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Lily Evans Potter: Character Analysis



 
 
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  #1561  
Old October 30th, 2012, 8:03 pm
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Re: Lily Evans Potter: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by Sereena View Post
I'm talking about the time they were in school. None of them had got involved in the war by that point and I don't think that Lily considered the war when choosing her dates.
Lily considered the war in choosing who to associate with. She wanted nothing to do with a DE wannabe. I can't imagine her dating someone who may have had leanings towards the Death Eaters. IMO, Lily would only have wanted a boyfriend who was firmly opposed to Voldemort. Everyone in the wizarding world was living in fear for their lives at that point, and I see no way that the war would not be a consideration for Lily. In canon, the war was something Lily had to consider - as it was for almost everyone.

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My point was that she criticized Snape for using the dark arts but at the same time dated a man who took pleasure in another's suffering. I'm not trying to start a James vs Snape controversy at all, I see this solely as about Lily and her preferences. I don't think she is wrong for dating James but it makes me take her so called principles with a grain of salt. Being a bigot is wrong but so is being a bully, IMO. Regardless of what side of the war the person stands on.
IMO, Lily had a sense of perspective. I think she saw that there was a vast difference between being a brat in school and being a racist wannabe terrorist.
IMO, Lily saw a rivalry between James and Snape. She saw seven years of interaction, the reader did not.
Like that between Harry and Malfoy - suppose one took their whole view of the Harry v Malfoy rivalry from that scene at the end of GoF where Malfoy and his minions ended up cursed silly.


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  #1562  
Old October 30th, 2012, 9:50 pm
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Re: Lily Evans Potter: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by MerryLore View Post
While I can completely understand her not backing the DE ideology, to me, she gave up on her supposed best friend Severus much too easily. Some times people join groups for all the wrong reasons, but to me, being a compassionate and caring person to your friend means you keep trying to get them to see they're on the wrong path. This is very different from condoning the path itself, I think.
IMO, the memories we were shown, especially the two older hogwarts memories, showed that Lily and Snape didn't have a perfect friendship that was only spoiled by Snape's association with Mulciber and Avery, I think they showed that Snape and Lily had a hard time communicating with each other in a manner that was respectful and wouldn't devolve into an argument which would put both of them on the defensive and lead to even more problems. Bad communication, IMO, is a symptom of problems in any kind of relationship and I think there was a lot more going on that we didn't see that contributed to Lily "giving up" on Snape. As said by many others many times before, I look at the mudblood incident in SWM as the straw that broke the camel's back not the whole entire reason for Lily to end the relationship. I don't view the end of Lily and Snape's friendship as Lily "giving up on Snape too easily," afterall, we're not shown very much of their friendship in Hogwarts, we have four memories total of that time period and one of them is their sorting. We saw a grand total of about ten minutes of their friendship which lasted at least five years, most probably more like six or seven.

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Severus still loved her, even though he did not understand how she saw things and often did not agree with some of her choices.
I'm not disputing the fact that Snape loved Lily. But does that mean that she is obliged to love him in return? No.

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I also think Lily gave up on her relationship with Petunia much too easily as well. It doesn't mean Petunia was correct - I don't think she was - but I wish Lily had fought to help Petunia realize they were sisters and she loved her and wanted her in her life.
I don't think we know enough about their relationship to say who gave up on whom and to pass judgement on whether they gave up too easily. In canon (the books) we see Lily and Petunia as children (Lily at age 11 off to Hogwarts, Petunia a little older) and then... nothing, chronologically, until PS/SS opens with Uncle Vernon and we are introduced to Petunia whose sister has been dead for ten years. On Pottermore we've learned that Petunia didn't want Lily to be apart of her wedding (which seems to me to suggest that it was Petunia who was instigating the bad blood between them) and that Lily wanted Petunia to come to her wedding but Petunia refused. We also see that Lily displayed the ugly vase Petunia sent her for Christmas despite it being ugly suggesting that Lily wasn't giving up on her relationship with Petunia but was trying to keep it alive in some sense.

We also don't know whether Lily, as you say, "fought to help Petunia realize they were sisters and she loved her and wanted her in her life"... People have all sorts of different ideas about what a familial relationship entails; just because they were sisters doesn't mean that they had to share a phonecall every Sunday evening or send their kids to the same daycare in order to show their solidarity and maintain their relationship. And I think Lily was shown expressing to Petunia that she wanted her in her life by asking her to attend her wedding with James and displaying that ugly vase, going out to dinner with Petunia and Vernon and making the effort to like Petunia's future husband despite the fact that Vernon was (IIRC) being rude or showing off or whatever. Lily seemed to be the one making all the effort with regards to Petunia in all of the information we have about them so IMO I don't think Lily gave up on Petunia easily at all.

