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Draco Malfoy: Character Analysis v.2



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  #61  
Old July 9th, 2013, 6:35 am
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Re: Draco Malfoy: Character Analysis v.2

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Originally Posted by Moriath View Post
Study Questions
1. When we first meet Draco, Harry sees him as a pampered, snobbish, bully. Did JKR plant the seeds from the beginning that he would grow to be a Death Eater?
Yes, and no. Not in the way the question seems to suggest, anyway. I feel the book draws a parallel between Draco and James Potter (as first years on the Hogwarts Express), in the sameness of attitude they express towards the House each, respectively, does not favor, and in showing them to be pampered and engage in bullying behavior. James, of course, does not become a Death Eater; on the contrary, he joins the Order.

However, the more we learn about Draco's father Lucius, the more likely this outcome comes to seem for Draco, who clearly loves and respects his father and wishes to please him, and has learned his family's attitudes towards Muggleborn wizards.

3. Is Draco truly making his choices of his own volition? How much of his choice is derived from fear, or is it bravado?

Draco does not see himself as making choices of is own volition, by the time things have turned south for him (at the end of HBP). He speaks to Dumbledore of having no choice, and Harry overhears him tell Moaning Myrtle Voldemort would kill him and his parent. I agree with Draco that he has rather little choice, by that point.

However, I believe Draco likely became a Death Eater between his fifth and sixth years, following the arrest of his father at the Ministry. (And I am not at all sure he ran this idea by his mother before acting on it). At that point I do not think he was acting out of fear. I think he was acting out of a desire to avenge his father, and to follow in his father's footsteps. I think this latter motivation was also tied in to the advent of adulthood, a feeling that he should become a Death Eater like his father, now that he was all but an adult in wizard terms and the cause needed him, and that this would be a way to prove himself and achieve success.


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  #62  
Old July 9th, 2013, 5:36 pm
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Re: Draco Malfoy: Character Analysis v.2

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Originally Posted by arithmancer View Post
Yes, and no. Not in the way the question seems to suggest, anyway. I feel the book draws a parallel between Draco and James Potter (as first years on the Hogwarts Express), in the sameness of attitude they express towards the House each, respectively, does not favor, and in showing them to be pampered and engage in bullying behavior. James, of course, does not become a Death Eater; on the contrary, he joins the Order.
Also James Potter stands up for his friends and he befriends a Wizarding World outcast in Remus and James doesn't call anyone by racial insults. Also there is no indication that James is pampered. He looks like his parents care about him, but then this is not something most parents would find to be an insult. And of course James was popular in the school, the most important point IMO. Poor Draco, he didn't have any real friends and he sure wasn't popular with the rest of the school. It's all well and good comparing Draco with someone else, but IMO it's best to do that with another character that he has something in common with besides a comment he and that other character made when they were 11 years old. It could be hard finding another character he could be compared to, there's no problem finding a character he can be contrasted with, such as James Potter. A character who is shown to make a stupid remark when he is 11 but is never shown to say anything like it again, unlike Draco did again and again.



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  #63  
Old July 9th, 2013, 6:04 pm
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Re: Draco Malfoy: Character Analysis v.2

The closest comparison character Draco has on "The Good Side" is Ron, IMO. But then, they work better as more mirror counterparts than anything else.


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  #64  
Old July 9th, 2013, 10:31 pm
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Re: Draco Malfoy: Character Analysis v.2

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The closest comparison character Draco has on "The Good Side" is Ron, IMO. But then, they work better as more mirror counterparts than anything else.
So again this is a case of contrasting characters rather than similar? After all everything that Ron is, Draco isn't? I would agree with that, Ron is brave, loyal and strategic (you don't become a first rate chess player if you don't have a great grasp of stategy). Ron is also sensitive, something that Draco IMO had no idea existed.


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  #65  
Old July 9th, 2013, 11:33 pm
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Re: Draco Malfoy: Character Analysis v.2

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Originally Posted by arithmancer View Post
I feel the book draws a parallel between Draco and James Potter (as first years on the Hogwarts Express), in the sameness of attitude they express towards the House each, respectively, does not favor, and in showing them to be pampered and engage in bullying behavior.
I can see this.

1. Both were only children
2. Parents had lots of money
3. Both knew when they got on the train which house they wanted, which they most likely learned from their parents
4. James had Sirius, Remus, and Peter as friends, while Draco had Crabbe and Goyle
5. Both were described as behaving a bit arrogantly
6. Both engaged in bullying behaviors
7. Both played Quiddich
8. Both took sides during the war - James joined the Order, Draco joined the DEs.

