Login  
 
 
Go Back   Chamber of Secrets > Harry Potter > The Stone > Legilimency Studies

Merope Gaunt: Character Analysis



Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old January 28th, 2007, 9:10 pm
gertiekeddle's Avatar
gertiekeddle  Female.gif gertiekeddle is offline
Eldest Gruff
 
Joined: 4986 days
Location: Öelda, et sinust ma hoolin
Age: 41
Posts: 5,234
Merope Gaunt: Character Analysis

Thousand Thanks to HesHPfan, who did all the work for this thread.




Merope Gaunt, discarded wife of Tom Riddle Sr, daughter of Marvolo Gaunt, descendant of Salazar Slytherin, but most importantly the woman who gave birth to Tom Riddle, later known as Voldemort or rather He Who Must Not Be Named.

She didn't have a happy life and died in miserable conditions. Merope made some courage decisions during her life time. What drove her to these choices?

Merope Gaunt Biography:    


  
HP LexiconEighteen-year-old Merope's hair is lank and dull and she has a "plain, pale, rather heavy face." Her eyes also gaze in opposite directions. Merope's father is extremely abusive to her and derisively calls her a "Squib" (and other dreadful things). It is no wonder that Harry observes that she looks "defeated." In addition to ragged clothing, Merope wears a heavy gold locket that her father claims belonged to Salazar Slytherin (HBP10).

Merope was intensely attracted to the wealthy Muggle Tom Riddle, but there were a couple problems. She knew her father would be violently opposed, and Tom saw her as an object of derision and disgust. However, after her brother and father were sent to Azkaban, Merope tricked Riddle into marrying her with a love potion. It is unknown why, but after she became pregnant she allowed the potion to wear off and Riddle abandoned her. Merope went to London, but was so destitute she sold her priceless gold locket to Caractacus Burke of Borgin & Burke's for a meager 10 galleons. Later she gave birth at a Muggle orphanage and died after naming her child Tom Marvolo Riddle.

Merope= Eyes or face turned (Greek). "The Pleiades are called seven in number, but only six can be seen. This reason has been advanced, that of the seven, six mated with immortals; the seventh was said to have been the wife of [mortal] Sisyphus ... On account of her other sisters she was placed among the constellations, but because she married a mortal, her star is dim."
  




Some questions to start:

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?

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?

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?

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?

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?

6. Could Merope have prevented Voldemort from becoming the most feared wizard alive, if she had lived and loved him?

7. To conclude, what is your opinion on Merope's character?



Please remember that this is a discussion thread. Criticism of the character should be constructive. There will be no character bashing. Posts considered to be bashing may be deleted by staff.


__________________
(Avatar by Alfonzo)


I don't want to live in a world
where the strong rules and the weak cower.
Harry Dresden.
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old January 28th, 2007, 9:44 pm
Chris's Avatar
Chris  Undisclosed.gif Chris is offline
Custodian of Hades Vault
 
Joined: 4442 days
Location: Monoc Securities
Posts: 4,653
Re: Merope Gaunt: Character Analysis

I think Merope is a fascinating character. In a way, she was a good person born into the wrong family. I think she is a witch, but that she was abused in a terrible way by her brother and father. The ability to concoct a love potion (or perform the Imperius curse) is to me proof that she was a witch. I think that if she had stayed alive for her son, Tom Riddle would have only ever been Tom Riddle. Or, he may have been a lot like Snape - a bit more of a follower rather than the absolute leader that he turned out to be.
I think that seeing how awful wizards can be (Morfin and Marvolo) made her want to live as a muggle. She saw a relatively decent man in Tom Riddle Sr (her perception), and in her mind muggles were better people than wizards. Therefore, even when she was in trouble, she used muggle means to try to get herself out of trouble.
Her death was not truly suicide, but I think that JK wrote an accurate portrayal of a "defeated" person who saw no reason to live. Harry's statement when he saw her was uncannily accurate, even for Harry. I think she thought it would be better for her son to grow up in an orphanage rather than to grow up with her, because she was already so defeated. In the grand scale she was wrong - it is hard to believe that Voldy would have been so terrible with her in the picture; after all, he turned out as evil as they come - but she had no way of knowing what her son would grow up to be.


Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old January 29th, 2007, 2:07 am
Hermeneutic  Undisclosed.gif Hermeneutic is offline
Third Year
 
Joined: 4589 days
Posts: 330
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?
As chparadise said, a love potion is out of a squib's league. She had talent, at least a little bit, but Marvolo saw only weakness in his Muggle-loving daughter and didn't give her credit for what she really was.

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?
An attack of conscience or, as I believe the book said, a fit of self delusion. If it was conscience, she didn't want to have to chain her husband down with a potion and thought he might warm up to her. If it's self delusion, she, after months of keeping him under, convinced herself that he'd love her without the potion. Either way, she was wrong. Maybe she hoped so much that her life with him would be good and different than the one at home that she let him come up from the love potion to make their lives better.

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?
A mix of self hatred and lack of knowledge. After getting abused and rejected all throughout her life, it's possible that magically conjuring food or the means to get food either never entered her mind as something she could do or she had no self confidence that she could pull it off. She didn't have a deathwish yet, as procuring funds at all indicates that she wanted to go on at least a little while longer. Also, considering her upbringing, I'm amazed that she managed a love potion at all. I'm guessing she never went to school, and probably wasn't educated much by her loathsome father. It's possible that his antipathy towards her only triggered later in life as she became twitterpated with Senor Riddle, and could thus have learned tricks from her father beforehand (actually, given that she has recognizable skill, this seems at least somewhat likely) and been shunned in later years. Maybe she never got around to learning stuff like that.

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?
Read the above answer, and also chparadise's. She may have simply given up at that point. The baby could go to an orphanage and she didn't have to try anymore. I don't think she did this out of hatred for the child, but probably hatred for herself. She was taught that she was nothing and had that lesson beaten into her by life and all those she met. And so, with the baby born and her life weakening, she gave up.

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?
Yes, if only by default. I think she would have been a "my childhood sucked so I'm going to try to make yours not suck" type of person rather than a "my childhood sucked so I'm gonna make yours suck too" type of person. Of course, she might've tried to force her unruly child to obey by drugging him, so who knows?

6. Could Merope have prevented Voldemort from becoming the most feared wizard alive, if she had lived and loved him?
Yes. If love really is one of if not the central theme in the story, then yes, a choice to hold on and raise her son in a loving way ought to have had a profound affect on him.

7. To conclude, what is your opinion on Merope's character?
Tragic. She had heritage, skills, and a slightly scary at times but still hopeful nature. Are there things that coulda/woulda/shoulda gone differently? Yes. She made some weird and silly decisions and ultimately gave birth to a monster. But it's tough to get down on her as some type of villain. She's sad and lamentable but also no one to be admired or looked up to.


Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old January 29th, 2007, 3:17 am
kierkegaard  Female.gif kierkegaard is offline
First Year
 
Joined: 4537 days
Location: Cloud9-accepted to grad school
Posts: 75
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 agree with the others who have said that the things we saw her do weren't possible for a squib. I think that she was constantly on edge because of abuse. I also seem to remember Dumbledore mentioning something to Harry about how prolonged bad situations like Merope's could potentially sap one's magical powers.

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?

She probably thought that he would go on loving her. It's the oldest misconception in the book. "If I get pregnant, he'll stay with me."

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 may be so miserable she's not capable.

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?

She may not have any magic, or she might have wanted to die. Dumbledore tells Harry that Voldemort's mother made a choice, just like his mother made a choice. Merope wasn't as brave/selfless/whatever as Lily, though I agree, it is difficult in our time and society to imagine a case in which a parent, especially a mother, wouldn't do absolutely anything for her child.

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 would have to think so, simply because she procreated with a Muggle. Not a muggle-born, but a MUGGLE. While I'm sure that there would be some residual effect of the way she was raised, she could never raise her child like she was raised because of who the child's father was--as long as he was alive/she was in love with him (completely disregarding his feelings about her, because that's what she did).

6. Could Merope have prevented Voldemort from becoming the most feared wizard alive, if she had lived and loved him?

Of course. Isn't it sickening? But then, JKR says that Snape was loved, and that he's more culpable than Voldy... so now what? Maybe, maybe not.

7. To conclude, what is your opinion on Merope's character?
She's just sad beyond belief. I agree with Hermeneutic about her strange decision-making, and I also don't think she's any kind of villain.

As an aside, does anybody recall a scene in which Voldemort talks about her? Nothing is coming to mind, but if there is one, I'd like to re-read it.


