English Composition II
20 July 2011
Throughout the course of history there are many infamous leaders that use questionable methods to earn their title as supreme ruler in their time, such as Adolf Hitler of Germany. Hitler to many was a great leader, but the way he seized power was very similar to Lord Voldemort. These two names in history and in literature are exemplars of atrocious leadership and dictatorship. It is agreed that the quest for power many times often alters honest principles of the seeker in order to obtain the ultimate prize, power over their people, but more importantly immortality. Especially in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, the archetypal villain, Lord Voldemort epitomizes the power hungry individual that faces defeat, because power does not suit him, in juxtaposition to Harry Potter, the ultimate hero. Eventually in the end, the drive for power and total glory blinds Voldemort, much like it did to Hitler, causing them both to be defeated. As history has proven many times, evil can be conquered, and that the greater good has the power to overcome the evil forces that threaten society. The first similarity that comes in mind when talking about these two infamous leaders is their troubled childhood. Both of them were known to have suffered losses that affected them negatively and caused them to be corrupted. Lord Voldemort was the son of the witch Merope Gaunt and muggle (a non wizard) Tom Riddle, whom Merope ensnared with a love potion. When her husband discovers she was a witch, he abandons her while she is pregnant. Instead of choosing to live for her son, “[she] chose death in spite of a son who needed her” and Tom's mother died shortly after giving birth to him on December 31st, living just long enough to christen him with the ordinary name, Tom Riddle (Rowling 262). Just like Lord Voldemort, Hitler also had a childhood burdened with abandonment and heavy losses. Growing up as a young boy, Hitler’s three siblings all died from a malignant illness. He then moved to Austria with his mother and abusive father, and they soon had a new addition to the family, his brother Edmund. Soon after Edmund was born, he died from measles and it is reported that after the death of his last living brother, he did not cope with it well and his behavior was questionable. Hitler did poorly in school and fought with his teachers. To add to his grief, his mother and father soon passed away shortly after he turned fifteen. Aside from both of Voldemort and Hitler’s childhoods, they also had many things in common that one tends to forget about. During the time of Hitler’s reign, many were confused as to why he wanted to murder the Jewish population when in reality he was half Jewish himself. Hitler made himself believe that every Jew was out to squander society and they were out to get him, for example, “He was convinced that it was a Jewish professor that had rejected his art work… he became convinced that a Jewish doctor had been responsible for his mother’s death” and blamed his other unfortunate problems on Jews as well (History Learning Site “Adolf Hitler”). There in his youth, a strong anti-Semitism flourished and overtook his faculties. Similarly, Adolf Hitler is a historical embodiment of what Voldemort stands for in the Harry Potter series. His obsession with pure blood ancestry parallels Hitler’s pursuit for an Aryan dominated race. Hitler, like many other dictators, was very persuasive through his words as well as propaganda. In Nazi Germany Dr. Joseph Goebbels was in charge of the propaganda. He was soon to be known as the “Minister of Propaganda and National Enlightenment” (History Learning Site “Propaganda In Nazi Germany”). To ensure that everyone heard Hitler he installed loud speakers in every café in every street. The facilities were ordered to play the speakers for every speech that Hitler gave just so he would be heard....
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