AVENUE VIET Forum Index AVENUE VIET
An Online Community
 
AlbumAlbum   FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 
The views expressed herein are the writers' own and do not necessarily reflect those of the webmasters, administrators and moderators of this forum. Refer to the complete disclaimer.
The Damnation of Severus Snape
Goto page 1, 2  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    AVENUE VIET Forum Index » L'Avenue Harry Potter
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Kerowyn
Moderator


Joined: 04 Sep 2011
Posts: 1898
Location: Queendom of Valdemar

PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2012 3:09 pm    Post subject: The Damnation of Severus Snape Reply with quote

For an excellent essay about Snape, go here: http://www.mugglenet.com/editorials/snapedamnation.shtml.

In it (all the comments are based on canon) the author destroys the myth of Snape the Hero. The Snapefen are understandably in a tizzy.

The author also refers to another essay entitled "The Deification of Severus Snape" that I'd much like to read, too.

I'll look for it when I get back to the US. Right now I should go to bed early for a change, as I have to get up literally before the crack of dawn for my flight back.
_________________
Valdemar's Warrior Women
Back to top
View user's profileSend private message
GypsyGirl



Joined: 05 Jun 2011
Posts: 74

PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2012 2:45 pm    Post subject: Re: The Damnation of Severus Snape Reply with quote

Kerowyn wrote:
For an excellent essay about Snape, go here: http://www.mugglenet.com/editorials/snapedamnation.shtml.

In it (all the comments are based on canon) the author destroys the myth of Snape the Hero. The Snapefen are understandably in a tizzy.

The author also refers to another essay entitled "The Deification of Severus Snape" that I'd much like to read, too.

I'll look for it when I get back to the US. Right now I should go to bed early for a change, as I have to get up literally before the crack of dawn for my flight back.


Here's the link, http://www.mugglenet.com/editorials/deificationofsnape.shtml. It's also very good. Of course certain Snape fans hate it almost as much as they hate 'Just Margaret' on YouTube. Here's her review of Snape; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JFazHRmxwtk&feature=plcp&context=C3e561b2UDOEgsToPDskKhYZfHyXYdUHNPI_41-_tm

Have fun.
_________________
Lily, her own woman
Back to top
View user's profileSend private message
Kerowyn
Moderator


Joined: 04 Sep 2011
Posts: 1898
Location: Queendom of Valdemar

PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 1:48 pm    Post subject: Re: The Damnation of Severus Snape Reply with quote

GypsyGirl wrote:
Here's the link, http://www.mugglenet.com/editorials/deificationofsnape.shtml. It's also very good. Of course certain Snape fans hate it almost as much as they hate 'Just Margaret' on YouTube. Here's her review of Snape; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JFazHRmxwtk
Have fun.

I did have fun, thank you GypsyGirl! Rose

I haven't read the Deification yet - started, but thought it a bit long for the time I had. Watched the video, though, and loved the points JustMargaret makes. Especially about that famous "Always" line, and about "the bravest man" (she, too, forgets the qualifying "probably" but we'll let that pass).

I can see how the die-hard Snapefen would hate her, and hate the authors of the two essays.

Can anyone post on Mugglenet? I'm banned from CoS, but that doesn't make me "persona non grata" on Mugglenet in general, does it? I understand one can post anonymously there, is that right?

I'd like to post my congratulations to the two essayists. Also underline a couple of points to the Snapefen in case they missed them.
_________________
Valdemar's Warrior Women
Back to top
View user's profileSend private message
Kerowyn
Moderator


Joined: 04 Sep 2011
Posts: 1898
Location: Queendom of Valdemar

PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 2:20 pm    Post subject: Re: The Damnation of Severus Snape Reply with quote

Kerowyn wrote:
I haven't read the Deification yet...

OK, I've read it now. It's brilliant. ten

That's what the Snapefen don't see. Snape is not a brilliant person, nor is he a good person. But JK Rowlings' pen makes him a brilliant and interesting character because of he's not the usual "cut-and-dried" villain.

I disagree with the essayist that he is "unpredictable". He's a mystery sometimes, yes, and for the longest time we believe him to be an out-and-out villain. But his actions in the books are, IMO, very predictable throughout.

I don't quite remember all the points that Meesha made on CoS for calling him "uni-dimensional" but I do remember that she made very good points to that effect.

The long and the short of it is, we haven't heard or read the last about Snape yet, from either sides of the fandom.

