Our homework this week is to explain the importance of chapter 10 in The Half Blood Prince.  I have never been really good at essays but, I am really good at rambling, so I'll give it a shot.

Chapter 10 is The House of Gaunt.  It is the now the time Dumbledore tells Harry, that Harry "be given certain information." At this time Dumbledore pulls out his pensive and we find out they, Dumbledore and Harry, are going back to the memories of Bob Ogden together.  We join Bob as he travels to the home of the Gaunt's.  There we meet Morfin, Marvolo (Voldemorts grandfather) and Merope (Voldemort's mother).  In this chapter the arrogance, pride and the temper of the Gaunt family is shown, as well as their ability to speak parseltongue.  This is the first time we also see Tom Riddle Sr. and learn of the devious way in which Merope and Tom became married.  It is my guess that Merope after enduring hatred, abuse and deplorable living conditions,  seeks an escape through Tom and is looking for love she never received.  We see that Voldemort isn't actually a true-blood  after all.  We can guess that Voldemort's hatred toward muggles lies in the fact he was  abandoned by his father, who was himself a muggle.  One can assume that Voldemort's distrust in muggles lies not only in the anger he feels from having his father leave but, also the shame he may have felt from being the product of trickery.  

This is in stark contrast to the love, caring and warmth in which Harry received as an infant.   The reader can also draw parallels between Harry and Voldemort in that Voldemorts power grows in the dark arts, full of hatred, lies and distrust.  While Harry's power grows in the Love he still feels from his parents, as well as the trust he gives and receives from his friends and his drive to find the truth.  Even as Dumbledore is explaining the story of the Gaunts to Harry,  Harry is unable to imagine any other circumstances for Merope and Tom to have married other than Love.  

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