Why not Karna and Prof. Snape

Hindu mythology would have a ready answer in karma for what happened to Karna.. it may also have an explanation that he chose to be in the evil company of Duryodhana and his scheming brothers rather than the five Pandavas…  however, who would side with the castist Pandavas after what they said to him during the exhibition match between the two set of cousins.. However, the epic is written with a teleological argument where the good triumphs and here the good was always the Pandava brothers from the every beginning. It is a different matter that in the end who was seated in heaven! 🙂 😛

professor-severus-snape

It is not a similar argument with Snape. However, Snape did what he did out of his unending love since childhood for Lily Potter. He did join the Voldermot’s army, the villains in the Potter series for his own reasons. He then came back to seek Dumbledore‘s help and later help the headmaster to bring Voldemort down for years at end. In the process the man secured the hate of every “so harry potter fan” character in the book in spite of his expertise in the dark arts or the different times when he saved Potter and the rest of the school.

Two characters that are layered, like a stack of cheese.. or say like well made parantha or a kerala parota..

The troubles when a character who is inherently good, (please do note that good is always in relative to the bad, there is no stationary trait of good or bad) is shown from the beginning in bad light and hated for their daily ways. In case of Snape he is consistently shown as he is for over 7 books. In the case of Karna, almost the entire epic, except in bits and pieces. However, in the case of Karna, the reader always knew his lineage….. in case of Snape, nobody knew anything, except some of us die hard readers of Potter profess we had an inkling about him 😛 😉 Is that an injustice to a character….

It is but natural that as a reader we are prone to dislike that bad character because for the ardent reader in us, it is the hero of the book who is the loved one with all their flaws. So we have a tendency to love Harry Potter, and not to love/like Snape even when it is revealed in the end of Book 1 that Snape was trying to help Potter rather than sending curses to make him to fall from his broom for the Quidditch. So anybody who does anything against Potter, is our enemy, therefore Snape becomes ours… anybody who is against the 5 brothers and sides with their opposition has our dislike… therefore in spite of knowing about Kunti‘s teenage fancy, we have an empathy towards Karna, but no like 😉

If we need to compare two characters, why not ProfSnape from Rowling‘s Harry Potter series and Karna from the Mahabharata. Two characters of great merit, in the space of the story they were born into and matured. Nevertheless they are part of the rival team. Or more aptly, they seemed to be part of the rival team by the majority of the characters in the story as well as the audience for most part while  the story progresses, until may be it is time for the climax that leads to a hurried resolution. Such that, their so called bad character and their traits are remembered for the most part, rather than the last bits where their true sacrifice and stature is revealed.

However, we talk about them like in a blog post or in an article in hindsight, which is the best appreciation for a role… 🙂 😉

Work in progress..

Piggy backing on an earlier post I wrote on between breaks.. Images courtesy: Google

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An Aquarius Woman

12 thoughts on “Why not Karna and Prof. Snape”

  1. I guess it’s more difficult to believe that Snape was trying to help Harry in all situations, I for one, didn’t see Quirrell being an important character, let alone the evil one, because other than two, maybe three scenes in the book, it’s mostly written with the idea that Snape had a strong dislike toward Harry. 🙂

    Also, as a Potterhead, I’ve to point out, it’s Voldemort not Voldermot 😛 and Lily’s name has only two Ls, not three. :mrgreen:

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    1. To compare .. Vinay,
      I bring your attention to the film, Manichitratazhru/Bhool Bhulaiyaa.. The script and the narration of the film is put together is such a way that the audience will not notice or even remotely consider the character of Ganga/Avni as Nagavalli/Manjulika played by Shobana/Vidya Balan until it is revealed by character played by Dr. Sunny/Dr. Aditya (Mohanlal/Akshay Kumar).

      Example, that sequence of scenes when Pappu/Rajpal Yadav (the local temple priest) comes to retie the forbidden lock of that room after which he is mentally un-stabilized. He loses his mind over the fact that he has seen the face of Nagavalli/Manjulika, the dead/murdered dancer as he fell down the stairs. In hindsight the audience also releases it is Ganga/Avni all along.

      What actually happened is, among the three of them, Nedumudi Venu/Manoj Joshi, Ganesh and Pappu/Yadav (the three people who came up to the room to re-tie the lock with the holy threads) only Pappu/Yadav hadn’t seen/been introduced to Ganga/Avni until then.. so he obviously thinks she is the spirit of Nagavally/Manjulika who was locked up in the room. In similar ways, Quirrell is weaved into the story…the narration is very strong, Snape is the distraction. It is just excellent story telling at work.

      Spellings.. thanks for the headsup. I knew something was wrong when I saw that Voldemort.

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  2. This is a pretty interesting comparison between the two. I would have not thought about this comparison at all :).. I like Snape’s character through the series and his word to the true love he could never call his own.. Quite beautiful I must say 🙂

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    1. He does become the hero of the tale finally.. 🙂 and I love that line Harry tells his son you are named headmasters of Hogwarts.. out of which one is the bravest man I have ever known.. 🙂 (I’m impressed I still remember my potter lines.. 😛

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  3. Aswathi, nicely written and a good comparison though I must confess I’m not a Harry Potter fan and haven’t read/seen many of the Potterati (like the Illuminati :p). I like the way you make the connections between the characters.

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  4. I am a pretty loner in this world who likes reading but have never read Harry Potter series and doesn’t even have an inclination read it now.The first movie of the series came when I was in my 11th or 12th Std. At that time, life had lalready begun its grinding process of me and I skipped it.
    However, I know the character of Karna very well. The ‘daanveer’ part of his character and the sacrifice he made is not given much importance because he sided with the evil Duryodhana. If he would have been real evil and might not have given his ‘kavach kundal’ then…

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    1. I lv the intro.. and the almost apology 🙂 🙂 :).. We shd talk about Karna then, I can tell you about Snape.. I have enough of more friends who are part of your reading club.. but many who react to, when I say, “Can’t find you here in lab, You under the invisibility cloak? “:P

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