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Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.3



View Poll Results: Did Snape take Lily's concerns about his Slytherin friends seriously?
Yes, he just covered it up because he had no choice. I blame the sorting. 19 6.91%
Partly. He seemed to have been convinced that he was right and Lily wasn't. 68 24.73%
No, his (re)actions show that he did not listen to her. He was too busy being jealous of James. 119 43.27%
He became a Death Eater to impress Lily, which shows that he misjudged her character severely. 36 13.09%
I disagree with all options and will explain my opinion in a post. 13 4.73%
I think this poll should have a pony option. 20 7.27%
Voters: 275. You may not vote on this poll

 
 
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  #1  
Old July 1st, 2008, 8:52 pm
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Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.3

Welcome to the third version of this thread!

For reference: the previous instalment.

Please remember to focus on how Snape's and Lily's relationship evolved and the impact that it had on both characters.

Study questions:

1. Why do you think Snape was so reluctant to approach Lily? Would he have been interested in her if she had not been magical?

2. Why did Lily accept Snape's friendship? Would she have been as friendly to him if he had not told her about the magical world?

3. What role did each of them play in the friendship? Do you think it was a friendship of equals?

4. How did Hogwarts effect the friendship? We see that up until fifth year they consider themselves to be "best friends", despite the house system. Do you think they both worked to maintain the friendship?

5. How did Gryffindor change Lily? How did Slytherin change Snape? Would each have changed in the same way if they had been sorted into another house? Would the friendship have changed as drastically if they were in the same house?

6. What was the death knoll for the friendship? Was it Snape's budding interest in the Dark Arts, the mudblood insult or something else?

7. Was there a different choice Snape could have made to save the friendship? Was there a different choice Lily could have made?

8. How would their lives have been different if they had managed to save their friendship? Do you think they might have had a romantic future? A lifelong friendship?

As you can see from the questions we want to focus this thread on the relationship as revealed by canon and how the characters were effected by it. Your personal reaction to the relationship is not on topic here, nor is a literary analysis of the relationship or a discussion of why JKR wrote things the way she did. Our hope is that re-focusing this on canon and on BOTH characters including Lily will allow a more pleasant discussion with fewer mod notes and thread closures.

Please read REVISED: Character Bashing/Worship: aka Shades of Gray , In-Thread Moderator Warnings , and How to have a pleasant conversation on any topic. before posting in this thread.


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  #2  
Old July 1st, 2008, 11:00 pm
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.3

Grr, stupid radio buttons! I agree with parts of a few of the options.

Yes, he just covered it up because he had no choice. I blame the sorting.

Perhaps "No choice" is a bit of an extreme way of putting it, since another choice did exist, but Severus would have been exercising far more trust in others than his upbringing and experiences would have realistically allowed.

Partly. He seemed to have been convinced that he was right and Lily wasn't.

I think he considered Lily's arguments unreasonable at times, and that allowed him his attempts to defend his own opinions. IMO, it would make him feel better to defend the views he was slowly adopting.

No, his (re)actions show that he did not listen to her. He was too busy being jealous of James.

James was definitely a factor. After Lily calls James "arrogant", Severus is a bit too happy to want to listen to the rest of what she had to say. I think that throughout that particular conversation, Lily's attraction to James was a major worry for Severus...perhaps far more than her dislike of Mulciber/Avery.


I think he did value her opinion, but their arguments about his Slytherin friends were not as big a deal to him as they were to Lily.
Lily was far more heated and on the offensive there, whereas Severus was more defensive. Even his accusations about the Marauders smacks of someone trying to defend his opinion. IMO, Lily was the one to approach him about Mulciber/Avery first in that scene.


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Last edited by ignisia; July 1st, 2008 at 11:03 pm.
  #3  
Old July 2nd, 2008, 7:50 am
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.3

I voted "I disagree with all options and will explain my opinion in a post"

My theory is Lily knew everything about Snape; (I think *made excuses for years* was just a figure of speech) and I also think she gave him no reason to think that she would go to the extent of breaking off their relationship. We argue with our friends; we have many points on which we differ and many points that we don;t like about them. But we don't break off our friendship for that IMO.

Snape was not a DE and so while he listened to Lily's strictures, I also think he never gave it much thought, because she knew what he was doing; even with Avery and Mulciber IMO.

So from his side, I think he was probably thinking of ways to convince Lily that joining Voldemort was not so bad IMO.

And I still think Lily broke off with him, because she fell in love with James, I feel that Snape knew that Lily was thinking of James differently; their arguments seem to concentrate as much on James as they did on Avery and Mulciber IMO.


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  #4  
Old July 2nd, 2008, 8:18 am
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.3

I think Lily and Severus reached a point where they were drawn, by circumstances mainly, in my opinion, in opposite directions. Severus was fascinated by the possibility of finally finding own ground, and society to fit into and be somebody. I don't think that he could see, from that position, the things as Lily saw them from her viewpoint – which was practically opposite. They couldn't reach a point of communication at all, as I saw it. I dare believe that if war hadn't broken out and made what happened happen, Severus would've grown out of it, and Lily would've understood why he was fascinated by it in the first place. But when something as serious as Voldemort was involved, it’s hard not to see things in absolutives.


