Sunday, August 31, 2003

Death Eater: Despicable Name or Disturbing Meaning?

Is anyone else disturbed by the name deatheater? Not disturbed because of who Death Eaters are, but disturbed because the name sounds as if it belongs in a fiction written by a toddler? I have a problem with it. The name is more corny than the sappiest love story ever told. Yet, I plan to spend a good hour or so of my time pondering this title. Why?

A professor once told me that if an intelligent author uses something that catches the eye with its ridiculousness, serving only to annoy the audience throughout the performance, than they are doing it for a reason. It is very likely that the author wants people to think about the use of language, imagery or whatever the object of annoyance is and ponder why it is there. I believe JK Rowling is an intelligent author. I also believe she wants us to think about this obscure name.

Simply put a Death Eater is one that eats death. No surprises so far. Yet, let's look even deeper. Why would Voldemort want his supporters to have a name that meanst to consume death? If Voldemort is afraid of death, which is why I think he flees from it, it could be that he uses his Death Eaters to keep death away from him. They consume death so that death cannot touch him. Yet, what does it mean to consume death? To take it into oneself? To make it a part of oneself? Our physical bodies are made from things that we eat. Therefore, to consume death is to become death. By serving Voldemort, his followers feed on death and are slowly transformed by it. They become death and start to lack life.

Look at characters such as Lucius Malfoy. Malfoy came to Voldemort because of Malfoy's bigotries and undoubtably his affinity for power. Voldemort then takes control of Malfoy, having him do whatever Voldemort wishes. While Voldemort may fear death, in many ways he is death. People who fall into his trap lose themselves in their greed and lust for power. Malfoy and other Death Eaters kill for Voldemort, they serve him in all ways that Tom wishes. What is it Tom wishes? That they keep death away from him. Malfoy and other Death Eaters keep death away by putting others to death. Slowly their servitude to Voldemort causes them to lose the life that is in them. They are servants and they are really powerless under the hand of Voldemort. They are owned, controlled, and ordered by death. Even their bodies are like death as they continue to consume it. Their quest for power, their greed, this is their demise.
So there you have it. My idea on why the term deatheater is important. A man becomes a Death Eater to seek out what they see as a richer life, in the end all they find is death.

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