When I have a little more time, I'll have to go and see the Snapefen's no doubt hightly amusing (to us)'s reaction to those two pieces and to the video. For that matter, I would like to see our resident Snape apologists, Frakkinship among them, respond to those pieces. And I'll definitely post those links on the DarkMark.
_________________
Valdemar's Warrior Women
Back to top
View user's profileSend private message
Asteria



Joined: 11 Oct 2010
Posts: 955
Location: Malfoy Manor

PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2012 1:17 pm    Post subject: Well, Snape certainly makes the cyberwaves buzz! Reply with quote

Goodness me, but without Snape, what would we do for HP discussions? wink bleh

If you want to comment directly on the "Damnation" essay:
Comment Box

And if you want to visit CoS again on the matter:
CoS Debate

This newbie (at least she's a newbie to me) Goddess Clio is something else! Rolling Eyes
_________________
At Malfoy Manor
Back to top
View user's profileSend private message
MollyWobbles



Joined: 10 Nov 2011
Posts: 185
Location: The Burrow

PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2012 11:08 pm    Post subject: Re: Well, Snape certainly makes the cyberwaves buzz! Reply with quote

Asteria wrote:
Goodness me, but without Snape, what would we do for HP discussions? wink bleh

Indeed what would we do without Snape? He has several threads in this subforum alone, and this is not even a Snape fan site!

Thanks for the links, Asteria. I had a look. Like almost anywhere else, the debate goes in circles. The fans insist he is good and excuse anything bad that he did, and the other side try to point out that he is not good. In fact, a bully and a jerk, bravery or not. That he was brave, there's no doubt whatsoever. I don't see how that excuses his failings and betrayals and bullying.

The two essays were brilliant, and the video made me laugh in agreement.
_________________
The Weasley Family Clock
Back to top
View user's profileSend private message
The Shuttle



Joined: 17 Jul 2008
Posts: 365
Location: AV's Chamber of Secrets

PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2012 9:51 pm    Post subject: Re: Well, Snape certainly makes the cyberwaves buzz! Reply with quote

MollyWobbles wrote:
Asteria wrote:
Goodness me, but without Snape, what would we do for HP discussions? wink bleh

Indeed what would we do without Snape? He has several threads in this subforum alone, and this is not even a Snape fan site!

Even Snape is not enough to keep up the debate going, it seems. This subforum is dead as a doornail.

We had a couple of pro-Snape (without being Snapefen) debaters but they seem to have either dropped off the site or holding their peace.

Where have all the Snape fans, Snapefen and Snaters gone? wonder

For that matter, where have the Marauders fans, the Lily fans, the Cedric fans gone? Where have all the Harry Potter fans gone? Pale sigh
_________________
Music I look at chats from both sites now... Music
Back to top
View user's profileSend private message
Hedwig



Joined: 04 Oct 2007
Posts: 72

PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2012 10:55 pm    Post subject: We're here! Reply with quote

The Shuttle wrote:
Where have all the Snape fans, Snapefen and Snaters gone? wonder

For that matter, where have the Marauders fans, the Lily fans, the Cedric fans gone? Where have all the Harry Potter fans gone? Pale sigh

We're here, mate. We've come back when we saw that the Potterverse was being discussed again. shameless grin
_________________
Back to top
View user's profileSend private messageVisit poster's website
Kerowyn
Moderator


Joined: 04 Sep 2011
Posts: 1898
Location: Queendom of Valdemar

PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2013 12:32 pm    Post subject: A great essay on Snape Reply with quote

This link was posted in the Google "Snater" group. I haven't read the essay but thought it might be worth a look.

http://www.tor.com/blogs/2013/04/severus-snape-does-not-deserve-your-pity
_________________
Valdemar's Warrior Women
Back to top
View user's profileSend private message
Laurelluin



Joined: 04 Nov 2011
Posts: 577
Location: Puget Sound

PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2013 5:29 pm    Post subject: Re: A great essay on Snape Reply with quote

Kerowyn wrote:
This link was posted in the Google "Snater" group. I haven't read the essay but thought it might be worth a look.

http://www.tor.com/blogs/2013/04/severus-snape-does-not-deserve-your-pity


I read it and I agree with the Snater from our group: it's excellent. ten
_________________
In a ring of stone, on a plain of bone
The Oracular Stone
The never-empty cauldron
The Turning Tower
The three trials, The three Terrors
The Bard who plays the Night into Song
Back to top
View user's profileSend private messageAIM Address
Kerowyn
Moderator


