A little bit of an essay on Lily Evans

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A little bit of an essay on Lily Evans

Post  Molly Prewett on February 20th 2011, 2:43 pm

This was prompted by this discussion:
http://www.thehpn.com/index.php?option=com_smf&Itemid=26&topic=8882.msg223200#msg223200

So, reading all this has made me want to write a bit of a response in defence of Lily. It’s been forever since I’ve actually written an essay so I’m just throwing thoughts around and hoping it makes sense. Also, there is a LOT on this page that I haven’t even touched on, so if there’s anything you read that you want a particular response to, just quote it for me and I’ll tell you what I think. I just don’t have the time or the energy to go through and address everything so I’ve mainly stuck to the things that REALLY hit me.

I get that people think that Lily should’ve given Snape a chance after the Mudblood Incident, and maybe she could’ve been more forgiving (I wouldn’t have been, but plenty of other people would have) but the idea that she was immature and using Snape makes me really angry.
This quote is the first I came across, and what I’m saying is mainly in response to this, but I’ll probably reference other posts and opinions found on the page.

I, personally, think Lily and James deserved each other. What really upsets me is how she led Severus on for so long until she became popular enough and self-assured enought that she didn't need him anymore, then used his "friends" and the "Mudblood" incident to rid herself of him.
I could see her being upset over the incident. But, to not even make an effort to listen to her "best friend" as he pours his heart out to her in the best way he could, since he always seemed to come unglued anytime he was confronted by her.
Teenage girls are a lot of things: drama queens, immotionally immature, judgemental. One they they are also, is savvy to the attentions of boys. Lily had to know the way Severus looked at her, the way his face lit up when she said his name, the way even Harry saw a spring in his step after she had criticized James (in SWM). She had to knwo he was in love with her. Did she not have the guts to let him down gently? Was that why she took that opportunity to cut him off? Because she did know and wasn't interested, but, since she'd led him on for so long she couldn't find the courage to just say that they would never be more than friends? I think he would have understood that. I think he knew he wasn't doing to ride off into the sunset with the heroine. But to be told that "None of her friends" could understand why she had anything to do with him....how cruel can you get?

I see no evidence or logical reason in the books to suggest that Lily “led Severus on”, let alone purely until she was popular and self-assured enough to no longer need him. Snape’s memories show that Lily cared for Snape and was always quick to jump to his defence, standing up to the Marauders when they picked on him. If Lily was only keeping Snape around until she was sure of herself in the Wizarding World, she wouldn’t have turned her back on Sirius when she joined him at the Gryffindor table when she was sorted, she would’ve begun a conversation with him and cut Snape out of her life much more quickly. Reading between the lines, if Lily’s other friends were openly questioning her friendship with Snape, I highly doubt she would’ve persisted in being friends with him for 5 years if he was only a convenience until better friends came along. Clearly, she had other options all along which suggests that actual affection and friendship bound her to Snape for so long.

As for her not listening to Snape when he tried to apologise for what he called her, it’s more likely that him calling her a Mudblood was not an isolated incident that came out of the blue, but a culmination of events. Lily’s commentary on Snape’s other friends and their activities, especially in the climate of growing war and violence, shows that Lily is already concerned that Snape’s attitude is changing. Him calling her a Mudblood, to Lily, would’ve more likely been confirmation to her that he really has been indoctrinated into the mindset of his housemates, that he does believe she –or people of her birth, and by extension her no matter how he treats her face to face- is inferior and unworthy, and that her family is filth. It makes more sense that the Mudblood incident was the final straw for Lily being unable to ignore the fundamental differences between she and Snape anymore than a convenient excuse to rid herself of his friendship.

For the record; I highly doubt there’s that many teenage girls in the world who would come out with something along the lines of ‘I know you’re interested, but I’m not into you’ without some sort of provocation or prompting from the boy in question. It would probably come off as arrogant and assuming. It’s possible (maybe even probable) that Lily was aware of Snape’s crush, but like many other people who find themselves on the end of unwanted romantic attention from a friend, she probably just did her best to ignore it and not let it come between them so long as he didn’t force the issue. If, as the above quote suggests, both Lily and Snape knew that he was never going to get the girl, what would be the use of bringing it up and making it an issue between them? If Lily was angling for the attention, it’s more logical that she would’ve flirted and encouraged Snape, actively leading him on to believe he stood a chance, but we see no evidence of this at all in their encounters.

Many readers seem to believe that the fact that Lily was sorted into Gryffindor is an indication of her innate goodness (along with the Marauders). The whole house system is used to send readers skipping down the garden path - it's easy to detect the heroes and the villains by their house. Some never seem to get over that.
I believe the sorting shows that Lily never viewed Severus as a true friend. She was intrigued by the glib, wealthier, more attractive boys she met on the train. Lily started rejecting Severus from her first encounter with other wizards.

