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 Post subject: Tom Riddles Diary
PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2012 12:21 pm 
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Re-Reading the chapters for the next podcast I came across some small side notes about the diary that I found interesting. First with Myrtle- she was sitting in the U-Bend and it fell through her. Obviously someone wouldn't be throwing it at her; just simply trying to flush it. Also Ron is suspicious of the diary from the moment he saw it. Ron tells harry that "It could be dangerous" and that "You'd be surprised" what kind of things that books can do. I love this bit of forshadowing. Later in the corridor when Ginny sees that Harry now has the diary- she was "starring from the diary to Harry, looking terrified". This shows us that she obviously knows what the book is- again a bit of forshadowing that I for one did not catch on the first read.

Which all leads me to consider- with all these warning signs; why is Harry so easy to believe what the book has to show him? Is he just so determined to find answers that he is willing to get them from these unreliable sources?

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 Post subject: Re: Tom Riddles Diary
PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2012 5:01 pm 
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My initial thought on this is a bit too simplistic I think, we'll see. I'm thinking that Harry who is 12 and going through an incredibly weird and dangerous experience at Hogwarts with the Chamber opening and obviously under the pressure he faces from his peers assuming he is to blame may have simply thought, "Whoa, talking diary!". It's the first thing he really comes across to give him any actual answers and so I suppose that without anything to help him further unravel the mystery, he goes for it.

Another theory is that Harry is simply too trusting of a guy all around, a bit gullible if you will. Remember that even in HBP when Ginny brings up the idea of not trusting books/objects that talk to you, Harry is still determined to keep the book and when he hides it from Snape and lands in loads of trouble (think how much that Sectumsempra scene cost him punishment-wise!), he still wants to go back for the book! He only restrains himself because he has to. And in OotP, he automatically believes Voldy really has Sirius despite Hermione's repeated attempts to just have him consider the possibility his vision wasn't true. Harry is a pretty easily convinced/trusting character. He doesn't even bat an eye when Hagrid says, "Follow the spiders!". He's just like "Yeah okay!" Ron's the one going, "Ugh, you want us to do what now?!" I think it goes along with that traditionally Gryffindor trait of going with the gut/your emotions without necessarily thinking ahead to the consequences. This is not always a bad thing, but sometimes for Harry it comes across as being really naive as we see here with the diary incident.

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 Post subject: Re: Tom Riddles Diary
PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2012 2:38 am 
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And you have to admit that Riddle shows him something very believable. It was taken out of context for sure, but anybody was bound to believe what it showed especially given that nobody else was willing to provide any clue. Even Dumbledore back then couldn't prove otherwise...
Ron simple gets suspicious because he was raised in and around magic and he naturally has reservations that Harry cannot have.

But the biggest thing is that Harry didn't have full control once he had the diary in his possession. Remember that even before he figured out that he could write in it and it could respond, he had the urge to keep it with him and he kept turning its blank pages. He was drawn to it probably the same way Ginny was. I suppose that was the Horcrux acting on him and that urged him to keep it and eventually it prevented him from questioning it. That, I think, separates it from the other instances when he acted impetuously when it would've helped to slow down and think a bit. In fact, later on I think he may have been influenced by other things that stems from that Gryffyndor traditional trait LumosNight3 talks about.

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 Post subject: Re: Tom Riddles Diary
PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2012 6:43 pm 
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I agree with the idea of it being parly the horcrux that draws him to it WatchStone, and it's also just Harry's character, as well as a plot device. I know that I for onewould probably be really freaked out if a diary started writing back to me, but Harry's trusting nature gets him to go along with it and enter the memory, and then the horcrux starts taking sway.

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 Post subject: Re: Tom Riddles Diary
PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2012 7:43 pm 

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I think that what you guys hit on with the horcrux is kind of right, except that I don't think that it's Harry's horcrux that is drawing him to the diary, although it may slightly be a factor. I think it's the diary as a horcrux itself that is drawing people towards it. When we hear of Umbridge in Deathly Hallows picking up Slytherin's Locket from Mundungus, it seems that she's instantly drawn to it. It could be that she just had an affinity for it, but I also believe that the horcruxes have that power to draw a person in. It's seductive and powerful and holds the ability to connect to people on emotional level. I wonder why Harry isn't like this with other people? Does he bring people in this way?

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 Post subject: Re: Tom Riddles Diary
PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2012 12:01 am 
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I think it's interesting to see HorcruxHarry having an effect. I would have to think about that one. The fact is, what I meant before was, as Queensilver171 says, the diary Horcrux's effect, not Harry himself. And yeah, just like Tweak6 says, there is also the whole thing about Harry trusting/stubborn nature and the plot device.
But the whole book is really about him taking a series of unbelievable things in stride and accepting them as a new reality. We single out the diary and those other instances in hindsight but how is a diary that responds to your writing any stranger than talking to ghosts (actual dead people!) or talking to portraits or talking to faces at the back of teachers' heads etc.? This whole journey is filled with strange things and I believe Harry copes better than many, making mistakes along the way, learning that not everything is good.

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 Post subject: Re: Tom Riddles Diary
PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2012 10:23 am 
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Is there any textual evidence in these chapters concerning the diary that we can read into as possible evidence that HorcruxHarry is having an effect on his pull towards the diary? I'm not sure I'm buying that theory just yet.

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 Post subject: Re: Tom Riddles Diary
PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2012 10:53 am 
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WatchStone wrote:
[...] the whole book is really about him taking a series of unbelievable things in stride and accepting them as a new reality. We single out the diary and those other instances in hindsight but how is a diary that responds to your writing any stranger than talking to ghosts (actual dead people!) or talking to portraits or talking to faces at the back of teachers' heads etc.? This whole journey is filled with strange things and I believe Harry copes better than many, making mistakes along the way, learning that not everything is good.

Well said! Harry has always been surrounded by unbelievable things, from the amazing-regrowing-hair to the sudden-giant-leap-to-the-roof escape from Dudley's gang to The Vanishing Glass at the zoo to being able to talk to the boa at the zoo to the flying Hogwarts letters to... gee, I dunno... a giant of a man breaking down the door of the Hut-on-the-Rock and telling him he's a wizard. To Harry, this entire world is filled with unbelievable things, so one more is just another adventure.

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 Post subject: Re: Tom Riddles Diary
PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 4:13 pm 
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I agree with LumosNight3

I am not buying the idea of unexplainable things around Harry causing him to be so inept to the diary. Harry isn't the only person in the school that is surrounded by magic. If that were the case then Ron, growing up in a completely magical world, (where weird stuff happens all the time) would be more open towards the book because it is just another magical object. However, Ron is truly worried of what the book might do. He immediately senses that it is not just a normal diary. And if it was drawing people to it- then how would it not have the slightest pull towards Draco and his goons or Ron for that matter.

I believe that Harry is indeed desperate and ignores the opinions of his friends to find "truth". I do not believe that he is having a "horcrux moment" by keeping it close. He is simply a stubborn young boy with the same weakness as any muggle child at that age- tell him not to do something or warn him about something; and odds are that he won't listen. The only pull that this book has for Harry is someone to give him any form of information because the teachers, so far, have not mentioned anything about the chamber of secrets.

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 Post subject: Re: Tom Riddles Diary
PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 4:37 pm 
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On the contrary, the fact that Ron has the CONTEXT of the magical upbringing is what gives him the ability to recognize the diary as unusual. Harry has no cultural basis to know what is beyond the pale; to him, EVERYTHING is fantastic, so there is no reason to suspect any one thing over another.

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