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Dolores Jane Umbridge : Character Analysis



 
 
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  #1  
Old October 5th, 2006, 5:48 pm
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Dolores Jane Umbridge : Character Analysis

Of all the DADA teachers Harry has had, I think I like Umbridge the least. I didn't care for her teaching methods, I was outraged by her detentions/punishments and thoroughly appalled that she somehow retains a job at the Ministry. In spite of that, I do expect to enjoy seeing her again in Book 7.

MN&TLC 16 July 2005

JKR: [Laughter] Awww. Well, Umbridge, she's a pretty evil character.

MA: She's still out and about in the world?

JKR: She's still at the Ministry.

MA: Are we going to see more of her? [Jo nods] You say that with an evil nod.

JKR: Yeah, it's too much fun to torture her not to have another little bit more before I finish.



Some questions to ponder/discuss, with the understanding that the topic may well evolve beyond the following:

1) Jo herself describes Umbridge as evil. How does Dolores rate against the series villain, Lord Voldemort? When Harry was told the world wasn't divided between good people and Death Eaters, did that rule her out as a DE? Do you think her actions support Voldemort even if she isn't a DE?

2) Umbridge did her share of driving the plot in OotP, the trio would never have formed Dumbledore's Army without her influence, for instance. Did her tenure at Hogwarts--as DADA professor, High Inquisitor and Headmistress--produce other effects favorable to Harry and company? How do you feel about the handling of her "duties"?

3) How is it that Dolores is still employed at the Ministry? Is she still 'loyal' to Fudge or has her loyalty shifted to Minister Scrimgeour? Is she Scrimgeour's Senior Undersecretary or does she now have another title/job?

4) How do you think Jo will give Umbridge her due in Book 7? What personality traits or actions could lead to her being involved in the plot?

Please remember that this is a discussion thread. All criticism should be constructive. Arguments that "Umbridge is an evil, insane sadist" require support. Posts that are considered bashing (especially of any characters other than the one under discussion, namely Umbridge--it's hard not to give her a good beating when there is so much canon support that she IS an evil, insane sadist!) may be deleted by staff.


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  #2  
Old October 13th, 2006, 9:29 am
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Re: Dolores Jane Umbridge : Character Analysis

Quote:
Nicole wrote
-it's hard not to give her a good beating when there is so much canon support that she IS an evil, insane sadist!
I disagree with this - the gorgeous Dolores is a classic characterisation of a bureaucrat. The Ministry is what matters to her and specifically her position in it. Whilst she does awful things I don't think she sees them as awful. Harry, for example, by claiming that Voldemort is back is contradicting the Ministry. Therefore he must be made to see the error of his ways.

There is nothing in the books to suggest she actually took pleasure from his pain. Turning to the questions

1) Jo herself describes Umbridge as evil. How does Dolores rate against the series villain, Lord Voldemort? When Harry was told the world wasn't divided between good people and Death Eaters, did that rule her out as a DE? Do you think her actions support Voldemort even if she isn't a DE?


In a way she is worse than Voldemort - he is the big bad villain and proud of the fact. Dolores is utterly vile but doesn't realise it (That makes her a much more believable character to me)

2) Umbridge did her share of driving the plot in OotP, the trio would never have formed Dumbledore's Army without her influence, for instance. Did her tenure at Hogwarts--as DADA professor, High Inquisitor and Headmistress--produce other effects favorable to Harry and company? How do you feel about the handling of her "duties"?

She was of course an utterly uselss teacher (and I suspect not a very good bureaucrat either) but she did as you say drive the plot forward (and in addition give us someone other than Snape to hate)

3) How is it that Dolores is still employed at the Ministry? Is she still 'loyal' to Fudge or has her loyalty shifted to Minister Scrimgeour? Is she Scrimgeour's Senior Undersecretary or does she now have another title/job?


Bureaucracies don't sack people because they're nasty and by the Ministry's standard she didn't do a bad job. As far as they can see she was up against Dumbledore who is a much better wizard than them. Of course had they realised that she failed to control the students and that the DA was actually nothing to do with Dumbledore they might have taken a different view. So she's back at the Ministry no doubt actively securing her own position. There are people like her in all ministries - none too bright but exceedingly good at sucking up to the boss. She will have transferred her loyalty to Scrimgeour imo and would happily betray Fudge is she could see advantage in it.

