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Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4



 
 
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  #461  
Old March 2nd, 2011, 7:43 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

I've been made aware of some recent problem posts in this thread and other threads, including repeated edit requests to some members in a matter of days. Right now we're going to be watching this thread more closely and I am going to take a dim view to people who begin to run back into old habits on here. It's not difficult to identify repeat offenders, so please be aware of the following:

- Snape set the ground rules in his potions classes and I set the ground rules here. Neither of us are likeable people and we're more than happy to dish out punishments as we see fit.


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  #462  
Old March 2nd, 2011, 9:13 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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Originally Posted by ccollinsmith View Post
Tenshi. Long time, no see.
Hai thar!

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At any rate, I would call that claim pure speculation. If Harry had behaved differently than Snape expected him to behave (i.e., by thanking him - something James would never have done), there is a possibility - however remote - that it might have given Snape reason to believe that maybe Harry was not so arrogant as Snape (wrongly) assumed after all. We will never know what the result might have been because Harry never made the attempt.
Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Green_Woods View Post
I don't think there is enough canon, if any, to suggest that Snape never felt any sympathy for Harry's plight. I'd agree though that Snape never showed sympathy for Harry's plight openly to him. I think Snape never showed any sympathy because I think he needed to keep his distance for a variety of reasons, in the same way Dumbledore kept his distance from Harry in Harry's fifth year, when Harry thought Dumbledore was shunning him; but that was not the case; Dumbledore was doing what he did for Harry's sake. Likewise, I believe Snape kept his distance both for his sake and for Harry's.
What about DH when Snape talks to Dumbledore and he asked Snape if he had grown to care for the boy and Snape replied "for him?" and then he showed that all he cared for was Lily.

Quote:
Snape gives Harry a look at the dinner. Harry feels a pain in his scar and that night begins to have dreams that conflate Snape with Voldemort. All of this is before Snape speaks to Harry or Harry speaks to Snape.
Well actually if I go to a new place andsomeone throws a look at me for reasons I don´t know and then other people tell me that, that person isn´t particually nice. I mean they should know that, they were Students at the school for the past years. And then during the first lesson he is being mean to me, for no apparent reason. Why on Earth should anybody suddenly begin to like such a person?

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(The irony here is that that during the same year, we see that Snape is horrified when Dumbledore tells him that Harry must die).

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Originally Posted by OldMotherCrow View Post
I think this brings up an interesting question: What was Snape's expectation for his relationship with Harry?

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

In PoA, Snape indicates that he thinks Harry should be down on bended knee, thanking him. At this point Snape believes he has rescued Harry from Sirius Black. I think this shows that Snape desired a relationship where Harry owed him, rather than the other way around, and never saw helping Harry as restitution he owed to Harry.
Uhmmm not sure. I just think that Snape had no real feelings for Harry and just saw him as part of his job and the promise he made. That he didn´t desired any special relationship.


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  #463  
Old March 2nd, 2011, 9:24 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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Originally Posted by Melaszka View Post
I can think of other explanations e.g. the text makes clear that Dumbledore becomes increasingly anxious about Harry's relationship with the Dursleys after Voldemort's return in GoF, as he is determined that Petunia should not actually get to the point of evicting Harry until he's of age, so he can benefit from the blood protection.
I would have thought if Dumbledore knew the full extent of the ill treatment of Harry, he would have done something about it. But his Owl to Petunia is not regarding any ill treatment, but only the blood protection. Dumbledore had three years before Voldemort's return to do something about it, yet he didn't. Probably for plot reasons, but maybe he just wasn't aware how bad it was. Of course maybe he didn't want to upset and annoy the Dursleys.

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

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I'm not dismissing the idea of Snape persuading the Order to take a greater interest in Harry's home life. As I said, it's an idea I quite like and can totally believe. I just don't think it's the only possible explanation or by any means a certainty.
Of course there could be other explanations. I just think there is at least some, if only tenuous evidence in the text, as we know Snape was reporting to Dumbledore on the Occlumency lessons. I'm not suggesting that Snape ran to Dumbledore complaining about The Dursleys treatment of Harry and demanding something be done. Just that in his reports he mentioned exactly how bad things were. Besides, Snape might not like Harry, but he also has a history with Petunia.