  #5  
Old July 2nd, 2008, 9:39 am
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.3

Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Green_Woods View Post
My theory is Lily knew everything about Snape; (I think *made excuses for years* was just a figure of speech) and I also think she gave him no reason to think that she would go to the extent of breaking off their relationship. We argue with our friends; we have many points on which we differ and many points that we don;t like about them. But we don't break off our friendship for that IMO.
I think that "...made excuses for you for years" was a flat statement of what had been happening. That was the only canon we have about the problems in their relationship, and it seems to me that we were given that statement to show how long running and how deep the problems in their friendship were.
Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Green_Woods View Post
I also think she gave him no reason to think that she would go to the extent of breaking off their relationship. We argue with our friends; we have many points on which we differ and many points that we don;t like about them. But we don't break off our friendship for that IMO.
We really don't know what she did or didn't tell him in that regard because we weren't shown every conversation they had over a five-year period. But if he valued her friendship, he should have wanted to please her. And certainly by the time they did have the SWM blowup, he had to have realized what bothered her.
Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Green_Woods View Post
And I still think Lily broke off with him, because she fell in love with James, I feel that Snape knew that Lily was thinking of James differently; their arguments seem to concentrate as much on James as they did on Avery and Mulciber IMO.
IMO Lily broke it off with Snape because of the reasons she gave him, since that is the only canon we have, and it is rather definite. JKR also told us as much, and she never mentioned that Lily broke it off with Snape because Lily was in love in James. We saw two discussions/arguments over the same subject. Obviously it bothered her. Lily was angry with two boys that day: James and Snape. She told both of them what she expected of them. She didn't exactly flee Snape's arms for James's, since she was furious with both of them. However, James was clued in enough to reason what was needed to win Lily, and Snape wasn't (or he wasn't willing). I feel certain that had Snape heeded Lily's complaints, she would have resumed the friendship. Friends can have serious fights and make up. That doesn't mean that she would have started dating Snape, since she didn't view him as a love interest, but she would have resumed the friendship. James was still around and he finally matured enough for Lily to want to date him, but over a year passed before that was the case.

I feel that by claiming it was Lily's feelings for James that ended the friendship, it shifts the blame away from the serious mistakes that Snape did make. The tragedy of their friendship loses its resonance if Snape's mistakes are ignored. He made his own life a living hell due to his own mistakes and choices, that's what makes it a compelling storyline.


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Last edited by ComicBookWorm; July 2nd, 2008 at 10:39 am.
  #6  
Old July 2nd, 2008, 11:14 am
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.3

Quote:
Originally Posted by ComicBookWorm View Post
"I've made excuses for you for years" was a flat statement of what had been happening. That was the only canon we have about the problems in their relationship,
I would disagree that this is the only cannon we have about what was going wrong between Lily & Severus. TPT contains many scenes and as many of them focus on that particular relationship I feel we do other evidence about their relationship and the problems it faced.

Quote:
But if he valued her friendship, he should have wanted to please her.
I'm sorry but I have to say that I fell awkward about that statement to be honest. Surely one could make the same statement about Lily – had she valued their friendship she should have wanted to please him?

I guess that to some extent I agree that both statements contain truth but at the same time I also think that both are wrong. Yes when we value our friends we want them to be happy and we should consider their feelings. However at the same time we need to be true to ourselves and we should not rewrite ourselves simply to please another person. Imo it would have been wrong for either Lily or Severus to do so.

Quote:
Lily broke it off with Snape because of the reasons she gave him, since that is the only canon we have, and it is rather definite. JKR also told us as much, and she never mentioned that Lily broke it off with Snape because Lily was in love in James. We saw two discussions/arguments over the same subject. Obviously it bothered her. Lily was angry with two boys that day: James and Snape.
But she only flirted with one of them, which would seem to indicate that, for James at least, there was some hope. This to me makes a big difference in how she treated the two boys. While I want to be very clear that I am not making any comment on the behaviour of either Snape or James, nor am I condemning nor complementing Lily. I do think however that she did not treat both boys in the same manner. While it is true that she criticised and was angry with them both – she only flirted with one of them (and I believe JKR has confirmed that Lily’s behaviour was influenced by her attraction to James in that encounter). Thus I think that it is possible that both boys walked away with very different impressions of the state of play with Lily, although I’m sure the both knew she was angry with them.

Quote:
I feel certain that had Snape heeded Lily's complaints, she would have resumed the friendship. Friends can have serious fights and make up.
I thing you are right had Snape listened to Lily and acted on it the friendship probably would have been salvaged. I do however wonder if Severus understood that, his social skills as a child / teenager are not particularly good, so I do think he may have missed that point.

All in all when I read the first part of TPT I got the impression that Sev & Lily’s friendship worked much better when no one else is around! It seemed to me that they would be getting on ok until someone else turned up, or that things would be a bit rocky because someone else was abut but they picked up when that influence dissipated.

I also think it was made very clear tat they came from very different backgrounds. This imo really affects the way they act and perceive others reactions. I also have to say that when I read one line in James’s description I thought it was the foreshadowing of the death knell of any hope for Sev’s romantic aspirations.

