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Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.13



View Poll Results: Snape's treatment of Neville...
was justified and reflects positively upon him. 3 1.96%
was justified but reflects negatively upon him. 5 3.27%
sits uncomfortably with me. 19 12.42%
was completely unjustifiable and should have been stopped. 49 32.03%
was completely unjustifiable but horrible teachers are part of life. 19 12.42%
cannot be judged objectively because we only get Harry's perspective. 36 23.53%
put Snape's worst instincts on display. 16 10.46%
does not justify a pony option! 6 3.92%
Voters: 153. You may not vote on this poll

 
 
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  #1  
Old September 21st, 2009, 9:27 am
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Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.13

Welcome to the 13th version of this thread!


For background reading and reference:
version one
version two
version three
version four
version five
version six
version seven
version eight
version nine
version ten
version eleven
version twelve


A new quotation to get this thread started:

From GoF:    


  The next two days passed without great incident, unless you counted Neville melting his sixth cauldron in Potions. Professor Snape, who seemed to have attained new levels of vindictiveness over the summer, gave Nevihle detention, and Neville returned from it in a state of nervous collapse, having been made to disembowel a barrel full of horned toads.

"You know why Snape's in such a foul mood, don't you?" said Ron to Harry as they watched Hermione teaching Neville a Scouring Charm to remove the frog guts from under his fingernails.

"Yeah," said Harry. "Moody."

It was common knowledge that Snape really wanted the Dark Arts job, and he had now failed to get it for the fourth year running. Snape had disliked all of their previous Dark Arts teachers, and shown it - but he seemed strangely wary of displaying overt animosity to Mad-Eye Moody. Indeed, whenever Harry saw the two of them together - at mealtimes, or when they passed in the corridors - he had the distinct impression that Snape was avoiding Moody's eye, whether magical or normal.

"I reckon Snape's a bit scared of him, you know," Harry said thoughtfully.

"Imagine if Moody turned Snape into a horned toad," said Ron, his eyes misting over, "and bounced him all around his dungeon..."
  

  • In how far do you interpret this scene differently after DH?
  • Was Snape really uncomfortable around Moody or was that only the trio's interpretation?
  • Why would Snape be afraid of Moody?

Study questions:
  1. Do you think he wanted or needed Harry's forgiveness on some level?
  2. What do you think would Snape say about Albus Severus?
  3. Based on how his character is supposed to end up: if you could change/improve one thing about Snape, what would it be?
  4. What do you think Snape would have done, if he had survived DH?
  5. Do you agree with the author's take on Snape's character as revealed in interviews?
  6. Do you think Snape would have moved on if Lily had not died? Would he have turned to the good side in that case?
  7. Snape is revealed to have been acting throughout the series out of love for Lily, how does this effect your view of his actions in the series - his "murder" of Dumbledore, his treatment of Sirius.
  8. Why do you think Snape chose to become a Death Eater?
  9. How do the revelations of DH impact your view of Snape's treatment of Harry and Neville throughout the series?
  10. What do you think of Snape's actions after learning who Voldemort had targeted with the prophecy?
  11. What do you think of Snape's actions after Lily's death. How do you think this death has affected his character?
  12. What do you think are Snape's major strengths? What are his major flaws?
  13. Do you believe Snape came to care about Harry?
  14. What do you think about Snape's relationship with Dumbledore? Did they become friends or was Dumbledore a substitute father figure for him?
  15. Do you think Snape should have been sorted into Slytherin? Would he have made the same choices if he had been sorted elsewhere?
  16. There are all kinds of bravery in this series, what characteristics of Snape's make him brave? In what sense is he a hero?
  17. What line of profession would Snape have chosen if he had not had to stay at Hogwarts as a professor?

AS THIS IS STILL A HIGHLY CONTROVERSIAL AND SENSITIVE TOPIC WE WOULD LIKE TO ASK EVERYONE TO PLEASE BE SENSITIVE TO OTHERS OPINIONS. THIS MEANS NO GLOATING AS WELL AS NO BASHING. CONSEQUENCES WILL BE SEVERE.

Additionally please read How to have a pleasant conversation on any topic and Character Bashing/Worship: aka Shades of Gray BEFORE POSTING IN THIS THREAD


Here we go again.


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  #2  
Old September 28th, 2009, 12:17 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.13

Option 2 doesn't make much sense...

I chose "Was completely unjustifiable and should have been stopped."
I think Snape believed he acted as well as he could around Neville-- "Believed" being the operative word, obviously. He's used to being hard on students and using scare tactics, and because he either would not or could not understand Neville's position, he persisted in these harebrained tactics with the aim of improving Neville's performance. I find it telling that he asks "What do I have to do to make you understand, Longbottom?" in PoA. It points both to his motive and his lack of understanding in a case like Neville's.

