked with (most of them Order members) in the furtherance of his plan and manipulated them in the same way he did Harry and Snape - possibly even more in some cases, although their efforts were not shown on page. Whether Dumbledore's methodology was proper or not is up for each reader to decide.

JKR confirmed that Dumbledore indeed did this with others (relevant portion underlined):

'Harry Potter' Author J.K. Rowling Outs Dumbledore At New York EventAs is sometimes not knowing the whole story. Like Rowling before "Deathly Hallows" was published, Dumbledore withheld key information from Harry, so as not to "spoil" his journey, prompting a 9-year-old fourth grader to ask if Dumbledore ever really did love Harry, or was he just manipulating him so that he would sacrifice himself in the end?

"That's a deep question, thanks for asking it," Rowling said. "Dumbledore did like Harry, and as he got to know him, he became like a son to him. But I wanted you to question Dumbledore. It is right to question him, because he was treating people like puppets, and he was asking Harry to do a job that most men twice his age wouldn't have been able to do." But if Harry had all the information, he likely would have been tempted into doing something else, so he had to trust Dumbledore, who ultimately did guide him to do the right thing, Rowling said.


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Old October 21st, 2007, 1:26 pm
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Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2

1. What are your general thoughts on Dumbledore as a character through books 1-7? Do you see a difference in his behavior and/or actions between the books?

Books 1-5 I thought he was fantastic and great fun to read. I respected him. Book 7 he appeared to me to be manipulative and deceptive. Every life is worth saving, and I hated his whole belief 'for the greater good'. He didn't need to sacrifice himself in the end of HBP let alone all the other unknown, innocent victims, ad in my mind there will have always been an alternative to the actions he took. In the end he became probably my most disliked character, this is before his revelation and I think this is so because of the way he was portrayed. His 'flaws' were not communicated very effectively, to me at least, and the execution of it was horrible.


3. What did you think of the revelations of DH regarding Dumbledore's family? How did these tragedies effect the person he is now?

I can't say properly because I feel the tragedies weren't relayed effectively from within the text.

4. Why do you think Dumbledore and Grindelwald were friends? How did Dumbledore's homosexuality affect his susceptibility to Grindelwald's ideas?


I genuinely believe that Albus and GG were friends because they were 'what is considered to be' at the same (very high) intellectual level. Can no one imagine how frustrating it must be to have to communicate with people of lower mental capacity and how thrilled they(Albus and GG) must have been when they met each other.

'Dumbledore's Homosexuality' is something the author always 'thought' he was. This is something that will be left open for debate for years to come since it hasn't been expanded on properly in the books. There isn't sufficient evidence in the book for this notion to be accepted as fact. But this forum accepts the authors words as canon.

5. Was Dumbledore right to keep so many secrets from so many people? Was this secrecy because of his sister? Because of his own homosexuality?


I do not think it was right for Albus to keep secrets from so many people. He could have at least told Snape (among other order members, eg Lupin) who is at the same intellectual level as Albus if not higher. To me it indicated that Albus saw him self as the wisest and most accomplished of all people. His 'humble' musings as it were were more of a, 'Ho ho, I am just your average wizard who likes lemon sherbet and puddings' *moves around and winks with air of obviousness that he is the most powerful* .

6. What do you think of Dumbledore's recognition of his own failings? His decision not to enter the Ministry?

Look at previous answer. He is humble of the arrogant sort (that is how I felt honestly)

7. Do you think Dumbledore expected too much from Harry? Did he do the right thing? Was it fair to ask Harry to sacrifice himself?

Yes I do think he expected too much of Harry. He was overestimating Harry's powers compared to what little he trusted in others. Even after his death he was ordering Snape around through his portrait. The man was a spy for half of his life, he doesn't need strict guidance, not to mention he kept too much information to himself. And it was not fair to ask Harry to sacrifice himself, as it was just as unfair if not more so to ask Snape to kill him, even if he was going to die eventually. There is always an alternative, which is where I find some of the messages conveyed in the book as puzzling.

8. Does the revelation of his homosexuality ultimately affect his character? What actions, if any, do you see differently now?

No it doesn't affect his character,well not for the positive at least, and it does not give him more 'depth' as others have stated. Was he not 'deep' enough? Now that is something that should be considered seriously. This revelation makes his character to me more confusing, and I wished there was a more complex reason for his relationship with others and how he treats them. My belief that Albus found an intellectual equal in GG seemed to contain more substance than ' Albus was in love with GG and experienced unrequited love so was in a difficult situation when it came to his brother, sister, Ministry of Magic and the wizarding world as a whole.'