4) How do you think Jo will give Umbridge her due in Book 7? What personality traits or actions could lead to her being involved in the plot?

This is one of the things that I am most looking forward to. Of course in a family friendly forum I cannot say what I want to happen to her but I have a sneaking suspicion Fenrir Greyback will have a role to play.


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Last edited by Mundungus Fletc; October 13th, 2006 at 9:34 am.
  #3  
Old October 13th, 2006, 10:59 pm
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Re: Dolores Jane Umbridge : Character Analysis

My analysis of: Dolores Umbridge was a great plot device. She was highly unlikable and brought a vibe to Hogwarts that made the atmosphere outside the school more believable. As a character I can't find any positive qualities to discuss.
I believe that Dolores is of the same mindset as the villain Lord Voldemort. She illustrates the quote (the world is wasn't divided between good people and Death Eaters) perfectly. I don't think she is a Death Eater, but her actions do unknowingly support Voldemort.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicole View Post
2) Umbridge did her share of driving the plot in OotP, the trio would never have formed Dumbledore's Army without her influence, for instance. Did her tenure at Hogwarts--as DADA professor, High Inquisitor and Headmistress--produce other effects favorable to Harry and company? How do you feel about the handling of her "duties"?
The only favorable thing she did was to make the threat feel more real to the students and get Harry to become more proficient at DADA on his own with the DA. Other than that I don't know.

Quote:
3) How is it that Dolores is still employed at the Ministry?
She definitley deserves to be fired because of her extreme punishment methods at least. I think it just shows how out of touch the ministry are. It reflects poorly back on them that they chose a person like that to be headmistress of the school.


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Old October 14th, 2006, 12:28 am
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Re: Dolores Jane Umbridge : Character Analysis

My analysis of Dolores Umbridge…

… is a combination of that of Mundungus Fletc and HardtoImagine. She is a monster-stereotype of a bureaucrat, only interested in advancing her own career and gaining more influence within the Ministry. That is best done by not rocking the boat, i.e. sticking to the 'established' truth. Anything that contradicts that truth is dangerous, and therefore needs to be destroyed. She is so entangled in this web that she probably really thinks she is doing the right thing, even if it requires breaking the Ministry's own rules. She is also a great narrative element to illustrate that evil can take different forms, and world is not black and white.

1) Jo herself describes Umbridge as evil. How does Dolores rate against the series villain, Lord Voldemort? When Harry was told the world wasn't divided between good people and Death Eaters, did that rule her out as a DE? Do you think her actions support Voldemort even if she isn't a DE?

By denying the raise of Voldemort, Umbridge is helping him, of course, but that's not her intention. She simply prefers delusion to the uncomfortable truth. I wouldn't completely rule her out as DE, but I find it highly unlikely. A wouldn't say he is worse than Voldemort, but in some sense she is more culpable, as she does have feelings, and maybe even enjoys making people suffer. I also think that the hard evidence she is sadistic is lacking, but there is a lot subjective observation that suggest it indeed be the case, so I guess she most probably is.

2) Umbridge did her share of driving the plot in OotP, the trio would never have formed Dumbledore's Army without her influence, for instance. Did her tenure at Hogwarts--as DADA professor, High Inquisitor and Headmistress--produce other effects favorable to Harry and company? How do you feel about the handling of her "duties"?

Indeed, it gave Harry and other students a sort of growing experience, which may be important for them ín going through the rest of the battle. I wouldn't give her a medaillon for that, though.

3) How is it that Dolores is still employed at the Ministry? Is she still 'loyal' to Fudge or has her loyalty shifted to Minister Scrimgeour? Is she Scrimgeour's Senior Undersecretary or does she now have another title/job?

I think her loyalties lie first an foremost to herself, second to herself, and third, perhaps, to the Ministry as an organisation. Whom she would decide to cooperate with at any given time depends only on how useful she thinks that person to be for her own power quest at that particular time. I believe in OotP it was Umbridge using Fudge and not the other way around. I was not at all surprised to see her back in the Ministry in HBP (in fact, I was betting her to become the Minister herself). The customary way in civil service to deal with people who have blundered is not a dismissal, but a promotion.

