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Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.5



 
 
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  #1181  
Old September 24th, 2011, 6:09 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.5

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Originally Posted by canismajoris View Post
"He desired her, that was all," sneered Voldemort, "but when she had gone, he agreed that there were other women, and of purer blood, worthier of him - "

I just need to point out that this is far from unambiguous. What's troubling me is why Voldemort would choose to employ a euphemism for death, especially when he was engaged in a battle of wills with the son of a woman he murdered--a man he also intended to kill. That he says "when she had gone" rather than "when I killed her" seems odd.
Interesting observations. The first two hypotheses I transferred to the LV: CA thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by canismajoris View Post
"or perhaps he is not referring to Lily's death at all, but the point at which she goes into hiding.
That's a possiblity--and that could put Snape's coversation with LV about Lily back to before she was killed.


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  #1182  
Old September 24th, 2011, 6:26 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.5

Lily being in hiding would make her effectively gone, as far as Snape was concerned. I imagine he'd have little way of seeing or contacting her. She'd be under heavy protection, as Snape had requested of Dumbledore.

I posted some other ideas in the Voldemort thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CC
Dumbledore asks Snape at the end of GoF if he is "prepared." I personally think that Snape's "answer" to Voldemort's probably question (answer = "I desired her, and there are worthier women of purer blood than she") - plus his ability to use Occlumency to prevent Voldemort from finding out the truth - are part of what Dumbledore wanted Snape to be prepared for.
I'd not considered that angle, but I can imagine that question would be both foreseeable to Snape and DD and stressful to Snape.

I think there's a lot he had to be prepared for at this point. Not only would Voldemort be putting to him questions about Lily and his behavior toward Quirrel, he'd also be extremely angry. Snape would arrive late to the meeting, and after Voldemort had been shown up in front of all his DEs by Harry-- who escaped! I think there was a huge risk in this particular meeting. Snape could have been AK'd on sight, IMO, as Voldemort thought he had left the DEs forever, plus the dangers involved in lying to Voldemort if Voldemort did give him a chance to speak.


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  #1183  
Old September 24th, 2011, 7:07 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.5

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Originally Posted by MCDahB View Post
Leah, can you clarify what sort of changes in head/heart you would expect to see spelled out in the text? Sorry, but it's hard for me to keep up with all the different aspects of the character that we are referring to. I've previously stated that I think there are several examples of significant life and behavior changes that seem to me to reflect some degree of a change of heart.
And I don't think we see those. We don't see if his opinion of Harry changes. We don't see if he'll become a nicer man or at least less of a grump. We don't see him stop bullying his students. There's a lot we don't see.


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  #1184  
Old September 24th, 2011, 10:36 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.5

Quote:
Originally Posted by canismajoris View Post
What's troubling me is why Voldemort would choose to employ a euphemism for death, especially when he was engaged in a battle of wills with the son of a woman he murdered--a man he also intended to kill.
"My 2 cents on Voldemort thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldMotherCrow View Post
I see it more as Snape liking the feeling he got from feeling love, and the love was attached to the object of Lily. I don't think he really knew her as a person.
Maybe he didn't understand that he couldn't stay on the path he was on and have her, but in Dumbledore's office shortly after she died, Dumbledore refers to her as "Lily Evans", which suggests that he did know & love her as a child.

Quote:
It may have been love, but I do see it as an obsessive love. I think taking on the Protect Lily mission was a way for him to extend the life of that feeling beyond her death. I think he was willing, at first, to do anything to extend that feeling.
I agree he came to Dumbledore wanting to protect Lily, but I can't find anything in canon that leads me to believe that the reason he chose to protect Harry was because "he was willing, at first, to do anything to extend that feeling". On the contrary, I think canon shows someone who isn't even willing to continue to live now that he's failed to protect her:

The Prince's Tale"I wish...I wish I were dead..."
...
Snape seemed to peer through a haze of pain, and Dumbledore's words appeared to take a long time to reach him.


So yeah, I see Snape as having no clue what to do with himself after she died, not as someone who is looking for a way, and willing to do anything, to maintain a "feeling of a feeling" about somebody. JMO.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldMotherCrow View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by MasterOfDeath View Post
Even if he still loved her and kept it to himself, that's obsessive sure but it only damages him, not her. He only ever got involved in her life again when the prophecy he delivered to Voldemort turned out to spur Voldemort to go murder her family. After that it became a case of Snape working his entire life to undo that huge, fatal moral failing of offering a family up to die for his Dark Lord.
That there is the problem I have with it. As soon as Snape's feelings start encrouching on Lily's life and the legacy she left behind, Snape is no longer keeping it to himself.
Sorry, I don't think I'm following on this one: The legacy that Lily left behind would be Harry, right? Do you mean that Snape was encroaching on Lily's life by acting on his feelings, and asking Voldemort to spare her?

