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Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.9



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  #81  
Old August 26th, 2008, 8:04 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.9

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Originally Posted by silver ink pot View Post
JKR recently said in an interview that wands are "quasi-sentient" (thinking, as in brain) in that they recognize wizards and have allegiences, just as the Elder Wand does.

The flying car, the paintings, the ghosts are all "sentient" even if you can't see where they keep their brains - that's canon that comes back in HBP when Ginny quotes her father again about "brainy" things, harking back to Tom Riddle's Diary, when she and Hermione are worried about Harry and the HBP book, which turns out to be just a book.

The Map doesn't just use passwords, it interacts and shows Harry the right word to use to enter the statue and go to Honeydukes.

And JKR said in an Interview that the map "helped" Fred and George figure out the password:

MA: How did they figure out how to work the map?

JKR: Don't you — well. This is how I explained it to myself at the time, and this does sound glib. Don't you think it would be quite a Fred and Georgeish thing to say in jest, and then see this thing transform?

MA: Yeah.

JKR: Can't you just see them?

ES: But the exact word combination? Is that just a lot of luck, or Felix Felicis —

JKR: Or, the map helped.

MA: Yep, yeah. You can see them sort of answering and joking with each other —

JKR: And the map flickering into life here and there when they got closer and closer, and finally they hit upon the exact right word combination and it just erupts.
I respect your view and I can see how the map, like the car or paintings would be considered quasi-sentient, that is what I meant by a determination spell. But I do not see the link you are making with the brain. Arthur Weasley I do not feel would keep a dark magic car as a novelty, nor do I think they would hang dark magic paintings on the walls at Hogwarts. But the Diary was definitely of dark magic and in my judgment, that is what Arthur was referring to. In JKR's long ramble in the above interview about the map, I feel she would have indicated it was dark magic rather than have a fun and cheerful conversation about it, if that were the case. But as I said, I don't think Snape would have released it if he truly believed it full of dark magic because he would have had proof of the Lupin-Black-Voldemort connection - what with Lupin denying everything.


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  #82  
Old August 26th, 2008, 8:07 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.9

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But as I said, I don't think Snape would have released it if he truly believed it full of dark magic because he would have had proof of the Lupin-Black-Voldemort connection - what with Lupin denying everything.
Isn't that just another case of Snape trusting Dumbledore and giving Lupin the benefit of the doubt - just as Hermione does, even though she also knew he was a werewolf, but she kept his secret?

Both Hermione and Snape turn on Lupin in the Shack, but only because they don't feel they can trust him anymore.

It's really a moot point about the Marauder's Map. Like all wizard-made objects, it can be used for good or evil. Harry uses the Map, but so does Mad Eye Moody, who really is up to no good and is an evil Death Eater. He loves the Map!


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  #83  
Old August 27th, 2008, 1:33 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.9

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Originally Posted by silver ink pot View Post
Isn't that just another case of Snape trusting Dumbledore and giving Lupin the benefit of the doubt - just as Hermione does, even though she also knew he was a werewolf, but she kept his secret?
Well I suppose it just depends how you interpret it. I felt Snape was not giving Lupin the benefit of the doubt, but was rather seeking evidence to prove the judgment he'd already arrived at was correct. That was confirmed to me in the S. Shack when he decided to take the two men and have them kissed without listening to what they had to say.

Quote:
Both Hermione and Snape turn on Lupin in the Shack, but only because they don't feel they can trust him anymore.
That was my point; in my judgment, Hermione took the more mature and fair approach; listening to what these two unarmed men had to say. She could then make a rational judgment. Snape, who was older, I feel also could have made a rational judgment if he had bothered to listen.


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  #84  
Old August 27th, 2008, 1:49 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.9

I don't think it can really be proven either way. The fact is, while I doubt Snape would give Lupin the benefit of the doubt when something as important as Harry's life is in danger, I also have my doubts that the Darkness of the Map could be considered proof that Lupin and Sirius are in cahoots. After all, the casting of a Dark spell doesn't mean someone is a DE, and nor does the use of a Dark object.

Oddly enough, the movie uses an entirely different interpretation: in the movie, Snape emphasizes "Dark Magic" in a tone that indicates his words have a hidden meaning-- that he is trying to convey a message to Lupin.


