Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Torturers as Dementors

While watching the opening scene of the latest Harry Potter film in which dementors attack Harry and his Muggle cousin Dudley, it occurred to me that J.K. Rowling's horrific dementors are a perfect literary metaphor for torturers.
Dementors are malevolent wraiths who specialize in "malfiguring" their victims by destroying minds and souls. They rob them of their good will, their virtue, their very identities, leaving them mindless and spiritless shells. Rowling herself says that Dementors suck out hope and leave in its place a "deadened feeling." Dementors are incapable of empathy, compassion, or warmth. Tormented by their own nothingness, they are nothing but voracious hungers incessantly driven to feed off of the vitality others.

They are torturers.