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Harry Potter: Character Analysis



 
 
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  #761  
Old June 20th, 2007, 12:19 am
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Re: Harry Potter: Character Analysis

I think Harry has terribly strong feelings about his mother, so strong that he can't bear to deal with them. Poor Harry, like many of these characters, could do with counseling to help him deal with deep emotional trauma. Possibly his 'saving people thing' is directly related to his feelings about Lily saving his life.

It's easier for him to thimk about his father, I imagine, especially since what he knows of his father is filtered through Sirius and Lupin, who seem to be very careful what they say about James, and never really talk about James as Harry's father.

When Harry thinks of Lily, she's his mother first, and he's surprised in SWM to see her as a teenage girl. But in that memory, it's easier for him to see his father as James, friend of Sirius, Remus and Lupin first, and his father later.


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  #762  
Old June 20th, 2007, 12:22 am
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Re: Harry Potter: Character Analysis

I agree - it has to be an intention delay left for DH because we know Harry is a curious person by nature. Surely he would have questioned about his parents in detail long time ago? Especially when he was surrounded by people who knew his parents?

At the same time, I agree with Sly_Lady. Harry has some trouble dealing with death as we saw in OotP - he did not like talking about Sirius's death and one reason might be because it was so fresh in his mind - so I think it's pretty natural for Harry to hesitate going upto someone and start asking about his long deceased mother.


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  #763  
Old June 20th, 2007, 12:25 am
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Re: Harry Potter: Character Analysis

I also agree with Sly Lady plus Harry has always been told not to ask questions.


  #764  
Old June 20th, 2007, 12:26 am
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Re: Harry Potter: Character Analysis

Excellent point about Harry viewing James as anything but his father, Sly Lady.
By this point, I think Harry has set up his own idea of who his parents were, and it's a pretty gilded view. For Lily and James to be perceived as actual parents, who tell you to go to your room if you've been bad and make sure you're keeping up with your schoolwork, would probably damage the image Harry has built up of them. It makes them merely human and authority figures at that.


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  #765  
Old June 20th, 2007, 2:10 am
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Re: Harry Potter: Character Analysis

You're right, ignisia, Harry's seen what loving parents are like and he wishes he had what the Weasley kids have, a stable home with parents who are there for their kids. He may imagine his parents being like Arthur and Molly, but he has no conscious memory of them.

He does know what it is to be loved though. He wouldn't be such a loving person if he'd never experienced love, would he? He certainly didn't feel love from Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon.

Harry had over a year with his parents who loved him. He may not consciously remember them , but the memory of being loved is there.

Mothers often do the majority of caring for an infant, so the bond between Harry and Lily was deep. We know that Lily's love for her son was amazingly powerful, and I think he's been unable to think too deeply about her because fears that his grief would consume him even after all those years. Some wounds are too deep for healing.


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Old June 20th, 2007, 6:20 pm
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Re: Harry Potter: Character Analysis

Quote:
Originally Posted by mugglesrock View Post
I agree - it has to be an intention delay left for DH because we know Harry is a curious person by nature. Surely he would have questioned about his parents in detail long time ago? Especially when he was surrounded by people who knew his parents?
I am not really sure if I would call Harry a curious person. Overall, he does not ask that much questions. He mostly asks questions that are LV-related. The basic information he needs to have to survive. But he does not really ask many questions about people, their feelings and their motives that are not LV-related. I think he might have a hesitancy to ask questions that are not absolutely relevant because the Dursleys basically have never allowed questions.

As for his supposed lack of curiosity regarding Lily: I agree that this is most likely a narrative reason. The big revelation is to come in DH. Apart from that, I can imagine that asking about Lily, who has sacrificed her life for him, is too painful. Sure, his father died as well, but he has not been given the chance to live and then decided to die to safe Harry.

Quote:
At the same time, I agree with Sly_Lady. Harry has some trouble dealing with death as we saw in OotP - he did not like talking about Sirius's death and one reason might be because it was so fresh in his mind - so I think it's pretty natural for Harry to hesitate going upto someone and start asking about his long deceased mother.


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  #767  
Old June 20th, 2007, 6:54 pm
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Re: Harry Potter: Character Analysis

I think that Harry's curiosity is selective, and he doesn't get curious about a whole lot of things, but once he is curious about something, he is obsessed and driven until he works things out. Like in CoS, the entire school wanted to know what was going on, but Harry was so driven that he wouldn't stop until he had all the answers.


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  #768  
Old June 20th, 2007, 11:07 pm
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Re: Harry Potter: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by alwaysme View Post
I also agree with Sly Lady plus Harry has always been told not to ask questions.
He was told not to ask questions by the Dursley's. He isn't under their influence most of the time and is allow to ask questions. He has friends who are willing to tell him.