  #464  
Old March 2nd, 2011, 10:07 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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Originally Posted by MinervasCat View Post
No, they shouldn't. I heartily agree with you. So, IMO, McGonagall was wrong to give Harry a new super-duper broom when he was a first year just because he played on her House team.
Well, it's not as bad as being mean and rude to a student, but yes, she shouldn't have shown favoritism. There is less fault, though, since she's excited to have found a good Seeker for her house's Quidditch team and it isn't like Harry gets preferential treatment from her from then on.


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  #465  
Old March 3rd, 2011, 12:27 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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Originally Posted by leah49 View Post
Well, it's not as bad as being mean and rude to a student, but yes, she shouldn't have shown favoritism. There is less fault, though, since she's excited to have found a good Seeker for her house's Quidditch team and it isn't like Harry gets preferential treatment from her from then on.

I think I'll have to disagree. As I see it, the fault is the same, if not worse. Severus did not expect to gain anything from his treatment of Harry, obviously. But, Professor McGonagall was breaking rules to try and win a Quidditch Cup for her House. IMO, the lesson that was being taught there was that it is OK to break the rules if it's for a "good cause." That was not a good example to be setting for the students.

I understand what McGonagall was doing, but, still don't condone it anymore than I condone the times that Severus was unfair to Harry. Wrong is wrong, and just because the teacher is "nice" instead of "nasty" doesn't change that.


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  #466  
Old March 3rd, 2011, 3:12 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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Originally Posted by The_Green_Woods View Post
I agree. Plus Snape also knew the potion was perfect when he gave the potion to Trevor. Canon clearly mentions that imo.

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

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

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

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

Snape fed Trevor with a potion he knew was perfect and harmless. The class did not know that, but Snape did and what he did was not testing an unknown potion on a toad but feeding Trevor with a potion he knew was safe imo.
Maybe Snape knew the potion was harmless but the students did not. Actually the quote you provided about how Neville was in trouble and that "Neville regularly went to pieces in Potions lessons; it was his worst subject, and his great fear of Professor Snape made things ten times worse" is very telling to me about Snapes teaching - that he inspired such fear in a student IMO does not make him a good teacher and what he did to Neville was a form of pyschological abuse. Neville did not feel safe in Potions because he was so afraid of Snape.


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  #467  
Old March 3rd, 2011, 5:38 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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Originally Posted by Tenshi View Post
What about DH when Snape talks to Dumbledore and he asked Snape if he had grown to care for the boy and Snape replied "for him?" and then he showed that all he cared for was Lily.
I think Snape avoided answering Dumbledore at that time. He showed Dumbledore he cared for Lily Always, but he never answered Dumbledore's question about whether Snape had come to care for Harry. I got the feeling that Snape did not want to talk about Harry to Dumbledore reading that memory.

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Originally Posted by ReelBigFish View Post
Maybe Snape knew the potion was harmless but the students did not.
The students did not; but in talking about Snape's motives, I think that Snape never meant to harm Trevor, he knew the potion was perfect before he gave it to the toad and this shows to me that his intention was not evil or wrong imo.

Quote:
Actually the quote you provided about how Neville was in trouble and that "Neville regularly went to pieces in Potions lessons; it was his worst subject, and his great fear of Professor Snape made things ten times worse" is very telling to me about Snapes teaching - that he inspired such fear in a student IMO does not make him a good teacher and what he did to Neville was a form of pyschological abuse. Neville did not feel safe in Potions because he was so afraid of Snape.
it was his worst subject, and his great fear of Professor Snape made things ten times worse - Chamber of Secrets

The Book does not say Snape scared the students who went to pieces regularly. Here, I feel it's not so much about Snape as it is about Neville. Canon says Potions was Neville's worst subject; it says Neville had a fear of Snape which made everything worse; it does not, I feel, imply that Snape changed his behaviour somehow to induce that fear in Neville.


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  #468  
Old March 3rd, 2011, 6:09 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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Originally Posted by Tenshi View Post
Hai thar!