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldMotherCrow View Post
Was Snape protecting Harry because Harry was a person who he wronged and who deserved to live, or was Snape protecting Harry because it made him feel better about what happened to Lily? If Harry was being used as a sop I think that is an encroachment on boundaried that Snape should not have crossed.
I think protecting Harry was the only way he could atone for what he'd done to the person he loved. At least, Dumbledore seems to state it as such to Snape:

Quote:
TPT:
"If you loved Lily Evans, if you truly loved her, then your way forward is clear."
...
"You know how and why she died. Make sure it was not in vain. Help me protect Lily's son."
Also, I think in some cases, atonement can offer the benefit of easing the pain of remorse. IMO, earning peace of mind & heart through atonement is not the same thing as using someone as a "sop".

That said, I doubt that keeping Harry alive was making him feel better about anything. At least, I don't see any canon evidence of Snape feeling "good" or "better" about anything in his life (Spinner's End was a very run down place, no effort went into his appearance/hygeine). Snape seems to me like someone who remained very much haunted by the mistakes of his youth, despite his efforts to atone for it.

Quote:
Ironically, I think it is once Protect Harry is tossed out the window as a mission and Snape takes on the mission Make Sure Harry Dies that Snape starts to work for Good and earn some redemption, because then it isn't about Snape's feelings, it's actually about protecting the Wizarding World. Snape doesn't die on a mission to protect Harry, he dies on a mission to make sure Harry is killed.
I don't see it that way. I think, in his mind, he may have seen protecting Harry as synonymous with atonement. And I think his personal commitment to protect Harry grew into a broader respect for the sanctity of life:

Quote:
"You have kept him alive so that he can die at the right moment?"

"Don't be shocked, Severus. How many men and women have you watched die?"

"Lately, only those whom I could not save," said Snape. He stood up. "You have used me."
Dumbledore's mission was always to defeat Voldemort, and although canon doesn't show us anything after "always", I think the conversation must have continued in order to go from Snape being full of emotion (feeling horrified, feeling used, standing up in defiance to Dumbledore, casting his patronus) to Snape being rational about the situation, and agreeing to do his best to bring about Harry's death by Voldemort's hand.

How Snape went from being opposed, to being on board, is a matter of debate, IMO. Personally, I imagine Snape must have felt defeated that he was being asked to abandon his commitment to protect Harry, because again, in his mind, he may have seen that as synonymous with atonement. Therefore, I think Dumbledore must have explained to Snape that not only was defeating Voldemort imperative to preventing the deaths of innocent people, but that defeating Voldemort was ultimately the best way to atone for his hand in Lily's death as well, and that necessarily meant letting Voldemort kill Harry. JMO.


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  #1185  
Old September 25th, 2011, 2:06 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.5

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Originally Posted by LoonyLuna22 View Post
What makes you think Snape was posessive or obsessive towards Lily? Where is the line drawn between love and obsession? Voldemort later told Harry that Snape "desired" Lily because he couldn't bring himself to say the word "love." Desire/obsession is strong but fleeting, where the object of one's affections is treated as such: an object. I think Snape truly loved Lily, a love that enabled him to sacrifce his own life for her son, and that lasted "always."
I think Snape's treatment of Harry shows obsessiveness and possessiveness where Lily was concerned. I think he found it hard to accept that Lily was free to love whom she wanted, and that she did not want to be a Death Eater's token "mudblood". Lily had been happy, and Snape could not accept that because she had been happy with someone other than him. I find that obsessive.

While they were still friends, some of his statements show possessiveness - "You'd better be in Slytherin" "I won't let you -" for example seem controlling to me.

Quote:
Lily wasn't the only reason for Snape being on the good side, imo.
Putting Lily in danger was the only reason Snape went to Dumbledore. He didn't go because he finally figured out that he was involved in something truly evil. He didn't go because a baby/toddler was going to be murdered. Lily was his only reason for going to Dumbledore.

Quote:
Lily accepted him too, but she ended up being sorted into another house and made her own friends, so she was kind of slipping away from Snape.
I'm not sure what you mean by "sorted into another house". They were in different houses, yes. But Lily was sorted before Snape. IMO, they slipped away from each other - Lily was not an object that was bound to follow Snape around, she chose her own path. I'm impressed by her refusal to support criminality, to be honest. Snape started hanging around with bigots, and Lily started to have contact with more people in the wizarding world than just Snape. She couldn't be expected to limit herself to just Snape and taking his views as fact.