Sure, there were differences as well. I definitely am not saying the Order is similar to the DEs in ideology. The DEs were prejudiced and murderers, as a group. The Order fought against that. But I do see some similarities between the two characters.

My opinion.


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  #66  
Old July 10th, 2013, 4:21 am
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Re: Draco Malfoy: Character Analysis v.2

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Originally Posted by MsJPotter View Post
So again this is a case of contrasting characters rather than similar? After all everything that Ron is, Draco isn't? I would agree with that, Ron is brave, loyal and strategic (you don't become a first rate chess player if you don't have a great grasp of stategy). Ron is also sensitive, something that Draco IMO had no idea existed.
Well, there's a bit more to it than that. In some ways, Draco and Ron have similarities. Here. this is a written passage that explains it better:

Both boys are pureblood and come from prominent families, in the sense that both families have done big things to make their mark on the world, and everyone knows who they are.

Both boys have a very distinct look that, on sight, identifies them as either a Malfoy or a Weasley.

Both boys are extremely loyal to their families; to them, family is the most important thing of all. Neither boy will suffer insults to his family, and both boys will act on that loyalty to their family when they deem it necessary, up to and including taking huge risks for their family. This is true regardless of the cause for which each boy stands: Draco might have sided with Voldemort, but he kept going in his plans not out of loyalty to Voldemort, but out of a desire to save the lives of his parents. Draco joined the Death Eaters to avenge his father, too. Ron, meanwhile, has rejected Percy, because Percy chose the Ministry, the institution that betrayed Arthur.

Both boys are very opinionated and quickly form judgments about other people. Just as Draco turns up his nose at Ron for being poor, Ron decides at once that Slytherins as a whole are bad news and not to be trusted.

Both boys have grown up with certain preconceived notions about things. BOTH Ron and Draco have grown up believing that house elves are not only supposed to serve wizards, it is where they want to be. Both Ron and Draco have grown up being told that giants are savage and werewolves are dangerous. Both boys, too, have grown up to regard certain types of people with, if not distrust and wariness, then skepticism. For all Ron's openmindedness about accepting Muggles and Muggleborns, he is very clueless about that world and tends to automatically assume that the wizard way is best.

All that said, there is a very clear and obvious difference here, and that is that Ron is open-minded, and Draco is not. Ron is deeply aware of his culture, and yet he does not slavishly follow its conventions--he is very capable of learning something new and accepting or at least considering new ideas. This is a basic strength of character within Ron that Draco completely lacks: because Draco is weak-willed, he clings to the status quo. He has been taught to fear change, to fear differences, to fear "the other" (Muggleborns). Ron, however, has been taught to accept change and has learned the value of "the other". Whereas Draco sees Muggleborns "tainting" the purity of the wizard race, Ron has been taught that in fact, Muggles and Muggleborns are what is keeping the wizarding race from dying out completely. Ron has certain prejudices, yes, but they are not borne out of fear or weakness, so much as inexperience. Being strong-willed and open-minded and growing up in a family of strong-willed, open-minded parents has allowed Ron to modify some of his more old-fashioned ideas. Ron, in other words, LEARNS, and accepts change and differences not as something to be feared, but as something to accept and even embrace.

Rather than assume that all house elves are the same as a species, Ron has learned, in meeting Dobby, Winky and Kreacher, that each house elf is unique and might desire a different situation for himself. Ron's ideas on giants have changed because of knowing Hagrid; Ron's ideas on werewolves have changed because of knowing Lupin. That doesn't mean that Ron believes all werewolves are wonderful--Greyback obviously showed just how evil a werewolf can be. Rather, Ron has been able to adapt his cultural knowledge--the knowledge he has gained growing up in an all-wizard culture and an all-wizard family--to a more open-minded reality.

Draco does not have this strength of character--and it IS a strength of character to be able to look at one's culture and question its long-held conventions. Draco wants the status quo--or rather, a version of a status quo in which purebloods are on top--because he has never been taught to be comfortable with change; he has never been taught to share; he has never been taught that the world is not his for the taking. Draco's racism, too, is entirely borne out of his deep-seated fear of change, which has been instilled by his parents. Whereas Ron--who was never racist, I emphasize, but simply ignorant--has kept an open mind and is willing to modify a lot of his preconceived notions--Draco cannot, because to do so is to concede to Draco's single biggest fear: that of change.

