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Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4



 
 
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  #481  
Old March 4th, 2011, 4:41 am
SadiraSnape  Female.gif SadiraSnape is offline
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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Originally Posted by ReelBigFish View Post
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.
I think Potions was more like Chemistry, which can go sideways in a second if the wrong things are combined the wrong way. Severus was teaching a no-nonsense subject, and demanded respect for the subject and the materials.

His methods may not have suited Neville, but I believe Neville came to Hogwarts already nervous and bullied by his grandmother. If I'm not mistaken, he's also frightened by McGonagall (although, given, not to the degree he is frightened by Snape). Any strict, non-touchy-feely style of teaching would have scared Neville, IMHO.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ReelBigFish View Post
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 don't agree with this at all. The one time we know of that Neville produced a passable potion was when he had the motivation of Trevor being dosed with whatever he produced. Fear can be a huge motivator, and if that's what it took to get Neville to perform, then so be it.

What's a pity is that Neville didn't take away from the experience the realization that yes, he could brew a correct potion.

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Originally Posted by ReelBigFish View Post
I have never seen any evidence that Snape as a 'cub' Death Eater was not comfortable with killing or torturing people at all.
Nor is there any evidence in canon that he was comfortable with it. I am of the opinion, given Severus' personal ethical code, that he probably would have gone the way of Regulus Black and eventually left when things got too insane.


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  #482  
Old March 4th, 2011, 7:36 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

Quote:
Originally Posted by SadiraSnape View Post
I think Potions was more like Chemistry, which can go sideways in a second if the wrong things are combined the wrong way. Severus was teaching a no-nonsense subject, and demanded respect for the subject and the materials.

His methods may not have suited Neville, but I believe Neville came to Hogwarts already nervous and bullied by his grandmother. If I'm not mistaken, he's also frightened by McGonagall (although, given, not to the degree he is frightened by Snape). Any strict, non-touchy-feely style of teaching would have scared Neville, IMHO.


I don't agree with this at all. The one time we know of that Neville produced a passable potion was when he had the motivation of Trevor being dosed with whatever he produced. Fear can be a huge motivator, and if that's what it took to get Neville to perform, then so be it.

What's a pity is that Neville didn't take away from the experience the realization that yes, he could brew a correct potion.

Nor is there any evidence in canon that he was comfortable with it. I am of the opinion, given Severus' personal ethical code, that he probably would have gone the way of Regulus Black and eventually left when things got too insane.
His methods may not have suited Neville true but as a teacher he was required to teach Neville anyway and IMO he did not do a good job. We see how much better Neville is with other teachers despite his background. I would also imagine that Snape knew Nevilles background and so should have adjusted his teaching style accordingly. I do no believe Neville is frightened of McGonagal the only teacher he is truly frightened of is Snape who after all is his Boggart - Nevilles greatest fear which says a lot when you think about what poor Neville has experienced in his life. I don't agree with your assertion that any strict style of teaching would have scared Neville as MacGonagal was strict and he was not scared of her.


Actually according to the book Neville only produced an acceptable potion because he had help from Hermione and Snape took points off Gryffindor for her helping him so it was not Neville brewing the correct potion. I also think it is tellimg that Neville did not get an O or even EE for potions in his Owls.


The evidence in Canon that Snape was confortable with his Death Eater duties are that he willingly went to Voldemort and spied for him and related the prophecy from Trelawaney and seemed to have no qualms about condemning a child and possibly their parents to die until Snape realised that Voldemort was after Lily. JKR herself has said Snape would have remained a Death Eater if not for this. Also the other issue is he was quite unmoved by the prospect of James and harry dying just so long as Lily was spared.


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  #483  
Old March 4th, 2011, 7:46 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

Quote:
Originally Posted by SadiraSnape View Post
I think Potions was more like Chemistry, which can go sideways in a second if the wrong things are combined the wrong way. Severus was teaching a no-nonsense subject, and demanded respect for the subject and the materials.
IMO, Neville was good in one subject: Herbology. It wouldn't have mattered if the Good Witch of the North was teaching Potions, I don't think Neville would have done well. He finally learned several spells under Harry's tutledge in OotP, but, it still took him quite some time. It wasn't as though he was all of a sudden amazingly talented in spells just because a friend was teaching him. So, IMO, Severus teaching methods good or bad, had no direct effect on Neville's abilities. The time that Neville produced a proper potion was when he was responsible for Trevor's safety. IMO, he did the same in DH when he led the rebel student group. People he cared for were depending on him and he reacted accordingly. So, maybe Severus was onto something after all?

Quote:
His methods may not have suited Neville, but I believe Neville came to Hogwarts already nervous and bullied by his grandmother. If I'm not mistaken, he's also frightened by McGonagall (although, given, not to the degree he is frightened by Snape). Any strict, non-touchy-feely style of teaching would have scared Neville, IMHO.
I think Neville had a lot of emotional baggage from what happened to his parents and also from being a late bloomer. IMO, when he started at Hogwarts, until he reached the subject he really liked and understood, he was not going to do well. Look at flying. Neville was off to a bad start there from the get-go, and Madam Hooch wasn't nearly as scary as Severus. Same with McGonagall in Transfiguration. He just wasn't good at them and being nice or being nasty wasn't what was going to change that. (See my paragraph above about people/things he cared about.)