Quote:
sight, black haired like Snape, but with that indefinable air of having been well cared for, even adored, that Snape so conspicuously lacked.
It just seemed to me that in that one line JKR draws out that Lily & James have something very important in common, that Lily & Sev don’t. it is these kinds of similarities that impact very strongly on the relationships we form and hold on to.

I thing in the most part Yoana’s post is closest to my way of viewing the situation and I like the way she has approached both characters with empathy and understanding and yet not judged either one. And I certainly would agree the outside circumstances had a massive impact and propelled the characters involved to look at the situation in terms of absolutes. It seems like an extension, in some ways, of the strained dynamic brought into their friendship from the start of a third party.


  #7  
Old July 2nd, 2008, 3:26 pm
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.3

Quote:
Originally Posted by ComicBookWorm : "I've made excuses for you for years" was a flat statement of what had been happening. That was the only canon we have about the problems in their relationship,
Quote:
Originally Posted by kittling View Post
I would disagree that this is the only cannon we have about what was going wrong between Lily & Severus. TPT contains many scenes and as many of them focus on that particular relationship I feel we do other evidence about their relationship and the problems it faced.
I agree with both of these statements. I feel that there was canon that enlightened us about the some of the problems Lily and Snape faced in their friendship and the manner they addressed them; and also that the 'I've made excuses for years' is the only canon we have that shows these problems had been occurring for quite some time.

Quote:
I'm sorry but I have to say that I fell awkward about that statement to be honest. Surely one could make the same statement about Lily – had she valued their friendship she should have wanted to please him?
I would have to agree. I don't feel that either Snape or Lily should have set out to please the other. Lily was friendly with her housemates (the Marauders) and Snape was friendly with his (Mulciber and Avery). However, the distinction I feel was that Lily was merely generally friendly with them in the sense that she was friendly with all of her housemates and her tight circle of friends seemed to consist of girlfriends (if we assume that she was with them after OWLS). Whereas Snape's tight circle of friends included Mulciber and Avery, so their influence on Snape (from Lily's view) would be great. I think canon showed that Lily was not influenced by the Marauders into becoming a prankster or sneaking out for midnight outings; yet Snape's behavior did match that of his friends in some negative respects that Lily did not like and in my judgment, she blamed them for Snape's negative behavior.

This is why I feel when Lily discussed Mulciber and Avery, then Snape brought up James and his friends, Lily asked what they had to do with it. Because, they were not influencing her as Snape's friends were influencing him (from her view) and the analogy he was trying to draw was not the same.

But look how Lily handled that conversation. Instead of saying 'they are not my close circle of friends', she attempted to show that merely being friendly with them did not influence others to use dark magic which differed from the influence his friends were having on him. I feel that Lily did not wish to come right out and say that she felt Snape was being led around by the nose because I think she thought he would have become angry and hurt at her expressing that idea (he had no mind of his own).

From Snape's point of view, I feel he believed that Lily merely being friendly with the Marauders was the same as his being friendly with his friends. He did not take into consideration that the Marauders were not her close circle of friends because he felt she had a crush on James and that made the connection between Lily and that group just as prominent. But in reality, it didn't because Lily even with her crush, was unwilling to give the Marauders any quarter for their pranking (hexing for fun) or breaking the rules (sneaking out, etc.). So Lily's point that being friendly with them did not influence her to behave in a negative manner was missed by Snape whose focus remained on a different aspect in my opinion.

I feel that by the end of the conversation in memory number 5, Snape's focus had turned from comparisons to Lily's feelings for James and the entire "influence" point Lily was making was totally shoved by the wayside for him. Lily may have realized this and that caused her to put that idea to rest (you don't have to tell me, I know he's an arrogant toerag). Then Lily continued to try to press her point about influences, but to no avail, because once Snape was satisfied that she still thought little of James, the text said he stopped listening to the point she was trying to make altogether (the bit about his walking on air and not listening).

Quote:
But she only flirted with one of them, which would seem to indicate that, for James at least, there was some hope. This to me makes a big difference in how she treated the two boys. While I want to be very clear that I am not making any comment on the behaviour of either Snape or James, nor am I condemning nor complementing Lily. I do think however that she did not treat both boys in the same manner. While it is true that she criticised and was angry with them both – she only flirted with one of them (and I believe JKR has confirmed that Lily’s behaviour was influenced by her attraction to James in that encounter). Thus I think that it is possible that both boys walked away with very different impressions of the state of play with Lily, although I’m sure the both knew she was angry with them.
I agree, however, Lily only had a romantic interest in one of them, so that would be the one she filrted with. However, that is not to say she didn't have an interest in being friends with Snape as well. So while I agree she treated them distinctly, I feel she was treating them according to the feelings she had for each. Each boy had the opportunity to react to her in a way that would forward their particular relationship with her (James as a friend and romantically and Snape as a friend).

Another distinction I feel was that James was not behaving in a manner in which Lily felt she had to end her friendship with him (which was just norml friendliness at that point, imo). James behavior was such that Lily did not want to pursue her romantic feelings for him, but they could remain friends. Whereas Snape was behaving in a manner that made Lily wish to end her friendship with him. The difference here, I feel, was the dark interests of Snape and the fact that James had no dark interests.

