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Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4



 
 
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  #441  
Old March 2nd, 2011, 12:44 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

Quote:
Originally Posted by CathyWeasley
In order for the rivalry to be mutual they have to be on even standing and as James had at least one friend with him and more usually 3 I think we can say that they were not on even standing.
Quote:
Originally Posted by snapes witch
And James had his Invisibility Cloak (perhaps from the very beginning) and later the Maraunders' Map both giving him a definite advantage over Severus.

my opinion, of course
Agree with both posts. There are statements in the the books that verify that James and Sirius usually worded as a team. Severus says this during TTotP in HBP.


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  #442  
Old March 2nd, 2011, 12:53 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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Originally Posted by leah49 View Post
Harry has to respect Professor Snape because he's the professor but Snape doesn't have to respect Harry? I thought teachers were supposed to love all their students or at least pretend they did.
Yes, Harry has to respect Snape as his elder and his professor. He has to respect the position, if not the person in the position. Snape, after all, is older than him, more educated, and has a position of authority Harry does not.

Teachers are not called upon to "love" their students. They are called upon to instruct them in the subject they teach, and they are expected to teach all of them equally. It's up to the student to learn that information. Liking doesn't enter into it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by leah49 View Post
They aren't supposed to show favorites. They do, we know, but they shouldn't. They shouldn't let students know that they don't like them. If they do this they lose respect from that student. It doesn't matter if Snape was cut out to be a teacher or wanted to be one. He is one and should act like one.
I think overall Severus did his job as a teacher -- he taught and his student achieved good enough grades that he was able to teach NEWT level classes. Was he a pleasant, touchy feely, "favorite" teacher? Absolutely not. Was he effective? Apparently so.

As for respect, Harry is free to dislike Severus all he wants to, but he is not free to disrespect him as a teacher. That I think is a line that was crossed by Harry -- he equated Severus with the position, and disrespected Professor Snape the Teacher because he didn't like Severus Snape the person.

It must also be said that IMO Severus is guilty of the same thing, albeit not quite so severely -- he disliked Harry the person, and so disliked Harry the student. That said, Harry still learned Potions well enough he pulled an E in his Potions OWL... so Snape the Teacher must have been pretty darn good... even in spite of his dislike for Harry.


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  #443  
Old March 2nd, 2011, 1:06 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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Originally Posted by ccollinsmith View Post
At any rate, once Harry proved to be wrong, he never thanked Snape for saving his life throughout first year. In fact, the next time Snape sees Harry, Harry is in a conversation about how great it would be if Snape got sacked. This is not, imo, a great way to give Snape a more favorable opinion of the boy whose life he had worked so hard to save (Dumbledore's words).
Snape hated Harry for being James´ son. Even a thank you wouldn´t have changed his opinion about Harry. No way that´s going to happen.

Also Harry wasn´t aware that Snape was secretly helping him. How can ones blame him for not being grateful towards Snape throughout the year? Unless you´re skilled Occlumens there is no way of knowing what´s going on in another persons head.

Snape´s true intention was only discovered in the last book. Even after he saved Harry, there was good reason for Harry to remain suspicious of him.

Instead of asking Harry to thank a man, who in the open mistreats him, why is nobody asking Snape to apologize to Harry for treating him so badly throughout the years?


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  #444  
Old March 2nd, 2011, 1:41 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

Quote:
Originally Posted by leah49
They aren't supposed to show favorites. They do, we know, but they shouldn't. They shouldn't let students know that they don't like them. If they do this they lose respect from that student. It doesn't matter if Snape was cut out to be a teacher or wanted to be one. He is one and should act like one.
No, they shouldn't. I heartily agree with you. So, IMO, McGonagall was wrong to give Harry a new super-duper broom when he was a first year just because he played on her House team.

All of the teachers have their faults. Severus just happens to be able to express his better than the others. It's a talent.


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  #445  
Old March 2nd, 2011, 3:15 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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Originally Posted by Tenshi View Post
Snape hated Harry for being James´ son. Even a thank you wouldn´t have changed his opinion about Harry. No way that´s going to happen.
Tenshi. Long time, no see.

At any rate, I would call that claim pure speculation. If Harry had behaved differently than Snape expected him to behave (i.e., by thanking him - something James would never have done), there is a possibility - however remote - that it might have given Snape reason to believe that maybe Harry was not so arrogant as Snape (wrongly) assumed after all. We will never know what the result might have been because Harry never made the attempt.