__________________
Kierkegaard

Mirror, Mirror on the wall, I am a Slytherin after all...
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old January 29th, 2007, 6:00 am
Nessy  Female.gif Nessy is offline
First Year
 
Joined: 5156 days
Posts: 71
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 agree with everyone about Merope's squib status being questionable and more to do with her fathers view of her than with reality.

Maybe Gaunt women have all been second class citizens within House Gaunt. Maybe as a woman Merope has the idea that even if she could do magic, she must not as it is not what generations of Gaunt women have ever done.


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?

If Merope is a cultural squib she may have a lot of screwy mixed up feelings regarding her father and brother. To fall in love with a muggle could be her one act of rebellion that keeps what personality she has, functional. But maybe once she had become Tom Riddle's wife she became profoundly unattracted towards her environment (deeply depressed) Riddle's purpose was to free Merope of her family but she then discovers that she cannot function outside of it.She is aware of the consequences of stopping the love potion but thanatos has her already in it's grip and she lets the events happen.

However after reading Hermeneutic's post which refreshed my memory re: the use of the word "self-delusion", I'm not so sure anymore. Self-delusion seems to imply she was so deeply in love with Tom Riddle that - desiring to be loved for herself, she stopped with the love potion ...hoping against hope ..and well...

Another thought is that Merope is truly a squib and she couldn't make a love potion to save herself. She merely stole a love concoction her father had made (or paid another witch to make some) and it ran out eventually.

By the way, If the potion actually changed Merope's appearance...Tom Riddle was probably under the impression his wife was someone completely different...and yikes! or maybe the potion was simply an elixer to render the poor sod priapic and insatiable vis a vis her. Once the magic seeped from Riddle's supernaturally alert body ...well yikes again.

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 is unable to perform magic because; all she knows is one love potion (or maybe not even that) or she is too depressed and wants to die. She sells the locket thinking money would be a better inheritance for her poor soon to be motherless babe than the Gaunt heirloom.

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?

All Merope wanted to do (or all she thought she deserved) was die.

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'm sure she would have wanted to.

6. Could Merope have prevented Voldemort from becoming the most feared wizard alive, if she had lived and loved him?

Love conquers all.

[b]7. To conclude, what is your opinion on Merope's character?

I have a great deal of sympathy for Merope. She is a tragic figure.



Last edited by Nessy; January 29th, 2007 at 6:03 am.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old February 1st, 2007, 6:50 pm
LilySkywalker  Female.gif LilySkywalker is offline
Second Year
 
Joined: 4993 days
Location: Georgia
Age: 37
Posts: 246
Re: Merope Gaunt: Character Analysis

This might be a stretch but I have to wonder if Merope right before she died magically willed it so Tom would have no trace of the Gaunts in his features. I know Dumbledore said she had stopped using magic but he also said he was just guessing


__________________
"It is our choices Harry, that show us what we truly are, far more than our abilities."
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old February 4th, 2007, 1:03 pm
Sharky  Female.gif Sharky is offline
Fifth Year
 
Joined: 5033 days
Location: UK
Age: 32
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.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old February 4th, 2007, 1:19 pm
Hes's Avatar
Hes  Female.gif Hes is offline
Embroidered by imaginatio
 
Joined: 5173 days
Location: One second out of sync
Age: 37
Posts: 5,979
Re: Merope Gaunt: Character Analysis

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharky View Post
Question three 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!
I think she never stopped loving Riddle Sr. That must have been the reason why she stopped with the potion and let him go away. She probably couldn't bear seeing him unhappy. I don't think Merope was really capable of hating anyone not even her family.

Quote:
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 three, 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?!
Maybe she did, deep in her heart, still love her father or she just named him after her father because it was a tradition in her family.

It could be possible that she really gave up on her son because she thought herself a worthless mother and that she couldn't raise him alone. But I think she gave up because her heart was broken and just couldn't bare that her son might remind him of her former lover and husband.


__________________


"I'm a leaf on the wind...watch how I soar."

"Chickens come home to roost."

"It's okay...I-I'm a leaf on the wind."


