[DWJ] Dumbledore vs. Snape - was Heyer and Ghibli (now withOUT Mononoke spoilers)

deborah.dwj at suberic.net deborah.dwj at suberic.net
Sun May 13 16:14:03 EDT 2007

On Sun, 13 May 2007, Mark Allums wrote:

> Ika Willis wrote:
>> *in the case of the HP books, 'moral ambiguity' seems to mean that
>> Dumbledore consistently behaves very badly but looks like Gandalf,
>> while Snape consistently behaves very well but wears black.
> I don't remember that at all!  Dumbledore is not consistent, but he is 
> consistently fair, while Snape is more (but not totally!) consistent, but  he 
> is consistently unfair.  And clearly, you haven't read Book 6!

My reading is that Dumbledore:

- looks like Gandalf
- is kindly, generous to the protagonists, cuddly, and gentle,
- and makes choices which are regularly horrifying to me as an
   adult: pedagogically and  practically broken, fundamentally
   flawed as a caregiver, and with a laxness which leads to the
   tragedy of book 5

while Snape:
- looks greasy
- is unfair, petty, and generally a pain in the ass on a micro
- but consistently makes very difficult choices which are
   nonetheless morally right, and I'm including in that my
   interpretation of the ending of Book 6

Honestly, I'm hoping I'm right in my reading of Snape (and that
book 7 will bear me out in this) because I see his moral
complexity as defined above as the only redeeming feature of the
books (from my perspective; I know many of y'all love them and I
will not deny that there's some redeeming quality, only that I,
personally, don't see it).

Always remember to demand more of yourself than anyone else.  Otherwise you
become merely a tiresome rebellious young girl who wants that the whole
world should change to suit her whim.  The world is full of such as these;
most of them grow up at last, but they are not particularly admirable,
enfin.  They are against everything, for nothing. -- _Jade_

More information about the Dwj mailing list