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Originally Posted by Tenshi View Post
What about DH when Snape talks to Dumbledore and he asked Snape if he had grown to care for the boy and Snape replied "for him?" and then he showed that all he cared for was Lily.
Actually, that's not the only way to interpret the passage. I've always read the passage as Snape protesting way too much. He did not want to believe what his own reaction to Harry's impending death had just made apparent: i.e., that he did care for the boy, against his own will.

Dumbledore's astute observation was, imo, the correct one.


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Last edited by ccollinsmith; March 3rd, 2011 at 6:12 am.
  #469  
Old March 3rd, 2011, 9:27 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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Originally Posted by ccollinsmith View Post


Actually, that's not the only way to interpret the passage. I've always read the passage as Snape protesting way too much. He did not want to believe what his own reaction to Harry's impending death had just made apparent: i.e., that he did care for the boy, against his own will.

Dumbledore's astute observation was, imo, the correct one.
I've always interpreted the scene pretty much the same way, CC. Almost like he was still trying to convince himself that he didn't care for Harry, as well as Dumbledore.

And, I've often wondered: did Severus know that Harry's Patronus was a stag? (He might have heard that from Lupin or Dumbledore, possibly), and could the casting of his own Silver Doe Patronus been, not only a sign of his love for Lily, but that he was beginning to care for Harry, i.e., the Silver Doe being a reflection of the stag? Could that have been his way of expressing those feeling without saying them because, as a double agent, he couldn't wear his emotions on his sleeve?


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  #470  
Old March 3rd, 2011, 10:34 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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Originally Posted by ccollinsmith View Post

Actually, that's not the only way to interpret the passage. I've always read the passage as Snape protesting way too much. He did not want to believe what his own reaction to Harry's impending death had just made apparent: i.e., that he did care for the boy, against his own will.

Dumbledore's astute observation was, imo, the correct one.
That has always been my interpretation of that passage. I felt it was almost as if Severus had to prove it to himself,as much as anything.

As I see it, Snape is using typical strategies of someone who is trying to hide the truth. He doesn't answer Dumbledore's question directly, but instead implies his answer by producing his Patronus. This is typical behaviour in someone who is lying. By producing the Silver Doe, he is also diverting the focus of the question, from Harry to Lily, which is another typical strategy in someone who is telling an untruth.It also served to take Dumbledore's focus away from himself, as Dumbledore watched the Silver Doe fly out of the window. I think that Snape had become very good at hiding the truth, which is not surprising as it was these skills that had been keeping him alive during his spying activities.


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Originally Posted by MinervasCat View Post
And, I've often wondered: did Severus know that Harry's Patronus was a stag?
It is possible he might have seen it for himself if he was at the Quidditch match, the day Harry sent his Patronus at the phoney Malfoy Dementor.

Quote:
...and could the casting of his own Silver Doe Patronus been, not only a sign of his love for Lily, but that he was beginning to care for Harry, i.e., the Silver Doe being a reflection of the stag? Could that have been his way of expressing those feeling without saying them because, as a double agent, he couldn't wear his emotions on his sleeve?

At some time it did become common knowledge that Harry's Patronus was a stag. We see this in DH, when Harry cast his Patronus in Hogsmeade, and Aberforth claims that it was his Patronus a goat but a DE argues; "That was a stag, it was Potter's!"

So, I think if any DE's saw Snape's Patronus it would definately have given the game away, even if they didn't know that it was a representation of Lily.


I think Snape's Patronus must always have been the Silver Doe, at least from after Lily died. Dumbledore recognises it's significance, either because he has seen Snape produce this particular Patronus before, or I think more likely that he recognises it as Lily's, as Harry does tell Voldemort that Snape had the same Patronus as his mother's. So, I don't myself see that it was a sign that he was beginning to care about Harry.



Last edited by TreacleTartlet; March 3rd, 2011 at 11:55 pm.
  #471  
Old March 3rd, 2011, 6:07 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

I don't see how Snape's doe could have anything to do with Harry, especially as a reflection; Snape's Patronus predates Harry's very existance, let alone his stag Patronus. The only connection is that both find their origin in Lily (and James).

I'm with ReelBigFish on Snape's response to Dumbledore's question regarding whether he cared for Harry. You can all agree that he protested too loudly, there, but the interpretation that he protested because caring for Harry was out of the question and it was all for Lily that he agreed to save the boy is also a valid one.

