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Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.2



View Poll Results: Was Lily a good friend to Snape?
No, she should have tried harder to keep him away from the dark side. 14 9.52%
Kind of. She probably did her best but gave up a little easily. 48 32.65%
Yes, she was. But friendships end all the time and she had good reason to sever their ties. 72 48.98%
Yes. I believe that she should have ended their friendship earlier. 23 15.65%
I don't fully agree with any of the options and will state my opinion in a post. 15 10.20%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 147. You may not vote on this poll

 
 
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  #21  
Old March 29th, 2008, 3:17 pm
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.2

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Originally Posted by PerfectDystopia View Post
Then I guess we have to agree to disagree. I believe you only really "love" someone if you really know that person. Apparently you don't think the same.
I'm speaking out of experience. It may be difficult to imagine something exists when you haven't been in direct contact (when it hasn't happened to you). But when it has, you can say it does exist with certainty.

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Anyways, I never said Lily met only one deserving man in her lifetime. What I said ( or meant to say) is that you fall in love with someone who has the special "something something" that you like.
Nice idea, but unfortunately it doesn't always happen like that. Sometimes you fall in love and you can't possibly understand why. It's beyond your control. It does happen, I know for a fact.

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So you can like a guy who doesn't like you? Okay.
Yes, I can - it's called unrecruited love, and I'm sure I'm not the only person in the world who can do that. Since wehn is love dependant on reciprocity anyway?


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  #22  
Old March 29th, 2008, 3:20 pm
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.2

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Originally Posted by PerfectDystopia View Post
So you can like a guy who doesn't like you?
I very much think so, yes. Love is something that does not allow us to choose IMO. If Snape could fall out of love with Lily, I think he would have. Staying in love with her, placed a huge burden on him. If he weren't in love; he would not have done any of the things we saw that he did; for the Light and also himself; in the sense that he was able to change from calling muggleborns mudblood, to stopping Phineas calling Hermione by that name. So love has truly transformed Snape in all ways IMO.

I also think it is the same for others as well. I really don't think one can choose to be in love with a particular person; it just happens IMO.


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  #23  
Old March 29th, 2008, 3:57 pm
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.2

I don't think anyone can generalize about love. I personally don't go for all the unrequited nonsense, so to say to me that I will fall in love uncontrollably is dead wrong. Just as it would be dead wrong of me to say that it cannot happen to another person. Love may be uncontrollable and irrational to some people, but not to me - thus not to everyone. Believe it or not, some of us can stop feeling that romantic inclination toward another when we put forth the effort to do so and not 'fall in love' (and I would agree others may not be able to do so).

That is why it is not possible to assess how Lily felt at any given time. Perhaps she had feelings of love for James and they were 'uncontrolable' and she kept feeling them - or she made herself stop feeling them and when he changed she allowed herself to feel them again. We don't know. We do know that she did not act on those feelings (or perhaps allow them again) until he changed. Snape, per the text, did not or was unable to control his feelings. I think that is the most we can say.


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  #24  
Old March 29th, 2008, 4:01 pm
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.2

1. Why do you think Snape was so reluctant to approach Lily? Would he have been interested in her if she had not been magical?I think Snape was reluctant because up to that point he never had a friend so he wasn't sure how to get one, so unable to go over and talk to her he spied on her instead. This also may have to do with shyness. And no, I don't think he would be interested in her if she wasn't magical. It was probably the fact that she was a witch got his attention at first.

2. Why did Lily accept Snape's friendship? Would she have been as friendly to him if he had not told her about the magical world?Lily accepted his friendship because it was in her nature to do so. Lily seems the type of person who would give anyone the chance if she thought they justly desevered it, so after her brief clash with Snape that went wrong in the playground there must be some time when she decided 'sure, I'll just talk to him and see.' If Snape didn't tell her about the magical world she still would have given him a chance.

