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Monday, November 07, 2005

Voldemort as sociopath: Evil in the Harry Potter books

Two days ago, I posted on this same subject, more or less (actually, it was about the evilness, or lack thereof, of Draco Malfoy) and received a comment by personal e-mail. I have asked, and obtained, permission to use it. The comment, slightly edited, follows:

Voldemort is definitely evil. if you want to find an evil character, you need look no further. I know that we all knew that Voldemort was evil from book one, but what has impressed me as a reader is the way that Rowling has developed his character. Having done some reading on sociopaths and serial killers, I can tell that Rowling has obviously done her homework. Even little things about Voldemort's character and the way he responds to his world as a young man growing up are classic sociopathic things...things that have been researched in real people. That impresses me. Even though Rowling is a writer of the fantastic, and Voldemort is the ultimate evil, the fact that she bases all of her characters, even Voldemort, on things that are characteristic of real people is what makes the stories so readable.

Thanks for the comment!

1 comment:

Travis Prinzi said...

That is indeed an excellent comment and a great observation. I'll have to focus on that in my re-read of HBP. Now, if I could just get my wife to read the series...she's an excellent psychologist and would pick up on lots of great stuff along these lines, I'm certain.