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Who is to blame for Voldemort going bad?



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  #481  
Old September 24th, 2011, 6:59 pm
JohanT  Undisclosed.gif JohanT is offline
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Re: Who is to blame for Voldemort going bad?

I personally believe that evil is not inborn, but the tendency towards evil is very much present within some human beings. In Hitler's case (I know people may lash out at me for saying this), I do not believe he was necessarily evil, but he was certainly a very cruel man. I think it comes down to your definition of evil. Evil, as I have stated before in other threads, is inhuman in my mind. No human can ever truly be considered evil, but humans may hover around the line between what I call "pure malice" and "pure evil". However, they would never be able to successfully cross over to the other side, for their humanity remains within them. There is a significant difference, in my opinion. So while I do not believe that young Tom Riddle was born evil, I do think he achieved "pure evil" when he deliberately destroyed his soul and became an inhuman being.

That being said, the only one to blame is Voldemort himself. His fear of death and his obsession to push the boundaries and rise to power all resulted in him becoming a truly evil monster.


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  #482  
Old September 24th, 2011, 7:42 pm
KellLovesSirius  Female.gif KellLovesSirius is offline
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Re: Who is to blame for Voldemort going bad?

I think ultimately, Voldemort himself is to blame for turning out the way he did. but i also think it's his father's fault (by not staying to care for him), his mother's fault (for not staying alive for him when she knew he had no one to take care of him), even his grandfather and uncle's faults (for passing on their violent nature). i suppose you could even blame his teachers and the orphanage where he grew up.
But, Harry grew up in a very similar situation: parents dead, never knowing he was special until a wizard told him he was, cut off from wizarding world in the summer, Hogwarts as first REAL home, pride in school House, teachers loving him, ect. Harry was raised abused and neglected, on top of all that, and looked how HE turned out: great.
So i think its a choice you make as a person, and Voldemort made the wrong one


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  #483  
Old October 1st, 2011, 1:08 pm
wolfbrother  Male.gif wolfbrother is offline
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Re: Who is to blame for Voldemort going bad?

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Originally Posted by KellLovesSirius View Post
I think ultimately, Voldemort himself is to blame for turning out the way he did. but i also think it's his father's fault (by not staying to care for him), his mother's fault (for not staying alive for him when she knew he had no one to take care of him), even his grandfather and uncle's faults (for passing on their violent nature). i suppose you could even blame his teachers and the orphanage where he grew up.
But, Harry grew up in a very similar situation: parents dead, never knowing he was special until a wizard told him he was, cut off from wizarding world in the summer, Hogwarts as first REAL home, pride in school House, teachers loving him, ect. Harry was raised abused and neglected, on top of all that, and looked how HE turned out: great.
So i think its a choice you make as a person, and Voldemort made the wrong one
Except Harry's parents didn't have the issues that Riddle's had and he also got that one year with his parents. Those are big differences between the two.


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  #484  
Old October 1st, 2011, 5:47 pm
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Re: Who is to blame for Voldemort going bad?

Not only did Harry have one year with his parents, it was filled with love and affection. It is apparent in many orphanages even today that infants and young children who do not get enough attention do not develop properly. Those who fuss less, get less attention. There normally just aren't enough people around to hold and play with the youngest children in those situations, which is exactly the kind of care they need.

Harry had that affection, and Tom Riddle did not.
While Tom got older and learned right from wrong, as a child he only knew what made him feel better and what did not. Children can be terribly cruel and vindictive, and without someone to not only tell them right from wrong but to help them understand why it is so, they will continue their behavior.

Personally, I often vacillate between placing the most blame on Tom himself and placing it on his environment. I don't blame Tom Riddle, Sr., at all, nor do I blame his extended family. I do place some blame on Merope for creating the situation in the first place, but she also seemed to be neglected and unloved at home. I don't think "why Voldemort went bad" can really be summed up into words or a series of actions and their consequences. In my opinion, it was a series of events that led him to a path that was easier and resulted in more cruelty than others could have.


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  #485  
Old October 1st, 2011, 7:08 pm
Arcus  Male.gif Arcus is offline
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Re: Who is to blame for Voldemort going bad?

We must also consider the fact that Voldemort was much more emotionally stunted than Harry. According to Dumbledore, Voldemort was emotionally incapable of any kind of love, compassion, or remorse. I believe this is what defined him as a person. And I don't believe that any amount of hugs as a child would have changed that. Call it a chemical imbalance, call it whatever you want. It was his inability to care that turned him from man to monster.


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  #486  
Old October 1st, 2011, 9:06 pm
Siriusandme  Female.gif Siriusandme is offline
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Re: Who is to blame for Voldemort going bad?

