Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows discussion


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Snape's "Redemption"

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message 1: by l (new) - rated it 4 stars

l I'm probably gonna get attacked over bringing up this point, but I honestly think Snape is an awful person. Even after his whole story is explained in the Deathly Hallows.

I'm bringing this up because everyday I see so many people symphathising with Snape and saying things like "He was so misunderstood!!!!" etc.

So here are my following reasons why, in my opinion, Snape is a horrible person.

1. Let's start from the beginning of the timeline, when Snape was still in school. He was very creepy towards Lily, even though he acted like her friend. Think of it like this; Imagine a white boy and a black girl becoming friends at an early age. They are friends until about high school when the boy starts hanging around some odd people...people who don't like people of colour. Over time, this boy definitely agrees with these new people. When the girl brings up this behaviour he says things like "Oh don't worry, you're different to all the other black people." Then as he gets older he becomes more involved, and by the time they are out of school he is part of a group that is equivalent to the KKK. But he still longs for this girl, so he hates the man she marries more than necessary, using the excuse of simple schoolyard bullying. This is the same situation that halfblood (but with evil pureblood values) snape and muggle-born lily were in.

2. On the night of the Potters' murder, he steps over James' body, then continues to cradle Lily's body in his arms. He has no right to do this at all; Lily hated Snape for what he believed in. She wanted him as far away from her as possible. Also, he ignored Lily's crying son, which is equally gross.

3. When Harry came to Hogwarts, Snape treated him like he was the dirt beneath his shoes. He was also cruel to all the other students and favourited a select few. Think about the fact that Neville's bogart was Snape. His worst fear was Snape. This is the same boy whose parents were tortured so badly they lost their minds. Think about how much Snape abused this poor boy.

4. He's a death eater. And he was a death eater before Dumbledore used him as a spy and whatnot.

5. Severus Snape was immature and petty. He was willing to allow Dementors to SUCK OUT SIRIUS BLACK'S SOUL because of a grudge from school days.

6. When Snape took over for Remus in teaching Defence Against the Dark arts, he taught the students about werewolves in an extremely negative way. Also, by making Lupin's condition public, he put him out of a job. And God knows who else would be willing to hire a werewolf. And again, all because of a petty grudge.

7. People hate on Lily for marrying James. She ended her friendship with Snape ages before she married him, so its not like she had to choose between the two. People go to such lengths to defend Snape, they hate of Lily for ending a very toxic friendship and marrying a matured man.

8. Not a big thing, but snape made fun of Tonks for her patronus changing to math Remus'. Even....though...he...went....through...the...same....thing?????

And I honestly think the worst part is that J.K Rowling is supportive of the romanticisation of Snape's story. By writing in that Snape was "one of the bravest men" Harry had ever met, she is basically saying that it's ok to forgive someone for 6 years of abuse.

As long as they wanted to get with your mum.


Opinions?


Lani I see what you're saying and you made some really good points. However I think that this series really stressed that there is no good and evil and even though Snape did do some bad things he felt as if they were justified. If someone really believes in something they will do anything to achieve that goal, and all Snape ever wanted was Lily. As for the way he acted towards Harry I do believe that was not the right thing to do. Snape was only human though and humans make mistakes. I do think that he was brave when spying on Voldemort,he fully knew what his actions would lead to and yet he decided to do them anyway. So, no I do not think he is an awful person, but yes he did do some awful things.


Mitali I agree with you completely, Lauren. You should check out this thread: Am I the only person who didn't really like Snape? It includes a discussion of almost all the points you made.


Austin I think even JK Rowling said that he wasn't a nice person. I don't think we are meant to see him as a nice person. He's mean and petty and pretty terrilbe, but who happened to fight on the good side.


Ruby I think you have a lot of really good points as well. I think that Snape did some horrible things in his life, including pretty much causing the death of Lily and James. I also think that he did do some good things but that they don't cancel out what he did that was wrong.

I would also like to point out that in the book, Snape never came anywhere close to Lily, James, or Harry after Voldemort came to Godric's Hollow. That was in the movie.


message 6: by hannah renee. (last edited Jan 27, 2015 12:37PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

hannah renee. I think people like him or dislike him due to personal experience in life. I love Snape as a literary character because I can relate to him. And PLEASE don't call his love for her "creepy". It isn't. That's going too far. Also, how can you say that he wasn't brave? His master was an expert Legilimens and he never knew once anything about Snape's double-agency. He underwent terrible, terrible pain that no one should ever have to go through. But I will not elaborate because I'm going to write a very long, very complicated blog post on why you SHOULD pity him.


message 7: by [deleted user] (last edited Jan 27, 2015 12:50PM) (new)

Eh... I never liked Snape because of Lily. I just liked Snape because he was... well... Snape.

