General Discussion

Announcements


Welcome everyone! My name is Brian and I'm moderating the boards. Here are a few basic rules:

- no last names, names of schools or cities (but states are okay);
- age/grade is okay, but no birthdays;
- no being mean, rude, or cursing;
- no posting your email address or links to other websites;
- Please read my FAQ’s post.
- If you still have a question, feel free to ask me here.

I hope you all enjoy the boards! We want them to be a safe, fun place to get excited about HP!
   [ 4 posts ] Average score:  
Author Message
 Snape Justification Syndrome
frequent_contributor

Joined: Fri Sep 10, 2010 9:52 pm
Posts: 6322
Fri Nov 27, 2015 10:43 am

Right so this post does not go without saying that Snape is dynamic and a well written character, but sometimes the way the fandom portrays him can get to me. 

 

I think every growing Harry Potter fan at one point had a dark epiphany when reading meta on some site and they realized that Snape wasn't actually a good guy after all... like despite everything J.K. tried to do to redeem Severus in the end, it really wasn't enough to make us forget the horrible things he did. Those who haven't and defend him have what some people called Snape Justification Syndrome. And it's not really their fault, the twisted way books and movies force us to view "love" and "romance" can really mess with our ways to tell if something is wrong or right. Stories (like in romcoms, or dare I even mention it, 50 Shades) where men pursue women despite clear disinterest or rejection on the woman's half are lauded because the man asserts himself and shows persevernce. What we don't often realize is that in real life, this type of behavior often comes in forms of harrasment and abuse where a woman's wishes are not respected. 

 

It's weird because when I started and finished the books, I was around 9 years old. I thought at most "oh man that Snape is a mean dude, but wait! he did everything out of love for lily, wow! what a suprise, snape was a good guy after all!" but man, after rereading the books there's really not much for me to say in defense of Snape. 

 

Let's recap what we know from the books:

 

Of Teaching

  • First off, J.K. Rowling herself said that while Lupin was supposed to represent the best teacher a student could have, Snape represented the worst a student could have. This man is not even remotely good at the only job he's ever held besides being a Professional Death Eater. It still boggles my mind that J.K. still thought Snape deserved a redemption ark. 

 

  • He targetted Harry and his eleven year old friends because of an insecurity assosiated with his high school bully. He took out his anger about what happened to him in high school by using his power as a teacher to put down an orphaned 11 year old who didn't even know his father that caused this pain for Snape. 

 

  • Recall the first Potion's class? Where he singles out Harry to answer questions he obviously wouldn't know the answer to due to living in an abusive Muggle environment, and then taunts him and takes away Gryffindor house points-- furthur humiliating him infront of his peers. This isn't a one time occurence either, we fans know well how much Harry dreaded and hated Potions class because of the professor. 

 

  • That time in Potions class where Draco hits Hermione with a teeth enlarging hex and Snape refuses to let her go to the Infirmary by saying he doesn't see a difference. Come on, if Snape was a real teacher he would be fired for so many reasons, but denying a student medical attention just to strike them down a few pegs in self asteem infront of the entire class would be a pretty big one. 

 

  • Let's not forget the entire thing with Neville (a student, who let's remember here, did absolutely nothing wrong to Snape, in fact his parents were tortured by the organization Snape was a part of at the time he was apart of it and he did nothing to prevent this!!!!). As a 13 year old boy Neville's biggest fear in the entire world was his professor. And this coming from a boy whose bullied by his peers on a daily basis and his parents were tortured to insanity by Death Eaters. Does that really not speak for itself?

 

Of Prejudice 

  • I mean I guess this goes back to the high school grudge thing, but why does nobody acknowledge how Snape exposes Lupin as a wearwolf, forcing a very poor and miserable man out of the first work he's gotten in years. Honestly this might just be because I love and protect Lupin (which also makes me frusterated that while Snape gets redeemed, Lupin does a selfish, bad thing in the last book and then dies without too much more of an "oh well")  but this kind of leads into my next point about how Snape felt superiority to "second class citizens" like werewolves and muggle borns.