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We must also consider the fact that Voldemort was much more emotionally stunted than Harry. According to Dumbledore, Voldemort was emotionally incapable of any kind of love, compassion, or remorse. I believe this is what defined him as a person. And I don't believe that any amount of hugs as a child would have changed that. Call it a chemical imbalance, call it whatever you want. It was his inability to care that turned him from man to monster.
We call people like these psychopaths and even psychopaths know it’s wrong to kill and hurt people. And that is where choice comes in. Voldemort decided to only go for what he wanted without any regard towards the people around him. It was choice that turned him from man to monster.

Dumbledore has a reason for saying „It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”

And people who grow up in children’s homes aren’t always emotionally „neglected”. Plenty of them have had loving homes and might have had it better than some who have grown up with family. The way JKR described Voldemorts home in the book doesn’t give me the feeling it was a bad place. It could have been better, but it was not bad...


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  #487  
Old October 2nd, 2011, 6:05 am
Torran  Male.gif Torran is offline
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Re: Who is to blame for Voldemort going bad?

Voldemort had a rough childhood, that is obvious. I wouldn't say he had a terrible or tragic childhood, but certainly not an amazing one. But somewhere along the line from "psychologically tortures young children" to "leader of the foremost terrorist organization in Europe", I think that stops being a valid excuse. Voldemort had naturally cruel tendencies from his earliest days to his death, and I can't think of a way to blame it on anyone besides him.


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  #488  
Old October 2nd, 2011, 1:22 pm
wolfbrother  Male.gif wolfbrother is offline
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Re: Who is to blame for Voldemort going bad?

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Originally Posted by Siriusandme View Post
We call people like these psychopaths and even psychopaths know it’s wrong to kill and hurt people. And that is where choice comes in. Voldemort decided to only go for what he wanted without any regard towards the people around him. It was choice that turned him from man to monster.
IMO its important to understand why something is right or wrong. As a kid, I did plenty of things that were wrong, that I knew was wrong until I was explained on why certain things shouldn't be done.

Psychopaths have an inability to do this. How do you explain "love", "empathy" etc to a person who just hasn't felt or experienced it ? There is nothing for them to relate to. I read an article where brain scans of a psychopath showed no brain activity compared to a normal person when they heard emotionally charged words like "love", "murder" etc. Emotions, to an extent act as moral compass for people. When someone is emotionally handicapped, its easy to see them make decision based on pure logic with complete disregard to other factors.

Another interesting thing I read was that psychopaths never show remorse. Punishment, rehabilitation have no positive effect on them. Most consider the condition untreatable. This actually makes perfect sense with Voldemort. He spent around 13 years as vapormort in Albania forced to share bodies with rats and snakes; yet he showed no change at all. He just continued where he left off. Contrast this to Grindelwald who started showing remorse. It seems laughable that Harry told Voldemort to try for some remorse.

The more I think of this, the more I think that this was something that was meant to happen. Perhaps there was a prophecy made long back about the rise of Voldemort and his defeat.


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  #489  
Old October 2nd, 2011, 2:06 pm
Siriusandme  Female.gif Siriusandme is offline
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Re: Who is to blame for Voldemort going bad?

I think you might be right up to a certain point. I think every child, no matter where you grow up, learns from the people we grow up with and I find it hard to believe Voldemort (when he was still Tom) never learned it’s bad to hurt people. I mean.. he must have gone to school.. It’s not like he spend the first 11 years of his life in complete isolation.

I think I read a study some years back where scientist studied the effects of a bad upbringing on children and wether these children were able to „overcome” it. It showed some children could and other couldn’t and it had to do wether these children were flexible enough. Which for a part is proven by people who have children, love them even though they never knew parental love themselves.

I still firmly believe Voldemort/Tom is a psychopath and so for me the question isn’t so much „who is to blame” but more „was this fate”. Is a psychopath always destined to become a mass murderer or a serial killer.


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  #490  
Old October 2nd, 2011, 2:32 pm
potter_gleek  Male.gif potter_gleek is offline
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Re: Who is to blame for Voldemort going bad?

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Originally Posted by KellLovesSirius View Post
But, Harry grew up in a very similar situation: parents dead, never knowing he was special until a wizard told him he was, cut off from wizarding world in the summer, Hogwarts as first REAL home, pride in school House, teachers loving him, ect. Harry was raised abused and neglected, on top of all that, and looked how HE turned out: great.
So i think its a choice you make as a person, and Voldemort made the wrong one
I think what made Voldemort's choice was a combination of his hatred for his father and his house. Harry from a young age (at least when he was 11) was surrounded by positive praise for his parent's and knew that they loved him despite his upbringing by the Dursleys. However Voldemort once discovering his heritage learnt that his father abandoned his mother. I'm guessing Voldemort blamed this on her being a witch* and thus his hatred for Muggles began. Furthermore both Harry's parents were dead and therefore could not rescue him from the Dursleys whilst Voldemort's father was still alive and this probably left him feeling unloved.
On the subject of their Hogwarts house Harry was in Gryffindor which had many half-bloods and Muggleborns in it. He was also close friends with Hermione. Voldemort on the other hand after joining Hogwarts was sorted into Slytherin which at the time was Anti-Muggle. I believe a combination of his hatred for his father and the pure-blood supremacy ideology of Slytherin would have led him to his hatred of Muggle and Muggleborns, which started turning him into what he eventually became. From there I'm guessing like many dictators he got a taste of power and wanted more and more.

