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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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  #61  
Old October 5th, 2009, 8:28 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.13

Guys, we're getting off-topic, there's a thread about Moody here if you want to discuss him... Let's focus on Snape here, please.


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  #62  
Old October 5th, 2009, 6:12 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.13

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pearl_Took View Post
To me, that statement was all part of his constant double bluff.
Everyone knows that a good lie has the element of truth in it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by silver ink pot View Post
But why? There's no canon to show that he ever enjoyed being a Death Eater. Draco became disillusioned right away, and Regulus even figured out that there was a Horcrux and he wanted to destroy it. They all made a quantum leap just from things they saw happening as Death Eaters.

I believe Severus "he was a genius, the Prince" Snape might have realized his mistake even quicker than they did, but once he had the Dark Mark he was trapped in servitude. We have no timeline for when he actually took the Dark Mark to the time he came to Dumbledore for help. It's possible he wasn't even a DE very long.
Whether or not he was a DE for a few years or a few months isn't the issue. He lived his life inventing and immersing himself in dark magic. Voldemort isn't the only type of evil, as we see perfectly well with Umbridge and with Grindlewald. Snape, for whatever reason, allied himself with Voldemort and his ilk and had a long history of doing so. I believe the fact that he willingly delivered a prophecy to Voldemort, only half heard and with no regard to the consequences of his actions in that someone was going to die (a baby at that), to be indicative of the fact he was a willing DE right up until Lily was targeted.

Regulus and Draco both had families that cared for them deeply. Something that Snape lacked. They had fame, power, riches, and family outside of the DE bubble (or so they percieved.) Snape had nothing to go back to. No loving family. No riches. No fame. The DE were his world. Protecting Voldemort protected Snape's world. Draco and Regulus had people close to them (Kreacher/Narcissa/Lucius) mistreated and threatened to get them to do Voldemort's bidding and thus bring over their dissillusionment. To our knowledge, and from what cannon showed us, Snape was not under the same threat. So there is no reason for him to be dissillusioned other than because it was the right thing to do. Until Lily. Snape's intelligence didn't stop him as a student, nor as an adult for serving Voldemorts needs. Only his connection to Lily did that.

ETA:

High intelligence does not mean that one carries morals and ethics. Voldemort, himself, was considered to be very intelligent as well as powerful but nobody ever described him as anything less than creepy even when he was a child. Genius does not make up for lack of scruples.


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Last edited by flimseycauldron; October 5th, 2009 at 6:16 pm.
  #63  
Old October 5th, 2009, 6:37 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.13

Quote:
Originally Posted by flimsey
The DE were his world. Protecting Voldemort protected Snape's world. Draco and Regulus had people close to them (Kreacher/Narcissa/Lucius) mistreated and threatened to get them to do Voldemort's bidding and thus bring over their dissillusionment. To our knowledge, and from what cannon showed us, Snape was not under the same threat. So there is no reason for him to be dissillusioned other than because it was the right thing to do. Until Lily. Snape's intelligence didn't stop him as a student, nor as an adult for serving Voldemorts needs. Only his connection to Lily did that.
No, "canon" doesn't show us everything that Snape felt when he joined the DEs or how Voldemort kept him loyal.

My point earlier was that Draco and Regulus, as well as Dumbledore, are all allegedly smart people too, but they made the same foolish choice.

Where you lose me is when you imply that because they made a foolish choice, they lacked all morals and scruples. I don't think that is the message. There are plenty of DEs who never change and never come back to the good side. They have no morals and scruples or ethics, whatever. But then there are DEs who were basically good people at heart, but felt they needed to join up with Voldemort for one reason or another. They didn't do it to betray their old friends, but to gain something. Yes they were wrong, but being wrong is not evil in itself.

And if they later changed and didn't want to go down that path anymore, that is a moral victory, and not an outrage, in my opinion.

If a moral lapse of judgment could rule out goodness in a character, there wouldn't be any good characters in the books by that standard. Every character has an angry thought towards someone, or tells a lie, or cheats, or steals, or you name it. Harry feels murderous rage several times, and even tries Unforgivables, something we never see Snape do to anyone. Is Harry worse than Snape? Of course not.

