Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Lord Voldemort, Trifecta of all Things Evil

In developing one of the most badass villains in literary history, author J. K. Rowling said "I wanted Harry to leave our world and find exactly the same problems in the wizarding world. So you have the intent to impose a hierarchy, you have bigotry, and this notion of purity." We also have Stalin, George W. Bush, and Hitler, which many Potterheads say lent their magical powers to Rowling to create Lord Voldemort, the perfect super villain. Let's take a look at the comparisons.

Image sources: A Catholic Thinker, Alternate History, and Democratic Underground

Stalin Like Stalin, Voldemort traded in his family name for one that sounded a little cooler. Joseph Stalin, born Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili, derived the name "Stalin" from the Russian word for "steel." Voldemort literally means "vol de mort," or "flight from death" in French. These Dark Lords also had similar ideologies. Stalin (who once said "death solves all problems - no man, no problem") and Voldemort both killed a whole lotta people in order to purge "the enemy." Once Stalin and Voldemort were defeated, their followers claimed that they never supported them in the first place. They were you know, kidding. Or under the Imperius Curse.

George W. Bush Alright, whoa. George Bush isn't evil. But this is where the He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named comparison comes into play. According to an article by the Huffington Post, Bush is someone you probably don't want to talk about if you are a Republican. They generally do not dispute the Bush framework, but do not mention it either. Democrats have already referred to him as the "Voldemort of American Politics." Ouch.

Alsonso Cuarón, director of the Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban film compared Voldemort to Bush and even Saddam Hussein saying that they both "have selfish interests and are very much in love with power. Also a disregard for the environment. A love for manipulating people." Like Voldemort, Bush is the guy who left the scar on your face.

Hitler Hitler and Voldemort share the most comparisons, according to both Potterheads and J.K. Rowling. Rowling once said "Voldemort is of course a sort of's interesting to find out how superstitious these people are, with all their power. It's part of their paranoia, the desire to make themselves bigger then who they really are; they love talking about destiny and fate. I wanted Voldemort to also have those paranoid traits."

Hitler experienced poverty and abuse as a kid for which he blamed the predominantly Jewish population he grew up with. Voldemort's desire to exterminate Muggles could have been a direct result of his feelings of superiority and anger towards his fellow foster kids. It is also said that Hitler was part-Jewish and we know that Voldemort was definitely half-Muggle.

Both Hitler and Voldemort started manipulating people at an early age. They convinced others of their good intentions and would play off the publics' emotions in order to gain their approval. Equipped with their fancy symbols (Hitler/Swastika and Voldemort/Dark Mark) they each kickstarted their campaign with baby steps. The Holocaust was a gradual elimination of the Jewish population that consisted firstly of removing rights, followed by murder. Voldemort had similar beginnings in which the government (under his control) first ordered the "Muggle-born Registration Commission" which consisted of the interrogation of Muggle-born magic folks that would eventually lead to their death.

Voldemort and Hitler corrupted Judicial systems upon gaining power in order to proceed with their ethnic cleansing. Just like the Jews, wizards who had blood that had been "tainted" by a Muggle were condemned to die by prejudiced wizards.

Stalin, G.W., Hitler. By your powers combined, I am Lord Voldemort.

So, do you agree with these comparisons? Can you think of anymore? Saddam Hussein? Osama bin Laden? Your 6th grade science teacher? (my 6th grade science teacher)