Quote:
I don't agree with this at all. The one time we know of that Neville produced a passable potion was when he had the motivation of Trevor being dosed with whatever he produced. Fear can be a huge motivator, and if that's what it took to get Neville to perform, then so be it.

What's a pity is that Neville didn't take away from the experience the realization that yes, he could brew a correct potion.


Quote:
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 agree he started out hating the image of James he saw in front of him and even looked for reasons to continue to do so. I do think there was a point, however, where Severus started to care for Harry and was able to separate him from James and from Lily.

IMO, it started during the Occlumency lessons, when he saw the similarities in their childhoods: suffering bullying and humiliation, being ignored and neglected, even the too-large clothes, all of these were things Severus had in common with Harry. And, he saw these over and over again. Severus was not a totally unfeeling person, as we know. I don't think he could have watched this over again and not felt some sympathy and connection to Harry.

But, Harry didn't really try to get his own emotions under control so that he could fight Severus' Legilimency off. He admitted that he didn't practice and, IMO, Harry naievely thought that he could somehow handle the mind connection between himself and Voldemort. I also think that, in a way, Harry actually enjoyed hating Severus. It was someone he could driect all of his negative feeling toward.

But, unfortunately, Harry let his hatred for Severus overwhelm him. What Severus kept trying to get across to him, though, was that, whatever emotions he felt at that time (and I think he knew how much Harry hated him), his hatred for Voldemort was deeper and that Voldemort would use these emotions, and any others he could, against Harry...which eventually happened and resulted in Sirius' death.

I think Severus wanted Harry to succeed in Occlumency. I think he taunted him because he knew Voldemort's methods and wanted Harry to become as capable as he could be at blocking anything Voldemort could try. But, IMO, Harry didn't want to learn because it was Severus teaching. I don't think he wanted Severus to be successful at teaching him. That would have taken away part of the negativity between them. What Harry didn't understand that it had to be someone who aroused strong emotions so he could learn to fingt them. It would be like trying to be a body-builder using 1-lb weights all the time. You never get any stronger. Unless there were emotions to fight back, Harry was never going to progress.

Once Harry looked into the Pensieve, however, I think Severus was rightfully outraged at this invasion of his privacy and at what Harry saw, and also knew that he was now at greater risk for Voldemort to be able to see these memories when he invaded Harry's mind. So, the lessons were ended because they were useless.

Back to why I think Severus grew to care for Harry:

Watching Harry grow over the seven years that he knew him, I don't think Severus could help but begin to have feelings for him. He was protecting him and, the sense of being a protector in itself is an emotional one, knowing that the life of another depends on you.

IMO, since Severus was guarding Harry pretty much night and day, he more than likely knew about Harry and Ginny, and that Harry was capable of loving and being loved. He also knew what a fierce and loyal friend he was to Ron, Hermione, Neville, and Luna.

As I've said before, I think he became angry when Harry risked his life time and again because I think he saw it as a disrespect for Lily. I think this frustrated him, but, unlike Lupin, he couldn't say anything to Harry about it --and, probably wouldn't have if he could. It would be like digging a knife into an open wound, IMO. It would have been too painful. Especially if Harry had thrown back at him that he was the cause of Lily's death in the first place. So, he just kept shut about it.

I've always felt that Seveus intentionally tried not to like Harry, and didn't realize how much he had come to like him until Dumbledore told him he would have to die. That's why I think the change from being "Potter's son," which was like being a part of something he despised, to being "Potter," a person on his own, but still related to someone he despised and was therefore tainted by that, to being "the boy," an individual human being not associated with anyone but himslef. IMO, coming from Severus, this was the equivalent of Dudley's thanking Harry as they were leaving Little Whinging.

I think Treacle Tartlet had a good analysis on the scene where Dumbledore asks if he's grown fond of Harry and Severus does everything he can to deny it and to divert the conversation, going so far as to cast his Patronus as a final bit of diversion. Maybe one of the reasons Dumbledore got so emotional was not only the "Always," for Severus love of Lily, but, being a Legilimens, maybe Dumbledore was able to see Severus had grown fond of Harry and was not only going to have to kill him, but also was going to have to direct Harry to his own death. JMHO. That may have been part of what brought tears to his eyes.

The clincher for me, again, is the number and selection of memories given to Harry and the plea, "Look...at...me..." Not, "Harry, you'll need these," or, "Look at me!" or, "These are from Dumbledore..." or any other number of things that the author could have written for Severus to get Harry's attention to give him the memories and look into Harry's (Lily's) eyes. There were just too many things there that were way too personal to share with someone you hate, no matter how much you're trying to gain their trust. The scene in Sirius room where Severus is crying over Lily's picture, the scenes of his childhood (so similar to Harry's), the meeting with Dumbledore, and all the rest. Only a few of them would have been necessary to gain Harry's trust and get the message across.

But, IMO, Severus was saying he was sorry for the wrongs he'd done, showing Harry that he was truly remorseful, and that he'd done everything that he could...everything he was asked to make up for it and to help Harry defeat Voldemort.

Quote:
Nor is there any evidence in canon that he was comfortable with it. I am of the opinion, given Severus' personal ethical code, that he probably would have gone the way of Regulus Black and eventually left when things got too insane.
I agree, Sadira. I see Severus a bit like Draco going into the DEs. Mabye even that cocky, thinking he was going to be something special. He'd probably never seen anyone tortured or killed before. He didn't have a great respect for human life at that time. So, like Draco, he marched into the DEs thinking he was going some place.