Along those lines, the financial situations of the boys' famililes obviously play a role. Ron has, it must be admitted, a materialistic streak in him that is common among kids who've grown up with nothing but hand-me-downs and who have faced the cruelty of kids who make fun of them for being poor. That said, Ron's upbringing and his own strength of character have allowed him to temper his desire for riches, for STUFF, by recognizing that having stuff doesn't necessarily make one a better person or make one happier. After all, Ron's best friend is very rich, and Harry's money hasn't done much of anything to make him happy in life. Ron will, I'm guessing, always desire nice things and will probably fret about his financial status in some small fashion, but he has the strength of character and the maturity--especially now--to place those materialistic desires in the proper, healthy context.

Draco is also materialistic, but his materialism comes about for the opposite reason: he's never wanted for anything. His parents spoil him rotten. He really CAN'T place materialism in a healthy context because he was never given a healthy context with which to appreciate the fine things he is given. Indeed, all his life he's been taught to EXPECT nothing but the best. Whereas Ron could learn, on his own--as he did--to put the value of THINGS in a proper context (again, because of Ron's strength of character), the only way Draco could learn to appreciate what he has is if he were to lose all of it. In other words, Ron needed only to grow up in order to develop greater maturity about money and materialism; Draco, having never been taught to appreciate anything but rather to EXPECT everything, would have to face a much more drastic set of circumstances for him to develop the strength of character to place materialism in a healthy context.

Ultimately what the difference between Ron and Draco boils down to is one of character, or more correctly, strength of character. Ron is strong-willed, Draco weak. Ron is open-minded and adaptible, Draco is rigid and conforming.


There's more to it, but that's the most important part IMO.


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  #67  
Old July 10th, 2013, 11:21 am
MsJPotter  Undisclosed.gif MsJPotter is offline
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Re: Draco Malfoy: Character Analysis v.2

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=ShadowSonic;6074923]Well, there's a bit more to it than that. In some ways, Draco and Ron have similarities. Here. this is a written passage that explains it better:

Both boys are pureblood and come from prominent families, in the sense that both families have done big things to make their mark on the world, and everyone knows who they are.

Both boys have a very distinct look that, on sight, identifies them as either a Malfoy or a Weasley.


Your post is a bit long so I might not go thought it all, but I'll start here. Practically every character in the book has something that is described in visual terms and these things are distinctive. Harry wears glasses and has messy hair, Ron has red hair and freckles, Draco has blond hair, Hermione's hair is bushy, etc. etc. This type of writing is IMO Rowling's way of getting us to picture her characters. And a lot of the characters are pure bloods.

Quote:
Both boys are extremely loyal to their families; to them, family is the most important thing of all. Neither boy will suffer insults to his family, and both boys will act on that loyalty to their family when they deem it necessary, up to and including taking huge risks for their family. This is true regardless of the cause for which each boy stands: Draco might have sided with Voldemort, but he kept going in his plans not out of loyalty to Voldemort, but out of a desire to save the lives of his parents. Draco joined the Death Eaters to avenge his father, too. Ron, meanwhile, has rejected Percy, because Percy chose the Ministry, the institution that betrayed Arthur.
Again this is something that is shared by so many characters. Harry is loyal to the memories of his parents, Neville is loyal to his and his grandmother. Also I don't think Draco is that loyal to his parents. They are an excuse he whines to Dumbledore for a reason to commit murder.


Quote:
Both boys are very opinionated and quickly form judgments about other people. Just as Draco turns up his nose at Ron for being poor, Ron decides at once that Slytherins as a whole are bad news and not to be trusted.
Ron grew up hearing about the DeathEaters who were in Slytherins and who killed his uncles. Ron has reason for not trusting Slytherins. And he doesn't exactly say that they are not to be trusted. He says that all his family has been in Gryffindor. He doesn't mention anything bad about Slytherins till Draco shows up in the carriage and insults him and his family.

Quote:
Both boys have grown up with certain preconceived notions about things. BOTH Ron and Draco have grown up believing that house elves are not only supposed to serve wizards, it is where they want to be. Both Ron and Draco have grown up being told that giants are savage and werewolves are dangerous. Both boys, too, have grown up to regard certain types of people with, if not distrust and wariness, then skepticism. For all Ron's openmindedness about accepting Muggles and Muggleborns, he is very clueless about that world and tends to automatically assume that the wizard way is best.
So both boys have grown up with typical WW bigotries. These beliefs for good or ill (mostly ill) are common beliefs in the WW.