Unfortunately, the stakes were high here because Neville lacked the resiliency other children had and Severus could have (and may have) done him real damage. Neville needed a gentler hand and some real support from the adults around him. That a 15-year-old kid figured out what people several times his age couldn't is just plain sad.


As for the scene from GoF...We get a glimpse of the real Moody's attitude toward Snape in the memory of Karkaroff's trial.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoF, bold mine
Dumbledore had got to his feet. 'I have given evidence already on this matter. 'Severus Snape was indeed a Death Eater. However, he rejoined our side before Lord Voldemort's downfall and turned spy for us, at great personal risk. He is now no more a Death Eater than I am.'
Harry turned to look at Mad-Eye Moody. He was wearing a look of deep scepticism behind Dumbledore's back.
Severus is very likely aware of Moody's attitude toward him and so would likely not want to have to deal with the man's suspicions.

Harry's probably somewhat right when he says that Snape may be afraid or at least wary of Moody. He has nothing to hide from Moody, but he'd be a fool not to want to stay on his toes when the man is around.

Quote:
17. What line of profession would Snape have chosen if he had not had to stay at Hogwarts as a professor?
This is a difficult question because the circumstances that forced him to remain at Hogwarts largely molded his character. We also lack knowledge of what his job was in his DE days (Voldemort's not going to pay him). Perhaps he would have made a comfortable living supplying clients and shopkeepers with rare potions.

Something tells me, however, that teaching may not have been high on his list of preferred jobs.


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Last edited by ignisia; September 28th, 2009 at 12:20 am.
  #3  
Old September 28th, 2009, 12:33 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.13

I was reading about personality types. As near as I can tell, Snape was what is called an INTJ (Introvert iNtuitive Thinking Judging [the other alternatives in each category are Extrovert Sensory Feeling Perceiving]).

On the job descriptions, it generally said INTJs make less than great grade school or general studies teachers. Their weaknesses include perfectionist tendencies (and not understanding why other people don't want to do things perfectly), a certain lack of patience, tendency to be very blunt (they have trouble grasping that you catch more bees with honey than you do with vinegar. For them, when it's facts versus tact, tact usually doesn't even get on the drawing board), and they have tons of difficulty working with people who aren't already passionately interested in the subject they teach.

However, they make good college professors.

I think Snape would have made a good healer, even if his bedside manner would usually stink. He also would have been good at making and supplying potions.

INTJs also make good administrators, but I don't know that he'd have wanted to stay on at Hogwarts after DH if he'd survived.


  #4  
Old September 28th, 2009, 8:50 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.13

Quote:
Originally Posted by ignisia View Post
Option 2 doesn't make much sense...
You're hurting my feelings right there!

Ahem, very hypothetical example. A landlord could be very much in the right to throw out a family that cannot pay the rent just before Christmas. From an objective and maybe even legal viewpoint it is justified. But assuming that he is well off and doesn't need the money, it doesn't really reflect positively on him, does it?


  #5  
Old September 28th, 2009, 11:39 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.13

Quote:
Originally Posted by ignisia View Post
I chose "Was completely unjustifiable and should have been stopped."
I think Snape believed he acted as well as he could around Neville-- "Believed" being the operative word, obviously. He's used to being hard on students and using scare tactics, and because he either would not or could not understand Neville's position, he persisted in these harebrained tactics with the aim of improving Neville's performance. I find it telling that he asks "What do I have to do to make you understand, Longbottom?" in PoA. It points both to his motive and his lack of understanding in a case like Neville's.
I am in awe of Iggy's analysis.

Totally agree. Snape is an exacting teacher and is just not the right sort of person to handle a sensitive child like Neville. Sometimes a teacher exasperated with a pupil like Neville tries a tough approach in order to toughen the kid up ... with some children this might work, but Neville is not one of them.

Quote:
Unfortunately, the stakes were high here because Neville lacked the resiliency other children had and Severus could have (and may have) done him real damage. Neville needed a gentler hand and some real support from the adults around him. That a 15-year-old kid figured out what people several times his age couldn't is just plain sad.
(Frankly, I think Minerva should have been more sympathetic to Neville too. She gets there in the end, in OotP.)

But very often Rowling's teachers really do behave like they're in a British boarding school from the 1950s.

Quote:
Perhaps he would have made a comfortable living supplying clients and shopkeepers with rare potions.
That's a nice thought ...

Quote:
Something tells me, however, that teaching may not have been high on his list of preferred jobs.


Snape's attitude to Moody from the GoF excerpt

In how far do you interpret this scene differently after DH?
As per Iggy's quote, I interpret it very differently after reading GoF.

Was Snape really uncomfortable around Moody or was that only the trio's interpretation?
Oh, no doubt he was, in the light of the real Moody's scepticism about his turning from the Dark to the Light. But the Trio, of course, are not aware of any of that.