3. What role did each of them play in the friendship? Do you think it was a friendship of equals?Hard to say. It's possible that Lily was the person who was like 'the boss' of the friendship because there was a part of Snape that wanted to please her.

4. How did Hogwarts effect the friendship? We see that up until fifth year they consider themselves to be "best friends", despite the house system. Do you think they both worked to maintain the friendship?Hogwarts most likely affected their friendship quite a bit. As you see in the book Lily's gryffindor friends can't understand why she is friends with him and Snape's slytherin friend feel the same about Snape being friends with Lily, maybe even worse then the gryffindors. This would put a lot of pressure on their relationship. But they obviously liked each other a lot because they obviously did work hard on maintaining their relationship despite being in seperate houses.

5. How did Gryffindor change Lily? How did Slytherin change Snape? Would each have changed in the same way if they had been sorted into another house? Would the friendship have changed as drastically if they were in the same house?I don't think gryffindor changed Lily as much as slytherin changed Snape. Before he attended Hogwarts Snape must have been unbiased if he decided to be friends with Lily. Then he attends Hogwarts and being around with all those biased slytherin his feeling start to change about muggleborns being bad. Snape must have began to feel the same way as his fellow slytherins with only Lily as an exception. Yes, if they were in the same house their relationship would have lasted.

6. What was the death knoll for the friendship? Was it Snape's budding interest in the Dark Arts, the mudblood insult or something else? I think there was a lot of under-current problems with their relationship that they were both trying to sort out but when Snape said mudblood that was the final straw with their relationship.

7. Was there a different choice Snape could have made to save the friendship? Was there a different choice Lily could have made?Snape should have kept on asking for Lily's forgiveness because their relationship was deep. They should have kept working for it to last.

8. How would their lives have been different if they had managed to save their friendship? Do you think they might have had a romantic future? A lifelong friendship?
They would have lasted because they obviously cared about each other a lot. Snape spent half of his life mourning for a woman, and even tried to help her son even though he hated him, that isn't something only a short, fleeting friendship could make a man do.
A romantic future was indeed possible for them if they weren't born in the time they were.


  #25  
Old March 29th, 2008, 4:07 pm
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.2

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Originally Posted by wickedwickedboy View Post
I don't think anyone can generalize about love.
I wasn't generalizing, because I said it does happen, as opposed to not possible (which is definitely a generalization), not that it's the only way it happens.

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I personally don't go for all the unrequited nonsense
You, however, are, with this sentence. I, in my turn of generalization, don't go for all the controlled rational assessed falling in love nonsense, but I guess we're very different people.

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so to say to me that I will fall in love uncontrollably is dead wrong.
I don't believe I ever suggested such thing.

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Just as it would be dead wrong of me to say that it cannot happen to another person.
Precisely what I was answering for. It can happen. It won't happen to everyone, obviously. But to some people sometimes it does, and that was all I was saying, and I do believe it is very clear there in my posts.

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Love may be uncontrollable and irrational to some people, but not to me - thus not to everyone. Believe it or not, some of us can stop feeling that romantic inclination toward another when we put forth the effort to do so (and I would agree others may not be able to do so).
Fine. That's not neough to ascribe this ability to Lily though.

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That is why it is not possible to assess how Lily felt at any given time.
Well I believe this is precisely why I even entered this debate - to say this. And this si what I said on the previous page - that you can't know how she felt or would have felt. Which you said you could.



Last edited by Yoana; March 29th, 2008 at 4:09 pm.
  #26  
Old March 29th, 2008, 4:12 pm
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.2

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Originally Posted by Yoana View Post
Well I believe this is precisely why I even entered this debate - to say this. And this si what I said on the previous page - that you can't know how she felt or would have felt. Which you said you could.
- I was responding to Green Woods - actually you and I are in agreement then. I should have quoted TGW's post, sorry.

