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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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  #1441  
Old January 26th, 2010, 6:07 pm
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.3

Lovely Arithmancer! Maybe Snape struggled on the verge of speech because he did not know how to tell Lily he loved her? I think it's very much possible.


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  #1442  
Old January 26th, 2010, 7:26 pm
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.3

I think he struggled on the edge of speech because Lily had hit the nail square on the head and he could not bring himself to lie to her face. Perhaps he did realize that he loved her then. If so, that realization did not make him do anything positive to show her she was wrong. Not then and not later while they were both at Hogwarts.


  #1443  
Old January 26th, 2010, 7:27 pm
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.3

Quote:
Originally Posted by eliza101 View Post
OK, my last word on this, honest. I get what Dante was trying to convey, but... I don't care. He did not know the woman except in passing. He knew what was on the outside and he theorised about her inner beauty. Now I am not saying that Snape stalked Lily, I am not saying that Dante stalked Beatrice, I am saying that Dante's obsession makes my skin crawl. I find it creepy, not romantic. But that's me, my personal little phobia, and until the moment the author confirms that she used Dante and Beatrice as an inspiration for the Snape and Lily storyline, I don't even like to think about it. I may not think about it if she does confirm she used the storyline....ugh.
Well, I think what we have here is an example of what happens.....

"When World(view)s Collide"

Quote:
Originally Posted by silver ink pot
I think that's why it's important that JKR took the inspiration of the Dante/Beatrice story to another level by showing that Severus and Lily did have things in common as children, and that is why their friendship grew. There's truth and reality in that. Lily was described as a pretty child, while Snape probably wasn't (although he is described as "impressive" when Harry sees him in the forest talking to Lily).
....

It was love at first sight on Snape's part, but in the pure and innocent way of children. I refuse to see that kid as a stalker - he's just a little kid who wants a friend.

So it's that same pure love that is seen again embodied by the Silver Doe. There's "nothing dark" about that according to Harry, and I can't see it as a symbol of shallow love based just on appearances.
Yes. I definitely have the sense that the Silver Doe is a reflection of that childhood innocence, that pure love. His soul is returning to its innocence, as reflected in the Patronus - and as inspired by his increasingly purified love for Lily.

I do believe that it was selfish "love" when he first approached Dumbledore, but that it was purified through his many years of self-denial. Hogwarts is a harsh penance for someone like Severus Snape.

Quote:
Originally Posted by UselessCharmMaster
Awww!!! Stupid! *banging head against the nearest wall* Forgive me, ccolinsmith! Anyway, I've found this idea absolutely great.
Why thank you! But no need to go all House Elf on me over an honest mistake! (I'm feeling like Harry, trying to restrain Dobby!).

Quote:
Originally Posted by UselessCharmMaster
I don't know if it was JKR's direct inspiration, but Dante's story is one of the roots of European culture, so we can suppose it can be, at least in an unconscious level.
Given the similar symbolism (especially with the eyes), I think it's likely that it's a direct inspiration. But whether it's direct or unconscious, the same hagiographic mechanism is certainly present. And then, of course, there's Lily's name. The lily is the symbol of purity and virtue.

Anyway, I think the important point here for analyzing Severus/Lily is that the love that inspires Severus isn't sick, obsessive, stalker love but is ultimately a purified love that has been returned to its innocence. I would call it a spiritual, transformative love - one that leads... gradually... from immersion in vice to devotion to virtue. In the final year of his life, he is doing the right thing for its own sake, and we see no more evidence in the text of the petty anger, impatience, or envy that kept rising to the surface periodically in earlier years.