I am talking about flat out dark curses/Voldemort/blood prejudice versus hexes-jinxes/anti-Voldemort/anti blood prejudice. Regardless if one considers hexes to have dark connotations (which is where this point usually goes), the fact remains that Lily would not have ended her friendship with Snape merely for his using his Jelly leg Jinx or the headgrowing hex. I feel It was the dark curses and the predilection to follow Voldemort that the group Snape was hanging around advocated in addition to their blood prejudice views which bothered her. This distinction is the one she was attempting to point out to Snape because this is the distinction that an entire friendship would turn on, dark v. light (from Lily's point of view).

Quote:
All in all when I read the first part of TPT I got the impression that Sev & Lily’s friendship worked much better when no one else is around! It seemed to me that they would be getting on ok until someone else turned up, or that things would be a bit rocky because someone else was abut but they picked up when that influence dissipated.
I agree. I feel that Snape acted distinct around Lily, not calling people Mudblood, discussing the good points of Voldemort, or the coolness of a new dark curse with her as he knew she would not advocate these things. I believe that Lily hoped that this was how Snape really was and not the person he appeared to be when he was with Mulciber and Avery. However, due to the circumstances they were in at Hogwarts, Snape would have a lot of opportunity to be around his friends, imo. For example, while eating, during classes, simple hanging out time, during Quidditch games, and other house related functions, etc. Lily was with her friends doing the same, imo, so I feel she would see the distinctions in Snape's character and hear of them from others if she did not see them, imo.

Quote:
I also think it was made very clear tat they came from very different backgrounds. This imo really affects the way they act and perceive others reactions. I also have to say that when I read one line in James’s description I thought it was the foreshadowing of the death knell of any hope for Sev’s romantic aspirations.

It just seemed to me that in that one line JKR draws out that Lily & James have something very important in common, that Lily & Sev don’t. it is these kinds of similarities that impact very strongly on the relationships we form and hold on to.
That is an interesting point. I am not certain that it holds true in all cases, but I would agree that it would be easier for two people from similar backgrounds to be friendly with one another in the end. But too, JKR was writing in light of her literary soulmate idea and she elected James and Lily to be soulmates, so their basic ideologies, viewpoints and outlook (as evolved overtime) would be similar from that point of view within the scope of this particular story, imo. I am not sure if that is what you were referring to when you said "JKR draws out..." but if so, I agree that was what she was attempting to show.

A contrast here is shown with Harry and Ron. Harry got to look "well cared for" because his parents had left him tons of gold. So he was able to buy nice new robes and supplies, but he had not been 'well cared for' by the Dursleys. On the other hand, Ron had been well cared for by his parents, but would not particularly look as if he had due to his shabby robes, and dirt on his face, etc., but that was merely because his family was poor and his parents had a ton of kids to look after and missed the dirt. .

So while appearances can be deceiving, in the case of James and Lily, I feel that the point is well taken, not just due to their background, but because of what JKR had in store for them as a couple. Whereas the same would be true for Lily and Snape due to what JKR had planned with respect to their friendship.


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Old July 2nd, 2008, 5:12 pm
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.3

I take the phrase ‘with that indefinable air of having been well cared for, even adored,’ to be about something other that nice, good quality well kept clothes, to me that would be definable! To me it is about something else and its hard to explain with out just reiterating JKR’s line – which probably would not be very helpful of me

I believe, and there is both anecdotal & scientific grounding to the idea, that people are able to spot others with similar background; by this I am not simply referring to class, or financial status, or geographic links or religion – it also works for family experiences, such as divorced parents, bereavement from parents or siblings, neglectful childhoods, experiences of abuse, the sort of thing you just wouldn’t expect someone to be able to tell about you.

There is actually an experiment you can do that shows this in action, I‘ve been part of it and the results really surprised me. Simply get a room full of an even number of strangers (it mean otherwise cos someone will get left out ) and ask them to get into pairs without talking. Once everyone is in a pair they should see what they have in common. Then you repeat the exercise only this time you ask the pairs to join with another pair. Again once all the pairs have joined with another pair they should see what they have in common.

This is an experiment that is often run by lecturers in psychology, sociology & other allied disciplines with new classes, and repeatedly comes up with the same result. Al the pairs & then all the groups find they have a great deal in common and normally things something of the ‘surely someone can’t tell by looking at me’ variety.

This is what I meant; Lily & James both came from loving caring background, and I think this is also reflected in how they both seem to have an easy knack of making friends. Something Severus did not have (although your point about their basic ideologies, viewpoints and outlook also holds true and would be impacted by the things I am refering to!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by wickedwickedboy View Post
Lily was friendly with her housemates (the Marauders) and Snape was friendly with his (Mulciber and Avery).
Ok I agree with much of your post but I feel compelled to say that Lily & the marauders weren’t friends until the 6th year the earliest. I in no way disagree that Lily had lots of friends in her house and I’m sure that she was at least civil to James & Sirius most of the time but I don’t think canon supports much more than that. It is possible that she got on with Remus – but this is the wrong thread for that
Obviously by sometime in the 7th year they were friends – she wouldn’t be going out with James otherwise.


