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Harry Potter And Kenneth Burke’s Guilt Redemption Cycle

3201 words - 13 pages

Introduction
There are probably few people in this world who can deny the feeling of guilt. Some call that sinking feeling in the pit of the stomach or that nagging voice in their head their conscious speaking to them. Whatever people want to call this feeling, few can deny never feeling it. Is it this connection of the feeling guilt and the need to alleviate it that attracts people so much to characters who have imperfections? Is it this inherent human need to root for people who make mistakes what attracts us to characters? Or, is it the fact that in many stories, those characters usually end up redeeming themselves in the end that does? Do we root for the hero with imperfections because humans want that, as well? One character that has become loved for his imperfections and his redemption, at the end of his life, is Severus Snape from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows written by J.K. Rowling. By examining the character of Snape from the artifact Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, through Kenneth Burke’s Guilt Redemption Cycle, the question: "Did Severus Snape accomplish alleviating his guilt according to Kenneth burke’s Guilt Redemption Cycle?" will be answered.

Artifact
In 1997, the first book of the Harry Potter series was released in the United States, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. It was then that people began to fall in love with “The boy who lived.”, Harry Potter, and began their love/hate relationship with the man who would end up helping to save his life multiple times over (Rowling, J.K., 2007). This love/hate relationship developed because it seems as if this man, a professor at Hogwart’s School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, constantly was against the hero, Harry. There is a buildup of the fact that Snape was an evil character double crossing the good characters in the book and working for Voldemort (the evil villain of the story) only to be revealed later that Snape was not working against Harry, after all (Rowling, J.K., 2007). This continuous love/hate relationship is maintained throughout the series because although the audience later finds out that Snape was “on the side of good”, he constantly berates Harry and treats him in a way that it is construed as completely negative until it is revealed differently in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, (Rowling, J.K., 2007).
Snape is not always without fault. The audience finds out in the fifth book, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix that Snape was terribly bullied by Harry’s father, James Potter, and that is why he constantly bullies Harry throughout the series (Rowling, J.K., 2003). Snape exhibits this bullying by regularly calling Harry’s competency into question in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, by trying to get Harry expelled in the Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets twice (once for using a flying car to get to Hogwart’s, after the entrance is sealed up, and again when it is discovered that there is a petrified cat and Harry is at the scene of...

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