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Draco Malfoy: Character Analysis



 
 
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  #1501  
Old December 31st, 2012, 4:12 pm
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Re: Draco Malfoy: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by GingerCat1 View Post
I don't remember the exact study but there was a study done a while ago where social scientists went to a primary school. At this primary school they gave every child a test to do which they told the teacher would be able to tell how smart a child really is (sort of like a more advanced IQ test). In reality the test was nonsense and when the children handed back their tests the social scientists threw them away and did not even look at them. However then the conductors of the experiment picked 5 or 6 names at random on the class role and told the teacher that these children are particularly gifted and had the most potential and then they left.
One teacher. This study does not measure a student's performance among each of their classes. Other professors seemed to like Harry and Hermione, while Snape did not, and yet Harry mostly received E's in his OWLS, with one O, and Hermione received O's in her OWLS with an E in DADA. Ron's grades were also consistent, and I suspect the other student's were as well. Neville, for example, didn't seem to do well in Potions or Transfiguration, but he did excel in Herbology. I'm willing to change my mind if someone can present different evidence.

I think learning is a combination of genetics, environment, and personality. There isn't a simple answer. It can't all be hung on one peg or one character, like Snape.

My impression of Draco is that he came from two intelligent families (Malfoys and Blacks) and an environment where he was expected to excel by his father who would have given him every opportunity to excel and to have the best of everything. He saw Harry as competition and resented him and wanted to outshine him at everything. When Harry and Ron, who did not believe they met the requirements to continue with Potions walked into the class and saw Malfoy, who appeared to know beforehand that he did meet those requirements, I see a connection, based on that, Narcissa's visit to Spinner's End which i discussed earlier, and Malfoy's background which lead me to believe he received an O in Potions.


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  #1502  
Old December 31st, 2012, 5:51 pm
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Re: Draco Malfoy: Character Analysis

^^ I agree with MerryLore. As I stated in my earlier post, I think it is a fair assumption that Draco got an "O" in Potions. Snape, while he did favor Draco, did not do so just because he was friendly with Lucius. Snape did not favor Crabbe or Goyle in Potions (as they did not seem to excel). I also got the impression that Draco was gifted from Lucius' comment in CoS where he says that Draco ought to be ashamed that a Muggle-born (Hermione) beat him in every subject. That seems to imply that if not for Hermione, Draco was above-average, maybe even the next best in their year.

As for Potions, Harry, when he arrived at Slughorn's first lesson, noted that four Slytherins had made it through, four Ravenclaws, 1 Hufflepuff, and then Harry, Ron and Hermione. Even if we assume that Snape told Draco he could continue with an EE (unlikely, IMO), I doubt Snape informed any of the other students, so that means they ALL received O's (otherwise, like Ron and Harry, they would have been unprepared). We never saw Snape praise anyone other than Malfoy in Potions, so I doubt other Slytherins were better at Potions than Malfoy. Based on all of these facts and the fact that we have no indication Snape told Draco anything, it seems unlikely to me that Draco received an "EE" and just happened to be prepared. Ron and Harry were the only two unprepared to be there because they were the only two who had received an "EE" IMO.

Like others have said, given the climate of the Death Eaters prior to the 6th year (plus the fact that Lucius was in Azkaban), it seems unlikely to me that any of them really cared about Draco's OWL grades.

As for the study cited by GingerCat1, I agree that Snape's teaching may have had an impact on the students such as Neville (who I believe did do better outside of Snape's influence), but OWLs were graded by impartial Ministry officials. So I fail to see how Snape's teaching could have affected the OWL grade for Draco. Even if Draco got better grades from Snape because of favoritism, if he was as good as Snape always claimed, he would have been good when left to his own devices in the OWL test as well.


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  #1503  
Old December 31st, 2012, 6:55 pm
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Re: Draco Malfoy: Character Analysis

Quote:
Originally Posted by MerryLore View Post
I think learning is a combination of genetics, environment, and personality. There isn't a simple answer. It can't all be hung on one peg or one character, like Snape.
I think that teachers involved are a huge factor in learning and one that cannot be discounted.

Quote:
My impression of Draco is that he came from two intelligent families (Malfoys and Blacks) and an environment where he was expected to excel by his father who would have given him every opportunity to excel and to have the best of everything. He saw Harry as competition and resented him and wanted to outshine him at everything. When Harry and Ron, who did not believe they met the requirements to continue with Potions walked into the class and saw Malfoy, who appeared to know beforehand that he did meet those requirements, I see a connection, based on that, Narcissa's visit to Spinner's End which i discussed earlier, and Malfoy's background which lead me to believe he received an O in Potions.
Two intelligent families? In what way can it be said that the families were intelligent? Pureblood does not equal intelligent, much as Lucius and co. like to think it does. I'm sure they expected Draco to do well, yes. However, it doesn't mean that Draco came from two high-achieving families. Where are the Malfoys or the Blacks shown to be intelligent? Devious, yes, certainly in Lucius' case, but that doesn't equal intelligence or academic achievement.