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  #85  
Old August 27th, 2008, 1:53 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.9

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Originally Posted by ignisia View Post
I don't think it can really be proven either way. The fact is, while I doubt Snape would give Lupin the benefit of the doubt when something as important as Harry's life is in danger, I also have my doubts that the Darkness of the Map could be considered proof that Lupin and Sirius are in cahoots. After all, the casting of a Dark spell doesn't mean someone is a DE, and nor does the use of a Dark object.
It would have been Lupin's denial that would have been more indicative to Snape - if he truly believed the map full of dark magic, imo.

Quote:
Oddly enough, the movie uses an entirely different interpretation: in the movie, Snape emphasizes "Dark Magic" in a tone that indicates his words have a hidden meaning-- that he is trying to convey a message to Lupin.
I felt the way Snape spoke in the book conveyed the same thing. He was attempting to advise him of his personal judgment in the matter. That is why I feel he went on to say "maybe the manufacturers gave it to him". But keep in mind that it was JKR trying to keep things mysterious until her big reveal in the S. Shack. Normally I think Snape would have simply said "I know you and your friends made this map, Lupin; now explain how Harry got it." But she couldn't have him say that cuz it would have given away part of her 'surprise' ending.


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  #86  
Old August 27th, 2008, 2:20 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.9

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Originally Posted by wickedwickedboy View Post
I felt the way Snape spoke in the book conveyed the same thing. He was attempting to advise him of his personal judgment in the matter. That is why I feel he went on to say "maybe the manufacturers gave it to him". But keep in mind that it was JKR trying to keep things mysterious until her big reveal in the S. Shack. Normally I think Snape would have simply said "I know you and your friends made this map, Lupin; now explain how Harry got it." But she couldn't have him say that cuz it would have given away part of her 'surprise' ending.
I agree completely. I felt that Snape's judgment was clouded with nearly everything to do with Lupin/Sirius that year, with the exception of making the Wolfsbane Potion. He never gave Sirius and Lupin a chance to tell their side of the story because he was worried that they might have a story proving their innocence, and then he wouldn't get the satisfaction of indicting them for their actions. He was determined to get revenge, which was a problem when there was new information around.


  #87  
Old August 27th, 2008, 3:25 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.9

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Originally Posted by wickedwickedboy View Post
Normally I think Snape would have simply said "I know you and your friends made this map, Lupin; now explain how Harry got it." But she couldn't have him say that cuz it would have given away part of her 'surprise' ending.
Had Snape hated Harry and loathed him, I don't think he would have even called for Lupin. He would have either confiscated the Map himself or he would have thrown it into the fire IMO.


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  #88  
Old August 27th, 2008, 4:03 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.9

IMO, he wanted to needle Lupin.


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  #89  
Old August 27th, 2008, 7:33 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.9

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Originally Posted by ComicBookWorm View Post
He wanted to needle Lupin.
And that is the real explanation because...?


  #90  
Old August 27th, 2008, 8:10 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.9

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Originally Posted by Yoana View Post
And that is the real explanation because...?
Because that's what he did in that scene. Also he expressed his suspicions about Lupin more than once during the book. Only the readers don't know the reason behind his comments until we know the entire backstory.


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  #91  
Old August 27th, 2008, 9:33 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.9

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Originally Posted by ComicBookWorm View Post
Because that's what he did in that scene. Also he expressed his suspicions about Lupin more than once during the book. Only the readers don't know the reason behind his comments until we know the entire backstory.
And still, other explanations are possible, and many people do have other ones, as proven by this thread. Blank statements sound like all the other interpretations expressed are invalid.


  #92  
Old August 27th, 2008, 9:48 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.9

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Originally Posted by The_Green_Woods View Post
Had Snape hated Harry and loathed him, I don't think he would have even called for Lupin. He would have either confiscated the Map himself or he would have thrown it into the fire IMO.
Actually, not necessarily. You can still be committed to looking after a person and hate them at the same time, that is perfectly possible, IMO.

I can hold two ideas in tension: --

Firstly, the (incontrovertible, IMO) fact that we now know that Snape was working all the time to protect Harry ... and, actually, that was exactly the impression I got in PoA when I read it the first time. I still hated Snape because I thought he was such a git to Harry but one thing came through to me very strongly ... that he really was working for the boy's protection. That was confirmed to me by his furious reaction to the Trio's foolhardiness in confronting a mass murderer and a werewolf (as he perceives it) on their own. He is furious with Harry for putting his own life in danger in such a way.

