Psychoanalytic Analysis Of Voldemort

Psychoanalytic Analysis Of Voldemort

A brief examination of He-who-shall-not-be-named.
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As someone who studies Psychology, I have come to understand that the knowledge gathered from this rather fascinating field may be used to analyze various aspects of popular and classical literature. Being an avid reader with a fervent passion for the Arts, this has fueled my habit of critically inspecting diverse literary works with the aid of psychological theories. I usually am interested in analyzing the characters present in a novel and Lord Voldemort, from the Harry Potter series, is one who never seizes to amaze me.

The Harry Potter series happens to be one of my favorite works of creative writing and J.K Rowling’s character, Voldemort, is one I always examine with the aid of Freud’s psychosexual theory of development. This theory attempts to highlights the various stages a child progress through in order to become an adult and Freud often suggests that the failure to successfully complete a stage may result in serious consequences later in life.

To understand this character through this perspective it is of utter most importance to look back at the characteristics of his childhood. Tom Riddle, the young and not yet deviant Voldemort, was an orphan who was gifted with extraordinary magical abilities; thus qualifying him to be part of the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. He spent his early years in an orphanage, where his days were miserably spent and where he lacked in parental love, or any other type of love in general. Due to the presence of such environmental circumstances the Dark Lord’s development was interrupted, preventing his unconscious from gaining all of the dimensionality which it was meant to display.

Freud would probably claim that Voldemort’s life in isolation prevented him from overcoming the Oedipus complex, an important stage of one’s psychosexual development. The Oedipus complex is a conflict in one of the early stages of development where one develops a sexually driven attachment to one’s mother and hatred towards one’s father. As an orphan Tom Riddle was incapable of creating any sort of attachment to his parents and was then unable to overcome the Oedipus conflict. Therefore resulting in the inhibition of the development of his ego and superego. According to Freud individuals’ subconscious are composed of the id, ego and superego and these forces dominate one’s actions. The id represents uncontrollable drives and desires, the superego is the self-critical conscience and the ego mediates the tension between the id and superego.

As Voldemort’s ego and superego were never properly developed during his childhood he does not hold the same types of moral standards that others deem to be appropriate. Instead he is far more concerned with satiating the desires of his id.

It is quite interesting to see that this theory is not the only one which may be suitable to investigate Voldemort’s personality traits. I believe that Karen Horney’s neurosis theory, which is also based on psychoanalytic beliefs, brilliantly portrays him through her definitions of neurotic needs. From the list which she created we may see that he relates to the neurotic needs for prestige, personal achievement and perfection. His behaviors mirror this perfectly as he is always attempting to convince everyone that he is the most powerful wizard in existence and he uses aggressive means to get his point across. Horney would qualify this as the coping techniques which he has chosen to use to satisfy his excessive needs.

It is marvelous to see how these theories connect with this persona that Rowling has created and it is easy for us to see that her genius is well reflected in her work. One could only wish to able to create characters who are just as incredibly rich as hers.

Cover Image Credit: Flickr

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Why High School Musicals Should Be As Respected As Sports Programs Are

The arts are important, too.
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When I was in middle school and high school, I felt like I lived for the musicals that my school orchestrated.

For those of you who don't know, a musical is an onstage performance wherein actors take on roles that involve singing, and often dancing, to progress the plot of the story. While it may sound a little bit nerdy to get up in front of an audience to perform in this manner, this is something you cannot knock until you try it.

For some reason, though, many public schools have de-funded arts programs that would allow these musicals to occur, while increasing the funding for sports teams. There are a few things that are being forgotten when sports are valued more than musical programs in high schools.

Much like athletic hobbies, an actor must try-out, or audition, to participate in a musical. Those best suited for each role will be cast, and those who would not fit well are not given a part. While this may sound similar to trying out for say, basketball, it is an apples to oranges comparison.

At a basketball try-out, those who have the most experience doing a lay-up or shooting a foul shot will be more likely to succeed, no questions asked. However, for an audition, it is common to have to learn a piece of choreography upon walking in, and a potential cast member will be required to sing a selected piece with only a few days of preparation.

There are many more variables involved with an audition that makes it that much more nerve-racking.

The cast of a school musical will often rehearse for several months to perfect their roles, with only several nights of performance at the end. Many sports practice for three or four days between each of their respective competitions. While this may seem to make sports more grueling, this is not always the case.

