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Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.4



View Poll Results: Was Snape a good friend to Lily?
Yes, he couldn't have been a better or more devoted friend. 12 12.90%
Yes. If only she had appreciated him more he wouldn't have joined the DE. 13 13.98%
Kind of. He should have listened to her concerns instead of focussing on his jealousy. 49 52.69%
No. He sympathised with a group of pure-blood supremacist terrorists while he was friends with her. 23 24.73%
Absolutely not. SWM was only the last straw and he'd failed her before. 9 9.68%
Oh dear, that's one hell of a poll. *hides* 19 20.43%
A pony? 20 21.51%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 93. You may not vote on this poll

 
 
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  #301  
Old March 16th, 2010, 12:48 am
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.4

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Originally Posted by mysterious View Post
There is another alternate explanation that pops into my mind and that is she judged them, based on the changes she observed in Snape.
Yes, in the same way Muggles would judge someone who was leading their friend into drug-taking or crime. Of course she was going to disapprove of the direction they were taking, and Severus along with them.

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Originally Posted by mysterious View Post
Or she was merely completing the statement and specifying that Snape had chosen his path and she didn't want anything to do with it and that the two paths were way too different for them to keep the charade on and continue being friends without the repercussion of their choices.
That's how I see it - Lily meant to oppose Voldemort, she could see that Snape held the same prejudice as the Death Eaters. Two such contrasting viewpoints meant that they couldn't possibly continue a friendship.

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Originally Posted by The_Green_Woods View Post
I think Lily was saying that she had chosen a way that was different from the path she trod upon until that time. Which was as Snape's friend. From the night of the SWM, Lily told Snape that her path was from then on different; she was no longer Snape's friend and so her path was different from what Snape's path was. Snape's path was one, where he and Lily were friends and maybe become more to each other. Lily was definitely not walking on that path from the SWM night onwards IMO.
Lily had every right not to want to take a path where her so-called best friend thought it acceptable to call her and others Mudbloods, imo. What concerns me about that is that he said it when he lost control. What was there to stop the same thing from happening the next time he lost control??

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Originally Posted by mysterious View Post
I personally support the thought that the whole pureblood supremacy was merely a charade that Voldemort had to keep in order to obtain the support of the wizarding families.
I agree- it was about power and immortality for himself, the rest was about support. However, people Avery, Lucius Malfoy and Severus Snape bought into it - it was a pre-existing prejudice in the wizarding world, just taken to a whole new level by Riddle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hwyla View Post
As for back while they were still friends - canon doesn't even specify that Snape was a DE then. In fact - canon doesn't even specify that he was very into the 'dark arts' yet in 5th year - since it isn't given as an excuse by James when Lily asks him (bk5), nor used as a taunt by Sirius. Remember that in canon Harry actually LIKES 5th-6th year Sev and likens him to the Weasley Twins (hardly DEs) - even after SectumSempra, Harry tried to 'protect' the Prince by hiding the book. So, while LILY might have believed he was already 'dark', Harry's opinion was different.
Harry only knew what he read in the Prince's book. Lily knew what she saw, what she heard and experienced. I see Lily's opinion on Severus' behaviour and intentions as far more valid than Harry's here, by virtue of broader experience of teenage Snape and his actions.

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Originally Posted by silver ink pot View Post
But of course there is no canon that Snape ever killed anyone. And I'm sure you didn't mean to imply that.

I think your evidence from the canon that Sirius never suspected Snape of being a DE, and that Bellatrix despised Snape for never "getting his hands dirty" is the best proof that he wasn't recruiting anyone, least of all Lily. JMO
Will reply in the Snape thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CurseCruciatus View Post
It seems that Snape was doing everything he could to hold his and Lily's friendship together, aside from giving up his "future Death Eater" friends. He probably didn't see to much wrong with the Dark magic they were doing and that group was one he probably felt like he belonged in. Belonging had been something he had always craved.
Yet that was what Lily needed in order for their friendship to continue. And in my opinon, it's perfectly reasonable - how could she accept a friendship with someone whose other friends objected to her very existence? In real-world terms, would anyone expect an African-American girl to continue a friendship with a guy whose other friends were leaning towards the KKK?? While Snape didn't see too much wrong with what they did in school, nor did he see anything wrong with DE torture and murder until Lily was threatened.