Quote:
I agree, however, Lily only had a romantic interest in one of them, so that would be the one she filrted with. However, that is not to say she didn't have an interest in being friends with Snape as well.
I agree – I just think that anger + flirting is more encouraging that plain anger; also I’m really not sure Snape would see that there was hope of saving the friendship once apologising failed. I very much doubt he’s seen examples of friendships/ any relationships where able to contain such upheaval and survive (which I think is sad )

[quote] Another distinction I feel was that James was not behaving in a manner in which Lily felt she had to end her friendship with him (which was just normal friendliness at that point, imo). [quote]

Ok other than my previous comment about Lily & James not being friends at this point, I would also say that imo she found his behaviour in that scene despicable and she was very clear about it, she didn’t end the friendship (because there wasn’t one to end imo) but James changed & Snape didn’t.

Quote:
the fact remains that Lily would not have ended her friendship with Snape merely for his using his Jelly leg Jinx or the headgrowing hex. I feel It was the dark curses and the predilection to follow Voldemort that the group Snape was hanging around advocated in addition to their blood prejudice views which bothered her.
Well I think that his ‘predilection to follow Voldemort that the group Snape was hanging around advocated in addition to their blood prejudice views’ as you put it, was the problem. From my readings of the book I don’t remember Lily commenting on his use of curses (& I am sticking to your definition at this point – promise ) as TGW has said before (at least I think it was her ) I am sure that if Lily had been aware of Snape using them surely she would have mentioned that as opposed to just mentioning what Mulciber & Avery were doing? I would have expected something along the lines of ‘Look at the influence their having on you! your using dark magic too Sev’ or at lest some mention of it but I can nothing of any mention by Lily of him using dark magic.


  #9  
Old July 2nd, 2008, 5:31 pm
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.3

i think he did take her seriously, but thought she was saying those things for a different reason. he might have thought she was just being over-protective or that she just didn't want him to have any fun. whatever it was he was stupid to not listen.

on a different subject, it kinda bugs me, (well, really i'm annoyed because i should have felt the same throughout the whole series, not go different directions) that after you go hating snape, then liking him in the end of PS/SS, then hating him, then about to kill him in HBP, you do a complete 180 and feel so bad for him in DH. i mean i was convinced (stupidly) that he was evil, then i felt awful in the end of DH when i learned that all he ever wanted was lily's love. and i know this sounds awful but i kinda wish she had gone with him. yea i know he decided to become a death eater, but he never forgot about her did he? he even turned against voldy to protect her. that shows he cared so deeply about her that he would risk his life protecting her, and her son. because of those acts he seems like he could actually be capable of loving very deeply. just some thought. i now love severus, even though he was really mean to harry, but then again i've always been on the "other side" in the books


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Last edited by Mrs_D_Malfoy; July 2nd, 2008 at 11:17 pm.
  #10  
Old July 2nd, 2008, 5:40 pm
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.3

Can we please focus on Snape - Lily, and leave James out of the thread? Thanks!


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Old July 2nd, 2008, 6:03 pm
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.3

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Originally Posted by kittling View Post
I take the phrase ‘with that indefinable air of having been well cared for, even adored,’ to be about something other that nice, good quality well kept clothes, to me that would be definable! To me it is about something else and its hard to explain with out just reiterating JKR’s line – which probably would not be very helpful of me

I believe, and there is both anecdotal & scientific grounding to the idea, that people are able to spot others with similar background; by this I am not simply referring to class, or financial status, or geographic links or religion – it also works for family experiences, such as divorced parents, bereavement from parents or siblings, neglectful childhoods, experiences of abuse, the sort of thing you just wouldn’t expect someone to be able to tell about you.

There is actually an experiment you can do that shows this in action, I‘ve been part of it and the results really surprised me. Simply get a room full of an even number of strangers (it mean otherwise cos someone will get left out ) and ask them to get into pairs without talking. Once everyone is in a pair they should see what they have in common. Then you repeat the exercise only this time you ask the pairs to join with another pair. Again once all the pairs have joined with another pair they should see what they have in common.

This is an experiment that is often run by lecturers in psychology, sociology & other allied disciplines with new classes, and repeatedly comes up with the same result. Al the pairs & then all the groups find they have a great deal in common and normally things something of the ‘surely someone can’t tell by looking at me’ variety.

This is what I meant; Lily & James both came from loving caring background, and I think this is also reflected in how they both seem to have an easy knack of making friends. Something Severus did not have (although your point about their basic ideologies, viewpoints and outlook also holds true and would be impacted by the things I am refering to!)
I agree with this, there is one point I would question, but I will owl you about it since it includes James.

Quote:
Ok I agree with much of your post but I feel compelled to say that Lily & the marauders weren’t friends until the 6th year the earliest. I in no way disagree that Lily had lots of friends in her house and I’m sure that she was at least civil to James & Sirius most of the time but I don’t think canon supports much more than that. It is possible that she got on with Remus – but this is the wrong thread for that Obviously by sometime in the 7th year they were friends – she wouldn’t be going out with James otherwise.
I'll include my response to this in the owl as well.

