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Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4



 
 
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  #201  
Old February 18th, 2011, 2:24 am
lord_moldywort  Male.gif lord_moldywort is offline
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

Snape is easily the most complex character in the series. He was very valuable to the order but it was only because he was obsessed with Lily. He really did not care about Harry and he would have wanted Voldy to win if he had not tried to kill Lily. He is sort of a good guy but for bad reasons.


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  #202  
Old February 18th, 2011, 5:21 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

Quote:
Originally Posted by Melaszka View Post
I think it's rude. IMO, he comes to the first class expecting Harry to be big-headed about his fame and decides to mention it head-on and take Harry down a peg or two. I know you disagree that he's mocking him, so what motive do you think Snape has for mentioning Harry's "celebrity" here?
I think he was simply stating a fact. Harry was a celebrity; he was famous at that time.

Quote:
"A sneer" suggests to me that his aim is to ridicule Harry and the "fame clearly isn't everything" line suggests to me what I said above - that he has aimed these difficult questions at Harry, hoping he will get them wrong, so that he can take him down a peg or two, because he thinks that Harry will be big-headed about his fame and think that it is "everything". JMO. Again, as I read it, a prejudiced assumption that Harry is lazy and won't have been bothered to do any pre-class reading.
Yes, he did sneer because Harry did not answer. A more pleasant teacher would not have sneered and might have gone on to another student, maybe. I don't think Snape was a pleasant, nice teacher, who was liked by all students (or who wanted to be liked by all students; I think he would not have cared or made the effort, because he was not there as a teacher, his important job in Hogwarts was not teaching imo); I am not arguing for that, I agree with it. I just don't think any student would have talked back to a teacher just because the said teacher asked him questions he did not know the answer to, or told him he expected him to study his Books before coming to class and assumed he had not looked through his books during the holidays and sneered as he spoke; if the students answered the way Harry did, he would be punished; it would surely happen here. Perhaps students are allowed to talk back in Britain if they feel they have a cause, not here (yet). Here he would have been shouted at or sent out of the classroom to wait for a couple of hours (really).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pearl_Took View Post
I can easily hold two ideas in tension: that Snape felt bitterness towards Harry for being James's son
I disagree, because I don't see the hate in the Books; I think I see it more in JKR's interviews.

JKR on Snape

In the Books though, I see Snape the teacher much blended with Snape the spy/double agent (and he was both from Harry's first day in School). I think his actions do not make it look as if he takes out on Harry the hate he felt for James. I agree if you say he hated James, but I don't agree that what he felt for James he took out on Harry. What I see from the text is a complicated relationship between the two, always being controlled by Snape (the relationship I mean) and Harry being allowed to see only what Snape wished him to. In almost every interaction, I think Snape keeps his distance, yes, by way of antagonising Harry, but when he needs to, Snape easily breaks through all barriers - one such instance is the Silver Doe, where Snape was very easily able to acquire Harry's trust, and the memories, whose authenticity Harry never questioned or doubted for a second.

In every interaction between Snape and Harry, I guess I don't see Snape as merely a teacher, but as a double agent who would be questioned by Voldemort through Legilimency, and I think in that case Snape's attitude towards Harry and indeed others are not offensive or as a result of hating James or as a result of a general bitterness inside him.

Like I believe Snape coming to Dumbledore on the hill before the Potters deaths to warn them lifted Snape's culpability of their deaths (while still retaining his culpability of making an action that would result in the death of a baby), I think the memories he gave Harry and his role as a spy/double agent for me has made his actions in the Books as a teacher understandable and I am able to attribute it as a part of his complicated job, more than anything else.

Quote:
He's a deeply conflicted character. That's all part of his ... Snapeness.
I agree.


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  #203  
Old February 18th, 2011, 6:05 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

Quote:
Originally Posted by lord_moldywort View Post
Snape is easily the most complex character in the series. He was very valuable to the order but it was only because he was obsessed with Lily. He really did not care about Harry and he would have wanted Voldy to win if he had not tried to kill Lily. He is sort of a good guy but for bad reasons.
I think he would have eventually tried to leave the DE's because I don't believe Severus has the ethical degradation that would allow him to actually do any of the more vicious things DE's are known for, like straight-up murder or torture. I think he took more of a stand on the sidelines approach.