 

  • The only reason we're given for Snape leaving the Death Eaters is because Voldemort killed Lily. The Death Eaters are a genocidal supremicist wizard terrorism group but yet the reason he leaves is because they killed his unrequitted love. Not because of the atrocities like killing, torturing, and subjugating innocent people.

 

  • Saying he loved Lily, who was a muggleborn is not a good argument in defense of saying Snape was not prejudiced. First of all, because this is not true for any real life paralell- a man can love a woman and still be sexist, a person can admire someone of a different race and still be racist, your role model could be Stephen Hawking but you could still be prejudiced against disabled people! 

 

  • He was a blood purist-- at least when it mattered. You can't blame Lily for running away as fast as she could, something like that can feel like the ultimate betrayal. You could chalk it up to a confused teenager who hated his muggle father, but this lasted into him becoming an adult, at the hight of the 1st Wizarding War where people were getting murdered because of their status. Even Regulus Black, a guy from an imfamously racist family had the guts to dissent from the Death Eaters because he realized it was wrong. 

 

Of "Love"

  • When I was younger, I hated James because he was so awful to Snape and Lily, always condescending and rude. The problem while yes, both Snape and James exhibited inexscuable behavior (like James' creepy romcom pursuing like I mentioned before), James was fifteen, an adolescent who also grew out of it by the time he got older. Snape's behavior didn't stop when he got older, arguably it worsened. 

 

  • I'm not blaming Snape for loving Lily, Lily was an amazing, intelligent, beautiful woman. But he did not understand how to respect her as a person, respect her boundaries, and understand her freedoom to date who she pleases. 

 

  • It's so unsettling how Snape seems to lack compassion about anything that doesn't involve Lily. It makes me think back to the flashback scene in the 8th movie (to be fair, movie additions aren't necessarily canon but I think it's fair game because it contributes to Snape's overall image and perception by people) where Snape is crying over Lily's dead body. This is in the Potter's house right after Voldemort attacked. Snape would've had to carelessly step over James' body, gone into the nursery to see a crying infant with a newly cut scar on his forehead, and ignored all of that just to caress the dead body of the girl he would not get over. It's supposed to be a tear jerker but now all it seems to me is a violation of Lily. It's safe to say Lily would not have been happy to see Severus come into her home and completely ignore her now orphaned son so he pull her body into his arms (when he would definetly never have permission to do that when she was alive) and cry over her. This is a probably unecessary aside but it really makes me realize how the movie love story is shattered when you look at it from a different perspective. 

 

  • To continue on Snape's lack of compassion, no matter how much he loved Lily he still never did the thing that could've actually redeemed him, be a mentor and help her orphaned son. No, instead Snape spends six solid years torturing Harry for something he had no choice in and then in the 7th book dropping the "but I loved your mother" excuse and then everything could be totallly cool right?

 

  • The worst thing to me is that Harry actually accepts this excuse and then glorifies his past abuser by naming a kid after him, and calling him the "bravest man I ever knew". In the bigger picture this makes me uneasy because we see the hero of the story essentially normalizing all the bad things Snape ever did because it was "for love" and that makes it ok right? It's my opinion and many others that this is not ok. 

 

 

Wow so that was really heavy and now it's 2:30 AM so I think I'm done for now. However, this topic is complex so probably look forward to more posts in the future. (jeez I need to make some lighter topic threads)




 Re: Snape Justification Syndrome
frequent_vsitor

Joined: Sun Jun 19, 2011 12:14 pm
Posts: 613
Fri Feb 05, 2016 10:03 pm

KATHERINE THIS POST IS INCREDIBLE. You touched every single issue I've always had with how the HP fandom views Snape, and this is basically the masterpost for arguing that Snape really isn't the good guy everyone makes him out to be. In the future, when someone argues that Snape turned out to be a good guy, I'm going to direct them to this post. I get that there's basically no way to argue against this, but why did nobody even acknowledge this??? 