So I think it's a slippery slope to dismiss someone as evil because of a mistake they made in their teens, which is why Dumbledore forgave Draco, and then gave Snape a second chance. For most of his adult life, Snape was not a Death Eater, and what difference does it make why he stayed on the right path, as long as he never wavered?


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Last edited by silver ink pot; October 5th, 2009 at 6:40 pm.
  #64  
Old October 5th, 2009, 7:11 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.13

We don't really know what would have happened if Lly had not been put under threat by Voldemort. Maybe this has been discussed before but do you think Snape would have joined the Order eventually or continued to serve Voldemort as a Death Eater until the end?


  #65  
Old October 5th, 2009, 7:30 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.13

Quote:
Originally Posted by silver ink pot View Post
No, "canon" doesn't show us everything that Snape felt when he joined the DEs or how Voldemort kept him loyal.

My point earlier was that Draco and Regulus, as well as Dumbledore, are all allegedly smart people too, but they made the same foolish choice.

Where you lose me is when you imply that because they made a foolish choice, they lacked all morals and scruples. I don't think that is the message. There are plenty of DEs who never change and never come back to the good side. They have no morals and scruples or ethics, whatever. But then there are DEs who were basically good people at heart, but felt they needed to join up with Voldemort for one reason or another. They didn't do it to betray their old friends, but to gain something. Yes they were wrong, but being wrong is not evil in itself.

And if they later changed and didn't want to go down that path anymore, that is a moral victory, and not an outrage, in my opinion.

If a moral lapse of judgment could rule out goodness in a character, there wouldn't be any good characters in the books by that standard. Every character has an angry thought towards someone, or tells a lie, or cheats, or steals, or you name it. Harry feels murderous rage several times, and even tries Unforgivables, something we never see Snape do to anyone. Is Harry worse than Snape? Of course not.

So I think it's a slippery slope to dismiss someone as evil because of a mistake they made in their teens, which is why Dumbledore forgave Draco, and then gave Snape a second chance. For most of his adult life, Snape was not a Death Eater, and what difference does it make why he stayed on the right path, as long as he never wavered?
What DE's were basically 'good' people at heart? Regelus, maybe? It took Kreacher nearly being killed to cause the scales to drop from his eyes. Draco was unwilling to really get his hands dirty. He had qualms but there is no real evidence that he changed his prejudices against Muggleborns or anyone else.
Then we come to Snape.


Quote:
Snape said nothing, but merely looked up at Dumbledore.
“Hide them all, then,” he croaked. “Keep her—them—safe. Please.”
“And what will you give me in return, Severus?”
“In—in return?” Snape gaped at Dumbledore, and Harry expected him to
protest, but after a long moment he said,
“Anything.”
JK Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Ch 33. The Princes Tale.
Now I may be mistaken but I do not read into this exchange anything that speaks of Snape's great desire to change sides. I read that he wants Lily kept safe and he recognizes that DD wont keep only her safe, James and Harry are part of the deal. And I read that he is very surprised that DD will want something from him in return. I have always felt that DD forced him to spy for him in return for Lily's safety. Now I may feel that DD would have kept the Potter's safe with nothing in return, but Snape clearly feels that he has to do whatever DD tells him to do. This to me indicates that in a similar situation he too would expect payback for a favour. So, IMO Snape did not turn to the light willingly, He was coerced into it by DD.

I am not saying that he stayed in this mindset forever, I do believe that he changed, but I don't believe he changed on that hill top.


  #66  
Old October 5th, 2009, 7:47 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.13

Look guys,I think that Snape,is a good person with a good personality,cause in his life happend very very bad things....Like Lily,she die.....Like Hogwarts all students making fun off him....His Family, they yell with him all the time, like harry and worse....I dont think that with all these things,u will have a good life.I think that he is a good people and if he were a Death Eater,it is normal....!!!!!!!