Joined: 04 Sep 2011
Posts: 1898
Location: Queendom of Valdemar

PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2013 10:49 am    Post subject: Re: A great essay on Snape Reply with quote

Laurelluin wrote:
I read it and I agree with the Snater from our group: it's excellent. ten

I finally read it myself and I, too, agree. It's excellent. Well thought-out, well reasoned, well stated out, rational, logical, respectful of canon. ten

This is someone who, while feeling for Snape, doesn't make him either a martyr or a character who's been unfairly robbed of happiness. Someone who sees how Snape contributed to his own unhappy state by making the wrong choices. I also like how the poster shows how his love for Lily was a selfish kind of love, not real love at all.

I'd like to see the Snapefen's reaction, which reportedly are not enthusiastic. Can someone give me a link to the Live Journal entries on the debate? Thanks. Very Happy
_________________
Valdemar's Warrior Women
Back to top
View user's profileSend private message
Laurelluin



Joined: 04 Nov 2011
Posts: 577
Location: Puget Sound

PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2013 4:48 pm    Post subject: Snape essays Reply with quote

Linkie:

http://rattlesnakeroot.livejournal.com/234997.html

Sadly, the linkies to mugglenet's essays on the damnation and deification of Snape from earlier in this thread~don't work anymore.

The essays must have been moved, archived, or deleted. I think I read them over a year ago, but I don't remember exactly.

Anyone have mad skills and enough time and interest to research where they might be found, and post new links? Please? angel
_________________
In a ring of stone, on a plain of bone
The Oracular Stone
The never-empty cauldron
The Turning Tower
The three trials, The three Terrors
The Bard who plays the Night into Song
Back to top
View user's profileSend private messageAIM Address
Kerowyn
Moderator


Joined: 04 Sep 2011
Posts: 1898
Location: Queendom of Valdemar

PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2013 5:23 pm    Post subject: Re: Snape essays Reply with quote

Laurelluin wrote:
Anyone have mad skills and enough time and interest to research where they might be found, and post new links? Please? angel

The links posted earlier by Asteria still work, including this one:

Comments on the damnation of Snape

The link to the CoS discussion still works too.

Next time, though, maybe whoever finds an interesting post should copy and paste it. Then it'd be on AV for good. I don't have the time to do it now, but will try to find the time later for this latest essay.
_________________
Valdemar's Warrior Women
Back to top
View user's profileSend private message
Asteria



Joined: 11 Oct 2010
Posts: 955
Location: Malfoy Manor

PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2013 5:54 pm    Post subject: The Damnation of Severus Snape Reply with quote

Laurelluin wrote:
Anyone have mad skills and enough time and interest to research where they might be found, and post new links? Please? angel


Kerowyn wrote:
Next time, though, maybe whoever finds an interesting post should copy and paste it. Then it'd be on AV for good.

Here you are, Kerowyn and Laurelluin. Sorry this copy-and-paste effort didn't copy the italics and other font options in the body of the post. Also, some rather cabalistic signs appeared without my meaning them to. But the text is generally legible. It's the best I can do.

My Damnation of Severus Snape

Summary: hpboy13 responds to a recent quibble of the week, "The Deification of Severus Snape."

I have been thinking about Severus Snape a lot lately - ever since I'd come home from a Lauren Fairweather concert where she performed songs from her brilliant Prince's Tale album and reduced me (and the rest of the audience) to a sobbing wreck. And I may cry for Snape, because he is such a tragic character. However, I still do not like Severus Snape. [Feel free to take a minute here to exclaim over my blasphemous words. I'll wait.]

Now, most of my dislike for Snape comes from the same reason that the fandom fawns over him: his unrequited love for Lily. Because every decent thing that he ever did, every small act of redemption, was done for her. In other words, the only good Snape ever did was because of an unhealthy obsession over another man's dead wife. He was willing to let her husband and infant son die so he could have her. He spent six years mercilessly tormenting a likable boy who already has the weight of the world on his shoulders, just because he is a reminder that he lost Lily to his biggest rival.

I could go much more in depth about this, but I was beaten to the punch. Glovebox recently posted an essay titled "The Deification of Severus Snape," that you should really go read right now. She does a fantastic job explaining why Snape is not a good person just because he loved Lily - it's a wonderfully written piece that I agree with 110%.