Loveliest Care Bear. Expert Sig Changer
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old February 4th, 2007, 4:52 pm
RemusLupinFan's Avatar
RemusLupinFan  Female.gif RemusLupinFan is offline
I want to believe
 
Joined: 5411 days
Location: The office in the basement
Posts: 5,897
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 believe she really was a witch- her father just called her that because of her waning magical powers due to unrequited love with Tom Riddle. Merope's father isn't exactly the type to tolerate anything less than his daughter being a powerful witch. The fact that she is a witch who was losing her powers due to extreme emotion is an important parallel to the situation with Tonks in the present day.

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?
Maybe she got tired of tricking him and wanted to make him love her without the potion. Since he'd lived with her for all those years under the influence of the love potion, I think the deception may have made her guilty that she had to keep drugging him in order for him to love her. So she may have stopped so that she could stop living a lie and perhaps have a real marriage with real love.

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?
Maybe her powers dropped even lower once Riddle left her so that she was reduced to the equivalent of a true Squib. Having the person she loved all this time abandon her couldn't have been good for her powers, especially if she somewhat lost them when she was pining after him the first time. Also, I wonder if she'd sort of lost the will to live with him gone.

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?
As I mentioned above, I think Merope lost the will to live. If this is true, I think this may have a been a bit selfish of Merope to give upon herself and her child. It couldn't have been easy to lose the person she loved, but I humbly believe she could have been stronger for her newborn child. Though that's not to say I don't understand why she may have chosen death over a life without Riddle.

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 she might have, considering the way she was treated. Also considering she was in love with a muggle, I have a hard time believing that she agreed with her family's views of pureblood supremacy. So I don't think she'd have taught her son that purebloods were superior to "mudbloods" and "halfbloods".

6. Could Merope have prevented Voldemort from becoming the most feared wizard alive, if she had lived and loved him?
An intesting question. I definitely think her love for Tom could have changed who he might have been. For one thing, I don't think he'd have been so resentful of his parents. But I do think that some of Voldemort's not so nice character traits may still have been present, as some of those traits were likely inborn.

7. To conclude, what is your opinion on Merope's character?
Overall, I view Merope as a tragic character. She falls in love with someone who doesn't return her feelings, she comes from a horrible family who doesn't love her because of who she is, and she winds up all alone in the end. But she also made some poor choices, like using the love potion on Riddle.


__________________

X-Files is the property of Ten Thirteen Productions, 20th Century Fox
WolfCloak30 Pottermore
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old February 4th, 2007, 5:05 pm
LilySkywalker  Female.gif LilySkywalker is offline
Second Year
 
Joined: 4993 days
Location: Georgia
Age: 37
Posts: 246
Re: Merope Gaunt: Character Analysis

Its possible that Merope was like most women in abusive situations meaning that after her father screamed and yelled and verbally abused her he apologized and bought her something nice. Making her think that maybe he does actually love her and also making it more difficult for her to leave


__________________
"It is our choices Harry, that show us what we truly are, far more than our abilities."
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old February 4th, 2007, 9:03 pm
Nessy  Female.gif Nessy is offline
First Year
 
Joined: 5156 days
Posts: 71
Re: Merope Gaunt: Character Analysis

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharky View Post
[b]
Question three 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 three, 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?!
I would like to have a go at this very interesting question too! Merope named her son in a very traditional way - giving him his father's name as well as his maternal grandfather's - it reminds me of a young girl's daydream ...ie: I'll have a baby and I'll call him after his father and after Dad etc etc" The names may have rolled off Merope's tongue as they were part of her long cherished dream of an idyllic world...or possibly in her final moments she chose to give her child the dignity of his birthright. Okay her son was to be a muggle orphan but he was still her son - she gave him what was his. She loved her baby I think.


Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old February 4th, 2007, 9:16 pm
ignisia's Avatar
ignisia  Female.gif ignisia is offline
Leader of the GLITTELUTION
 
Joined: 4677 days
Location: Sitting in a Tin Can
Age: 30
Posts: 4,418
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?

No, I don't think she was exactly a Squib. Her magical ability was obviously as damaged as she was, but she still had some of it left.

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 simply realised that what she was doing was wrong. She loved Tom Riddle enough to believe that he would accept her. He didn't.

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 she would raise him differently. She didn't seem to carry any bitterness toward Tom Sr. for abandoning her-- in fact, she names her child after him.

6. Could Merope have prevented Voldemort from becoming the most feared wizard alive, if she had lived and loved him?

I believe so. Voldemort does not understand love since no one has loved him. If he had been given good treatment in his life, he would probably have developed a sense of empathy.