Why would Snape be afraid of Moody?
Anyone who suspects Snape is going to make his job as double agent difficult ...


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  #6  
Old September 28th, 2009, 12:12 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.13

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moriath View Post
Welcome to the 13th version of this thread!
Thirteenth .

Quote:
A new quotation to get this thread started:

From GoF:    


  The next two days passed without great incident, unless you counted Neville melting his sixth cauldron in Potions. Professor Snape, who seemed to have attained new levels of vindictiveness over the summer, gave Nevihle detention, and Neville returned from it in a state of nervous collapse, having been made to disembowel a barrel full of horned toads.

"You know why Snape's in such a foul mood, don't you?" said Ron to Harry as they watched Hermione teaching Neville a Scouring Charm to remove the frog guts from under his fingernails.

"Yeah," said Harry. "Moody."

It was common knowledge that Snape really wanted the Dark Arts job, and he had now failed to get it for the fourth year running. Snape had disliked all of their previous Dark Arts teachers, and shown it - but he seemed strangely wary of displaying overt animosity to Mad-Eye Moody. Indeed, whenever Harry saw the two of them together - at mealtimes, or when they passed in the corridors - he had the distinct impression that Snape was avoiding Moody's eye, whether magical or normal.

"I reckon Snape's a bit scared of him, you know," Harry said thoughtfully.

"Imagine if Moody turned Snape into a horned toad," said Ron, his eyes misting over, "and bounced him all around his dungeon..."
  

  • In how far do you interpret this scene differently after DH?
  • Was Snape really uncomfortable around Moody or was that only the trio's interpretation?
  • Why would Snape be afraid of Moody?
1- My impression of that scene hasn't changed after DH. Snape, imo isn't considered as a friendly character. I also believe he was -as always- upset that he couldn't get the DADA job. Another reason he wasn't friendly to Moody, is that the latter had abused one of his favourite students and favoured Harry. That's why I think he appeared to be unhappy with Moody.

2- Yes, I beleive Snape was uncomfortable with Moody around. IMO, Snape prefers privacy, being enigmatic, etc. And it seemed that Moody was not leaving him alone, i.e getting into his office, following him during night, etc. So yes, I think Snape was quite uncomfortable.

3- I don't think Snape was afraid. Just annoyed, I think. Annoyed because Moody would still be suspecting him of being a Death Eater. IMO.


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  #7  
Old September 28th, 2009, 3:42 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.13

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pearl_Took View Post
(Frankly, I think Minerva should have been more sympathetic to Neville too. She gets there in the end, in OotP.)
Answered in her thread.


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  #8  
Old September 28th, 2009, 5:05 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.13

Version 13! Snape!

I don't agree with any of the options in the poll and I am going to assume there is an "Other, post in the thread" option.

From Neville's side, I think Neville would have benefited by not having Snape, McGonagall, Mad-Eye Moody or indeed any teacher who taught 'tough' and had little patience with the kind of teaching Neville IMO needed.

Between McGonagall and Snape, McGonagall was a teacher who did not have to satisfy Slytherin DE kids or Lucius Malfoy who was on the Board of Governors about how much Slytherin was to be favoured and Gryffindor demeaned and did not need to face Voldemort and assure him of her loyalty.

Snape on the other hand was not just a teacher like McGonagall but also a spy, whose primary job was not teaching but preparing for the day Voldemort would return. Every action of his was a preparation for the day he would return and show Voldemort that he was indeed a loyal DE.

And since we don't know what kind of a teacher Snape would be had he not been a spy preparing for Voldemort's return, I think to judge him only as a teacher is not fair to him; for in all the years he was at Hogwarts he was never a teacher only, like McGonagall, Flitwick or Hooch. He was a spy, who was given a teaching job by Dumbledore so that Voldemort could be fooled. Snape's first priority was to ensure that his position as a spy was never compromised.

Snape is introduced to us as this ::

PS/SS - The Sorting Hat'Who's that teacher talking to Professor Quirrell?'

'Oh, you know Quirrell already do you? No wonder he's looking so nervous, that's Professor Snape. He teaches Potions, but he doesn't want to - everyone knows he's after Quirrell's job. Knows an awful lot about the Dark Arts, Snape.'


It's interesting that what Percy tells Harry in the first Book, Snape repeats in Book 6 to Bellatrix.

HBP - Spinner's End'Not quite,' said Snape calmly. 'He wouldn't give me the DADA job, you know. Seemed to think it might, ah, bring about a relapse ... tempt me into my old ways.'


This shows the amount of planning that Snape did and how carefully he needed to watch his words and actions. Once Harry came to School, Snape was harsher than before, to turn Harry and his friends against him, to protect them and at the same time keep his own position safe by his seeming contempt for everything Gryffindor and the BWL, who offed his Master.

