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Severus Snape's Analysis 

How could Rowling invent Snape and not like him?

First of all, this author (a real-life book author) sent me names of characters we could consider to be like Snape. I have often wondered why JK Rowling had expressively said that she didn't like Snape. She thought he was an horrible man in one of her interviews. That's what I was told anyway. What's fascinates me is how an author can develop such a hated character that ends up being adored by so many!  Also, Snape-like characters were often created out of no particular interests from their respective authors.  They were instrumental, but in the end, they became heroes, often without the author's intention. Therefore, since the lady in question is a real author, I asked her how that phenomenon could happen and how should Rowling deal with it!

 

 Original e-mail
Note: I had to translate the original text from French to English. Hope it's not too sloppy because French sentences are easier to keep going on whether English's are not!
I also had to space out a little bit from the original e-mail format to render reading easier!
 

 Lady Claudia's comments

I truly understand that JK Rowling doesn't love Severus. What's happening with this character is about the worst thing that can happen to a writer. In the first book, he was given the very temporary role of the "big bad wolf" who scares children and who's the exact opposite of the little angel that Harry is. I am almost certain that JKR would have got rid of him somewhere in "The Chamber of Secrets", probably eaten by the basilisk or something else, but our dear Severus did exactly what characters of his type usually do. He took his own literary life in his own hands by enchanting, not the intended readers our brave JKR thought of, namely the 7 to 15 year olds, but their parents and other adults stressed out by their work and their lack of dreaming time whom literarily fell in love with the books!  If you analyze it well, or make a survey, it's Severus, Lucius, Draco and Co. who have the most audience in the 25 to 40 year-old readership.

These characters, from a grown-up's point of view, are too good to be true. We meet  variations of their characters each day at work and in the world of professional competition. Often, we even play a little of the Lucius and Narcissa roles (refer to this part of Book4) Not because we are like the Grinch ou bad, but simply because we don't have the right to reveal ourselves too much at work. We do because we need to protect ourselves in a hyper competitive world or where coworkers don't even bother to put protecting gloves to hit you if that's good for their own career.

So, my "generation" (I don't know this lady's age) is full of sympathy towards JKR's "black characters" and a lot of us support Severus each time he takes points away to the noble Gryffindors, or when he drowns the little know-it-all Hermione in a wave of sarcasm, or when he gives a detention to that little freckled pest, Ron, who is simply too stupid to stand still for more than 5 minutes and be well educated so as not to become a load for society which will then have to raise taxes to support him! And that, directly taken from our meagre salaries... Yes, my generation is all about career and often, we only know some kids because we've seen them on tv, or we've met little screaming monsters in the streets. They dirty themselves, they contradict us... they don't know how to behave around the dinner table and that almost makes us throw up.........

Conclusion: We understand each reaction of Severus in class and a lot of us admire his angelical calm and self-control when faced with a herd of savage youngsters with no discipline. And we tell ourselves: "He's so nice and gentle with them. Because if it were me confronting those children.......I swear, I would put them in a big bag with big stones and I would drown them in the lake! So, everyone, let's try to save those poor stray kittens who are much cutter than those horrible kids and who adapt a lot better to our notion of mothering. (We can leave them at home for hours and they cause almost no damage if they have plenty of food and a good place to sleep!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, that's it my dear, Claudia. It's in those lighter terms that I shared my opinion about why JKR doesn't like Severus while we adore him. And also why she'll have to keep him until book 7 with a role that's becoming more and more important.  All that because her readership is good... and is aging as well....

  Remember that Rowling once said she didn't like Snape at all and that she's writing a story about Harry and his brave friends!

  Now, if Snape had been eaten up like that, imagine the rebellion in Rowling's readership!

Strange how a character can really take his own literary life in hand!  But it's a phenomenon that occurred more than once in history!
I think she's got an important point here!  It's true I rarely saw any young Snape-fans! They begin from adulthood most of the time.



Well, I disagree a little here. True, most people hold certain characteristics of these characters. I've seen proof of it in my own life-span.  However, I'm sure some people  (but not a lot) do fit the characters to at least 90%.  Of course, these people are rare, but rare doesn't mean impossible for me.
Playing the "Lucius/Narcissa". I love the comparison because I'm sure it's exactly what Rowling intended. Of course, here, she's just talking about holding facades, not killing people!! I think Rowling intended these as lessons for  younger readers about the real world indeed. However, I don't think she recommends it: see where Lucius ended up!

Here are more personal ideas that may seem shocking to some of you. However, I cannot refrain from thinking how it holds essential truth about our modern societies. This was written from a European point of view. Yes, being a North American myself (Canadian), I also see the same phenomenon invading our kids! And believe me when I saw I'd like to be as tough and vindictive as Snape when I'm doing supply-teaching!  But our system doesn't allow it... and our kids are worst than ever before in history!  In Canada, we have social welfare for unemployed people, and trust me, a lot of our kids get on it because school is "too tough". The real problem is that kids don't have any discipline anymore!  Of course it's their parents that should be blame.  And here I come into a paradox: often this same generation of career/work oriented parents (approximately under 45 of age) gave rise to today's generation of "King-Kids".  Of course parents are over-whelmed with the monsters they created with the new "soft" approach to disciple and often because both parents were career-oriented! It's a vicious circle if you ask me, but it's totally true from my North American perspective at least. I'm not saying my lady-author was one of those parents, because the new generation of kids starts at 22 right now in my country (of course there are some exceptions!). On the contrary, I think she's part of the last generation of parents and children because new parents don't talk like this! I consider myself an old generation believer too. I was raised as such and live my life as such. I'm responsible, well-educated, well-mannered, etc.  Therefore, even if my lady-author's comments sounded harsh at first, I understand what she truly means now and I agree!

I've just got an illumination right now! Thanks to my lady-author!  Do you think Snape fans are from the new or old generation of parents/kids? And I'm not talking about Gothic or nice look-lovers here. I'm talking about fans who love Snape as a whole personality. I think that may very well explain a part of the phenomenon! It's very logical, but I haven't got much comments about this yet.  In fact, all pro-Harry sites I've visited are against Snape because he's hard with him and too strict!  Sounds a bell?  For me, Snape's reactions are understandable because of the importance of well behaving around magic and potions.  But for the new generation, Snape is too strict and should lighted up!  Therefore, from this point of view (when we just take Snape's teaching ways into account)   Snape represents every old generation adult's dream: remaining calm and in control in front of the new generation. Snape's not afraid of them, he's not passed comprehension like a lot of us are.  I think that makes sense. Why would adults not want to escape this world full of new generation parents and kids to an old-style vindictive teacher like Snape? It's true that's part of the reason I like him! I hadn't really been conscious of it until now, but it's very true!

 

I reckon that's exactly what's going to happen!  After all, Rowling is now engaged with a lot of companies, therefore, she surely has some restrictions in what she writes!  Let's just hope Snape makes it to book 7 and lives !!