  #67  
Old October 5th, 2009, 8:14 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.13

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sissy_000 View Post
Look guys,I think that Snape,is a good person with a good personality,cause in his life happend very very bad things....Like Lily,she die.....Like Hogwarts all students making fun off him....His Family, they yell with him all the time, like harry and worse....I dont think that with all these things,u will have a good life.I think that he is a good people and if he were a Death Eater,it is normal....!!!!!!!
Bad things happen, you have to deal with it. You don't don't join an orginisation that murders the people who disagree with you because bad things happen. Snape joined the DE's, he did that on his own. The DE's made very bad things happen to a lot of people. Snape was part of that orginisation, that cannot be ignored or played down because bad things happened to him.
What also can't be ignored is that eventually he changed. It took a long time and he hurt a lot of people, (Harry,Neville for example), but he did change. But you cannot say it is all right to do something bad because bad things happened to you, that is not an excuse.


  #68  
Old October 5th, 2009, 11:45 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.13

Quote:
Originally Posted by eliza101 View Post
What DE's were basically 'good' people at heart?
What is a 'basically good person at heart'? I am not dismissing atrocities performed by DEs, and I do acknowledge it is literary characters we're talking about and therefore can afford to generalize without repercussions, but still...

How does one make such a statement about someone's character based on one faucet of the said person's life? For most characters all we get as straightforward canon is the intent to commit violence in the name of beliefs. We have no idea what kind of parents, lovers, employees and friends they make...

But, back to Snape.

It never ceases to amaze me how ready people are to forget the 'What about my soul' scene and draw conclusions based on their own perception of what being a DE constitutes of.


Taking a side in an existing conflict, as most people who've actually witnessed a war will tell you, is inevitable. Even if 'taking a side' merely means siding with a certain perception of events. And more often than not, the decision on which side to take is based on personal experience with one or both sides of the conflict. Whether or not the person switches allegiance in the future also depends on personal experiences with the chosen side.

So, we have Potter&co on one side, and Lucius&co on the other. Based on his personal experiences with both.... I wonder why Snape chose the DEs at that point.

Quote:
Now I may feel that DD would have kept the Potter's safe with nothing in return, but Snape clearly feels that he has to do whatever DD tells him to do. This to me indicates that in a similar situation he too would expect payback for a favour.
Actually, to me it indicates lack of experience to support thinking otherwise. DD (or anyone else, for that matter) has never offered Snape anything without asking something in return. Not protection, not the job, not information.

Snape had to barter for everything he ever got in life - abuse for Hogwarts when he was a kid (you'll remember that parents could -and did- pull their kids out of Hogwarts), his interests for Lily's friendship, silence about the Shack for continued attendance, and allegiance for acceptance with his Slytherin friends. It is perfectly understandable that he foresaw DDs request.

Quote:
So, IMO Snape did not turn to the light willingly, He was coerced into it by DD.
So, the wish to save someone's life does not count as 'light-worthy' in your books?
Interesting...


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Last edited by Daggerstone; October 5th, 2009 at 11:49 pm.
  #69  
Old October 5th, 2009, 11:46 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.13

It is true that we have to deal with the bad things that happen. Sometimes we can make mistakes in the way we deal with them. That is what happened to Snape. For whatever were his mother's magical gifts, she may have been bullied by this muggle husband who may have been drunk and violent.Snape had so much unresolved anger that he chose curses, thinking he was dealing with it. He learned to his sorrow that he had not dealt with his issues in a positive way and paid a great price for it later.


  #70  
Old October 5th, 2009, 11:52 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.13

Quote:
Originally Posted by silver ink pot View Post
Where you lose me is when you imply that because they made a foolish choice, they lacked all morals and scruples. I don't think that is the message. There are plenty of DEs who never change and never come back to the good side. They have no morals and scruples or ethics, whatever. But then there are DEs who were basically good people at heart, but felt they needed to join up with Voldemort for one reason or another. They didn't do it to betray their old friends, but to gain something. Yes they were wrong, but being wrong is not evil in itself.
I agree that someone signing up to something bad does not make them evil. It does, however, make their action deeply questionable. And since Voldemort's intentions of world domination were so blatant, and his methods so cruel, I do have difficulty in thinking that someone joining the DEs, knowing all that, could be 'basically good at heart'. This to me is like saying that someone joining the Klu Klux Klan or the Nazi Party is basically 'good at heart'.

What I do accept is that someone can change their mind and be reformed. Which is what the canon shows, of course.