With Neville, I think Snape could not be anything else. Unlike McGonagall who could have been more understanding, especially since she knew his home life and the demands Augusta Longbottom would make of him, Snape is not in a position as a teacher to show the type of understanding for Neville's needs as someone else could.

Snape was the same to everyone; it reflected more on Neville IMO only because of the boy Neville was (because of his background and his insecurity), made him terrified of Snape.

Which Neville got over with astounding success like the awesome boy he was.


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  #9  
Old September 28th, 2009, 5:27 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.13

Do you think he wanted or needed Harry's forgiveness on some level?

No.

What do you think would Snape say about Albus Severus?

I don't think he would like it at all and I feel he would confer a negative motive on Harry for doing it.

Based on how his character is supposed to end up: if you could change/improve one thing about Snape, what would it be?

I would have given him a different motive for leaving the DEs and working for Dumbledore.

What do you think Snape would have done, if he had survived DH?

It would depend on what he had done during the final battle.

Do you agree with the author's take on Snape's character as revealed in interviews?

Yes.

Do you think Snape would have moved on if Lily had not died? Would he have turned to the good side in that case?

According to JKR, no, so I say no as I feel she knows her character best.

Snape is revealed to have been acting throughout the series out of love for Lily, how does this effect your view of his actions in the series - his "murder" of Dumbledore, his treatment of Sirius?

I have come to believe that Snape was not acting out of love - although I do believe he thought he was romantically in love with her. I don't feel his emotions had anything to do with his "murder" of Dumbledore - either the vow or the actual act. I think his feelings heightened his negativity toward Sirius, because Lily loved Sirius as as friend - and that had been lost to Snape.

Why do you think Snape chose to become a Death Eater?

Well I think Draco, Crabbe and Goyle were our examples of how young people would grow up and chose to become Death Eaters. Like those children and others in Snape's time, he came to Hogwarts already with feelings of dislike toward Muggles and with an interest in the dark arts - wanting to be in Slytherin where others would share his interests. And I think those in the house reinforced one another in their beliefs, just like in the other houses, and joining Voldemort was a natural move for those who held the joint beliefs. It provided an opportunity for power for those who were in tune with Voldemort's ideologies, which I feel these young people were.

How do the revelations of DH impact your view of Snape's treatment of Harry and Neville throughout the series?

They didn't, except to advise that Snape had an added agenda when it came to Harry over the other children in his treatment of them. But I feel Snape treated all of the children negatively (except those in Slytherin usually) and that perspective of his character was not changed or modified by DH.

What do you think of Snape's actions after learning who Voldemort had targeted with the prophecy?

Well they were what I would expect a DE to do, he went to Voldemort and tried to bargain for what he wanted. Then I feel Snape was overcome with what he wanted and set it as a priority - hence, he then took added measures to ensure it would happen by going to Dumbledore. I feel like Dumbledore, I was disgusted by his behavior during that period because I believed his actions to be immoral.

What do you think of Snape's actions after Lily's death. How do you think this death has affected his character?

I was not impressed. However, I was impressed with Dumbledore taking advantage of the situation to try and help Snape. I've always wondered if things had gone differently in POA if Dumbledore would have also tried to help Peter in that manner.

What do you think are Snape's major strengths? What are his major flaws?

Strength: He was good at potions, could be brave, had some intelligence, had some compassion. Weakness: could be cowardly, cruel, vindictive, bullying and overall unkind to others.

Do you believe Snape came to care about Harry?

No.

What do you think about Snape's relationship with Dumbledore? Did they become friends or was Dumbledore a substitute father figure for him?

They were work mates and Dumbledore made an extra effort to help him morally.

Do you think Snape should have been sorted into Slytherin? Would he have made the same choices if he had been sorted elsewhere?

Yes and I don't think it was possible he would have been sorted elsewhere.

There are all kinds of bravery in this series, what characteristics of Snape's make him brave? In what sense is he a hero?

I think Snape could be brave at times, but it was not his natural predilection - he generally looked out for himself to me. But his loyalty and dedication made him brave when he was. He was not a hero in any sense to me.

What line of profession would Snape have chosen if he had not had to stay at Hogwarts as a professor?

If Dumbledore had helped him stay out of Azkaban, but hadn't required that he teach, then I would imagine he'd find work in the area of the dark arts (like Borgen and Burkes) as that was his fascination at the time.

*My response to the GoF questions mirror Bellatrix93's.


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Last edited by wickedwickedboy; September 28th, 2009 at 5:35 pm.
  #10  
Old September 28th, 2009, 5:57 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.13

Quote:
Originally Posted by wickedwickedboy View Post
However, I was impressed with Dumbledore taking advantage of the situation to try and help Snape. I've always wondered if things had gone differently in POA if Dumbledore would have also tried to help Peter in that manner.
I'm going to respond to this in Peter's thread.