To me, the very use of the phrase "the boy" reduces Harry from a living, breathing, feeling, thinking, independant person to little more than an item or at best a pet that Severus wants kept safe for the sentimental attachment to Lily. Maybe that's just my colored opinion, though. I just can't hear it that way without thinking "a boy is a pig is a dog is a rat is a man."

And when Severus first said he'd feed Neville's potion to Trevor, he did not know that it wasn't poison, because Neville hadn't brewed it yet. At that point in time he was expecting Neville to botch it. Neville did botch the potion, Severus continued to say he would feed it to Trevor, and he forbade Hermione from helping him fix it. So I don't agree that Severus would have not fed the potion to Trevor if it had been mixed wrong and would have killed or harmed him, for the same reason he did feed it to him at the end of class. He had to follow through to make his point, or he'd have lost face. He did not base his final decision to give the potion to Trevor on the fact that it was the right color; he decided to do that at the beginning, IMO.


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  #472  
Old March 3rd, 2011, 8:24 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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Originally Posted by LyraLovegood View Post
I don't see how Snape's doe could have anything to do with Harry, especially as a reflection; Snape's Patronus predates Harry's very existance, let alone his stag Patronus. The only connection is that both find their origin in Lily (and James).
I would say that's the simple connection, and for me that's still quite symbolic. Lily is the pivotal point for both of them that makes it into a reflection - as symbolized by the what Harry sees in the Mirror of Erised and what Snape would probably see also - Lily. JMO

In PoA, Harry connects to James through the Stag Patronus, but Snape was connected to Lily long before Harry was born going back to Severus's own childhood. So it's true that Snape's Doe Patronus predates Harry, but it all starts to overlap in PoA as Harry finds that same type of power in himself.

A doe and stag are just two sides of the same species as a sort of "spirit guide." That's a pretty strong connection between Snape and Harry, it seems to me, not to mention that in PoA Harry has the dream about a white shape leading him through the dark forest which is realized in DH as Snape's Silver Doe in the Forest of Dean.

So to me that foreshadowing is a clue long before DH of the connection between Snape and Harry. We just couldn't see it at the time ~ of course it's a connection to Lily and James, too, who probably had those same Patronuses (although it's not as clearly spelled out in the book). But the whole thing nearly makes Snape rise to parental level or at least family level since there is no deer connection to any other characters except the Potters and Snape, or none that I can recall.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lyra
To me, the very use of the phrase "the boy" reduces Harry from a living, breathing, feeling, thinking, independant person to little more than an item or at best a pet that Severus wants kept safe for the sentimental attachment to Lily. Maybe that's just my colored opinion, though. I just can't hear it that way without thinking "a boy is a pig is a dog is a rat is a man."
But I think Snape knew (and felt) the difference between a boy and a pig, hence his shock at the very idea of Harry having to sacrifice himself. I think he was just using a metaphor to express his disgust with Dumbledore's announcement. JMO

Of course in these books through magic a man can turn into a rat, a stag, a dog, a werewolf, and Hagrid almost turned Dudley into a pig. In light of that, I think Snape must have viewed Harry first and foremost as a human being, so I have no problem with the word "boy," since that is literally what Harry was at the time anyway.


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Last edited by silver ink pot; March 3rd, 2011 at 9:07 pm.
  #473  
Old March 3rd, 2011, 8:36 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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Originally Posted by ReelBigFish View Post
Maybe Snape knew the potion was harmless but the students did not. Actually the quote you provided about how Neville was in trouble and that "Neville regularly went to pieces in Potions lessons; it was his worst subject, and his great fear of Professor Snape made things ten times worse" is very telling to me about Snapes teaching - that he inspired such fear in a student IMO does not make him a good teacher and what he did to Neville was a form of pyschological abuse. Neville did not feel safe in Potions because he was so afraid of Snape.
Neville was so afraid of Snape that Snape was his boggart. That says something of how he felt when he was in the class.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Green_Woods View Post
The students did not; but in talking about Snape's motives, I think that Snape never meant to harm Trevor, he knew the potion was perfect before he gave it to the toad and this shows to me that his intention was not evil or wrong imo.
I feel like Snape's motive was to frighten Neville. He might have known the potion was harmless to Trevor, but he also knew how he acted towards Neville. He treated him like the potion could have been awful. Neville doesn't know whether it is or not. He just knows the kind of work he put into it, which he knows isn't great because Potions is his worst subject.