__________________
I am incapable of hating someone who, instead of using a spell to guard the Sorcerer's Stone, uses a logic puzzle.
I'm sorry.



VIVA LA GLITTELUTION
Looking for a home away from home?
Hogsmeade ~ Apparate.me
Avatar by SIP
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old February 5th, 2007, 10:21 pm
RWeasleysgirl's Avatar
RWeasleysgirl  Female.gif RWeasleysgirl is offline
Hogwarts Graduate
 
Joined: 4657 days
Location: The floating house above you.
Age: 27
Posts: 2,618
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?

She wasn't really a squib. Squib is not really the worst thing someone can be called, but yes it was mental abuse. Marvolo was obviously mentally abusive, I think this was just an example of him being a jerk.

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?

Well, I don't really think it was her concience. I think it's probably like Dumbledore thought: she thought he would stay.

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?

Maybe she wanted to rely as little as possible on magic.

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?

I think she thought her life was worthless anyway, especially after Tom left her. She died of a broken heart. She didn't kill herself, but she wasn't going to save herself either.

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?

Definitely.

6. Could Merope have prevented Voldemort from becoming the most feared wizard alive, if she had lived and loved him?

Probably not. Harry was deprived of love just how Voldemort was up until their first years at school. Harry's and Voldemort's childhoods were so similar, that obviously played a part in it, but in the longrun it all comes down to who a person is. Voldemort would still be Voldemort with or without his mother.

7. To conclude, what is your opinion on Merope's character?

I feel bad for her. I think she was a very weak character who never really stood a chance.


__________________
Ron

C:\Documents and Settings\Tweeter1\My Documents\My Pictures\email\87384.gif

Ron/Hermione
Harry/Ginny
Snape/Lily
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old February 5th, 2007, 11:58 pm
Sharky  Female.gif Sharky is offline
Fifth Year
 
Joined: 5033 days
Location: UK
Age: 32
Posts: 798
Re: Merope Gaunt: Character Analysis

Quote:
Originally Posted by LilySkywalker View Post
Its possible that Merope was like most women in abusive situations meaning that after her father screamed and yelled and verbally abused her he apologized and bought her something nice. Making her think that maybe he does actually love her and also making it more difficult for her to leave
Hmmm...interesting! That could explain why Merope was allowed to wear the locket...Then again, perhaps Marvolo just wanted her to wear it to remind her she was a descendent of Slythein or just because he wanted to show it off...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nessy View Post
I would like to have a go at this very interesting question too! Merope named her son in a very traditional way - giving him his father's name as well as his maternal grandfather's - it reminds me of a young girl's daydream ...ie: I'll have a baby and I'll call him after his father and after Dad etc etc" The names may have rolled off Merope's tongue as they were part of her long cherished dream of an idyllic world...or possibly in her final moments she chose to give her child the dignity of his birthright. Okay her son was to be a muggle orphan but he was still her son - she gave him what was his. She loved her baby I think.
That makes a lot of sense. She obviously did dream of a better world as she attempted to create it when she used the love potion. So I suppose having a nice father who she could take pride in was all part of the dream and in choosing those names, she could at least pretend it was real. Poor Merope! I feel soooooo sorry for her.


Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old February 6th, 2007, 1:36 am
horcrux4's Avatar
horcrux4  Female.gif horcrux4 is offline
Hogwarts Graduate
 
Joined: 4866 days
Location: Sheffield UK
Age: 73
Posts: 2,167
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?

She evidently wasn't a squib or she wouldn't have been able to perform the magic she did. I wonder how she learned magic though? It doesn't seem as though Marvolo sent his children to Hogwarts so he must have educated them himself. Perhaps he didn't think a daughter was worth educating properly? But she made a proper love potion, and as we know from Harry's potion lessons, you don't necessarily get them right first time. I think she was probably highly underestimated by her family.

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?

Dumbledore thought she had persuaded herself that he would love her naturally by now. She must have hoped for that. And perhaps she was finding that love-potion-love wasn't totally satisfying. Did she ever tell Tom that she was pregnant? I thought it said in one of the books that he never knew he had a son?

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?

Jo said that you can't conjure food out of thin air - there are rules for magic. I would also suppose that her grief at being abandned by her husband would have seriously interfered with her ability to perform magic.

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?