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Last edited by Pearl_Took; September 28th, 2009 at 6:01 pm.
  #11  
Old September 28th, 2009, 6:16 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.13

Quote:
Do you think Snape would have moved on if Lily had not died? Would he have turned to the good side in that case?
Her death was the ultimate break away from her he could have had and yet he continued to love her through that. I think there is little else which could have caused him to stop loving her. On the other hand, he preserved a perfect memory of her as she was alive so that when she died a part of him died too maybe he would have been able to move on if he hadn't buried all his feelings after loosing her.


  #12  
Old September 28th, 2009, 7:11 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.13

Quote:
Do you think Snape would have moved on if Lily had not died? Would he have turned to the good side in that case?
Absolutely. I think that, after Lily's death, Snape's life was worst than it used to. Maybe Lily would have persuaded him to change mind, and turn to the good side.


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  #13  
Old September 28th, 2009, 11:36 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.13

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tonks_Animagus View Post
Absolutely. I think that, after Lily's death, Snape's life was worst than it used to. Maybe Lily would have persuaded him to change mind, and turn to the good side.
If Lily or James hadn't died, I think Snape might've been able to reconcile with them both. He never saw Lily as a wife and a mother (well, unless she was with him) and he never really witnessed James's transition from schoolyard bully to heroic fighter of the Order. He was a Death Eater - on the other side of the law. But if Sirius, even by request of Dumbledore, was able to at least shake hands with Snape and temporarily bury the hatchet for the greater good, I think James would have as well. Snape did, after all, spy for Dumbledore purely out of a desire to keep Lily - and later Harry - safe.

But instead of seeing the Potter family whole and alive, they were killed before he had the chance. He never lost the image of James as his tormentor and he never came to terms with his marriage to Lily. Both ate away at him for a decade. Really, for everyone in the Marauder generation, Godric's Hollow represented the beginning of one great lost opportunity for reconciliation, as well as the destruction of a friendship.


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  #14  
Old September 29th, 2009, 12:52 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.13

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrimsonZephyr View Post
If Lily or James hadn't died, I think Snape might've been able to reconcile with them both. He never saw Lily as a wife and a mother (well, unless she was with him) and he never really witnessed James's transition from schoolyard bully to heroic fighter of the Order. He was a Death Eater - on the other side of the law. But if Sirius, even by request of Dumbledore, was able to at least shake hands with Snape and temporarily bury the hatchet for the greater good, I think James would have as well. Snape did, after all, spy for Dumbledore purely out of a desire to keep Lily - and later Harry - safe.

But instead of seeing the Potter family whole and alive, they were killed before he had the chance. He never lost the image of James as his tormentor and he never came to terms with his marriage to Lily. Both ate away at him for a decade. Really, for everyone in the Marauder generation, Godric's Hollow represented the beginning of one great lost opportunity for reconciliation, as well as the destruction of a friendship.
I would disagree because I don't think Snape saw James as his tormentor. I think he saw him as his enemy, much like Draco saw Harry and I feel he held a personal grudge in that regard. But more importantly, he was jealous over Lily and that wasn't going to ebb either because of Snape's personality, imo. So I don't think that you would have any sort of reconciliation, even under the best of circumstances - and I don't think there was one with Sirius either, despite their being forced to shake hands. I feel his behavior toward his enemies and his questionable stance in working for Dumbledore (assuming he wouldn't admit that he'd come over due to his feelings about her) would have kept Lily distant as well.


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Old September 29th, 2009, 4:01 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.13

If Snape wasn't a teacher and didn't have to worry about being a spy, I don't think he would've done something with potions, but something against the dark arts; that was always his main interest and since he was a death eater, he knew how bad Voldemort was.

And concerning how he treated Neville, I think I'm going to support Snape. Snape really didn't know Neville's background like McGonigall did, and Snape was just being a strict teacher and treating Neville like any other student he was annoyed with. I really think that if Neville was so displeased with the potions class, then he should had studied more so Snape wouldn't have a reason to be so mean. Oh, gosh! Now I feel like a hypocrite because I always compared my math teacher with Snape, and about how much I hated him. But I admit that I should had studied more, just like I think Neville should have.


  #16  
Old September 29th, 2009, 11:18 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.13

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Originally Posted by Ellen View Post
I was reading about personality types. As near as I can tell, Snape was what is called an INTJ (Introvert iNtuitive Thinking Judging [the other alternatives in each category are Extrovert Sensory Feeling Perceiving]).