Much like the Black family, and the Malfoys when it got right down to it, Draco most of all. Lip service, and some practical involvement, until it got just too weird and crazy. If you notice, Voldy's most fanatic followers are somewhere in the range of kind of off to totally insane.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Green_Woods View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Melaszka
I think it's rude. IMO, he comes to the first class expecting Harry to be big-headed about his fame and decides to mention it head-on and take Harry down a peg or two. I know you disagree that he's mocking him, so what motive do you think Snape has for mentioning Harry's "celebrity" here
I think he was simply stating a fact. Harry was a celebrity; he was famous at that time.
Given the way Flitwick treated him in his first class, the way everyone was staring and treating him, eventually it would have given Harry a big head. I think Severus saw this in the corridors and heard an earful about Wonderful Harry Potter in the staffroom, so by the time Harry had his first Potions class, Severus had already decided to stomp on any burgeoning arrogance Harry may have been entertaining, even subconsciously. I think he may have done it, too, to bring Harry down to earth in the eyes of his classmates as well. The Famous Harry Potter wasn't a brainiac, wasn't special, wasn't different at all -- he was just another First Year with no more knowledge than any of the others.

Yes, he was harsh in the way he did it, but I think he actually had Harry's best interests at heart.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Green_Woods View Post
I just don't think any student would have talked back to a teacher just because the said teacher asked him questions he did not know the answer to, or told him he expected him to study his Books before coming to class and assumed he had not looked through his books during the holidays and sneered as he spoke; if the students answered the way Harry did, he would be punished; it would surely happen here.
I don't know about now, but in US schools when I was growing up (1963 to 1975) you did not mouth off to the teacher, no matter what they said to you. If someone had said what Harry said, that student would have been out in the hall or sent to the principal.

BTW, this was first day of Potions, First Year, not after holidays. I don't believe Severus expected Harry to be able to answer, mostly because he knew he'd been raised by the Dursleys and that Petunia would never have allowed Harry to read any WW books; I believe he was demonstrating to the rest of the already awestruck class that Harry Potter was just another uneducated First Year.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Green_Woods View Post
In every interaction between Snape and Harry, I guess I don't see Snape as merely a teacher, but as a double agent who would be questioned by Voldemort through Legilimency, and I think in that case Snape's attitude towards Harry and indeed others are not offensive or as a result of hating James or as a result of a general bitterness inside him.
Without a doubt, after Voldemort comes back. Before, I think Severus was taken aback by how much Harry looked like James, and was caught off-balance. In the first three years I believe Severus was mostly interested in making sure Harry doesn't buy into the whole Famous Harry Potter thing, and knew no other way to do it but by being a cantankerous you-know-what. After Voldy came back is when this program perhaps became a convenient way to taint his memories in anticipation of Legilimency by Voldy...


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  #204  
Old February 18th, 2011, 6:21 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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Originally Posted by SadiraSnape View Post
I think he would have eventually tried to leave the DE's because I don't believe Severus has the ethical degradation that would allow him to actually do any of the more vicious things DE's are known for, like straight-up murder or torture. I think he took more of a stand on the sidelines approach.

Much like the Black family, and the Malfoys when it got right down to it, Draco most of all. Lip service, and some practical involvement, until it got just too weird and crazy. If you notice, Voldy's most fanatic followers are somewhere in the range of kind of off to totally insane.

Maybe but the Canon disputes this - it is pointed out that Snape had been a DE for a few years and was quite okay with the idea of his master LV killing and innocent baby and it was only after he found out who LV was targeting that he changed some of his views - and it appears in DH that he is willing to let James and Harry die just so he could have Lily.


Given the way Flitwick treated him in his first class, the way everyone was staring and treating him, eventually it would have given Harry a big head. I think Severus saw this in the corridors and heard an earful about Wonderful Harry Potter in the staffroom, so by the time Harry had his first Potions class, Severus had already decided to stomp on any burgeoning arrogance Harry may have been entertaining, even subconsciously. I think he may have done it, too, to bring Harry down to earth in the eyes of his classmates as well. The Famous Harry Potter wasn't a brainiac, wasn't special, wasn't different at all -- he was just another First Year with no more knowledge than any of the others.

Yes, he was harsh in the way he did it, but I think he actually had Harry's best interests at heart.