Please note that I am not saying that Snape's reactions to Sirius and Remus, and his beliefs about them, are correct! But one thing came across to me (as JKR no doubt intended): although I still disliked the character at that stage in the HP saga, I could see that he took his job of protecting young Potter very seriously.

Secondly, none of the above negates the fact that he still struggled with powerful emotions of bitterness and dislike towards the boy he had vowed to protect.

Personally, I find it a very believable tension.


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  #93  
Old August 27th, 2008, 9:49 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.9

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Originally Posted by Yoana View Post
Blank statements sound like all the other interpretations expressed are invalid.
Well, I'll add an IMO if that improves it. I thought that all postings were the opinion of the person doing the posting. How could it be otherwise?
Frankly, I always assume that all postings are the opinion of the person doing the posting. It's just easier that way. If I thought my view was the only possible interpretation, then I would have said so. I do have a disclaimer in my signature that everything I post is my own opinion.


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  #94  
Old August 27th, 2008, 9:49 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.9

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Originally Posted by ComicBookWorm View Post
He wanted to needle Lupin.
I think Snape would have not only needled Lupin, but put him through great pain and anguish had he thrown the Map into the fire and then called Lupin and told him about a "Dark object" which insulted him, but no worries; he had destroyed it IMO.

And then Snape could have watched Lupin who would have been completely agonised when he realised Snape had destroyed the Marauders' Map. Snape instead calls Lupin and practically hands over the Map to him, because he knew Lupin would hand it over to Harry later IMO.


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  #95  
Old August 27th, 2008, 9:51 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.9

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Originally Posted by The_Green_Woods View Post
Snape instead calls Lupin and practically hands over the Map to him, because he knew Lupin would hand it over to Harry later IMO.
Well, that is an intriguing idea ... but remind me again, why would Snape want Harry to have the Map? Beyond suspecting that it was made the Marauders (as he seems to imply), why would Snape know anything about the Map at all and why would he want Harry to have it? I am puzzled ...


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  #96  
Old August 27th, 2008, 9:59 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.9

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Originally Posted by ComicBookWorm View Post
Well, I'll add an IMO if that makes it sound better for you. I thought that all postings were the opinion of the person doing the posting. How could it be otherwise?
Frankly, I always assume that all postings are the opinion of the person doing the posting. It's just easier that way. If I thought my view was the only possible interpretation, then I would have said so. I do have a disclaimer in my signature that everything I post is my own opinion.
I'm sure that "Snape cared for Harry" would attract more annoyed comments than "I felt that Snape cared for Harry". Same with the opposite sentiments. There's a mod thread which asked us to make it clear that we are posting our opinion, and it's still in effect as far as I know.

As for Snape and the map, I agree with Priya that he could have just destroyed it, or else kept it to himself. The fact that he doesn't says, to me, that he knew there were more important things than his own confilcted emotions.


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Old August 27th, 2008, 10:09 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.9

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Originally Posted by The_Green_Woods View Post
I think Snape would have not only needled Lupin, but put him through great pain and anguish had he thrown the Map into the fire and then called Lupin and told him about a "Dark object" which insulted him, but no worries; he had destroyed it IMO. And then Snape could have watched Lupin who would have been completely agonised when he realised Snape had destroyed the Marauders' Map. Snape instead calls Lupin and practically hands over the Map to him, because he knew Lupin would hand it over to Harry later IMO.
I'm not sure I understand the rationale of the scenario you just painted. Why would you (or Snape) assume that Lupin would be agonized when Snape destroyed the map? We don't know what level of emotional attachment Lupin had for the map (and neither did Snape). And once the map was gone, how could Lupin be sure exactly what Snape had confiscated or destroyed, since he wouldn't have seen it?

At that point, Snape didn't know exactly what he had confiscated or what the map was, so why would he think it would agonize Lupin? By confronting Lupin, he could try to pump him for information. If had destroyed the map he could never find out exactly what it was. I think it's a lot easier to assume that Snape called Lupin so he could find out more about what the parchment was. Once, Lupin was there, Snape proceeded to needle him, which is what he seemed to do every time he was with one of the surviving Marauders (as evidenced by him taunting Sirius about not contributing to the Order).