Quote:
Also Harry wasn´t aware that Snape was secretly helping him. How can ones blame him for not being grateful towards Snape throughout the year?
I'm referring to after the year - the first year. At the end of the first year, Harry knew that Snape had saved his life. And actually, I wasn't casting blame. I was saying that both of them contributed to the trainwreck that their relationship became. Harry contributed primarily by carrying his own hatred of Snape to the point of accusing Snape of all sorts of false crimes, over a period of many years. (I don't count 7th year, because after Snape killed Dumbledore, Harry finally does have good reason to believe Snape is working for Voldemort. That the good reason turns out to be false is not Harry's fault).

Quote:
Snape´s true intention was only discovered in the last book. Even after he saved Harry, there was good reason for Harry to remain suspicious of him.
Snape snarked at him. Snape took points from Gryffindor. Eventually, in the 4th year, Snape even started giving Harry detentions. None of that, imo, is sufficient reason to accuse the man of trying to kill him or trying to soften up his mind for Voldemort or trying to turn him over to Voldemort or trying to bring Voldemort to power. Those accusations are of the next order of magnitude. Even the "good reasons" for suspicion in PS/SS are based on logical fallacies - in particular post hoc ergo propter hoc (i.e., confusing sequence with cause).

Quote:
Instead of asking Harry to thank a man, who in the open mistreats him, why is nobody asking Snape to apologize to Harry for treating him so badly throughout the years?
My comment, as I mentioned earlier, was in reference to first year... before things got so insanely out of hand. I think it would also have been helpful if Harry had not accused Snape of a new slew of false crimes year after year. What I'm saying, in other words, is that they openly mistreated each other.

The way I see the relationship is that it is like a vicious cycle feeding on itself and going further and further out of control with each new insult contributed by each party. Snape is primed to dislike Harry because Harry looks like the man who attacked him. Harry then goes on to give Snape reasons to dislike him, and Snape does the same. (Snape goes first, but that sequence didn't fit the compare/contrast structure. ). Anyway, the point is that each is reacting to the other.

Snape gives Harry a look at the dinner. Harry feels a pain in his scar and that night begins to have dreams that conflate Snape with Voldemort. All of this is before Snape speaks to Harry or Harry speaks to Snape.

I could go through a blow-by-blow over the course of 6 years, but I will spare us.

My point here is not to blame Harry but rather to point out that Harry is not merely a passive sponge absorbing insults from Snape. Harry is continually escalating the situation - either in front of Snape's face or behind his back. Snape escalates in 5th year after Harry violates his privacy during Occlumency lessons. Harry finally escalates to the point that by the beginning of 6th year, he is actively hoping for Snape to die during the term. (The irony here is that that during the same year, we see that Snape is horrified when Dumbledore tells him that Harry must die).

Like I said earlier, I don't consider 7th year to be part of this cycle. At that point, Harry had good reason to believe Snape a cold-blooded murderer and to want him dead. I'm just glad that Harry found out the truth... and broke the cycle by telling the truth to the world.


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Last edited by ccollinsmith; March 2nd, 2011 at 3:44 am. Reason: because I'm a compulsive editor :yuhup:
  #446  
Old March 2nd, 2011, 3:29 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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Originally Posted by ccollinsmith View Post
Snape snarked at him. Snape took points from Gryffindor. Eventually, in the 4th year, Snape even started giving Harry detentions. ...
Snape also tried to get Sirius soul-sucked by Dementors at the end of PoA, threatened to poison Trevor the Toad, and abused Harry in their private Occlumency lessons. And in my opinion some of the things that Snape says to Harry and his friends goes beyond snark and into horrible insult category.

Each had reason to dislike the other, and neither did much to deflate the growing animosity between them or to halt the downward spiral. But if I were going to place an expectation on one of them to behave in a mature, professional manner rather than like an ill-behaved schoolboy, it would be the adult professor that I would hope would grow up enough to look past the first impression and re-evaluate the boy based on something other than who his father was.


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  #447  
Old March 2nd, 2011, 3:31 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

Quote:
Do you believe that Snape's soul was still intact after he had killed Dumbledore?
I think so. He did not want to kill Dumbledore and was instructed by Dumbledore, the person he killed, to kill him.


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  #448  
Old March 2nd, 2011, 4:23 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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Originally Posted by LyraLovegood View Post
Snape also tried to get Sirius soul-sucked by Dementors at the end of PoA, threatened to poison Trevor the Toad, and abused Harry in their private Occlumency lessons. And in my opinion some of the things that Snape says to Harry and his friends goes beyond snark and into horrible insult category.
Snape had also overheard Sirius make a statement that would have sounded to Severus like a claim that he (Severus) would have deserved to be killed during the werewolf incident. (What Sirius actually meant by the statement is open to debate, but I think we can be pretty certain that Severus would have heard the statement as a justification on Sirius' part for trying to get Severus killed).