4) How do you think Jo will give Umbridge her due in Book 7? What personality traits or actions could lead to her being involved in the plot?

Here I have no idea, but I'm anxiously waiting to see.


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Last edited by janusincantus; October 14th, 2006 at 1:27 am.
  #5  
Old October 14th, 2006, 1:20 am
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Re: Dolores Jane Umbridge : Character Analysis

1) Jo herself describes Umbridge as evil. How does Dolores rate against the series villain, Lord Voldemort? When Harry was told the world wasn't divided between good people and Death Eaters, did that rule her out as a DE? Do you think her actions support Voldemort even if she isn't a DE?
I agree with Mundungus in that she is delightfully loathsome because she doesn't know she's loathsome, whereas Voldemort clearly knows and embraces his evilness. I doubt she is a DE. It's scarier, somehow, to think that an ordinary government employee, dressed in fluffy pink cardigans and hairbows could be so sadistic as to use a punishment quill on a child's hand or threaten a child with veritaserum or the crucio curse and consider that the right course of action. Her actions do support Voldemort in a way because they are designed to hurt and diminish Harry.

2) Umbridge did her share of driving the plot in OotP, the trio would never have formed Dumbledore's Army without her influence, for instance. Did her tenure at Hogwarts--as DADA professor, High Inquisitor and Headmistress--produce other effects favorable to Harry and company? How do you feel about the handling of her "duties"?
Her tenure forced Harry to try to use legilimency to get his message to Snape across; it provided a living example of a truly sadistic teacher masquerading as a "nice" person and how much it is necessary to se beneath the surface of people; it forced the Weasley twins to finally start their own magic shop which will probably be a big success in Book 7 and beyond and it brought Firenze into the safety of Hogwarts. Harry and his friends honed their DADA skills so that they were ready for the hands-on class in HPB.

3) How is it that Dolores is still employed at the Ministry? Is she still 'loyal' to Fudge or has her loyalty shifted to Minister Scrimgeour? Is she Scrimgeour's Senior Undersecretary or does she now have another title/job?
She's a survivor and she's shrewd. Dolores Umbridge will go with the winning team, whomever that is. Perhaps Scrimgeour will do a thorough cleansing of Fudge's senior people and get rid of her, but my bet is she will somehow ingratiate herself to him by playing up Harry's "disloyalty".

4) How do you think Jo will give Umbridge her due in Book 7? What personality traits or actions could lead to her being involved in the plot?
I most certainly hope she gets her due in Book 7. The centaurs have already had a go, that leaves the werewolves....... Her obsession with Harry will eventually do her in, I believe.


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Old October 19th, 2006, 1:49 am
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Re: Dolores Jane Umbridge : Character Analysis

My personal opinion on Umbridge - she is the character we all love to hate.

1) Jo herself describes Umbridge as evil. How does Dolores rate against the series villain, Lord Voldemort? When Harry was told the world wasn't divided between good people and Death Eaters, did that rule her out as a DE? Do you think her actions support Voldemort even if she isn't a DE?
I think Umbridge was the classic example of how someone can be evil and vile without being a DE. In a way helping to deny Voldemort's existence helped him to carry out his plan. In another ironic way, motivating Harry to create the DA helped to foil Voldie's plan.

2) Umbridge did her share of driving the plot in OotP, the trio would never have formed Dumbledore's Army without her influence, for instance. Did her tenure at Hogwarts--as DADA professor, High Inquisitor and Headmistress--produce other effects favorable to Harry and company? How do you feel about the handling of her "duties"?
She made me want to squirm and pull my hair out, but as I said above, she was the reason behind forming the DA. I think that she just showed them that they have the capacity to carry things out on their own and that you can't trust politicians. I think that she also helped to unite at least 3/4 of the school behind Dumbledore. That other 1/4 I refer to is the Slytherin Inquisitorial squad. She also helped Harry's story get out to everyone by banning the Quibbler. She also handled her headmistress "duties" very well. The way she stood up to Fred and George really showed who was boss.