I think the fifth point you made is a good one, though. Snape was a pretty big jerk for trying to get Sirius's soul sucked out by a dementor. On the other hand, Sirius did almost get Snape killed during their schooling years...

Hmm... dilemma...


hannah renee. J wrote: "Eh... I never liked Snape because of Lily. I just liked Snape because he was... well... Snape.

I think the fifth point you made is a good one, though. Snape was a pretty big jerk for trying to get..."


Thank you for that point!!! In all seriousness (no pun intended) Sirius was really no better than Snape and yet people rush to his rescue because he wasn't interested in the Dark Arts.


Megan Hannah wrote: "J wrote: "Eh... I never liked Snape because of Lily. I just liked Snape because he was... well... Snape.

I think the fifth point you made is a good one, though. Snape was a pretty big jerk for try..."


Snape wasn't just interested in the Dark Arts, he was a Death Eater. School yard bullying is not nearly the same as being a member of a murderous hate group.

Sirius and Severus both behaved pretty horribly at Hogwarts in the way they treated each other, and for the pettiest of reasons. But Sirius grew up to fight on the side of good. He went to Azkaban an innocent man and when he got out all he wanted to do was be a good stand-in father figure for Harry. Like Dumbledore said, it is our choices far more than our abilities that show who we truly are. Snape didn't decide to defect to the good side until after Lily was killed.

Yes he protected Harry, and yes he was obviously a very skilled wizard for Voldemort to never discover his true alliance. But that doesn't excuse his past actions, nor the fact that he remained a horrible person and bullied innocent children and abused his position of power as a teacher. He was not a good person, and the good things he did weren't motivated by the desire to be good. But as a character, he was one of the best JK Rowling wrote.


message 10: by hannah renee. (last edited Jan 28, 2015 07:13AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

hannah renee. Megan wrote: "Hannah wrote: "J wrote: "Eh... I never liked Snape because of Lily. I just liked Snape because he was... well... Snape.

I think the fifth point you made is a good one, though. Snape was a pretty b..."


You and I look at morality differently then. In all truth, and especially in life, we are really no better than the other. It doesn't matter what we've done or what we define ourselves with. When it comes to who we are deep down, we are really no better than a murderer; in fact we are capable of thinking and being as full of hate as they are. Sirius and Snape are both bullies and treat their inferiors badly... But I will say that they are opposite when it comes to this: Snape was unloved in his home and never wanted to be, Sirius on the other hand, was rebellious and never cared a wit what his parents thought of him.

Also, we're forgetting something: another reason he wanted Sirius Black killed is that he thought that Sirius was the secret-keeper who betrayed the Potter's and ultimately caused Lily's death. Understandably I can only imagine that he'd want to avenge this. Just like Sirius wants to kill Peter Pettigrew.


message 11: by Hazy (last edited Jan 28, 2015 07:20AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Hazy I agree that Snape was an awful person. But I liked him, in a way. He was a disturbed, bitter, complicated character. (And for that I certainly am glad I didn't have him as a teacher... or my mom's ex-boyfriend.)

He was abusive because he too was abused in the past. It's not an excuse, but again a real psychological tendency. But just because he's an a-hole doesn't mean he is absolutely devoid of any positive qualities. He's one of those fictional examples that even awful people who do unforgivable crimes can have redemption. (On this note, I have met people who were former criminals, outlaws, rebels, bigots and even murderers. I can say with all certainty that redemption is possible even for these people. Maybe not totally. And not for all of them. Forgiveness may be difficult, even impossible, for those they have wronged. But, yeah, good things are possible through them.)

Oh, and while I found his love for Lily touching, I did find his obsession for her a bit creepy. To his credit, he didn't do anything particularly stalkerish (or did he?) and it did lead to him protecting her and her family as best as he could.


Eleni You're right, Snape is no angel and I don't romanticise him but I do have an issue with a couple of your points.