Snape did not threaten to poison Trevor. He threatened to give Trevor some of Neville's potion. He left it up to Neville not to brew poison. It was a ham-handed attempt to motivate the student. Bad pedagogy, but not an attempt at toad-a-cide.

Snape abused Harry during Occlumency?

Snape horribly insulted Hermione. Once. Yes.

Quote:
Each had reason to dislike the other, and neither did much to deflate the growing animosity between them or to halt the downward spiral. But if I were going to place an expectation on one of them to behave in a mature, professional manner rather than like an ill-behaved schoolboy, it would be the adult professor that I would hope would grow up enough to look past the first impression and re-evaluate the boy based on something other than who his father was.
Under normal circumstances I would agree. BUT the assault in SWM made that impossible. When Dumbledore refers to "wounds too deep for the healing," it's pretty clear, I think, that he's referring to what Harry saw in the Pensieve. What I find impressive is that Snape had the courage not to run shrieking from the castle the moment that he saw that the boy had the same face as the man who attacked him.

But seriously, here's the problem I see with just painting Severus as the villain... the sort of attack he experienced is not something that people just get over. It requires serious psychological healing. And all the Wizarding World knows how to do is fix stuff with magic. It has no clue at all on how to help people get over severe psychological traumas.

Snape's best opportunity to heal would have been via Dumbledore... but Dumbledore himself buried his own traumas deep beneath the surface and never really healed from them. His own brother was still bitter toward him after nearly 100 years, and Albus never forgave himself. So how was he supposed to help Severus deal with his trauma?

Yes, it would have been nice if Snape could have been all grown up and not freaked out on seeing that face again. But the fact that he could not get over it is much more psychologically realistic imo.


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  #449  
Old March 2nd, 2011, 4:57 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

CC, I'm glad you pointed out the psychological trauma that left the deep emotional scars on Severus. What he was suffering from, IMO, was PTSD. He had suffered at least one, if not several shocks during his formative years, including his parents' fighting and the harassment by the Marauders. To James and Co., it might have seemed like good fun, but to a boy who is already suffering from the damage caused by his early childhood, it wasn't. Even Harry considered it "torment."

When Severus saw Harry sitting in the Great Hall that first evening I would say he was probably transported back about 15-16 years to the time of his humiliation at the hands of James and Sirius (Remus and Pettigrew didn't participate, but, as we are so often told about Severus and the DEs, complacency does not alieviate one's guilt. It is guilt by association and by not doing anything to stop what was going on.)

If anyone doubts the trauma that Severus suffered, just read over Harry's first dive into Severus' memories, and then read TPT. I think that should be sufficient. It was for me.

As you said, CC, it would have been nice if Severus had been able to get over those years. But, as you also pointed out, even Dumbledore acknowledged their extreme affect on him.

Once more, this does not alieviate Severus of his responsibility in joining the DEs, or in some of the things he did and said to Harry. However, it does, IMO, go a long way in helping us to understand why he was the way he was. Add onto that his being "reactivated" as a double agent after GoF, and you have a pretty difficult life. I wouldn't want to have gone through what he did and still have the responsibilities and expectations that were heaped on his shoulders.


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  #450  
Old March 2nd, 2011, 8:16 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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Originally Posted by MinervasCat View Post
CC, I'm glad you pointed out the psychological trauma that left the deep emotional scars on Severus. What he was suffering from, IMO, was PTSD. He had suffered at least one, if not several shocks during his formative years, including his parents' fighting and the harassment by the Marauders. To James and Co., it might have seemed like good fun, but to a boy who is already suffering from the damage caused by his early childhood, it wasn't. Even Harry considered it "torment."
And yet Snape seems unable to feel sympathy for Harry's plight. Harry has been underfed, physically and verbally abused and bullied, kept in a storeroom under the stairs for most of his childhood and forced to wear Dudleys ridiculously big clothes by the Dursleys, and in addition to that he never had the luxury to make a friend because the kids were all so scared of Dudley. For nearly a decade, Harry seems to have been exceptionally lonely.

I don't want to compare grievances. They both had a difficult childhood, no doubt. But as we see from Harry's example, it is possible to move past all this, even as a child. Granted, not everyone is the same and Snape has an entirely different personality. But not every unpleasant quirk of his character can be blamed on his difficult childhood, in my opinion.