No, what I would like to do is go back through the series and remind the legions of Snape fans why we all hated him before we read "Prince's Tale." Because he truly is a despicable character, and kudos to Jo for making us almost forget that.

Neville

Okay, let's ignore the fact that Snape is wreaking his vengeance on eleven-year-old Harry Potter. Can we talk about the fact that he traumatizes poor Neville? And what has poor Neville ever done to him? He regularly humiliates Neville in front of his peers, destroying any shreds of self-confidence that Neville has. He even goes so far as to belittle Neville in front of other teachers (Prisoner of Azkaban, 132). He picks on Neville relentlessly - the poor boy already had a tough upbringing with his frightening grandmother and a bunch of great-uncles and great-aunts who'd drop him out of windows. After everything Neville has been through - after knowing his parents were tortured into insanity by Death Eaters - the thing that he fears most of all at age thirteen is Snape.

"Right, Neville," said Professor Lupin. "First things first: what would you say is the thing that frightens you most in the world?"
[…]
Neville looked around rather wildly, as though begging someone to help him, then said, in barely more than a whisper, "Professor Snape." [POA 134-135]


Now yes, we all had a great laugh when Neville's boggart turned into Snape, and ended up dressed as Neville's grandma, and Lupin turned out to be the coolest teacher ever. But after reading Order of the Phoenix, and realizing the horrors that Neville has in his past, the comedic scene from Prisoner of Azkaban takes on a much darker meaning.

Neville's boggart should have been Bellatrix Lestrange. Or perhaps it would be losing his mind like his parents did. Or being a Squib (since we know Neville has a lot of issues with that). Or even something less serious like a mummy or a spider. Now imagine how terrified he must be of Snape, that Snape scares him more than Bellatrix. This isn't just being scared of a teacher, this is being traumatized.

Earlier in the chapter, Snape actually went so far as to poison Neville's toad, Trevor:

The end of the lesson in sight, Snape strode over to Neville, who was cowering by his cauldron.
"Everyone gather 'round," said Snape, his black eyes glittering, "and watch what happens to Longbottom's toad. If he has managed to produce a Shrinking Solution, it will shrink to a tadpole. If, as I don't doubt, he has done it wrong, his toad is likely to be poisoned." [128]


This is just low - attempting to poison Neville's pet. Neville doesn't have many friends, so he's very fond of Trevor. What ends up happening is that Trevor turns into a tadpole in Snape's hand. This is very symbolic - what happens to pets in the HP series usually reflects what happens to their owners, and this shows that Snape belittles Neville and makes him feel completely inadequate. It's just very fortunate that Harry comes along to turn Neville into the badass he becomes in Deathly Hallows.

Hermione

While Snape's dislike for Neville can never be excused, it's at least explained by the fact that Neville is an abysmal student. Why Snape has it in for Hermione, on the other hand, is perplexing. Hermione starts off the series by being just as insecure as Neville is - shown in moments of vulnerability - she's just much better at hiding it. Whereas all the other teachers (sans Trelawney) reward Hermione for her brilliance and hard work, Snape either sneers at it or refrains from commenting when he's feeling generous. In fact, he goes so far as to punish Hermione for it.

"Five more points from Gryffindor for being an insufferable know-it-all."
Hermione went very red, put down her hand, and stared at the floor with her eyes full of tears. [172]


Okay, can we take a step back and think about this situation if it were real. I appeal to the adults out there: how would you feel if a teacher called your thirteen-year-old daughter an insufferable know-it-all and reduced her to tears? What kind of adult, teacher or not, would stoop to insult a child like that? This is clearly something Hermione struggles with among her classmates, who have a reason to resent her academic prowess. To be insulted for it by a teacher is probably the worst thing that could happen to her emotionally.

But Snape stoops even lower to humiliate Hermione (and Harry as well): he actually reads aloud a gossip article about them in class.