3) How is it that Dolores is still employed at the Ministry? Is she still 'loyal' to Fudge or has her loyalty shifted to Minister Scrimgeour? Is she Scrimgeour's Senior Undersecretary or does she now have another title/job?
She is so sweet and caring. Why would the ministry want to fire her? I would hope that Scrimgeour would be smarter than to keep her around as his secretary.
4) How do you think Jo will give Umbridge her due in Book 7? What personality traits or actions could lead to her being involved in the plot?
Turn the dementors in on her like she tried to do to Harry. That should give her a nice little lesson. I think it would be interesting if Scrimgeour hires Umbridge to try to get Harry to be the ministry's poster boy. That would be a ton of laughs. Umbridge trying to sweet talk Harry after all the misery she put on him.


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Old October 19th, 2006, 5:37 pm
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Re: Dolores Jane Umbridge : Character Analysis

Do you think her actions support Voldemort even if she isn't a DE?

These kind of people support evilness in a dangerous way. She spreads fear and unmotivation. She makes it easy for Death Eaters to enter the magical world.


How is it that Dolores is still employed at the Ministry?


I think JK created a quite accurat picture of real world there. Politicans and poeple in public jobs hardly loose their job, whatever they do. I doubt she's still in a high position, but she's still there and still able to visit Dumbledore's funeral ie as a well respected member of the MoM. Phlegm comes to mind - much more describing as poor Fleur.


How do you think Jo will give Umbridge her due in Book 7? What personality traits or actions could lead to her being involved in the plot?


Maybe she will be involved in the plotline around the discrimination of magical beings again. I think this will be a part of 7 and so I could imagine her there. Maybe she's again working in that department. Maybe she will interact with Lupin for a while.


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Old October 24th, 2006, 2:22 am
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Re: Dolores Jane Umbridge : Character Analysis

1) Jo herself describes Umbridge as evil. How does Dolores rate against the series villain, Lord Voldemort? When Harry was told the world wasn't divided between good people and Death Eaters, did that rule her out as a DE? Do you think her actions support Voldemort even if she isn't a DE?
Though Umbridge is evil, she’s definitely not as evil as Voldemort. A big difference is that Umbridge doesn’t try to split her soul and make horcruxes by committing murder. I don’t think Sirius’ statement ruled her out as a Death Eater per se, but I truly don’t believe she is one because 1) she’s never really shown herself to be in league with any known Death Eaters and 2) I believe it’s important to keep in mind that this lesson applies to even the nastiest people (which Umbridge certainly is). However, in a way, her actions do support Voldemort in that they are mean-spirited and designed to harm people. She even uses Dementors, which are known to support Voldemort, and she shows a willingness to use an Unforgivable Curse. So all in all I think Umbridge’s character shows us that even though a person might not be a Death Eater, they can still be evil and the spirit of their actions can still support Voldemort.

2) Umbridge did her share of driving the plot in OotP, the trio would never have formed Dumbledore's Army without her influence, for instance. Did her tenure at Hogwarts--as DADA professor, High Inquisitor and Headmistress--produce other effects favorable to Harry and company? How do you feel about the handling of her "duties"?
In the long run I do think that Umbridge’s presence at Hogwarts served to help Harry and company in several ways. For one thing, it showed the students that they could unite, and in unity they would be stronger than if they stood alone. I believe the formation of the DA is a foreshadowing to a future unification of Hogwarts among all the Houses. For another, it gave the students a chance to gain some independence and put together an organization that would benefit many. Also as Olwen mentioned, it was the catalyst for Fred and George to start their joke shop. Regarding Umbridge’s handling of her duties, I’d say she did it in a way that shows her desire for authority and control, as well as her “by the book” nature and her enjoyment of feeling superior and of causing others to suffer.

3) How is it that Dolores is still employed at the Ministry? Is she still 'loyal' to Fudge or has her loyalty shifted to Minister Scrimgeour? Is she Scrimgeour's Senior Undersecretary or does she now have another title/job?
Dolores is likely still at the Ministry because the situation might not have been completely understood by Fudge. Either that or she twisted some of the facts of the situation to prevent herself from being fired. I agree with those who said Umbridge’s loyalty lies first with herself and anything that would serve to further her career. So at this point, I assume her loyalties lie with Scrimgeour because Fudge won’t help her stay in a position of power within the Ministry now that he’s not Minister anymore. I’m not sure what job she has at this point – I guess she’s still the Senior Undersecretary.