  #451  
Old March 2nd, 2011, 10:52 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

I don't think there is enough canon, if any, to suggest that Snape never felt any sympathy for Harry's plight. I'd agree though that Snape never showed sympathy for Harry's plight openly to him. I think Snape never showed any sympathy because I think he needed to keep his distance for a variety of reasons, in the same way Dumbledore kept his distance from Harry in Harry's fifth year, when Harry thought Dumbledore was shunning him; but that was not the case; Dumbledore was doing what he did for Harry's sake. Likewise, I believe Snape kept his distance both for his sake and for Harry's.

Snape's position as a spy; also his promise to Dumbledore that he would protect Harry but without Harry's knowledge; also because I think Snape was by nature not prone to revealing such sympathy in flowery words or in descriptive language or a casually friendly manner. If Snape would show his sympathy, I think it would come in his actions and I believe that it did in the Books too, though I also think it was highly veiled than it would have been had Snape not been constrained by other things.


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  #452  
Old March 2nd, 2011, 11:37 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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Originally Posted by ccollinsmith View Post
Yes, it would have been nice if Snape could have been all grown up and not freaked out on seeing that face again. But the fact that he could not get over it is much more psychologically realistic imo.
Yes, I also find it more realistic that someone who has experienced such traumas as Snape, shows signs of psychological damage.

From what we are shown,unlike Harry, Severus didn't have any good parental influences. His own father was abusive to his mother and his parents constantly argued, making Severus miserable and looking forward to the day he would leave to go to school. When he gets to school he has Slughorn as his Head of House. Slughorn, who only shows interest in those students who he thinks will go on to become famous or influential.

I found it rather telling that when Slughorn discovers that Severus killed Dumbledore, that he is so shocked.

"Snape! ejaculated Slughorn, who looked the most shaken, pale and sweating. "Snape! I taught him! I thought I knew him!" (HBP, The Phoenix lament)

I think it is clear from this that Slughorn didn't know Severus at all whilst he was at school. If he had, he would have been aware as was Lily, that by 5th year he had begun hanging out with a bad lot. A group that almost all became DE's.

So I believe, that the lack of any good parental figure in his life whilst he was growing up,seriously affected Severus' ability to process and work through his emotions.



Last edited by TreacleTartlet; March 2nd, 2011 at 12:25 pm.
  #453  
Old March 2nd, 2011, 11:53 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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Originally Posted by ccollinsmith View Post
Snape did not threaten to poison Trevor. He threatened to give Trevor some of Neville's potion. He left it up to Neville not to brew poison. It was a ham-handed attempt to motivate the student. Bad pedagogy, but not an attempt at toad-a-cide.
I agree. Plus Snape also knew the potion was perfect when he gave the potion to Trevor. Canon clearly mentions that imo.

Canon starts off that incident by saying this about the potion the class was brewing at that time.

A few cauldrons away, Neville was in trouble. Neville regularly went to pieces in Potions lessons; it was his worst subject, and his great fear of Professor Snape made things ten times worse. His potion, which was supposed to be a bright, acid green, had turned__ -

and as the potion is given to Trevor canon says this -

The Gryffindors watched fearfully. The Slytherins looked excited. Snape picked up Trevor the toad in his left hand and dipped a small spoon into Neville’s potion, which was now green. He trickled a few drops down Trevor’s throat.

Snape fed Trevor with a potion he knew was perfect and harmless. The class did not know that, but Snape did and what he did was not testing an unknown potion on a toad but feeding Trevor with a potion he knew was safe imo.


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  #454  
Old March 2nd, 2011, 1:10 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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Originally Posted by Moriath View Post
And yet Snape seems unable to feel sympathy for Harry's plight. Harry has been underfed, physically and verbally abused and bullied, kept in a storeroom under the stairs for most of his childhood and forced to wear Dudleys ridiculously big clothes by the Dursleys, and in addition to that he never had the luxury to make a friend because the kids were all so scared of Dudley. For nearly a decade, Harry seems to have been exceptionally lonely.
To me, it's not that Snape doesn't feel sympathy for this, but for much of the series he doesn't seem to know about it or else seems to be in total denial about it.

The one point where he does seem to confronted with undeniable evidence that Harry's childhood, like his own, was deeply unhappy is in the Occlumency lessons in OotP. In fairness to Snape, he does not actively use the personal information he gains about Harry through occlumency (the stuff about Cho, either) to taunt him, as Harry fears he will, and there is a momentary sense that he might be shocked by what he sees of Aunt Marge's dog, but even this blatant proof of Harry's miserable childhood doesn't seem to shake Snape's belief that Harry is pampered, big-headed and lazy, that he's the Mark II version of the father who he, in fact, is not very like at all. It seems to me that Snape so wants to believe it, that he just won't let that prejudice go, even when the rest of the Hogwarts staff tell him he's wrong and the evidence is staring him clear in the face.