I have to disagree that he had harrys best interests at heart and in my opinion he was not trying to stomp on burgeoning arrogance as there actually was none in Harry at the time and at that point Harry was unaware of so much about why he was famous. IMO Snape was just being mean because of Harrys resemblance to JAmes and what he did was not condonable in the least IMO. WHy was it up to Snape to 'bring Harry down' and prove he was not special when it was clear that Harry did not think he was special? What 11 year old boy brand new to the WW deserves the scorn sarcasm and bitterness Snape showed to him?? It is cruel to try and point out that someone is not special or a brainiac in the first place on the very first lession before an entire class. To me there is no excuse for what Snape did to Harry and never will be = Snape was the adult with all the power and he used that power to bully and denigrate Harry for his own purposes and because he could not handle the fact that Lily loved James and not him.

I don't know about now, but in US schools when I was growing up (1963 to 1975) you did not mouth off to the teacher, no matter what they said to you. If someone had said what Harry said, that student would have been out in the hall or sent to the principal.

But Snape provoked him and belittled him and that is okay why? I would have much preferred it if Snape had sent him to Dumbledore who would then have known exactly how unfair and bullying Snape was being.

BTW, this was first day of Potions, First Year, not after holidays. I don't believe Severus expected Harry to be able to answer, mostly because he knew he'd been raised by the Dursleys and that Petunia would never have allowed Harry to read any WW books; I believe he was demonstrating to the rest of the already awestruck class that Harry Potter was just another uneducated First Year.

and why is that okay?? What is wrong with people believing that Harry Potter was somewhat special? WHy denigrate an 11 year old to prove a point? Given that Snape knew Harrys situation he should have been understanding no horrible to Harry.

Without a doubt, after Voldemort comes back. Before, I think Severus was taken aback by how much Harry looked like James, and was caught off-balance. In the first three years I believe Severus was mostly interested in making sure Harry doesn't buy into the whole Famous Harry Potter thing, and knew no other way to do it but by being a cantankerous you-know-what. After Voldy came back is when this program perhaps became a convenient way to taint his memories in anticipation of Legilimency by Voldy...
Why does Harrys resemblance to James - something he cannot help provide Snape with an excuse to treat him the way he does? Why is it up to SNape to prove Harry is not wonderful especially when Harry has never stated he is wonderful. IMO nothing excuses Snapes behaviour.


  #205  
Old February 18th, 2011, 8:16 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

[staff edit: cheerleading]

Another reason I disagree with the idea that Snape hated Harry because of James and showed it in his behaviour, is because this defeats the promise made by Snape to Dumbledore after Lily's death. He promised Dumbledore that he would protect Harry and had Snape shoved all the James hate on Harry, I think he would have been guilty of breaching that promise himself because he would be harming Harry himself. I don't think Snape would do that. I feel by saying Snape's reaction to Harry in class or taking James's name is all about seeing James in Harry and hating him for it, is saying that Snape did not keep up his promise to protect Harry, because he himself hurt Harry by unfairly placing upon Harry all the James hate. I don't believe this to be true.


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Last edited by Moriath; February 18th, 2011 at 10:16 am.
  #206  
Old February 18th, 2011, 8:59 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

You can make such a promise as Snape did to Dumbledore to protect Harry but that does not mean he does not hate Harry when IMO it is clear throughout the books that Snape despises Harry and has only protected him because of Lily - it had nothing to do with his feelings towards Harry but his feelings towards Lily. IMO Snape did not protect Harry because he ignored his emotional well being which is really crucial to children. Snape was cruel to Harry before Harry ever opened his mouth and went out of his way in Harrys first Potions lessons to humiliate and belittle Harry because he could not because he was trying to help him. Children do not learn well this way IMO and Harry has always tried to shirk the limelight something Snape never seems to understand.

As to Flitwick - all that happened in his class was that he gave an excited squeak and toppled out of sight when he saw Harrys name I am curious as to how in a previous post it was stated


Given the way Flitwick treated him in his first class, the way everyone was staring and treating him, eventually it would have given Harry a big head.

none of the above actually happened in the book. There is also no canon to state any of the other teachers talked about or raved about Harry so I am at a loss to understand Snapes motiviation to stomp on any burgeoning arrogance given that this is not mentioned in the book. The only two teachers shown to react to Harry are Flitwick and Snape.


  #207  
Old February 18th, 2011, 9:20 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

That Snape did not protect Harry is IMO contrary to canon. Snape is in fact very angry when Dumbledore tells him Harry has to die. He says that it is unacceptable to him that Harry has been protected by him and Dumbledore all along just so that he could willingly be sacrificed later on IMO.