In fact for me, it made the character sillier since he didn't properly move on with his life after GG showed his true colours. 120 plus years, he didn't get to meet anyone else? And I thought Snape was obsessed. How can such a person be so hard on themselves and not allow themselves to move on and benefit the community with the maximum output possible. No need to cry over spilt milk.

In the end the man was killed by his own stupidity because he couldn't resist putting on a cursed ring that resurrects the specters of the dead. Who did he want to call? Arianna or GG?


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Old October 21st, 2007, 2:14 pm
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Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2

Since my general views on Dumbledore haven't really changed much since the last version of this thread, I'm just going to copy and paste my original Dumbledore statement:

Quote:
Originally Posted by rell
Dumbledore is definitely not the saint that Doge made him out to be, but he isn't the horrible person that Rita Skeeter painted him as either. He's somewhere in the middle, like most people are. But, unlike most people, he had incredible amounts of talent and intelligence, he was a leader with the capacity to frighten the greatest dark lords and inspire people to fight for justice. So his flaws stick out, because they affected so many more people than most people's flaws do.

Dumbledore had a lot of hard choices to make. With the exception of his obsession with the Deathly hallows, I think he made good choices under the circumstances. Dumbledore had to take chances - chances that would have horrible consequences had they gone wrong - but, in the end, I think that the possible gains (i.e. ridding the world of Voldemort) outweighed the possible (yet still horrible) losses. Even Dumbledore's maddening secrecy turned out to be part of his big plans.

I really liked the chapter with Aberforth. I think we got a pretty good picture of Dumbledore (even though it's colored by Aberforth's cynical nature) from him, yet we also get the huge contrast between the two brothers. Aberforth saw only the people involved, and hated that his brother risked them, yet he could not see the bigger picture (though this is completely off topic, I think that Aberforht is similar to Xeno Lovegood in this respect).

Dumbledore's own account in the chapter "kings cross" is very sad. We see how Dumbledore views himself. He does not deny his shortcomings - he readily admits them all, and he openly shows his regrets. I like that a lot about Dumbledore.


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Old October 21st, 2007, 6:25 pm
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Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2

Hem hem.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jessica View Post
This is character analysis so discussion how his homosexuality affected his actions throughout the books is completely on topic. Your personal reaction to his homosexuliaty can be discussed here: Homosexuality in Harry Potter
Additionally please make sure you state your critiques in a constructive way:
Forum Rule # 8If you wish to critique a public figure, make sure your comments are constructive and reasonable. These principles also apply to signatures, avatars, and the like. Additionally, threads that de-generate into nothing more than hate-filled ranting will also be closed and members will be warned in either case.
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Old October 21st, 2007, 6:46 pm
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Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2

What If Dumbledore had told others about the bit of Horcrux in Harry, and told them that if Harry went with purpose to his death, but he would still survive due to the two souls and the sacrifice for the wizarding world? Even if he told one person... who would he have told? HArry could not know that his sacrifice could bring him back.... then it could not have been a real sacrfice. With such a huge secret as to the destruction of LV. Dumbledore could not risk the chance. HE left enough clues behind to others like Snape. When he told Snape to watch for the snake, then tell harry about that he had a bit of LV in him. I think DD knew that Harry could come back if he chose too. DD was planning on this sacrifice to literally protect the wizarding world from LV as Lily's sacrifce protection saved Harry.
I don't think Harry was really a puppet.


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  #39  
Old October 21st, 2007, 7:57 pm
ugacpa  Undisclosed.gif ugacpa is offline
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Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2

I think this revelation shows Dumbledore to be a far weaker man than most in the series. He allowed Grindlewald to continue his reign of terror for years out of love. That is not acceptable hero behaviour. Jo says this is a partial justification for such behaviour, but I do not agree with that logic.


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  #40  
Old October 21st, 2007, 8:01 pm
snuka  Female.gif snuka is offline
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Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2

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Originally Posted by wicked87 View Post
I agree. I think there are certain things that I won't really forgive Dumbledore for, mainly the 7 Potters. i just couldn't believe he would sacrifice the lives of all those people who had been by his side and trusted him without consequence.
I just wish he'd confided in McGonagall or someone in the Order, and preferrably tell Harry more on Horcruxes and Hallows - I thnk Harry earned the truth by OOTP.

I think lives could have been saved...it felt odd that Snape knew more than anyone, and probably risked - and gave - more than anyone else.


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