Quote:
If a moral lapse of judgment could rule out goodness in a character, there wouldn't be any good characters in the books by that standard. Every character has an angry thought towards someone, or tells a lie, or cheats, or steals, or you name it. Harry feels murderous rage several times, and even tries Unforgivables, something we never see Snape do to anyone. Is Harry worse than Snape? Of course not.
But Harry doesn't have a dark past in the way that Snape has. This is not to say that Harry is 'better' than Snape -- both of them are my favourite characters and I will defend both even when they both behave like idiots -- but for me personally it detracts from Snape's character arc to sanitise his past.

We don't know exactly when he joined the DEs, we have no canon to say what exactly he got up to as a DE. We just don't know. But we do know about the most terrible thing he ever did ... for whatever motives, whether it was to get into Voldemort's good books or to consolidate his security within the inner circle (of course we don't know), he willingly gave Voldemort information that he knew would lead to the hunting down of a family. And of course we know the rest ... he paid for that sin (which was a sin against Harry as well as Lily) for the rest of his life ... a price he was fully prepared to pay, of course.


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  #71  
Old October 6th, 2009, 12:15 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.13

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pearl_Took View Post
We don't know exactly when he joined the DEs, we have no canon to say what exactly he got up to as a DE. We just don't know. But we do know about the most terrible thing he ever did ... for whatever motives, whether it was to get into Voldemort's good books or to consolidate his security within the inner circle (of course we don't know), he willingly gave Voldemort information that he knew would lead to the hunting down of a family. And of course we know the rest ... he paid for that sin (which was a sin against Harry as well as Lily) for the rest of his life ... a price he was fully prepared to pay, of course.
Not only a sin against Lily and Harry and James, but also against everyone who loved them, imo. The magnitude of the reprecussions that Snape's acts could have on any family and their loved ones I think supports the idea that his heart was not in the right place at that time. This has always been a sticking point for me in canon because knowing all of the harm he'd caused these people, I would think that out of remorse and regret, he would do everything in his power to ensure he never harmed them again in any way, shape or form, to the best of his ability. Only Harry remained, but Snape didn't take that point of view in his treatment of him, imo.


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  #72  
Old October 6th, 2009, 12:29 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.13

Quote:
Originally Posted by wickedwickedboy View Post
Not only a sin against Lily and Harry and James, but also against everyone who loved them, imo. The magnitude of the reprecussions that Snape's acts could have on any family and their loved ones I think supports the idea that his heart was not in the right place at that time.
How many people do you expect this character to atone for? For me it's enough guilt on Snape's part that the Potters were harmed.

I mean, let's not forget Peter's role in this, shall we? Peter's crimes against James, Lily and Sirius -- cleverly framing Sirius for the murders -- is every bit as bad, and shockingly callous.

Quote:
This has always been a sticking point for me in canon because knowing all of the harm he'd caused these people, I would think that out of remorse and regret, he would do everything in his power to ensure he never harmed them again in any way, shape or form, to the best of his ability.
According to Dumbledore, taking the prophecy to Voldemort was the biggest regret of Snape's life.

Quote:
Only Harry remained, but Snape didn't take that point of view in his treatment of him, imo.
I may not like Snape's attitude to Harry, but the canon is that he did act to protect him. IMO.


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  #73  
Old October 6th, 2009, 3:12 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.13

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pearl_Took View Post
How many people do you expect this character to atone for?
Everyone he harmed, but my point was to speak about the reprecussions because I feel it was something that the DEs didn't take into account. When they killed a muggleborn, not only the life of that muggleborn was affected - the parents of that person, who had no intent to have a wizard child, were left devastated. Snape too, in delivering the prophecy to Voldemort was affecting a great number of people with his action, no matter what family was ultimately chosen, imo.

Quote:
I mean, let's not forget Peter's role in this, shall we? Peter's crimes against James, Lily and Sirius -- cleverly framing Sirius for the murders -- is every bit as bad, and shockingly callous.
I agree. I feel the same way about them.

Quote:
I may not like Snape's attitude to Harry, but the canon is that he did act to protect him. IMO.
Well I wasn't speaking about those acts that helped to protect Harry; I was speaking of those that were intended to harm - like breaking the flask and giving a zero mark and those type of things. That is the type of thing I feel a person with real regret and remorse in their heart would try to avoid at all costs. As I say, it is a sticking point for me personally, but I understand everyone doesn't see it the same way.


