Table Talk: The Snape Controversy

Well, you have to love Buzz Feed. They have some cool stuff. And the fact that I can waste minutes of my day taking their quizzes, no matter how hard I try not to, confirms their uber popularity in today’s virtual world.

But what I really enjoy reading is their lists with those little .gifs to emphasis their points and I stumbled across a very compelling one: “This Is For Everyone Who Thinks Snape Is A Hero.” Why is it so compelling? Because I’ve asked myself that same question. Is he really a hero? I mean, like in hero-hero?

I don’t completely agree with Jemima Skelley, but I loved her list.

Out with it. What do you think, hero or coward?

I think, overall, Snape is more a hero than coward.

Was he a bit too interested in the Dark Arts as a child? Sure.

Was he rude and a bit obnoxious, calling Lily a mudblood? Sure.

But I think it’s also because he liked her. It’s almost the equivalent to the tugging-on-your-ponytail type of thing or the constant teasing-because-he-likes you type thing. James and his group of friends didn’t make things any easier and the fact that Lily liked James just added fuel to the fire.

But he chose to be a Death Eater! Like none of us has ever made a bad choice before? Please. We’ve all been there.

Here’s why I think he’s more hero than coward despite his previous misgivings.

The moment he found out that Voldemort was going after the Potters he decided to go against everything he’s done up to that point, risk his own life, and turned into a double agent. He could have easily looked the other way or taken a superior attitude. He could have easily turned bitter, thinking she deserved to die since she rejected him, since she chose to love James. But he didn’t!

Would he have batted an eye if Voldemort went after Neville? Maybe. Maybe not. I think that is a bit irrelevant because Voldemort didn’t go after Neville. He went after the Potters. If we say that Snape isn’t a hero because he wouldn’t have cared if it were Neville who was attacked and his parents who were killed, we can easily say that Harry is only brave because Voldemort killed his parents.

As Dumbledore said to Harry, “It is not our abilities that show what we truly are. It is our choices.” He may have chosen to be a Death Eater in the beginning, but he also chose to save Lily.

Did Snape make some bad choices? Sure, but he also made better choices after experience taught him a hard lesson or two.


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