(NB it, to an extent, cuts both ways - for me OotP is an agonisingly tragic book, because it seems to me that both Harry and Snape are given numerous opportunities to move past their mutual dislike and mistaken ideas about each other, and yet - for various reasons - neither completely does, but I won't go into Harry too much here)


  #455  
Old March 2nd, 2011, 2:15 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

I think Snape was sympathetic to Harry during Occlumency. He states over and over that he finds it to be a horrible task, especially having to watch Dudley stuff Harry down a toilet countless times (which is ironic because Harry sees SWM in the Pensieve while Snape is saving one of his own students from being trapped in a drain).

We have other scenes in which Snape has empathy for people in trouble, such as Dumbledore and Narcissa - even the saving people thingy with Lily and Charity Burbage, although he couldn't save them.

While Snape couldn't afford to tell Harry what he thought of Petunia and her horrible son due to the mind-connection with Voldemort, I believe he told Dumbledore what he saw in Harry's mind and that led to the stern confrontation by the Order at the train station in OotP when they told off Vernon, and the sudden personal home-visit by Dumbledore at the beginning of HBP. Until then, Dumbledore never really understood Harry's life.

It does seem like a plot hole that everyone including Snape assumed the Dursleys were nice people, I guess because of their connection to Lily and the fact they took Harry in as a baby, but after Snape saw Dudley and Ripper surely he would draw a different conclusion from that. Also, Snape knew what had happened to Aunt Marge, who is mentioned in connection to Ripper.


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  #456  
Old March 2nd, 2011, 2:40 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
While Snape couldn't afford to tell Harry what he thought of Petunia and her horrible son due to the mind-connection with Voldemort, I believe he told Dumbledore what he saw in Harry's mind and that led to the stern confrontation by the Order at the train station in OotP when they told off Vernon, and the sudden personal home-visit by Dumbledore at the beginning of HBP. Until then, Dumbledore never really understood Harry's life.
Indeed, we know that Severus was discussing what he had witnessed in Harry's mind during the Occlumency lessons, with Dumbledore. Dumbledore tells Harry that Snape had told him all about his dreams of the door in the DoM, and of his seeing Rookwood discussing the Prophecy with Voldemort. So, it is very likely imo, that he also mentioned Harry's ill treatment by the Dursleys.

It does seem strange to me that it takes five years into Harry's magical education, before anyone confronts the Dursleys on this matter. The only explanation I can think of, is that no one realised the extent of Harry's mistreatment by the Dursleys, until Snape witnesses it and reports it to Dumbledore.



Last edited by TreacleTartlet; March 2nd, 2011 at 2:46 pm.
  #457  
Old March 2nd, 2011, 3:20 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 think Snape was sympathetic to Harry during Occlumency. He states over and over that he finds it to be a horrible task, especially having to watch Dudley stuff Harry down a toilet countless times
I think that's a matter of interpretation, though. That could also be interpreted as Snape's callousness - he watches an act of humiliating bullying over and over again and his main complaint is that it's tedious for him. It's an ambiguous statement.

Quote:
We have other scenes in which Snape has empathy for people in trouble, such as Dumbledore and Narcissa - even the saving people thingy with Lily and Charity Burbage, although he couldn't save them.
Yes, and also his hand gripping the chair when Ginny is taken into the Chamber of Secrets. I agree that he is capable of empathy, but that does not, in itself, demonstrate that he has empathy for Harry (or Neville, for that matter).

Quote:
While Snape couldn't afford to tell Harry what he thought of Petunia and her horrible son due to the mind-connection with Voldemort, I believe he told Dumbledore what he saw in Harry's mind and that led to the stern confrontation by the Order at the train station in OotP when they told off Vernon, and the sudden personal home-visit by Dumbledore at the beginning of HBP. Until then, Dumbledore never really understood Harry's life.
Personally, I've always liked your argument that the Order's more muscular approach to the Dursleys from this point on is because Snape has reported what he's seen to Dumbledore. It's something that I can certainly find very plausible.

However, there is not, as far as I am aware, any direct evidence firmly proving that Snape told Dumbledore and it led to the Order taking action.