.Ƹ̴Ӂ̴Ʒ. 
"You've gotta danclike there's nobody watching,
love like you'll never be hurt,
sing like there's nobody listening,
and livlike it's heaven on earth."
-William W. Purkey
..
"Withoumusic,
life would be a mistake."
-Friedrich Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols
.Ƹ̴Ӂ̴Ʒ.
.Jadedragon49.




 Re: Snape Justification Syndrome
regular_contributor

Joined: Sat Feb 13, 2010 2:04 pm
Posts: 4323
Wed Feb 10, 2016 2:01 am

AHAHA I'VE BEEN MEANING TO REPLY EVERY SINCE I FIRST SAW THIS BUUUUUUUT.

 

Mainly because my answer was/is probably going to be lengthy buuuuut well it's Snape talk what did u expect. Now Jade is back which means there are 2 of you to fight. Well then. The more the merrier. Bring it on. No i'm kidding. I'm not here to fight.

 

So first off, this is a v well written post and you raise a LOT of great points! And I agree for the most part. BUT that doesn't mean that I agree entirely. Or that we don't disagree on the main thingy (from that I got at least).

 

My view on Snape can basically be summarised as:

 

A good guy, not a nice person.

 

Another thing: Snape doesn't get a redemption. The Prince's Tale ≠ redemption.

 

Also: Snape being a jerk to his students is seriously because he's shallow and petty and bitter and the biggest tsundere in western literature and he doesn't want to be nice bc hes mean. YES he was a jerk. I could go on forever listing all the wrong things Snape has done towards his students, but that would be pointless. Why? Because they're portrayed as bad things, they're supposed to be bad, everyone in the series knows it. And the fans know it, too. I have met like 0 Snape fans who agree that his bullying was ok. Most of them just handwave it away because of ~his love for Lily and past bullying~. You know who doesn't handwave it away though? The series. And J. K. Rowling herself. 

 

J. K. Rowling said that Snape is intended to be the worst teacher you could have (or just a super super bad one), but she also said that the reason Dumbledore keeps Snape around despite his clearly unfair treatment of his students, is that Dumbledore believes there are a lot of different lessons at life, terrible teachers being one of them.

 

So here's my two cents at that: Snape being a bully/terrible teacher should be acknowledged, but not taken on extremes. We've all had crude, unfair teachers, and Snape was written as an exaggaration/caricature of them. Kicking back, Snape is so bitter and mean he's actually pretty funny. Say, if Snape was a real actual teacher I had, I'd be fighting him 24/7. But he's not, so!!!

Also, I don't mean to be harsh, but certain comments on defense of Snape's students come off as if... victimizing the kids? Like yes, they are victims of bullying, but c'mon, give them some credit!  All his students despised him (expect from Malfoy & Co. but that's because they were the mean kids he was nice with), so it's not like his treatment doesn't have realistic reactions in canon, but it's not like his bullying left some deep wound that don't seem to heal. Yeah, Neville. I agree that Neville is a very sensitive character who gets affected by things & life to quite some degree. But we only find out that Snape is Neville's worst fear on the day that Neville faces said worse fear! Also it's kinda played for laughs. Regardless, I'm with you on this. HOWEVER, Neville grows up to become a Professor at Hogwarts. Neville is AWESOME and I love him, and he has grown so strong & confident by the end of the series that I don't think he holds any grunge against Snape because he's ABOVE IT ALL. If anything, Snape, the teacher he dreaded so during his school days, is going to be exactly the example Neville will avoid in his treatment to his students. Because Neville knows how it feels to be the weakest kid, to be kicked when you're down, to be humiliated in class. And he's going to treat his students AWESOMELY & be even better than Lupin. We know that because we know Neville.