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Last edited by ccollinsmith; January 26th, 2010 at 8:10 pm. Reason: Correct quote attribution
  #1444  
Old January 26th, 2010, 10:13 pm
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.3

Quote:
Originally Posted by UCM
but Dante's story is one of the roots of European culture
Not to mention religion and literature. (The latter makes the topic one of my particular favorites. )

Hwyla's made a lot of posts before about Snape and courtly love, a similar love knights expressed from afar, making their conquests in the name of a noble woman they only were able to meet a couple times. I see a lot of echoes of this as well in Snape's story, esp. when the sword of Gryffindor shows up. Someone needs to drag hwyla over here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CC
Anyway, I think the important point here for analyzing Severus/Lily is that the love that inspires Severus isn't sick, obsessive, stalker love but is ultimately a purified love that has been returned to its innocence.
I agree, and would add that it's an important part of one of the series' most important themes. With the exception of Voldemort (who, by the way, is the only one who seems to see Snape's love in a negative light) most of the characters are capable of real, strong love. It's up to Harry to discover that on his journey and understand the WW's shared humanity and how the love they are capable of sets them so far apart from Voldemort, who cares only for himself.


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  #1445  
Old January 26th, 2010, 10:25 pm
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.3

Quote:
Originally Posted by ccollinsmith View Post
Well, I think what we have here is an example of what happens.....

"When World(view)s Collide"
And I for one will never mention the subject again. Skin on back of neck crawls.


  #1446  
Old January 26th, 2010, 11:12 pm
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.3

Quote:
Originally Posted by ccollinsmith View Post
Anyway, I think the important point here for analyzing Severus/Lily is that the love that inspires Severus isn't sick, obsessive, stalker love but is ultimately a purified love that has been returned to its innocence.
I would disagree. I found Snape's emotion for Lily to be very selfish, stalkerish and wholly obsessive. I think JKR made this abundantly clear when he went to #12G and his subsequent behavior there and his female deer patronus (representing his emotions for Lily) issued before Dumbledore (neither of which was traditionally manly in nature - which I feel was purposely done to reveal a weakness in character on Snape's part, and the stalkerish tendencies, imo); and in his series-long focus on jealousy of the man Lily loved and married - in using any and every opportunity to belittle and degrade her choice of mate (thereby degrading her with every word) - and finally, in his hatred and mistreatment of her son throughout the series (both of those probative of obsession, imo). I think these things combined to set forth the very unhealthy nature of Snape's emotions and in my view, explains why they were very far from the purity and innocent love that we were shown between married couples (like Lily and James, Molly & Arthur and Narcissa & Lucius) or even that of siblings/friends (Harry and Ron/Hermione) - because none of these relationships exhibit hurtful and negative behavior, imo.

To clarify, it is a distinction between Snape's emotions making him want to mistreat her son, belittle her husband - giving into these aspects associated with obsession, imo - and on the other hand, one's emotions making you want to share everything, show love together and want to sacrifice your life for her (ex. her husband, James) - or show love and kindness toward those she cherishes and care for him as she would in her shoes (Sirius with Harry). Love should not aim to injure, imo, because when it does, like in the case of Snape, I feel you will always find obsession, jealousy, or other such negative attributes associated with it, jmo.


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Last edited by wickedwickedboy; January 26th, 2010 at 11:19 pm.
  #1447  
Old January 26th, 2010, 11:59 pm
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.3

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Originally Posted by wickedwickedboy View Post
I would disagree. I found Snape's emotion for Lily to be very selfish, stalkerish and wholly obsessive. I think JKR made this abundantly clear when he went to #12G and his subsequent behavior there and his female deer patronus (representing his emotions for Lily) issued before Dumbledore (neither of which was traditionally manly in nature - which I feel was purposely done to reveal a weakness in character on Snape's part, and the stalkerish tendencies, imo);
I always thought the doe patronus revealed the softer side of Snape. I don't agree with 'the author was emasculating Snape' theories, thank you very much.

Quote:
I think these things combined to set forth the very unhealthy nature of Snape's emotions and in my view, explains why they were very far from the purity and innocent love that we were shown between married couples (like Lily and James, Molly & Arthur and Narcissa & Lucius) or even that of siblings/friends (Harry and Ron/Hermione) - because none of these relationships exhibit hurtful and negative behavior, imo.
In my opinion, we don't see nearly enough of James/Lily in order to make any substantive comment on their relationship beyond the very obvious one that they loved each other. That's about it. Molly/Arthur: well, Molly mostly drives me crackers so I'll say no more. Lucius/Narcissa: interesting, believable, strong relationship and despite their dubious worldview there is no doubt that they love each other deeply, but that's the first time I've ever seen words like 'purity' and 'innocent' applied to this couple. A strong and deep love, yes: pure and innocent, I hardly think so!!!!

