Hi there! This is another harry Potter essay that I wrote a couple of years ago. I hope you all enjoy. :) Please feel free to drop reviews or comments. I'd love to hear your opinions.

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The Horcruxes and Their Meaning

Did you ever wonder why Voldemort chose those particular objects for his horcruxes? Each of Voldemort's horcruxes had a very special meaning. The locket, the ring, the diary, the snake, the cup, the diadem, and Harry were all special in their own way.

Salazar Slytherin's Locket

Salazar Slytherin's locket was an important choice for a horcrux because it represented strong connections to Voldemort's family. He was a blood descendant of Slytherin, which in his eyes gave him a higher status. He inherited this pride from his maternal and wizarding family. The reader can see this pride in a flashback in Half Blood Prince when Marvolo Gaunt, Voldemort's grandfather, says, "Slytherin's! Salazar Slytherin's! We're his last living descendants!"

His need to feel important was a big deal for Riddle because he was ashamed of his muggle family. His shame was so great, that when he was older, he tracked down his muggle family and murdered them. A second reason his connection to Slytherin was important was that he had a strong connection to snakes. His skill of Parseltongue was inherited from his uncle and grandfather Morfin and Marvolo Gaunt. Salazar Slytherin was a sort of king of Snakes. Even his house symbol was a serpent. Harry witnesses this skill of Riddle's when the memory of the Dark Lord opens the Chamber of Secrets. "Riddle opened his mouth and hissed - but Harry understood what he was saying . . . 'Speak to me, Slytherin, Greatest of the Hogwarts Four."

His personality is also very similar to that of a snake's. He can be very persuasive, similar to the snake in the Garden of Eden. He can trick people, convince them to serve him, and is very capable of lying and deceit. Another horcrux that was similar to the locket in many ways was Marvolo Gaunt's ring.

Marvolo Gaunt's Ring

Marvolo Gaunt's ring represented a connection, both to Slytherin and his magical family. He was half-blood but his maternal side of the family were purebloods parselmouths and descendants of Slytherin. In a flashback from Half Blood Prince, Gaunt boasts, "Centuries it's been in our family, that's how far back we go, and pureblood all the way."

Tom Riddle had great pride for his wizarding family. A reason Riddle was so prideful was that he had been hurt and abandoned by his muggle family. Had his father been there, he may have never detested muggles and muggle-borns so much or become the man we now know as Lord Voldemort. In Half Blood Prince, Dumbledore said of Riddle's father, "He left her, never saw her again, and never troubled to discover what became of his son."

Tom Riddle had been hurt; perhaps not physically but mentally. He never wanted to be around muggles, let alone meet his father or grandparents. Apart from anger towards muggles and their kind, he also wanted to defy death.

The diary was an enchanted way to make himself live on. He wanted to prolong his life, but even more so, he wanted to be immortal. "I decided to leave behind a diary, preserving my 16 year-old self in its pages so that one day, with luck, I would be able to lead another in my footsteps, and finish Salazar Slytherin's noble work," explains the memory of Tom Riddle to Harry in the Chamber of Secrets. By convincing students to open the Chamber of Secrets, he was forming himself a legacy. A legacy in which he himself would be remembered for ridding the world of "mudblood" students. He also wanted to obtain immortality through fame, which is explained when Harry and the memory, Riddle, are talking in Chamber of Secrets. " . . . I fashioned myself a new name, a name I knew wizards everywhere, would one day fear to speak, when I had become that greatest sorcerer in the world."

To Voldemort, fashioning himself a legacy was the easiest way to achieve immortality. His love for Hogwarts, if somewhat demented, showed in his wish to cleanse it of un-pure blood. His love also showed in his choice to turn Hufflepuff's cup into a horcrux.