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Last edited by wickedwickedboy; October 6th, 2009 at 3:22 am.
  #74  
Old October 6th, 2009, 4:56 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.13

1.Do you think he wanted or needed Harry's forgiveness on some level?
Sort of because snape never liked james or any of the mauraders but he loved lilly and he sort of saw her in harry but he also resembled james alot, so in a way he wanted forgiveness from the lilly part of harry.
2.What do you think would Snape say about Albus Severus?
Not much he really doesnt know him, or he'd tell him not to worry about being in slytherin house.
3.Based on how his character is supposed to end up: if you could change/improve one thing about Snape, what would it be?
I'd change the fact that snape didn't want people to know how good he was or how much he loved lilly.
4.What do you think Snape would have done, if he had survived DH?
I think he would have shown harry the memory and talked about and now he since there is no reason to act like an enemy toward harry they'd be friends.

5.Do you agree with the author's take on Snape's character as revealed in interviews?
Dunno
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?
yeah, because he feels responsible for her death and he could have saved her if he took action and not ran to dumbeldore
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.
his murder of dumbeldore was pure love he obviously didnt kill dumbeldore for hate he knew it would be best for harry and the world it's self, and he wasnt a big fan of sirius
8.Why do you think Snape chose to become a Death Eater?
Because his only love lilly kept referring to him as one and he did hang out with them so he slowly moved over and eventually became one.
9.How do the revelations of DH impact your view of Snape's treatment of Harry and Neville throughout the series?
i realized that snape is a good guy and what he did was for harry's best

i was to tired to finish the res =P


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  #75  
Old October 6th, 2009, 8:56 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.13

[quote]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daggerstone View Post
What is a 'basically good person at heart'? I am not dismissing atrocities performed by DEs, and I do acknowledge it is literary characters we're talking about and therefore can afford to generalize without repercussions, but still...

How does one make such a statement about someone's character based on one faucet of the said person's life? For most characters all we get as straightforward canon is the intent to commit violence in the name of beliefs. We have no idea what kind of parents, lovers, employees and friends they make...
I just watched a very good film. It's called 'The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas.' Spoiler alert' The father in the film is played by David Thewlis, he plays Lupin. He is portrayed as being a kind and loving father and husband. He is worshipped by his son. That does not prevent him from being the commandant of a concetration camp and being directly responsible for the deaths of thousands of people. Complaining about the smoke to him does not make his wife compassionate either, They are good portrayals of people who have compartonalized their lives. They are not bad people for what is done on the job so to speak, they are just following orders, but of course it is not nearly that simple. If it was, why would their son have ended up with the child he befreinded in that pile of bodies. In that film the evil that the parents were directly responsible for, impacted directly into their own lives and for the first time they felt the agony they had no trouble inflicting on others. This I think is a very good way to describe Snape's feeling when he discovered what had happened to Lily as a direct consequence of his action in taking the prophecy to LV. The pain he feels is very real, so are the deaths of the Potters. It doesn't matter what kind of man he was off the job, he was still the same man and his actions speak for themselves, at this point in his life.

Quote:
But, back to Snape.

It never ceases to amaze me how ready people are to forget the 'What about my soul' scene and draw conclusions based on their own perception of what being a DE constitutes of.

Taking a side in an existing conflict, as most people who've actually witnessed a war will tell you, is inevitable. Even if 'taking a side' merely means siding with a certain perception of events. And more often than not, the decision on which side to take is based on personal experience with one or both sides of the conflict. Whether or not the person switches allegiance in the future also depends on personal experiences with the chosen side.

So, we have Potter&co on one side, and Lucius&co on the other. Based on his personal experiences with both.... I wonder why Snape chose the DEs at that point.