4) How do you think Jo will give Umbridge her due in Book 7? What personality traits or actions could lead to her being involved in the plot?
I’m not sure how Umbridge will make her appearance in book 7, but I’m sure Harry won’t like it! If she’s closely affiliated with Scrimgeour she may show up with him as he tries to once again convince Harry to be his “poster boy”. I also agree with gertie that she may show up again in relation to her discrimination laws for werewolves and other magical creatures.


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Old October 24th, 2006, 4:39 am
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Re: Dolores Jane Umbridge : Character Analysis

Quote:
Originally Posted by RemusLupinFan View Post
Though Umbridge is evil, she’s definitely not as evil as Voldemort. A big difference is that Umbridge doesn’t try to split her soul and make horcruxes by committing murder. I don’t think Sirius’ statement ruled her out as a Death Eater per se, but I truly don’t believe she is one because 1) she’s never really shown herself to be in league with any known Death Eaters
Actually, she does say that she has communicated with Lucius Malfoy, in the scene at the end of the book, when Snape walks in and she demands the Vertitaserum, she says:

"You are on Probation!. . . You are being deliberately unhelpful! I expected better! Lucius Malfoy always speaks so highly of you! Now get out of my office!"

The word "always" implied to me that she had, indeed, discussed her plans for the school with Lucius Malfoy, a known DE. Of course, that doesn't mean she knew he was a DE or that she was one - but that is a connection to them.

We don't know what the effect of seeing Malfoy go to Jail has been on Dolores, or the fact that Dumbledore saved her from the Centaurs, or that Voldemort has returned. She attended Dumbledore's funeral, which is interesting.

There were a couple of articles that came out right after OotP was released, in which educators in the U.S. and U.K. reacted to the "Hogwarts High Inquisitor" and her rules and regulations.

The first is an American review of the book - and this just says it all for me:

http://edrev.asu.edu/reviews/rev246.htm

OotP Review, Arizona State University
In my reading, J. K. Rowling has written a scathing critique of the current politics of schooling. She rips the veil of illusion from Hogwarts, showing it to be the pawn of political agendas. Educators, especially those imbued with notions of teacher and student agency may be especially discomforted by Rowling’s deconstruction of a number of cherished beliefs: that schools have autonomy, that teachers have authority in their classrooms, that truth and rationality win over brute force, and that one who is brave should “speak truth to power.”

. . . As the fall term begins, the Ministry reaches out to exert control over Hogwarts. A new teacher, Dolores Umbridge, is sent by the Ministry to teach “Defense against the Dark Arts.” . . .

Important long scenes depict her classroom “inspections,” demonstrating how easy it is to spin assessment when one is wielding a political ax under the guise of raising standards. Her notes on Hagrid twist every word and mannerism to the worst possible effect: when he searches for a word, “appears to have poor short term memory” and when he waves his arms “has to resort to crude sign language.” She similarly uses selective student comments to accomplish her pre-determined ends. The firing of the divination teacher, Professor Trelawney is a classic degradation ritual. In front of a crowd of students and faculty, Umbridge announces: “Incapable though you are of predicting even tomorrow’s weather, you must surely have realized that your pitiful performance during my inspections, and lack of any improvement, would make it inevitable that you would be sacked.” Umbridge humiliates people, especially colleagues in public.

How are teachers supposed to maintain pedagogical authority when they are subjected to public disrespect? Scenes like this happen metaphorically all to often in Muggle schools, where centralized political regimes hold teachers publically accountable for the performance of students on high stakes tests.

Rowling gave us an object lesson and commentary on the current politicization of education. A number of lessons are embedded in the novel. One is that “speaking truth power” is most likely to lead to humiliation, degradation, and solitary punishment as in Harry’s painful detentions. The book argues that a far better strategy is to organize behind the scenes, use subterfuge and strike decisively when ready.