 

Anyway, what I'm trying to say is, Snape getting a "redemption arc" (which is NOT redemption imo but that piece of my mind will be served to you in course #2), and being forgiven by the main cast & the reader is not like erasing or, even worse, glorifing his treatement of his students. I understand where your worries that it might be so steem from, but there's a disproportionation here: being a jerk to your students doesn't stop you from being a hero, because a hero steems from who you /really/ are on the interior, whilst being a jerk to brave kids who are going to grow up into better adults than you is just the bitter, petty aspect of you. Snape really did care about the students of Hogwarts, and spent his year as Headmaster doing all possible within his power to protect them. Harry (and probably Neville, and the others), forgive Snape because they're above it all by the end of the series. They've grown into strong and understanding adults despite having Snape around, or maybe, partially because of having Snape around. Nonetheless, Snape had good qualities in him, and it's a serious injustice to his character to overlook them, no matter how hard he tried to hide them during his lifetime. His ex-students (Harry particularly), think he deserves better than he got, because he was better than he ever let show. And I think that's beautiful and my children have grown up so much and I'm crying proud tears. Alas, even Dumbledore rolls his eyes at Snape's tsundere levels:

  • Snoop [upon agreeing to protect Lily's son]: '[...] But never - never tell, Dumbledore! This must be between us! [...] I cannot bear... especially Potter's son... I want your word!'

    Dumbledork: 'My word, Severus, that I shall never reveal the best of you?' Dumbledore sighed, [...] 'If you insist...'
    -HP and the DH, The Prince's Tale, pg 545 (British edition) (Just in case u doubted this was canon. And YE, I have the British edition bc of how classy I am. Look at me. Shipping my tea w/ the queen rn. The London Eiffel is in the background. Zis iz a wonderful vether we're 'aveen, ma cherie.)

 

Hm, on prejudice you do make some pretty good points as well!!! But I think it's important to remember that Snape, even though he was a blood purist, and more than acted out on it, is no longer one during the series. So no, I don't think that Snape felt superiority to "second class citizens" during the books. He was a jerk. But it didn't steem from some sort of prejudice or sense of superiority.

 

HOWEVER!!! He does take advantage of the prejudice and sense of superiority that permeates the wizarding society when he outs Lupin. Which is a terrible thing to do! But I think this was because, at that moment, Snape still believed that Sirius was guilty of his alleged crimes, and that Lupin had helped him escaped, and gone unpunished for it. Whether he knew that Sirius was also thought to be the Potters' secret keeper or he had known that it was Peter ever since his days as a Death Eater is an important section we need to clarify. From his actions it leaves me to think that he thought it was Sirius who was the Secret Keeper, aka the reason Lily is now dead. No one knew about Peter other than Sirius, not even Dumbledore. If Snape did know about Peter being a Death Eater, but considered Peter dead, and instead let Sirius rot in Azkaban just because he didn't like Sirius, then yes, I more than agree with you, he is a despicable human being. But none of his actions or traits indicates that Snape is capable of this level of cruelty. And I'm talking about being aware of a man's innocence, and post-1981!Snape.

 

I also think that Lupin doing the "selfish" thing was actually very in-character, and yet not at all something that defies him. He overcomes it. He is given a moment of happiness and makes up with Harry. And he dies heroically. It's supposed to be unfair. His death is not given as much attention because it doesn't come hand-in-hand with providing the main hero with exposition that leads him to take decision to sacrifise himself, thus triggering a series of events that result to Voldemort's defeat. See? Not redemption, not intended to be a redemption from Snape's part anyway. It's only a redemption because Harry is very forgiving in nature. :D

 

Also, yes, Snape was stupid enough to join the Death Eaters because he thought Lily would be "impressed", and didn't stop being a memeber until he realized that her life was in danger. But it's supposed to be wrong, that nothing in the terrible actions of the Death Eaters made Snape reconsider, not until it threatened someone he actually cared about!!! 