Voldemort thought that his mother couldn't have been a witch or she wouldn't have let herself die.
HBP The Secret Riddle "My mother can't have been magic, or she wouldn't have died," said Riddle, more to himself than Dumbledore.

But what she was supposed to do to save herself, no-one says. If her powers had waned because of her misery, perhaps she wasn't capable of saving herself. Although I'm inclined to think that she was so depressed by the way her life had turned out that she was beyond caring.

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 don't think she'd have reared him to revere pure-bloods the way she was, as he was half-Muggle himself. I think she'd have been a kind but ineffectual mother, and with a son as strong-willed as Tom was, I think he'd have run rings round her and probably made her even unhappier.

6. Could Merope have prevented Voldemort from becoming the most feared wizard alive, if she had lived and loved him?

Being loved would have made a difference to Voldemort - at least he would have had some experience of what it was. I don't think it would have softened his character, but it would have taken away one of his excuses. That's assuming she would have been able to love him - she was so defeated that she could have been beyond it.

7. To conclude, what is your opinion on Merope's character?

Poor, poor girl. She had absolutely nothing going for her. She was ugly and downtrodden, abused verbally by her father, unsupported by her brother, enclosed in a private world by these 2 horrible men, unloved by the man she wanted. Cast out destitute on the world by her husband. I wonder what her mother was like and if she would have been different if her mother had lived?
She had never known love as far as we can tell. I'm glad she never knew her baby turned into the monster he did.


__________________
Meet Mickey, my new kitten!
Quote:
"From this time forth we shall be leaving the firm foundation of fact and journeying together through the murky marshes of memory into thickets of wildest guesswork."
Albus Dumbledore, HBP

Last edited by horcrux4; February 6th, 2007 at 1:39 am.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old February 9th, 2007, 5:13 pm
loona  Female.gif loona is offline
Third Year
 
Joined: 5223 days
Location: florida
Age: 39
Posts: 373
Re: Merope Gaunt: Character Analysis

I have a couple things I would like to add to this topic.

First I would like to address Merope "letting" herself die. I don't believe she could have saved herself. If any witch or wizard were able to just heal themselves with magic, then what would be the point of healers? They wouldn't need St. Mungo's, because they would all know how to do it themselves. Merope didn't keep herself from dying because she wasn't a Healer. You also have to remember that LV was born in 1946, just as us muggles didn't know much about child birth complications back then, I'm sure witches and wizards didn't either.

The next thing I would like to tackle is Merope's magical ability. I have to say ferom personal experience, that when someone is emotionally abusing you and basically telling you that you can't do something, you believe them. It took me a very long time (almost 10 years) to finally realize that my step-father was wrong when he told me all the horrible things he told me. I honestly thought that I was no good, and that I was the reason the marriage between him and my mother was failing (because he told me that for so many years), and that I would never amount to anything or that I was worthless. I know what Merope went through, unfortuntely for her, she didn't have a mother to tell her that her father was wrong. She couldn't do magic because in her mind she was a squib, because thats what her father called her. When TR senor left her, in her mind that was just comfirmation that she was worthless.

As far as TR becoming LV had Merope lived. I think she would have loved him with all her heart. To me it is absolutely amazing that someone abused as much as Merope, still had room in her heart for love. We know she loved, because we see she loved Riddle Sr. I think she would have focused every ounce of love she had on her child. Although I do think that TR would have remained a pure-blood extremist. Merope probably would have tried to make him see that muggles are just as good, if not better than wizards, but I think TR would have hated them all simply because his muggle father left them.

In conclusion I really love Merope's character. Maybe it is because I can connect with her. I found myself wanting to help her, I think what Merope needed most, was simply to be loved.


Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old February 9th, 2007, 8:04 pm
Chris's Avatar
Chris  Undisclosed.gif Chris is offline
Custodian of Hades Vault
 
Joined: 4442 days
Location: Monoc Securities
Posts: 4,653
Re: Merope Gaunt: Character Analysis

Something else to add: Merope may not have known what it was like to love as a mother, because she may not have had a mother who loved her. There's no mention of her mother anywhere that I can recall, and the lack of a mother growing up for her may have left her with little in the way of an example of how to be a mother. This may have influenced her decision to not be there for Tom Riddle.

She certainly is a sad character. Of all the characters in the series she may have had the worst circumstances (yup, very debatable).


Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old February 9th, 2007, 8:25 pm
Artemis_Fowl_2's Avatar
Artemis_Fowl_2  Female.gif Artemis_Fowl_2 is offline
Hogsmeade's Worst Icon Maker
 
Joined: 4744 days
Location: Secret Lair
Posts: 1,005
Re: Merope Gaunt: Character Analysis

She had a horrible upbringing. From personal experience I know just how bad words can make you feel and how they affect you in what you can or cannot do as well. Yet I do not believe her upbringing justifies her treatment of Tom Riddle, Sr. Tricking him into a sexual relationship is violating him and that is rape. Although I feel bad for her upbringing, I do not use it as an excuse for her actions.

So, why did she do such a horrible thing? My guess is because she desperately wanted to be loved as she defined love in her mind. She thought that using the love potion on Tom, Sr. would make her happy. But, she must have started to realize that the fake love did not do what she intended it to do. That is why I believe she stopped using the potion - to get a taste of "real" love, which, of course, didn't happen.

She seems to have been so heartbroken that she didn't prevent bad things from happening to her by using magic. Maybe she couldn't use it, but if she could she probably thought that magic was bad because it was a magical potion she used to have Tom, Sr. love her. It is possible that her using magic could have prevented her death, but that, of course, is only conjecture.

In her mind she must have still felt love for Tom, Sr. because I do not think she would have named the baby after him if she didn't. When you love someone who doesn't love you back, that is sad indeed (but still doesn't excuse her treatment of him).

Quote:
Originally Posted by gertiekeddle View Post
6. Could Merope have prevented Voldemort from becoming the most feared wizard alive, if she had lived and loved him?
I have studied psychopaths and Voldemort fits the description perfectly. You are born a psycholpath so Merope's love for her son could not have changed that. If she survived I believe she would have loved her son, but I also believe she would still feel sad and defeated. Though some love would be shown toward him, he would also pick up on his mother's sadness so he would still view love as a weakness. Between being a psychopath and viewing love as a weakness, I do not believe that Merope could have prevented her son from becoming what he is today.


__________________
Submit to me!

Last edited by Artemis_Fowl_2; February 9th, 2007 at 8:29 pm.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old February 9th, 2007, 8:26 pm
Nessy  Female.gif Nessy is offline
First Year
 
Joined: 5156 days
Posts: 71
Re: Merope Gaunt: Character Analysis

What Loona says! ...ooh and also what chparadise says! (and AF2)

I can't help comparing Merope's upbringing to that of Harry Potter's. Both Merope's and Harry's childhood environments were bad. They both suffered insults and humiliation on a daily basis and yet Harry's magical abilities (among his many other abilities) remained intact. I can only put this down to the importance of mother love. Not only did Lily's sacrifice protect her child from Voldemort - it probably continued to protect him throughout his horrible childhood.*


Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old February 9th, 2007, 11:12 pm
horcrux4's Avatar
horcrux4  Female.gif horcrux4 is offline
Hogwarts Graduate
 
Joined: 4866 days
Location: Sheffield UK
Age: 73
Posts: 2,167
Re: Merope Gaunt: Character Analysis

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nessy View Post
What Loona says! ...ooh and also what chparadise says! (and AF2)

I can't help comparing Merope's upbringing to that of Harry Potter's. Both Merope's and Harry's childhood environments were bad. They both suffered insults and humiliation on a daily basis and yet Harry's magical abilities (among his many other abilities) remained intact. I can only put this down to the importance of mother love. Not only did Lily's sacrifice protect her child from Voldemort - it probably continued to protect him throughout his horrible childhood.*
An interesting comparison. At least Harry knew love for 16 months before he went to be treated like dirt by the Dursleys. Perhaps that made a difference. A pity we don't know anything about Merope's mother - except that she must have been a pure-blood!


__________________
Meet Mickey, my new kitten!
Quote:
"From this time forth we shall be leaving the firm foundation of fact and journeying together through the murky marshes of memory into thickets of wildest guesswork."
Albus Dumbledore, HBP
Reply With Quote
Reply
Go Back  Chamber of Secrets > Harry Potter > The Stone > Legilimency Studies

Bookmarks

Tags
character analysis, merope gaunt


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 8:54 am.


Powered by: vBulletin, Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Original content is Copyright © MMII - MMVIII, CoSForums.com. All Rights Reserved.
Other content (posts, images, etc) is Copyright © its respective owners.