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Ultimately what the difference between Ron and Draco boils down to is one of character, or more correctly, strength of character. Ron is strong-willed, Draco weak. Ron is open-minded and adaptible, Draco is rigid and conforming.
Quote:

There's more to it, but that's the most important part IMO.
I cut that part of your post. Mainly because I agreed for the most part and I think you encapsulated it well.

Draco is weak of character whereas Ron has a great deal of it. That really just sums it up. I also think that Ron has the capability to admit when he has made a mistake, Draco doesn't.


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  #68  
Old July 10th, 2013, 2:45 pm
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Re: Draco Malfoy: Character Analysis v.2

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Originally Posted by ShadowSonic View Post
Well, there's a bit more to it than that. In some ways, Draco and Ron have similarities. Here. this is a written passage that explains it better:
I'm thinking you didn't write the remainder of your post, the part in italics.

Source? Link?


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  #69  
Old July 10th, 2013, 5:12 pm
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Re: Draco Malfoy: Character Analysis v.2

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Originally Posted by MerryLore View Post
I'm thinking you didn't write the remainder of your post, the part in italics.

Source? Link?
No I didn't, it was from a website about 8 years ago. It was written before DH but I found it about a year ago and it struck me.

http://forums.checkmated.com/index.php?showtopic=4969

BTW, I thought that site was shut down for good and didn't bothering looking again until now. Thanks for helping me find it again!

EDIT: I agree that those qualities and traits aren't something Draco and Ron share alone, but with them it's much more consistent and upfront than most other characters you mentioned (Neville, other purebloods, etc). I do think that it was unintentional for Rowling to have use consider these two to be counterparts, but I do think that it does fit and adds another layer to their interactions.



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  #70  
Old July 10th, 2013, 9:29 pm
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Re: Draco Malfoy: Character Analysis v.2

Hem, hem: please be aware of our quoting policy. If you're quoting from a website, you must clearly say so and provide a link in the same post. I'm sorry to be a bore about this, but we don't just have this rule to be annoying - we could potentially be sued if someone feels that their work is being passed off as someone else's on CoS.


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  #71  
Old July 10th, 2013, 10:13 pm
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Re: Draco Malfoy: Character Analysis v.2

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Originally Posted by MsJPotter View Post
Again this is something that is shared by so many characters. Harry is loyal to the memories of his parents, Neville is loyal to his and his grandmother. Also I don't think Draco is that loyal to his parents. They are an excuse he whines to Dumbledore for a reason to commit murder.
I think the fact that he felt he had to commit murder as being the only way to keep his parents and himself safe was a sign that he was, in fact, very loyal and caring towards his folks. Draco doesn't seem to have very many good qualities but I think his love of his family, and vice versa, is one part of his more humane/strong side.

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Ron grew up hearing about the DeathEaters who were in Slytherins and who killed his uncles. Ron has reason for not trusting Slytherins. And he doesn't exactly say that they are not to be trusted. He says that all his family has been in Gryffindor. He doesn't mention anything bad about Slytherins till Draco shows up in the carriage and insults him and his family.
I don't know if that would justify Ron's prejudices toward Slytherins. He only feels that way, not just of what he has been taught/experienced, but also of how he understands/perceives that experience. I mean, Draco could be justified with a similar argument since his family (Auntie Bella and husband) were locked up in prison because of a pro-Muggleborn government (if he was raised to believe that what Bella did was alright, these would seem like injustices to him) and probably most, if not all, his family have been in Slytherin and he might not even have had experience with bloodtraitors/Muggleborns until Ron showed up and laughed at his name. This would be a valid argument, in that sense. Draco wouldn't be right in thinking this way but than neither would Ron. Their prejudices are based mainly on how they perceive and understand their world. I don't think either character had a very good understanding of their world.

Quote:
So both boys have grown up with typical WW bigotries. These beliefs for good or ill (mostly ill) are common beliefs in the WW.
.
I don't think that excuses anyone of having a prejudice viewpoint. It is important to point out that, at least, Ron seems to have gotten rid of some of his prejudices, but we don't know anything much about Draco's morals after/during the war.