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  #302  
Old March 16th, 2010, 1:10 am
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.4

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Originally Posted by FurryDice
Harry only knew what he read in the Prince's book. Lily knew what she saw, what she heard and experienced. I see Lily's opinion on Severus' behaviour and intentions as far more valid than Harry's here, by virtue of broader experience of teenage Snape and his actions.
But let's not forget that Lily was also persuaded to believe things about Snape by her own friends in Gryffindor, including Harry's father and Sirius. Their views of Snape are embedded in the Marauder's Map as well as in the phrase "dark arts oddball" that Sirius uses to describe the Prince in GoF.

How ironic it is that Harry asked Lupin if James might be the Prince! Of all the ironies in the books, that is the most delicious, in my opinion.


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Last edited by silver ink pot; March 16th, 2010 at 1:13 am.
  #303  
Old March 16th, 2010, 11:36 am
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.4

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Originally Posted by silver ink pot View Post
But let's not forget that Lily was also persuaded to believe things about Snape by her own friends in Gryffindor, including Harry's father and Sirius.
I think I have forgotten-- or at least don't remember Are you talking about the incident with Mary? I do remember Lily mentioning her friends and people, but not House affiliation. Information in the school appears to me to be disemminated by students of all Houses, staff members, portraits, and ghosts. I can't assume Lily is being persuaded to believe things by a specific set of people unless the text directly says so.


  #304  
Old March 16th, 2010, 1:03 pm
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.4

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Originally Posted by FurryDice View Post
What concerns me about that is that he said it when he lost control. What was there to stop the same thing from happening the next time he lost control??
Snape was merely a teenager when he made that mistake, and under a lot of stress too. Now that doesn't make him innocent or anything, but he had learned a lesson he wasn't going to forget immediately. Once that was seen through then we enter Snape as an adult, a mature person who I don't think would make such a mistake.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FurryDice View Post
Harry only knew what he read in the Prince's book. Lily knew what she saw, what she heard and experienced. I see Lily's opinion on Severus' behaviour and intentions as far more valid than Harry's here, by virtue of broader experience of teenage Snape and his actions.
Well said.

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Originally Posted by silver ink pot View Post
But let's not forget that Lily was also persuaded to believe things about Snape by her own friends in Gryffindor, including Harry's father and Sirius.
She was not actually persuaded by them, was she? We know that her friends used to tell tales about Snape, but she still used to hang out for Snape until SWM. As for James and Sirius influencing her decision, I don't see how that would be, for she didn't start going out with James till their seventh year when she had already stopped being friends with Severus.


  #305  
Old March 16th, 2010, 1:48 pm
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.4

One doesn't need to be 'friends' to actually affect someone's else's opinion. We actually see how James affected her opinion of Sev in the memory that took place after the Werewolf Incident. She still said she disliked James, but she considered Sev 'ungrateful' to James.

We can also see from that memory that Lily had caught a glimmer of what she sees as nobility in James - whether it was actually there or not. And since Sev was forbidden to discuss the situation, she doesn't get to hear his side of it. Likewise, since James cannot be loudly boasting of exactly what he saved Sev from (without outing Remus), Lily thinks James' has begun to be more humble.

I think a great deal of Lily's actions/inactions during SWM can be explained by her being disillusioned then by James' actions toward Sev - that she had believed his rescue of Sev indicated a change in him - only to find that it didn't really.


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When Dumbledore asked Snape, "If you are prepared..." he didn't mean 'Have your Death Eeater robes returned from the cleaners'.
Everything we've seen Snape do, was done knowing Voldemort WOULD return someday.

And when that day would come, that he had better have the appropriate memories that would enable him to lie to Voldy's face.

Last edited by hwyla; March 16th, 2010 at 1:51 pm.
  #306  
Old March 16th, 2010, 2:07 pm
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.4

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Originally Posted by FurryDice View Post
What concerns me about that is that he said it when he lost control. What was there to stop the same thing from happening the next time he lost control??
Nothing really. Snape realised what he'd done was wrong, which was why he came to apologise for his comment. Lily could have accepted his apology because she knew how humiliating it was for Snape; under what circumstances he had shouted at her. Or she could have told him to get lost, which is what she did. She was at perfect liberty to do what she wanted to IMO.
------------
Harry is a lot more mature than James or Lily IMO, for he understood both Lily's anger and Snape's humiliation, which Lily failed to acknowledge. I do think it was because she had already chosen to break off with Snape and this IMO gave her the excuse to do it. Please note, I am not saying calling muggleborns names is justified; I am only saying best friends and loved ones make a lot of allowances for each other, going over the top, at times.