Another long silence. Then Snape said, “I thought…all these years…that we were protecting him for her. For Lily. - DH - The Prince's Tale.

Flitwick's reaction to Harry - Professor Flitwick, the Charms teacher, was a tiny little wizard who had to stand on a pile of books to see over his desk. At the start of their first lesson he took the register, and when he reached Harry's name he gave an excited squeak and toppled out of sight. - PS/SS - The Potions Master.

I think Flitwick's reaction does imply that he thought Harry was someone important, important enough for a teacher to show a reaction to his first year student.


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  #208  
Old February 18th, 2011, 9:21 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Green_Woods View Post
Another reason I disagree with the idea that Snape hated Harry because of James and showed it in his behaviour, is because this defeats the promise made by Snape to Dumbledore after Lily's death. He promised Dumbledore that he would protect Harry and had Snape shoved all the James hate on Harry, I think he would have been guilty of breaching that promise himself because he would be harming Harry himself. I don't think Snape would do that. I feel by saying Snape's reaction to Harry in class or taking James's name is all about seeing James in Harry and hating him for it, is saying that Snape did not keep up his promise to protect Harry, because he himself hurt Harry by unfairly placing upon Harry all the James hate. I don't believe this to be true.
Snape promised to keep Harry out of harm and danger's way. He promised to protect him, but just physically, in my view. He fulfilled this promise and he was constantly protecting Harry whenever the latter was in danger and the former could do something about it. However, it's canon that Snape dislikes Harry because of his father, or at least because he sees James in Harry's every action:

The Prince Tale, The Deathly Hallows"-- 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 Dumbledore


Underline mine.

Snape admits that he sees James in Harry, and he treats him accordingly, by trying to shatter his self-confidence and not giving him a chance to show who he is, or try to prove himself. I don't think Snape had even seen enough of Harry to make all these judgements, which makes me think that he assumed he's like his father, without trying to observe a bit closer, or giving him another chance.

By treating Harry in this way (like a normal boy as he says, which isn't exactly an accurate way of putting it, in my opinion), he definitely woudn't be harming Harry in any way, at least not from his view. He wouldn't see it as breaking his promise to Dumbledore. For all we know, he might think himself doing Lily an additional favour by deflating Harry's head. However, I think he was being quite quite unfair to Harry, at many occasions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Green_Woods View Post
I think Flitwick's reaction does imply that he thought Harry was someone important, important enough for a teacher to show a reaction to his first year student
Which Harry surely was? . Flitwick was over-excited, no doubt, but who says Snape even found out about his reaction? (assuming he chose to treat Harry in his first class, based on Flitwick's treatment, i.e. to balance things out)


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  #209  
Old February 18th, 2011, 9:37 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

I can only state my opinions which is that nothing Snape did in his classroom to Harry and none of Snapes perceptions gave him the right to belittle and embarass Harry to stomp on any supposed burgeoning arrogance which in the book had not eventuated. Harry had done nothing to draw attention to himself and there is no evidence in canon that other teachers had raved about him or called him wonderful Harry Potter so what is the rationale behind it being acceptable for Snape to do this?? Snape was IMO given no reason to humiliate Harry and IMO the best way to stomp on supposed burgeoning arrogance is not public scorn and humiliation. I have three sons, two of whom are in School and a daughter who graduated High School and I work in a High School and there is no way I would approve of any teacher in any situation using the tactics Snape did. Snape was in the wrong in his dealings with Harry and he opened the hostilities not Harry.

That part of the book - Harrys first exposure to Potions has always broken my heart because of how cruel Snape treated Harry for no reason.


  #210  
Old February 18th, 2011, 10:06 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

Quote:
Originally Posted by bellatrix93 View Post
at least because he sees James in Harry's every action:

The Prince Tale, The Deathly Hallows"-- 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 Dumbledore
I think *the arrogant as his father* could have been because of Harry's answer in class the first day and if this conversation with Dumbledore had happened after the troll incident, then I guess, it might have reinforced Snape's opinion at that time that Harry had a tendency to break rules .... just like his father used to.