"'Harry Potter's Secret Heartache'... dear, dear, Potter, what's ailing you now? 'A boy like no other perhaps…'"
Harry could feel his face burning. Snape was pausing at the end of every sentence to allow the Slytherins a hearty laugh. The article sounded ten times worse when read by Snape. Even Hermione was blushing scarlet now.
"'... Harry Potter's well-wishers must hope that, next time, he bestows his heart upon a worthier candidate.' How very touching," sneered Snape […] "Well, I think I had better separate the three of you, so you can keep your minds on your potions rather than on your tangled love lives." [Goblet of Fire, 515]


This situation is so absurd I can't even pretend to consider it as a real situation. Snape is taking a slanderous gossip article that could severely hurt Hermione's reputation, and reads it aloud in his class as an open invitation for Hermione's fellow students to abuse her. This is sadism so impressive that Umbridge would be proud. Because that's really all Snape is: a sadist who psychologically destroys children to make up for his own miserable existence.

But perhaps the worst thing he does to Hermione is actually earlier in Goblet of Fire, where he mocks not her mind, nor her love life, but her appearance. To provide a bit of context, Harry and Draco try to curse each other, and their curses ricochet off each other and hit Goyle and Hermione. Goyle gets covered in boils and is sent to the hospital wing by Snape. Hermione's large teeth are now growing at an alarming rate, and Ron calls Snape's attention to this.

He forced Hermione to show Snape her teeth - she was doing her best to hide them with her hands, though this was difficult as they had now grown down past her collar. Pansy Parkinson and the other Slytherin girls were doubled up with silent giggles, pointing at Hermione from behind Snape's back.

Snape looked coldly at Hermione, then said, "I see no difference."

Hermione let out a whimper; her eyes filled with tears, she turned on her heel and ran, ran all the way up the corridor and out of sight. [299-300]


Wow. Just wow. Now, let's keep in mind that this is fifteen-year-old Hermione - before she became a confident adult, before she had Viktor Krum ask her to the Yule Ball, before anything ever happened to make her feel pretty. She is a teenage girl - and we know how vulnerable teenage girls are where their body-image and self-perception are concerned. All she knows is that she isn't very attractive, the guy she likes isn't aware that she's a girl, and no guy has ever looked twice at her.

And then an adult, a teacher, insults her appearance in front of everyone. This must be more emotionally scarring than anything else Snape ever did. And it was completely uncalled for! No one was interrupting him or reading magazines in his class, he just chose to lash out at Hermione. I'm a guy, so thankfully I never went through this, but I vividly remember my female friends' crazy diets and whatnot, and how upset they were over their less-than-perfect appearance. Poor Hermione.

Sirius and Lupin

Lest we think it only children that Snape abuses, Jo ensures that we are privy to how awfully he treats his fellow adults. Now, I will ignore Snape mocking Sirius in Order of the Phoenix, because both of them hated each other and acted like sixteen-year-old shmucks. Snape deriding Lupin in front of his class is more serious. But the truly appalling stuff doesn't happen until Snape actually has power over Sirius and Lupin, and (as usual) abuses it to the fullest. This happens when Snape stumbles onto the two of them and the Trio in the Shrieking Shack in Prisoner of Azkaban (for a very in-depth analysis of Snape's behavior and motivations in this scene, check out my essay "Snape's Anger").

"You fool," said Lupin softly. "Is a schoolboy grudge worth putting an innocent man back inside Azkaban?"
[...]
"Up to the castle?" said Snape silkily. "I don't think we need to go that far. All I have to do is call the dementors once we get out of the Willow. They'll be very pleased to see you, Black ... pleased enough to give you a little kiss, I daresay..." [...]
"I'll drag the werewolf. Perhaps the dementors will have a kiss for him too -" [POA, 359-360]


Here, my feelings toward Snape go from contempt to alarm - he is willing to condemn two men to having their souls sucked out because one bullied him as a teenager, and the other didn't stop it. I don't know whether Snape believes they are innocent or guilty - the alarming thing is that Snape doesn't care. He doesn't care if he sentences innocent men to a fate worse than death, as long as he exacts his petty revenge for deeds done twenty years ago.

Here is where we see Snape the Death Eater at his worst - the man who will kill innocents with no regard, the sadist who abuses his power at any given opportunity, and a man whose own agenda is more important that anything else. If Voldemort had not killed Lily, I'm sure Snape would have been a top Death Eater like Bellatrix Lestrange or Malfoy.

Snape's Loyalty

I know that some of you are still crying that yes, Snape was deeply unpleasant at times, but he was still on the good side! Doesn't that, along with his unrequited love for Lily, prove he's a good guy.

Well... no. Just because someone is working against Voldemort does not mean he is a good guy - a wonderful example would be Cornelius Fudge. But there is proof that Snape considered working for Dumbledore a secondary goal compared to that of making Harry miserable.