DH - TPTDistantly he heard Snape shout at her in his humiliation and his fury, the unforgivable word : 'Mudblood'


I found it interesting that Harry after nearly 3 years, was fair to both his mother and Snape. He calls the word unforgivable and he also understands the humiliation and the fury Snape felt which led to him saying this. He understands both Snape and Lily is what I come away with; he has still not seen the break up scene; at this point with only the SWM, all Harry understands is the unforgivable word Mudblood and Snape's humiliation and rage which resulted in that word being uttered.


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  #307  
Old March 16th, 2010, 3:27 pm
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.4

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Originally Posted by hwyla View Post
I think a great deal of Lily's actions/inactions during SWM can be explained by her being disillusioned then by James' actions toward Sev - that she had believed his rescue of Sev indicated a change in him - only to find that it didn't really.
It was not only James' action towards Severus that explains her actions/inactions during SWM, but also the fact that she had started fancying him...

The prince's Tale, DH
“I’m just trying to show you they’re not as wonderful as everyone seems to think they are.”
The intensity of his gaze made her blush.


Now why would she blush at that point, appears to me that she had been caught red handed...


  #308  
Old March 16th, 2010, 4:35 pm
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.4

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Originally Posted by mysterious View Post
It was not only James' action towards Severus that explains her actions/inactions during SWM, but also the fact that she had started fancying him...

The prince's Tale, DH
“I’m just trying to show you they’re not as wonderful as everyone seems to think they are.”
The intensity of his gaze made her blush.


Now why would she blush at that point, appears to me that she had been caught red handed...
I read that differently, and thought that she was blushing because Snape had such an intense gaze. She knew by then that he had feelings for her, too. I don't want to go into all the reasons she might be blushing, but people can use their imaginations.


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  #309  
Old March 16th, 2010, 4:52 pm
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.4

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Originally Posted by The_Green_Woods View Post
I found it interesting that Harry after nearly 3 years, was fair to both his mother and Snape. He calls the word unforgivable and he also understands the humiliation and the fury Snape felt which led to him saying this. He understands both Snape and Lily is what I come away with; he has still not seen the break up scene; at this point with only the SWM, all Harry understands is the unforgivable word Mudblood and Snape's humiliation and rage which resulted in that word being uttered.
I agree, it does show Harry to be more mature.
But something else we have to factor in is that Snape called all Muggle-borns by the word "mudblood", and Lily was kind of an exception until that point. I would understand if she felt offended if he called her kind mudbloods, even if she was an exception. It's kind of like a friend making fun of everyone in your racial group, except for you.


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  #310  
Old March 16th, 2010, 5:57 pm
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.4

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Originally Posted by silver ink pot View Post
I read that differently, and thought that she was blushing because Snape had such an intense gaze. She knew by then that he had feelings for her, too. I don't want to go into all the reasons she might be blushing, but people can use their imaginations.
I also thought she was blushing because she understood what the intensity of Snape's look was. Later she walked away.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CurseCruciatus View Post
But something else we have to factor in is that Snape called all Muggle-borns by the word "mudblood", and Lily was kind of an exception until that point. I would understand if she felt offended if he called her kind mudbloods, even if she was an exception. It's kind of like a friend making fun of everyone in your racial group, except for you.
Absolutely. I always felt Lily was a bit hypocritical when she broke off her friendship because Snape called her a Mudblood, when she knew he was calling every muggleborn by that name.


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  #311  
Old March 16th, 2010, 6:04 pm
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.4

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Originally Posted by CurseCruciatus View Post
It's kind of like a friend making fun of everyone in your racial group, except for you.
True. I wish Lily could have shown Snape what was wrong with that mindset. It may have seemed obvious to her but I have known people like that in real life who honestly don't understand that hating an entire group of people except for one person is no better than hating all of them. But Lily can't have been expected to understand that if she had never known someone like that before.


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  #312  
Old March 16th, 2010, 6:14 pm
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.4

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Originally Posted by The_Green_Woods View Post
I always felt Lily was a bit hypocritical when she broke off her friendship because Snape called her a Mudblood, when she knew he was calling every muggleborn by that name.
I'd put it the other way around, that Lily would be hypocritical if she accepted Severus's apology and didn't break off the friendship when she knew he called other Muggleborns "Mudblood". My impression was that his calling her Mudblood confirmed what others had been telling her but she had not wanted to believe. I felt that her breaking off the friendship was her making a decision to not be hypocritical, and to do the right thing.