Moreover, Dumbledore was aware previously that the Dursleys weren't very nice to Harry (e.g. he knew that Vernon tried to stop Harry getting his letter, Hagrid witnessed Vernon's poor treatment of Harry when he came to give him the letter, I think Dumbledore sent the Howler to Petunia prior to Occlumency classes, didn't he? [I'm on shaky ground here, as someone's walked off with half my HP books, so I can't check this]), Mrs Figg has been aware of the Dursleys' terrible treatment of Harry since early childhood and the Weasleys were also aware that things with the Dursleys were not quite right (they had to rescue him from a locked room in a flying car, for Pete's sake!), so I don't think it's true that:

Quote:
everyone including Snape assumed the Dursleys were nice people
before Snape read Harry's mind. I think the Dursleys were well on the Order's radar long before Occlumency lessons. It's possible that what Snape saw concerned him and he passed it on, but I don't think that can be proven and, even if he did, I think it's an exaggeration to give Snape all the credit for the Order's concern with Harry's home life.

Also, even if Snape did sympathise with Harry in Occlumency lessons and passed his concerns on, it didn't appear to change the way he treated him. He continues to treat him harshly, perceive him as arrogant and blame Harry's poor progress entirely on Harry's lack of application, even before the Pensieve debacle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TreacleTartlet View Post
It does seem strange to me that it takes five years into Harry's magical education, before anyone confronts the Dursleys on this matter. The only explanation I can think of, is that no one realised the extent of Harry's mistreatment by the Dursleys, until Snape witnesses it and reports it to Dumbledore.
I can think of other explanations e.g. the text makes clear that Dumbledore becomes increasingly anxious about Harry's relationship with the Dursleys after Voldemort's return in GoF, as he is determined that Petunia should not actually get to the point of evicting Harry until he's of age, so he can benefit from the blood protection.

Then there's the prosaic point that the plot didn't demand a big confrontation with the Dursleys until this point. There are other places in the books where plot mechanics are the only plausible explanation.

I'm not dismissing the idea of Snape persuading the Order to take a greater interest in Harry's home life. As I said, it's an idea I quite like and can totally believe. I just don't think it's the only possible explanation or by any means a certainty.



Last edited by Melaszka; March 2nd, 2011 at 3:36 pm.
  #458  
Old March 2nd, 2011, 3:45 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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Originally Posted by TreacleTartlet View Post
Oh,I agree it was mutual. However, it was at least two on one, James and Sirius with Lupin cowardly watching and Peter cheering from the sidelines. We see this in SWM, and that this was often the way they operated from the detention cards in HBP. So from what we see and are told, it seems to me that it was not evenly balanced. Severus said it was four on one and the evidence from the cards seem to bear this out.
I believe that the dynamic that was seen in SWM played out several times in fifth year after the werewolf incident, and that's why both event were shown to take place in fifth year, one first, the other second.

I think Severus had the perception that if any of the Marauders instigated something against him (as opposed to situations that Severus instigated), that it was always 4 on 1 as the dynamic was seen in SWM. But we also learn of another earlier incident where it is not 4-1, but Severus just assumes it is, or perhaps wants it to be because he doesn't want to think well of any of them. So I think reality is shown not to be so clear cut.

The detention cards don't have any time reference on them. They do not indicate that Severus was a victim of the Marauders, either as a group or singularly. It does indicate that the Marauders went around hexing people and got caught for it a lot, which doesn't indicate to me that they did it in secret and Snape was a secret victim. If these cards are from year 1-4 than I'd say it confirms that the Marauders didn't do much to Snape before the werewolf incident, as I suspect. But, as I said, the cards are not given any particular timeframe.

Quote:
As Cathy has pointed out, teenage boys just don't admit to anyone that they feel they are being singled out for bullying and humiliation.So, I don't think Severus would have admitted as much to the girl he was in love with.
I can't take a lack of someone knowing something exists as proof that that something exists, though. It's just one more person not knowing about it, which to me is more of a check mark in the "doesn't exist" column than the "does exist" column.

Moreover, since the Marauders got caught so much for bad behavior, and Sirius and James don't seem shy in front of Lily on the train, or in SWM, I find the idea that they are in between those times to be highly unlikely.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tenshi View Post
Also Harry wasn´t aware that Snape was secretly helping him. How can ones blame him for not being grateful towards Snape throughout the year? Unless you´re skilled Occlumens there is no way of knowing what´s going on in another persons head.

Snape´s true intention was only discovered in the last book. Even after he saved Harry, there was good reason for Harry to remain suspicious of him.

Instead of asking Harry to thank a man, who in the open mistreats him, why is nobody asking Snape to apologize to Harry for treating him so badly throughout the years?
I think this brings up an interesting question: What was Snape's expectation for his relationship with Harry?

Did Snape ever feel he owed Harry (not Lily, Harry) anything?

In PoA, Snape indicates that he thinks Harry should be down on bended knee, thanking him. At this point Snape believes he has rescued Harry from Sirius Black. I think this shows that Snape desired a relationship where Harry owed him, rather than the other way around, and never saw helping Harry as restitution he owed to Harry.