Musicals have very little pay-off for a large amount of effort, while athletic activities have more frequent displays of their efforts.

Athletes are not encouraged to but are allowed to make mistakes. This is simply not allowed for someone in a musical, because certain lines or entrances may be integral to the plot.

Sometimes, because of all the quick changes and the sweat from big dance numbers, the stage makeup just starts to smear. Despite this, an actor must smile through it all. This is the part of musicals that no sport has: introspection.

An actor must think about how he or she would respond in a given situation, be it saddening, maddening, frightening, or delightful. There is no sport that requires the knowledge of human emotion, and there is especially no sport that requires an athlete to mimic such emotion. This type of emotional exercise helps with communications and relationships.

Sports are great, don't get me wrong. I loved playing volleyball, basketball, track, and swimming, but there were no experiences quite like those from a musical. Sports challenge the body with slight amounts of tactic, while musicals require much physical and mental endurance.

The next time you hear someone say that it's “just a musical," just remember that musicals deserve as much respect as sports, since they are just as, if not more demanding.

Cover Image Credit: Cincinnati Arts

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10 Shows To Watch If You're Sick Of 'The Office'

You can only watch it so many times...

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"The Office" is a great show, and is super easy to binge watch over and over again! But if you're like me and you're looking for something new to binge, why not give some of these a try? These comedies (or unintentional comedies) are a great way to branch out and watch something new.

1. "New Girl"

A show about a group of friends living in an apartment in a big city? Sound familiar? But seriously, this show is original and fresh, and Nick Miller is an icon.

2. "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend"

Ya'll have been sleeping on this show. It's a musical comedy about a girl that follows her ex boyfriend across the country. I thought it sounded horrible so I put it off for WAY too long, but then I realized how incredible the cast, music, writing, and just EVERYTHING. It really brings important issues to light, and I can't say too much without spoiling it. Rachel Bloom (the creator of the show) is a woman ahead of her time.

3. "Jane the Virgin"

I know... another CW show. But both are so incredible! Jane The Virgin is a tongue-in-cheek comedy and parody of telenovelas. It has so many twists and turns, but somehow you find yourself laughing with the family.

4. "Brooklyn Nine-Nine"

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Brooklyn Nine-Nine has been in popular news lately since its cancellation by Fox and sequential pickup by NBC. It's an amazing show about cops in, you guessed it, Brooklyn. Created by the amazing Michael Schur, it's a safe bet that if you loved "The Office" you'll also love his series "Brooklyn Nine-Nine".

5. "The Good Place"

Another series created by the talented Micael Schur, it's safe to say you've probably already heard about this fantasy-comedy series. With a wonderful cast and writing that will keep you on your toes, the show is another safe bet.

6. "Fresh Off The Boat"

Seriously, I don't know why more people don't watch this show. "Fresh Off The Boat" focuses on an Asian family living in Orlando in the mid 90s. Randall Parks plays a character who is the polar opposite of his character in "The Interview" (Yeah, remember that horrifying movie?) and Constance Wu is wonderful as always.

7. "Full House"

Why not go back to the basics? If you're looking for a nostalgic comedy, go back all the way to the early days of Full House. If you're a '98-'00 baby like me, you probably grew up watching the Tanner family on Nick at Night. The entire series is available on Hulu, so if all else fails just watch Uncle Jesse and Rebecca fall in love again or Michelle fall off a horse and somehow lose her memory.

8. "Secret Life of the American Teenager"

Okay, this show is not a comedy, but I have never laughed so hard in my life. It's off Netflix but it's still on Hulu, so you can watch this masterpiece there. Watch the terrible acting and nonsense plot twists drive this show into the ground. Somehow everyone in this school dates each other? And also has a baby? You just have to watch. It might be my favorite show of all time.

9. "Scrubs"

Another old show that is worth watching. If you ignore the last season, Scrubs is a worthwhile medical comedy about doctors in both their personal and medical life. JD and Turk's relationship is one to be jealous of, and one hilarious to watch. Emotional at times, this medical drama is superior to any medical drama that's out now.

10. "Superstore"

I was resistant to watch this one at first, because it looked cheesy. But once I started watching I loved it! The show is a workplace comedy, one you're sure to love if you can relate to working in retail. If you liked the Office, you'll like Superstore!

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