“…but her love of money was equal to her love of directing, and she knew quite as well how to save her own as to spend that of her friends.” ~ Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
As I enter into reflections on Mansfield Park, who should I choose to begin with than the infamous Mrs. Norris? So foul that she is a cross-fandom villain. Not only is she the nasty, old aunt of Fanny Price, but she is also the evil-eyed cat of Argus Filch! (I believe Rowling revealed that the Mrs. Norris of Mansfield Park was her inspiration for Filch’s cat.)
Above is a quote from a long paragraph describing Mrs. Norris. She is a hoarding, bossy, selfish, intruding woman who believes herself right about everything. She makes my skin crawl almost as much as Umbridge—the most evil of evil characters ever written.
But, what I often wonder is if there is anything in me that resembles her?
We read of villainous characters who we despise—and rightfully so—but do we ever wonder if we behave in Norris- or Umbridge-like ways? I mean, even Harry had a bit of Voldemort in him. He had to fight that part off. He had to choose to love rather than hate. He had to work against that which would have been easiest—after all, he would have done very well in Slytherin. But, one thing he couldn’t do was deny that there was a bit of evil inside of him.
“We’ve all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That’s who we really are.” ~ Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Film
The danger in not recognizing and owning the darkness within is that we become like Mrs. Norris and Umbridge—victims and perpertrators of our own darkness. If we cannot recognize that we are dark, how can we know to turn on the light? How can we choose to act in contrast to where the evil side of our nature is leading us?
Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! ~ Isaiah 5:20 ESV
Harry is not the only Horcrux. I am a Horcrux too. I have bits of evil in me that I must choose to go against. That I must fight and fight again so that the good inside of me can prevail.
Are you a Horcrux too?
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. ~ Romans 12:21 ESV