Malfoy may have known that he met the requirements because Snape told him about the change. Snape would surely have informed Voldemort that he had been appointed Defence teacher. Voldemort would not appreciate finding out from someone else, I imagine. Such information could easily reach Draco. I'm not saying that Snape definitely told Draco he could now continue with an EE grade; I'm just saying it is possible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hpfan101 View Post
Snape, while he did favor Draco, did not do so just because he was friendly with Lucius. Snape did not favor Crabbe or Goyle in Potions (as they did not seem to excel). I also got the impression that Draco was gifted from Lucius' comment in CoS where he says that Draco ought to be ashamed that a Muggle-born (Hermione) beat him in every subject. That seems to imply that if not for Hermione, Draco was above-average, maybe even the next best in their year.
Or perhaps it's further evidence that Lucius had a massive entitlement complex, and believes that the Malfoy name entitles one to top grades. It doesn't mean Draco was especially outstanding, just that Lucius, with his blood prejudices, was furious at seeing his prejudices so soundly turned on their head by having a Muggleborn beat Draco.

And as for Snape's behaviour towards Crabbe and Goyle, he may not have favoured them, but he certainly did not publicly humiliate them for their lack of success with Potions, as he did to students like Neville and Harry. And his favouring of Draco was not to do with Draco's skill with Potions, as Hermione was also skilled at Potions, and she got only derision from Snape. IMO, these comparisons go to show that the preferential treatment Draco got probably had a lot to do with his House and more importantly, probably, who his father was.

Quote:
As for Potions, Harry, when he arrived at Slughorn's first lesson, noted that four Slytherins had made it through, four Ravenclaws, 1 Hufflepuff, and then Harry, Ron and Hermione. Even if we assume that Snape told Draco he could continue with an EE (unlikely, IMO), I doubt Snape informed any of the other students, so that means they ALL received O's (otherwise, like Ron and Harry, they would have been unprepared).
Probably not, if they were not from DE families. Or DE families that he knew well and was close to. In any case, I wasn't talking about the entire Potions NEWT class. I was talking about Malfoy, specifically.

Quote:
We never saw Snape praise anyone other than Malfoy in Potions, so I doubt other Slytherins were better at Potions than Malfoy.
He didn't praise them, but he also did not humiliate them in front of the whole class. I cannot find it remotely credible that Crabbe and Goyle could have been more competent in Potions (or anything, apart from torture and dark magic) than Neville.

Quote:
Like others have said, given the climate of the Death Eaters prior to the 6th year (plus the fact that Lucius was in Azkaban), it seems unlikely to me that any of them really cared about Draco's OWL grades.
It would benefit Snape to keep Draco on-side, when he wanted information about Draco's plans. And if Draco liked Potions, and wanted to continue, it would be a good idea for Snape to let him know he could continue. And I'm sure Draco would have seen the benefit in continuing with Potions - I think a wannabe DE would want to know how to make poisons, especially considering what he was planning.

Quote:
As for the study cited by GingerCat1, I agree that Snape's teaching may have had an impact on the students such as Neville (who I believe did do better outside of Snape's influence), but OWLs were graded by impartial Ministry officials. So I fail to see how Snape's teaching could have affected the OWL grade for Draco. Even if Draco got better grades from Snape because of favoritism, if he was as good as Snape always claimed, he would have been good when left to his own devices in the OWL test as well.
I think it's obvious how preferential treatment from Snape helped Draco to perform better. He was not nervous, when working with Potions, as Neville was, or enduring it, as Harry was. Malfoy was able to learn during Potions lessons. He could make mistakes and learn from them. Whereas if Harry or other Gryffindors made a mistake, public humiliation from Snape awaited. This meant that Draco had a firmer foundation, a firmer grasp on Potions, and a tonne more confidence going into a Potions exam than a student who had been subjected to five years of bullying in Potions class.


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  #1504  
Old December 31st, 2012, 8:25 pm
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Re: Draco Malfoy: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by FurryDice View Post
Two intelligent families? In what way can it be said that the families were intelligent? Pureblood does not equal intelligent, much as Lucius and co. like to think it does. I'm sure they expected Draco to do well, yes. However, it doesn't mean that Draco came from two high-achieving families. Where are the Malfoys or the Blacks shown to be intelligent? Devious, yes, certainly in Lucius' case, but that doesn't equal intelligence or academic achievement.
A person can be intelligent but have the ugliest and most evil values. A person can also be not very bright, but their heart can be in the right place, I think.

I think one glance at the members of the Black family shows intelligence. Sirius was a Black and very intelligent - he excelled at academics, but I didn't get the impression he studied much. Tonks mother was a Black, and Tonks was bright enough to become an Auror. Arthur Weasley's parents were most likely Septimus Weasley and Cedrella Black, and I think the Weasley kids were much brighter than the average lot, as was Arthur. And Bellatrix Black Lestrange was bright enough to get herself high standing in Voldemort's DEs, and I suspect that required much more than bloodlust.

The Malfoys? Lucius was a Prefect - and they seem as a group to be intelligent and to be leaders. And I got the impression from Pottermore that the Malfoys were a group intelligent enough to amass a fortune, and one even courted Queen Elizabeth 1st.

And Draco came from these two families.


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  #1505  
Old December 31st, 2012, 8:50 pm
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Re: Draco Malfoy: Character Analysis

This thread needs more Draco Malfoy. But fortunately, it's time for a new thread anyway, and you're all welcome to start posting there with the best intentions to keep on topic.


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