Lupin deftly took the map away from Snape before he could keep it and examine it further. I don't see how Snape intended Harry to have the map. Snape didn't even know it was a map or how it worked at that point. Why would he want Harry to have it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoana View Post
There's a mod thread which asked us to make it clear that we are posting our opinion, and it's still in effect as far as I know.
Please notice that I added the missing IMO. I hope that fixes everything.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoana View Post
As for Snape and the map, I agree with Priya that he could have just destroyed it, or else kept it to himself. The fact that he doesn't says, to me, that he knew there were more important things than his own confilcted emotions.
How would he know the map was important? He didn't know it was a map. At that point it was just an insulting piece of parchment. He didn't give it to Lupin. Lupin took it from him.


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Last edited by ComicBookWorm; August 27th, 2008 at 10:40 am.
  #98  
Old August 27th, 2008, 10:32 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.9

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Originally Posted by ComicBookWorm View Post
Please notice that I added the missing IMO. I hope that fixes everything.
I do realize I came across as petty. I'm sorry if I annoyed you.

Quote:
How would he know the map was important? He didn't know it was a map. At that point it was just an insulting piece of parchment. He didn't give it to Lupin. Lupin took it from him.
I think he did suspect it was something fishy. He's quite sharp, and he's predisposed to suspect Harry of any kind of mischief. Hm, I need to reread in order to have a definite opinion, I think...


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Old August 27th, 2008, 11:45 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.9

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Originally Posted by Pearl_Took View Post
Actually, not necessarily. You can still be committed to looking after a person and hate them at the same time, that is perfectly possible, IMO.

Secondly, none of the above negates the fact that he still struggled with powerful emotions of bitterness and dislike towards the boy he had vowed to protect.

Personally, I find it a very believable tension.
I wrote about this in the Marauders thread yesterday; I just cannot believe that a man can loathe someone, hate someone and still give the memories Snape did to Harry. I know I won't.

I agree with you, that it is possible to hate someone and still protect them, but it would be near impossible to connect emotionally with them. That is what I think Snape did when he gave the memories to Harry. Those are not the actions of a man who hates. And the decision to pass on the memories could not come in one day, it would take a lot of time to a closed person like Snape, who is wary of trusting others so much that even Dumbledore never knew that Snape still loved Lily after all those years IMO.

Your second point:: I am also sure Snape struggled with his emotions, but not in the way you have said. I think Snape struggled hard to actually dislike and loathe James's son, but was unable to do so.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoana View Post
The fact that he doesn't says, to me, that he knew there were more important things than his own conflicted emotions.
Exactly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ComicBookWorm View Post
I'm not sure I understand the point of the scenario you just painted. Why would you (or Snape) assume that Lupin would be agonised when Snape destroyed the map? We don't know what level of emotional attachment Lupin had for the map (and neither did Snape). And once the map was gone, how could Lupin be sure exactly what Snape had confiscated or destroyed, since he wouldn't have seen it?

How would he know the map was important? He didn't know it was a map. At that point it was just an insulting piece of parchment. He didn't give it to Lupin. Lupin took it from him.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pearl_Took View Post
But remind me ... why would Snape want Harry to have the Map?
Because I believe Snape did not loathe and hate and dislike Harry. I also believe he did not pass on his hatred of James on to James's son. And Snape IMO had enough goodness inside him to know that Harry would cherish something of James.

I also don't think Snape sat down and thought all this before he acted; I think he just knew that the parchment belonged to James, because of the insults on it and since he could not hand it over to Harry, he called Lupin over IMO.

--------------

Snape heard the story first from Draco; then he meets Harry and gets the Map. He examines it, sees the insults and probably realises who would have created the Map IMO.

Now all Snape has to do is assign Harry a detention out of spite, dislike and loathing for the boy, and tell Harry that he would keep the Map with him to examine it in leisure and send Harry away IMO.

Instead Snape does something which was unnecessary. He calls Lupin. Why should he? If he wanted to hand over the parchment to a teacher, why call a man he loathed and mistrusted? Why not call McGonagall and point out to her that Potter had made maps that insulted a Professor. This way Snape makes sure Harry gets more punishment and the Map is forever lost to Harry, for McGonagall would not give it back to him when the Map wrote such rude things IMO. She would have yelled at Harry and punished him severely IMO.