As for the previous page, what I said was that you and I were speaking of different things. You were speaking of the issue of whether or not Lily would have feelings of love (that is something we can only opine about). I was speaking of whether or not Lily would act regardless of what she might feel (based on her canon character, Lily couldn't love the adult Snape because she does not act on her feelings if the object of her love is unworthy in her eyes and he would be due to his feelings and behavior toward her husband, son and others - just as 15 year old James was unworthy in her eyes for different reasons and she didn't act on her feelings.). I also feel that Lily wouldn't have feelings of love for the adult Snape because of who he was at that time, but that of course is my personal opinion.

ETA**I know you don't consider JKR's statement that Lily may have had romantic feelings for Snape if he wasn't into the dark arts, etc., canon, but looking at it as just an ideology, the statement is bascially mimicking what happened in canon. Lily cannot love a person who is unworthy of her love in her eyes - and further doesn't cultivate love (allow it to develop) for that person if they are too far outside of her idea of worthiness. James was a prankster, but that was not outside of her 'realm of worthiness' it just made him unworthy at that time. Snape fell outside of her 'realm of worthiness' so she wouldn't allow any romantic feelings to develop. In essence, she could tolerate the pranking deep inside, but she could not tolerate the dark arts deep inside.


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  #27  
Old March 29th, 2008, 4:12 pm
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.2

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Originally Posted by Yoana View Post
Nice idea, but unfortunately it doesn't always happen like that. Sometimes you fall in love and you can't possibly understand why. It's beyond your control. It does happen, I know for a fact.
I guess you can fall in love and don't know why, but I can honestly say that I know exactly why I fall in love with someone. So this is probably just a misunderstanding of other people's experiences. We roll different ways.


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Yes, I can - it's called unrequited love, and I'm sure I'm not the only person in the world who can do that. Since when is love dependant on reciprocity anyway?
Once again, this is a misunderstanding of other people's experiences. I have never felt unrequited love. No, I'm not saying every person I fall in love with falls in love with me. Really, I don't put myself in that position to end up feeling unrequited love. When I meet someone for the first time and I happen to like him, I don't kid myself that it is love, it is lust. I get to know that person more, and I try to see if he is feeling the same way I do. If he doesn't, then it ends up being unrequited lust, which I easily get over.

I understand not everyone is going to agree with me and I'm cool with that. I think everyone here is arguing in circles. So many times "love is irrational" (which I don't agree with, but oh well) is being said, but if we are arguing about something irrational, then where are we expecting to end up? I'm backing out of this.


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Last edited by PerfectDystopia; March 29th, 2008 at 4:22 pm.
  #28  
Old March 29th, 2008, 4:27 pm
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.2

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Originally Posted by wickedwickedboy View Post
I don't think anyone can generalize about love. I personally don't go for all the unrequited nonsense, so to say to me that I will fall in love uncontrollably is dead wrong. Just as it would be dead wrong of me to say that it cannot happen to another person. Love may be uncontrollable and irrational to some people, but not to me - thus not to everyone. Believe it or not, some of us can stop feeling that romantic inclination toward another when we put forth the effort to do so and not 'fall in love' (and I would agree others may not be able to do so).

That is why it is not possible to assess how Lily felt at any given time. Perhaps she had feelings of love for James and they were 'uncontrolable' and she kept feeling them - or she made herself stop feeling them and when he changed she allowed herself to feel them again. We don't know. We do know that she did not act on those feelings (or perhaps allow them again) until he changed. Snape, per the text, did not or was unable to control his feelings. I think that is the most we can say.
I was talking about Snape's love for Lily and not Lily's love for Snape. With Lily, I think she was aware that Snape saw her in a way that was not just platonic friendship. But that's just me. I also think she did not choose to act on that awareness in the werewolf incident (memory) and she was begining to look at James in a different light. That's my take on Lily. Personally I felt Snape could not fall out of love, and if he could have, he would have. That's only my opinion, though.