On the job descriptions, it generally said INTJs make less than great grade school or general studies teachers. Their weaknesses include perfectionist tendencies (and not understanding why other people don't want to do things perfectly), a certain lack of patience, tendency to be very blunt (they have trouble grasping that you catch more bees with honey than you do with vinegar. For them, when it's facts versus tact, tact usually doesn't even get on the drawing board), and they have tons of difficulty working with people who aren't already passionately interested in the subject they teach.

However, they make good college professors.

I think Snape would have made a good healer, even if his bedside manner would usually stink. He also would have been good at making and supplying potions.

INTJs also make good administrators, but I don't know that he'd have wanted to stay on at Hogwarts after DH if he'd survived.
I really like your analysis here, I think it really applies. I agree that they make good college teachers, and that is precisely because college teachers are not expected to be kind and patient and explain everything word by word, but to know their stuff...

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrimsonZephyr View Post
If Lily or James hadn't died, I think Snape might've been able to reconcile with them both. He never saw Lily as a wife and a mother (well, unless she was with him) and he never really witnessed James's transition from schoolyard bully to heroic fighter of the Order. He was a Death Eater - on the other side of the law. But if Sirius, even by request of Dumbledore, was able to at least shake hands with Snape and temporarily bury the hatchet for the greater good, I think James would have as well. Snape did, after all, spy for Dumbledore purely out of a desire to keep Lily - and later Harry - safe.

But instead of seeing the Potter family whole and alive, they were killed before he had the chance. He never lost the image of James as his tormentor and he never came to terms with his marriage to Lily. Both ate away at him for a decade. Really, for everyone in the Marauder generation, Godric's Hollow represented the beginning of one great lost opportunity for reconciliation, as well as the destruction of a friendship.
I quite agree here. I believe that most of these people never got to mature and think again about their behavior, to realize their mistakes and understand what and why they have done. After all, they all went on very different tracks around their 20s, which, however we put it, is not a very mature age either way.

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Originally Posted by amanduhrae View Post
If Snape wasn't a teacher and didn't have to worry about being a spy, I don't think he would've done something with potions, but something against the dark arts; that was always his main interest and since he was a death eater, he knew how bad Voldemort was.

And concerning how he treated Neville, I think I'm going to support Snape. Snape really didn't know Neville's background like McGonigall did, and Snape was just being a strict teacher and treating Neville like any other student he was annoyed with. I really think that if Neville was so displeased with the potions class, then he should had studied more so Snape wouldn't have a reason to be so mean. Oh, gosh! Now I feel like a hypocrite because I always compared my math teacher with Snape, and about how much I hated him. But I admit that I should had studied more, just like I think Neville should have.
I don't agree with they first part. If Snape didn't become a spy in the first place would mean that he never loved Lily as he did, and that means he'd stayed on the dark side, which also means that in spite of being next to Voldemort he wouldn't be working against him. Once he saw something in working for him, never forget that.
I quite agree with the second part of what you say though. I don't expect teachers to be aware of personal background, that is not their job. Their job is to teach, and as far as I know Neville did himself justice in the OWLs, he didn't fail potions. I'm not saying Snape wasn't sometimes harsher that he was suppose to be, but I am also sure that had Neville been a good student most of the bullying wouldn't have happened.
This also proves that Snape is not the racial type: Neville is a pure blood, but this doesn't stop him calling him names and suggesting that he knows nothing about magic.

And now that questions..

In how far do you interpret this scene differently after DH?

Not really differently, since I've never believed Snape to be on Voldemort's side.

Was Snape really uncomfortable around Moody or was that only the trio's interpretation?

I think he really was uncomfortable. He had to know that Moody (the real Moody) had some reservations about his allegiance and that he didn't give the same kind of trust to people in general as Dumbledore. Also, fake Moody probably acted out a bit, he acted stronger on certain things than the real one would've. I'm sure the real Moody didn't make Snape feel awkward knowing that Dumbledore trusted him.
Also, Moody probably reminds Severus of the old times, and that has to be uncomfortable on many accounts. After all, Moody does know a lot of things that even most of the teachers don't and none of the students. Severus probably also knows, that Moody is not someone to underestimate, that he is a dangerous enemy. I really don't see how could he feel comfortable around him.

Why would Snape be afraid of Moody?

I'm not saying he is afraid. I think he was merely wary of him, and somewhat uncomfortable around him. For all the reasons said above, and mostly because Moody is the representation of a past he doesn't like to remember. It reminds Severus that once Moody was his enemy, really, and that Moody was fighting on Lily's side, and he was fighting against it. No matter how much he realized his mistake that still remains a fact. Also, Moody caught and awful lot of DEs and had it not been for Dumbledore vouching for Snape he'd probably be in Azkaban by Moody's hands. I'm sure Severus has respect for Moody, but I can see why he can't act normally around him. Their whole past and relationship - especially in Snape's eyes - is way to weird and twisted to allow any normality there.