Actually, to me it indicates lack of experience to support thinking otherwise. DD (or anyone else, for that matter) has never offered Snape anything without asking something in return. Not protection, not the job, not information.
For me it is fairly simple. Snape wanted what the DE's offered. He is not a fool, far from it. He became a DE for what he could get out of it, and as I've said before he IMO must have found satisfaction in that life because he did not leave it willingly. The scene from the hilltop shows us that, and that occurred after he had been a DE for many years What did he get out of it? Well it would seem to be personal satisfaction. Something about being one made him feel good. Would it have lasted if Lily had not been tagetted. Well his creator has indicated that he would never have left if Lily had not been victimised. I know a lot of people ignore what Rowling says on this point, but I truthfully cannot see how that can be done. She created the charactor in all his facets and knew what his motivations were at all stages in his development and she knew how his mind worked because she put the thoughts there, so no I cannot dismiss her view on it, because her view is Snape's view.

Quote:
Snape had to barter for everything he ever got in life - abuse for Hogwarts when he was a kid (you'll remember that parents could -and did- pull their kids out of Hogwarts), his interests for Lily's friendship, silence about the Shack for continued attendance, and allegiance for acceptance with his Slytherin friends. It is perfectly understandable that he foresaw DDs request.
If he foresaw DD's request, why did he gape at it? He was surprised by DD asking him for something in return, but after thinking it over he willing agrees to anything DD will ask of him. Life I am afraid often is a barter, we all barter everyday of our lives. We barter our time and energy to earn money at work, we then barter the money we have earned for the necessaries of life. What we don't do usually is barter stolen goods, nor do we steal said goods in the first place. Barter is not wrong what we barter can be. Snape seemed to give his allegiance freely.

There is no canon to suggest that Snape bartered with his parents to attend school, nothing like that exists in the books. The one thing that Snape is certain of as a child is that he will go to Hogwarts. Lily gave her freindship freely, she liked Severus. That is made plain by the fact that she stayed friends with him for so long. We don't know what DD said about the Shack incident to Severus, probably along the same lines as he said to James. There is no canon to suggest that James traded his silence to stay at Hogwarts either. I'm sorry but IMO these 2 points are supposition and not canon.


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So, the wish to save someone's life does not count as 'light-worthy' in your books?
Interesting...
I never said this and I have never denied that Snape changed. I just don't believe he changed on that hilltop. For me Snape faced a long hard struggle against the toughest opponent possible, himself. He won that struggle and to me that is the most admirable thing about him. After LV's fall and the death of Lily, Snape is described as being devastated. DD saves him then and gives him a purpose in life, Harry. It is when Harry faces Lv in GOF and Snape steps up to the firing line in going back to him that for me his greatest change will occur. We see flashes of that change before, but IMO the greatest change is after GOF. That is when he realises the true cost LV will inflict on people he has over the years come to care for, and also his own soul as you rightly point out. This is where Severus realises that his soul really does matter to him and he wants to do the right thing



Last edited by eliza101; October 6th, 2009 at 8:59 am.
  #76  
Old October 6th, 2009, 11:12 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.13

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Originally Posted by eliza101 View Post
... his creator has indicated that he would never have left if Lily had not been victimised. I know a lot of people ignore what Rowling says on this point, but I truthfully cannot see how that can be done. She created the charactor in all his facets and knew what his motivations were at all stages in his development and she knew how his mind worked because she put the thoughts there, so no I cannot dismiss her view on it, because her view is Snape's view.
JKR's statement makes more sense to me if she meant that back in 1980-81, Severus would not have changed course if Lily had not been targeted ... for me, personally, he does not stay stuck that way in canon forever. I think that Rowling does show the change in him over time ... The Prince's Tale brought that out for me clearly.

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I never said this and I have never denied that Snape changed. I just don't believe he changed on that hilltop. For me Snape faced a long hard struggle against the toughest opponent possible, himself. He won that struggle and to me that is the most admirable thing about him. After LV's fall and the death of Lily, Snape is described as being devastated. DD saves him then and gives him a purpose in life, Harry. It is when Harry faces Lv in GOF and Snape steps up to the firing line in going back to him that for me his greatest change will occur. We see flashes of that change before, but IMO the greatest change is after GOF. That is when he realises the true cost LV will inflict on people he has over the years come to care for, and also his own soul as you rightly point out. This is where Severus realises that his soul really does matter to him and he wants to do the right thing
Completely agree with you, Eliza. Very well said. For me there is not a single moment of conversion in Snape's character arc ... for me the hilltop encounter does not denote a 'Saul of Damascus' conversion experience in which Severus does an abrupt about-turn from fascist DE to knight in shining armour (that would not have been realistic, IMO) but that baptism in pain and horror does mark the beginning of a long process in his soul.