*Personally I don't think Tom Riddle Sr. left Merope Gaunt simply because she was a witch but probably because she drugged him with a love potion, however I think Voldemort probably thought he left because of the first option.


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  #491  
Old October 2nd, 2011, 5:11 pm
phoenix45  Female.gif phoenix45 is offline
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Re: Who is to blame for Voldemort going bad?

I think Voldemort himself is responsible for the way he turned out. I don't necessarily blame his parents and grandparents, but I do think their negative influence had some effect on his evilness. In nature vs. nurture, I believe mostly in nature. This is definitely not true for everybody, but I think it is for Voldemort's case specifically. His hunger for power and lack of capability of love trumps anything else in his life.


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  #492  
Old October 2nd, 2011, 8:26 pm
wolfbrother  Male.gif wolfbrother is offline
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Re: Who is to blame for Voldemort going bad?

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Originally Posted by Siriusandme View Post
Is a psychopath always destined to become a mass murderer or a serial killer.
In Voldemort's case, all the cards fell the right way. He was born a handsome, charismatic and intelligent individual who also happened to be very powerful magically. I believe if he was lacking in any one thing, he would not have been as successful as he was.

I don't believe all psychopaths become serial killers. I think there are differences among them as well but I do think that they are far more likely to be violent.


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  #493  
Old October 2nd, 2011, 8:34 pm
JohanT  Undisclosed.gif JohanT is offline
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Re: Who is to blame for Voldemort going bad?

I believe there is the concept of a "white-collared" psychopath. These people exist amongst the normal human population, but do not perform violent acts of cruelty that are usually attributed to psychopathic behavior. I was reading in an article that these psychopaths have minor symptoms of anti-social peronality disorders, and this is the reason for their ability to blend in and conform with regular society. While the full blown psychopath would be able to emulate common behaviors and emotions, he/she will forever be driven by their own wants and needs, and their emotions would forever be stunted. In short, they would never be able to lead a normal life. This is different for a "white-collared" psychopath, who not only has the ability to lead a common lifestyle, but has less of a chemical imbalance in the brain.

Sadly, with my admittedly poor memory, I do not recall where I read this.


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  #494  
Old October 4th, 2011, 2:35 pm
Myrmedus  Male.gif Myrmedus is offline
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Re: Who is to blame for Voldemort going bad?

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Originally Posted by Siriusandme View Post
We call people like these psychopaths and even psychopaths know it’s wrong to kill and hurt people. And that is where choice comes in. Voldemort decided to only go for what he wanted without any regard towards the people around him. It was choice that turned him from man to monster.

Dumbledore has a reason for saying „It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”

And people who grow up in children’s homes aren’t always emotionally „neglected”. Plenty of them have had loving homes and might have had it better than some who have grown up with family. The way JKR described Voldemorts home in the book doesn’t give me the feeling it was a bad place. It could have been better, but it was not bad...
And how do you think a child's choices are coloured? Through their parents, through guardians, through being brought up correctly and being taught not only right from wrong but why things are right or wrong. Without that all we have is how we personally feel about something and whether we get something positive for a particular action.

I get the distinct impression that Voldemort was bullied at first as a child and through magic he fought back. Then, as a child typically would, he took it further and used it to get things he wanted. Once again, this is not atypical of a child, it's entirely normal actually. What usually happens however is that the child will be told off, spanked, told it's wrong etc. and they will associate something negative with that action. Over time it conditions you into "right and wrong" (which are entirely human constructs, by the way, and are not evidenced in nature at all). Without that conditioning it simply won't happen.

We also see in the book that Voldemort was one of these children who was emotionally neglected; it is entirely obvious from the comments of the women at the orphanage. I think it's pretty much safe to say this child did not receive any form of love for the first 11 years of his life...he simply didn't have any knowledge of what the hell it was during the most important developmental period of his life.

Yeah, it's no wonder he turned out how he did.


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  #495  
Old October 4th, 2011, 7:42 pm
Goddess_Clio  Female.gif Goddess_Clio is offline
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Re: Who is to blame for Voldemort going bad?

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Originally Posted by wolfbrother View Post
vapormort
HA! Vapormort! =^D

This topic seems pretty well beaten to death but I had a conversation with my mom about the boy who used to live across the street from us when I was a kid that kind of relates - at little. (We're still friends with his step-dad and younger brother so we hear about him from time to time.)