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  #17  
Old September 30th, 2009, 1:19 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.13

Quote:
Do you think Snape would have moved on if Lily had not died? Would he have turned to the good side in that case?
I think it would have been much easier for Snape to 'move on' if Lily had not died. However he DID turn to the 'good side' BEFORE her death - apparently what I consider to be over a year beforehand. So it was not her 'death' that turned him.

Largely I think that if Lily had not died then Snape could have moved on because he would have succeeded in helping to save her. I think a great deal of the reason he couldn't get over her has to do with guilt he felt over how his revealing the part of the prophecy he overheard put her in danger.

In fact, I think he was doing quite well in 'getting over' her until he realized he had inadvertently endangered her. We never hear about his hanging around her, trying to get her 'back' after their split or doing anything to try to wreck the wedding, etc. We have no idea whether he was dating anyone else, but it doesn't sound as if he was trying to insert himself in her life. Unfortunately, it seems he concentrated on his 'career' and made the wrong move of joining the DEs.

Now, if instead you mean would he have ever left if Lily had not been endangered? Then I'm going to have to answer with a gut feeling. There just isn't canon in the story to tell us. JKR insists he would not have, but I don't really see where that was indicated in the books.

I think the answer lays in just how soon he comes to realize that Muggleborns were truly endangered (and therefore Lily was too, even without the prophecy info). Many find it hard to fathom how Snape could not realize Lily might be targeted by Voldie, but what we have for canon DOES back up the possibility that Snape did not realize Voldie would be against all Muggleborns (and would want to get rid of them).

First, we have the example of Regulus, who seems to have joined Voldie about the same time Snape did (IF Snape joined right as he finished Hogwarts). IF Regulus can join up and not be aware of just what Voldie might be willing to do, then the same can be said for Snape.

Secondly, Hagrid believed Voldie went to the Potter home to try to convince them to join up - that means that even someone on the side of the Order believed as late as Halloween'81 that Voldie would be perfectly willing to accept Muggleborns as DEs. We even have back up from JKR that a very 'special' muggleborn COULD become a DE in her interview where she said Snape had 'seen' things as a DE (not 'done' things)

Lastly, it sounds as if Snape was pretty much allowed to avoid the actual 'raids' and fighting since Voldie wanted him to become a teacher at Hogwarts. So, it is possible that Snape came to realize the anti-muggleborn stance later on.

There is also evidence that Snape believed that a 'powerful, talented muggleborn would be considered an exception and be accepted. He believe Lily could sort into Slytherin, apparently either because he didn't know Slytherins were supposed to be biased or because he thought a house built on ambition would accept anyone talented enough to rise above.

Anyways, it is apparent that Snape did not have much 'love' for muggles. His father wasn't exactly a sterling example and neither was Petunia. But one can also tell from the clothing he wore as a child that he was surely bullied as an outsider even in his muggle neighborhood. We even hear Petunia refer to him as the Snape boy from Spinners End. I somehow doubt he had many 'good' experiences with muggles.

But if there is one thing Snape has valued all along it is talent and intelligence. Lily is not just smart, she has actual 'control' over her 'accidental magic' even before Hogwarts. So, I can see him believing Lily would be okay - that Voldie wouldn't want to get rid of such a talent.

However, I think once he realized she was in danger (even if Voldy had not decided on her family) then I think Snape would have turned. She was pretty much the only 'good' thing that ever entered his life. I think he could live with her not liking him - it would seem he had learned how to live with no one else liking him at all. Bit I do not hink he could live with the knowledge that the one good thing he had known was at risk - even if it no longer shined on him.


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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.
  #18  
Old September 30th, 2009, 1:41 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.13

Quote:
Originally Posted by hwyla
I think it would have been much easier for Snape to 'move on' if Lily had not died. However he DID turn to the 'good side' BEFORE her death - apparently what I consider to be over a year beforehand. So it was not her 'death' that turned him.
Great point, and that can't be stressed enough.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hwyla
I think the answer lays in just how soon he comes to realize that Muggleborns were truly endangered (and therefore Lily was too, even without the prophecy info). Many find it hard to fathom how Snape could not realize Lily might be targeted by Voldie, but what we have for canon DOES back up the possibility that Snape did not realize Voldie would be against all Muggleborns (and would want to get rid of them).