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Old June 20th, 2007, 11:41 pm
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Re: Harry Potter: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by ignisia View Post
By this point, I think Harry has set up his own idea of who his parents were, and it's a pretty gilded view. For Lily and James to be perceived as actual parents, who tell you to go to your room if you've been bad and make sure you're keeping up with your schoolwork, would probably damage the image Harry has built up of them. It makes them merely human and authority figures at that.
I think you underestimate Harry, here. Molly does all those things, and that's what makes her such a mother figure to Harry (Arthur is rather more laid back, and Harry sees him more as an adult friend, like Lupin, than as a father-figure). Harry does have a rosy image of his parents, because people (with one notable exception) have nothing but good to say about them. And SWM came as a shock to him, and gave him a more nuanced image of his father. But it's a fact that kids secretly want their parents to tell them to do homework, and brush their teeth and stuff like that, because they know it means they care!


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  #770  
Old June 20th, 2007, 11:41 pm
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Re: Harry Potter: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by TENSHI View Post
He was told not to ask questions by the Dursley's. He isn't under their influence most of the time and is allow to ask questions. He has friends who are willing to tell him.

True but it probably spills over somewhat into Harrys life at Hogwarts, since it has become instilled in him. Also I am not sure Harry's friends can really tell him much about his parents. Perhaps other adult characters can and they have somewhat at least where James is concerned.


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Old June 20th, 2007, 11:43 pm
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Re: Harry Potter: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by TENSHI View Post
He was told not to ask questions by the Dursley's. He isn't under their influence most of the time and is allow to ask questions. He has friends who are willing to tell him.
But I think the habit of not asking questions is so deeply engrained in him, almost brainwashed, that it's hard to break now! I also think that Harry has a lot of long talks with people like Sirius and Remus off-page. After all, you can't fit every waking minute of 7 years into 7 books - a lot of stuff happens off-page!


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  #772  
Old June 21st, 2007, 12:01 am
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Re: Harry Potter: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by ronjalina View Post
I am not really sure if I would call Harry a curious person. Overall, he does not ask that much questions. He mostly asks questions that are LV-related. The basic information he needs to have to survive. But he does not really ask many questions about people, their feelings and their motives that are not LV-related. I think he might have a hesitancy to ask questions that are not absolutely relevant because the Dursleys basically have never allowed questions.
I agree to an extent but I don't think that asking questions sums up the meaning of curiosity. It's a part of it, yes, but I think there's more to it. For instance, once Harry is sceptical about something, he has the urge to find out more about it. If he sees something suspicious or new, he will go after it. One example would be in OotP when Harry was compelled to look into Snape's personal memory in the Pensieve. There are other instances when Harry cannot hold back his curiosity, and it isn't necessarily bad or immoral all the time, but I do categorize him as a curious person more than .. say a nosy person.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rell View Post
I think that Harry's curiosity is selective, and he doesn't get curious about a whole lot of things, but once he is curious about something, he is obsessed and driven until he works things out. Like in CoS, the entire school wanted to know what was going on, but Harry was so driven that he wouldn't stop until he had all the answers.
Another example would be in HBP when Harry wanted to find out about Draco and where he disappeared to. You sum it up really well - I completely agree.


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  #773  
Old June 23rd, 2007, 3:34 pm
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Re: Harry Potter: Character Analysis

Note: I know some of the stuff I say maybe repeatition (I haven't read any of the replies, though) because I may have the same views on Harry as any of the earlier posters have. But bear with me ks? Alright, let's go!

1. How do Harry's formative years with the Dursley's influence the person he is now? Would he be the same person if his parents had lived? If he had been sent to live with another wizarding family? If he had been sent to an orphanage like Tom Ridde?
The Dursleys have been rather abusive, and yes, sometimes we see that lack of confidence Harry has, eg. about the DA before it started. However, they have no influence at all on his character; he still care for his friends. I don't really think Harry would be the same person if James and Lily lived. He'd be much happier and more confident of himself. I don't think Dumbledore would risk that, what with the blood bond and all, sending him to another wizarding family would make Harry an easier target for Voldemort. Ditto.



2. When do we first see evidence of Harry's "saving people" thing? Is this a strength or a flaw? Will it help or hurt him in Book 7?
Ah, tough one...it can be both a strength and a flaw. It depends on which angle you look at. One, Harry is not afraid to risk his life for his friends. On the other hand, him risking his life due to saving someone, would be considered a flaw. Depends.

3. Harry's natural curiosity was stifled by the Dursleys. "Don't ask questions!" but it comes out it full force once he gets to Hogwarts. How does this curiosity serve him through the books? Has he truly lost it after Dumbledore's death or will it return as he hunts for the horcruxes?
Rather! His curiosty really helped him. I don't think he lost it. If not, he would not want to hunt for the Horcrux.


4. What do you think are Harry's greatest strenghs? What weaknesses will he have to overcome personally before he can defeat Voldemort?
Love! Of course love. Yes, he can fly well, yes, he can cast a Patronus (highly commendable for someone as young as himself), yes he cares for his friends, yes, he's intelligent, but if he didn't have love, he'd be like Voldemort, power-hungry and empty. As for weaknesses, it would be his rashness and hot-headedness. In Book 5, had he not been so rash, Sirius wouldn't have died. But that would make the book and plot boring wouldn't it?