While I agree that it is not possible for anyone to generalize about love, I still feel that love is an emotion that cannot be controlled.


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  #29  
Old March 29th, 2008, 5:05 pm
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.2

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Originally Posted by PerfectDystopia View Post
I understand not everyone is going to agree with me and I'm cool with that. I think everyone here is arguing in circles. So many times "love is irrational" (which I don't agree with, but oh well) is being said, but if we are arguing about something irrational, then where are we expecting to end up? I'm backing out of this.
The issue people are having with you, is not that YOUR love must be irrational. I am quite willing to accept that your account of your own character is accurate for the sake of this discussion. I would certianly not presume to suggest I know you better than you know yourself, based on limited interaction online in this forum.

The source of the problem, is that you appear to be insisting that all of the characters in HP must be just like you. Yet, I would imagine you agree that Severus Snape is not like you at all, right? Then why do you expect he shares your attitudes and responses to romantic feelings?

All people are saying, is that we are not all the same, and it is possible (even likely, based on canon) that Severus Snape was one of those people who cannot control whom he loves, and who is capable of a long-lasting and deep attachment to a woman who has rejected him. Just as some posters feel this is true of their own selves. I mean, surely he would have prefered, from a standpoint of rational self-interest, not to find himself forced to betray Voldemort and work as a double agent in two wars, not to become entangled in Albus Dumbledore's grand plan, and not to die a rather messy death? Love experienced by him as an overwhelming emotion he is not able to resist, makes a lot mroe sense to me as an explanation for his actions, rather than rational calculation.

For us to have a rational discussion about Snape and Lily's relationship, does not require that Snape and Lily act rationally. (I think neither did.) It just requires us to examine the evidence in canon in a rational way, even if it is evidence of irrational actions by the characters, based on emotions not ruled by reason.


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Last edited by arithmancer; March 29th, 2008 at 5:20 pm.
  #30  
Old March 29th, 2008, 5:52 pm
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.2

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Originally Posted by zgirnius View Post
The source of the problem, is that you appear to be insisting that all of the characters in HP must be just like you. Yet, I would imagine you agree that Severus Snape is not like you at all, right? Then why do you expect he shares your attitudes and responses to romantic feelings?

All people are saying, is that we are not all the same, and it is possible (even likely, based on canon) that Severus Snape was one of those people who cannot control whom he loves, and who is capable of a long-lasting and deep attachment to a woman who has rejected him. Just as some posters feel this is true of their own selves. I mean, surely he would have prefered, from a standpoint of rational self-interest, not to find himself forced to betray Voldemort and work as a double agent in two wars, not to become entangled in Albus Dumbledore's grand plan, and not to die a rather messy death? Love experienced by him as an overwhelming emotion he is not able to resist, makes a lot mroe sense to me as an explanation for his actions, rather than rational calculation.

For us to have a rational discussion about Snape and Lily's relationship, does not require that Snape and Lily act rationally. (I think neither did.) It just requires us to examine the evidence in canon in a rational way, even if it is evidence of irrational actions by the characters, based on emotions not ruled by reason.
I wasn't trying to insist that all the of characters in Harry Potter act like me or should act like me. I'll admit am nothing like Snape and I don't understand why he dealt with this unrequited love of Lily the way he did. All was I trying to do was try to compare and contrast it to how I feel about love to understand what he was doing. I still don't understand, but I honestly don't care anymore.

I think I have a pretty good understanding of Lily, so I can debate about her, but with Snape, I'm getting lost. I completely accept that Snape was irrationally in love with Lily. Whether I agree whether that was right or wrong, or me believing Snape could do something about it, I came to realise is subjective. I don't think it was right and I believe Snape could have done something about it. But that's just me and I'm keeping my mouth shut.