Or he could have thrown what was a "dark object", which Harry had made or bought to "deliberately" insult Hogwarts Professors, right into the fire and smirked at Harry and told him to get lost after taking away a hundred points and 20 detentions IMO.

Snape does neither. He calls a man with whom he had nothing in common, whom he hates and who he knows hates him, to check this for him? He thought Lupin knew more about the dark arts than himself? I don't think so.

I think the moment the words came, Snape knew whose Map it was and I think he also knew that if he destroyed it, by throwing it into the fire, Harry would lose something of his father IMO.

He called Lupin and was his sarcastic self and watched as Lupin lied his way and took the Map, again which Snape allowed; he could have easily said that since this was dark magic, that he would need to examine it closely or hand it over to McGonagall or Dumbledore; instead he simply watches Lupin talk and walk away with Harry and Ron IMO.

Harry does not even get a measly detention for throwing mud at Draco or owning a parchment which insulted Snape, called him names and which wondered how a git like him became Professor IMO.

Just for the insults, Snape should have thrown the parchment into the fire and punished Harry with detentions all through the year; instead Harry walks away scott free, with the Map IMO.


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  #100  
Old August 27th, 2008, 12:43 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.9

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Originally Posted by The_Green_Woods View Post
I wrote about this in the Marauders thread yesterday; I just cannot believe that a man can loathe someone, hate someone and still give the memories Snape did to Harry. I know I won't.
I'm not saying that Snape always hated Harry. Surely we see a progression in Snape's reactions to this boy. I do, anyway. Here's my take on it. In 1981, Snape the young Death Eater has a very callous attitude towards Harry the child and his father: it's only Lily's death he's really bothered about. Dumbledore's sharp reaction of disgust at this pulls him up short a bit (as it should!) Then Snape promises, bleakly, "anything," anything to help mitigate the terrible fact of Lily's death. And he means it, and he sticks to it, throughout the years. This doesn't stop him struggling with dark emotions re: Harry, the son of the woman he loved and the man he hated.

Quote:
I agree with you, that it is possible to hate someone and still protect them, but it would be near impossible to connect emotionally with them. That is what I think Snape did when he gave the memories to Harry. Those are not the actions of a man who hates.
I agree with you about Snape not hating Harry at the point of death (whatever the author may say about it, this is not what she shows in the text, IMO).

Personally, I find Snape's death scene intensely moving and very, very sad, because the only time he ever makes a courteous, even pitiful, request of Harry is for Harry to look into his eyes.

I don't think that proves that Snape didn't struggle with antipathy towards Harry in earlier stages of the story though.

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And the decision to pass on the memories could not come in one day, it would take a lot of time to a closed person like Snape, who is wary of trusting others so much that even Dumbledore never knew that Snape still loved Lily after all those years IMO.
Well, the decision to release the memories was a split-second decision, surely, hardly something Severus could have planned months beforehand. Because how could he have known the precise hour of his death? How could he know that Voldemort would cut him off before he had the chance to tell Harry the truth? Severus was dying, and he knew this was his only chance to give Harry crucial information. I see the releasing of those memories as a very deliberate decision but it was also a spontaneous one, not something he planned beforehand (he would never have planned beforehand to give Harry all that stuff about him and Harry's mother! )

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Your second point:: I am also sure Snape struggled with his emotions, but not in the way you have said. I think Snape struggled hard to actually dislike and loathe James's son, but was unable to do so.
Really? He seems to me to do a very good job of disliking Harry at times. I do think some of that hardened attitude was softening, probably imperceptibly, from what we saw in The Prince's Tale. For example, when Dumbledore asked if he had come to care for Harry, and Snape goes ballistic and yells, "for him?" and activates the doe Patronus, I couldn't help wondering if the guy wasn't protesting rather too much. It really was as if Albus had struck a nerve.

But while I believe passionately in a reader's right to interpret a character in various ways -- and that an author cannot dictate how a reader may respond to a particular character -- I can't get round the fact that Rowling included Snape's antipathy to Harry for a reason.

To me it's all part of his overall story/character arc. As fellow Snape-fans, I respect the fact that you and I see him a bit differently.

Re: the Marauders' Map, I don't question Snape's overall motive of wanting to protect Harry. I was just trying to establish in my head why Snape reacted to the Map and Lupin in the particular way he did (since I've not re-read PoA since 1999. ) I find your explanation pretty convincing


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