Quote:
I agree – I just think that anger + flirting is more encouraging that plain anger; also I’m really not sure Snape would see that there was hope of saving the friendship once apologising failed. I very much doubt he’s seen examples of friendships/ any relationships where able to contain such upheaval and survive (which I think is sad )
But that was the point I was trying to make. I believe there was no hope of salvaging the friendship at that point because there was only anger as you pointed out. I agree with you that there would have been anger + some kind of friendly gesture if Lily had been thinking of Snape in terms of continuing their friendship. I believe there was not because the issues Lily had with Snape were so fundamentally important to Lily, the entire friendship turned on those issues. In my judgment, that was not the case with her anger + flirting response. (I'll go into this more in my owl. ).

Quote:
Ok other than my previous comment about Lily & James not being friends at this point, I would also say that imo she found his behaviour in that scene despicable and she was very clear about it, she didn’t end the friendship (because there wasn’t one to end imo) but James changed & Snape didn’t.
My response will have to go in the owl here too. .

Quote:
Well I think that his ‘predilection to follow Voldemort that the group Snape was hanging around advocated in addition to their blood prejudice views’ as you put it, was the problem. From my readings of the book I don’t remember Lily commenting on his use of curses (& I am sticking to your definition at this point – promise ) as TGW has said before (at least I think it was her ) I am sure that if Lily had been aware of Snape using them surely she would have mentioned that as opposed to just mentioning what Mulciber & Avery were doing? I would have expected something along the lines of ‘Look at the influence their having on you! your using dark magic too Sev’ or at lest some mention of it but I can nothing of any mention by Lily of him using dark magic.
I respect your view, but Lily didn't bring up anything directly that Snape had done, imo. I feel she spoke only in terms of Snape's friends having a bad influence on him. The only reason I feel that she openly spoke about his calling other people Mudblood was because he had done it to her and she was pointing out that she saw herself the same as others, not distinctive in the way Snape appeared to be looking at it. Lily also said, 'you've chosen your path and I've chosen mine'. I feel that is in essence indicating that his view on things is totally different than hers and she was basing that on the things she knew he was doing and saying when he was not around her. I believe that in their previous conversations she had stuck to speaking in terms of the influence of his friends because she was trying to convince herself that he behaved and spoke as he did when he was not around her do to their influence. That is why I feel she said "I can't pretend any more", meaning it was not just the influence of Snape's friends that was making him do and say things, but now she understood that he was behaving and speaking as he did when he was not with her because that was also a part of his true persona (his beliefs, viewpoint and outlook.) That is why I feel she concluded with accusing him of planning to join Voldemort like all of his friends, not under their influence, but of his own accord (although I feel she realized they would all influence one another to some degree).


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Old July 2nd, 2008, 7:34 pm
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.3

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Originally Posted by kittling View Post
TPT contains many scenes and as many of them focus on that particular relationship I feel we do other evidence about their relationship and the problems it faced.
Well, there are certainly several other scenes that hint at problems. In fact all of their interactions, even from the first, seemed strained. But those two scenes expressed it directly.
Quote:
Originally Posted by kittling View Post
I'm sorry but I have to say that I fell awkward about that statement to be honest. Surely one could make the same statement about Lily – had she valued their friendship she should have wanted to please him?
But she wasn't the one drifting down a dark road. For Lily to please Snape she would have had to approve of the Dark Arts, his bigoted outlook, DE friends, and aspirations to join Voldemort, all of which ran counter to her core values. I had a boyfriend (that I was in love with) who became more and more involved with drugs and the drug culture. I had a choice to follow him down the drain or move on when I couldn't keep him from going down his dark path. I had been trying for several years to keep him from his self-destructive trajectory, but as it started to pull me in after him, I had to save myself.

At some point, there is no pleasing or stopping someone bent on a destructive course. That's what Lily faced.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kittling View Post
I do think however that she did not treat both boys in the same manner. While it is true that she criticised and was angry with them both – she only flirted with one of them (and I believe JKR has confirmed that Lily’s behaviour was influenced by her attraction to James in that encounter). Thus I think that it is possible that both boys walked away with very different impressions of the state of play with Lily, although I’m sure the both knew she was angry with them.
She definitely wasn't going to be flirting with Snape since she never viewed him as a love interest. But she didn't date James for over a year after SWM, so she hardly gave him much encouragement. She told him she'd rather date the giant squid.


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  #13  
Old July 2nd, 2008, 9:03 pm
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.3

I voted that Snape's (re)actions show that he did not listen to her. He was too busy being jealous of James. There's just no way that he could have thought she liked it, unless he mysteriously went deaf whenever she talked to him. How could he still think she liked the people he was hanging out with when she told him flat-out she didn't? IMO it was entirely Snape's fault for bringing around the end of their friendship. It was Lily's fault for actually ending it, but she had no choice. Snape made her end it.


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Old July 3rd, 2008, 12:07 am
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.3

Overall I think Snape didn't heed Lily's concerns about his friends and about his involvement with the Dark Arts. In light of the fact that Snape desired to become a Death Eater to impress Lily, I tend to believe this was because Snape was in denial and managed to convince himself subconsciously that Lily would be ok with him becoming a Death Eater. I'm not sure he misjudged Lily's character so much as made himself believe that she wouldn't cut ties with him for continuing to pursue the Dark Arts.


