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-   -   Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2 (http://www.cosforums.com/showthread.php?t=113187)

62442al_Man October 21st, 2007 8:18 pm

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Jessica (Post 4818507)
My impression is that they were possibly more than friends at Hogwarts and that they likely got back together later in life. IMO the press treats Doge almost like the widow in interviews.

I disagree, I dont think that Grindelwald never shared the same feelings that Dumbledore did, hence why JKR makes that statement about blind love.

kingwidgit October 21st, 2007 8:32 pm

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ugacpa (Post 4819702)
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.

Dumbledore, despite his utter brilliance, was a flawed person. No one in HP was wholly good, pure, and perfect.

I see JKs answer from a different point of view. To me she wasn't justifying Dumbledore's hesitation to act against Grindelwald at all. Instead she was saying that Dumbledore was in love, and while in love he made excuses and turned a blind eye and deaf ears to the rumors about Grindelwald---until the fight that ended with his sister's death.
JKs New York InterviewDumbledore fell in love with Grindelwald, and that that added to his horror when Grindelwald showed himself to be what he was. To an extent, do we say it excused Dumbledore a little more because falling in love can blind us to an extent? But, he met someone as brilliant as he was, and rather like Bellatrix he was very drawn to this brilliant person, and horribly, terribly let down by him.
This is definitely in line with canon:
DH, King's Cross"Oh, I had a few scruples. I assuaged my conscience with empty words."
***
"Did I know, in my heart of hearts, what Gellert Grindelwald was? I think I did, but I closed my eyes."
***
"The Resurrection Stone---to him, though I pretended not to know it, it meant an army of Inferi!"
***
"Reality returned in the form of my rough, unlettered, and infinitely more admirable brother. I did not want to hear the truths he shouted at me. I did not want to hear that I could not set forth to seek Hallows with a fragile and unstable sister in tow."
***
"Grindelwald lost control. That which I always sensed in him, though I pretended not to know, now sprang into terrible being."
***
"Well, Grindelwald fled, as any but I could have predicted."
According to canon, it was shame and fear---of not knowing whether he was responsible for the death of his sister or not---that kept him from acting against Grindelwald.

anabel October 21st, 2007 10:25 pm

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by lushesx3 (Post 4818802)
used to wonder a bit whether his trust of Snape came from some kind of secret relationship between them.

That would be in direct contradiction of Snape being motivated wholly by his love for Lily.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jessica (Post 4818883)
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.

That is amazing. It would be more likely under normal circumstances, for Dumbledore's bad experience with Grindelwald to convince him that love = weakness!

GriseldatheGood October 21st, 2007 11:13 pm

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by mwbashful18 (Post 4818462)
One thing I would think is possible, given the intolerance and prejudice she explores within the books regarding half-bloods and pure-bloods and such, is whether the wizarding community at large knew of Dumbledore as a gay figure, and perhaps in OotP, some of the bits where Dumbledore is dragged through the mud by the Ministry were reflections on this fact? I mean, I recall Skeeter mentioning either in DH or OotP, as well as the Daily Prophet and their rubbish in OotP, something about whether Dumbledore's relationship with Harry was "unhealthy" or something. Many of the articles in OotP where the Ministry tries to sway the wizarding community against Dumbledore and Harry seem to suggest, now, that perhaps Dumbledore's sexuality was known to say Fudge and it was his smear campaign to suggest that the wizened Albus was a pedophile of sorts. I mean, it all certainly smells of such discrimination and contempt if we read it that way. Again, we did not know this information during OotP so it was just a plain smear campaign within the framework of the story, but adding this layer of characterization makes that part of OotP stand out more now, as well as the hooplah surrounding Dumbledore in DH and Skeeter's book, and Elphias Doge's role as well.

I've been reading about Oscar Wilde recently and, doing the math, I realized that Dumbledore grew up in Victorian Britain, a culture in which, hypocritically, homosexuality was both taboo/illegal and widely but covertly practiced among adolescent males in boarding schools. If he ever did come out as a young man to colleagues, it would have been quite a brave thing to do! However, we don't know if Victorian-era wizard culture was the same as muggle culture. Do you think he did an Oscar Wilde and went to Azkaban for his lifestyle, or stayed closeted to all but his closest friends, or perhaps lived in a more tolerant society?

Rell October 22nd, 2007 12:03 am

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by GriseldatheGood (Post 4819969)
Do you think he did an Oscar Wilde and went to Azkaban for his lifestyle, or stayed closeted to all but his closest friends, or perhaps lived in a more tolerant society?