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Originally Posted by MasterOfDeath View Post
You're right. Was it ever actually an obsession? When Lily turns him down in that scene after Snape's Worst Memory, did Snape ever stalk Lily and continue to try to pursue her? We don't really know, I guess but somehow I don't think so. Even if he still loved her and kept it to himself, that's obsessive sure but it only damages him, not her.
We don't know if he tried to persuade Lily again, I agree. However, they couldn't avoid each other for two whole years in Hogwarts. IMO, the obsession or I suppose possessiveness was in his refusal to accept Lily's choices. His treatment of Harry shows a resentment of Lily's choice, and a resentment that she had been happy with someone who wasn't him. IMO, that speaks of an obsessive, selfish type of love. He didn't have to be happy about it, but he could have respected that Lily was free to love whom she wanted, and that she loved her child.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohanT View Post
I think the very fact that Snape decided to heed Lily's wishes was evidence of his love for her.
Snape heeded Lily's wishes? When he served Lord Voldemort? When he asked for her life at the cost of her family? When he bullied her son? I don't see it.

Quote:
As MasterOfDeath puts it, obsession would most likely lead Snape to pursue Lily further, regardless of whether she accepted him or not. The fact that he stayed out of her life was a show of respect in my opinion. And that respect stemmed from his strong feelings for her.

I don't think Snape respected Lily. I find it disrespectful that he considered her his exception to what he was planning to become. I find it incredibly demeaning to Lily that he wanted her to be the exception, that he wanted her to depend on him to be entitled to live. That is what it would mean if she were to stay with Snape and support him in his life of crime. I don't think his treatment of Harry shows respect for Lily or for her choices.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldMotherCrow View Post
I see it more as Snape liking the feeling he got from feeling love, and the love was attached to the object of Lily. I don't think he really knew her as a person. It may have been love, but I do see it as an obsessive love. I think taking on the Protect Lily mission was a way for him to extend the life of that feeling beyond her death. I think he was willing, at first, to do anything to extend that feeling.
I get that impression, too. I don't think he ever truly understood or knew the real Lily. I think he loved the image of Lily he had in his mind, and didn't bother to notice how different the real Lily was from his image. The Lily who wanted nothing to do with Death Eaters and was very much opposed to Voldemort was not the Lily in Snape's mind who would be impressed by such things.

Snape didn't know the adult Lily at all. He didn't know the yonug woman who worked for the Order of the Phoenix and thrice defied his then-master. He didn't know the young woman who was happy and in love, and who was willing to die for her child. I wonder if Snape ever learned from either Dumbledore or Voldemort that Lily had been given the choice to move aside and refused?

Quote:
I don't see that Snape was mistreated and had no where else to go. Before the point he is said to be unpopular, he is said to be laughing it up at his friends using the Dark Arts on a fellow student, and calling other students "Mudblood". So, his being unpopular might be because of what he was up to, rather than what he was up to was because of being unpopular. I see that as fitting better with the chronology.
It's possible. Someone who's enthusiastic about Dark Magic and who calls others the worst racial slur in their community isn't going to be popular when there's a war and ethnic cleansing going on in that community.


Quote:
Was Snape protecting Harry because Harry was a person who he wronged and who deserved to live, or was Snape protecting Harry because it made him feel better about what happened to Lily? If Harry was being used as a sop I think that is an encroachment on boundaried that Snape should not have crossed.
I think that's a point. Harry should have been safe, anyway, because he was an innocent child. He shouldn't need to be Lily's child in order to be protected. I don't think Snape came to see it as protecting Harry because he should be safe, I think, as Snape himself says, it was "always" about Lily.

Quote:
Ironically, I think it is once Protect Harry is tossed out the window as a mission and Snape takes on the mission Make Sure Harry Dies that Snape starts to work for Good and earn some redemption, because then it isn't about Snape's feelings, it's actually about protecting the Wizarding World. Snape doesn't die on a mission to protect Harry, he dies on a mission to make sure Harry is killed.
I agree. I think it was then that Snape had to face up to the fact that this was never about him getting what he wanted. I think it may have shaken him to realise that there had never been a chance to save Harry, because Voldemort's soul had been within him ever since that night. Perhaps it led him to truly reflect on what his crimes meant for others, and not just for him. I think he may have spent a lot of time reflecting in his final year, when he was alone with his thoughts. I think Snape grew up more in his final year than he had in all the years prior to that.