To quote Dumbledore, DH, page 543: 'You disgust me'

But it's not like his beliefs didn't change in the future! Yes, Snape didn't leave the Death Eaters until Lily died, but that actually opened his eyes to how wrong everything was! Up until then he thought he was doing something ~cool and impressive~ that would sweep Lily off her feet! Which was a stupid thought, but he was barely an adult and a desperate n sad one, too!!! So once Lily was gone, Snape really had an 180 degree turn, and even though it's messed up that he agreed with the Death Eaters in the first place, that doesn't make his change of heart and later actions any less valid! I'm not excusing his terrible behaviour, but this is all post!series Snape. So not exactly relevant during the main timeline of the series (yes, it's relevant because it explains who he used to be and how he ended up being who he is, but it's not who he is during the series).



PROOF FROM THE PRINCE'S TALE THAT SNAPE WASN'T ALL THAT BAD!:
 

  • Dumbles: 'And if [Hogwarts] does fall in [Voldy's] grasp' [...] 'I have your word that you will do all in your power to protect the students of Hogwarts?'
    Snape gave a firm nod (pg 547)
    ***
    Dumbles: 'How many men and women have you watched die?'
    Snoop: 'Lately, only those whom I could not save'
  • Do you know that I also like an AU!Snape where he's not All That Bad and actually has a little thing with Charity Burbage going on and then he has to watch her die and then he dies, too :( :( :( I love to bring myself suffering!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • ***
    PNB: 'Headaster! They are camping in the Forest of Dean! The
    Mudblood-'

    Snape: 'Do not use that word!'
  • GENERAL!
  • Took an Unbreakable Vow to protect Draco's life!
  • Worried about his own soul being maimed when Dumbledore asked him to mercy-kill him!
  • Protected the kids of Hogwarts as far as he could, especially during DH!

 

I agree with the rest of your points, especially about Lily ending her friendship with Snape! Like seriously there are people out there who blame the girl for ending an obviously super messed up and wrong friendship, for what reason? Oh, she broke his heeeeeeeart :^^^^( GIMME A BREAK, HE BROUGHT THIS UPON HIMSELF >(


I also agree w/ the points on the Love department, but on the movie addition, i have this thing to say: it was a Bad Addition and Probably Not Canon If We Go By The Books. 
1) it makes no sense because according to the books just about 100 people passed by the ruins of the Potter house on the night they died: Voldemort, then Peter, who took his wand and hid, Hagrid, who took Harry, Sirius, who gave Hagrid his motorcycle, and then probably the police and the Ministry of Magic. The books also imply (very subtly though; it may as well not count as an implication but that's how I read it) that the first time Snape hears about Lily's death is when he's crying in Dumbledore's office, where Dumbles tells Snape to take up the role of protecting Lily's son as a means of atoning.

2) I really like to think that Book!Snape would never have done that :D!

3) OK, he could have done that. That was before he swore loyalty to Dumbledore and agreed to dedicate the rest of his life to protect Harry. It's not as much a character doing something gross and super selfish that upsets me (even though I still think it'd be OOC for Book!Snape, and even Movie!Snape, even the Snape back then), but the fact that it's portrayed as romantic and tragic, Snape losing the love of his life and crying over her, ooooooh the tears... not. But I'm not exactly fan of the movies in general so.... *shugs*

 

And finally....................................................

OH YA BABY NOW WE'RE GETTING ON THE POINT WHERE THINGS GET INTERESTING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11one one!!!!!!

 