Let us recall the instance in Goblet of Fire where Mr. Crouch shows up while Harry and Viktor Krum are talking, and Harry runs to get Dumbledore so the latter can attend to the insane Mr. Crouch. And while outside Dumbledore's office, Snape happens on by:

"Mr. Crouch!" Harry shouted. "From the Ministry! He's ill or something - he's in the forest, he wants to see Dumbledore! Just give me the password up to -”

"The headmaster is busy, Potter," said Snape, his thin mouth curling into an unpleasant smile.
"I've got to tell Dumbledore!" Harry yelled.
"Didn't you hear me, Potter?"
Harry could tell Snape was thoroughly enjoying himself, denying Harry the very thing he wanted when he was so panicky. [Goblet of Fire, 558]


Let's consider this. Snape has just run into a frantic Harry trying to get into Dumbledore's office (which Harry probably wouldn't do without good reason). Harry yells that a vanished Ministry official has shown up on the Hogwarts grounds and is crazy, and this high-ranking crazy Ministry official is running amok with a Triwizard champion. Snape decides to completely disregard all of this for the simple joy of tormenting Harry for a little bit.

It's a rather interesting way to prioritize. Snape ignores his duty to Dumbledore and whatever is happening in the wide wizarding world, all to pettily spite a fourteen-year-old. It's really just pathetic. So Snape is on Dumbledore's side... when it suits him.

So after remembering all of these choice Snape moments (and I'm sure there are plenty more, and we have only scratched the surface of what he's done to Harry), I just can't think of him as a good guy. Yes, Severus Snape was technically on Dumbledore's side, and he has a beautifully tragic unrequited love for Lily Potter. However, he is still an awful, spiteful, petty, vindictive, and cruel human being. He is not fit to interact with children, much less teach them.

So while I love Snape as a character, and think of him as one of Jo's crowning literary achievements, I still hate him as a person. And perhaps the fangirling would be better directed towards Alan Rickman.
_________________
At Malfoy Manor


Last edited by Asteria on Thu Jun 20, 2013 6:03 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profileSend private message
Asteria



Joined: 11 Oct 2010
Posts: 955
Location: Malfoy Manor

PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2013 6:01 pm    Post subject: The Deification of Severus Snape Reply with quote

Here's the second piece requested. Here also copy and paste didn't come out perfectly, but good enough for our purposes. Very Happy

The Deification of Severus Snape
By Glovebox

ABSTRACT: The essay discusses the many flaws of Severus Snape and how the fandom has disregarded these because of his extreme love of Lily Potter. It discusses how his actions were often selfish and childish but also how these many flaws create such a brilliant and interesting character whom we should love for the moral questions he raises not for his obsession with Lily Potter.

While deification as such may be a vast overstatement, the point stands that the fandom has become utterly and blindly obsessed over the years with a man by the name of Severus Snape. If I had a dollar for every Snape and Lily reference on the internet, I would be a very rich woman. But how many people actually look back on the first six and three-quarters books and go wow, if I had Snape for a teacher, I would drop that subject, burn all the books related to it, and never return? Snape as a character demonstrates how brilliantly flawless and magnificent J.K. Rowling is as an author, because Snape himself was completely flawed. As readers, we could completely believe that he was really on Voldemort’s side for the whole series, despite Dumbledore’s ardent belief in him - because, quite simply, he was not a nice guy. J.K. Rowling managed to fool us again and again into thinking Snape was evil, because to the world, that was the face he presented - and this seems to have been forgotten in the midst of this Snape and Lily obsession.

Snape was a Death Eater. While obviously he changed sides later on, the fact remains that Snape in his younger years believed in Voldemort’s ideals and wanted to advance them. Even Lily points this out - she notes that "[he] can’t wait to join You-Know-Who" (DH, p.542). He was friends with both Avery and Mulciber, called everyone of Muggle-birth a Mudblood (aside from Lily - though as we later see, this does change), and described the unnamed piece of dark magic used on Mary Macdonald as, "a laugh" (DH, p.540). Snape, in his crucial teenage years where ideals and beliefs are formed, found that he believed in death, prejudice, and sadism - and it cannot be denied that he rushed to fulfil these ideals as soon as the opportunity arose. If it had not perhaps been for Lily and the threat Lord Voldemort posed to his heart, Snape may never have changed. He may have continued to live a life of servitude to the most evil wizard of all time, and it was only by some twist of fate that he did change sides. If events had played out differently - if Voldemort had chosen Neville instead, for example - then Snape probably would have remained a Death Eater, and this cannot be ignored.