Quote:
Originally Posted by MerryLore View Post
I believe, with obsession, it has to be fed in some way. Once Lily rejected Snape, canon suggests he backed off and didn't stalk her. Also, once the source of obsession is gone, i.e., Lily dies, the obsessed person who loves the feeling they get will move on to another person to feed the obsession and bring back those good feelings. IMHO, nothing in canon suggests he ever found anyone else, or had romantic feelings about anyone else.
I don't think anyone has to do anything to encourage an obsession in someone else. Plenty of people develop obsessions with someone they have never met, for example.

Quote:
I also think he did know Lily, since at one point in the story she agreed they were "best friends."
I don't think he did. If he knew Lily, he would have known that she wouldn't be impressed by him joining the Death Eaters. He would have known that she considered them an evil that had to be stopped. If he had known Lily, he would have known that she wouldn't want to see her son murdered while she survived. He would have known that she wouldn't want her son bullied.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mirrormere View Post
From what I've read on the subject, I think this is correct about people who obsess. And Snape could have easily done away with James before he married Lily which is what a truly evil obsessive would try to do rather than let his object get away.
I don't think I quite understand. Snape didn't do the worst thing possible, so that proves he wasn't obsessed?

Quote:
Originally Posted by canismajoris View Post
First, Voldemort is growing sentimental in his final hours and does exhibit some degree of remorse; or, he's simply keeping it brief and focusing on the Snape side of things, so his word choice is irrelevant; or perhaps he is not referring to Lily's death at all, but the point at which she goes into hiding.
I don't think Snape would have said he no longer wanted Lily while she was still alive. Telling Voldemort he wanted her would have been his only hope in the event that they were discovered - not taking into account that Lily wouldn't want to watch her child die.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlotte_Snape View Post
Maybe he didn't understand that he couldn't stay on the path he was on and have her, but in Dumbledore's office shortly after she died, Dumbledore refers to her as "Lily Evans", which suggests that he did know & love her as a child.
Snape's inability to understand something so basic, and something so glaringly obvious shows that he didn't really know Lily at all.

Quote:
How Snape went from being opposed, to being on board, is a matter of debate, IMO. Personally, I imagine Snape must have felt defeated that he was being asked to abandon his commitment to protect Harry, because again, in his mind, he may have seen that as synonymous with atonement. Therefore, I think Dumbledore must have explained to Snape that not only was defeating Voldemort imperative to preventing the deaths of innocent people, but that defeating Voldemort was ultimately the best way to atone for his hand in Lily's death as well, and that necessarily meant letting Voldemort kill Harry. JMO.
I think this was an important development for Snape. I think it forced him to realise that this could never be about what he wanted. There were more important things than Severus Snape making amends to Lily. Defeating Voldemort and keeping other families safe was more important, and I think it was a huge development for Snape to finally realise that. It was a change from the man who didn't care who was murdered as long as it wasn't Lily.


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  #1186  
Old September 25th, 2011, 2:15 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.5

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Snape heeded Lily's wishes? When he served Lord Voldemort? When he asked for her life at the cost of her family? When he bullied her son? I don't see it.
I was only talking about obsession vs. love. He did in fact heed her wish to end their friendship. Whether he cared for her family or not is irrelevant in my opinion. The fact is, he did not pursue her further, even though he desperately loved her. What's that saying, "If you love someone, let them go", or something along those lines. I think his actions in this case prove that he did indeed love Lily.


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  #1187  
Old September 25th, 2011, 2:44 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.5

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Originally Posted by JohanT View Post
I was only talking about obsession vs. love. He did in fact heed her wish to end their friendship. Whether he cared for her family or not is irrelevant in my opinion. The fact is, he did not pursue her further, even though he desperately loved her. What's that saying, "If you love someone, let them go", or something along those lines. I think his actions in this case prove that he did indeed love Lily.
I don't see it as "letting go" that Snape treated Lily's child so cruelly out of his own resentment. Resenting her happiness is not "letting go" as far as I'm concerned.

We have no way of knowing whether or not Snape approached Lily again. He may have, or he may not have. It's not definite either way.


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  #1188  
Old September 25th, 2011, 2:54 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.5

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Originally Posted by FurryDice View Post
I don't see it as "letting go" that Snape treated Lily's child so cruelly out of his own resentment. Resenting her happiness is not "letting go" as far as I'm concerned.

We have no way of knowing whether or not Snape approached Lily again. He may have, or he may not have. It's not definite either way.
I don't think he "resented" her happiness. I personally do not associate his treatment of Harry with his feelings for Lily. I see it as a reflection of Snape's hatred of James. He treated Harry in such a manner mainly because he still held a grudge against James [staff edit]. Of course associating an innocent child with acts his father committed is rather immature on Snape's part, but I am not arguing that Snape's attitude towards Harry was appropriate, merely that I do not think that his behavior towards Harry depicts his feelings for Lily or her choices.