But, also like Draco -- and Regulus, when the reality hit him, it was a different story. That's why I think he always made sure he was away when there was torturing or killing going on. I think he wanted out, but, once in, you just don't give Voldy your two-week notice and leave. IMO, Severus assuaged his own guilt by not taking direct part in the "dirty stuff," so he could tell himself he wasn't as bad as Bella and her ilk.

But, he was, in a way, because he was a part of it, directly or indirectly. IMO he was able to push this to the back of his mind and go on, keeping favor by carrying a bit of useful information here and there, including the Prophecy. Then, when someone he loved was in danger, he, like Regulus, turned on Voldemort. And, we all know the story from there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RealBigFish
Actually according to the book Neville only produced an acceptable potion because he had help from Hermione and Snape took points off Gryffindor for her helping him so it was not Neville brewing the correct potion. I also think it is tellimg that Neville did not get an O or even EE for potions in his Owls.
I must have missed where we find out what Neville gets on his O.W.L.S. for Potions. Could you cite that in canon for me?

Quote:
The evidence in Canon that Snape was confortable with his Death Eater duties are that he willingly went to Voldemort and spied for him and related the prophecy from Trelawaney and seemed to have no qualms about condemning a child and possibly their parents to die until Snape realised that Voldemort was after Lily. JKR herself has said Snape would have remained a Death Eater if not for this. Also the other issue is he was quite unmoved by the prospect of James and harry dying just so long as Lily was spared.
No. The 21-22 year old Severus did become a DE, but, I'm not sure what canon states that he is comfortable with being a DE. Again, we have Bella's taunting about what a lousy DE he was and how he was always missing when the action happened. She was certainly not the least impressed by him.

We've already admitted that he was at a low point in his life when he was a DE, and, as I said, there wasn't any going back once he joined. So, IMO he did what he could that did not get his hands dirty. This was his was of salving his conscience -- which I think he still had.

No, he didn't care if James died and even offered Harry if Voldemort would spare Lily. That was when Dumbledore admonished him about being disgusting, and, IMO, that was when he realized just how disgusting he had become...spying at keyholes, not caring about human life, not caring if a child died as long as he got what he wanted, which was Lily's safety.

It's my opinion that Dumbledore's words were like being hit with cold water. Severus came to himself and realized what a low-life he had become. He'd sunk to the bottom of the pond and even under the pond scum. That was when he agreed to do "Anything," to see that not only Lily, but James and Harry, were all protected. Had it not been for the betrayal of Pettigrew, the Secret Keeper, he would probably succeeded.

It is there, on the hilltop, that, IMO, Severus redemption began. He felt true remorse then and later when he found out that Lily had been killed. He continued to feel that for the rest of his life. He worked and did what he had to, and, even Dumbledore acknowledges it was at great risk to his own life that he did so.

IMO, the Severus we see when Harry starts at Hogwarts might have been aloof and snarky, but he did value human life and he was capable of loving. As a matter of fact, I think it was his capacity to love that saved him the same as it saved Harry later on, for that was something that Voldemort did not have and could not understand.


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Last edited by MinervasCat; March 4th, 2011 at 8:07 am.
  #484  
Old March 4th, 2011, 9:59 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

Quote:
Originally Posted by LyraLovegood View Post
I don't see how Snape's doe could have anything to do with Harry, The only connection is that both find their origin in Lily (and James).
I think the doe's inexplicable familiarity is the familiarity Harry subconsciously knew and understood in Snape. After the SWM, I think Harry's thoughts on Snape/Marauders equation shifted irreparably and I think on some level Harry had begun identifying with Snape.

OotP - SWM What was making Harry feel so horrified and unhappy was not being shouted at and having jars thrown at him; it was that he knew how it felt to be humiliated in the middle of a circle of onlookers, knew exactly how Snape felt as his father had taunted him, and judging from what he had seen, his father had been every bit as arrogant as Snape had always told him
bold mine

From Snape's side, I think it showed whatever his exterior his inside; his soul was very different and it was not just beautiful as the doe was, but it could also command the trust of Harry and make him to what Snape wanted him to. I think the Doe exhibited the power Snape had over Harry. It was unseen and not known by Harry until he saw the memories, but it was always there. From day one imo.

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.
Canon says the potion was green before Snape acted. Whether Snape would have given the potion to Trevor even if the potion had gone wrong is speculation in my opinion because there is nothing to suggest Snape would have done killed Trevor.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ReelBigFish View Post
The evidence in Canon that Snape was confortable with his Death Eater duties are that he willingly went to Voldemort and spied for him and related the prophecy from Trelawaney and seemed to have no qualms about condemning a child and possibly their parents to die until Snape realised that Voldemort was after Lily.
I disagree. I don't think there is anything to suggest either way; personally I think Snape was disillusioned with what he had done; what he had signed up for; because he was able to not just move away from Voldemort, but also actively work against him, knowing that it would mean a very painful death if he was ever caught. I think Snape knew that Voldemort would have made an example of him. But yes; Snape turned away from Voldemort because of the fact Lily was targeted and because there was a great possibility that she would die along with Harry.