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Originally Posted by ShadowSonic View Post
Well, there's a bit more to it than that. In some ways, Draco and Ron have similarities. Here. this is a written passage that explains it better:

All that said, there is a very clear and obvious difference here, and that is that Ron is open-minded, and Draco is not. Ron is deeply aware of his culture, and yet he does not slavishly follow its conventions--he is very capable of learning something new and accepting or at least considering new ideas. This is a basic strength of character within Ron that Draco completely lacks: because Draco is weak-willed, he clings to the status quo. He has been taught to fear change, to fear differences, to fear "the other" (Muggleborns). Ron, however, has been taught to accept change and has learned the value of "the other". Whereas Draco sees Muggleborns "tainting" the purity of the wizard race, Ron has been taught that in fact, Muggles and Muggleborns are what is keeping the wizarding race from dying out completely. Ron has certain prejudices, yes, but they are not borne out of fear or weakness, so much as inexperience. Being strong-willed and open-minded and growing up in a family of strong-willed, open-minded parents has allowed Ron to modify some of his more old-fashioned ideas. Ron, in other words, LEARNS, and accepts change and differences not as something to be feared, but as something to accept and even embrace.
I agree that Draco is close-minded but I don't know if him being open-minded would have contributed to him being less prejudice and a better person. Like Ron being open-minded allows him to understand the world beyond what he believes but that does not necessarily mean that Ron automatically would agree with everything. So Draco might have been open-minded and realized that Muggleborns are wizard/witches just like him but he might have still held that prejudice out of comfort; if the pure-bloods have control over the Muggleborns than life will be better for him. That makes it sound like Draco doesn't really have a moral agenda and honestly, I'm not sure if he does. He seems to do things purely if they are convienent for him. I think he learned that from his dad. And we know from Pottermore that the Malfoys switch their viewpoints based on what suits them in that time period. So I think that even if Draco were open-minded or agreed that Muggleborns were okay or wasn't a pureblood supremacist, I don't really think he'd be that better of a character.



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Old July 11th, 2013, 2:38 pm
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Re: Draco Malfoy: Character Analysis v.2

Almost every death eater that we know of in the books is a slytherin, so any natural distrust of slytherins or even hatred is very understandable. If that wasn't enough, the slytherins in Harry's year don't do any favours to the reputation of the house in any way.

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Originally Posted by asdfasdf17 View Post
That makes it sound like Draco doesn't really have a moral agenda and honestly, I'm not sure if he does. He seems to do things purely if they are convienent for him.
I agree. Draco only really cared about himself. He sided with Voldemort because it put him and his family in a very favourable position and later he had second thoughts about it after they had gone down the ranks amongst the death eaters.


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Old July 12th, 2013, 12:56 pm
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Re: Draco Malfoy: Character Analysis v.2

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=asdfasdf17;6074971]I think the fact that he felt he had to commit murder as being the only way to keep his parents and himself safe was a sign that he was, in fact, very loyal and caring towards his folks. Draco doesn't seem to have very many good qualities but I think his love of his family, and vice versa, is one part of his more humane/strong side.
I might be impressed by that if I thought for one moment that Draco had any kind of humane/strong feelings that didn't circle around him. And I would believe that he was worried about his parents if he hadn't been heard whining to Myrtle that 'He' would be killed if he didn't murder Dumbledore. He didn't mention his parents till he was face to face with Dumbledore.



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I don't know if that would justify Ron's prejudices toward Slytherins. He only feels that way, not just of what he has been taught/experienced, but also of how he understands/perceives that experience. I mean, Draco could be justified with a similar argument since his family (Auntie Bella and husband) were locked up in prison because of a pro-Muggleborn government (if he was raised to believe that what Bella did was alright, these would seem like injustices to him) and probably most, if not all, his family have been in Slytherin and he might not even have had experience with bloodtraitors/Muggleborns until Ron showed up and laughed at his name. This would be a valid argument, in that sense. Draco wouldn't be right in thinking this way but than neither would Ron. Their prejudices are based mainly on how they perceive and understand their world. I don't think either character had a very good understanding of their world.
I find this entire paragraph to be completely at odds with your previous paragraph. If Draco had any humane feeling for anyone he would know that Aunt Bella was a cold blooded murderer. How then could anyone feel that she in in prison unjustly? You might not like that a member of your family is in prison but if you know they are guilty, would a humane person really feel that they were there unjustly?

Quote:
I don't think that excuses anyone of having a prejudice viewpoint. It is important to point out that, at least, Ron seems to have gotten rid of some of his prejudices, but we don't know anything much about Draco's morals after/during the war.
I think as Ron grew up he outgrew his prejudices. I think this happens with quite a few people. Draco is the one who was unusual because he didn't outgrow any of his prejudices.