In the light of all this, I find it impossible to judge, or deride, Snape's love for Lily.

Especially as Harry didn't seem to be shocked or disgusted by the revelation that Snape had loved his mother.


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Last edited by Pearl_Took; January 27th, 2010 at 12:03 am.
  #1448  
Old January 27th, 2010, 12:08 am
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.3

Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Green_Woods View Post
I think it's very much possible to love someone and not seek them out, because they don't want you. Snape did not seek Lily in his 6th and 7th years and I don't think he would do that later. I really think had he lived after the war he would have moved on; but he died. In the Afterlife, I think he would apologise to Lily because he did not do that on earth; for handing over the Prophecy; but I don't think he would try and regain her friendship. He did not do that in the two years he was in School, I don't see him doing it in the Afterlife. JMHO.
I don't think we can say for certain that Severus never approached Lily again just because it isn't shown. We weren't shown all their conversations over the years, just some crucial ones. I don't see someone as determined as Severus Snape giving up that easily.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Green_Woods View Post
Personally, I prefer those who feel guilt for their actions than those who don't. I like that Sirius felt guilty for persuading James and Lily to choose Peter. That's why he says, I as good as killed them. Did he? No, of course not. He would have on the other hand died for them, but he made a mistake and his guilt was for that. He feels tons of guilt for that. Dumbledore feels guilty and cries a 100 years later for Ariana. Likewise Snape wronged. His guilt was for that. I am glad he felt that guilt, because it showed that he had a conscience. If he did not, he would be no different from Voldemort and Bellatrix IMO.
One of the hardest things for me to get past in relation to Snape is in relation to his guilt. I think it began in a selfish way. Snape joined the Death Eaters -a group of racist murderers, and felt no remorse. Snape passed on the prophecy, knowing it would condemn a baby and his family to their deaths, and felt no remorse. He only felt guilt when someone he loved was in peril. I know he eventually came to protect people he disliked. I know he eventually regretted he couldn't save people like Charity Burbage. However, this cold indifference before Lily was threatened is the hardest thing for me to get past.


Quote:
Originally Posted by eliza101 View Post

I hope that Lily would forgive him because harboring a grudge only poisons yourself. Lily did give him her friendship once and at that time he did not treasure it enough to change his ways. Once something like that is broken, IMO it can never be fixed.

I think that Snape would settle for forgiveness. It is a very rich gift and I think Lily would be generous in that regard.
That's how I see it - I can imagine Lily forgiving Severus, without actually renewing their friendship.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pearl_Took View Post
It seems to be incredibly painful for Severus to see Lily with James even 16 years after their deaths, which seems to me why he tears the photo of them with Harry in half (or so I interpreted it.) He could have kept the whole photo of the whole family: that he didn't, wanting the comfort of Lily's image only, is symbolic.
One could say why would he want a photo of Harry and James. Or, it could also mean he still hasn't fully accepted losing Lily. I don't think Lily would appreciate a family photo being torn up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by arithmancer View Post
It is an interesting question, at which point he became aware of his own feelings for Lily. The passage below is one which has made me wonder in the past, whether Sev considered articulating, or was trying to articulate, to Lily that he loved her. Perhaps, though, it was the way she posed the question that made him see his feelings in a new light.

DH“No --- listen, I didn’t mean ---“

“---to call me Mudblood? But you call everyone of my birth Mudblood, Severus. Why should I be any different?”

He struggled on the verge of speech, but with a contemptuous look she turned and climbed back through the portrait hole…
Quote:
Originally Posted by eliza101 View Post
I think he struggled on the edge of speech because Lily had hit the nail square on the head and he could not bring himself to lie to her face. Perhaps he did realize that he loved her then. If so, that realization did not make him do anything positive to show her she was wrong. Not then and not later while they were both at Hogwarts.
Maybe he knew that saying something where the gist was "It doesn't matter that you're a Mudblood because I love you" wouldn't have gone down too well with Lily. Lily needed friends (and a partner) who didn't see blood purity as an issue.


