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Old February 10th, 2011, 1:55 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

Originally Posted by MinCat
I'm not sure that his looks, other than the possible taunting as a child, meant that much to him. He was more "internal" and I don't think looks, clothing, possessions, and such meant much to him. It was more, "what can you do?" rather than "how good looking are you?".
That's a great way of putting it. And yet, even if Snape's appearance wasn't the ideal of society, he always had a certain "presence" about him, even as a child.

In Prince's Tale, Harry sees him this way at age 9:

Snape, and even with his poorly cut hair and his odd clothes, he struck an oddly impressive figure sprawled in front of her, brimful of confidence in his destiny.

And yet, in his teenage years, there's no doubt that Snape had more problems with his self-esteem, and he didn't always have that same confidence anymore due to the way life had treated him.

However, by the time he was an adult, he certainly had regained his sense of self. He knew how to dress to impress, I think, and his voice is "smooth" instead of stuttering. Clearly he impresses Lord Voldemort and the Malfoys enough to be their trusted friend. He knew how to keep the attention of a class enough for them to follow him around the room "craning their necks" to see him, as they do on the first day of DADA class in HBP.

In the "Spinner's End" chapter, there are none of the usual adjectives to describe Snape from Harry's point of view as greasy, ugly, or sour, although his surroundings are still gloomy. Narcissa doesn't stare at him with "loathing" as Harry often does, and he even "smiles." At Hogwarts, none of the other adult characters ever describe him as ugly or deride his appearance, but of course some of them might not be all that beautiful either, and I guess characters in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

To a child's eyes, Lockhart might have been prettier, but one of the great themes of the HP series is that appearance doesn't really make you "good" or "great." Snape wasn't classically handsome, and I don't think he cared about that. He knew his own inner worth, and his theatrical ability was a means to an end of protecting Harry and the other students at the school.

So I think he felt some satisfaction in being able to fool people like Umbridge, who was pretty-in-pink on the outside, but much darker than he ever was on the inside.

As always, JMO


"It may have escaped your notice, but life isn't fair."
~ Severus Snape, OotP movie

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