In fact, I would go as far as to say that he "let go" specifically because she was evidently unhappy being his close friend.


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Last edited by Melaszka; September 25th, 2011 at 1:14 pm. Reason: Snape Vs Marauders
  #1189  
Old September 25th, 2011, 4:41 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.5

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Originally Posted by FurryDice View Post
I don't think I quite understand. Snape didn't do the worst thing possible, so that proves he wasn't obsessed?
Yes.

And there is the proof of his doe patronus. I believe that only someone who truly loves has their patronus changed. I think that's the main purpose of the love story between Lupin and Tonks--to show us the circumstances under which that occurs.


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  #1190  
Old September 25th, 2011, 5:02 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.5

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Originally Posted by leah49 View Post
And I don't think we see those. We don't see if his opinion of Harry changes. We don't see if he'll become a nicer man or at least less of a grump. We don't see him stop bullying his students. There's a lot we don't see.
Thank you for anwering my question. The changes that I was referring to were his abandoning Voldemort's cause and working for good as well as smaller things like going from calling Lily a mudblood to chastising Phineas' portrait for using the word and showing some level of compassion to people, some of whom may not have deserved of it and others whom he dislike--e.g. Dumbledore, Narcissa, and Lupin (and yes I realize that these may be contentious and are subjective). I can understand that you don't find these things to indicate a change in heart or essential character.

I think that is a big part of the difference in the way you and I read the character. There is also the fact that, while I agee that being kind, uncruel, and positive and great and are part of what makes a lot of good people great, I don't put as much value on them being universally nessisary traits that must be prominent in all good people. There are several people that I love and think are essentially quite good human being who are marked by grumpiness and can often be unkind or cruel to specific people or groups of people.

It's quite true that we don't see much in the changes in temperament and treatment of students. We also don't have much chance to see such changes immediately leading up to point where we find out that Snape isn't working for evil, and we have absolute no chance to afterward. I'm sure there is quite a lot in Snape's personality that wouldn't have changed even if he had lived and been able to be open about his career and motives. I think that there are a lot of people, including Snape, into who's hearts we will never see and who's visible actions will always be ambiguous. I think that many of the people a genuinely good, in spite of their unseemly or impenetrable surface, and I think all of them deserve the right to be vilified only for what is clearly wrongful, credited for anything that is clearly good, and given the benefit of the doubt for that which is unclear or unknown.


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Last edited by MCDahB; September 25th, 2011 at 5:03 am. Reason: Typos!!!!
  #1191  
Old September 25th, 2011, 8:22 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.5

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Originally Posted by mirrormere View Post
Yes.

And there is the proof of his doe patronus. I believe that only someone who truly loves has their patronus changed. I think that's the main purpose of the love story between Lupin and Tonks--to show us the circumstances under which that occurs.
I don't think Snape was obsessed; however, I don't believe his doe patronus is proof or dis-proof of that. I believe that the comment on a changed patronus in the books is that a strong emotion or trauma can cause it to change, but it's not a given. When I find the quote, I'll post it up (unless someone beats me to it..feel free).

I believe that Snape truly loved Lily; a little selfishly perhaps, but not obsessive. He simply could not let go of the loss so he was trapped in bitterness and couldn't let himself open to love again. Perhaps if he had survived after Voldemort was defeated, but we'll never know.


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  #1192  
Old September 25th, 2011, 8:28 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.5

I dont see him as obsessed with Lily, but obsessed with righting a horrible wrong, in which he caused. Just my opinion.


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  #1193  
Old September 25th, 2011, 8:39 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.5

Quote:
Originally Posted by mirrormere View Post
Yes.

And there is the proof of his doe patronus. I believe that only someone who truly loves has their patronus changed. I think that's the main purpose of the love story between Lupin and Tonks--to show us the circumstances under which that occurs.
My personal opinion for what it's worth -- Snape's patronus never changed; it was always the Silver Doe because he always loved Lily.


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  #1194  
Old September 25th, 2011, 8:40 am
Charlotte_Snape  Female.gif Charlotte_Snape is offline
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.5

Quote:
Originally Posted by FurryDice View Post
Snape's inability to understand something so basic, and something so glaringly obvious shows that he didn't really know Lily at all.
To you, maybe. To me, I think he lacked empathy, and didn't understand what he was doing wrong in his relationship with Lily, but that doesn't mean that her kindness, her character, and her good nature didn't register in his psyche -- I think those things did register, and I would say this qualifies as "knowing her".