  #313  
Old March 16th, 2010, 6:22 pm
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.4

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Originally Posted by The_Green_Woods View Post
I always felt Lily was a bit hypocritical when she broke off her friendship because Snape called her a Mudblood, when she knew he was calling every muggleborn by that name.
I think it is the exact opposite. Had Lily accepted the apology and continued being friends with Severus, that would have been hypocritical. Moreover she didn't break their friendship just because of that one incident. She didn't approve of the path Snape had chosen. They were standing at a crossroad and unless they broke the link joining them they would not end up going in the paths they both separately aspired for.

ETA-Totally agree with OldMotherCrow


  #314  
Old March 16th, 2010, 7:08 pm
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.4

I don't think either decision can be considered hypocritical. If she had accepted Snape's apology, that would not have necessarily meant that she was okay with him calling people "mudblood." She could have accepted on the condition that he change. I think that would have been possible since he seemed to realize what a big mistake he'd made.


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  #315  
Old March 16th, 2010, 7:25 pm
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.4

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Originally Posted by MistressofRaven View Post
I don't think either decision can be considered hypocritical. If she had accepted Snape's apology, that would not have necessarily meant that she was okay with him calling people "mudblood." She could have accepted on the condition that he change. I think that would have been possible since he seemed to realize what a big mistake he'd made.
I think it needed to be the other way around for Lily, though-- instead of her accepting his apology on condition that he change, he needed to change before she could accept his apology. I think she was right to strike out on her own to do the right thing, and not hang around doing nothing so she could be the prize for some boy as a reward for his good behavior. I'm glad she didn't set herself up to be that. I think mysterious is right, and it was a crossroads-- perhaps even a more momentus one for Lily than Severus.


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Old March 16th, 2010, 7:31 pm
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.4

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Originally Posted by OldMotherCrow View Post
hang around doing nothing so she could be the prize for some boy as a reward for his good behavior. I'm glad she didn't set herself up to be that.
bold mine
She ended up being that anyway, just not for Snape. But that's for a different thread.


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Old March 16th, 2010, 7:35 pm
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.4

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Originally Posted by MistressofRaven View Post
bold mine
She ended up being that anyway, just not for Snape. But that's for a different thread.
I don't agree, and it is for a different thread. To remain friends with Snape I feel would have required Lily to compromise her fundemental ideals. It appears to me that she did not want to do that.


  #318  
Old March 17th, 2010, 2:42 am
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.4

[quote]
Quote:
Originally Posted by mysterious View Post
Snape was merely a teenager when he made that mistake, and under a lot of stress too. Now that doesn't make him innocent or anything, but he had learned a lesson he wasn't going to forget immediately. Once that was seen through then we enter Snape as an adult, a mature person who I don't think would make such a mistake.
I'm not talking about adult Snape who had seen the error of his DE ways. I'm talking about teenage Snape - suppose Lily had just accepted his apology - what would there be to stop him from calling her a Mudblood next time he wasn't in control of himself? It has been pointed out before that Snape said that to her because he lost control under the circumstances. I don't see what would have prevented it from happening again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Green_Woods View Post
Nothing really. Snape realised what he'd done was wrong, which was why he came to apologise for his comment. Lily could have accepted his apology because she knew how humiliating it was for Snape; under what circumstances he had shouted at her. Or she could have told him to get lost, which is what she did. She was at perfect liberty to do what she wanted to IMO.
What about Lily's humiliation in this situation? She was in no way obliged to accept the apology, what he had said was accurately described as "unforgivable" by Harry. Why would she want to be friends with someone who saw her in that way, and made an exception for her because she was Lily, because she was powerful, because he loved her?

Quote:
Harry is a lot more mature than James or Lily IMO, for he understood both Lily's anger and Snape's humiliation, which Lily failed to acknowledge. I do think it was because she had already chosen to break off with Snape and this IMO gave her the excuse to do it. Please note, I am not saying calling muggleborns names is justified; I am only saying best friends and loved ones make a lot of allowances for each other, going over the top, at times.
And more mature than Snape for that matter, as he didn't show any sign of understanding just how humiliating that must have been for Lily - the friend she'd stood by and stood up for turning the most vile word in the wizarding world on her? I think the meaning behind that word is often overlooked in analysis of SWM. It is the most foul, demeaning word in the wizarding world, according to several sources. It implies the person it's directed at is inferior because of their birth. I think Lily had every reason not to want to be friends with someone who embraced that ideology and I don't see any evidence that she was looking for an excuse to end the friendship.