I think the huge mistake Snape made was taking the Prophecy to Voldemort; from Snape's point of view he was acting like a rebel soldier carrying out an act that would help his rebel commander. But he completely missed the point which was that the rebels were not waging a war (for any purpose) using legit means; they were using terror to advance their cause though in great secrecy. That act when it rebounded on Snape made him realise that something very essential had been ignored inside him when he took the Prophecy to Voldemort. It was to repair this and to heal his soul that I think his remorse was necessary. I think Snape realised it too and worked on it and I believe he was successful. At one level I think he himself never felt he had rid of his guilt as long as he lived, while at another level he realised that he was a changed man, man who listened to his soul and what he did he did knowing that it was the right thing to do.

Quote:
JKR herself has said Snape would have remained a Death Eater if not for this. Also the other issue is he was quite unmoved by the prospect of James and harry dying just so long as Lily was spared.
I agree JKR said this, though I think she never showed it on page. In canon the Snape she draws is a vastly different one to the Snape she speaks of. JMO.


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  #485  
Old March 4th, 2011, 11:10 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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Originally Posted by LyraLovegood View Post
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."
I don't find a problem with this turn of phrase.Incidentally Dumbledore himself refers to Harry as "the boy" moments later in the very same scene.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ReelBigFish View Post
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?
One can dislike a person but still care about if they live or die. I agree with, Ignisia that Snape had come to value all human life. I think this is demonstrated in Snape's answer when Dumbledore's questions him:

"Don't be shocked, Severus. How any men and women have you watched die?"
"Lately, only those whom I could not save", said Snape.
(DH, The Prince's Tale)

I see Snape's answer here as a sharp rebuke, reminding Dumbledore that he is no longer that person. That he has come to value all human life, and no longer watches people die if he can save them.

He goes on to show his horror and disgust that Dumbledore has been treating Harry as if he was, "a pig for the slaughter", and not a human boy. In fact, it is this comment that provokes Dumbledore to question if Snape has come to care for Harry.


Personally,I don't think Snape cared for Harry in the sense of liking him, but "cared" in the sense of being concerned for him as a human being.


Quote:
I also think it is tellimg that Neville did not get an O or even EE for potions in his Owls.
We are only told of Neville's grades for, Herbology, DADA, Charms and Transfiguration. He only gained an Acceptable in Transfiguration and as such McGonagall wouldn't let him join her NEWT class. As for all the other subjects he took we are not told his grades.


Quote:
Originally Posted by MinervasCat View Post
Watching Harry grow over the seven years that he knew him, I don't think Severus could help but begin to have feelings for him. He was protecting him and, the sense of being a protector in itself is an emotional one, knowing that the life of another depends on you.
I agree. Being put in the role of a protector helps to foster caring emotions.



Last edited by TreacleTartlet; March 4th, 2011 at 12:35 pm.
  #486  
Old March 4th, 2011, 1:00 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

Regarding the Trevor incident, my impression is this: We've seen Snape before this handle classroom accidents by giving out the antidote to his students (CoS, Swelling Solution). This suggests to me that he arrives in class prepared for any contingencies. Considering this, and (redemption arc aside) noting that Snape would not apparently benefit at all from killing Trevor, my belief is that he intended to feed the botched potion to Trevor, give the toad an antidote, and then make a speech on the dangers of incompetent brewing. I don't believe Snape looked sour when the potion worked because he (for some strange reason) was in an OOC, toad-killing mood, but because he had wanted to make an example of Neville in order to "encourage [him] to make it properly."
Good idea? Not really. Merciless murderer of beloved amphibian? Don't really think so.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TreacleTartlet View Post
Personally,I don't think Snape cared for Harry in the sense of liking him, but "cared" in the sense of being concerned for him as a human being.
Absolutely. I think one can care about people in different ways, and while Snape was not particularly fond of Harry, he had come to care for his safety/well-being.


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  #487  
Old March 4th, 2011, 1:34 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

I think Snape was trying to toughen up Neville. Toads are actually potions "ingredients" in the Wizarding World, so you can't get too emotionally attached to them. But in my opinion Trevor was never in any danger from Snape, and was actually in more danger that some kid would throw Trevor in a vat of boiling liquid.

Snape makes Neville disembowel toads in one of the books as a detention. That's pretty good practice for killing that big snake a few years later. JMO


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  #488  
Old March 4th, 2011, 2:01 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
Snape makes Neville disembowel toads in one of the books as a detention. That's pretty good practice for killing that big snake a few years later. JMO
I disembowled quite a few fishes in my youth and don't feel that prepared me to kill an attacking snake on any level. But granted, that's only me.

Neville, on the other hand, seemed to have needed confidence more than practise in how to use a knife. He's very capable of that (or any difficult practical work for that matter) when it comes to Herbology. So for that reason, if a teacher prepared Neville for the great task to kill a giant snake by minor duties during school lessons, it's in my view Sprout. But I actually believe nobody did through this. Snape, I think, failed to see that Neville needed confidence more than anything else to manage school tasks. So both in his social interaction with students as also his not the least variable way to teach students, I think we see a character, which is far from the brilliance he uses to achieve his own duties. Interaction with others just never seemed to have been Snape's strength. Now we know he had difficulties in childhood, but imo that's neither excuse nor full (!) explanation why he actually never learned to meet people without prejudices.