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I agree that Draco is close-minded but I don't know if him being open-minded would have contributed to him being less prejudice and a better person.
Again this seems to be a contradiction in terms. Being open-minded is being open to seeing things from the other person's point of view. This automatically makes anyone a better person IMO.

Quote:
Like Ron being open-minded allows him to understand the world beyond what he believes but that does not necessarily mean that Ron automatically would agree with everything.
Of course it doesn't. Ron has the ability to look at things from an another person's POV and decide for himself if he agrees or not. This is adult behaviour, again IMO.

Quote:
So Draco might have been open-minded and realized that Muggleborns are wizard/witches just like him but he might have still held that prejudice out of comfort; if the pure-bloods have control over the Muggleborns than life will be better for him. That makes it sound like Draco doesn't really have a moral agenda and honestly, I'm not sure if he does. He seems to do things purely if they are convienent for him. I think he learned that from his dad. And we know from Pottermore that the Malfoys switch their viewpoints based on what suits them in that time period. So I think that even if Draco were open-minded or agreed that Muggleborns were okay or wasn't a pureblood supremacist, I don't really think he'd be that better of a character.
As the last thing IMo Draco was was open-minded I kinda think that he would never have let himself believe that he was wrong in is bigotry. You say it here, he found comfort in his beliefs. He didn't want to believe that he was a cowardly mean-spirited little person IMO, so he believed that all of that didn't count because he was a Malfoy.


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Old July 12th, 2013, 7:46 pm
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Re: Draco Malfoy: Character Analysis v.2

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Originally Posted by MsJPotter View Post
I find this entire paragraph to be completely at odds with your previous paragraph. If Draco had any humane feeling for anyone he would know that Aunt Bella was a cold blooded murderer. How then could anyone feel that she in in prison unjustly? You might not like that a member of your family is in prison but if you know they are guilty, would a humane person really feel that they were there unjustly?
I meant that he had humane feelings towards his parents but not towards other people outside of his family so he might have been taught to believe Bella's murder wasn't such a big deal.

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Again this seems to be a contradiction in terms. Being open-minded is being open to seeing things from the other person's point of view. This automatically makes anyone a better person IMO.

Of course it doesn't. Ron has the ability to look at things from an another person's POV and decide for himself if he agrees or not. This is adult behaviour, again IMO.
If he had been open-minded, it would have made him better at understanding people. But as you mentioned, Ron, who is open-minded, would still be able to decide for himself if he agreed with another's point of view or not so if Draco also had that ability, he might have decided that he just didn't agree with the other side's POV. IMO that wouldn't have made him much better.


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Old July 14th, 2013, 6:53 pm
ShadowSonic  Male.gif ShadowSonic is offline
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Re: Draco Malfoy: Character Analysis v.2

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Originally Posted by asdfasdf17 View Post
If he had been open-minded, it would have made him better at understanding people. But as you mentioned, Ron, who is open-minded, would still be able to decide for himself if he agreed with another's point of view or not so if Draco also had that ability, he might have decided that he just didn't agree with the other side's POV. IMO that wouldn't have made him much better.
That actually sounds like it would've made him more three-dimensional, though still not a good person (like you said).

A lot of the villains in this series (including Draco) do come off as rather 2-D or even 1-D a lot of the time.


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Old August 22nd, 2013, 4:36 am
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Re: Draco Malfoy: Character Analysis v.2

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Originally Posted by MsJPotter View Post
I might be impressed by that if I thought for one moment that Draco had any kind of humane/strong feelings that didn't circle around him. And I would believe that he was worried about his parents if he hadn't been heard whining to Myrtle that 'He' would be killed if he didn't murder Dumbledore. He didn't mention his parents till he was face to face with Dumbledore.
That's a good point. In private - or what he thought was private - Draco's concern was for himself rather than either of his parents. There is also the fact that there was no threat to any of their lives initially. When Draco was given the assignment to kill Dumbledore, it was presented as an honor. Narcissa knew there was a threat because she didn't believe Draco could succeed and knew that Voldemort expected him to fail. She figured out that Voldemort chose Draco to punish Lucius. Draco was not aware of that at the time and was proud to have been chosen for the task of murdering Dumbledore. All Draco saw was an opportunity for glory and fame. It wasn't until he realized that it was not going to be as easy as he originally thought to fix the vanishing cabinet that Draco began to worry. The longer that took - the more Draco worried. However, Voldemort did not actually threaten Draco until the school year was almost over - Harry heard Draco telling Myrtle about the threat in the bathroom. Draco's attempts to kill Dumbledore without any risk to himself were taking too long for Voldemort's liking - and the two failed attempts had drawn too much attention with Katie and Ron nearly being killed.