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Old July 3rd, 2008, 3:08 am
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.3

I agree with all of these partially...

Yes, he just covered it up because he had no choice. I blame the sorting.
I think that he covered it up because he didn't want to not have any friends besides Lily. He was already lonely, and I think being a part of a group made him feel better about himself.
Partly. He seemed to have been convinced that he was right and Lily wasn't.
Okay....well...I don't agree with that one.....
No, his (re)actions show that he did not listen to her. He was too busy being jealous of James.
I think he was concerned about James, and that was one of his main reasons, but I still think that he took her concerns somewhat seriously...I mean...it was obvious he cared about her opinion just a little bit.....
He became a Death Eater to impress Lily, which shows that he misjudged her character severely.
I don't think he became a Death Eater to impress Lily. I think that he wanted to show her that he was important in some way, and that being a part of that group would impress her, which shows that he did misjudge her character, but I think he was just really worried about trying to impress and didn't realize until after he joined that she wouldn't approve of it, and by then I don't think he could really get out of it.


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Old July 3rd, 2008, 3:11 am
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.3

I couldn't really decide which to pick. I think that "No, his (re)actions show that he did not listen to her. He was too busy being jealous of James" and "He became a Death Eater to impress Lily, which shows that he misjudged her character severely" are both accurate. I ended up choosing the latter, though. Often boys tend to try to impress someone they have romantic feelings for (from what I've observed, anyway). It is normal in that sense, but it is strange that someone would think that way if this person was his "best friend." How well could he have understood her if he thought that being a Death Eater would impress her?


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Old July 3rd, 2008, 10:27 am
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.3

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Originally Posted by Beatifically View Post
I couldn't really decide which to pick. I think that "No, his (re)actions show that he did not listen to her. He was too busy being jealous of James" and "He became a Death Eater to impress Lily, which shows that he misjudged her character severely" are both accurate. I ended up choosing the latter, though. Often boys tend to try to impress someone they have romantic feelings for (from what I've observed, anyway). It is normal in that sense, but it is strange that someone would think that way if this person was his "best friend." How well could he have understood her if he thought that being a Death Eater would impress her?
I'm rather cautious with this, because the books say nothing about his motivation for becoming a Death Eater. Gaining standing and respect; and a society where he can feel important and needed does sound like a believable motive to me, given the description of his childhood and home, and the scene where he gets bullied in OotP. So if he really thought that Lily would be impressed, perhaps this was what he thought would impress her - or advance his chances - him finally being somebody. I think he needed that primarily for himself, so he could feel worthy of her and of her attention. Someone prominent and impressive, not the greasy oddball who gets humiliated in front of the whole school by the popular kids.

From this point of view, which I personally find believable, realistic, and consistent with young Snape as he is described in DH and OotP, it makes sense that he would have hoped joining the group of the day would make improve his chances with Lily.


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Old July 3rd, 2008, 3:34 pm
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.3

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Originally Posted by Yoana View Post
I'm rather cautious with this, because the books say nothing about his motivation for becoming a Death Eater. Gaining standing and respect; and a society where he can feel important and needed does sound like a believable motive to me, given the description of his childhood and home, and the scene where he gets bullied in OotP. So if he really thought that Lily would be impressed, perhaps this was what he thought would impress her - or advance his chances - him finally being somebody. I think he needed that primarily for himself, so he could feel worthy of her and of her attention. Someone prominent and impressive, not the greasy oddball who gets humiliated in front of the whole school by the popular kids.

From this point of view, which I personally find believable, realistic, and consistent with young Snape as he is described in DH and OotP, it makes sense that he would have hoped joining the group of the day would make improve his chances with Lily.
JKR said that as well, so I would agree that Snape was thinking of becoming someone powerful and impressive. However, I don't feel that alone addresses how or why Snape felt becoming a Death Eater would be worthy of Lily's attention when she was not an advocate of Voldemort, Death Eaters, Dark Magic or blood prejudice based on the canon (DH/TPT). In line with this thought is that Lily may have been dating in 4th and 5th year; wouldn't Snape have seen the type of guys that Lily was dating as a sign of the type of people she might find impressive? Based on canon, she would not have dated any of those showing propensities for the dark arts (i.e., she said she detested Mulciber). It would seem that could have been another clue for Snape as to the type of guys Lily liked. I even find it difficult to understand in light of JKR's statement that Snape didn't understand Lily's aversion for his friends serving as a reason in this regard.

In an analogy, Fred and George were aware that Hermione didn't like their hexing and jinxing, pills and powders used for fun on the students; and they may not have understood why Hermione could not see the funny side of it and enjoy it as they did. However, it would be difficult to imagine either one would feel that if they went on to prank the wizard world at large outside of the scope of Hogwarts that she would be impressed with them - even if they became famous for publicly pranking the Minister of Magic.