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  #474  
Old March 3rd, 2011, 8:53 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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Originally Posted by TreacleTartlet View Post
That has always been my interpretation of that passage. I felt it was almost as if Severus had to prove it to himself,as much as anything.

As I see it, Snape is using typical strategies of someone who is trying to hide the truth. He doesn't answer Dumbledore's question directly, but instead implies his answer by producing his Patronus. This is typical behaviour in someone who is lying. By producing the Silver Doe, he is also diverting the focus of the question, from Harry to Lily, which is another typical strategy in someone who is telling an untruth.It also served to take Dumbledore's focus away from himself, as Dumbledore watched the Silver Doe fly out of the window. I think that Snape had become very good at hiding the truth, which is not surprising as it was these skills that had been keeping him alive during his spying activities.

Quote:
I think Snape's Patronus must always have been the Siver Doe, at least from after Lily died. Dumbledore recognises it's significance, either because he has seen Snape produce this particular Patronus before, or I think more likely that he recognises it as Lily's, as Harry does tell Voldemort that Snape had the same Patronus as his mother's. So, I don't myself see that it was a sign that he was beginning to care about Harry.
Mine was just a very wild thought about the patronus. I like your theory better: that it was a diversion to get Dumbledore to stop pressing him about Harry. I think Dumbledore knew, but didn't push.

And, once Severus produced his Patronus, Dumbledore was very emotional. I interpreted this to be partly because of Severus projecting the "cold, unreachable" exterior, yet still in love after all these years; also as a confirmation of his trust in Severus..i.e., someone who has a Patronus that pure must have a good heart and be a loyal friend. IMO, t let Dumbledore know his trust was not misplaced, especially with what they all had facing them in one way or another.


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  #475  
Old March 3rd, 2011, 9:27 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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Originally Posted by silver ink pot View Post
But I think Snape knew (and felt) the difference between a boy and a pig, hence his shock at the very idea of Harry having to sacrifice himself. I think he was just using a metaphor to express his disgust with Dumbledore's announcement. JMO
I think Snape is expressing horror at the thought of dehumanizing a person by treating their death as a small matter. I believe this turn of phrase indicates that Snape feels sympathy for Harry at this moment, regardless of whether or not he likes the boy.

I was thinking about this particular scene and a few ideas came to me regarding how this new knowledge might make Snape feel.
DD has revealed a secret that compromises the very promise Snape made the DD all those years ago, the promise that turned his life around. And on top of that, the nullification of that promise means the death of someone who was, at the time, not even an adult-- "Lately, only those I could not save," emphasizing the personal horror of it: he has to stand by and watch a death he can prevent (in fact, he has to set the events in motion by telling Harry). When was the last time that happened, and what does the Snape of '96 think of the person he once was? I can see why he was so upset! This is a fourfold nightmare for him, IMHO:

1) DD has revealed himself to have known this news and is giving Snape yet another terrible task. Combined with his earlier questioning of DD's trust in him, and his faith in the old man would have been severely damaged. Considering how he's put his life and duty in this man's hands, I can see why this would be troubling.
2) He's made a promise to protect Lily's son in order to uphold her sacrifice. This promise gave him a new purpose in life and helped him live a more productive life. And now that purpose is gone.
3) He is twice this year being put in a position where he must cause death: First, to DD, and then to Harry by telling him the identity of the final Horcrux. For him, this must hold terrible memories: he was, after all, once someone who at least condoned senseless killing. He has been spending over a decade trying to atone for these crimes.
4) A kid is going to die. Think what you will of Snape, I don't believe he likes this at all.

When it comes to the reasons Snape is so upset here, I don't think it can be boiled down to one motive. He brings up the promise, he brings up his past, he heatedly speaks of what he perceives as DD's casual acceptance of this death, and the previous scene seems to give us an idea that he is questioning his mentor. But even with all these factors at work, I think the scene shows that Snape does care about Harry. He may not like him much, and may hold false ideas of him, but I do not believe he treats Harry as an exception to the idea that all people deserve to live. I think he is very much aware that Harry is a human being, and that this is part of why he reacts so strongly to the news that the kid must die.