Quote:
Snape admits that he sees James in Harry, and he treats him accordingly, by trying to shatter his self-confidence and not giving him a chance to show who he is, or try to prove himself.
I disagree with this. I think Snape sees a tendency of Harry to break the rules, which is I feel quite true; Harry did break a lot of rules and I think Snape felt this rule breaking tendency was something Harry inherited from his father. I also think Snape might have felt that this tendency ought to be curbed keeping in mind Harry's role in the years to come because this could harm Harry more than it did him any good IMO.

Quote:
but who says Snape even found out about his reaction? (assuming he chose to treat Harry in his first class, based on Flitwick's treatment, i.e. to balance things out)
Who says he did not? I think Snape could easily have found out, seeing the whispering and then the clapping in the Great Hall when Harry was sorted and I think it would be easy to hear and know that Harry coming to Hogwarts was indeed big news. And if the teachers met in the staffroom either just before School started or on the first day of School or before Potions class, I am quite sure Snape would have heard an earful about Harry Potter the Boy-Who-lived. JMO.

Quote:
posted by ReelBigFish
I have three sons, two of whom are in School and a daughter who graduated High School and I work in a High School and there is no way I would approve of any teacher in any situation using the tactics Snape did.
I just think that a 11 year old will be taken to task if he/she speaks the way Harry did to Snape. JMO.


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  #211  
Old February 18th, 2011, 10:18 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

Quote:
Originally Posted by bellatrix93 View Post
Snape promised to keep Harry out of harm and danger's way. He promised to protect him, but just physically, in my view. He fulfilled this promise and he was constantly protecting Harry whenever the latter was in danger and the former could do something about it. However, it's canon that Snape dislikes Harry because of his father, or at least because he sees James in Harry's every action:

The Prince Tale, The Deathly Hallows"-- 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 Dumbledore


Underline mine.

Snape admits that he sees James in Harry, and he treats him accordingly, by trying to shatter his self-confidence and not giving him a chance to show who he is, or try to prove himself. I don't think Snape had even seen enough of Harry to make all these judgements, which makes me think that he assumed he's like his father, without trying to observe a bit closer, or giving him another chance.
This scene was taken from the one of the first meetings between Severus and Dumbledore after Harry started his first year. I'm pretty sure, from the reaction we see in SS/PS, Severus was taken aback at Harry's physical resemblence to James, and that it stirred up some pretty unpleasant memories. It may have prompted his reaction in the first Potions class.

Or, noting how much hubub was going on over Harry, Severus may have wanted to make sure he brought a little reality to his life. He had only James' model to go by and didn't realize that Harry wasn't really very egotistical.

Another thing, my kids went to a Catholic school the same time period Harry was going to Hogwarts. If they had spoken to one of the nuns the way Harry had talked to Professor Snape, there would have been more than snarking going on, or a couple of House points taken away. The same in the scene where Harry arrives in Lupins class late to find that Lupin isn't there. He not only demands where Lupin is but confronts Professor Snape on the subject

Harry even starts out in his first year, despite many, many admonitions to the contrary, referring to Professor Snape as just "Snape," in a very disrespectful tone.


Quote:
By treating Harry in this way (like a normal boy as he says, which isn't exactly an accurate way of putting it, in my opinion), he definitely woudn't be harming Harry in any way, at least not from his view. He wouldn't see it as breaking his promise to Dumbledore. For all we know, he might think himself doing Lily an additional favour by deflating Harry's head. However, I think he was being quite quite unfair to Harry, at many occasions.
I'm not sure which occasions you are referring to. Could you be more specific. Thanks.

Quote:
Which Harry surely was? . Flitwick was over-excited, no doubt, but who says Snape even found out about his reaction? (assuming he chose to treat Harry in his first class, based on Flitwick's treatment, i.e. to balance things out)
From the time Harry walked into the Leaky Cauldron with Hagrid, through Gringotts, Olivander's, meeting Ron and Hermione on the train, Draco's "welcome," etc., we see that the "famous" Harry Potter has returned to Hogwarts. IMO, Severus would have had to have been deaf and blind to have avoided all of the excitement going on over Harry.

I would agree that he might have handled it a different way, but, the way he handled it was his typical way, face the problem straight on (Harry's noteriety), and handle it.


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  #212  
Old February 18th, 2011, 10:21 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

Seeing shades of grey, dearest posters of this thread, includes character bashing as well as character worship. You can be warned for both. Just saying.


