Thread: Telling Stories
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Old July 20th, 2006, 6:36 am
MagicLantern  Undisclosed.gif MagicLantern is offline
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Re: Telling Stories

I really liked this editorial also! I would have been disappointed if Snape had not been mentioned. From the moment I saw the word "lie" I started hearing the refrain "and tells naught but lies."

I enjoyed your analysis of Ginny as liar and good story teller. It was a revealing character study.

About Snape, maybe I would have liked a little more development. Have we ever seen Snape lie so far? We have seen him be nasty, but lie? Because I think that is extremely important in determining whether Snape lied to Dumbledore, actively lied.

The only "big lie" I can think of is not an outright lie but an omission of truth (which can be a lie: "Do you promise to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?"). And again, I am concluding Snape lied from the evidence, but some don't agree. I don't think Snape ever told Dumbledore about the Unbreakable Vow.

Before that, again, I have never seen Snape tell an outright lie, but I did see him withhold information once before, and fish for information another time.

At the dueling club, Snape had Draco do the Serpensortia spell and then watched Harry calculatingly when he spoke Parseltongue. I think he was investigating on his own Harry's powers, and I don't think he was telling Dumbledore what he was up to. I wonder if he thought for a moment that Harry was attacking students. How could he?

Also, still in CoS, when Dumbledore was investigating the cat, Snape was standing back with a smirk on his lips. Clearly he knew the cat was petrified. He must have known why. But he didn't share that information with Dumbledore. Was it out of outward respect? (Because the smirk doesn't seem respectful). There was something that looked suspicious about Snape's attitude there, although it may have just been his usual scorn for the ineptitude of others (...Dumbledore?).

But in fact, so far, I can't off the top of my head think of a single instance of Snape lying (in fact, that is what makes him so scary: how honest he is with his hate)... except with Narcissa and Bellatrix, i.e. with the "enemy." That was the only time I grew suspicious of some of Snape's answers (and I'm not in the Dumbledore's-man-through-and-through Snape camp).

At Hogwarts, on the contrary, Snape has been the very portrait of honesty. He has been showing Harry exactly how he feels; he has been actively hating Neville and Hermione; he has been a nasty and biased teacher, hiding none of his nastiness and none of his bias. Even his walking straight towards Fudge with his Dark Marked arm held forth was like a metaphor for his openness and honesty.

Was this just a "parade of honesty" in order to "build his character image" to Dumbledore as a man who doesn't hide his feelings, who tells it like it is, who is incapable of telling an emotional lie?

I'll be very impressed if Snape actually planned it like that.

It was quite a shock to me to see Snape be nice to someone for a change, like he was when he saw Narcissa. He seemed to be polite, to have social manners, to be balanced in his responses, not at all the portrait of Snape I have learned to see at Hogwarts. When he sat back in his chair, with his arms on the arms rests of his chair, he seemed to be projecting the body image of an equal among equals, not that of a power abuser. But in this more human Snape I started also detecting a lot more hints of lies.

Anyway, I think it's worth investigating Snape more from the point of view that you bring up.

P.S. I liked the post above about different kinds of lies, and the one about Ginny representing some of the issues Rowling has had growing up.



Last edited by MagicLantern; July 20th, 2006 at 6:46 am.
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