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  #476  
Old March 3rd, 2011, 9:42 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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Originally Posted by ignisia View Post

1) DD has revealed himself to have known this news and is giving Snape yet another terrible task. Combined with his earlier questioning of DD's trust in him, and his faith in the old man would have been severely damaged. Considering how he's put his life and duty in this man's hands, I can see why this would be troubling.
2) He's made a promise to protect Lily's son in order to uphold her sacrifice. This promise gave him a new purpose in life and helped him live a more productive life. And now that purpose is gone.
3) He is twice this year being put in a position where he must cause death: First, to DD, and then to Harry by telling him the identity of the final Horcrux. For him, this must hold terrible memories: he was, after all, once someone who at least condoned senseless killing. He has been spending over a decade trying to atone for these crimes.
4) A kid is going to die. Think what you will of Snape, I don't believe he likes this at all.
And the role-reversal for Dumbledore and Snape is pretty amazing in that scene.

On the "Windy Hill" Snape's request to save Lily over her family leads to Dumbledore saying "You disgust me." But the remedy in that situation was to "protect all of them" for which Snape would do "anything." That's the agreement, or the contract, between them and Snape keeps his word over and over again.

Then years later Snape finds out that Dumbledore is willing to sacrifice Harry after all - what happened to all that self-righteous "disgust" of yesteryear? Snape questions where Dumbledore was leading him all those years ago, especially since Dumbledore's plan failed to save the Potters in the first place. His reaction leads me to think Snape feels led down the primrose path right to a dead end (no pun intended - well, maybe)

It sounds like a complete contradiction of everything Dumbledore stood for up until then. So it's little wonder that Snape reacts as if Dumbledore has lost his everlasting mind. And while Snape doesn't say "You disgust me," to me the "pig" remark has the same force of opinion, so it's as if things have really come full circle. JMO


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  #477  
Old March 3rd, 2011, 9:55 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

Quote:
And when Severus first said he'd feed Neville's potion to Trevor, he did not know that it wasn't poison, because Neville hadn't brewed it yet. At that point in time he was expecting Neville to botch it. Neville did botch the potion, Severus continued to say he would feed it to Trevor, and he forbade Hermione from helping him fix it. So I don't agree that Severus would have not fed the potion to Trevor if it had been mixed wrong and would have killed or harmed him, for the same reason he did feed it to him at the end of class. He had to follow through to make his point, or he'd have lost face. He did not base his final decision to give the potion to Trevor on the fact that it was the right color; he decided to do that at the beginning, IMO.
There are different ways of teaching, and in my experience, the strict teacher is pretty effective. In the Neville-Trevor-Potion case - even IF the potion was botched [and really, you can't blame him for telling Hermione not to help him with the potion - teachers tell you that all the time! Conventional wisdom dictates that you don't learn otherwise...] - so, even if the potion was botched and turned into poison, I'm sure Snape would have the antidote ready. Afterall, if he was teaching the class to make something that volatile, he would have prepared for any mishaps. I don't think his point is to torture Neville - I think, as a teacher, Snape believed that the only way Neville would learn anything about Potions was if he was scared of the teacher enough to pay more attention in class and put in some extra effort...


Quote:
not to mention that in PoA Harry has the dream about a white shape leading him through the dark forest which is realized in DH as Snape's Silver Doe in the Forest of Dean.

So to me that foreshadowing is a clue long before DH of the connection between Snape and Harry. We just couldn't see it at the time ~ of course it's a connection to Lily and James, too, who probably had those same Patronuses (although it's not as clearly spelled out in the book). But the whole thing nearly makes Snape rise to parental level or at least family level since there is no deer connection to any other characters except the Potters and Snape, or none that I can recall.
I never noticed the dream part before! Must go back and re-read PoA!