And I don't think we are having a rational discussion about Lily and Snape if the "love is irrational" card is being dealt so many times like it is. Are we just supposed to sit back and watch Snape turn from a Death Eater to the good side, become a spy, and do all the stuff he did for Lily and not question why? "Love is irrational" isn't good enough for me. Of course, love is irrational, but I'm sure Snape is a person pretty big on logic (logic puzzle @ the end of the Philosopher's Stone). Yea, he did some irrational things based on love, but there must of have been some way he explained it to himself. That's what I'm trying to understand. How did Snape explain to himself that he was in love with Lily 17 years after she died?


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  #31  
Old March 29th, 2008, 6:16 pm
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.2

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Originally Posted by PerfectDystopia View Post
I understand not everyone is going to agree with me and I'm cool with that. I think everyone here is arguing in circles. So many times "love is irrational" (which I don't agree with, but oh well) is being said, but if we are arguing about something irrational, then where are we expecting to end up? I'm backing out of this.
It is irrational in the sense I feel it cannot be explained. Love is basically acceptance. We see that with Snape. He accepts Lily's rejection, he accepts Lily's love for James, he accepts that love has borne fruit in the form of Harry, he accepts she does not want to have to do anything with him, and he also accepts that she would never love him IMO.

In spite of all this, he is unable to stop loving her as he showed Dumbledore his Patronus after so many years. That may look irrational because we see a man who loves with no return; loves a dead woman, loves a married woman and a woman who turned him away with contempt and went on to marry his enemy.

But I feel that love is exactly like this; all forms of love; Snape's was a romantic love, but I would say that parental love, love for a friend which is platonic only are all like this; unconditional.

True love for me would be unconditional acceptance of another; be it a lover, a friend, a child or anyone. That is why it is irrational, but that is also why it is very powerful and extremely humbling as well IMO.

Quote:
How did Snape explain to himself that he was in love with Lily 17 years after she died?
I don't think he tried to explain toi himself. I think he could not help it. Sure he was logical and he made good puzzles; but there IMO he was thinking with his head; in love I think one feels; intensely and completely; that's why it is hard to decipher and hard to tackle with logic, arguments or reason IMO. And Snape too, I feel could not do it.


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  #32  
Old March 29th, 2008, 7:23 pm
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.2

I chose these poll options:

No, she should have tried harder to keep him away from the dark side.
Kind of. She probably did her best but gave up a little easily.
Yes, she was. But friendships end all the time and she had good reason to sever their ties.

I believe that Lily was as good a friend to Severus as she could have been in her situation. Keep in mind that Lily is a friendly and attractive person. Her view of friendship would therefore be different from Severus'. He was obviously going to put a lot more value on the relationship because he simply wasn't used to being treated decently.

As for the "break-up", I think there was fault on both sides. Where Severus gets blame is obvious: he could not understand what was "evil" about his Slytherin acquaintances, and did not try to stand up to them or even consider what Lily was trying to say to him.

Lily, on the other hand, had the same problem Severus had when he was a teacher: she had a good point, but relayed it wrongly and did not make an effort to see from the point of view of the person she was reprimanding. I hardly expect Lily to have been an amateur psychologist at 15, but knowing what she does about her best friend, she could easily have put two and two together and realized that a lot of what was happening to him stemmed from his loneliness and poor upbringing-- if she had only looked hard enough.

If we add SWM and James to the equation, then things just get murkier. Judging from Lily's behavior there, she was already drifting away from Severus and toward James. Most people, if their best friend was attacked in such a manner, would get them out of the line of fire. Lily doesn't do this, and instead focuses entirely on James. This says to me that if things had continued the way they were going, Lily and Severus would have drifted apart eventually.


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  #33  
Old March 29th, 2008, 7:30 pm
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.2

I disagree with the idea that if Snape could choose to fall out of love with Lily he probably would. Love isn't like that IMO and in my experience, even if it leaves you feeling horrible inside, you would still have that over not feeling anything at all. The very idea of it is unthinkable, I think that is what Snape felt to a certain extent.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Green_Woods View Post
It is irrational in the sense I feel it cannot be explained. Love is basically acceptance. We see that with Snape. He accepts Lily's rejection, he accepts Lily's love for James, he accepts that love has borne fruit in the form of Harry, he accepts she does not want to have to do anything with him, and he also accepts that she would never love him IMO.