  • Snape wasn't trying to become a mentor to Harry. He'd rather commit himself to a lifetime of regular showers than be a mentor to Harry, in the same sense that Dumbledore was a mentor to Harry. Snape swore to protect him, which he did. He dies even though he probably knows he doesn't have to, to protect Harry. (Because Snape knows that Draco disarmed Dumbledore, but telling Voldemort that would correctly lead him to Harry (probably killing Draco in the meanwhile), before Harry learnt the truth, aka that he had to sacrifise himself.) His dying action is to give Harry the memories that tell him what he has to do to defeat Voldemort.
  • Snape is NOT trying to excuse OR redeem himself. He's not saying "look i liked your mom so we're cool, right?". You could argue that the narrative treats the whole thing as a redemption, even though I would argue back that it highly depends on the prespective of the reader, as evidenced by the anti-Snapes, and Harry certainly redeems Snape in his heart, but Snape does not want Harry's pity, or forgiveness. He is merely explaining himself, telling Harry why he should trust him, and what he has to do. Which, bytheway, Snape was 100% opposed to:
    Snoop: 'Now you're telling me you have been raizing him like a pig for slaughter-'
  • Say, yes. Snape, in the memories, reveals a lot of qualities that make him sympathetic and attractive to the reader. But, at the same time, he is doing what he made Dumbledore swear he would never tell: he is exposing himself, the ugliest, most secret side of himself to Harry. He's not asking for forgiveness, you could argue that he is apologizing, but most importantly, he is just fullfilling his promise to Dumbledore, even with his last breath. In the flashbacks Harry sees that Snape only cared for Lily on a personal level, that despite secretly being a good guy there was no secret behind his despise for Harry: he really did dislike him, and really did project his hatred for James on his son, he was a jerk who didn't care about the two of them (the scene with Lily's letter at Grimmauld Place, anyone?), even his dying moment, where he is giving away those precious memories, he requests to make eye contact with Harry, so that he can, like, look at Lily's eyes or whatever. So yeah. Jerk. But judging from what we know so far about Snape, he doesn't want Harry to forgive him. Harry forgives him regardless, however, because he is a very good man, and by the end of the day, tolerance and love are the two biggest themes in the whole series. So it's natural Harry would forgive, yes.

 

I 200% disagree with the final point. Because:

  • Snape was not making excuses and asking for forgiveness, even though he did get it, despite himself
  • Harry is not glorifying Snape's abusive behavior. Blame it or praise it, Snape was a very brave man who sacrifised the rest of his life fighting on the light side. He really did love Lily (though I think that was kinda an ~unreachable obsession~ and he projected on her all the affection he never received & could never bring himself to give to others), and spent the rest of his life trying to atone both from his failure to save her and from his actions as a Death Eater. He didn't only fight & die to save Lily's son, but all of the wizarding world, as a matter of fact.
  • Snape was not all good or all bad. He was a bully, he emotionally abused his most vulnerable students. But you also can't demonize him when he lived and died fighting Voldemort. And Harry, who glorified a father he had never known, only to feel stripped of an important part of his identity and betrayed when this image was scarred, who idolized Dumbledore, and was left feeling abadoned and weaponless when the later died leaving him in the dark, who looked up to Sirius so much he could not bear himself to admit that at last part of Sirius' actions led him to his own death (mistreating Kreacher), learned at last that bravery takes a lot of different faces and not all is what it seems. People have flaws, but that's not what they are defied by, and certainly, for Harry, not what they should be remembered by. Snape lived his whole life in disguise, and died without anyone but Harry knowing his true colors. That is a heavy burden for one traumatized boy to bear, but imo Harry does it very gracefully: post-war, he fought to restore Snape's name in the wizarding community, long before he even had a son. And when he does have kids of his own, he gaves his second son the middle name Severus as a way of... making Snape family? I'm sure Snape's portait back at Hogwarts would throw one epic tantrum if he ever finds out Al's middle name, but the thing is, Harry wants to make sure that Snape's memory lives on, not only through history books and memoirs, but through his family. Harry knows Snape to be lonely and bitter, and no one understands him better than Harry, who has been the outsider, the under-loved kid, lonely and detached from the ones he loves. Harry sees his faults and decides not to repeat them himself, but forgives him nonetheless, not because he's normalizing what Snape did, but because he learns the importance of forgiveness, of love. 

 

See?????????? I actually want 2 say more but it looks appropriate that this rant end with the word love so!!!!!! PEACE!!!!!!!!!!!!!