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  #459  
Old March 2nd, 2011, 5:00 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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Originally Posted by OldMotherCrow View Post
I think Severus had the perception that if any of the Marauders instigated something against him (as opposed to situations that Severus instigated)
We aren't shown any indication of Severus instigating any sort of bullying -- there's not even a hint of it. On the other hand, we do see the Marauders bullying Severus, and there is physical documentation of James & Sirius bullying others.

I just can't credit the whole "if the Marauders were bullies, then so was Severus" theory. There is simply nothing in canon to indicate this argument has validity.


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  #460  
Old March 2nd, 2011, 5:20 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

Quote:
Originally Posted by Melaszka View Post
I think that's a matter of interpretation, though. That could also be interpreted as Snape's callousness - he watches an act of humiliating bullying over and over again and his main complaint is that it's tedious for him. It's an ambiguous statement.
Personally, I think a really callous person wouldn't be affected at all by Harry's memories and instead, Snape gets almost overwhelmed and totally disgusted with those memories. And on top of that there are the "visions" from Voldemort's brain that really make Snape angry.

Anyway, none of it seems enjoyable, and he doesn't laugh at any of the situations he sees at the Dursleys, or throw them up to Harry again, ever.

It's true that Snape finds the chore tedious, which means he wasn't enjoying it or taking pleasure in Harry's misfortune. That implies empathy, not callousness, especially when he points out that by not blocking them Harry is "handing me weapons." To me, and this is just my opinion, but those memories are weapons that Snape doesn't want to use against Harry and really doesn't want Voldemort to use those against him.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Melaszka
Yes, and also his hand gripping the chair when Ginny is taken into the Chamber of Secrets. I agree that he is capable of empathy, but that does not, in itself, demonstrate that he has empathy for Harry (or Neville, for that matter).
No it doesn't prove that, it's true, but in hindsight after reading Prince's Tale, I think Snape would have been much more afraid if he knew Harry was planning to take a trip into the Chamber of Secrets. That's just a hunch on my part, but considering how upset Snape was about Harry and Ron and the flying car at the beginning of the book, the trip down into the lair of the Basilisk probably would have made him flip out, had he known about it at the time. Especially since Snape was the one who made the potion to restore all the others who were petrified by the Basilisk, and later he would have realized that Voldemort was the one in the Diary who was after Harry. JMO

We know that at the beginning of CoS, Snape was the one out searching for Harry and Ron when they were late for school.

In OotP, Snape was the one out searching for them when they flew away on the Thestrals. And according to Dumbledore at the end of OotP, Snape was "worried."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Melaszka
Personally, I've always liked your argument that the Order's more muscular approach to the Dursleys from this point on is because Snape has reported what he's seen to Dumbledore. It's something that I can certainly find very plausible.

However, there is not, as far as I am aware, any direct evidence firmly proving that Snape told Dumbledore and it led to the Order taking action.
My problem is, I can't think of any other reason for them to go after the Dursleys since their own child was attacked by the Dementors instead of Harry.

You would expect Dumbledore and the Order to be sympathetic to the Dursleys, as Mr. Weasley was after the Ton-Tongue Toffee. And even though Vernon was trying to throw Harry out, Aunt Petunia complied with Dumbledore's Howler.

In "The Advanced Guard" chapter they are careful to make sure the Dursleys are gone from home, and the only topic of conversation is how neat and clean the house is! No one is angry at the Dursleys at that point.

So what changed from "Dudley Demented" till the end of the book at the Train Station? Only that Snape had seen Harry's memories, in my opinion, and since he was the only one who saw those memories multiple times, and since we know he reported directly to Dumbledore, I feel that's really good evidence for Snape's role in the threats made by Moody and Lupin at the train station at the end of the book. Moody and Lupin didn't say anything against Harry's family at the beginning of the book - that's my evidence.

Quote:
Moreover, Dumbledore was aware previously that the Dursleys weren't very nice to Harry (e.g. he knew that Vernon tried to stop Harry getting his letter, Hagrid witnessed Vernon's poor treatment of Harry when he came to give him the letter, I think Dumbledore sent the Howler to Petunia prior to Occlumency classes, didn't he? [I'm on shaky ground here, as someone's walked off with half my HP books, so I can't check this]), Mrs Figg has been aware of the Dursleys' terrible treatment of Harry since early childhood and the Weasleys were also aware that things with the Dursleys were not quite right (they had to rescue him from a locked room in a flying car, for Pete's sake!), so I don't think it's true that ...

before Snape read Harry's mind. I think the Dursleys were well on the Order's radar long before Occlumency lessons. It's possible that what Snape saw concerned him and he passed it on, but I don't think that can be proven and, even if he did, I think it's an exaggeration to give Snape all the credit for the Order's concern with Harry's home life.
Well, we'll have to agree to disagree on that account, and I covered most of it in my response above.

