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Old February 4th, 2007, 1:03 pm
Sharky  Female.gif Sharky is offline
Fifth Year
Join Date: 08th June 2005
Location: UK
Age: 33
Posts: 798
Re: Merope Gaunt: Character Analysis

1. Merope was called a squib by her father Marvolo. Do you think that she might have been a real squib or did her father just called her this name as a form of mental abuse?
I'm going to agree with everyone else that Merope wasn't a squib. I just think the intense pressure she was under made her make mistakes. It is like Neville in potions. When Snape is there and bullying him, he messes up. But during the OWL exams, when Snape isn't present, Harry notes that Neville looks much happier than he does in their potions classes.

2. Falling in love with Tom Riddle Sr proved to be a decisive event in Merope’s life. Via a love potion she manages to "trick" Riddle Sr into marrying her. Later when she is pregnant, she stops feeding him love potion. What could be the reason for stopping with the potion?
I think she probably thought that as she was having his child, that would be enough to keep him there. Perhaps she thought he would be excited about the baby and would grow to love her of his own volition in time. Or maybe she came to realise that forcing someone to love her was cruel and she just decided to stop doing it.

3. Riddle Sr abandons Merope and she moves to London. Being poor forces her to sell Slytherin's Locket for 10 galleons. She needs the money, but why doesn’t she use magic to provide for food?
She was probably in quite a lot of distress. She had nobody to turn to and I suppose the stress of everything she was going through, weakened her powers again. Also, surely magic can't be used for everything otherwise the wizarding world wouldn't need money would they? So she must have needed it for some things, such as paying for a place to stay. Also, I seem to remember it being said that things conjured from thin air disappear after a while. So even if she was capable of the magic, it isn't really practical having to keep conjuring up your belongings every few hours!

4. After arriving on the doorstep of the Muggle orphanage Merope dies shortly after giving birth to Tom Riddle Jr. Why does she make the choice to die instead of using her magical abilities to save herself and be a mother to her baby?
In my opinion, this was one of two things. Firstly, I think perhaps she was just utterly broken and defeated and she didn't have the mental or physical strength to carry on. Life was so hard for her anyway and a baby was going to make it so much harder. Death was a relief/release from the suffering that she had never been able to escape from in life. A second possibility is that she didn't see any worth in her baby. I know that sounds really cruel but it is possible that the baby symbolised her abusive family, the man who never loved her of his own will and then abandoned her, and also her own failings. Perhaps she just couldn't bear the thought that her son would grow up to be as repulsive as her own father or as cold and cruel as his father.

5. Merope herself was raised in a family that hated 'Mud bloods' and believed in the supremacy of 'Pure bloods'. If she had survived giving birth to her son, would she have raised him in a different way then she has been raised herself?
I think it is a definite possibility. She obviously didn't have the same prejudices as her father because she fell in love with a muggle.

6. Could Merope have prevented Voldemort from becoming the most feared wizard alive, if she had lived and loved him?
Again, I think it is a possibility. Choice is a major theme in the series, so if Merope had made a different choice, perhaps her child would have made different choices too.

7. To conclude, what is your opinion on Merope's character?
I feel so sorry for her. Her life was so tragic. Even when she was with Tom Riddle Sr, I doubt she was truly happy, because she knew his love wasn't real. It's so, so sad!

Question four has got me thinking about something else! Just why did Merope name her son Tom Marvolo Riddle? Did she still love Tom Riddle Sr, even after he had abandoned her? If someone had done that to me, I'd have hated them! Also, why did she name him after her father too? I can't imagine her doing it out of love and respect for him. Like I said in my answer to question four, did she perhaps see no hope in her baby? She had no reason to believe that her son would be any different to anyone else in her life. Is it possible that she gave him those names because she thought he would be the same as them and also as she never seemed to have an impact on anybody in her life, perhaps she didn't think she could do anything to stop him from becoming like them. If that is the case, then Tom Riddle Jr didn't really stand a chance did he?!

Last edited by Sharky; February 4th, 2007 at 9:14 pm. Reason: Removed a sentence that didn't make sense and corrected two mistakes.
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