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Recollection post-imperiused

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Ninclow, Apr 22, 2018.

  1. Ninclow

    Ninclow Fourth Year

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    Okay, so - I just watched a scene from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, in which Angel, (for those unfamiliar with the show, is a vampire who unlike other bloodsuckers have a human soul and therefore have a fully functional conscience, and a desire to do good, and the boyfriend of the title character), have lost his soul, turned evil and wreaked havoc in the town of Sunnydale. During their climactic battle, which can be seen here, he regained his soul and was - afterwards, disoriented because he did not immediately remember everything he have been doing while soulless. (this is because when a human is "turned" in the Buffyverse, the human dies when their soul moves on and a immaterial demon takes up residence in the shell the soul had just left, and Angel's human soul serve to suppress the demon, meaning they were effectively two individuals sharing a mind and body, with Angel in charge while ensouled, and the demon 'Angelus' in charge when he lost his soul.)

    But I digress...

    Wouldn't someone under the influence of the Imperius Curse go through a similar experience of being momentarily unaware of what they did while controlled by the curse? The fourth book seem to be providing contradicting effects of the curse: At one hand, in the fourth book, Harry's first experience with it is explained thus:

    It was the most wonderful feeling. Harry felt a floating sensation as every thought and worry in his head was wiped gently away, leaving nothing but a vague, untraceable happiness. He stood there feeling immensely relaxed, only dimly aware of everyone watching him.

    And then he heard Mad-Eye Moody’s voice, echoing in some distant chamber of his empty brain: Jump onto the desk … jump onto the desk …

    (…) suddenly Harry felt the empty, echoing feeling in his head disappear. He remembered exactly what was happening, and the pain in his knees seemed to double.


    Harry seem to remember his time being imperiused in class by "Moody" just fine.

    Yet, both Barty Crouch Jr. and Barty Crouch Sr. appear to only start getting flashes of awareness when they start to resist the curse. Barty Crouch Jr. describes one of the periods he becomes aware while resisting his father’s Imperius Curse as waking from a deep sleep, and then goes on to say he “found himself” out in public at the Quidditch World Cup, implying he might not have been aware of how he got there.

    What do you think? Are the duration spent controlled by the curse a deciding factor in remembering things, when "waking up" or might a lack of immediate awareness of one's actions under the curse stem from failure to resist?
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2018
  2. Download

    Download Supreme Mugwump DLP Supporter

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    Dear god my eyes. Why would you put that shade of blue on dark green like that?
     
  3. Ninclow

    Ninclow Fourth Year

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    Better?
     
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    Yeah, I no longer get an instant headache looking at it.
     
  5. James018

    James018 Second Year

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    I think the 'waking up' is more along the lines of becoming aware of what happened/where you are/what you did. When Harry is under the Imperius, he doesn't seem to be aware of his surroundings or context - all he knows is Moody's command to jump onto the desk. When the curse was broken/lifted, as the quote says, he 'remembered exactly what was happening'. I imagine it was similar in Crouch Jr.'s case, as well as other Imperiused characters like Crouch Sr., Rosmerta and Katie: they weren't aware of what they were doing while under the curse, but remembered it afterwards.

    The biggest potential problem with this theory is that (from memory - I don't have the book at hand) Katie had no recollection of her time under the Imperius in HBP. But this might be because of the trauma of being cursed by the necklace. Or perhaps even someone Obliviated her afterwards.
     
  6. Sesc

    Sesc Slytherin at Heart Moderator

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    There's another (early) instance in Hagrid's tale in PS.

    There's the legitimate question of how clearly Rowling had, by then, worked out which spells existed, and how they worked. Her concept of a spell not exceeding the life of the caster (Dumbledore's body-bind on the tower in HBP) seems to already exist, however. And we can reconcile it readily enough, IMO, so there's no need to go there: The "trance"-like state of the Imperius curse is how it is supposed to work. Once you become aware of it -- as Harry is -- you can fight it. So the Imperius' biggest asset would be that people aren't aware, and hence don't even have the motivation to fight it, which makes Harry as extraordinary as fake!Moody claims.

    On the other hand, I think there are two questions: 1) Do people usually know what is happening while they are under the influence of the curse? And 2), can they remember afterwards? Answering the first with no does not mean the second is automatically solved. Katie seemingly points to no here, but as @James018 said, she could easily have been obliviated.

    I think I'd go with some kind of vague, fuzzy recollection -- like waking up from a dream (or as Hagrid says, "trance").
     
  7. Sauce Bauss

    Sauce Bauss Headmaster DLP Supporter

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    @Ninclow I'm of a mind that there are degrees of control being exerted. The person using the imperius cannot be controlling every movement or action of the person being controlled, it would take far too much time and concentration. Nevermind that it would make controlling more than one person functionally impossible, which we know from PS is not the case. The person under the imperius has some measure of autonomy where they are able to act as they would normally, but it is when they are being commanded that the confusing or disorienting nature takes effect. It is the command, and what is done under the command, that carries the effect.

    The canon examples seem to slot into place well within that framework. Crouch Jr. was likely under several commands from his father that were dictating certain actions or forbidden actions 24/7. Do not contact Voldemort's followers, do not reveal yourself, do not escape, do not harm yourself, do not harm me, do not harm Winky, etc. as an example. With those commands all being in effect at all times, Crouch Jr. would be very disoriented except in the instances where he was able to resist. It can also explain some of Crouch Sr.'s behavior, as he is being commanded to not raise any alarms about his son, not to harm him, and more.

    The clear memory of what is happening, where, and why seems to be related to resisting the curse. Without that conflict, you're left with the dreamlike state that Harry exhibited at first, and Crouch Jr. related.
     
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