Also, I think judging from TPT, certain things that would be glaringly obvious to most people (certainly to Harry) were not glaringly obvious to Snape. I don't think he's being willfully ignorant in all of these scenes, either. On the contrary, he seems genuinely clueless/confused by some of these exchanges:

Quote:
After one last burning look, she ran from the little thicket, off after her sister, and Snape looked miserable and confused...
.......
"I don't want to talk to you," she said in a constricted voice.
"Why not?"
"Tuney h-hates me. Because we saw that letter from Dumbledore."
"So what?"
.......
"...thought we were supposed to be friends?" Snape was saying, "Best friends?"
......
[u]"I was. I would have done. I never meant to call you Mudblood, it just-- "

"Slipped out?" There was no pity in Lily's voice
....
He opened his mouth, but closed it without speaking.

"I can't pretend anymore. You've chosen your way, I've chosen mine."
"No -- listen, I didn't mean -- "
" --to call me Mudblood? But you call everyone of my birth Mudblood, Severus. Why should I be any different?"
He struggled on the verge of speech
Even JK talks about Snape this way:
Quote:
"He wanted Lily, but he wanted Mulciber too. He never really understood Lily's aversion."
To me he comes across as someone who actually lacks the ability to empathize. He seems normal in his ability to feel emotions as strong as anyone else does, but what's missing is the crucial ability to understand what other people are feeling, and so, he is unable to react to them appropriately. Harry never had this problem (just think back over PS/SS - he never had this problem). I feel it's important to point out that just as Harry had good social instincts from the beginning, Snape had very poor social instincts from the beginning, which IMO, is what informed his early prejudices, and then validated some very negative world views later on in his life. Dumbledore noted that Harry had inherited his mother's nature, so I think it's possible that Snape inherited more than just a hooked nose from the man who was yelling at his mother in his memories.

None of this interferes with the fact that he is accountable & responsible for his actions, it just says to me that his inability to empathize was probably shaping his worldview from the very beginning, and that his inability to empathize was probably informing alot of his bad decisions from a very early age.

Quote:
I think this was an important development for Snape. I think it forced him to realise that this could never be about what he wanted. There were more important things than Severus Snape making amends to Lily. Defeating Voldemort and keeping other families safe was more important, and I think it was a huge development for Snape to finally realise that. It was a change from the man who didn't care who was murdered as long as it wasn't Lily.
I don't see it exactly like that.

First of all, I think his ethic of justice alone, shows that a monumental change had already occurred in Snape's character. Simply standing up and saying that he wouldn't let people die if there was anything he could do to prevent it shows that Snape had already come from a man "who didn't care who was murdered, as long as it wasn't Lily" to a man who wouldn't allow anyone to be murdered if there was anything he could do to prevent it -- Harry included. No exceptions. No special conditions. That's a very strong ethic of justice, IMO. It's a principle that is diametrically opposed to his worldview from his DE days, and he stands so firmly in his position that I believe the conversation must have continued after "always", and I believe Dumbledore had to show Snape that he was neither failing/betraying Lily nor being unethical by allowing Harry to die.

Second, with regard to how I believe that exchange would have gone down, I believe Dumbledore had to help Snape reconcile his ethic of justice(for the greater good), with his personal quest for atonement (for Lily), by showing him that they were one and the same, not by explaining to him that one was more important than the other.

I've posted the rest of my explanation on the Snape-Dumbledore joint analysis thread.


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Last edited by Charlotte_Snape; September 25th, 2011 at 8:43 am.
  #1195  
Old September 25th, 2011, 9:16 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.5

Quote:
Originally Posted by HedwigOwl View Post
I don't think Snape was obsessed; however, I don't believe his doe patronus is proof or dis-proof of that. I believe that the comment on a changed patronus in the books is that a strong emotion or trauma can cause it to change, but it's not a given. When I find the quote, I'll post it up (unless someone beats me to it..feel free).
I think the quote in question is problematic.

A Very Frosty Christmas"Tonks's Patronus has changed its form," he told him. "Snape said so anyway. I didn't know that could happen. Why would your Patronus change?"

Lupin took his time chewing his turkey and swallowing before saying slowly, "Sometimes ... a great shock ... an emotional upheaval ..."

"It looked big, and it had four legs," said Harry, struck by a sudden thought and lowering his voice. "Hey ... it couldn't be--?"

I just think this information is somewhat suspect. Here Lupin, knowing full well what was bothering Tonks, could very well be blatantly deflecting the reality of the situation. He's certainly not giving an authoritative answer: he beings with "sometimes ..." and then hesitates to finish his thought, almost as though he's searching for an answer that won't sound too incriminating? After all he plainly doesn't want to discuss it--Mrs. Weasley had just been needling him about it--let alone with Harry, so I think he's being as vague as he possibly can without providing any misinformation. Given that unrequited love appears to be the cause in the two instances of changes we know about, and the context of the comments, I'm inclined to take what Lupin says with a grain of salt. Perhaps the doe is not proof that Snape loved Lily, but I don't think the text precludes the possibility that it is.