First, we have the example of Regulus, who seems to have joined Voldie about the same time Snape did (IF Snape joined right as he finished Hogwarts). IF Regulus can join up and not be aware of just what Voldie might be willing to do, then the same can be said for Snape.
Yes, I believe the canon is that even the most intelligent Slytherins were fooled by Voldemort, just as Dumbledore was nearly persuaded down the wrong path by Grindelwald years before.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hwyla
Secondly, Hagrid believed Voldie went to the Potter home to try to convince them to join up - that means that even someone on the side of the Order believed as late as Halloween'81 that Voldie would be perfectly willing to accept Muggleborns as DEs. We even have back up from JKR that a very 'special' muggleborn COULD become a DE in her interview where she said Snape had 'seen' things as a DE (not 'done' things)
And we have the scene in Deathly Hallows when Harry tells the Snatchers that he is a Muggleborn Slytherin, and they say "Well Done, Vernon." In other words, they would see a Muggleborn Slytherin as special, but not impossible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hwyla
Lastly, it sounds as if Snape was pretty much allowed to avoid the actual 'raids' and fighting since Voldie wanted him to become a teacher at Hogwarts. So, it is possible that Snape came to realize the anti-muggleborn stance later on.
Sirius said his own parents didn't realize the depths to which Voldemort was going to go, and they were the worst type of Pureblood racists themselves. So Snape coming from a Muggle background and being in love with a Muggleborn wouldn't expect it to be so bad either. I see him being more like Percy, wanting to be accepted and respected for his skill, but then finding out that the Death Eaters were just servants, slaves, and paid thugs basically. I think Regulus went through the same thing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hwyla
There is also evidence that Snape believed that a 'powerful, talented muggleborn would be considered an exception and be accepted. He believe Lily could sort into Slytherin, apparently either because he didn't know Slytherins were supposed to be biased or because he thought a house built on ambition would accept anyone talented enough to rise above.


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  #19  
Old September 30th, 2009, 6:08 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.13

VERSION 13!! YAY!



Quote:
Originally Posted by CrimsonZephyr View Post
If Lily or James hadn't died, I think Snape might've been able to reconcile with them both. He never saw Lily as a wife and a mother (well, unless she was with him) and he never really witnessed James's transition from schoolyard bully to heroic fighter of the Order. He was a Death Eater - on the other side of the law. But if Sirius, even by request of Dumbledore, was able to at least shake hands with Snape and temporarily bury the hatchet for the greater good, I think James would have as well. Snape did, after all, spy for Dumbledore purely out of a desire to keep Lily - and later Harry - safe.

But instead of seeing the Potter family whole and alive, they were killed before he had the chance. He never lost the image of James as his tormentor and he never came to terms with his marriage to Lily. Both ate away at him for a decade. Really, for everyone in the Marauder generation, Godric's Hollow represented the beginning of one great lost opportunity for reconciliation, as well as the destruction of a friendship.
You may have a point but IMO, i don't think so.HE Hated James and loved Lily too much. He would never be able to forgive James for the bullying but even if he did, the fact that (in his opinion), James stole Lily away from him was too much for him to forgive. He hated JAmes too much.He was willing to let James die so long as he had Lily. The way he tore their picture and the letter.. I don't think they could have ever become anything close to friends. Even if that was a possibility, seeing him with his love would have been too much.
As to him moving on if she had been alive,he would have tried.He would have gone on with his DE activities, convinced himself that he had gotten over it but he would still love her as much as he loved her to his dying breath.

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  #20  
Old September 30th, 2009, 6:51 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.13

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Originally Posted by padfootmarauder View Post

You may have a point but IMO, i don't think so.HE Hated James and loved Lily too much. He would never be able to forgive James for the bullying but even if he did, the fact that (in his opinion), James stole Lily away from him was too much for him to forgive. He hated JAmes too much.He was willing to let James die so long as he had Lily. The way he tore their picture and the letter.. I don't think they could have ever become anything close to friends. Even if that was a possibility, seeing him with his love would have been too much.
Defending or arguing positively for Snape is a very new thing for me - I never usually do it. And I'm not a fan of the guy. But Snape never had the chance to talk to James as an adult as far as we know. Neither of them knew how the other had improved. Even into his thirties, Snape still had that schoolboy grudge against James because that's all he ever had. He had that intense, infatuated love for Lily because that's all he ever had. Growing up, some of the kids I pushed around at age eleven ended up either becoming one of my friends or at least we ended up being civil - same with kids who used to push me around. Why? We all grew up. We realized that a person is not necessarily the same at age 11 as they are at age 18. Snape could never reconcile his opinion of James with the truth because he never knew the truth. James was killed, Lily was killed, Snape was left alone, and he clung to his comfort zone: a world where James was a ruthless bully and Lily was still his friend. Essentially, the dark side of nostalgia.

Honestly, I don't think James and Snape could have been anything more than tensely civil. Kind of like Harry and Draco much later on. If James and Lily had lived, eventually Snape would have had to accept that Lily was James's wife, not his, and that that was not going to change. But because the subjects of both his obsessions were dead, he could look at them in whatever light he wanted, without ever having to acknowledge the reality around him.


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