  #213  
Old February 18th, 2011, 11:18 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Green_Woods View Post
... I just don't think any student would have talked back to a teacher just because the said teacher asked him questions he did not know the answer to, or told him he expected him to study his Books before coming to class and assumed he had not looked through his books during the holidays and sneered as he spoke; if the students answered the way Harry did, he would be punished; it would surely happen here. Perhaps students are allowed to talk back in Britain if they feel they have a cause, not here (yet). Here he would have been shouted at or sent out of the classroom to wait for a couple of hours (really).
I cannot approve a teacher who picks on a particular student and then punishes the student when they answer back (in this case, not that rudely). I believe it is obvious from the text that Snape is making a boatload of assumptions about Harry, and jumping to conclusions. I am firmly of the opinion that Snape is being unfair towards Harry, in this particular instance. (In later confrontations between Snape and Harry, it is Harry who can be in the wrong.)

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Originally Posted by The_Green_Woods View Post
I just think that a 11 year old will be taken to task if he/she speaks the way Harry did to Snape. JMO.
And I think that is utterly unfair when a child is being treated unfairly. Snape, in that first potions lesson, did treat Harry unfairly, IMO, and Harry reacted ... pretty mildly at that. I love Severus and will keenly defend him on many points. But he absolutely does not get a pass mark from me on this one. He is the one with the power here: Harry has none. Severus should have handled this a lot better, IMO, from the get-go, and then his relationship with Harry could have been quite different ...

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I disagree, because I don't see the hate in the Books; I think I see it more in JKR's interviews.
Oh, I see it in the books all right. At least, I see a strong dislike. The text says so, in one of the Occlumency lessons -- Snape gazes at Harry with an expression of strong dislike. Even allowing for a certain amount of 'Harry-filter' in the text (which is there), I don't believe that is entirely 'Harry-filter'. I honestly think that Severus struggled with deep feelings of ambivalence towards Harry. He will protect this boy because he vowed to Dumbledore that he would do so, and he will protect Harry for Lily's sake. All that is beyond argument for me. At the same time, since Snape is only human, he can't help struggling with those ancient feelings of bitterness towards James who wronged him every time he looks at Harry.

JKR on Snape

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

The list does seem to me very indicative of JKR brilliantly deflecting her audience from guessing too much on the Snape front.


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  #214  
Old February 18th, 2011, 11:43 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

I think Dumbledore had a point when he told Severus, "You see what you expect to see, Severus". However, I don't think Severus' opinion of Harry is totally unfounded and that he had reason to believe he was right about Harry.

When Harry arrives at Hogwarts there is much excitement and commotion. At the Sorting ceremomy students were whispering and craning their necks to get a good look at, Harry. And the Weasley twins were chanting "We got Potter! We got Potter!" However, it is Snape's misconception that Harry would be pleased to find himself so famous. This I think roused all the negative emotions Snape had about James, which had laid dormant for years, and so he deals with it all rather badly, imo.


  #215  
Old February 18th, 2011, 11:52 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

Quote:
Originally Posted by MinervasCat
I'm pretty sure, from the reaction we see in SS/PS, Severus was taken aback at Harry's physical resemblence to James, and that it stirred up some pretty unpleasant memories.
I quite agree with this. Everybody (who knew James) always remarked on the strong resemblance between them. It's possible that it drew this sort of reaction from Snape.

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He had only James' model to go by and didn't realize that Harry wasn't really very egotistical.
That's what I was saying about Snape not giving himself a chance to judge Harry as an individual person. Because he was famous (and James' son), Snape probably deducted that he would be attention-seeking, without seeing much of his behaviour.

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If they had spoken to one of the nuns the way Harry had talked to Professor Snape, there would have been more than snarking going on, or a couple of House points taken away.
But surely nuns don't pick up on some behaviour when some of the students do it, and ignore the same behaviour when other students do it? I have no experience with nuns, but I'm almost certain they don't choose a student or two in each class and single them out for non-stop criticism, a criticism they probably don't deserve.

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Harry even starts out in his first year, despite many, many admonitions to the contrary, referring to Professor Snape as just "Snape," in a very disrespectful tone.
I definitely agree that it's quite disrespective for Harry to call his teacher by his name, and disregard his title. But I wonder, would Harry have done this without strong motivation?