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I don't get the impression that she did. I see Lily as the character who walked away, nose in the air, immediately assuming something was meant as an insult (being called a witch) instead of asking questions and finding out what Severus actually meant, and I don't think she changed as a person.
Lily was, what? Nine years old when she did this? You don't think she grew up at all? For what it's worth, I agree with FurryDice on this issue; Lily's reaction in assuming Snape had called her an insulting name was a reasonable one because she didn't know any better at the time. For all her nose-in-the-air-ness in her assumption, she also shows that she's willing to listen to Snape at some point because she ends up learning that magic is real and that being called a "witch" isn't an insult and becoming friends with the boy who she thought had insulted her.

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Originally Posted by Sereena View Post
agree that she was right to strongly oppose Snape's chosen path even though he might have chosen it for the wrong reasons too. I think it's perfectly alright for a character to have strong moral principles and stick with them so I don't see this necessarily as being self righteous. However, Lily's halo is sort of tainted by her involvement with James, the way I see it. Don't get me wrong, they are great as a couple and I understand that James is supposed to have changed. But as a teenager, it was disturbing how much pleasure he took in others' pain and humiliation (read Snape's) and while we were shown Lily telling him off, that somewhat gets overshadowed by her agreeing to date him anyway.
It's not like James levicorpus'd Snape and Lily agreed to go out with him while Snape was dangling over their heads. James had a year plus a couple months between SWM and the earliest time he and Lily could have begun dating if you assume they began dating immediately upon the start of their seventh year. Who knows what happened during their sixth year?! The war could have escalated to catastrophic levels of horribleness causing James to sort of wake up and smell the maturity roses. One or both of his parents could have died - that'd change him. He could have experienced some aspect of the war in some way that would cause him to realize that he's being infantile and putting his efforts into the wrong things (being a bullying jerk) and he needs to get his act together if he wants to make a positive difference in the war efforts. There's a great number of things, IMO, that could get James to grow up to a point where Lily would consider dating him, let alone actual do it.

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Perhaps she believed he had changed but even so, while I agree with her for breaking it off with Snape, I don't see teenage James as much of an improvement. She dated the man who bullied her once best friend and that seems rather strange to me for someone who is often praised for her morals.
Just like we don't know what James was up to that caused him to change in such a way as to lead to Lily agreeing to date him, we don't know what Snape was up to, either. He could have been up to some bad business that Lily didn't like causing her to feel no remorse for dating the boy who, two years before, used to bully her once (and no longer) best friend.


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I wouldn't dream of dating a person who harasses people especially not someone who was once my friend even if the friendship is over. So in my view, that's a rather bizarre behavior from her part.
Fair enough.

IMO, we aren't getting the whole story. We see two instances of James being a jerk to Snape and are told that he picked on Snape a lot (whether he or Sirius was the instigator we don't know). We're also told, though, that Snape didn't exactly take things lying down and that he, likewise, never missed an opportunity to hex/curse/jinx/get his revenge on James. I think there's a good argument to be made for Snape and James being equally aggressive towards each other and that James was just not as good about not getting caught at it as Snape was. At the risk of this becoming a James v. Snape deal I'll stop there and bring it back around to Lily by saying that when she was friends with Snape, she only ever heard his side of the story which demonized James as the uber-bully, the aggressor, the one who was always at fault. I'm pretty sure that he didn't go around telling her how he got a good tripping jinx off on James the day before or how he perfected sectum sempra on James in their sixth year or whatever. In her sixth year, without Snape whispering his James-bashing drivel into her ear at every opportunity, she might have had a chance to witness their (James and Snape's) interactions with a little more objectivity and what she might have seen could have indicated to her that James wasn't the uber-bully Snape and she had always thought and that maybe she had passed too harsh a judgement on James too quickly.

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Originally Posted by FurryDice View Post
Is love ever unconditional? If one says they love a partner unconditionally, are they saying they would stay if their partner abused them, or committed even more horrific crimes? Then, that isn't love, that's something dangerous, foolish and obsessive.
That's why I say that I don't think there's any such thing as "unconditional" love. All that is is love that hasn't experienced relationship-ending conditions yet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sereena View Post
I'm talking about the time they were in school. None of them had got involved in the war by that point and I don't think that Lily considered the war when choosing her dates.
I would agree in the sense that I don't think she went around thinking "hmm, Georgie hasn't volunteered to join the Ministry Militia yet, I don't think i'll go out with him, but Tony has so maybe I'll take him to Hogsmeade next weekend," or whatever but I do absolutely think that a war of the caliber we are led to believe it was (a big, bad, racially charged one) that would have seriously affected not only herself but her family as well would have influenced her, if only in helping her to solidify her values and to decide not to associate with those who diametrically opposed those values, such as Snape appeared to do. I think her attraction to James had less to do with "the war" as it had to do with the fact that they seemed to share some of the same fundamental values that she and Snape didn't share (or didn't appear to share).