As somebody else said, the whole creepy-cradling-Lily's dead-body-while ignoring-her-crying-baby thing didn't happen in the book. I have a real issue with that sequence in the film because not only is it weird, it also shows Lily's actual death as part of Snape's memories, when he very clearly WASN'T THERE, as evidenced by the fact that he then arrives later on. Stupid films.

I wouldn't call Snape's hatred of the Marauders a petty grudge. Firstly, I think you're underestimating the huge long term damage that bullying can cause, especially if it's a group against one kid. Secondly, it wasn't just ordinary bullying. Think about it - when they were kids he almost ended up being KILLED by Lupin because of a "joke" played by Sirius. Then Dumbledore was just like "Yeah but don't tell anyone he's a werewolf please, never mind that you just almost got killed, I don't want any of my Gryffindors to get into trouble over this so I'll just ignore the fact that Sirius set you up to be torn apart by a werewolf." I think that's a pretty valid reason for really hating somebody, though of course it's irrational to take it out on their kid 20 years later.

I always used to think he was just being petty and mean when he told the school about Lupin being a werewolf though, but then it suddenly occurred to me - Voldemort cursed that job so nobody could stay for longer than a year. While I agree that Snape would have WANTED to tell everyone anyway, the reason he actually DID it could have been Voldemort's curse finding the best way to get rid of Lupin.

You are totally right that he was a terrible teacher though. But then how many of the staff would still be at Hogwarts if they had to pass a teacher training course? Probably only McGonagle ;)


ᏒIᎪ Lauren wrote: "I'm probably gonna get attacked over bringing up this point, but I honestly think Snape is an awful person. Even after his whole story is explained in the Deathly Hallows.

I'm bringing this up bec..."


Honestly, I don't think JKR believed that. It was just Harry's character that made him forgiving.

When asked in and interview, JKR said, "Is he a hero? You see, I don't see him really as a hero. He-he's spiteful, he's a bully—all of these things are still true of Snape, even at the end of this book."

I don't like it when people say Snape was better for Lily than James. James and Lily were happy together. And James changed himself for Lily when Snape couldn't.

He did horrible things. He became Neville's worst fear. Yet, he was still very brave. Harry was so overwhelmed with gratitude that he forget the pain Snape had given him. He decided that the good things outweighed the bad ones.

And maybe they did. I'm not a Snape hater. I like his character. And I like how his character is so complex that he isn't good or bad- he's right in the grey area.


hannah renee. Eleni wrote: "You're right, Snape is no angel and I don't romanticise him but I do have an issue with a couple of your points.

As somebody else said, the whole creepy-cradling-Lily's dead-body-while ignoring-he..."


Love your points. :)


Janelle Snape lost me when he told a 13 year-old Harry that he deserved to die.

He's a petty man and a mean one. Coming from a home with an abusive father, we can see though why Snape was attracted to pureblood fanatics, by whose philosophy he's suddenly superior. But by choosing to fall in with them, he gave up a chance with Lily. So his unrequited love story doesn't move me either. It was by his choices that he lost her respect. (And she may very well still have married James in the end, who knows.)

His character is complex and the series is the better for his inclusion, but I'm with you...the seventh book didn't necessarily provide a redemption. Just an explanation, and I don't have it in me to romanticize him like other fans. But to each their own.


message 16: by [deleted user] (last edited Jan 30, 2015 12:27PM) (new)

Ria wrote: "Lauren wrote: "I'm probably gonna get attacked over bringing up this point, but I honestly think Snape is an awful person. Even after his whole story is explained in the Deathly Hallows.

I'm bring..."


"James changed himself for Lily when Snape couldn't"

...If I may, Lily tended to be more forgiving of James than of Snape to begin with (which may be because she had known Snape for longer and was better acquainted with his faults). I'm certain if Snape had been persistently loved early on, he would have one day proven deserving- just as James did. This wasn't to be, for he was never grown in a way that would spark a desire to be a morally better person. Lily was kind to him, yet for her he became something of a hinderance.

Individuals require love- especially in their early years- to reach their full potential. I don't think Snape ever had this, which as a result replaced his compassion with duty. This isn't a bad trait even of itself, but it never earned him any respect until after his death.

I do agree that James was better for Lily, though.


ᏒIᎪ J wrote: "Ria wrote: "Lauren wrote: "I'm probably gonna get attacked over bringing up this point, but I honestly think Snape is an awful person. Even after his whole story is explained in the Deathly Hallows..."

How was Lily more forgiving of James? