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Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4



 
 
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  #221  
Old February 18th, 2011, 2:36 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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Originally Posted by silver ink pot View Post
We don't expect a Harry-Sue so we can't have a Snapey-Sue either.
I've never argued, nor would I ever argue, for having a Snapey-Sue.

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Besides, in my opinion we can't have it both ways: Snape as this darkly passionate character with all these hidden contradictions, but at the same time Snape as the distantly cool professional teacher who stays politically correct.
And yet in canon we have a Snape who sometimes lashes out and a Snape who hides his deepest secrets away ... until the very end.

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I just don't think we can expect Snape to behave better than other characters. JMO
That is not my expectation.

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Originally Posted by crayons View Post
However true this may be, I just thought I would put my four cents in... I've read through quite a bit of the thread but I will apologize in advance if this has already been mentioned.
Probably but don't sweat it. Welcome to the thread.

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I have always held the belief that Harry's resemblance to his father was a major factor in Snape acting the way that he did towards Harry. Not only because of the painful memories of schoolyard bullying but also because every time he looked at Harry he saw the face of James and product of his shortcomings in losing the love of his life to another. Harry was to to him the living, breathing evidence that he had messed it up big time not only in getting Lily killed, but also that because of his actions and attitudes he had lost her to another man.
Yes, I agree.


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  #222  
Old February 18th, 2011, 2:52 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

Thanks, Pearl_Took

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Originally Posted by Pearl_Took View Post
And yet in canon we have a Snape who sometimes lashes out and a Snape who hides his deepest secrets away ... until the very end.
Oh snap!


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  #223  
Old February 18th, 2011, 3:11 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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Originally Posted by Pearl_Took View Post
JKR on Snape

I couldn't see in that list of quotes anything about Snape hating Harry, actually.

That list does seem to me very indicative of JKR brilliantly deflecting her audience from guessing too much on the Snape front.
The list doesn't contain any quotes that were made after 2006. J.K. Rowling said a little bit about Snape in her interview with Meredith Vieira on July 29, 2007.

JKRJ.K. Rowling: Snape is a complicated man. He's bitter. He's … spiteful. He's a bully. All these things are still true of Snape, even at the end of this book. But was he brave? Yes, immensely.

Was he capable of love? Very definitely. So he's-- he's a very-- he was a flawed human being, like all of us.

Harry forgives him--- as we know, from the epilogue, Harry-- Harry really sees the good in Snape ultimately. I wanted there to be redemption and I wanted there to be forgiveness. And Harry forgives, even knowing that until the end Snape loathed him unjustifiably. it's totally, totally unfair that he loathes him so much but anyway.



  #224  
Old February 18th, 2011, 3:53 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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Originally Posted by Pearl_Took View Post
And yet in canon we have a Snape who sometimes lashes out and a Snape who hides his deepest secrets away ... until the very end.
The secrets that Snape keeps hidden are the reason he sometimes lashes out. The ability to keep some things secret does not mean that the emotions related to those secrets will never surface. To the contrary, in my experience, it means they will sometimes explode to the surface.

Snape could not show his emotions about his secrets in what we might consider a "normal" way. Not under the circumstances of his life, both past and present. The result is a person who seems to be showing his true feelings, in this case his "hatred" of Harry, when he lashes out. However, I believe his lashing out is more a way to redirect his hidden emotions (in an often inappropriate manner) than it is a reflection of his feelings regarding Harry.

I have no doubt that Snape resents Harry, Harry's unearned celebrity, and the almost cavalier way Dumbledore and the others ignore Harry's irresponsible behavior. Perversely, Dumbledore seems to actively promote it. However, I don't think Snape's more unrestrained moments have as much to do with Harry as they do with his own internal struggles and the fact that most of the other adults leave the boy to his own devices far too often.


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  #225  
Old February 18th, 2011, 6:31 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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JKRJ.K. Rowling: Snape is a complicated man. He's bitter. He's … spiteful. He's a bully. All these things are still true of Snape, even at the end of this book. But was he brave? Yes, immensely.

Was he capable of love? Very definitely. So he's-- he's a very-- he was a flawed human being, like all of us.

Harry forgives him--- as we know, from the epilogue, Harry-- Harry really sees the good in Snape ultimately. I wanted there to be redemption and I wanted there to be forgiveness. And Harry forgives, even knowing that until the end Snape loathed him unjustifiably. it's totally, totally unfair that he loathes him so much but anyway.
The only problem with that quote is that JKR has forgotten somehow (I can't explain how - god only knows) that in DH, Harry is the one who constantly loathes Snape and seethes with hatred towards him, until finally watching his death through the eyes of the Darkest Wizard Who Ever Lived, while he feels absolutely nothing.

So I think from a reader's standpoint, JKR has it quite backwards. JMO We know all about Harry's hatred but nothing about Snape's feelings at all until he is dead.

And I'm still waiting after years for someone to show me where Snape is "spiteful" in Deathly Hallows, considering what few scenes we have of him. Is he full of loathing when telling Phineas Nigellus not to say "Mudblood"? Is he hating on Harry when he sends Neville, Luna, and Ginny to the forest with Hagrid?

Or when he sends the Silver Doe to lead Harry to the sword? The same sword Harry's friends were trying to steal? That's funny, in a way, because Snape delivers the sword that Harry's closest and dearest friends were hoping to take to him to help him succeed. Is that hate? I don't get it - I guess I'm too dumb.

And in all of Snape's memories from Prince's Tale, he never seems to hate Harry at all, except for telling Dumbledore that he believes Harry is too much like his father. Is that just hate talking? Why does Snape even care if Harry becomes just like James, as long as he stays alive? Why bother trying to change Harry's path to one without Unforgivables and Sectumsempra? Why not let the kid be as dark as he wants to be since he's going to die anyway?

There are no real answers, but in my opinion, Snape was still hoping for some miracle up until the end of his life and that Harry would get to grow up instead of dying young. Even in HBP, Snape tells Harry that if he doesn't finish copying Filch's cards, he might have to finish them "next year." That means that Snape still hopes that he and Harry will both be around the next year.

HBP'You still got detention with Snape this Saturday?' Ron continued.

'Yeah, and the Saturday after that, and the Saturday after that,' sighed Harry. 'And he's hinting now that if I don't get all the boxes done by the end of term, we'll carry on next year.'


Harry tells Ron about Snape warning him to finish the cards next year as sort of a throw-away line, and we're supposed to take it as Snape just being a mean old teacher who wants detentions to never end, but it's an interesting insight into Snape's mind that he is projecting Harry into an uncertain future with no guarantees, even knowing that Dumbledore is dying, even knowing that Snape is the one who has to kill him. It just seems to me like too hopeful a view for someone who is basing all their opinions on hate.

In fact, in the Pensieve memories, Snape also tells Dumbledore he thinks of Harry as "Lily's boy," and I personally can't construe that as vicious hatred myself. It's too much of a contradiction for those of us who believe Snape's motivation to keep on going was love or loyalty in the spirit of the Order of the Phoenix. JMO

Harry first learns to pity Snape for his childhood in OotP, then he forgets about it because Sirius dies. In HBP, Harry really loves the Prince, but forgets about that when Dumbledore dies.

Then, when Snape dies in DH, that is what finally helps Harry understand him better, and considering the memories we have in Prince's Tale, I just don't see a mind full of hate at the point of death when he's staring into Harry's eyes. If that's what JKR wanted us to think, she didn't get that point across to me as a reader.

I can see a point if someone said Snape was being coldly logical and "emotionless" in helping Harry defeat Voldemort, but that's not the same thing as being a hater, in my opinion. And while Snape is logical and carries out every step according the plan, I don't see hate as any part of his motivation because, frankly, that doesn't even make sense to me considering Harry only told Voldemort about Snape's love, not his hate, not his anger, not his meanness, nor anything else negative.


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Last edited by silver ink pot; February 18th, 2011 at 6:41 pm.
  #226  
Old February 18th, 2011, 6:51 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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Originally Posted by Yoana View Post
I know Snape should have been able to deal with it, as the adult, in his relationship with Harry, but I think it's clear he didn't have much chance to grow up to be a well-adjusted adult. I'm not saying this to excuse his behaviour to Harry, but merely to share my explanation for it.
I'm wondering how he lacked the chance to mature. After the murder of the Potters, he had almost ten years prior to Harry's arrival in which to grow up. Ten years at Hogwarts, under Dumbledore's protection and guidance. If Snape did not mature, IMO, it's because he did not take the opportunity given to him. I think that Snape did not truly mature as a person until DH, when he was fully alone with his thoughts and could not avoid them.

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Originally Posted by silver ink pot View Post
I don't think it would be realistic for Snape to be comforted by Harry's resemblence to James, his worst enemy.
Would Snape really still consider James Potter his worst enemy? And not Voldemort?

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But in spite of all that, he never stopped trying to do the right thing where Harry was concerned, even if he couldn't be some kind of happy squishy teacher-friend who loved to dote upon Harry and pat his head. *shudder*
I don't think anybody is expecting that. However, Snape could have maintained a cool distance from Harry, rather than singling him out. IMO, there is a vast middle ground between Snape's behaviour and a "happy squishy teacher friend". The two extremes are not the only two options that were available to Snape.

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Originally Posted by silver ink pot View Post
I would say none of these teachers acts "professionally" in terms of real-world teachers, not even Dumbledore. These aren't real-world situations. In real life, there would be no classes from Hagrid due to insurance concerns. Lupin couldn't mock another teacher openly in class either. In professional terms, Umbridge would be locked up after that first detention. So I don't think we can judge these characters by real-world standards of teaching, plus there's the 19th-century mentality, coupled with the fact that these are wizards learning magic, not kids learning their fractions. JMO
Looking at the LS and other threads, these things are criticised, the characters are called on them -there is criticism of Umbridge's torture/detentions, for example. Why would Snape be exempt from criticism of his behaviour?




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Well, as you know, I have no problem calling out any character for behaving badly. I just don't think we can expect Snape to behave better than other characters. JMO
I don't expect that, either. However, nor do I think he should be given a free pass when his actions are cruel or unpleasant.

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Originally Posted by weaver View Post
I have no doubt that Snape resents Harry, Harry's unearned celebrity, and the almost cavalier way Dumbledore and the others ignore Harry's irresponsible behavior.
I would find it extremely disturbing if Snape resented Harry's unearned and unwanted fame. Harry lost more than anybody else the night he became famous. I think it would say very little for Snape if he failed to realise this, and that Harry would, a million times over, choose to have his family over his fame. Also, I think it would be disturbing in that Snape himself was partially responsible for Harry's unwanted fame.


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  #227  
Old February 18th, 2011, 7:27 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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Originally Posted by FurryDice View Post
I would find it extremely disturbing if Snape resented Harry's unearned and unwanted fame. Harry lost more than anybody else the night he became famous. I think it would say very little for Snape if he failed to realise this, and that Harry would, a million times over, choose to have his family over his fame. Also, I think it would be disturbing in that Snape himself was partially responsible for Harry's unwanted fame.
So then I take it you agree with me. Snape can be disturbing in both his reactions and his ability to misread Harry.

The only time I recall Snape mentioning Harry's celebrity is in the first potions class. At that point there have been years for people in the wizarding world to elevate Harry to almost mythic proportions. We see it, for example, in the fawning over Harry in the Leaky Cauldron, and the statue in Godric's Hollow. Snape has also seen and heard the students and other faculty members whispering about Harry. Harry is a celebrity whether he wants it or not.

After that first potions class, we don't hear Snape (as I recall) mention Harry's celebrity status. I suspect that he has seen that Harry doesn't actively pursue celebrity, as say, Lockhart does.

Whether Harry courts celebrity or not is irrelevant to whether Snape may resent Harry's celebrity status. I suspect Snape resents it for a variety of reasons, not the least is that the love of Snape's life is the reason Voldemort disappeared the first time, not Harry. Harry is getting credit for something he didn't do. That seems to me like just the sort of thing that would get right up Snape's nose. It may be irrational to blame Harry, but there it is.

However, I also think there was a very calculated piece to Snape's "celebrity" comment and the following quizzing of Harry. He wanted to take Harry down a notch, both for Harry's sake, and for the sake of the other students. It's disruptive to have celebrities and their entourages in class. On that first day, Snape has no way of knowing that Harry doesn't enjoy being a celebrity. Snape's predisposition to see James in Harry would make him predisposed to assume Harry would enjoy the spotlight.

Since Harry doesn't actively court celebrity, most of the celebrity worshiping would have ended naturally. After a while the other students would have realized that there was nothing particularly special about Harry or his magical abilities. By his actions in the first potions class, Snape just accelerated the natural demystification of Harry.


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  #228  
Old February 18th, 2011, 7:27 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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Originally Posted by Furry
Looking at the LS and other threads, these things are criticised, the characters are called on them -there is criticism of Umbridge's torture/detentions, for example. Why would Snape be exempt from criticism of his behaviour?
I never said he should be, only that the standards of the Wizarding World are clearly different from reality. So when I read fiction, I sort of suspend belief because we're in an alternate universe and the same rules don't apply.

I was just saying that Snape was not the only inconsistant employee at Hogwarts who gets away with things the Muggle world wouldn't allow. Dumbledore has control of the staff, except when he doesn't. Dumbledore protects the kids, except when he doesn't. Dumbledore is kind and understanding, except when he isn't.

These are teachers in fantasy land, and they have nothing to do with modern standards of child psychology. There's is no child psychology in the Wizarding world - that's my point. It's a cruel world and everyone is supposed to learn to be a stoic to survive. Mrs. Weasley talks about beatings Arthur got for sneaking out of the school, so a little progress is made, and Snape's mild and harmless detentions certainly don't reflect those sadistic standards of the past.

But . . . in the classroom, Snape probably isn't treating his classes any differently than some of his teachers treated him. In fact we know he had some dreadful teachers, such as Slughorn, so Snape had to teach himself - aha, just like Harry and the others.

Of course Umbridge should be called on her atrocious behavior. I'm glad we have an example of a truly sadistic teacher whose acts of abuse and tyranny were so much more extreme than anything Snape ever did to anyone. She really put Snape into perspective for me the first time I read OotP, and I haven't really changed my opinion of either her or Snape since that time. She's the absolute worst, imo.


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  #229  
Old February 18th, 2011, 8:09 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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Originally Posted by FurryDice View Post
I'm wondering how he lacked the chance to mature. After the murder of the Potters, he had almost ten years prior to Harry's arrival in which to grow up. Ten years at Hogwarts, under Dumbledore's protection and guidance. If Snape did not mature, IMO, it's because he did not take the opportunity given to him.
Actually, I think living and working at Hogwarts was part of the problem. Snape was only away from Hogwart for 3 years before he returned to teach at the age of 21. He was stuck back in an environment which was associated strongly with past negative feelings. Memories would have been around every corner, every day, and I think this would have hampered Snape's growth into a well adjusted adult.

Also, I don't think Dumbledore was particularly good with assessing other peoples emotions and giving support. He admits himself that he forgets what it is like to be young, and is surprised when Severus casts his Patronus.


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Last edited by TreacleTartlet; February 19th, 2011 at 5:58 pm.
  #230  
Old February 18th, 2011, 8:10 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

I'm hard pressed to see how the dying man on the floor of the Shrieking Shack, clutching Harry's arm and begging him to "Look...at...me..." could have been full of hatred for Harry, while, at the same moment he is giving Harry memories -- only a few of which are necessary for Harry to complete his mission -- that are both very personal and very poingnant.

None of the memories are boastful. None of them show him glorified in any way. If anything, they are the opposite. They show him as a person who made mistakes, which he tried to set right. They show that he loved, very deeply. That he lost that love, partly through his own actions. That he mourned, and felt remorse for his wrongdoings. But, to me, what they showed most was that he was human.

He didn't gloss over anything or give Harry altered memories that would have shown him in a better light. If he'd just wanted to win Harry's trust, he'd have only had to show several memories of him and Dumbledore discussing "The Plan" and Harry's part in it. Harry still trusted Dumbledore, so he would have trusted those memories.

But, IMO, for some reason he wanted Harry to know that all that he had done was done to make up for any part that he'd had in Lily's death. IMO, he wanted Harry to see him as he really was...not the man behind the "iron mask" that he'd forged to protect himself, but a flawed human being who had made his mistakes, mourned his losses, and done everything in his power to protect Harry for all these years. And, he wanted Harry to see his reaction when he heard he'd only been doing that so Harry could be sacrificed. He had protected Lily's son only to watch him die.

I'm sorry, but after seeing those memories, I just can't believe that Severus had not grown to respect and, IMO, to feel a certain affection for Harry, and because of that, to seek his forgiveness.


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  #231  
Old February 18th, 2011, 9:45 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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Originally Posted by silver ink pot View Post
I think the characters who loved James also commented constantly on Harry's resemblence to his father, but of course for a different reason ~ it made them feel better that James was somehow "riding again," as Dumbledore put it. So for Lupin and Sirius, and even Peter in the Shack, it was comforting that Harry looked like James. It soothed their survivor's guilt, and in Peter's case it helped him get away when he begged Harry for mercy.

I don't think it would be realistic for Snape to be comforted by Harry's resemblence to James, his worst enemy. What person is ever happy to see an old school enemy walking in the door? Nor could he just brush it aside and forget it, as Yoana said, due to the guilt he felt over the Potters' deaths, especially Lily's death. I think like everything else in Snape's psyche, it was complicated and he had extreme mixed feelings about Harry, literally hate and love, hate for James, love for Lily.

But in spite of all that, he never stopped trying to do the right thing where Harry was concerned, even if he couldn't be some kind of happy squishy teacher-friend who loved to dote upon Harry and pat his head. *shudder* I don't think I would like the character very much if that's the way the books had gone. Besides, Harry had enough dotage from Dumbledore and the rest of the Wizarding World.

It's enough for me that Snape told Harry the truth now and then, without sugarcoating it.
In my opinion doing the right thing by a student does no include bullying which is how Snape treats Harry. Snape IMO does not do the right thing by Harry when he mocks and humiliates him. he also doesn't have to be a squishy happy teacher although that type of teacher is more effective in the real world but there is no excuse for his awfulness to Harry. It is disturbing to think he can feel guilty for Lilys death but not James and then go on to pick on the orphan who is an orphan due to him and his bad choices. Harry does nothing to deserve the harsh treatment he gets from Snape and any anger and loathing that Harry feels comes as a result of what is said and done to him by Snape.

I actually have not seen too much doting by other teachers to Harry. Most of the other teachers treat Harry like any other student IMO and that includes Dumbledore. There is also the fact that the reason the WW knows and mostly cares for Harry (I disagree they dote look at OOTP and GOF) they look at him and see two things - the reason Voldermort was gone which was something to celebrate and an orphan cruelly deprived of his parents.

What reason did Snape have to hate Harry or assume he would be arrogant? I have never personally seen anthing to justify this. IMO teachers should not hate their students and if they do they should not show it particularly younger children. If a teacher treated any of my kids the way Snape does I would do something about it.


  #232  
Old February 19th, 2011, 10:51 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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Originally Posted by FurryDice View Post
I'm wondering how he lacked the chance to mature.
I didn't say he lacked the chance to mature - I said he never had the chance to be a well-adjusted adult, which is different. That he got involved in a genocidal group very young was bad enough but he could have got over it (supposing he quit) in time if it wasn't his role in Lily's death. That particular event in his life I think crippled him forever and got him stuck in one place in his life until his death. He was unable to get past it (which I think is quite realistic actually). I think it's clearly shown he never moved on from that, and that it stunted him in many ways. I find this to be a more interesting and plausible explanation for why he seems unable to get over himself with regard to Harry, if we take the whole character history into account, than his just being a meanie.


  #233  
Old February 19th, 2011, 11:33 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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Originally Posted by Yoana View Post
I didn't say he lacked the chance to mature - I said he never had the chance to be a well-adjusted adult, which is different.
Yes. A person continues to grow and develop all their lives, and the person we are at 21 is very different from the person we become by the time we're 30, 40, 50, and so on. Severus was trapped in a life at the age of 21 (teacher at Hogwarts) that he had probably never even considered, and with the lack of outside influences for at least 10 months of the year beyond Hogsmeade, he didn't have the opportunity to add experiences that would have let him grow much beyond that terrified youngster who begged DD, "Don't kill me."

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Originally Posted by Yoana View Post
That he got involved in a genocidal group very young was bad enough but he could have got over it (supposing he quit) in time if it wasn't his role in Lily's death. That particular event in his life I think crippled him forever and got him stuck in one place in his life until his death. He was unable to get past it (which I think is quite realistic actually).
Especially given his isolation at Dumbledore's Home For Wayward Wizards. He didn't have to chance to discover that the sun still shines, the wind still blows, the grass still grows, and life goes on. If he hadn't continued to hide from the world at DD's urging (making him promise to guard Harry while Severus was in the depths of grief and despair was rather egregious, IMHO -- he wasn't in his right mind, and DD knew it) he would probably have even found someone who could love him and appreciate him as himself, warts and all.

He may not even have grown as many warts as he did...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoana View Post
I think it's clearly shown he never moved on from that, and that it stunted him in many ways. I find this to be a more interesting and plausible explanation for why he seems unable to get over himself with regard to Harry, if we take the whole character history into account, than his just being a meanie.
Without a doubt. If he had been allowed to move on, I think he would have ended up a less cantankerous, snarky person than the one we see throughout the book. He would have still been cantankerous and snarky, but I doubt it would have become so deeply entrenched and polished if he had had an opportunity to do what he wanted to do for a career, rather than being pushed into a profession he obviously did not have the temperament for...

Standard JMHO, YMMV disclaimer applies...


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  #234  
Old February 20th, 2011, 12:11 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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Last edited by SusanBones; February 20th, 2011 at 4:25 am.
  #235  
Old February 20th, 2011, 1:50 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

[quote=SadiraSnape;5700537]Yes. A person continues to grow and develop all their lives, and the person we are at 21 is very different from the person we become by the time we're 30, 40, 50, and so on. Severus was trapped in a life at the age of 21 (teacher at Hogwarts) that he had probably never even considered, and with the lack of outside influences for at least 10 months of the year beyond Hogsmeade, he didn't have the opportunity to add experiences that would have let him grow much beyond that terrified youngster who begged DD, "Don't kill me."

How was he trapped? Why was he trapped? IMO if he was trapped it was by choice. He had plenty of outside experience before age 21. Other teachers had outside experiences and had been teaching from the same age as him. To me his actions were his choice. It sounds to me like he had a pretty comfortable safe existence at Hogwarts until Voldermort made his return in GOF at which Snape had been teaching 13 or so years. There is nothing to indicate he was trapped or indeed in any danger at that time and most of the WW believed Voldermort was dead. So IMHO Snape had plenty of choices, far more than say the Potters who were dead and never given the chance to make choices partly because of Snapes choices.

Especially given his isolation at Dumbledore's Home For Wayward Wizards. He didn't have to chance to discover that the sun still shines, the wind still blows, the grass still grows, and life goes on. If he hadn't continued to hide from the world at DD's urging (making him promise to guard Harry while Severus was in the depths of grief and despair was rather egregious, IMHO -- he wasn't in his right mind, and DD knew it) he would probably have even found someone who could love him and appreciate him as himself, warts and all.

Dumbledore gave Snape a choice which he took to save Lily. I would argue that he did indeed have the chance to dicover the sun grass etc you mention purely because he was alive and the WW was not in open conflict for many years so his isolation was ultimately his own choice. Is there any canon to support your claim that DD urged him to hide away - and if Snape was not in his right mind when agreeing to DDs request whose fault was that? He did not have to agree nor did he have to honor that promise. Snape was an adult who had every possibility to find someone to love - he chose not to and ultimately it was Snape who hid himself away by choice. To blame DD is most unfair IMHO. Any choices Snape made were his own.

The main problem I have with Snape has always been his treatment and unfair attitude to Harry, Neville and Hermione. He singled out and bullied children and that was his choice too.


  #236  
Old February 20th, 2011, 9:51 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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Quote:
Originally Posted by SadiraSnape View Post
Especially given his isolation at Dumbledore's Home For Wayward Wizards. He didn't have to chance to discover that the sun still shines, the wind still blows, the grass still grows, and life goes on. If he hadn't continued to hide from the world at DD's urging (making him promise to guard Harry while Severus was in the depths of grief and despair was rather egregious, IMHO -- he wasn't in his right mind, and DD knew it) he would probably have even found someone who could love him and appreciate him as himself, warts and all.
You make it sound as though Hogwarts was Azkaban. As far as I'm aware, teachers were allowed to leave. And there were the holidays, too. Snape was hardly locked up in the dungeons, to be only left out for meals in the hall.

As to your point of guardianship, Snape had ten years in which Harry was not in fact at Hogwarts. So in this decade he could have enjoyed the outside world, the sun, moon and stars, and let the wind rustle through his long black hair. But he didn't. Snape's voluntary or involuntary inability to move on and work through his issues is not Dumbledore's fault, in my view. Admittedly, the Wizarding World doesn't seem to offer psychological help of any kind and Snape was sadly left to his own devices. But he had every chance to make the most of the second chance Dumbledore had given him. Others of his generation were not that lucky.


  #237  
Old February 20th, 2011, 12:39 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moriath
As to your point of guardianship, Snape had ten years in which Harry was not in fact at Hogwarts. So in this decade he could have enjoyed the outside world, the sun, moon and stars, and let the wind rustle through his long black hair. But he didn't. Snape's voluntary or involuntary inability to move on and work through his issues is not Dumbledore's fault, in my view.
I don't think it was Dumbledore's fault either. In fact, it was Dumbledore who offered to reveal Snape's redemption and thus make it easier for him to mix with people from the good side, without their having to suspect him or shy away from him, because of his past. Snape was the one to refuse. Whether he knew or not what the consequences of this choice would be, I don't know. The fact remains, though, that he's the one who chose to stay away from other people, either out of guilt, or simply dislike of the people around him, we can't be certain of that either.


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  #238  
Old February 20th, 2011, 2:13 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Green_Woods View Post
I think Dumbledore understood that Snape's regret was for both James and Lily, and he says so to Harry as well.
Sorry, I'm back so late. Caught some infection and as such spent the day(s) far from the compi.

TGW, this haven't been the lines I meant. I think the lines you quoted show how Dumbledore tries (very often btw) to give Harry insight on Snape, but they also only explain why Snape came to his greatest remorse in life: I agree that this was Lily's death, but I see no hint that he ever felt remorse for James's death. The same educational way Dumbledore uses when he's talking to Snape about Harry:

DH, UK edition p. 545"- mediocre, arrogant as his father, a determined rule-breaker, delighted to find himself famous, attention-seeking and impertinent..." "You see what you expect to see, Severus", said Dumbleodre. [...] "Other teachers report that the boy is modest, likeable and reasonably talented. Personally, I find him an engaging child."

It's a way of Dumbledore often seen - eg also when he talkes about Hagrid to McGonagall - to let people see the best in others, just as he does himself.

However, none of these two quotes were which I meant, but the following:

DH UK p. 543, bold by me"The prophecy did not refer to a woman," said Dumbledore. "It spoke of a boy born at the end of July -" "You know what I mean! He thinks it means her son, he is going to hunt her down - kill them all - "If she means so much to you," said Dumbledore, "surely Lord Voldemort will spare her? Could you not ask for mercy for the mother in exchange for her son?" "I have - I have asked him -" "You disgust me", said Dumbledore, and Harry had never heard so much contempt in his voice.


Even if this was ten years before Snape meet Harry and we as readers meet Snape, I concur with Dumbledore. Also ten years later Snape still shows hate to Harry, but whom he never met before. Just because he was his father's son.
I don't think the quote is explaining how much regrets Snape felt towards the death of both of Harry parents. Dumbledore clearly looked through the motivations of Snape ten years before and in the books we don't see a conversation showing that Dumbledore changed his mind. In fact, I think Dumbledore was surprised that a life like Harry's began to personally mean something for Snape when he confronted him with the fact that Harry will have to die.

I believed Snape is working for the Order, likely due to a unlucky love to Lily, long before DH was released. Back then it made me post in 'Snape the Obscure', because I also always believed that Snape never learned to come over the tiniest issues his character provided and as such kept meeting people with prejudices and often also hate. In that I stick to what I wrote three days ago.

I don't find Snape's actions admirable because I judge his reasons flawed. He gave his own life up what should be an admirable thing per se, but I don't think he needed to.
He could have been the fatherly teacher and friend, content with his own life and helpfully towards others, but of whom Harry detects in DH that he has the horrible past of once having been a Death Eater and, partly, responsible for the death of his parents. Alas, Snape chose to keep being an outsider and meet a boy who has never done anything wrong to him with hate from their first meeting on.

Again: as a book character that makes him very interesting and I find this character development very plausible. It's a great description JK gives and I think quite many people can't overcome there own comfort zone, even if it's actually hurting them.
It's just that I believe that adulthood provides us with some responsibilities towards ourselves as also towards others (for particular towards kids if you're a teacher), which I don't see in Snape. Imo he hides behind his grief, and gets consumed by the task to protect a boy he never liked. Said boy additionally didn't need much help for over ten years in which Snape could have grew personally - but he didn't. Again, I find that understandable in terms of character development, but certainly doesn't make me admire Snape.

I think I had been able to forgive him quite anything if he just has changed his life at one point. Instead he kept being bitter.


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  #239  
Old February 20th, 2011, 2:31 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

Dumbledore gave Severus a second chance, a chance to change, a chance which Severus chose to take. Snape just never seemed to recover from his feelings of guilt in his part in Lily's death. I believe we see this from the form of his Patronus, and his crying over Lily's letter sixteen years later. I think this shows that emotionally he became frozen in time the night Lily died.

From what we see in TPT Severus did not have a particularly happy time at Hogwarts, and it would also have held many memories, particularly of Lily. So, I think that being at Hogwarts was probably not the best place for Snape to overcome all that had happened, and also went some way to keeping alive his bitterness towards James and the Marauders.

I also think that he never felt he deserved to overcome all his emotional issues and feeling of guilt. We know Severus felt great remorse over his part in Lily's death. Dumbledore tells us so and we see it in TPT, and in Snape's consequent actions to protect Harry. I think Severus may have seen it as his penance not to overcome his feelings of guilt or to get on with living a normal life.

In conclusion I think that like most of us, Snape was the way he was due to a combination of his own choices and his external circumstances.


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Last edited by TreacleTartlet; February 20th, 2011 at 2:43 pm.
  #240  
Old February 20th, 2011, 3:51 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

Quote:
Originally Posted by MinervasCat View Post
I'm sorry, but after seeing those memories, I just can't believe that Severus had not grown to respect and, IMO, to feel a certain affection for Harry, and because of that, to seek his forgiveness.
I think you make excellent points. I'm wondering, though, if Snape gave those extra memories not out of respect for Harry, but because he was the only person available to receive those memories. Is it possible that Snape wanted others such as McGonagall to know his true loyalties? And that the only means to do that was to give those memories to Harry? If Hermione and Ron had gone alone to the Shrieking Shack, would Snape have given them all these memories?


 
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