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  #489  
Old March 4th, 2011, 2:30 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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Originally Posted by gertiekeddle View Post
I disembowled quite a few fishes in my youth and don't feel that prepared me to kill an attacking snake on any level. But granted, that's only me.
No, but I'm sure it made you less squeamish, and we know that Neville had that problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gertie
Neville, on the other hand, seemed to have needed confidence more than practise in how to use a knife. He's very capable of that (or any difficult practical work for that matter) when it comes to Herbology. So for that reason, if a teacher prepared Neville for the great task to kill a giant snake by minor duties during school lessons, it's in my view Sprout.
Harry in DADA helped Neville with his confidence too, but a frog is pretty close to a reptile, and actually in Muggle schools we dissected frogs in biology class in 7th grade (I was 12 at the time) and the teacher expected us to do it for a grade. If someone was squeamish, they still had to do it or get a zero.

Potions Class is quite different from Herbology which only deals with plants ~ although these magical plants often react like animals, LOL, which doesn't keep Hermione from blazing a light on a Venemous Tentacula or Snape from stewing a Mandrake in order to make the Mandrake Restorative Draught to save lives.

Death to Ingredients of every kind just seems to be a fact of life in the books. JMO

Quote:
Originally Posted by gertiekeddle
But I actually believe nobody did through this. Snape, I think, failed to see that Neville needed confidence more than anything else to manage school tasks. So both in his social interaction with students as also his not the least variable way to teach students, I think we see a character, which is far from the brilliance he uses to achieve his own duties. Interaction with others just never seemed to have been Snape's strength. Now we know he had difficulties in childhood, but imo that's neither excuse nor full (!) explanation why he actually never learned to meet people without prejudices.
We'll just have to disagree about that. I think Snape treated everyone exactly the same way, and if anything paid more attention to Harry and Neville because they were who they were, just as he did with Draco because he was the son of the Malfoys - they were exceptions to his rule that no one is more important than anyone else. To me, just because he pointed out what they were doing wrong doesn't make him a bad teacher. I'm not sure how else they could have learned except from their mistakes, as with any class. There is no class where everyone is gifted and makes an A all the time, and certainly not in the Harry Potter books. Neville is at that top of the curve in Herbology, Hermione in Ancient Runes, and Harry in DADA (although Neville catches up with him), and that seems realistic that they each have their strengths and weaknesses, in my opinion.


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  #490  
Old March 4th, 2011, 2:45 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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Originally Posted by silver ink pot View Post
I think Snape was trying to toughen up Neville. Toads are actually potions "ingredients" in the Wizarding World, so you can't get too emotionally attached to them.
Dogs and horses are food ingredients in our world, yet I would argue that a lot of children and their parents would be in an uproar if a teacher threatened their pets as a way of motivating them. I can't see Snape as the noble teacher with only the good of his pupils at heart in this instance, I really can't. I would rather call it traumatising, not motivating.


  #491  
Old March 4th, 2011, 2:51 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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Originally Posted by ignisia View Post
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 don't think Snape ever had any sympathy for Harry as an individual. Snape says in that scene that his understanding was that they were keeping Harry alive for Lily. It is Dumbledore that points out that for Dumbledore the object was to keep Harry alive so Harry could grow as he deserved to do.

Still, since Snape also states in that scene that he now objects to watching people die that he could have saved, I do feel he is not thrilled at the death in a general way, and not just because it violates the For Lily agreement.

Quote:
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!
I actually think that moment-- learning that Harry was to die-- marked a major growth in Snape. In my opinion, Snape had joined up to make himself feel better about Lily, and Harry had been given to him as a sop for those feelings. And then Snape learns that Harry needs to die in order to defeat Voldemort. It turns out that the mission is not going to be Protect Harry For Lily afterall, and that that was never going to be the end game. Snape isn't going to get what he personally wants. I think it shows major growth that he protests, but sticks around to do the job even though his personal payment plan has been revoked.

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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.
I think Snape would also have to come to grips with Dumbledore being completely serious about defeating Voldemort, and that that was always at the top of Dumbledore's priority list. I think Dumbledore really drives his point home by arranging his own death-- his death too will become a cog in the machinery to bring down Voldemort. I think Snape had to put his own desires into perspective.

Quote:
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.
I agree. I think the promise was good for him personally, and laid the groundwork for some very slow growth that eventually built up the framework for him to eventually walk without that crutch. I think the promise helped him focus on something that was outside himself. But I also think the promise was unfair to Harry, and outdated as a viable motivation if the plan was actually to get rid of Voldemort, not just make Snape feel better. I think Snape had a hard time realizing that his former purpose was outmoded, but he did adapt. He had finally reached a point in his life where The Greater Good meant more than his persoanl desires, I think.

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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.
I personally don't think Snape was trying to atone for anything except Lily until the last few years of his life, but I do agree that by that time the terrible irony of what he was being asked to do was not lost on him. First he gave Voldemort a prophecy that sent Voldemort out to kill a child to prevent Voldemort's defeat, and now Snape needs to send that same child out to be killed by Voldemort so Voldemort can be defeated.

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4) A kid is going to die. Think what you will of Snape, I don't believe he likes this at all.
I think Rowling used the willingness to harm children to demonstrate what set the Death Eaters apart from others-- from torturing the children at the Quidditch World Cup, Imperiusing a child to attempt to commit murders, or trying to kill a baby, it's what Voldemort and Death Eaters seem to be able to do without blinking. When Snape was in Dumbledore's office shortly after Voldemort's fall, he shrugged off the matter of Harry's life or death like it was an irritating fly. I think if Snape was shown to have grown to care about children in particular, that would be a good sign. I think it remains ambiguous. But I do think he had grown to have a general aversion to seeing people die.