Now this kid was smart with a capital "S" - a real aptitude for math and science, schoolwork was easy for him, it just clicked. Recently we heard that he was sort of drifting through life, without having gone to college, no real career ahead of him, he's kind of turned into a bum. (obvilously this isn't as extreme as a psychopath but stay with me.)

My conversation with my mom revolved around how sad it was that he didn't make more of his life for himself and that the only thing we could contribute to his lack of personal ambition was that he just didn't receive the encouragement from his mom/dad/step-dad that he needed to recognize his own talent. He had these aptitudes but threw them away because he wasn't getting the reassurance that they were worth persuing.

Now, we all know Voldemort had no trouble recognizing his own powers/aptitudes/abilities, and he probably did have a penchant for cruelty that put him on a path to psychopathic mass-murder but I wonder, also, if he did have kinder, loving abilities that just weren't encouraged. Maybe encouraging those glimmers of love and kindness would have put Voldemort on the path of career criminal rather than total world-dominating psychopath. (It's the small victories, sometimes) =^P

Also, from personal witness of the younger brother of the boy above, I have seen first hand how a dysfunctional parental relationship can negatively affect a very young child so I can imagine that knowing what Voldemort knew of his parents (how Merope 'abandoned' him at the orphanage and later learning of his father's disowning of him and his mother because - at least partially - of the magic thing) could really screw him up and prove just he right fuel for the kind of psychopathic future Voldemort grew into.

My two cents.


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  #496  
Old October 22nd, 2011, 8:15 pm
ILikeCho  Undisclosed.gif ILikeCho is offline
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Re: Who is to blame for Voldemort going bad?

It often depends on what we do in life. Some people go through great strife, and rise above it, while others may take what's happened and mold that into a crutch.

I can't help but feel that Tom Riddle was also maybe bullied or made fun of in the orphanage. Most likely, when he realized his powers, and found out he was the only one there that possessed them, it made him think he was unique. Though that could also have possibly made him consider himself a freak or an outcast. Though I always pictured his pose, reading in bed when Dumbledore came to call, as very upright, and somewhat serious in demeanor.

Also, it's interesting to note that he disowns any thoughts of being a half-breed himself, to the point that his loyal followers refuse such revelations (like Bellatrix in OOTP). But that's often to show that even those who may possess great powers are not entirely perfect, and often cover these so-called 'imperfections.'


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  #497  
Old October 26th, 2011, 9:08 am
James_Potter7  Undisclosed.gif James_Potter7 is offline
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Re: Who is to blame for Voldemort going bad?

I think it's all a chain starting from the conventional marriages in the Gaunts family where they usually marry their cousins. If they had married outside, in their preference to other pure-blood Wizarding families then this all could have been avoided. Marvolo Gaunt would not be left with a squander of heirlooms, a huge amount of pride and a rather volatile temper. He would've treated his daughter better and she in turn, married well or of her own choice but it would ensure a proper upbringing of Tom Riddle.
Tom Riddle does not know love, and never has hence he fears it. Like every other person, thought however much he denies it, he fears the unknown. Had someone been there to shower him with love and care, he could've turned out to be a better person despite his strife to prove himself unique and brilliant.


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  #498  
Old November 30th, 2011, 12:05 am
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Queen of Wise  Female.gif Queen of Wise is offline
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Re: Who is to blame for Voldemort going bad?

Just noticed this thread and thought I'd put my opinion in.

Who is to blame for any child growing up to be "bad"? In the muggle world we have murderers, serial killers, and much worse. In the magical world they have people like Tom Riddle. If the psychological links between muggles and wizards are the same, meaning that children who grow up in a bad environment with bad influences generally turn out to be bad, then that makes sense. But here it doesn't really.

As some of you have already said, Harry didn't have a good childhood and he never turned out bad, which makes me have to ask, what is it that happened to Tom at his young age that made him decide to be a bad boy? Usually when children hurt other children, or steal, or cause trouble, they are acting out to get attention, or they are merely imitating a behavior that has been taught to them by someone. It is hard to say I suppose.

Very very good question, and very interesting theories you all have. I am eager to read more. (I only had enough time to skim through the pages and read some here and there)


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  #499  
Old December 15th, 2011, 1:08 pm
Dr_Rao  Male.gif Dr_Rao is offline
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Re: Who is to blame for Voldemort going bad?

Tom Became who he was on his own terms though the ability to love was never in him due to his love potion induced conception


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  #500  
Old December 30th, 2011, 7:14 pm
PhoenixGryffin  Female.gif PhoenixGryffin is offline
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Re: Who is to blame for Voldemort going bad?

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Originally Posted by Sly_Lady View Post
It's Voldemort's fault.
I wholeheartedly agree. Harry had an awful childhood but he didn't turn evil.


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