Last edited by canismajoris; September 25th, 2011 at 9:21 am.
  #1196  
Old September 25th, 2011, 10:40 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.5

Beyond the fact that the Silver Doe is "not dark magic," I can't think of any reason why JKR would have Harry bring up Snape's patronus to Voldemort in DH if it wasn't proof of his real abiding love for Lily.

"Snape's Patronus was a doe," said Harry, "the same as my mother's, because he loved her for nearly all of his life, from the time when they were children. You should have realized..."

Harry seems to believe there is a cause/effect going on: love = patronus change.

In HBP, when Harry talks about Tonks, Lupin is hiding his role in the way her patronus has changed - merely calling it an emotional upset instead of love - but he doesn't explain what was upsetting her! Later Harry tries to connect Tonks's patronus to the dead Sirius, thinking she is missing him. Harry's perception is closer to true, in my opinion, because he connects love for someone with the form of their patronus, and that in many ways is foreshadowing the Snape/Lily story.


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  #1197  
Old September 25th, 2011, 2:22 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.5

Quote:
Originally Posted by Slartibartfast View Post
I dont see him as obsessed with Lily, but obsessed with righting a horrible wrong, in which he caused. Just my opinion.
This is exactly the way I view it as well. He unknowingly started a sequence of events that resulted in the death of the one person he loved the most. Guilt and his sense of honor did the rest. In a person like Snape, who seems to be very honor and duty bound, once a pledge is made, it is kept--no ifs, ands, or buts and no excuses.


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  #1198  
Old September 25th, 2011, 8:43 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.5

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Originally Posted by JohanT View Post
I don't think he "resented" her happiness. I personally do not associate his treatment of Harry with his feelings for Lily. I see it as a reflection of Snape's hatred of James.
What about his love for Lily? If that could not present itself in fair treatment of her son, I think it shows that he resented the fact that Lily had chosen someone else, and that she had been happy with someone who was not Severus Snape. I think he fully hated and resented the idea that Lily had had a child whom she dearly loved with someone who was not him.

Quote:
In fact, I would go as far as to say that he "let go" specifically because she was evidently unhappy being his close friend.
Snape had no choice in the matter. He could not force Lily to spend time with him. I don't count that as "letting go".
Also, I tend to think that Lily had extremely good reasons for not wanting the friendship with Snape any longer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MCDahB View Post
I think that is a big part of the difference in the way you and I read the character. There is also the fact that, while I agee that being kind, uncruel, and positive and great and are part of what makes a lot of good people great, I don't put as much value on them being universally nessisary traits that must be prominent in all good people.
I disagree. I consider respect for others, and for the human rights of others to be a pretty essential part to being a good person. I see treating others as you (general) would like to be treated as a large part of what makes a good person. I consider cruelty a very negative trait, and I do think that if a person treats others cruelly, it says something about them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlotte_Snape View Post
To you, maybe. To me, I think he lacked empathy, and didn't understand what he was doing wrong in his relationship with Lily, but that doesn't mean that her kindness, her character, and her good nature didn't register in his psyche -- I think those things did register, and I would say this qualifies as "knowing her".

Also, I think judging from TPT, certain things that would be glaringly obvious to most people (certainly to Harry) were not glaringly obvious to Snape. I don't think he's being willfully ignorant in all of these scenes, either. On the contrary, he seems genuinely clueless/confused by some of these exchanges:
While I do agree that Snape had problems with empathy (and I think a certain lack of empathy is necessary for someone to be part of something as evil and destructive as the Death Eaters), I don't think it accounts fully for his failure to understand Lily's objections to his becoming a Death Eater. Lily didn't want to be friends with someone who was planning on joining a group that was persecuting people of her origin. IMO, it takes only basic human decency and common sense to understand that. Is it really so hard to understand that a person might not like being around someone who wants to persecute others of their origin? If Snape could not understand something like that about Lily, I think he did not know the real Lily. I think he loved the version of Lily he imagined.

Quote:
Dumbledore noted that Harry had inherited his mother's nature, so I think it's possible that Snape inherited more than just a hooked nose from the man who was yelling at his mother in his memories.
I think this could be true. Lily had a lucky escape, there.