And here is another article that delightfully talks about the reaction of teachers in the UK to the portrayal of this sadistic bureaucrat:

http://scotlandonsunday.scotsman.com...m?id=735522003

Scotland on Sunday: "Rowling causes Umbrage with her Umbridge"

. . . Rowling lampoons real-world school inspectors, central government decrees on the curriculum and even the parachuting-in of new staff to ‘failing schools’.

One Scottish teaching union last night urged ministers and civil servants to read the novel, which smashed sales records on its release two weeks ago.

Central to Rowling’s satirical scheme is a new character, Professor Dolores Umbridge, a grotesque parody of a modern-day school inspector.

Umbridge, described as looking like a large pale toad, starts the book as a civil servant in the Ministry of Magic.

She is then appointed as a teacher at Hogwarts, where she removes the magic from her lessons with a "carefully structured, theory-centred, Ministry-approved course of defensive magic", complete with a series of vague course aims.

Umbridge is then appointed as "high inquisitor" of Hogwarts, and introduces a cruel and negative regime of inspections, and sacks one teacher.

Ultimately, headmaster Dumbledore is stripped of his post and Umbridge is parachuted in to replace him. The manoeuvre is described by the ministry as "an exciting new phase in the minister’s plans to get to grips with falling standards", writes Rowling.

The ministry orders the school to stop extra-curricular activities so pupils can focus on rote-learning spells.

Rowling, a former teacher, also depicts staff as dumbing down their lessons in order to prepare Potter for his Ordinary Wizarding Level exams.

Teachers focus on duller spells and spoon-feed information on magical beasts, because they know what is likely to be in the wizarding equivalents of Standard Grades.

Pat O’Donnell, Scottish secretary of the National Association of Schoolteachers/Union of Women Teachers, said Rowling’s satire was "dead right".

He said: "I hope the politicians and inspectors read her book. We have now got a system where we have set up big national testing systems, and the consequences of your children failing are so high teachers are teaching to the tests. . . .



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Last edited by silver ink pot; October 24th, 2006 at 4:42 am.
  #10  
Old October 24th, 2006, 4:42 am
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Re: Dolores Jane Umbridge : Character Analysis

Umbridge=evil.
I didn't like her at all.


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Old October 24th, 2006, 5:01 am
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Re: Dolores Jane Umbridge : Character Analysis

1) Jo herself describes Umbridge as evil. How does Dolores rate against the series villain, Lord Voldemort? When Harry was told the world wasn't divided between good people and Death Eaters, did that rule her out as a DE? Do you think her actions support Voldemort even if she isn't a DE?
I think Umbridge and Voldemort are two very different types of villain.
They both seek power--for Voldy this is an obvious case, for Dolores I think this is best demonstrated by the slow creeping growth of her influence through those horrible decrees. I think they both seek power partially out of fear and a desire to overcome that which they fear--death for Voldemort, and a variety of things for Umbridge, including but not necessarily limited to nonhuman magical beings. OTOH their methods for gaining this power is very different. Tom has (or had, anyway) a great deal of charm. He can sway people to his will until they are stuck, entranced or petrified by his power over them. Umbridge, on the other hand, has very little personal power. She works through other people's power and rules and regulations. She can't face down people on her own strength or authority, she just twists the law so that she has the upper hand.
I don't think she's a DE but I definitely think that she is promoting Voldy's agenda--by alienating werewolves and centaurs and other members of the magical community she's creating and widening the schisms that make it so easy for him to divide and conquer the magical world.


3) How is it that Dolores is still employed at the Ministry? Is she still 'loyal' to Fudge or has her loyalty shifted to Minister Scrimgeour? Is she Scrimgeour's Senior Undersecretary or does she now have another title/job?
I think Umbridge is loyal to Umbridge. She supports the laws and officials who can advance her agenda. As to how she stayed, I think that although she has little sincere charm, she has that whole sickly-sweet sucking-up thing going for her. She's a bureaucrat through and through, she knows how to work the system.

4) How do you think Jo will give Umbridge her due in Book 7? What personality traits or actions could lead to her being involved in the plot?
*eyes misting over* perhaps she'll be carried off by an angry mob of rebelling goblins...or werewolves...boy, I'd love for Lupin to get a crack at her. I think it'll be like the centaur thing, but on a bigger scale. Her mistreatment of nonhumans and parthumans is going to come back to get her.