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Last edited by OldMotherCrow; March 4th, 2011 at 2:55 pm. Reason: replaced pronoun with proper name to clarify sentence
  #492  
Old March 4th, 2011, 4:09 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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Originally Posted by Moriath View Post
Dogs and horses are food ingredients in our world, yet I would argue that a lot of children and their parents would be in an uproar if a teacher threatened their pets as a way of motivating them. I can't see Snape as the noble teacher with only the good of his pupils at heart in this instance, I really can't. I would rather call it traumatising, not motivating.
Probably what Snape was trying to teach Neville is "Do not bring your familiar to my class, or to any other class for that matter". I think in this case it was Neville's mistake to bring his toad to Potions Lab, he shouldn't have, and I think Prof. Snape's terrorizing tactic might have proved efficient if the boy didn't bring his familiar to any other class.

Besides, I don't think Prof. Snape *really* intended to kill the toad... As someone said before -sorry for nor quoting it- he, Snape, probably new the potion wasn't going to kill it... Or that the antidote was, in fact, correctly made.


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  #493  
Old March 4th, 2011, 4:18 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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Originally Posted by silver ink pot View Post
I think Snape was trying to toughen up Neville. Toads are actually potions "ingredients" in the Wizarding World, so you can't get too emotionally attached to them. But in my opinion Trevor was never in any danger from Snape, and was actually in more danger that some kid would throw Trevor in a vat of boiling liquid.

Snape makes Neville disembowel toads in one of the books as a detention. That's pretty good practice for killing that big snake a few years later. JMO
The difference between Trevor and any old toad is that Trevor is Neville's pet. Neville has an emotional attatchment to him, just like how other students have emotional attatchments to their own animal companions. Say cats and owls were used in potions. Does that make it alright for Snape to take Hedwig, Crookshanks, or even little Pigwidegon and test possibly lethal potions on them? It's not "toughening up", it's plain bullying.


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  #494  
Old March 4th, 2011, 5:10 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
No, but I'm sure it made you less squeamish, and we know that Neville had that problem.
It's not Neville's thread so I won't elaborate too much, but no: I don't see him any sqeamish in other classes, eg when he deals with very pet-like mandrakes or, later on, with even more ugly plants which actually request good physical abilities. Imo Sprout and, indeed, friends do a lot to raise Neville's self-confidence. His grandma and his family as also Snape, do not.

In lessons, I see him being sqeamish - or actually silent and scared - only in Snape's class. If a muggle kid tells me maths are his biggest fear in life, I don't believe it really is, but am still little worried. If magic detects Potions actually really is the biggest fear of student Neville, so that he has to fought a Snape figure in PoA, I'm more than worried. If my kid was treated like Neville I wouldn't shrug and believe it's a good lesson for life. I'd fight to get my kid a better teacher, but not one who treats to kill his pets. Not even if said teacher never planned to actually do it, the treatment alone is, in my view, horrible.

Quote:
If someone was squeamish, they still had to do it or get a zero.
I have really no problem with embowling toads or any other animals for that matter at school. Maybe it be real life or Hogwarts. But I believe it doesn't prepare to kill. And I believe it's fully unrelated to the treatment towards a student's pet.

Mafer_Potter said it was a lesson for Neville to not bring Trevor to Potions. I actually don't see a rule at Hogwarts that disapproves of pets during lessons, however logical such a rule might work for us. But even if that was the reason, I'd rather get a teacher who simply asks Neville to not bring his pet to class again. I doubt Snape didn't know that Neville had followed such an advice without any rebellion. It doesn't make Snape's action supportive for me. For me it's another example which shows that he enjoys to hit his students as hard as possible in public.


Quote:
We'll just have to disagree about that. I think Snape treated everyone exactly the same way, and if anything paid more attention to Harry and Neville because they were who they were, just as he did with Draco because he was the son of the Malfoys - they were exceptions to his rule that no one is more important than anyone else.
I believe Snape treats Harry different from the moment on in which he points out that Harry is nothing more important than anyone else. There was no reason whatsoever to do so since Harry hadn't yet talked a single word to him expect that he didn't know the answer. This imo was the first public mistreatment of Harry during lessons, followed by many others. It's passive-agressive, at the least.

We actually also get descriptions of different behaviour towards the kids not only from Harry, but from many point of views for particular during the first books. I rather had problems to find a quote in the books where Snape treats all students exactly the same.

Quote:
To me, just because he pointed out what they were doing wrong doesn't make him a bad teacher. I'm not sure how else they could have learned except from their mistakes, as with any class.
Imo he doesn't make them learn from their mistakes, he's pointing out how miserable they are. That is a major difference. I don't think humans can learn if they're told they as persons are worthless. Most of them will live through it and some even of them might reach their aims, but they'll loose much more.


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  #495  
Old March 4th, 2011, 5:56 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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I think the doe's inexplicable familiarity is the familiarity Harry subconsciously knew and understood in Snape.
I think the familiarity was that the doe was an embodiment of Lily, Harry's mother. Harry had few conscious memories of his mother, but he had deep subconscious memories of being held and nurtured and loved by his mother for fifteen months. I think Snape knew that Harry would trust the doe because it was based on Lily.