And Dumbledore did mention in OotP Harry didn't show up at Hogwarts "well-fed" from living with the Dursleys, but that's about it.

Dumbledore didn't actually know about Harry being locked in his room at the Dursleys in CoS before he flew the car, or even later. However, since that's not so different from the way Dumbledore made Sirius stay locked in Grimmauld Place, or the Potter family locked in Godric's Hollow, I really don't think Dumbledore would see that as too severe a treatment for someone who needed protection.

It's the Weasleys who actually knew something about Harry's life. Ron tells Molly about Harry being locked up and she retorts by threatening to lock him in his room as well, and since Ron and Harry both broke the statute of secrecy by flying the car twice, that sort of overshadowed what the Dursleys had done to Harry. In GoF, it's Arthur who realizes the Dursleys didn't tell Harry goodbye, but the Ton-Tongue Toffee overshadowed that.

However, nothing was ever done about the Dursleys after CoS or GoF when the Weasleys had their doubts, only after OotP, when Snape knew for certain what was going on at Privet Drive. JMO

It's true about Mrs. Figg being the babysitter, although she wasn't the only babysitter (there's an "Evonne" mentioned once in Book One). But Mrs. Figg didn't come back into the picture until OotP, and while she was Harry's babysitter when he was little and we know she didn't like Dudley, there's no evidence she ever told Dumbledore about the Dursley's treatment. We don't even know if Harry told her anything, since they mostly watched television. In fact, there's less evidence that she might have told Dumbledore than that Snape told him (we know he reported Harry's other memories). So I think that's ambiguous in the books.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Melaszka
Also, even if Snape did sympathise with Harry in Occlumency lessons and passed his concerns on, it didn't appear to change the way he treated him. He continues to treat him harshly, perceive him as arrogant and blame Harry's poor progress entirely on Harry's lack of application, even before the Pensieve debacle.
Just to be fair for a minute, Snape didn't know about the horcrux in Harry's head that was keeping the boy from learning Occlumency. So perhaps lack of trying was the only other logical option he could think of, which is actually a compliment to Harry because he must have thought Harry was capable of doing anything to which he applied himself.

Quote:
I can think of other explanations e.g. the text makes clear that Dumbledore becomes increasingly anxious about Harry's relationship with the Dursleys after Voldemort's return in GoF, as he is determined that Petunia should not actually get to the point of evicting Harry until he's of age, so he can benefit from the blood protection.
Okay, but the way the timeline is, Dumbledore wouldn't have known eviction was ever a possibility until Vernon suddenly threatened to evict him in OotP.

Voldemort returns at the end of GoF, Vernon tries to evict Harry at the beginning of OotP. Not much time there for Dumbledore to worry about.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Melaszka
Then there's the prosaic point that the plot didn't demand a big confrontation with the Dursleys until this point. There are other places in the books where plot mechanics are the only plausible explanation.
No, I disagree with that. In GoF, when Hagrid is depressed about Rita Skeeter's expose of his family, Harry makes a remark about how horrible his family is and Dumbledore turns it into a joke about Aberforth.

"Really, Hagrid, if you are holding out for universal popularity, I'm afraid you will be in this cabin for a very long time," said Dumbledore, now peering sternly over his half-moon spectacles. "Not a week has passed since I became headmaster of this school when I haven't had at least one owl complaining about the way I run it. But what should I do? Barricade myself in my study and refuse to talk to anybody?"
"Yeh - yeh're not half-giant!" said Hagrid croakily.

"Hagrid, look what I've got for relatives!" Harry said furiously. "Look at the
Dursleys!"

"An excellent point," said Professor Dumbledore. "My own brother, Aberforth,
was prosecuted for practicing inappropriate charms on a goat. It was all over the papers, but did Aberforth hide? No, he did not! He held his head high and went about his business as usual! Of course, I'm not entirely sure he can read, so that may not have been bravery. . .."


Yes, he says "excellent point," but if Dumbledore really thought Harry's family was terrible, why didn't he follow up on that? Instead he turns it into a joke about his own family, which in my opinion means that Dumbledore didn't take Harry seriously. He thought he was just griping about his family the way all children do at times.

But when Snape saw all those memories of Dudley being allowed to bully Harry mercilessly, that's would seem to be the tipping point for Dumbledore and the Order.


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