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Old October 25th, 2006, 4:14 am
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Re: Dolores Jane Umbridge : Character Analysis

I believe that Umbridge was included in the story because it proves the point that just because you aren't a Death Eater, that doesn't mean you can't be a vile, vindictive person like Dolores Umbridge is. Umbridge did so many unbelievable acts to her students, such as making them write into their skin, that it is amazing that she was still suppported by the Minsitry, and it was even more amazing that the Ministry fully endorsed her actions, and actually gave her more power to keep up what she was doing! Umbridge also, I believe, symbolized the corruption of the Ministry, and showed that the Minstry is at times quite corupt, and unfair, and that the the wizarding world can not always lean on the Minsitry in times of need.


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Old October 25th, 2006, 4:20 am
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Re: Dolores Jane Umbridge : Character Analysis

Umbridge is Rowling's testimony to the corruption of absolute power... along with Cornelius Fudge. She is the consummate political hack.


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  #14  
Old October 25th, 2006, 4:37 am
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Re: Dolores Jane Umbridge : Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by purplehawk View Post
Umbridge is Rowling's testimony to the corruption of absolute power... along with Cornelius Fudge. She is the consummate political hack.
Exactly. Umbridge proves that even in the magic wizarding world of Harry Potter, corruption still exists, and Fudge and Umbridge are symbols of that.


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Old November 1st, 2006, 5:59 pm
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Re: Dolores Jane Umbridge : Character Analysis

Of all her actions in OOTP what do you think was the one that was the most wicked and vile?
I would have to say sending the dementors on Harry was pretty much the lowest of all the things she did. Any thoughts?


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Old November 1st, 2006, 6:30 pm
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Re: Dolores Jane Umbridge : Character Analysis

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Of all her actions in OOTP what do you think was the one that was the most wicked and vile?
I would have to say sending the dementors on Harry was pretty much the lowest of all the things she did. Any thoughts?
Actually the whole thing and how she tried to get more and more power for her own aims. But if you want to have an example: as she tried to crucio Harry I was shocked again (after several times before, tough), because she forgot all of her (nonsenscial of course) rules then.


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Old November 2nd, 2006, 1:37 am
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Re: Dolores Jane Umbridge : Character Analysis

1) Jo herself describes Umbridge as evil. How does Dolores rate against the series villain, Lord Voldemort? When Harry was told the world wasn't divided between good people and Death Eaters, did that rule her out as a DE? Do you think her actions support Voldemort even if she isn't a DE?
Her actions, whilst vindictive and inhumane, do not support Voldemort. They may be aiding him, but I think the key word is support. The control over the school helped him secure a control, but they were not key to supporting his plans. I know I'm being picky, but I am a HP fan!

2) Umbridge did her share of driving the plot in OotP, the trio would never have formed Dumbledore's Army without her influence, for instance. Did her tenure at Hogwarts--as DADA professor, High Inquisitor and Headmistress--produce other effects favorable to Harry and company? How do you feel about the handling of her "duties"?
There's two sides to a coin. Whilst her actions may have aided Harry, I wonder what would have happened if she didn't go to Hogwarts. Well lets look back at the beginning. She sent Dementors after Harry to the MOM. If he hadn't have gone, he wouldn't have seen the DoM and any of the MoM. Now follow the train of thought!

3) How is it that Dolores is still employed at the Ministry? Is she still 'loyal' to Fudge or has her loyalty shifted to Minister Scrimgeour? Is she Scrimgeour's Senior Undersecretary or does she now have another title/job?
I suspect they keep her on in order not to embarrass themselves, and she's probably been taught enough of a lesson by the centaurs! I suspect she's loyal to whoever holds power, personally.

4) How do you think Jo will give Umbridge her due in Book 7? What personality traits or actions could lead to her being involved in the plot?
Anything that involves a toad. No, seriously, I believe Jo might make her useful. Not in a nice way for the character, but i suspect it will help Harry!


