[DWJ] Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Dorian E. Gray israfel at eircom.net
Thu Jul 19 14:35:08 EDT 2007

Melissa said...

>This was the book where I felt sorry for Snape, and if you've read it,
>you'll probably know why:  Harry witnesses Snape's humiliation at his own
>father's and Sirius's hands, and it makes him question what he's always
>believed about his father (p. 640-649).  James and Sirius start picking on
>Snape--get this!--because they're BORED.  Yeah, that's a noble reason.

Oh yes.  James Potter et al are bullies, pure and simple.  One might argue 
that that was a one-off, but I don't buy that.  They're what? - about 15, 
16, at that point.  You don't randomly start tormenting someone for fun at 
that age; they've probably been bullying Snape (and maybe others) since they 
all started at Hogwarts.

I acquired a *lot* of sympathy for Snape at this point.  (On a personal 
level; on an intellectual level, he's always been the most interesting 
character to me.)

>Sirius and Remus's explanation for the incident is not convincing to me,
>amounting as it does to "Kids are jerks, what can you do?" (p. 670-1)
>Because in my experience, that kind of casual cruelty doesn't necessarily 
>away with maturity and adulthood.  Sirius's excuse in particular doesn't
>wash:  "'James and Snape hated each other from the moment they set eyes on
>each other, it was just one of those things'" (p. 670).

No, it doesn't wash.  But...maybe Sirius and Remus are now ashamed of what 
they did, but can't bring themselves to admit it to Harry (and/or 
themselves), and thus try to gloss over things.

Nor do I buy the suggestion that Lily's disapproval turned James away from 
bullying, which ISTR is either stated or suggested.

Until the sky falls on our heads...

Dorian E. Gray
israfel at eircom.net

"Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake."
- Napoleon Bonaparte 

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