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Old January 31st, 2012, 3:45 pm
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Pearl_Took  Female.gif Pearl_Took is offline
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by ignisia View Post
You know, I don't quite think it's accurate to say Snape actively wanted Harry dead.
I don't think it's accurate to say that Snape ever actively wanted Harry dead. That is certainly not true of Snape the reformed DE, and I still think it's a stretch to claim that of Snape even at a more callous stage of his life, when he appeared indifferent to Harry's fate back in 1981 (which Dumbledore challenged him on).

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I think the hilltop conversation, which I believe exists to establish just how Snape came to work for DD and what Snape's moral makeup at 21 was, establishes for us very clearly that Snape does not care what happens to Harry as long as Lily lives. Still bad, certainly, but more of an accurate way of putting his feelings during that period.
Oh yes, it was bad. No question, IMO. Snape at one of his lowest moral points. However, it still doesn't make him as bad as Voldemort. Voldemort remains an unrepentant psychopath for the duration of the series! Snape is very different. A flawed man who deliberately turned his back on his dark past, and stuck to that. With enormous courage, as generously acknowledged by Harry.

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Additionally, while JKR quite rightly uses DD to call Snape out on this, she does not draw a parallel between Snape and Voldemort.
I agree. And it's interesting that just as she uses Dumbledore to call out Snape for his apparent callous disregard for the lives of James and Harry, she pretty much does a reverse mirroring in The Prince's Tale, when it's Snape's turn to be appalled at Dumbledore for having raised Harry like a pig for slaughter! OK, we know there was more to it than that (I think that Dumbledore really did love Harry and, moreoever, believed he would survive) but, even so ... it jolts the reader as much as it obviously does Snape, and the reader shares Snape's reaction 100% in that moment!

Well, I did, anyway. I also thought it was an example of the author showing us how much Snape had grown morally since his dark days as a DE. He may not have liked Harry, but that didn't mean he wanted the boy dead! And not just for Lily's sake, either. I don't think Snape wanted any Hogwarts pupil to die because of Voldemort's murderous intentions.

I also think he tries to protect the pupils (as he promised Dumbledore), as far as he is able, from the worst excesses of the Carrows. It sounds like this wasn't particularly easy: we read how Neville, and others, suffered at the hands of the Carrows. But if Snape had tried to stop the Carrows' cruelty, how would Voldemort have reacted? He'd have smelt a rat! At least Snape succeeded in shielding the 'alternative Trio' -- Ginny, Neville and Luna -- from the Carrows, by sending them on a faux-detention with Hagrid in the Forest. It seems so obvious that I wonder that Voldemort and the Carrows didn't see straight through it, but then again, the Forest wasn't all that safe. But of course the kids had Hagrid with them! Anyway, I'm sure Snape found a way to make this so-called punishment sound highly plausible. He was clever, eloquent and convincing, after all.


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Last edited by Pearl_Took; January 31st, 2012 at 6:22 pm.
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