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Old November 2nd, 2006, 3:11 am
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Re: Dolores Jane Umbridge : Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by Virtuousdream View Post
The control over the school helped him secure a control, but they were not key to supporting his plans. I know I'm being picky, but I am a HP fan!
I think I disagree with that more than a little - due to Umbridge, McGonagall was in the hospital and Dumbledore had fled the Aurors, so when Harry was in trouble with the vision about Sirius, he thought he had no one to turn to from the Order (he forgot about Snape). McGonagall and Dumbledore were the ones who covered up for Harry when he had the vision about the snake, so they would have helped him understand the vision of Sirius, and the whole thing with the thestrals wouldn't have been necessary.

I see Dolores as necessary for the plot to advance, but she's also a symbol of someone doing things in an evil way that helps Voldemort to grow stronger. She's a "lesser" evil, but still really, really bad. Alot like Kreacher. They both still have a chance to redeem themselves, in a way that Voldemort does not.


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  #19  
Old November 2nd, 2006, 3:32 am
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Re: Dolores Jane Umbridge : Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by Virtuousdream View Post
Anything that involves a toad. No, seriously, I believe Jo might make her useful. Not in a nice way for the character, but i suspect it will help Harry!
Interesting point. I wonder what Jo could have in store for Umbridge to help Harry? Would she somehow be forced to give information to Harry?


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  #20  
Old November 2nd, 2006, 3:39 am
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Re: Dolores Jane Umbridge : Character Analysis

1) Jo herself describes Umbridge as evil. How does Dolores rate against the series villain, Lord Voldemort? When Harry was told the world wasn't divided between good people and Death Eaters, did that rule her out as a DE? Do you think her actions support Voldemort even if she isn't a DE?
Her actions certainly support Voldemort - if you remember, her making Harry and Dumbledore's lives miserable did a fair bit of good to him. However, I do think it was not intentional. In my opinion, she was so determined to get herself a high ranking within the Ministry, she didn't realize that her actions were actually benefiting the Dark side. I also don't really think she is a Death Eater; just because her actions benefited Voldemort, it doesn't mean she's a supporter of his. Of course, it would be very convinient, but unrealistic - a Death Eater would not care nearly as much as she did for getting a high ranking in the MInistry and a good relation with the Minister.

2) Umbridge did her share of driving the plot in OotP, the trio would never have formed Dumbledore's Army without her influence, for instance. Did her tenure at Hogwarts--as DADA professor, High Inquisitor and Headmistress--produce other effects favorable to Harry and company? How do you feel about the handling of her "duties"?
Of course I was cussing and swearing when I read the parts with her tormenting the trio, but the more I got to think of it, she has both benefited and damaged them so much. Of course if she had never been there, Harry probably would not have had to sneak into the fireplace to communicate with Sirius; he would just be able to talk to Dumbledore, who would in turn put Harry in his place and talk some sense into him. This would have prevented Sirius's death. But the thing that bothers me about that is if Sirius's death had never occured, Harry would have lost the incredible amount of knowledge, love, and passion for destroying Voldemort that he felt afterwards. All in all, that would hurt his performance in the 'final battle' or whatever it may be.

3) How is it that Dolores is still employed at the Ministry? Is she still 'loyal' to Fudge or has her loyalty shifted to Minister Scrimgeour? Is she Scrimgeour's Senior Undersecretary or does she now have another title/job?
I think she is still employed at the Ministry simply because she's got nowhere else to go, and they need the extra person to do all the tiny, irksome tasks - getting coffee, etc. Of course, it may be the Ministry's way of just hushing everything up, and making sure no rumours are floating around.

4) How do you think Jo will give Umbridge her due in Book 7? What personality traits or actions could lead to her being involved in the plot?
I think Umbridge's drive to excel and to go up in ranking will lead to her doing most outrageous things in book seven. I have a strange feeling that she will do something seemingly trivial, or simply irritating - as we've seen her do in the past - which will ultimately lead to the plot being advanced a whole lot further, etc. For example, she may have a hand in something that drives the trio back to Grimmauld place, where they will be forced to stay for a while (speculating, people); maybe that way they'll find the locket. I don't know.. I'm sure it's going to be something wacky a la usual JKR style.


 
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