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My point was that she criticized Snape for using the dark arts but at the same time dated a man who took pleasure in another's suffering.
There's a big difference between putting the cruciatus curse on someone and making bats fly out of their nose, though. Man, how I wish this James v. Snape thing wasn't off the table because I so badly want to say more!!

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I don't think she is wrong for dating James but it makes me take her so called principles with a grain of salt.
You have to take everyone's principles with a grain of salt to some respect because we all have different experiences in life.

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Being a bigot is wrong but so is being a bully, IMO. Regardless of what side of the war the person stands on.
Reinterating my intense desire to say something here but am stopping myself because I don't want a ban.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FurryDice View Post
IMO, Lily had a sense of perspective. I think she saw that there was a vast difference between being a brat in school and being a racist wannabe terrorist.
IMO, Lily saw a rivalry between James and Snape. She saw seven years of interaction, the reader did not.
Like that between Harry and Malfoy - suppose one took their whole view of the Harry v Malfoy rivalry from that scene at the end of GoF where Malfoy and his minions ended up cursed silly.
Add to this that we never ever ever ever hear James's side of the story regarding Snape. (And IMO Sirius and Remus are no subtitutes for James.) and we get a bare glimpse at Lily's side of the story regarding them both.


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Last edited by Goddess_Clio; October 30th, 2012 at 9:52 pm.
  #1563  
Old October 30th, 2012, 10:50 pm
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Re: Lily Evans Potter: Character Analysis

Quote:
Originally Posted by Goddess_Clio View Post
IMO, the memories we were shown, especially the two older hogwarts memories, showed that Lily and Snape didn't have a perfect friendship that was only spoiled by Snape's association with Mulciber and Avery, I think they showed that Snape and Lily had a hard time communicating with each other in a manner that was respectful and wouldn't devolve into an argument which would put both of them on the defensive and lead to even more problems. Bad communication, IMO, is a symptom of problems in any kind of relationship and I think there was a lot more going on that we didn't see that contributed to Lily "giving up" on Snape.
I think the heart of the problem is that they didn't understand each other very well. I think they came from two different worlds and two different backgrounds. I still think she gave up on him.

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I'm not disputing the fact that Snape loved Lily. But does that mean that she is obliged to love him in return? No.
Severus was my example of unconditional love. It doesn't obligate her to have the same feelings.

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I don't think we know enough about their relationship to say who gave up on whom and to pass judgement on whether they gave up too easily. In canon (the books) we see Lily and Petunia as children (Lily at age 11 off to Hogwarts, Petunia a little older) and then... nothing, chronologically, until PS/SS opens with Uncle Vernon and we are introduced to Petunia whose sister has been dead for ten years.
I see a parallel between Lily and Petunia and Lily and Severus. It's as if Petunia and Lily were from two different worlds - one child magical and one not - and the lack of communication and understanding. I'm not sure it's one sided - since Lily had the same issue with Severus and with Petunia, I'm thinking she's guilty as well.

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Lily was, what? Nine years old when she did this? You don't think she grew up at all? For what it's worth, I agree with FurryDice on this issue; Lily's reaction in assuming Snape had called her an insulting name was a reasonable one because she didn't know any better at the time. For all her nose-in-the-air-ness in her assumption, she also shows that she's willing to listen to Snape at some point because she ends up learning that magic is real and that being called a "witch" isn't an insult and becoming friends with the boy who she thought had insulted her.
She grew up, but I'm not sure she changed. And there are other examples, such as when the tree limb hit Petunia.


Quote:
You have to take everyone's principles with a grain of salt to some respect because we all have different experiences in life.
Agreed. We don't all see things the same way or interpret things the same way.


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  #1564  
Old October 31st, 2012, 1:14 am
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Re: Lily Evans Potter: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by MerryLore View Post
She grew up, but I'm not sure she changed. And there are other examples, such as when the tree limb hit Petunia.
IMO, that's not a nose-in-the-air situation; to me this shows that she has learned from her previous encounter with him where he called her a witch and she replied that that wasn't very nice. In the tree branch instance, she calls Snape out before she leaves ("Did you make that happen?" "You did!... You did, you hurt her!" and he tries to flub his way out of it by lying (as it is my opinion that he is lying in that instance, i.e. "But the lie did not convince Lily") so she's showing a growth, even in a small amount, in the first two memories we have of her.

Lily's reaction to Snape appearing to drop a tree branch over Petunia seems a reasonable one to me. He appears to drop a branch over her sister (whether by accidental magic or not) catching her on the shoulder and potentially really hurting her and then lies about it when confronted. I'd be mad enough at any of my friends to storm away on them if they tried to cause physical harm to my sister.

The worst I can say of Lily is that she seems to run hot and cold on Snape.


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  #1565  
Old October 31st, 2012, 2:32 am
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Re: Lily Evans Potter: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by Goddess_Clio View Post
Lily's reaction to Snape appearing to drop a tree branch over Petunia seems a reasonable one to me. He appears to drop a branch over her sister (whether by accidental magic or not) catching her on the shoulder and potentially really hurting her and then lies about it when confronted. I'd be mad enough at any of my friends to storm away on them if they tried to cause physical harm to my sister.
To me, it's an example of something she assumed she understood, but most likely did not. I don't think she was familiar with accidental magic at that point and assumed Severus did it on purpose, which I don't think he did. IMO, it's another example of poor communication.

Lily knew he was angry at Petunia and saw the branch it her. I think that, because Lily probably has more than average control over her own magic, she assumed Severus looked at the branch and purposefully got the branch to hit Petunia. I see it more as when Harry blew up his aunt - yes, he was angry with her, but that's not the same as consciously choosing what happened to her, IMO. Lily didn't stick around for an explanation.


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  #1566  
Old October 31st, 2012, 3:36 am
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Re: Lily Evans Potter: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by MerryLore View Post
While I can completely understand her not backing the DE ideology, to me, she gave up on her supposed best friend Severus much too easily. Some times people join groups for all the wrong reasons, but to me, being a compassionate and caring person to your friend means you keep trying to get them to see they're on the wrong path. This is very different from condoning the path itself, I think.
I don't see it as giving up too soon, but more like trying to hold on for too long, until the friendship reached its bitter end. To me it appears that Lily tried to steer Severus away from his gang, tried to warn him about Mulciber and Avery, tried to tell him her feelings about using Dark Arts against people. After a while I don't see any point in trying to convince someone who is not interested in what she is saying. If Lily's friend's path is a path that might get her killed and destroy the things she cares about, then it seems perfectly reasonable to me for her to decide at that point to make her life about what she wants to do about it: "...You've chosen your way, I've chosen mine."

I think the most important thing to her was to dedicate her future to opposing the Death Eaters.

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I also think Lily gave up on her relationship with Petunia much too easily as well. It doesn't mean Petunia was correct - I don't think she was - but I wish Lily had fought to help Petunia realize they were sisters and she loved her and wanted her in her life.
Lily was only eleven when Petunia declared her a freak, and immediately after that was on the train to Hogwarts without time to resolve anything. I think it was more that Lily wasn't quite sure what to do about it, especially if Petunia was set in that attitude from then on. I would have loved to learn more about Lily and Petunia, but Lily couldn't-- shouldn't have to-- stop being magical to become acceptable to Petunia, and I think that's what it came down to. Petunia seemed to be ruled by jealosy, even decades later.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sereena View Post
I'm talking about the time they were in school. None of them had got involved in the war by that point and I don't think that Lily considered the war when choosing her dates.
As FurryDice and Goddess Clio said, Lily considered the war when deciding who to associate with, at least by the end of her fifth year.

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My point was that she criticized Snape for using the dark arts but at the same time dated a man who took pleasure in another's suffering.
She was not dating James at the time James was doing that, or at the same time she was friends with Severus and trying to Severus about him thinking using Dark Arts on people was funny. I think she made it very clear to James at the end of fifth year that she did not like some of the things he did, and wanted nothing to do with him.

Past that summer, past the whole of sixth year, past that summer, seventh year and at some point Lily decided she wants to date James.

Sirius and Lupin indicated in OotP that they were "berks" at fifteen, and that they grew out of it-- which I took to mean that that behavior started at fifteen and ended sometime after they turned sixteen.

Lily never endorsed bullying-- in fact, I felt she clearly stated that she did not like that behavior-- and I do not see dating someone years after the incident as somehow endorsing it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MerryLore View Post
To me, it's an example of something she assumed she understood, but most likely did not. I don't think she was familiar with accidental magic at that point and assumed Severus did it on purpose, which I don't think he did. IMO, it's another example of poor communication.

Lily knew he was angry at Petunia and saw the branch it her. I think that, because Lily probably has more than average control over her own magic, she assumed Severus looked at the branch and purposefully got the branch to hit Petunia. I see it more as when Harry blew up his aunt - yes, he was angry with her, but that's not the same as consciously choosing what happened to her, IMO. Lily didn't stick around for an explanation.
Lily did seem to have extraordinary control over her magic as a child (I found it pretty impressive, actually), so I agree that she may not have understood that Severus may not have that same degree of control that she did. I don't think Severus's denial of responsibility helped the situation, though, because it seemed to me to only deepen Lily's suspicion, as I think she sensed the lie.


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Last edited by OldMotherCrow; October 31st, 2012 at 4:04 am.
  #1567  
Old November 1st, 2012, 3:27 pm
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Re: Lily Evans Potter: Character Analysis

Alastor opened the new instalment of this thread here.


 
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