Working class Snape?

Ne 28 února 2021

(my post “All Our Kin: Snape and Evanses flight from the urban poverty of early 1980s”)

Discussing the character of Severus Snape in other thread, I was made to think about the class structure behind the story. We know that Severus Snape was a son of a jobless worker in 1970s, and while Evanses are said to do better than Snapes, I don’t think they were that economically distant from each other when they were from the same broken factory-town. My suggestion is that Evanses were doing better because they were in the government jobs, so although they had no significantly higher salaries than an average worker, their positions were secure and stable (my head-canon is that Mr Evans was a policeman and Mrs Evans was a post-office clerk). However, all kids were locked in the same trap of poverty, where they had hard time to move to better education and better jobs (read “All Our Kin by Carol B. Stack” … yes, the situation in The Flats was certainly far worse, and there were no racial elements in the situation in Cokeworth).

It would be nice to have story which acknowledges this background. Of course, JKR books and all related fanfiction stories are not realistic sociological probe, but feel-good reading, but one thing which makes a wee bit dissatisfied with whole this body of work is how incredibly first-world it feels. Everybody is either rich or very rich (notice that all those BMWs of Grangers and Dursleys in every other fanfiction), and people who could be objectively from the poor background (Dean Thomas, Creeves) are pushed aside, or their situation is trivialized (Weasleys). And no, I don’t want Marxist stories like “the class struggle is the engine room of history” (which is a nonsense), but stories which would be more realistic.

In the end all three kids were able to get out of Cokeworth: Severus and Lily because they got into very posh boarding school, Petunia because of her marriage with a more-or-less successful salesman (perhaps because of gratitude she was willing to stick with him even if he was completely obnoxious and perhaps even abusive?).

I found some threads which at least partially acknowledge this.


{participants on the thread added other interesting references}

Category: literature Tagged: HPprompt harryPotter blogComment