Quote:
Whether Snape would have given the potion to Trevor even if the potion had gone wrong is speculation in my opinion because there is nothing to suggest Snape would have done killed Trevor.
To say that Snape had the antidote ready and would have given the antidote to Trevor in time to save him and then given a lecture about how dangerous potions can be is also speculation.

Regardless of Snape's motivations or intent, or what he really would have done if Neville's mixture had been poison, it was not teaching; it was threatening. And I don't think it proves that Neville could have made a good potion, given proper motivation, because he was following Hermione's hissed instructions, not doing his own work.

Quote:
I can't see Snape as the noble teacher with only the good of his pupils at heart in this instance, I really can't. I would rather call it traumatising, not motivating.
This.

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Imo he doesn't make them learn from their mistakes, he's pointing out how miserable they are. That is a major difference. I don't think humans can learn if they're told they as persons are worthless. Most of them will live through it and some even of them might reach their aims, but they'll loose much more.
And this. Maybe this is why it's hard for me personally to like Severus Snape, as I've felt the fallout and the emotional damage of having everyone in your life telling you that you're worthless and you don't measure up to their (high, impossible, perfectionistic, unreasonable or what-have-you) standards. There are really only a small fraction of people who will take an "Oh, so you think I'm a dunderhead? I'll show you" line at the age of eleven and prove that they're better than the naysayers think. I think it's far more common to crumble and give up and fail if the people who are in authority over you are constansly spouting off about your inadequacies and doing their best to make you feel worthless.

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I don't find a problem with this turn of phrase.Incidentally Dumbledore himself refers to Harry as "the boy" moments later in the very same scene.
Dumbledore may have simply used the same phrase Severus did in order to follow through on the line of thinking and maintain the connection with Severus in the conversation. But as I said, my reaction to the phrasing "the boy" might be my own colored opinion, and I might be the only one who has my particular connotations for the phrase. But I don't see where use of the phrase "the boy" proves indisputably that Severus cared for Harry as a person, either. For me it's easier to agree with the interpretation of the author who created the characters saying that Severus hated Harry to his dying breath.


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  #496  
Old March 4th, 2011, 6:33 pm
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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 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.
Actually he answered. "For him?"
The way I read the passage is:
Do I care for him? No, but I do care for Lily. Everything I did was for her, to redemn myself. Protecting this aweful kid is what you asked of me. I don´t like this at all, but do I have another choice?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MinervasCat View Post
And, I've often wondered: did Severus know that Harry's Patronus was a stag?
He most likely did. It wasn´t really a secret.


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  #497  
Old March 4th, 2011, 6:47 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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Originally Posted by gertiekeddle View Post
I believe Snape treats Harry different from the moment on in which he points out that Harry is nothing more important than anyone else. There was no reason whatsoever to do so since Harry hadn't yet talked a single word to him expect that he didn't know the answer.
DH - TPT'Slytherin?'

One of the boys sharing the compartment, who had shown no interest at all in Lily or Snape until that point, looked around at the word, and Harry, whose attention had been focused entirely on the two beside the window, saw his father; slight, black haired like Snape, but with that indefinable air of having been well cared for and even adored, that Snape so conspicuously lacked.

'Who wants to be in Slytherin? I think I'd leave, wouldn't you?'

.....'No,' said Snape, though his slight sneer said otherwise. 'If you'd be brawny rather than brainy -'

'Where're you hoping to go, seeing as you're neither?'


This was how canon shows the Snape/James interaction started off and I think the adult Snape may have realised how brimming with confidence James had been from his first day and his attitude over the years may even called over confident/arrogant. This attitude taken with the mutters when Harry Potters name was called and the huge applause from the whole School when he was sorted into Gryffindor with boys like the Weasley Twins openly saying that they scored over the other Houses because they got Potter, I think Snape may be excused for talking about his fame much like Flitwick.

Snape was not very pleasant; I really don't think he needed to be, to be called a good teacher or an effective one. He was a man who had promised to protect Harry until either he or Harry died or until both survived the war or if it came to Harry's life, it was Snape's job to protect even at the cost of his own imo.

With that in his mind, and seeing the type of cheering Harry received and knowing how James Potter had been (in Snape's view) even without the Boy-Who-Lived title that Harry had, I think Snape probably thought it prudent to make the young boy take a peg or two. I really can't see that as singling out Harry because he hated him or anything. If anything Snape was probably over cautious imo.

That Snape promised to protect Harry IMO also meant that Snape could not be abusive or hateful, because then he was actually failing in his promise to Dumbledore. There is nothing in canon to suggest Dumbledore ever thought Snape slipped up or failed in his promise. In fact I feel he always stressed upon how much he trusted Snape, implying Harry should do so too.

Quote:
LyraLovegood
I think the familiarity was that the doe was an embodiment of Lily, Harry's mother. Harry had few conscious memories of his mother, but he had deep subconscious memories of being held and nurtured and loved by his mother for fifteen months. I think Snape knew that Harry would trust the doe because it was based on Lily.
The Patronus was Snape's, not Lily's imo. A Patronus, Lupin says is a guardian that acts as a shield between oneself and a dementor. He says it is unique to the wizard who conjures it.

Snape's Patronus was a doe and it was wholly Snape's imo. Snape sent that Patronus which came from inside him to Harry and it was that Patronus Harry trusted, seeing whom he felt an inexplicable familiarity (naturally imo) he was more than familiar with Snape and he trusted that creature (like he had trusted Snape to even save Sirius in OOTP knowing they were worst enemies) and it was this Patronus that Harry saw and followed and trusted imo.