And that moment in GoF was highly significant ... That really highlighted Snape's courage for me. Even Dumbledore was pale at the thought, and he wasn't the one going to the graveyard to face Voldemort and convince him of the impossible. But I think he paled on Snape's behalf: he knew exactly what this would cost Severus.


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Old October 6th, 2009, 12:46 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.13

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Originally Posted by Pearl
Completely agree with you, Eliza. Very well said. For me there is not a single moment of conversion in Snape's character arc ... for me the hilltop encounter does not denote a 'Saul of Damascus' conversion experience
But I think that's exactly what Snape had. He saw the light "from the moment you threatened her" as Harry says to Voldemort in DH.

And actually, if we are to believe Harry and accept what he says, Snape actually changed before he came to the hilltop and met Dumbledore.

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Originally Posted by Pearl
...in which Severus does an abrupt about-turn from fascist DE to knight in shining armour (that would not have been realistic, IMO) but that baptism in pain and horror does mark the beginning of a long process in his soul.
I don't believe Saul/Paul was a perfect human being from the moment of his conversion. But then I don't believe anyone is perfect. In Christianity, it's not just the process, but also the moment when someone turns away from evil. That's the moment of forgiveness, in my opinion. Yes people can fall again to temptation, but I would say that Snape never did and that's what made him unique in the story and unique to Harry.


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Last edited by silver ink pot; October 6th, 2009 at 2:53 pm.
  #78  
Old October 6th, 2009, 2:08 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.13

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Originally Posted by silver ink pot View Post
But I think that's exactly what Snape had. He saw the light "from the moment you threatened her" as Harry says to Voldemort in DH.
Ah, OK, I see what you mean.

I suppose I only put qualifiers on it because at first Severus seemed only to care about Lily's life and not James or (more pertinently, IMO) baby Harry's ... but I am not denying that was the start of the turnaround.

Quote:
And actually, if we are to believe Harry and accept what he says, Snape actually changed before he came to the hilltop and met Dumbledore.
Sure. It doesn't make any difference to me either way, really ... the main thing is that JKR shows that he changed his life around.

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Originally Posted by Pearl
...in which Severus does an abrupt about-turn from fascist DE to knight in shining armour (that would not have been realistic, IMO) but that baptism in pain and horror does mark the beginning of a long process in his soul.
This quote was from me, not Eliza.

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I don't believe Saul/Paul was a perfect human being from the moment of his conversion. But then I don't believe anyone is perfect. In Christianity, it's not just the process, but also the moment when someone turns away from evil. That's the moment of forgiveness, in my opinion. Yes people can fall again to temptation, but I would say that Snape never did and that's what made him unique in the story and unique to Harry.
Well, yeah ... I think you and I are basically saying the same thing, but in a slightly different way, so I'll leave it there.


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Old October 6th, 2009, 2:56 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.13

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Quote:
...in which Severus does an abrupt about-turn from fascist DE to knight in shining armour (that would not have been realistic, IMO) but that baptism in pain and horror does mark the beginning of a long process in his soul.
This quote was from me, not Eliza.
I fixed it. I want to give credit where credit is due.

But it's interesting that you use the "knight in shining armor" line, since by DH Snape is carrying around a sword and hiding behind a suit of armor. No that didn't happen overnight, but to me Snape also did not change that much from Book One to Book Seven, since I believe his transformation was complete before Harry ever set foot in Hogwarts.


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Old October 6th, 2009, 3:04 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.13

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Originally Posted by silver ink pot View Post
I fixed it. I want to give credit where credit is due.

But it's interesting that you use the "knight in shining armor" line, since by DH Snape is carrying around a sword and hiding behind a suit of armor. No that didn't happen overnight, but to me Snape also did not change that much from Book One to Book Seven, since I believe his transformation was complete before Harry ever set foot in Hogwarts.
On this issue we shall have to agree to differ. For me the hilltop is only the start of Severus's journey to the light.


 
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