Again, I don’t even understand how this follows at all. We get absolutely NO insight into Lily’s own state of mind when she is sorted and the idea that Lily deliberately had herself sorted into Gryffindor to spite or reject Snape is shallow and without foundation. What we can tell from Lily’s reaction in the books (through Snape’s eyes, even) is that she must have been at least a little sad that they likely wouldn’t be together because she gave him a sad smile before heading to the Gryffindor table, and that she did not do anything to seek closer ties with the so called ‘glib, wealthier, more attractive boys’.

Snape on the other hand does change. First he changes for the worst after Lily dumps him, then he grows up fast when Lily is threatened and does an amazingly mature and courageous thing to save her. Meanwhile, James was still hiding and waiting for a chance to go out on another juvenile excursion with Sirius.

There aren’t words for how much this pisses me off. I think it’s pretty undeniable that Snape loved Lily, and continued to love her even when their lives took different turns and she broke their friendship off. But to call what he did “amazingly mature and courageous” is just sick, in my book. It was Snape’s own desperation that led him to beg Voldemort to spare her, and then turn to Dumbledore in desperation; he couldn’t bear the thought of harm coming to Lily so he did what he could to try and save her with complete disregard to any moral standpoint and what Lily herself would have wanted. Sacrificing or bartering the lives of people you don’t care about (or hate) in order to save the life of someone you love isn’t courageous, it’s cowardly, and I highly doubt if Snape’s plans had worked out as he’d hoped that Lily would see his actions as anything praiseworthy. Was James really just hiding away, waiting for the chance to go out and play again? I don’t think so; I think James matured a great deal from the arrogant bully we see in Snape’s Worst Memory, but it’s not my purpose here to defend him because it’s Lily’s character I want to focus on right now.

I don’t think Lily was perfect by any means; I think she was loud and opinionated and kind of judgemental at times. I think she expected a lot from people, and she let them know when their behaviour wasn’t up to her standards, but from what we have seen of her in the books, she didn’t discriminate there. She was more than happy to tell both Snape and the Marauders what she thought of them (one can assume that she was as straightforward with her other peers as well). I also think it’s highly likely that Snape cared more for her than she for him on the grounds that he was in love with her, and she did not reciprocate. But that does not mean that she didn’t love him, care for him, and value his friendship; to me it seems that she remained friends with him for five years despite outside pressures from both her House and probably his, too, and that the pressures of the fundamental differences between them reached a peak in the Mudblood Incident.
....


I just really needed to get all that off my chest, so thanks! If anyone agrees/disagrees/has perspective to share, I would love to hear it! <3

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Re: A little bit of an essay on Lily Evans

Post  Angelina Johnson on February 20th 2011, 2:48 pm

I wholeheartedly agree, love.
But you already know that.
-is just adding my 2 cents on here-
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Re: A little bit of an essay on Lily Evans

Post  Molly Prewett on February 20th 2011, 2:52 pm

*loves you for putting up with both me and Inner!Lily completely bitching out over this all night*
<3

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Re: A little bit of an essay on Lily Evans

Post  Draco Malfoy on February 20th 2011, 7:43 pm

I love you for that twin.
I really wish you would post that.

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Re: A little bit of an essay on Lily Evans

Post  Pansy Parkinson-Malfoy on February 20th 2011, 8:57 pm

Well done.
I get pissy when people diss on Pansy, but I can't exactly defend her. Girl's a bitch. XD
But this was really well thought out, and I totally agree with you.
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Re: A little bit of an essay on Lily Evans

Post  Molly Prewett on February 20th 2011, 10:40 pm

Thanks guys <3
I might post it on tumblr or something.

IKWYM, Pans - when people rag on James it annoys me because I believe he grew out of the bullying even if he and Sev stayed rivals forever, but I can see why people choose to believe that he didn't because you can see what he's like in Snape's Worst Memory. But there's really no evidence or even freaking logic to support what those people are saying about Lily! *growls*

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Re: A little bit of an essay on Lily Evans

Post  Lily Evans on August 25th 2011, 9:05 am

Feel free to skip this, everyone. I just have a lot of feelings and I figured I'd post them in a more out of the way thread because everyone must be dead sick of hearing all about my Lily feelings by now. (Especially AJ, who even gets subjected to it via text sometimes.... <3)

Yeah, seriously, turn back now while you still have a chance. >.>

This nearly made me vomit:
http://brodijayne.tumblr.com/post/9365613213/this-is-how-it-should-have-gone-down-seriously-itd

Seriously, this part:

“Because I love you!” Sev exploded, and I took half a step backwards in surprise. “Because I’ve loved you for years, Lily, and the only reason I called you a you-know-what today was because Potter had stretched me to breaking point, and then you were there and it was a relief because you’re the one person in this world who gives a shit about me, and then what do you do? You smile! You smiled at him when he was in the middle of torturing your best friend. What was I supposed to do, just shrug it off?”