Quote:
Originally Posted by OldMotherCrow View Post
I'd put it the other way around, that Lily would be hypocritical if she accepted Severus's apology and didn't break off the friendship when she knew he called other Muggleborns "Mudblood". My impression was that his calling her Mudblood confirmed what others had been telling her but she had not wanted to believe. I felt that her breaking off the friendship was her making a decision to not be hypocritical, and to do the right thing.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mysterious View Post
I think it is the exact opposite. Had Lily accepted the apology and continued being friends with Severus, that would have been hypocritical. Moreover she didn't break their friendship just because of that one incident. She didn't approve of the path Snape had chosen. They were standing at a crossroad and unless they broke the link joining them they would not end up going in the paths they both separately aspired for.

ETA-Totally agree with OldMotherCrow
I'll third that. It would have been hypocritical of Lily to continue a friendship with someone whose major choices were so at odds with her own. I'll also say I think she shows self-respect, by not accepting an apology and continuing a friendship with someone who has betrayed her in that way - and in my mind, calling her Mudblood was a betrayal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MistressofRaven View Post
I don't think either decision can be considered hypocritical. If she had accepted Snape's apology, that would not have necessarily meant that she was okay with him calling people "mudblood." She could have accepted on the condition that he change. I think that would have been possible since he seemed to realize what a big mistake he'd made.
I don't think he recognised that using that word and holding that attitude was wrong, he only regretted that he upset Lily by using it. He didn't regret considering people Mudbloods, not as a teenager, at any rate. What motivation would Severus have to change if Lily just accepted his apology for something that serious? He could have just figured, well she doesn't really mean it, she'll accept me, prejudices and all and accept an apology again next time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldMotherCrow View Post
I think it needed to be the other way around for Lily, though-- instead of her accepting his apology on condition that he change, he needed to change before she could accept his apology. I think she was right to strike out on her own to do the right thing, and not hang around doing nothing so she could be the prize for some boy as a reward for his good behavior. I'm glad she didn't set herself up to be that. I think mysterious is right, and it was a crossroads-- perhaps even a more momentus one for Lily than Severus.
I agree - it's not a true apology without change.
Also, yes, Lily had every right to choose who she wanted to be with - nobody is obliged to return someone else's feelings, no matter how genuine or deep those feelings are. Lily isn't a bad person just because it wasn't Severus Snape's feelings that she returned.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldMotherCrow View Post
I don't agree, and it is for a different thread. To remain friends with Snape I feel would have required Lily to compromise her fundemental ideals. It appears to me that she did not want to do that.
I think so, too - Lily seemed to already intend to join the fight against Voldemort while Severus was echoing DE sentiments about people of her birth. Was she supposed to just accept Snape's attitude that "well, intelligent, powerful mudbloods- especially if they're called Lily Evans- are okay?"


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  #319  
Old March 17th, 2010, 9:12 am
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.4

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Originally Posted by The_Green_Woods View Post
Absolutely. I always felt Lily was a bit hypocritical when she broke off her friendship because Snape called her a Mudblood, when she knew he was calling every muggleborn by that name.
Maybe calling her mudblood made her realize that she shouldn't take that kind of disrespect from him anymore. Shouldn't we be glad that finally left?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MistressofRaven View Post
I don't think either decision can be considered hypocritical. If she had accepted Snape's apology, that would not have necessarily meant that she was okay with him calling people "mudblood." She could have accepted on the condition that he change. I think that would have been possible since he seemed to realize what a big mistake he'd made.
But would Snape had turned away from the Death Eaters and Dark magic? Given that he doesn't bother to change after losing Lily, I think Lily forgiving him on the condition he change would have been useless.


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Last edited by RavenStar83; March 17th, 2010 at 9:20 am.
  #320  
Old March 17th, 2010, 10:01 am
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.4

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Originally Posted by FurryDice
And more mature than Snape for that matter, as he didn't show any sign of understanding just how humiliating that must have been for Lily - the friend she'd stood by and stood up for turning the most vile word in the wizarding world on her? I think the meaning behind that word is often overlooked in analysis of SWM.
This may help you understand why the word is overlooked: alot of bad stuff happens before that word. That's the context of the scene.

Why should we think that Lily made a mature choice in choosing James and Sirius as friends over Snape when they were obviously neither mature themselves nor actually nicer to anyone? (Well, they were nicer to her - a pretty girl in their own house).

Why is it immature of Snape to want his best friend to forgive him when he made a huge mistake? I think Harry realized that for the first time in Prince's Tale, especially since he has been watching the whole Ron/Hermione drama-rama unfold over years and their reunion in DH. How many times did they break up and forgive each other? Was that immature or mature? Personally, I don't know, although I think Hermione is the most loyal friend in the whole series. JMO. I'm afraid I don't see Lily that way anymore.


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