Reviews for A More Merciful Man
||2007.10.25 - 05:38PM
||31: Hot Toddy
|I really hate it that these comboxes don't allow for paragraph breaks.|
||2007.10.25 - 05:37PM
||31: Hot Toddy
|Love the story, but given that Snape seems to be stuck in a holding pattern (I want Jane and I want the manor with house elves, so I don't want to sign the contract yet), I would love some depth on the psychology and motives of the characters. I do realize that Snape isn't examining his own motives and conscience so we aren't going to get deep insight from any narrative written from Snape's point of view.
But why is Roland Gash so eager to have Snape marry Princilla? Gash is proud to have avoided connection with Voldemort, but Princilla is a pureblood, so blood purity has mattered to the Gash family until now. Snape is a former Death Eater who is not a hero in the eyes of the MoM (given that he's been passed over for war honors and is regarded with suspicion), and he's a half-blood whose family's position in the wizarding world's social order is far below that of Roland Gash having no family money or property or name (everyone is below Roland Gash in that world, but Snape is lower than many others). Snape is intelligent and an accomplished Potions Master, but not to the degree that he's considered an intellectual giant in that world.
Snape is admired by former Death Eaters for seemingly having fooled Voldemort and Dumbledore, but why would Roland Gash care about the opinion of former Death Eaters now that Voldemort is gone for good? Snape is well regarded by the OotP, but Gash never aligned himself with that group (he seems to have been most interested in staying neutral), and members of the OotP are hardly in Gash's social circle, so why would he care about their opinion? I really want to know why Gash wants Snape above all other prospects. Is there something hidden in Gash's background that would explain it?
And why is Roland so set against a connection between Draco and Princilla? I don't recall that Draco was a Death Eater in your story. I know Lucius is beholden to Roland financially and Lucius is free only because of amnesty, not because he is innocent of wrongdoing, so is Roland afraid of being tainted by Lucius's Death Eater past by association? Is it because Roland has such a poor opinion of Lucius as a person that he doesn't want to be connected to him through Draco or because he believes Draco is too much like Lucius and so he has a poor opinion of Draco?
Not every pureblood family sided with Voldemort (for instance the Weasleys, the Bonses, the Abbotts, etc. and there must be ithers who aren't regarded as blood traitors), and if Roland has no problem with the idea of a half-blood marrying his daughter, the pool of high-quality potential suitors untainted by Voldemort is even larger (although I expect Princilla would demand a pureblood match if it were up to her). So again, why is it so important to Roland Gash that Severus Snape (and no one else) marry Princilla?
I would love an explanation. Even more, I would love some insight, even through a perceptive character like Lupin to unpack Severus's conflicts.|
Author's Response: These are good questions, and I think they are answered implicitly in the story, but perhaps it would be good to articulate them.
Gash has already revealed why he wants Snape foremost, though he obviously has an "anyone but Draco" mentality.
His reasons in part deal with his own past. He has been hard done by in love and he wants Princilla's union to be based on what he feels are more lasting criteria: a demonstrated concern for her as a person. Of all the people Gash knows, I think he believes that Snape demonstrates this best. He has reason to believe that precisely because Snape has heretofore demonstrated that money and power are not his main objectives. Even Snape has admitted that to himself, in as much as he has not eagerly signed the contract the minute it was offered.
Gash feels that Snape has a concern for his daughter, and would treat her well, and in that he is very correct. But he also wants someone that will "handle" her. She's strong-willed, and he knows ultimately she won't be happy with someone that cannot stand up to her, intellectually and otherwise.
Gash is correct on all these things: Snape, I believe, would actually be a good match for Princilla, and were it not for Jane he would definitely have signed the contract by now. They would have settled into no doubt a companionable and friendly marriage.
But, unbeknownst to him (and even unbeknownst to Snape himself), Snape is violently in love, and this does indeed color his behavior.
As for himself, because of his position and his power, Gash is woefully short of friends. He has plenty of toadies, plenty of people who will bow and scrape at his feet, but in the end, like most people, he is evolved enough to want a friend that he can respect. Someone he can talk to. He doesn't respect Lucius precisely for the same reasons that we don't. He's paid attention. Lucius' whole sense of self-worth is based on his pureblood status and his wealth. Gash, though rich and pureblood himself, thinks that these criteria in the end are empty ones. You ask: "Is it because Roland has such a poor opinion of Lucius as a person that he doesn't want to be connected to him through Draco or because he believes Draco is too much like Lucius and so he has a poor opinion of Draco?" hits the nail on the mark.
He doesn't like Lucius and he doesn't want Lucius as an in-law. He believes Lucius would try to use that connection to gain a firmer foothold at that ministry, and to have the rent eliminated at his mills. And he's right. Lucius does not like or truly respect Gash; he wants to use Gash, and Gash senses this, and does not want their families connected by marriage and by blood. He wants Lucius where he is: beneath him.
I think he underestimates Draco, and Draco's feelings for Princilla, but that he will have to learn of in time.
Gash understands how the world works, how other people work, and he uses that knowledge to manipulate them, including Lucius. Then, like many people, he ends up hating them for it.
Snape is not manipulable. And because of this, his opinion of him actually rises. It speaks very well of Gash, despite everything. Severus is not rich, or a pureblood, but pure blood is not Gash's concern. His conversation with Severus at Cordial Spirits reveals that he thinks such concerns are in fact pretty stupid, and reveal something about the mental faculties of those that adhere to them. Gash uses money, and certainly he is attempting to in a sense "bribe" Snape with wealth (and Snape is tempted), but Gash I think is just as happy that Snape is refusing to be bribed. Everyone else he knows does what he wants, and is motivated by money and their relative position.
Gash is a good judge of character. And Snape is a person of good character. Gash tells himself, I think, that he wants Snape as a son-in-law because of the respect accorded Snape now within the wizarding world, because Snape is perceived (and rightly so) as the most powerful wizard in Britain.
But that's not what Gash really wants, because he has all the power he needs. He is drawn to Snape because because he wants a friend, and because he wants a man of character for his daughter.
||2007.10.22 - 08:47PM
||31: Hot Toddy
|Wow! Loved it as usual. More soon please, and yeah, where is Lucius? And Lupin?|
||2007.10.18 - 11:00PM
||31: Hot Toddy
|He must know by now that Jane is his future, and not Princilla. She wants him, he wants her and sexual attraction is a better thing to build a marriage on than prestige and money and the pre nups that go with them. A pre nup is actually a preparation for a divorce before the marriage cermony takes place. He and Jane have compatibility, both sexual and functional and that is the real basis of romantic love and marriage. Without that a marriage to Princilla would be cold and loveless, and probably just a marriage in name only. A marriage to Jane would be warm and passionately loving.
Gash might make an excellent father-in-law for him, but Princilla will never make an excellent wife.
Where has Lucius been while this was going on? How did he miss the attraction between Princilla and Draco? He's usually up on everything, but I guess he has less influence and less sources of information since the war ended.|
||2007.10.18 - 02:59PM
||31: Hot Toddy
|More please. Great story|