Quote:
First of all, I think his ethic of justice alone, shows that a monumental change had already occurred in Snape's character. Simply standing up and saying that he wouldn't let people die if there was anything he could do to prevent it shows that Snape had already come from a man "who didn't care who was murdered, as long as it wasn't Lily" to a man who wouldn't allow anyone to be murdered if there was anything he could do to prevent it -- Harry included. No exceptions. No special conditions. That's a very strong ethic of justice, IMO.
Here's what Snape said on the need for Harry to be murdered:

[fieldset = DH page 551, UK edition]
"I thought... all these years...that we were protecting him for her. For Lily"

...

"Everything was supposed to be to keep Lily Potter's son safe." [/fieldset]

Snape was not keeping Harry safe because he was a teenager who should never have been dragged into this situation, but for Lily. By his own admission, twice in that conversation, it was all about Lily. Right there, is a special condition - he was keeping Harry safe for Lily, not because Harry should be safe. "Everything" was about keeping Lily's son safe - not about preventing Snape's former master from destroying any more innocent lives.

IMO, it was a hugely important step in Snape's growth that he had to give up this personal mission, and see what was more important than what he wanted. I think, he also realised "all these years" that there had never been a chance to save Harry, not since that night in Godric's Hollow. I believe that this was something that may have forced Snape to finally acknowledge that his crimes had consequences for people other than him.


Quote:
Second, with regard to how I believe that exchange would have gone down, I believe Dumbledore had to help Snape reconcile his ethic of justice(for the greater good), with his personal quest for atonement (for Lily), by showing him that they were one and the same, not by explaining to him that one was more important than the other.
I think that defeating Voldemort was infinitely more important than Snape's personal mission to make amends to Lily. Lives were at stake, and it was a matter of growth for Snape, a change from the selfish person who only cared for what he wanted, to acknowledge that defeating Voldemort was more important than what he wanted.


Quote:
Originally Posted by WelkinCooper View Post
This is exactly the way I view it as well. He unknowingly started a sequence of events that resulted in the death of the one person he loved the most.
He didn't know it would result in Lily's death, but he knew it would result in some innocent child's death, and probably the child's parents' deaths, too. It doesn't matter who the victims were going to be.


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  #1199  
Old September 25th, 2011, 11:30 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.5

Yes, Snape had a bad past, but how long should he be penalized for it in the future? Once he chose to work for the good side, shouldn't he be forgiven past transgressions? Having had a bad past does not make Snape a bad person. Your choices may shape your character, but they don't have to define it if you make changes for the better, which Snape did. I wouldn't call him a cruel person, either. I can see where his role has a teacher could be flawed, I don't condone his treatment of some of his students. But to quote Sirius in OOTP, we all have darkness and light inside of us. And on the topic of past transgressions with fatal results, what about Dumbledore? Dumbledore, when he was younger, had some (albeit very mild and unviolent) Death Eater views on the supression of muggles. He craved power and he neglected his sick sister, who was quite literally caught in the middle of things and was killed because of it. But Dumbledore saw the error of his ways and changed his course. Just as Snape did.


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Old September 25th, 2011, 11:55 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.5

Quote:
Originally Posted by FurryDice View Post
I disagree. I consider respect for others, and for the human rights of others to be a pretty essential part to being a good person. I see treating others as you (general) would like to be treated as a large part of what makes a good person. I consider cruelty a very negative trait, and I do think that if a person treats others cruelly, it says something about them.
And I think you may have a very good reason to disagree with my judgment on the matter. I was simply trying to get at the differences in personal views on goodness of character that differ between me and some other people. I stated my personal perception, which I obviously agree with, but further I actually agree with these statements from you. It seems to just be a matter of degrees that separates us.

To whatever degree that it is necessary for a good person to be universally kind and just, I agree that Snape fails at being a good person, and does so more badly than the sort of person we would uphold as role model of goodness. To whatever degree it is possible to be good while still having deep failings in compassion and fairness to X number if people or groups Y and Z, I feel that Snape can be, and is, good.

I trust that we can agree that there is variability in what it means to be a "good person." People who are clearly perceived as good can in fact be nasty and even cruel at times and to certain people. I don't think that Snape is clearly or overwhelmingly good--he has habitual flaws in the way he treats most of the people we see him with. I do feel that I must take into account that my perspective on how he treats all people at all times is limited, and I think that there are some handful of meaningful incidents that may in fact be related to a deeper goodness or be indicative of a shift in that direction.

Even without concrete evidence of pervasive goodness, I have a unique sort of respect for a man who, for whatever reason, turns from evil and dedicates and eventually sacrifices his life for a good cause. These are very good things and very difficult things to do. While they do not nullify any lingering cruelty of unfairness, I feel that they compel me to extend whatever grace I can muster to Severus Snape.


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