As for the connection between Snape and Harry - well, other than Draco, Harry is the only other kid in school Snape has any sentimental reason to feel 'parental' or 'protective' towards - because of his association with their parents. IMHO, Snape cared for Harry much much more than he ever let on - promise or not, I don't think Snape would have stopped at anything to save any child of Lily's. And, personally, I believe you always feel a strong connection to people you're REALLY antagonistic towards when you're young - whether that connection is positive or negative is a completely different issue. You want to prove to the school bully that you're better than them - and what better way to convince yourself of that fact than to care for your childhood enemy's kid? Didn't someone say forgiving an enemy is the worst thing you can do to them, or something along those lines?

Quote:
As I see it, Snape is using typical strategies of someone who is trying to hide the truth. He doesn't answer Dumbledore's question directly, but instead implies his answer by producing his Patronus. This is typical behaviour in someone who is lying. By producing the Silver Doe, he is also diverting the focus of the question, from Harry to Lily, which is another typical strategy in someone who is telling an untruth.It also served to take Dumbledore's focus away from himself, as Dumbledore watched the Silver Doe fly out of the window. I think that Snape had become very good at hiding the truth, which is not surprising as it was these skills that had been keeping him alive during his spying activities.


Absolutely!

Quote:
Originally Posted by silver ink pot View Post
And the role-reversal for Dumbledore and Snape is pretty amazing in that scene.

On the "Windy Hill" Snape's request to save Lily over her family leads to Dumbledore saying "You disgust me." But the remedy in that situation was to "protect all of them" for which Snape would do "anything." That's the agreement, or the contract, between them and Snape keeps his word over and over again.

Then years later Snape finds out that Dumbledore is willing to sacrifice Harry after all - what happened to all that self-righteous "disgust" of yesteryear?
As much as I love Dumbledore - let's face it, he was a politician. He used the means he had to achieve the ends he thought were right. 'For the greater good' really - both the times! I guess at many levels, to Dumbledore, the means were only as important as the end. But Snape is a different story. Even as a cub-death eater, if he believed in the whole wizard supremacy nonsense (end), he wasn't really comfortable with the killing and the torture to meet those ends (the whole conversation with DD about watching only those people die whom he couldn't save says much more about the man than just his 'reform').


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  #478  
Old March 3rd, 2011, 11:16 pm
LyraLovegood  Female.gif LyraLovegood is offline
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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Originally Posted by silver ink pot View Post
I would say that's the simple connection, and for me that's still quite symbolic. Lily is the pivotal point for both of them that makes it into a reflection - as symbolized by the what Harry sees in the Mirror of Erised and what Snape would probably see also - Lily. JMO

In PoA, Harry connects to James through the Stag Patronus, but Snape was connected to Lily long before Harry was born going back to Severus's own childhood. So it's true that Snape's Doe Patronus predates Harry, but it all starts to overlap in PoA as Harry finds that same type of power in himself.

A doe and stag are just two sides of the same species as a sort of "spirit guide." That's a pretty strong connection between Snape and Harry, it seems to me, not to mention that in PoA Harry has the dream about a white shape leading him through the dark forest which is realized in DH as Snape's Silver Doe in the Forest of Dean.

So to me that foreshadowing is a clue long before DH of the connection between Snape and Harry. We just couldn't see it at the time ~ of course it's a connection to Lily and James, too, who probably had those same Patronuses (although it's not as clearly spelled out in the book). But the whole thing nearly makes Snape rise to parental level or at least family level since there is no deer connection to any other characters except the Potters and Snape, or none that I can recall....
Sorry if this makes my interpretation "shallow," but I still think that the connection between Harry's patronus and Snape's is limited to the connection between Lily and James. I do not now and probably never will see Snape as a good or positive role model for Harry, and do not think that he ought to be Harry's "spirit guide" either. I think he finds much better role models and spirit guides in the people that actually show up In The Forest Again, and in Albus Dumbledore as portrayed in Kings Cross. If Snape had been able to work through his grief, his bitterness, his past schoolboy grudges, and the rest of the baggage that is used to explain his vindictive behaviour, he would be an excellent mentor, role model and guide. As he is portrayed in all 7 books, he is not a good example to follow.

And if matching Patronus forms was supposed to show some sort of spiritual or family connection between characters, then you would have to conclude that there is some sort of connection between Minerva and Dolores, who both have cat Patronus forms. I don't think there is any such thing.