I stared at him for a full five seconds. “Oh, Sev,” I said quietly, pulling him into my arms. His own arms folded around me awkwardly; clearly he hadn’t been expecting this reaction. “Sev, I swear on my life that I never meant to do that to you.”

“D-do what?” Sev asked incredulously. “I’m the one at fault here, I called you a…”

“A mudblood,” I said with a light laugh. “You know, when you think about it it’s just a silly name. I’m proud to be a mudblood.”

WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK?????????????????????????? REALLY? REALLY?
IN WHAT FUCKED UP WORLD WOULD LILY ESSENTIALLY APOLOGISE TO SEV AND FUCKING HUG HIM AFTER HE CALLED HER 'MUDBLOOD'!?
I just ranted at my laptop screen so long that I almost started crying with rage and I'm really glad nobody was home to see that because it would've been awkward as hell to try and explain.
The idea that Lily is the one acting like she's in the wrong and brushing off Sev's share of the blame just disgusts the living hell out of me. What kind of excuse is that, anyway? That she had a single second of an involuntary twitch, that in the books didn't even make it to a smile, which she then CHOSE not to act on but to continue defending her friend and standing up to James for being a bully completely in the wrong, so it's meant to be completely understandable and excusable that he called her a name in retaliation? That name?
Just... fucking no. Also, I can't even consider it being even freaking remotely in character for Lily to laugh off the word 'Mudblood', or say it's just a silly name, and refer to herself in those terms so lightly. Because she would know damned well that it's NOT just a word, that there is so much hate and judgement and belittlement contained in that word that can and will have a serious impact on her safety and her life - it was NEVER just a word, it's a name used to devalue and dehumanise people to the point where it makes it ok to repress/ostracise/kill them.

IDK I get that people all have different tastes and that there are people in the world (lots of 'em!) who ship Snily and we all have a right to ship whatever the hell we want and everyone should just respect that. But when people completely exonerate someone who has done something seriously wrong like this, and justify it and shift the blame elsewhere and try to explain it all away it scares the shit out of me to think that there are people who think it's perfectly acceptable to go through life doing things like Sev did because he was a victim, too.
Just, ugh.

Sorry to anyone who even tried to stick with me through that...

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Re: A little bit of an essay on Lily Evans

Post  Angelina Johnson on August 25th 2011, 9:14 am

I love you.
And I agree.
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Re: A little bit of an essay on Lily Evans

Post  Lily Evans on August 25th 2011, 9:17 am

I love you, too.
And I still can't find a book thick enough to distract Lily. FML.

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Re: A little bit of an essay on Lily Evans

Post  Angelina Johnson on August 25th 2011, 12:05 pm

The Complete Works of Shakespeare?
War and Peace?
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Re: A little bit of an essay on Lily Evans

Post  Lily Evans on August 25th 2011, 12:56 pm

I tried the Complete Works of Shakespeare, because I don't actually own a copy of War and Peace... it didn't work. *frouts*
Mol and Marley are trying to trick her into eating the tranquilizer cookies now....

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Re: A little bit of an essay on Lily Evans

Post  Pansy Parkinson-Malfoy on August 25th 2011, 5:46 pm

I understand your rage. This is why I can't follow the Draco Malfoy tag, and why I've stopped reading Pansy Parkinson fics. They always seem to make her an alcoholic, drug addicted, whore, who is a complete mess on a speeding train to an early grave just because Draco married someone other than her. It makes me pissed to no end.
Our inner characters cause us lots of rage.
And I agree with all that you said about Lily.
Not just because it means James wins in the end either >.>
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Re: A little bit of an essay on Lily Evans

Post  Fred Weasley I on August 30th 2011, 5:47 pm

What the fuck! That is all so incredibly stupid! It makes her sound like she's had a memory charm or something! WTF!
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Re: A little bit of an essay on Lily Evans

Post  Lily Evans on August 31st 2011, 12:18 am

This is why I love AWF so much.
*basks in the presence of people who understand*
<3

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Re: A little bit of an essay on Lily Evans

Post  Lily Evans on September 17th 2011, 3:59 pm

Just posting a link this time because it ended up like 3 pages in Word.
>.>
<.<


In Which Mya Hates That People Blame Lily For Snape's Choices.

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Re: A little bit of an essay on Lily Evans

Post  Angelina Johnson on September 17th 2011, 4:07 pm

-reiterates the fact I loved this-
<3
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Re: A little bit of an essay on Lily Evans

Post  Lily Evans on October 21st 2011, 12:48 pm



Even though only 4 words are mine, posting here because I should probably not spam the entire forum with my Lily-related rage.

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