When Snape did eventually convert to Dumbledore’s side, he did not do it for moral grounds, as Regulus Black did. He did it because the life of the woman he loved - who had rejected him years previously - was threatened. He had no wish to save Harry or James, or even the countless other people dying around him. He converted for purely selfish reasons - and as Dumbledore points out to him, "they can die, as long as [he has] what [he wants]." (DH, p.544). Snape is glorified for his never-ending, unrequited love for Lily Evans, and yet we fail to realise how this blinded him to the sufferings of others, and tainted his love into something selfish and cruel.

While I initally found the scene in Deathly Hallows: Part 2 where Snape cradles Lily’s body to be deeply moving and symobolic of his complete and utter love for her, despite her rejection - in hindsight, it seemed disrespectful. Lily clearly chose James over Snape. She chose the Head Boy over the Death Eater, and I think Snape should have respected that and moved on. What Snape felt for Lily is something that many of us may have experienced in lesser or equal forms over the years - a love that is unbelievably strong, and yet completely unrequited. While we may have harboured this love within us over the years, and may have been filled with jealousy, eventually we would have moved on. While this is a considerably less romantic ideal then the "always"(DH, p.552) of Snape’s love, in my mind, it is a healthier option. There are people whose spouses have died, who have worked though their grief and moved on to new love after years have passed - so why is Snape so incapable? Cradling and crying over Lily’s dead body - and yes I know it is the movie, not the book, but the point still stands - whilst her husband lies dead metres away seems rather disrespectful of Lily’s life and love choices, if you ask me.

I recognise the fact, however, that Snape devoted the next 15 years of his life into protecting Lily’s child - yet while he risked life and limb for Harry’s protection, Snape remained thoroughly unpleasant to Harry at every possible opportunity. Snape remained condescending, sarcastic, needlessly cruel, and a completely terrible teacher - and especially so to Harry. Can you imagine the level of parental complaint that would result from Snape teaching this way in a school in the real world? At every possible opportunity, he aimed to make Harry’s life miserable. If he was going to fight against Lord Voldemort because Lily, he was going to make life a living hell for Harry because of James. After 20 years, Snape was unwilling to forget or forgive James Potter for the bullying he suffered at his hand - bullying, might I add, that he himself probably committed through the use of dark arts on a number of less capable students across the school. Was Snape seriously so hypocritical that he was completely incapable of growing up, forgiving James, and not tormenting his son when all the evidence suggests that he conducted similar behaviour towards other students during his schooling years? Did you see Mary Macdonald’s mother making his life a misery? Snape completely ignored the fact that Harry was raised by a family of muggles who made his life hell, and not by James - and thus Harry is far more likely when he first arrives at Hogwarts to be a boy completely unsure of himself and uncomfortable with fame then one who possesses the same arrogance as his father. Snape, in all his childish anger, was completely incapable of seeing this and thus saw a boy like his bullying father rather than the "engaging child" (DH, p.545) that Harry really is.

JK Rowling creates characters that are flawed. Harry is flawed, Dumbledore is flawed, Sirius is flawed and above all, Snape is flawed. While he did change sides, join the Order of the Phoenix, and die in the fight against Voldemort, Snape is, despite the revelations at the end of Deathly Hallows, very much a character who is neither good nor evil. Instead, he is located firmly in the grey area in between. And I like him that way; I like his snide comments, and the moral enigma that surrounds him. I love how Alan Rickman portrays him so perfectly, in the sarcasm of his comments and how he fooled us again and again and again. I do not love him for how he loved Lily, or for how he treated Harry. I think he is brilliant because his character is so interesting, and not because he is a good person - because villains and good guys are always so stupidly predictable these days, and he is an exception to this rule. Snape is a brilliant character, but he is not a brilliant person - and as a fandom I think we would do well to remember that. May the death threats commence.
_________________
At Malfoy Manor
Back to top
View user's profileSend private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    AVENUE VIET Forum Index » L'Avenue Harry Potter All times are GMT - 7 Hours
Goto page 1, 2  Next
Page 1 of 2

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


kinSleek phpBB template created by and Copyright © 2004 Kinetix
Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group