If there had been a scandal concerning Dumbledore's orientation, I feel absolutely sure that Rita Skeeter would have had it documented and that Auntie Muriel would have relayed it.

wickedwickedboy October 22nd, 2007 12:21 am

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
Unless JKR says differently, imo the wizard world is compeltely tolerant of all relationships and does not place the stigma on various relationships like the muggles do. That is my optimistic view. :) So in my opinion, Dumbledore would not have had to hide his sexual proclivity or have had to face any recriminations from society in that regard. Thus I don't feel that it affected his character overall.

HagridsSecret October 22nd, 2007 12:23 am

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
Besides possibly Atticus Finch, Dumbledore is my all-time favorite fictional character. However, I feel as if Rowling might have tarnished his legacy as almost a 'publicity stunt'. Not that I feel that him being homosexual ruins the wisdom of his words and courage of his actions, but to pull the carpet out from under all the readers after the series is OVER is a serious mistreatment of us, the fans. It's not the same shock that came after he died, it is much different. It's more like a "are you kiddin me?"

Jessica October 22nd, 2007 12:26 am

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
Just to keep it clear this is a thread for analysis of Dumbledore's character. Your reaction to his homosexuality belongs here: Homosexuality in Harry Potter. We'll also have a thread up in the next 24 hours about JKR's decision to out Dumbledore :)

birdi86 October 22nd, 2007 5:06 am

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
Quote:

Not that I feel that him being homosexual ruins the wisdom of his words and courage of his actions, but to pull the carpet out from under all the readers after the series is OVER is a serious mistreatment of us, the fans. It's not the same shock that came after he died, it is much different. It's more like a "are you kiddin me?"
Speak for yourself. I don't feel mistreated and neither do my friends who were into the series. I had kind of assumed there was something more than friendship between Grindelwald and Dumbledore from DH, this interview just proved me right.

And if it doesn't matter... then why should it matter? It's not like there was any evidence in the books that Dumbledore was heterosexual, unless one assumes that everyone is straight.

wicked87 October 22nd, 2007 6:45 am

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by snuka (Post 4819710)
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.

I agree, i think Harry definitely deserved more information. I understand why Snape was given the most info, and i think he deserved all the knowledge he was given, and I don't think Dumbledore should have used Snape the way he did. I was pretty mad at DD after I learned what he did to Snape.

Belgarath2 October 22nd, 2007 4:26 pm

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
[response to deleted post removed - off topic]
Anyway, the news about Dumbledore doesn't change my opinion of his character, I still love him, although I'm a bit annoyed that a fanfic I wrote about him being young and in love with a young lady is now irrelevant (actually the whole of DH did that to my story!).
I think he is someone who made mistakes in his youth as everyone does, but he paid a rather bigger price than most people, ie. the loss of his sister. But he grew up to be extremely wise and noble, and realises that love can be a good thing - that of Snape for Lily making him redeem his death eater ways.
When I read that bit from Rita about his relationship with Harry being unhealthy, I knew what she was getting at; but I do not see it in that way whatsoever.

jammi567 October 22nd, 2007 8:21 pm

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
What i don't get about the guy is why he trusted Snape, simply because he loved Lily. I mean, i wouldn't trust somebody solely on the basis of that.

Xaquin October 22nd, 2007 8:30 pm

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by jammi567 (Post 4820953)
What i don't get about the guy is why he trusted Snape, simply because he loved Lily. I mean, i wouldn't trust somebody solely on the basis of that.

or also, in the light that he 'loved Grindelvald' and he did DD wrong (I suppose), why then would he trust Snapes love for Lily?

Yoana October 22nd, 2007 8:31 pm

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
But he stored a lot by love, it was his greatest belief and value. Plus he saw Snape felt real remorse. And as we saw, he was right to trust him.

Artemis_Fowl_2 October 22nd, 2007 8:46 pm

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by jammi567 (Post 4820953)
What i don't get about the guy is why he trusted Snape, simply because he loved Lily. I mean, i wouldn't trust somebody solely on the basis of that.

Dumbledore believed love was a very powerful thing. He thought that Harry's ability to love was the power Voldemort did not have according to the prophecy. My guess is that this belief is what made him believe Snape.

arithmancer October 22nd, 2007 9:15 pm

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
Albus Dumbledore had more reasons than just Snape's love for Lily to trust him. Initially, after their first meeting, I don't necessarily think he did trust Snape. He may well have taken a wait and see attitude. The potential cost of carefully starting to use Snape as a spy was clearly outweighed by the enormous benefit having a Death Eater spy would provide, if Snape proved to be for real.

After months and later years of working with Snape, though, I think it was entirely reasonable for him to develop that trust. We don't know of an instance in which Snape betrayed it, in sixteen years.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Xaquin (Post 4820966)
or also, in the light that he 'loved Grindelvald' and he did DD wrong (I suppose), why then would he trust Snapes love for Lily?