In spite of all this, he is unable to stop loving her as he showed Dumbledore his Patronus after so many years. That may look irrational because we see a man who loves with no return; loves a dead woman, loves a married woman and a woman who turned him away with contempt and went on to marry his enemy.

But I feel that love is exactly like this; all forms of love; Snape's was a romantic love, but I would say that parental love, love for a friend which is platonic only are all like this; unconditional.

True love for me would be unconditional acceptance of another; be it a lover, a friend, a child or anyone. That is why it is irrational, but that is also why it is very powerful and extremely humbling as well IMO.
What a lovely post. That moved me a little bit I have to say. I agree with everything that you said.

However, I still can't decide whether up until fifth year at least, Lily and Snape were actually best friends, or the idea that they were best friends was just in Snape's head and Lily actually felt differently.


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Last edited by LinnendeBlack; March 29th, 2008 at 7:33 pm.
  #34  
Old March 29th, 2008, 7:38 pm
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.2

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Originally Posted by LinnendeBlack View Post
However, I still can't decide whether up until fifth year at least, Lily and Snape were actually best friends, or the idea that they were best friends was just in Snape's head and Lily actually felt differently.
I guess it is a matter of how one views her character. I found her pretty forthright, so I would have expected her to comment in the Year 5 scene in which Snape asked her whether they were still best friends.

I do think they had become more distant especially at school, and Lily may have felt more comfortable with her Gryffindor girlfriends by then, but her response suggests to me there was some sense in which she could still think of Snape as a 'best friend'. I tend to think that summers may have been their best times together, when Lily and he went home to the same town, and the different Houses, the Marauders, and Snape's Slytherin pals were all left behind.


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  #35  
Old March 29th, 2008, 7:47 pm
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.2

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Originally Posted by zgirnius View Post
I guess it is a matter of how one views her character. I found her pretty forthright, so I would have expected her to comment in the Year 5 scene in which Snape asked her whether they were still best friends.

I do think they had become more distant especially at school, and Lily may have felt more comfortable with her Gryffindor girlfriends by then, but her response suggests to me there was some sense in which she could still think of Snape as a 'best friend'. I tend to think that summers may have been their best times together, when Lily and he went home to the same town, and the different Houses, the Marauders, and Snape's Slytherin pals were all left behind.
Yes that's a good point. At summer Lily would be away from James and Sirius and Snape would be away from his Slytherin friends, so it would have just been the two of them.


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  #36  
Old March 29th, 2008, 7:47 pm
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.2

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Originally Posted by LinnendeBlack View Post
I disagree with the idea that if Snape could choose to fall out of love with Lily he probably would. Love isn't like that IMO and in my experience, even if it leaves you feeling horrible inside, you would still have that over not feeling anything at all. The very idea of it is unthinkable, I think that is what Snape felt to a certain extent.
I think if you actually make an effort to get over it, you can still lead a happy life with other romantic partners. I've been a victum of unrequited love, and I'll never forget the person I had the feelings for, but those feelings have died down quite a bit now (it was easier since I hardly see him anymore) and I was able to move on. I think if Snape tried, he could have gotten over Lily, but he wouldn't let himself. I believe it wasn't because he couldn't, it's because he didn't want to, and so wouldn't. Again, choice.

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True love for me would be unconditional acceptance of another; be it a lover, a friend, a child or anyone. That is why it is irrational, but that is also why it is very powerful and extremely humbling as well IMO.
I agree, which is why I don't think Snape was truly in love with Lily. It was love, don't get me wrong. But I believe he loved an image of her he created in his head and I believe so because his ignorance of her strong morals which she openly proclaimed and the fact he never seemed to listen to her. He heard what he wanted to hear. Imo, it was not Lily Potter he was in love with, or even the Lily Evans that left him in his 5th year.