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  #19  
Old July 3rd, 2008, 8:44 pm
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.3

BY THE WAY THIS IS ALL IMO WHETHER STATED OR NOT

2. Why did Lily accept Snape's friendship? Would she have been as friendly to him if he had not told her about the magical world?Lily was open to new people and was acceptive of everyone. It's how she was raised and it's how she intended to raise Harry IMO. She saw Snape as a potential friend, and as most kids would do she tried to get to know him and have a good relationship with him IMO. The fact that Snape told her about the magical world was an added bonus to her. For him it was a way of ensuring a friendship (IMO) but I think she would've tried to be friends with him even if he had neglected to tell her about the wizarding world.


4. How did Hogwarts effect the friendship? We see that up until fifth year they consider themselves to be "best friends", despite the house system. Do you think they both worked to maintain the friendship?
IMO, Hogwarts drove them apart. Lily embraced who she was and expressed her opinions freely. Snape tried to make friends with his Slytherin house, and in doing so became superficial. This difference made it hard to remain friends. Lily in essence provided an ultimatum. Either Snape change his ways or there was no friendship. Snape was the one trying to hold the relationship together. But because of his failure to abandon his cruel, prejudice ways (and his friends influencing him to do so), the relationship was, in the end, a failure.


5. How did Gryffindor change Lily? How did Slytherin change Snape? Would each have changed in the same way if they had been sorted into another house? Would the friendship have changed as drastically if they were in the same house?
Gryffindor influenced Lily to become a person of character. Snape wanted friends. In Slytherin, the population was prejudiced and cruel, so he was too in order to fit in. I think Lily would've been close to the person she was in Gryffindor if she was in Hufflepuff or Ravenclaw, but not Slytherin. Snape would've conformed no matter what house he was in, but, depending on what the people in that house were like, he would've been a better/worse person than he was in Slytherin. Being in the same house wouldn't have made a difference.


6. What was the death knoll for the friendship? Was it Snape's budding interest in the Dark Arts, the mudblood insult or something else?
The "death knoll" was really a long chain of events. As their personalities changed, they grew farther apart. Lily realized that Snape was turning into a bad person. She tried to change him, but after the mudblood comment she knew it was too late.

7. Was there a different choice Snape could have made to save the friendship? Was there a different choice Lily could have made?
I think in the end things happened the way the needed to happen. After the split in the relationship Snape tried to win Lily back, and that continued on with Harry and Snape's loyalties with Dumbledore. All in all things played out so that the story could continue on and thats what mattered in the end.


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Old July 3rd, 2008, 9:42 pm
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.3

1. Why do you think Snape was so reluctant to approach Lily? Would he have been interested in her if she had not been magical?

I think he was reluctant to approach Lily because though they lived in the same area, were brought up differently. Lily came from a loving family with a sister and two parents that cared for her. Snape came from a family where his parents constantly fought.

As for him being interested in her - I think her being magical had a lot to do with it. IMO, she was a pretty girl who showed magical abilities, and it wasn't until after Snape knew she had them was it shown that he liked her.

2. Why did Lily accept Snape's friendship? Would she have been as friendly to him if he had not told her about the magical world?

Lily, IMO, would have been friends with Snape even if she hadn't told her about the magical world. I was always under the impression that she didn't know until she had gotten her letter, but The Prince's Tale said otherwise. She just knew a little sooner in TPT.

Lily, IMO, seems like a caring, friendly person. Unlike her sister, Lily wasn't turned off by how Snape first looked. She got to know him before she judged him. She was his friend, IMO, because she saw a nice guy, pre Hogwarts of course.

4. How did Hogwarts effect the friendship? We see that up until fifth year they consider themselves to be "best friends", despite the house system. Do you think they both worked to maintain the friendship?

Hogwarts did take its toll on their friendship, IMO. Both were in houses that had a long standing rivarly. Up to a point I think both worked on the friendship until Snape was really getting into the Dark Arts, and was really friendly with Avery and co. and Lily was friendly with James and co. Both started drifting apart.

5. How did Gryffindor change Lily? How did Slytherin change Snape? Would each have changed in the same way if they had been sorted into another house? Would the friendship have changed as drastically if they were in the same house?

I don't think Gryffidor changed Lily. She lived with people who thought along the same lines as she did, for the most part. She thought that going around calling people rude names and hexing people was wrong. Snape was greatly influenced by those he lived with. Snape was friends with future DE's, and didn't deny he wanted to be one. Both were on different sides when it came to LV. Had Snape been placed in a different house, their friendship might have lasted. Snape wouldn't have been hanging around people like Avery and Mulciber, he would have been around people that thought differently. IMO, had both been sorted into the same house, they would have stayed friends.

6. What was the death knoll for the friendship? Was it Snape's budding interest in the Dark Arts, the mudblood insult or something else?

IMO, it was the mudblood insult, him wanting to be a DE, his interest in the Dark Arts, and the people he was hanging out with.

8. How would their lives have been different if they had managed to save their friendship? Do you think they might have had a romantic future? A lifelong friendship?

If their friendship had been saved, LV would not have gotten wind of the prophecy
from Snape that lead the way to Lily's death. Snape wouldn't have felt guilty for her death, and had she lived, wouldn't have been so cruel to Harry.

Them having a romantic future is not something I see/saw possible. They were too very different people.

As for a lifelong friendship, it might have happened if James and Snape didn't hate each other with a passion.


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