Quote:
Originally Posted by wickedwickedboy View Post
I would disagree. I found Snape's emotion for Lily to be very selfish, stalkerish and wholly obsessive. I think JKR made this abundantly clear when he went to #12G and his subsequent behavior there and his female deer patronus (representing his emotions for Lily) issued before Dumbledore (neither of which was traditionally manly in nature - which I feel was purposely done to reveal a weakness in character on Snape's part, and the stalkerish tendencies, imo); and in his series-long focus on jealousy of the man Lily loved and married - in using any and every opportunity to belittle and degrade her choice of mate (thereby degrading her with every word) - and finally, in his hatred and mistreatment of her son throughout the series (both of those probative of obsession, imo). I think these things combined to set forth the very unhealthy nature of Snape's emotions and in my view, explains why they were very far from the purity and innocent love that we were shown between married couples (like Lily and James, Molly & Arthur and Narcissa & Lucius) or even that of siblings/friends (Harry and Ron/Hermione) - because none of these relationships exhibit hurtful and negative behavior, imo.

To clarify, it is a distinction between Snape's emotions making him want to mistreat her son, belittle her husband - giving into these aspects associated with obsession, imo - and on the other hand, one's emotions making you want to share everything, show love together and want to sacrifice your life for her (ex. her husband, James) - or show love and kindness toward those she cherishes and care for him as she would in her shoes (Sirius with Harry). Love should not aim to injure, imo, because when it does, like in the case of Snape, I feel you will always find obsession, jealousy, or other such negative attributes associated with it, jmo.
It's interesting that Lily's patronus complements James', in the way they are male and female partners, yet Snape's is the same as Lily's, rather than complementing it with his own male version. Perhaps indicative of the one-sided love?

I think there's a parallel in Snape's behaviour. Snape didn't see that his belief in blood prejudice was contradictory to his friendship with/love for Lily. Nor did he see that his ill-treatment of Lily's child was contradictory to his love for her. And yes, I know he saved Harry's life multiple times, but he didn't see that his love for Lily extended to treating her son decently beyond that?


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  #1449  
Old January 27th, 2010, 12:10 am
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.3

Quote:
Originally Posted by wickedwickedboy View Post
I would disagree. I found Snape's emotion for Lily to be very selfish, stalkerish and wholly obsessive. I think JKR made this abundantly clear when he went to #12G and his subsequent behavior there and his female deer patronus (representing his emotions for Lily) issued before Dumbledore (neither of which was traditionally manly in nature - which I feel was purposely done to reveal a weakness in character on Snape's part, and the stalkerish tendencies, imo);
Too many assumptions about gender and nature have to be made for this to make sense. Why do you assume 1) that JKR equates men with strength (and presumably females with weakness) and 2) that she uses the same criteria for strength and manliness as you do? I thought the patronus scene was very powerful and showed the strength of Snape's love, not weakness.


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  #1450  
Old January 27th, 2010, 12:14 am
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.3

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pearl_Took View Post
I always thought the doe patronus revealed the softer side of Snape.
"You think the dead we loved ever truly leave us? (Dumbledore, PoA)


Quote:
In the light of all this, I find it impossible to judge, or deride, Snape's love for Lily.

Especially as Harry didn't seem to be shocked or disgusted by the revelation that Snape had loved his mother.
And neither does the author.

...yet he loved, and showed loyalty to that love and, ultimately, laid down his life because of it. That's pretty heroic!

http://www.accio-quote.org/articles/...bury-chat.html

I doubt that JKR would describe dying for a selfish, obsessive love as being heroic.


  #1451  
Old January 27th, 2010, 12:17 am
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.3

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Originally Posted by MistressofRaven View Post
Too many assumptions about gender and nature have to be made for this to make sense. Why do you assume 1) that JKR equates men with strength (and presumably females with weakness) and 2) that she uses the same criteria for strength and manliness as you do? I thought the patronus scene was very powerful and showed the strength of Snape's love, not weakness.
I think FurryDice has a good point with Snape's Patronus being a doe and not a stag. Perhaps showing the sterility of Snape's love for Lily? It was never going to bear fruit and never going to end well for him in regard to Lily. All that passion, and emptiness.