Quote:
To say that Snape had the antidote ready and would have given the antidote to Trevor in time to save him and then given a lecture about how dangerous potions can be is also speculation.
The antidote was to bring Trevor back to his original size not to save him from being poisoned. That's how I understood it.

There was a moment of hushed silence, in which Trevor gulped; then there was a small pop, and Trevor the tadpole was wriggling in Snape’s palm.

The Gryffindors burst into applause. Snape, looking sour, pulled a small bottle from the pocket of his robe, poured a few drops on top of Trevor, and he reappeared suddenly, fully grown.

"Five points from Gryffindor," said Snape, which wiped the smiles from every face. "I told you not to help him, Miss Granger. Class dismissed.


Quote:
Regardless of Snape's motivations or intent, or what he really would have done if Neville's mixture had been poison, it was not teaching; it was threatening.
I think it was not much different from a teacher telling a student (who was not applying himself to the satisfaction of the teacher) that he was going to read that student's essay in front of the whole School. The essay could be good, bad or ugly; that depended on the student, not on the teacher.

Quote:
posted by Tenshi
Actually he answered. "For him?"
The way I read the passage is:
Do I care for him? No, but I do care for Lily. Everything I did was for her, to redemn myself. Protecting this aweful kid is what you asked of me. I don´t like this at all, but do I have another choice?
Snape never answered either in the affirmative or negative the question (For him?) imo.


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  #498  
Old March 4th, 2011, 7:23 pm
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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 think Snape may be excused for talking about his fame much like Flitwick.
I don't think so, because none of that goes back to any action Harry ever did. I don't excuse Flitwick's reaction either, although he reacted positively to Harry's fame. Both is a No in nowadays teaching, and I actually agree that pointing a single student out right from the beginning is not helpful for anybody. Either way - my point was, that Snape started to treat Harry (and others) different from other students right from the beginning. This was a response to the claim he treated all students the same. I just think he never did since I honestly don't find a situation where he did, while we on the other hand see many situations described in the text.

Again, I love to read about these passages. They're funny. But they don't show a supportive, good or even effective teacher imo.


Quote:
With that in his mind, and seeing the type of cheering Harry received and knowing how James Potter had been (in Snape's view) even without the Boy-Who-Lived title that Harry had, I think Snape probably thought it prudent to make the young boy take a peg or two.
Then he should have ignored Harry's fame maybe, but not pointing it out. I think such things do support fame, not show cautioness on Snape's part. And again: Harry was eleven years old, barely had a clue why he actually was famous. While every teacher, according to Dumbledore descrives Harry as modest, Snape describes him as arrogant. Besides from his actions during class which I would never tolerate if they happened to my kid because I'd think the teacher is bullying, we also have spoken out that Snape hates Harry in PS as also in CoS.

There's a very interesting development over the seven books and while I personally don't think Snape cared for Harry as own person even when he died because he kept seeing Lily and James in him only, I can very good see why one would think different to that aspect.
In the first books, however, we often seem to forget that Snape is the adult and Harry is the kid. Snape is responsible for teaching Harry how to treat people with respect, not the other way round. I don't see how he is a good teacher, whenever I try to transfer the situations to a muggle school.


Quote:
That Snape promised to protect Harry IMO also meant that Snape could not be abusive or hateful, because then he was actually failing in his promise to Dumbledore.
We have quoted just a few days ago that Snape gave the promise for Lily. In the very same conversation he told Dumbledore that he had exchanged the boys and the fathers lives for Lily's. I don't see how the promise contains respect for Harry. I don't see how Snape ever treats Harry like a human being with own feelings either. He's always just James' son and as such - as eleven years old boy - gets a treatment from an adult man which the latter never fully could give James.

In my opinion a teacher who isn't able to contain his personal feelings - however rightly or not so rightly they might be - is no good teacher.


Quote:
Snape's Patronus was a doe and it was wholly Snape's imo.
We know that a patronus is a very personal thing. We also know that a patronus changes after tough emotional events. I believe everything hints to a change of Snape patronus after Lily died, because he still loved her.


Quote:
Snape never answered either in the affirmative or negative the question (For him?) imo.
In which way did he answer? I mean, what could the 'for him' mean, if we try to see it in a way that would suggest that Snape is supporting Harry, but not Lily?


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  #499  
Old March 4th, 2011, 7:43 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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Originally Posted by gertiekeddle View Post
In which way did he answer? I mean, what could the 'for him' mean, if we try to see it in a way that would suggest that Snape is supporting Harry, but not Lily?
I always took the "For him?!" as Snape trying to convince himself that Harry didn't matter to him: that everything was still for Lily and Lily only- when, in reality, he cannot help but care about Harry, as a seperate individual. I think Snape felt very conflicted about the whole thing and thought that it would be 'easier' for his own mind to deal with, if he could pretend he still didn't care about Harry. The "For him?!" is Snape attempting to deny his strong emotions about Harry and the situation he was being forced into.

Just my opinion and how I interpret the text.


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  #500  
Old March 4th, 2011, 8:00 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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Originally Posted by FutureAuthor13 View Post
The "For him?!" is Snape attempting to deny his strong emotions about Harry and the situation he was being forced into.
I´d like to know what kind "emotions" you are referring to. I mean there are different kind of emotions that could fit here.


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