5. How have each of the losses Harry has suffered helped to define who he is and what he must do now?

Dealing with those losses at a young age: his parents, his schoolmate, his godfather, and finally, his mentor and headmaster, has made Harry a strong young man. No longer does he have the wing of protection above him nor the reassurance of a mentor. He knows perfectly well that he has to charge ahead and kill the one man that caused him so much strife in his life.


6 Dumbledore tells him that his pure heart is what seperates him from Voldemort and his Death Eaters. What examples have we seen of this pure heart? Do you think that he will be able to maintain it while he searches for the horcruxes and deals with the loss of Dumbledore?

Haha, I like this question! Well, let's skip to book one, shall we? Philosopher's Stone. Voldemort says in that oh-so-scary voice to give him the stone, to join him. There's no good and evil, only power, Quirrel reaffirms. Had Harry not be of pure heart, he would, like Quirrel, join Voldemort. CoS: Had he not had his heart, he would not gone down to the Chamber to rescue Ginny. Yeah, it's logical to go down. But if he had not a pure heart, he would not even care for Ron, let alone Ron's sister. PoA: He sent a life-debted servant to Voldemort. GoF: He would've left Cedric and ran away. OoTP: Voldemort would have possesed him, like, immediately. HBP: He didn't want Ginny to be hurt, so breaks up with her. Of course he will maintain it. Look at what he's been through. If he stopped caring, he would have stopped long ago. But Harry's not like that. We all know he's a kind young man.

Well, that's it! I don't know what to write NEmore. Bye bye.


  #774  
Old July 9th, 2007, 3:41 pm
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Re: Harry Potter: Character Analysis

Any ideas or good explanations why Harry didn't tell Dumbledore about the upcoming Death Eater Mass Outbreak from Azkaban. He heard it twice a few hours before, once from Voldemort and later from Barty. I wonder why he could have forgotten such essential thing to tell and other things he mentioned.


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  #775  
Old July 9th, 2007, 6:55 pm
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Re: Harry Potter: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by TENSHI View Post
Any ideas or good explanations why Harry didn't tell Dumbledore about the upcoming Death Eater Mass Outbreak from Azkaban. He heard it twice a few hours before, once from Voldemort and later from Barty. I wonder why he could have forgotten such essential thing to tell and other things he mentioned.
Was Harry even aware how 'true' his visionary dreams were at that point in time? I have to watch out for it during my OotP re-read I am doing right now. Dumbledore was not so easily accessible for Harry during that year because Dumbledore distanced himself from Harry due to the connection.


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  #776  
Old July 9th, 2007, 6:55 pm
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Re: Harry Potter: Character Analysis

TENSHI, do you mind giving us references and/or quotes about what exactly happened here, because I'm not sure what exactly you're talking about, thanks.


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Old July 9th, 2007, 8:34 pm
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Re: Harry Potter: Character Analysis

Quote:
Originally Posted by TENSHI View Post
Any ideas or good explanations why Harry didn't tell Dumbledore about the upcoming Death Eater Mass Outbreak from Azkaban. He heard it twice a few hours before, once from Voldemort and later from Barty. I wonder why he could have forgotten such essential thing to tell and other things he mentioned.
He did. I take it you are talking about the end of GOF, when Voldemort tells Harry about his plans and followers. Barty does confirm this.

When Harry goes to Dumbledore’s office after Barty’s testimony he tells Dumbledore everything what happened. He incidentally tells it again against Rita next year.

And though Harry’s words are not on page (would be repetitive) we know that Dumbledore has heard what happened from Harry because he refers to the words Voldemort spoke and which are related by Harry in horcruxes.

In OOTP Harry realises that Voldemort is happy but he does not have prior knowledge about the reason of Voldemort’s happiness.


  #778  
Old July 10th, 2007, 1:34 am
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Re: Harry Potter: Character Analysis

Now see, I have always thought that Harry's view of what he saw in the pensieve a little strange. I would have cracked up if I saw my father holding snape upside down so that his greying underwear was exposed to the world. But overall, Harry has always seemed to ask the right questions and be just the right amount curious for his age. The older he got, the more inquisitive he got.


  #779  
Old July 10th, 2007, 7:03 pm
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Re: Harry Potter: Character Analysis

yeah i believe that harry is almost abnormally curious, like with his infatuation with finding out the mystery even if it means risking his life or his friends life, but the books would be horrible if he just said "well someone else will take care of it" right? i think he believes it is his duty to discover what ever needs to be discovered its the hero aspect coming out of him he has to be the one to save the day.


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  #780  
Old August 3rd, 2007, 7:52 pm
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Re: Harry Potter: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by wickedwickedboy View Post
But overall, Harry has always seemed to ask the right questions and be just the right amount curious for his age. The older he got, the more inquisitive he got.
He has had to. He always knew the path before him had something to do with a killer & himself. When you are tossed into a cmpletely different world, one you know nothing about "Filtch: you better have your wits about you". Harry has been more lucky than anything really.


 
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