  #1452  
Old January 27th, 2010, 12:21 am
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.3

Quote:
Originally Posted by eliza101 View Post
I think FurryDice has a good point with Snape's Patronus being a doe and not a stag. Perhaps showing the sterility of Snape's love for Lily? It was never going to bear fruit and never going to end well for him in regard to Lily. All that passion, and emptiness.

"You think the dead we loved ever truly leave us? (Dumbledore, PoA)


  #1453  
Old January 27th, 2010, 12:28 am
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.3

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Originally Posted by TreacleTartlet View Post
"You think the dead we loved ever truly leave us? (Dumbledore, PoA)
Oh, ye wise Dumbledore. I agree with him. I think if Lily had lived he would have gotten over her. But when Lily died, she was frozen in time for the living and memories of her are always as if it is still 1981.


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  #1454  
Old January 27th, 2010, 12:30 am
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.3

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Originally Posted by MistressofRaven View Post
Oh, ye wise Dumbledore. I agree with him. I think if Lily had lived he would have gotten over her. But when Lily died, she was frozen in time for the living and memories of her are always as if it is still 1981.
I agree.


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  #1455  
Old January 27th, 2010, 12:35 am
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.3

Quote:
Originally Posted by MistressofRaven View Post
I think if Lily had lived he would have gotten over her.
I think it's a bit of a catch-22 for Snape whether she lived or died. I agree that he could have "gotten over her" (or, at least, she would not have been as influential) if she had lived, but on the other hand, it was her death that drove him to work endlessly for Dumbledore all those years after Voldemort seemed gone. That hardship eventually enabled him to become a better person. Had he not had that impetus to challenge himself, he could have, morally speaking, remained as he was at 21.


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  #1456  
Old January 27th, 2010, 12:38 am
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.3

Quote:
Originally Posted by MistressofRaven View Post
I think if Lily had lived he would have gotten over her. But when Lily died, she was frozen in time for the living and memories of her are always as if it is still 1981.


I don't think it actually helped, that he was stuck most of the time in an enviroment (Hogwarts), that must have harboured for him many memories of Lily.



Last edited by TreacleTartlet; January 27th, 2010 at 12:48 am.
  #1457  
Old January 27th, 2010, 12:54 am
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.3

Quote:
Originally Posted by eliza101 View Post
I think FurryDice has a good point with Snape's Patronus being a doe and not a stag. Perhaps showing the sterility of Snape's love for Lily? It was never going to bear fruit and never going to end well for him in regard to Lily. All that passion, and emptiness.
And so all love must be physical and physically realized, must it? Apparently, one person's chaste, empowering, fulfilling love is another person's sterility and emptiness. And yet.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by MistressofRaven
I thought the patronus scene was very powerful and showed the strength of Snape's love, not weakness.
So did I. The Patronus, the image of Severus Snape's own soul, is exceedingly powerful - more powerful than the average Patronus. It is so blindingly bright that Harry needs to re-adjust his eyes after witnessing it. And unlike the average Patronus, it exudes a presence - a benign presence. Harry can tell simply by experiencing the Patronus that it is not Dark Magic - despite the fact that he's in a very dark and dangerous situation. I would hardly call that weak or sterile.


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  #1458  
Old January 27th, 2010, 2:23 am
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.3

One thing that keeps coming up is how this or that character is "flawed." There is not a character in the entire series of books that is NOT flawed. So, rather than discuss who is the most or least flawed, I'd just like to give my impression of Lily and Severus' relationship.

Lily Evans-Potter
IMO, Lily was glad to meet someone who shared her gift of magic, and, other than that probably wouldn't have given Severus too much notice. He was unkempt and from a poor part of town. While Lily appears to have been a kind person later on, children of six or seven aren't usually kind. Being of a more middle to upper class background, she more than likely would have avoided him if not worse. Petunia certainly had things to say about him. Of course, that might have made it even more fun to befriend him, that "Tuney" didn't like him. In the swinging scene, we see that Lily seems to enjoy doing the opposite of what her sister wants.