I think Dumbledore may have come to understand that he loved Grindelwald more than Grindelwald loved him back. So the fact that Grindelwald did him wrong, does not provide an example of someone who truly loves, and is evil to the object of his love at the same time.

Also, in a way Dumbledore probably saw himself as like Snape in having this unrequited love, but as Snape's opposite in terms of the effect it had on them. Dumbledore overlooked a dark streak he saw in Grindelwald and his led to his own involvement int he death of his sister. Snape, on the other hand, was in love with someone who did not lead him astray - on the contrary, his love for her motivated him to rethink the very dark course he had chosen for his life and try to make up for it.

anabel October 22nd, 2007 9:45 pm

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by zgirnius (Post 4821056)
Also, in a way Dumbledore probably saw himself as like Snape in having this unrequited love, but as Snape's opposite in terms of the effect it had on them. Dumbledore overlooked a dark streak he saw in Grindelwald and his led to his own involvement int he death of his sister. Snape, on the other hand, was in love with someone who did not lead him astray - on the contrary, his love for her motivated him to rethink the very dark course he had chosen for his life and try to make up for it.

I wonder if Grindelwald loved Dumbledore, but like Snape, was too blinded by his ambition to realise that what he was doing was not only wrong but would lose him his love? Then, after years of imprisonment, Grindelwald tried to hinder Voldemort - he even mocked him. Did Grindelwald realise that he had done wrong just as Snape did?

eatus_Benevol1 October 23rd, 2007 3:17 am

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? I see Dumbledore as more jovial and amusing in the first few books; his complex personality and his admiration/love for Harry increases through the series.

2. Throughout the books, Dumbledore seems to always be teaching Harry something, but his lessons are sometimes hidden and subtle. What do you believe are the most important lessons Dumbledore taught Harry?I think Dumbledore wanted Harry to learn to believe in himself & his abilities through the tasks he accomplished, accompanied by Dumbledore's and some of Harry's peers word's of praise and appreciation (something Harry never experienced living with the Dursleys). Is there anything you think Dumbledore should have told Harry before he died?I think he gave Harry what he needed to know - he taught Harry to reason and think through things.

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 think DH did a great job of explaining the reason for a lot of the complexity to DD's character, and why he felt such empathy towards those students who were "different" or were not from a pureblood or well to do family.

4. Why do you think Dumbledore and Grindelwald were friends? How did Dumbledore's homosexuality affect his susceptibility to Grindelwald's ideas? I think the two were drawn by their intellects and by their eager desire and curiosity to be on the Deathly Hallows "quest" - sort of like the search for the Holy Grail. Perhaps DD's sexual desires/relationship with Grindelwald clouded his ability to see that the two of them supported different means to accomplish the same goal.

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 think all of the above - we all have "burdens" or "challenges" in our life that we don't feel compelled to tell the whole world; but that doesn't mean that these happenings or experiences can't make us stronger and a better person for having lived through or with them

6. What do you think of Dumbledore's recognition of his own failings? His decision not to enter the Ministry? Even though we now know about Dumbledore's relationship with Grindelwald, I still feel in my heart of hearts that the reason DD didn't accept the MOM position was because he blamed himself for his sister's death; and he blamed his head over heels infatuation/love for Grindelwald for blinding him to the neglect he had for his sister that summer

7. Do you think Dumbledore expected too much from Harry?Not at all Did he do the right thing? Was it fair to ask Harry to sacrifice himself? I don't think DD asked any more of Harry than he did himself - after all, Dumbledore didn't have to let Draco disarm him, but he chose to, in effect, sacrificing himself.

8. Does the revelation of his homosexuality ultimately affect his character? What actions, if any, do you see differently now? I think it adds yet another facet to his very deep character; I also think it helps explain why he chose to focus all his energies and drive in later years on pursuing the "common good" in his own way; if Grindewald was his only real love in life, he took all that sexual, psychic, emotional energy and focused on righting wrongs and fighting evil for the rest of his life.

MC2456 October 23rd, 2007 8:11 am

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by jammi567 (Post 4820953)
What i don't get about the guy is why he trusted Snape, simply because he loved Lily. I mean, i wouldn't trust somebody solely on the basis of that.

Their situations are similar, and therefore, I think this is one of the reasons why Dumbledore trusted Snape. Both had loved and lost, in a different way, but still having the same emotions.

Also, Dumbledore has always regarded love not as a emotion, but a force that binds people together; a power that can overcome evil. While he is intelligent and stuff, I believe he looks with his heart instead of his eyes for certain situations...and that is probably why he trusts Snape.

ginnyluv October 23rd, 2007 11:15 am

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
He was careless of his poor little sister though...so sad i hate that she died


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