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Last edited by DeliciousMoon; March 29th, 2008 at 8:31 pm.
  #37  
Old March 29th, 2008, 7:55 pm
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.2

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Originally Posted by DeliciousMoon View Post
I think if you actually make an effort to get over it, you can still lead a happy life with other romantic partners. I've been a victum of unrequited love, and I'll never forget the person I had the feelings for, but those feelings have died down quite a bit now (it was easier since I hardly see him anymore) and I was able to move on. I think if Snape tried, he could have gotten over Lily, but he wouldn't let himself. I believe it wasn't because he couldn't, it's because he didn't want to, and so wouldn't.
I think also the fact that Lily died had a huge impact on the fact that Snape never got over her; coupled with the fact that he must have felt in some way responsible for her death because it was him who told LV about the prophecy. If Lily had lived and as the years went by maybe he would have eventually got over her. His reaction to hearing of Lily's death in Dumbledore's office in the Prince's Tale still breaks my heart everytime I read it , and it also goes a long way to explain why he never got over her.


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  #38  
Old March 29th, 2008, 8:18 pm
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.2

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DeliciousMoon
I think if Snape tried, he could have gotten over Lily, but he wouldn't let himself. I believe it wasn't because he couldn't, it's because he didn't want to, and so wouldn't.
I would probably agree with you to some extent. I’ve been thinking about what Lily meant to Severus. We are told that his parents marriage was fraught & the descriptions of his mother do not hint to kindness in anyway. Lily however, showed him kindness, care and respect (at least early on). These are hard things to turn your back on even more so if the giver of them is the only person to do so, as I think Lily is likely to have been.


  #39  
Old March 29th, 2008, 8:20 pm
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.2

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Originally Posted by zgirnius View Post
I guess it is a matter of how one views her character. I found her pretty forthright, so I would have expected her to comment in the Year 5 scene in which Snape asked her whether they were still best friends.

I do think they had become more distant especially at school, and Lily may have felt more comfortable with her Gryffindor girlfriends by then, but her response suggests to me there was some sense in which she could still think of Snape as a 'best friend'. I tend to think that summers may have been their best times together, when Lily and he went home to the same town, and the different Houses, the Marauders, and Snape's Slytherin pals were all left behind.
As long as he also left his dark interests behind, which is highly doubtful. Snape wasn't drawn to the dark arts because of his friends; Snape was drawn to his friends because they shared his interests. I would say that even in the summer Lily would keep her distance if Snape's interests had by then grown to the point where they became known to her. Lily "left the Marauders and Snape's pals" behind while they were at Hogwarts - so that would not affect her decision in this regard. Her focal point was Snape and his actions, beliefs and behavior - at Hogwarts or at home, Snape would still be...Snape.


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  #40  
Old March 29th, 2008, 8:32 pm
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.2

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Originally Posted by kittling View Post
I would probably agree with you to some extent. I’ve been thinking about what Lily meant to Severus. We are told that his parents marriage was fraught & the descriptions of his mother do not hint to kindness in anyway. Lily however, showed him kindness, care and respect (at least early on). These are hard things to turn your back on even more so if the giver of them is the only person to do so, as I think Lily is likely to have been.
Which is why I consider the debate about "could" vs. "would" to be strange. Acceptance, kindness, care, and respect are not merely nice things to have. Humans are social animals - we need interactions with others.

If I stole a loaf of bread to keep myself from starving, we could argue that I acted out of my own free will - I could have resisted making that choice if I really wanted to. (I'd also be dead, rats). Whether Snape couldn't, or wouldn't, let go of his feelings for Lily seems semantics to me. He shouldn't have, and he shouldn't be expected to, as I see it.


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