Severus' noticing her abilities and realizing what they were might also have been a relief to her, giving her someone other than her parents who were aware of and approved of her powers. His knowledge of magic and what witches and wizards were capable of, and, more than likely sharing a lot of this with her, again IMO, would have drawn her to him.

Later, at Hogwarts, Lily found a whole new world. She was not only in a whole group of magical people, but, as she grew older, she was a very attractive young woman who drew the notice of people like James Potter.

I'm not sure that Lily's and Severus' friendship was ever more to her than someone to share her magical knowledge and abilities -- her "secret" -- with. There's no indication of much else between them.

I feel that, as Lily found her own way she needed Severus less and less, and, the importance of his friendship also waned. Whether Lily, after all the teasing and criticism by others, was looking for an opportunity to rid herself of Severus or not, is up to personal interpretation. But, I don't feel that being called a name, even "Mudblood," should have been enough to end a true friendship. I agree with those who have suggested that a slap in the face would have been a more normal reaction. Besides, forgiving, as Donkey says in Shrek, "is what friends do."

That Lily deserts her friend at a time when she sees him moving closer and closer to the dark side of magic seems out of character for a person that everyone later describes as so kind and caring. This is why I'm more prone to believe she was looking for a reason to end the "friendship," as it was becoming more inconvenient and less useful to her.

This is not a criticism of Lily, so don't come after me with the torches and pitchforks. Lily, like Severus and all the others, had human faults. It was only natural as she became more and more popular with other students and with teachers, and, as her talents became acknowledged more, that Lily would seek to better herself. Severus would never measure up in looks, background, or money. The only thing he seemed to have was talent, and, that was taking a turn that Lily didn't like or agree with. So, her breaking away from him was almost a given.

Severus Snape

It's odd how much the description of the very young Severus sounds like the very young Harry: skinny, pale, unruly hair, unkempt, clothes too large for him. JKR seems to have a knack for running parallels throughout the series.

Severus is a wizard who knows what he is. We don't have enough of his background story to know whether his mother may have used her powers to "win" his father. We do see enough to know that Severus' father was an abusive bully who mistreated his wife and son.

Coming from such a home, Severus more than likely would have been backward and shy, and, possibly would have been afraid to let Lily and Petunia see him at first, fearing they would make fun of him. As such a child, watching other children at play, sizing them up before making the decision to take the chance and approach them, would seem to have been a natural reaction for him. Once he saw Lily had magical abilities, he seemed to work up enough courage to come out of the bushes where he was hiding. He saw something that they had in common, and, this gave him an opening to meet her. At the age they first met, there wouldn't have been much other attraction -- usually boys that age avoid girls at all costs.

On the Hogwarts' Express, Severus gets the first taste of James Potter and Sirius Black. From there on, it seems that one of James' favorite games is bullying Severus. But, this is not a James/Severus thread, so I'll leave it at that.

Severus starts to move toward darker magic as he grows older. Whether this is because he is a member of Slytherin House, because of the bullying, because he is evil (which I don't believe), or what, he is moving in a circle of young DEs. Does he realize what he is getting himself into? Possibly not. Many groups prey on young people like Severus because they are easy to sway and glad to be part of something (i.e. street gangs, cults, etc.) Even Bella, during the meeting at Spinner's End, gripes about how little Severus had ever done as a DE.

For Severus to take the information about the Prophecy to Voldemort was wrong, but, it wasn't really a betrayal. Lily had ended their friendship; he had no loyalty to James; he was in service to Voldemort. I don't think he ever meant for Lily to be killed. That didn't make it right for him to want James and Harry sacrificed, but, they didn't mean anything to him, and Lily still did. But, yes, it was wrong.

Later, Severus, IMO, does everything he can to rectify his error, eventually sacrificing his life. He treats Harry badly as a teacher. But, he teaches him well. Harry learns a lot under Severus, and, possibly would have saved his godfather's life if he'd paid attention and learned Occlumancy and not let Voldemort into his thoughts. Again, that's another thread.

Lily and Severus

I think the relationship was one of two people needing each other for different reasons. I think Severus eventually fell in love with Lily because of the type of person she was. I don't think Lily ever loved Severus. She grew away from him, and, he let her go. But, he still loved her. Maybe, as a minion of Voldemort, he saw a chance to have her. Then, he realized what he had done and ran to the only person he knew who could help, Dumbledore.