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I think as Ron grew up he outgrew his prejudices. I think this happens with quite a few people. Draco is the one who was unusual because he didn't outgrow any of his prejudices.
To some extent - there were still doubts about Slytherin house even in the epilogue. That will likely always be true because of Slytherin's reputation and the fact that there was some basis for it. The prejudice against muggles and muggleborns did start with Salazar Slytherin and it was proven during Harry's time at Hogwarts that he actually did build a secret chamber and hide a monster in it that was trained to kill muggleborns. Voldemort had been in Slytherin and the majority of the Death Eaters that Harry encounters were in Slytherin. I think Pettigrew was actually the only exception that was shown - and he was blackmailed into becoming a Death Eater with threats to his life. Likewise, nearly all of the Slytherins that Harry encountered while he was at Hogwarts were horrible and were constantly doing bad things - cheating, attacking other students, the Inquisitor Squad, etc... The only exception shown there was in the end when some of the Slytherins - none of which Harry had interacted with and remain unnamed even now - went with Slughorn to gather reinforcements to fight against Voldemort. Even Slughorn had his bad moments with his prejudice against muggleborns and favoritism towards students that he felt were more skilled or better connected. Slytherin house earned its bad reputation and that's not something that will change overnight, IMO.

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As the last thing IMo Draco was was open-minded I kinda think that he would never have let himself believe that he was wrong in is bigotry. You say it here, he found comfort in his beliefs. He didn't want to believe that he was a cowardly mean-spirited little person IMO, so he believed that all of that didn't count because he was a Malfoy.
I wouldn't say that Draco was open minded, but I do agree that he made his own choices and is responsible for them. Whatever his parents taught him, Draco had other examples in his life that revealed his parents were wrong. Draco chose to continue believing that muggleborns were inferior in spite of seeing for himself that they were not because he wanted to believe that being pure-blood and carrying the Malfoy automatically made him superior to others. Draco never saw himself as cowardly - he saw himself as superior and above doing menial tasks. That's what minions like Crabbe and Goyle were for. Draco avoided making friends with or associating too much with anyone he could actually consider an equal because he wanted to maintain that superiority. Minions like Crabbe and Goyle were easier to boss around than someone like Theodore Nott.

Draco was taught to expect everything to be handed to him on a silver platter and, even when they lose everything, Draco continues to believe that everything should be handed to him on a silver platter simply because he's a pure-blood and a Malfoy. He never really gives up trying to get back into Voldemort's good graces to regain the respect and power he believes is owed to his family. His final act in the story was an attempt to capture Harry and hand him over to Voldemort personally because he believed that would fix everything - which begs the question of whether his earlier reluctance to identify the trio stemmed from the realization that Bellatrix was not going to let Lucius take credit for it or the fact that he wanted the credit all for himself. Either way, I think Draco was motivated entirely by what he considered most beneficial to himself.


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  #77  
Old October 3rd, 2013, 1:49 am
LadySylvia  Female.gif LadySylvia is offline
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Re: Draco Malfoy: Character Analysis v.2

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Draco was taught to expect everything to be handed to him on a silver platter and, even when they lose everything, Draco continues to believe that everything should be handed to him on a silver platter simply because he's a pure-blood and a Malfoy. He never really gives up trying to get back into Voldemort's good graces to regain the respect and power he believes is owed to his family.

I don't agree. I suspect that Draco's actions in DH were more about protecting his family from Voldemort's displeasure and rage than any sense of privilege. And yet, he refused to identify Harry to his Aunt Bellatrix and other Death Eaters at his family home. He was reluctant to identify Hermione. He tried to stop Goyle and Crabbe from killing Harry in the RoR. Draco struck me as a conflicted, yet flawed character. Which are usually among the most interesting kind.


Also, I have come across articles and posts on other message boards that accused Draco of cowardice for his inability to kill Dumbledore. I find that . . . odd.


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Old September 13th, 2016, 10:59 am
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Re: Draco Malfoy: Character Analysis v.2

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Originally Posted by meesha1971 View Post
That's a good point. In private - or what he thought was private - Draco's concern was for himself rather than either of his parents.
Moaning Myrtle is not private, she is a far bigger blabbermouth then Dumbledore, she has shown this at every point in this story. I can't even fathom how their liaison in the girl's bathroom came about, I really don't see why we should put their interactions as THE insight into Draco's head above all else.