Helga Hufflepuff's Cup

Hufflepuff's cup, along with Ravenclaw's diadem, showed his connection to, and love for Hogwarts; eerily similar to how Harry felt. It was important, however, because it was where he could learn to use magic and was not frowned upon or scowled at because of it. When Riddle discovers that he will attend Hogwarts, he tells Dumbledore, "I knew I was different. I knew I was special. Always I knew there was something."

Thinking that he was special made it easier for him to believe that he was a wizard, as opposed to Harry's disbelief and incredulity at the idea of him being a wizard. Being almost eleven years old meant that the next September he could be accepted into Hogwarts. When September came, he entered Hogwarts, had the Sorting Hat placed on his head, and was immediately sorted into Slytherin. Having lived in an orphanage his whole life, Hogwarts was his first real home. In the Deathly Hallows he even states, while attacking Hogwarts, "I do not want to spill magical blood."

Even when his hatred towards Harry was unfathomably great, his love for Hogwarts still showed.

Rowena Ravenclaw's Diadem

Ravenclaw's diadem was a good candidate for a horcrux as it was yet another connection to Hogwarts. His persuasion techniques were very helpful in obtaining the diadem. The Grey Lady, who was Rowena Ravenclaw's daughter, was killed but then returned to Hogwarts as a ghost. In the Deathly Hallows, Harry and the Grey Lady are talking and she explains to him how she was the one to tell Riddle about her mother's diadem. We can see part of this conversation in Deathly Hallows. "You've already told someone this story haven't you? Another student?' She closed her eyes and nodded . 'I had . . . no idea . . . He was . . . flattering . . . He seemed to understand . . . to sympathize. . . "

The Grey Lady was persuaded by Voldemort to tell him about the diadem. Having relics of three of the the four Hogwarts founders was a source of pride in Riddle's eyes. Ravenclaw's diadem, for instance, was a symbol of his superior intelligence over the wizarding community. In the Chamber of Secrets, he tells Harry that he planned to become the greatest sorcerer in the world. Having planned this already, using the diadem as a horcrux was just another step towards immortality.

Nagini

Another horcrux was Nagini. Nagini is a very strange being, not just because she was a horcrux, but because she was Voldemort's friend, his only friend. As Professor Dumbledore told Harry in Half Blood Prince, "I believe he is a a fond of her as he can be of anything."

Nagini was a close companion to Voldemort. He liked to have her nearby for her own protection as well as his own. Another reason she's a horcrux is that she symbolizes all of his snake-like traits in a physical format. Being a skilled Parselmouth, he was able to control her and speak to her. "Voldemort spoke in Parseltongue, 'Kill." We can see how he uses her as a slave and personalized murder tool. Nagini and Harry are the only living horcruxes.

Harry Potter

The one thing that separates Harry from the other horcruxes is that he is the one Voldemort never intended to make. Harry was still able to love, which was a feat because, after everything that happened to him, Harry very well could have turned to the darkness. "You are protected, in short, by your ability to love!" explains Professor Dumbledore in the Half-Blood Prince. Being able to love was Harry's protection against Voldemort because Voldemort could not love, nor did he want to. He could not even fathom the concept of love.

When Voldemort made Harry a horcrux, he inadvertently transferred some of his powers to Harry, which is why Harry can speak Parseltongue and see into Voldemort's mind. He, in short, created his own enemy. " . . . Voldemort singled you out as the person he thought would be most dangerous to him - and in doing so made you the person who would be most dangerous to him."

Whereas the other horcruxes protected Voldemort, Harry, who symbolized all of Voldemort's weaknesses, was Voldemort's downfall.

Every horcrux had a special connection to Voldemort in some way. Some, like Hufflepuff's Cup and Ravenclaw's diadem, showed his connection to Hogwarts. Nagini, Marvolo Gaunt's ring, and Slytherin's locket showed his connections to snakes and the House of Slytherin. The diary was a connection to his past. Harry, however, though he had some uncanny connections to Voldemort, was the opposite in many ways, and with his ability to love, he was able to defeat Voldemort and bring peace to the wizarding world.