 Re: Snape Justification Syndrome
regular_contributor

Joined: Sat Feb 13, 2010 2:04 pm
Posts: 4323
Sun Feb 21, 2016 2:07 pm

OK I reread my reply (sorry it's long!!!) and I have 2 thingies to add (actually no they were 3 but I forgot the 3rd so I’ll probably remember it right after I’ve posted it. Translation: expect to probs see more of me. Yes. EVEN MORE.):

 

1.     It seems as if I'm trying to excuse or "nvm that" Snape's bullying at some points, so I'm sorry if it comes off that way! Just in case it wasn't clear... I don't think that anything he did justifies his bullying. If anything what i'm trying to say is that Snape's heroism is not related to and shouldn't be used to excuse his bullying and general horrid/unfair behaviour towards his students. Like yes, he was a wizarding hero by the end, but that doesn't change the context of his teaching days! Does that make sense?

 

2.     On the "romcom" thing:

 

I agree that we're pretty much "taught" to think of "endlessly pursuing clearly not-reciprocating romantic interest" as a romantic gesture and that they eventually should give in, and that more often that not a man is pursuing a woman, which is a very wrong mindset that has unfortunately kinda grown on us by now. But!!! Snape doesn't do that with Lily. James does that, yes, but then he grows out of it. OK. But Snape never pursues Lily, never confesses, Lily never finds out about his feelings (or at least not from him: like she could've been suspecting, James defs did, but it's not like it was ever confirmed to them by Snoop or anything). So yeah. Snape doesn't go after Lily. He doesn't fight with James for/over Lily. Snape and Lily are friends, their friendship is ruined and Lily puts an end to it.

BUT!!! I still think that Snape Defenders, HP fans and audiences in general romanticize a different unhealthy type of romance as "ideal": loving someone for your whole life, like Snape for Lily. "Childhood love" lasting forever, living and dying thinking of only one person, etc, that's pretty much non-existent and kinda unhealthy and it's even worse because art and society in general treats it as SUPER ROMANTIC 100% TRUER AND PURER FORM OF LOVE D'AWWW. As in, "eternal" love > any other form of love, romantic or not. That women (mainly) should seek and adore men who have always secretly loved them; that loving someone your whole life instantly makes you a saint; that this kind of love is better than anyone else's. That trope is still messed up, but different than the one James applies (endlessly pursuing). Snape is endlessly loving from the shadows.

And both are wrong! But

James “type of romcom” = I love you, and I'm going to make it your problem, until you realize that I'm right for loving you all along, and you should love me back.

Snape “type of romcom” = I love you, and it's only my problem, which makes me sympathetic to the audience and tragic and everyone thinks I deserve an award just for being in love, which also justifies to their eyes everything else I do, regardless of how irrelevant it is to you/my feelings for you.

And on the meanwhile Snape's the wizarding equivalent of a racist/fascist, and even after he has his change of heart, Lily's ghost is still his idée fixée, mourning forever and treating her son like dirt. Within context, this is understandable, because he's going to blame himself for her death for the rest of his days, and he has a lot of issues with showing even the slightest of kindness, but the audience is willing to shrug all that off, all of Snape's complexity and character, for the sake of putting him up on the pedestal of "tragic love hero". Which he's NOT. He is still a hero, but not for being unrequitedly in love. And I don't think it's the fans’ “fault”, either. It's just that, according to most minds, unrequited love = sympathetic. And the entertainment industry takes advantage of that and stretches that trope, and gets away with it! So in the end I don't think that Snape's love/"love" is all that much important, as the reactions to it, which are what they are because of the general mindset. See???

So: Snape's love for Lily is not what makes him a hero, and it's not what makes him a demon.  It's not good or bad. It's what it is. And it has an HUGE impact on his character, but people's judgment of Snape leans heavily on perspective and it can vary greatly from reader to reader, but it doesn't have to be all black or white. It’s also not supposed to be romantic, or ideal. It is supposed to be tragic. YES, viewing tragic things as romantic is both wrong AND encouraged. HOWEVER! It's ficiton, you can like some things without approving of them in real life. So on the one hand, yes, I agree, on the other hand, so? Idkk man, it’s Snape, it’s what it is…




Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
 
   [ 4 posts ] Average score:  


PRS © 2008 PRS Team