I think the "spiritual" Lily, if she could see Harry and what was going on with him, could also see Severus and what he was doing. She would know why, and, while she might not agree with or appreciate all that he did to Harry, she would welcome what Harry had become by the time he walked into the Woods to face Voldemort. She had to know that Severus was a big part of that. I also think Spirit Lily would have been very touched to see that Severus' patronus was a Silver Doe. That part of DH always gives me a lump in my throat.

IMO, if we can't believe that Severus' actions and sacrifices in helping Harry get to the point where he could destroy Voldemort would also redeem him, then redemption would be beyond most of us.


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Had already taken you. I held you close, hoping for a faint heartbeat or breath
To prove me wrong.
But, you were still, and could not hear or see
My grief, my tears, my heartbreak knowing that the rest of my life would be
Spent without you.
  #1459  
Old January 27th, 2010, 3:50 am
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.3

Quote:
Originally Posted by eliza101 View Post
I think FurryDice has a good point with Snape's Patronus being a doe and not a stag. Perhaps showing the sterility of Snape's love for Lily? It was never going to bear fruit and never going to end well for him in regard to Lily. All that passion, and emptiness.
A doe is a symbol of sterility? I thought the doe was the symbol of Lily and motherhood. JMO

Plus I agree with others who see it as a symbol of Snape's gentler side, but that doesn't make him less macho than the other men. On the contrary. He had to be really tough to hide all that vulnerability from Voldemort for years and years. JMO

Quote:
Originally Posted by Furry Dice
It's interesting that Lily's patronus complements James', in the way they are male and female partners, yet Snape's is the same as Lily's, rather than complementing it with his own male version. Perhaps indicative of the one-sided love?
We don't actually know what James's patronus was. We know that he was a stag animagus.

Harry's patronus is a stag, but in PoA the reasons given for it are various, and mostly concerned with father figures:

1) Harry is expecting his father to somehow save him in the time-turner scene (Expecto Patronum = Expecting a Paternal Figure/Savior) but it turns out that he saves himself instead because his father is dead.

2) He is influenced by Lupin and Sirius talking about "Prongs" and "guessing right" that James's animagus was a stag.

3) Harry wishes he could have saved his mother after he hears her screaming whenever the Dementors come around. He wants to become like his father (even though James couldn't save Lily either).

So to me this is how the patronus thingy works :

Harry's patronus represents his love for James.
Snape's Silver Doe represents his love for Lily.

Before JKR muddied the waters a bit by having Patronuses change according to love relationships, I would have bet that James's patronus would have been a big dog to represent either Sirius or Lupin, and that one of them would have had a stag as a patronus, just like Harry. It's still up in the air whether all their patronuses changed over time or not, in my opinion.

I would hope that Ron's little furry dog doesn't represent Hermione. And both Hermione and Luna have patronuses that seem to represent Harry (a hare and an otter = 'arry 'otter). JMO So I find it confusing.

We never actually see Lily's patronus in the books, so Harry's statement comes out of nowhere. Maybe JKR thought she had shown us Lily's patronus, but it's not in Prince's Tale either.

I do believe that Snape's patronus was always a doe, but not because he wasn't masculine enough. Love is not un-masculine in my opinion. In fact, I've always been sort of glad that men could love women back, but that's just my own experience.


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Last edited by silver ink pot; January 27th, 2010 at 3:52 am.
  #1460  
Old January 27th, 2010, 4:11 am
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.3

We see how Tonks' patronus changes when she is stressed over Lupin, so, it seems that patronuses (patroni???), are emotion-driven, not hormone-driven. For Severus' patronus to be a Silver Doe, for him to answer "Always," when Dumbledore asks, "After all this time?", he must have loved Lily so very much. It didn't make him less masculine. In fact, it made him more so.


__________________

I held you in my arms, although I knew that death
Had already taken you. I held you close, hoping for a faint heartbeat or breath
To prove me wrong.
But, you were still, and could not hear or see
My grief, my tears, my heartbreak knowing that the rest of my life would be
Spent without you.
 
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