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  #479  
Old March 3rd, 2011, 11:32 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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Originally Posted by SoOriginal View Post
I never noticed the dream part before! Must go back and re-read PoA!
Here's the passage:

PoA, Chapter 13He had a very strange dream. He was walking through a forest, his Firebolt over his shoulder, following something silvery-white. It was winding its way through the trees ahead, and he could only catch glimpses of it between the leaves. Anxious to catch up with it, he sped up, but as he moved faster, so did his quarry. Harry broke into a run, and ahead he heard hooves gathering speed. Now he was running flat out, and ahead he could hear galloping. Then he turned a corner into a clearing and -

"AAARRGGHH! NOOO!"

Harry woke as suddenly as though he'd been hit in the face.


That passage can be seen as foreshadowing Harry's patronus later in the book, but he never actually "follows" the stag anywhere, he creates it himself. So to me, that dream mainly foreshadows Snape's Silver Doe in DH, which Harry actually follows through the forest on the way to the Sword of Gryffindor.


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  #480  
Old March 4th, 2011, 12:40 am
ReelBigFish  Undisclosed.gif ReelBigFish is offline
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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Originally Posted by SoOriginal View Post
There are different ways of teaching, and in my experience, the strict teacher is pretty effective. In the Neville-Trevor-Potion case - even IF the potion was botched [and really, you can't blame him for telling Hermione not to help him with the potion - teachers tell you that all the time! Conventional wisdom dictates that you don't learn otherwise...] - so, even if the potion was botched and turned into poison, I'm sure Snape would have the antidote ready. Afterall, if he was teaching the class to make something that volatile, he would have prepared for any mishaps. I don't think his point is to torture Neville - I think, as a teacher, Snape believed that the only way Neville would learn anything about Potions was if he was scared of the teacher enough to pay more attention in class and put in some extra effort...

I never noticed the dream part before! Must go back and re-read PoA!

As for the connection between Snape and Harry - well, other than Draco, Harry is the only other kid in school Snape has any sentimental reason to feel 'parental' or 'protective' towards - because of his association with their parents. IMHO, Snape cared for Harry much much more than he ever let on - promise or not, I don't think Snape would have stopped at anything to save any child of Lily's. And, personally, I believe you always feel a strong connection to people you're REALLY antagonistic towards when you're young - whether that connection is positive or negative is a completely different issue. You want to prove to the school bully that you're better than them - and what better way to convince yourself of that fact than to care for your childhood enemy's kid? Didn't someone say forgiving an enemy is the worst thing you can do to them, or something along those lines?

As much as I love Dumbledore - let's face it, he was a politician. He used the means he had to achieve the ends he thought were right. 'For the greater good' really - both the times! I guess at many levels, to Dumbledore, the means were only as important as the end. But Snape is a different story. Even as a cub-death eater, if he believed in the whole wizard supremacy nonsense (end), he wasn't really comfortable with the killing and the torture to meet those ends (the whole conversation with DD about watching only those people die whom he couldn't save says much more about the man than just his 'reform').
Well Snape was not just a strict teacher though and his methods with Neville were particularly inneffective for the most part. Actually in my experience teachers expect students to work together on some things - potions would be the equivalent of a Science lesson and in most Schools students do experiments with fellow students so helping one another is important. Having an antidote would not lessen the fear provoked in Nevilles case. Snape was not teaching Neville anything there at all - fear does not provide the correct results for most students at all. What Snape did possibly made Neville even worse at the subject as he was in a constant state of fear.

I personally think there is no evidence Snape cared for Harry at all in fact all the canon points to is that he hated Harry consistently and was only protecting Harry for Lily's sake. I have always found it sad that Snape could never see Harry for the person he truly was - he only saw James and treated Harry accordingly. Where is the evidence Snape cared for James child at all?? Given the fact he spoke bitterly and nastily about James to Harry how does that mean he cares for Harry?

I have never seen any evidence that Snape as a 'cub' Death Eater was not comfortable with killing or torturing people at all. JKR herself says that Snape would have remained a Death Eater if not for the prophecy targeting Lily and also there is the fact he was willing to let Voldemort kill James and Harry without any qualms.


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