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I'm not sure which occasions you are referring to. Could you be more specific. Thanks.
I wasn't referring to a specific incident, I was replying to TGW's post where she said Snape couldn't possibly hate Harry because this would break his promise to Dumbledore. I think that Snape didn't consider his treatment of Harry could violate the promise, and the evidence is that he kept on treating Harry a bit unfairly in his classes. Examples on this are Harry's first potions class, when Mrs. Noriss was petrified, in GoF when he read that awful article about Harry in front of the class. He didn't want Harry to be a snob, but he was trying to handle a flaw that wasn't in Harry in the first place.


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  #216  
Old February 18th, 2011, 12:34 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

With regard to Harry - I think Snape just couldn't help himself but be mean at times (and unpleasant the rest of the time) - we know how much of Snape's life was shaped by (and later dedicated to) his history with Lily and his role in her death. Harry's being her son must have been an overwhelming trigger factor for Snape, and the fact that Harry was a splitting image of James didn't help. I want to note, however, that I think his resemblance of James was a secondary factor in this. The constant reminder of what he had done, of what he was striving to make amends for, as much as it was at all possible, would have overshadowed any teenage grudge. The reason I believe Snape chooses to attribute it to James is because it's too much for him to admit what the real reason is, too much to even think about it, forced as he is every day (I imagine). It's similar to how Harry chooses to blame Snape for Sirius's death because he can't deal with his enormous guilt (which btw I think is entirely unfounded).

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.


  #217  
Old February 18th, 2011, 1:48 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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.


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Last edited by silver ink pot; February 18th, 2011 at 1:51 pm. Reason: syntax
  #218  
Old February 18th, 2011, 2:23 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 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 don't think that is being suggested. Nobody expects Severus to be happy about Harry resembling James. But the professional thing would be to place a firm distance between himself and Harry, and not betray his emotion to the boy, particularly his hatred of James. JMO.

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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.
Definitely.

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But in spite of all that, he never stopped trying to do the right thing where Harry was concerned.
I agree that overall Snape does the right thing for Harry. He ultimately dies in the line of fire, as it were, and succeeds in getting to Harry the info that Harry needs.

I don't agree he always got it right in his relationship with Harry though.

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even if he couldn't be some kind of happy squishy teacher-friend who loved to dote upon Harry and pat his head. *shudder*
But nobody is asking for that.

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It's enough for me that Snape told Harry the truth now and then, without sugarcoating it.
Nobody could ever accuse Severus of 'sugarcoating' it.

For me, his methodology in talking to Harry about his dead father is ... problematic. I don't love the character any less, but I have no problem in calling him out on it. Just as I have no problem in calling out my other favourite characters when they behave badly.


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Old February 18th, 2011, 3:20 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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Originally Posted by Pearl_Took View Post
I don't think that is being suggested. Nobody expects Severus to be happy about Harry resembling James. But the professional thing would be to place a firm distance between himself and Harry, and not betray his emotion to the boy, particularly his hatred of James. JMO.
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

To say that Snape should be professional and distance himself is like saying Harry should be a good boy and follow all the rules because he knows he will get into trouble, or Dumbledore should know better than to put on a horcrux ring and burn up his hand. In the best of all possible worlds, with perfect characters, these high standards might be possible. But in this fictional world, things are much more gritty and realistic. Harry breaks rules every day in the books, and so do the other characters. We don't expect a Harry-Sue so we can't have a Snapey-Sue either.

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. To me that's just an oxymoron. In some scenes he really does seem to try and stay calm and cool, as in the Occlumency scenes, and he tries to answer Harry's questions. But his interactions with Harry are too emotional; they each get angry at the other and can't hide their dislike. They bring out the worst in each other.

Personally, I doubt I would have finished Book Three if Snape had been some briskly professional teacher who never said a word of snark to Harry. The Shrieking Shack scene just wouldn't have been possible. Just my opinion, but I think the series would have suffered from that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pearl
For me, his methodology in talking to Harry about his dead father is ... problematic. I don't love the character any less, but I have no problem in calling him out on it. Just as I have no problem in calling out my other favourite characters when they behave badly.
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 think Snape's behavior isn't noble for every occasion, but I can't think of anyone else in the books who is without faults or resentments or misplaced anger.


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  #220  
Old February 18th, 2011, 3:24 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoana View Post
The reason I believe Snape chooses to attribute it to James is because it's too much for him to admit what the real reason is, too much to even think about it, forced as he is every day (I imagine). It's similar to how Harry chooses to blame Snape for Sirius's death because he can't deal with his enormous guilt (which btw I think is entirely unfounded).
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.

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.


 
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