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There is also the fact that there was no threat to any of their lives initially.
We don't need to hear him say to assume Draco is aware that you can't say "no" to Lord Voldemort. Or that they were severe consequences for failure.

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The only exception shown there was in the end when some of the Slytherins - none of which Harry had interacted with and remain unnamed even now - went with Slughorn to gather reinforcements to fight against Voldemort.
I don't see "Harry didn't interact with them" as an explanation. Harry sees Slughorn's reinforcements and tells us of their composition. In his eyes they look the friends and family of the students that remained to fight, which definitely excludes any Slytherin. If Rowling's late statements override this, if the explanation is that Harry is so prejudiced that he is blind to children in Slytherin robes running right in front of him if it suggests a sympathetic context then maybe Zabini is among them. Why not?

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Draco never saw himself as cowardly - he saw himself as superior and above doing menial tasks.
You know this how? You have insight into what was going through Malfoy's head when he dared Harry to a duel then decided to not show up and go to Filch instead, or when the Dementors boarded the train?

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That's what minions like Crabbe and Goyle were for. Draco avoided making friends with or associating too much with anyone he could actually consider an equal because he wanted to maintain that superiority. Minions like Crabbe and Goyle were easier to boss around than someone like Theodore Nott. Draco was taught to expect everything to be handed to him on a silver platter and, even when they lose everything, Draco continues to believe that everything should be handed to him on a silver platter simply because he's a pure-blood and a Malfoy. He never really gives up trying to get back into Voldemort's good graces to regain the respect and power he believes is owed to his family. His final act in the story was an attempt to capture Harry and hand him over to Voldemort personally because he believed that would fix everything - which begs the question of whether his earlier reluctance to identify the trio stemmed from the realization that Bellatrix was not going to let Lucius take credit for it or the fact that he wanted the credit all for himself. Either way, I think Draco was motivated entirely by what he considered most beneficial to himself.
His final act in the story was saving Goyle's life at his own risk and lamenting Crabbe's death, even though they turned on him and nearly got him killed. Suggesting that maybe, just maybe, he did see them as friends.


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Old September 13th, 2016, 5:58 pm
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Re: Draco Malfoy: Character Analysis v.2

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Originally Posted by Emperor_Gestahl View Post

I don't see "Harry didn't interact with them" as an explanation. Harry sees Slughorn's reinforcements and tells us of their composition. In his eyes they look the friends and family of the students that remained to fight, which definitely excludes any Slytherin. If Rowling's late statements override this, if the explanation is that Harry is so prejudiced that he is blind to children in Slytherin robes running right in front of him if it suggests a sympathetic context then maybe Zabini is among them. Why not?
JKR must have gotten a lot of negative feedback regarding her comment that some Slytherins had returned with Slughorn because her final statement was that the Slytherins didn't fight against Voldemort 'for their own reasons'. (Perhaps she even re-read the page about who left and who returned!)


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Old September 28th, 2016, 5:48 am
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Re: Draco Malfoy: Character Analysis v.2

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Originally Posted by Emperor_Gestahl View Post
You know this how? You have insight into what was going through Malfoy's head when he dared Harry to a duel then decided to not show up and go to Filch instead, or when the Dementors boarded the train?
In SS, when Draco joined Harry, Hermione and Neville on a detention into the forest with Hagrid, he said "this is servant's work" and added that he expected to be doing "lines." He was obviously scared to death of going into the forest.

As for the duel challenge, I think Hermione made Draco's motivations quite clear. He wanted Harry to be caught out of bounds and expelled from school; this silly duel (which Malfoy never intended to engage) was merely the means for getting Harry and Ron to leave Gryffindor Tower late at night. Malfoy was really chickenhearted by nature - a coward for sure, but also convinced of his own superiority by virtue of his status as a pureblood.

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Originally Posted by Emperor_Gestahl
His final act in the story was saving Goyle's life at his own risk and lamenting Crabbe's death, even though they turned on him and nearly got him killed. Suggesting that maybe, just maybe, he did see them as friends.
I think you're right about this one, although I don't believe he came around to seeing them truly as friends until after he joined Voldemort and was given the assignment to kill Dumbledore. Draco was always a coward - one who came to school with two bodyguards (i.e., servants) to do his fighting for him. After he pledged with Voldemort, I doubt he had ever felt so alone in his young life and their friendship likely became more valuable to him.


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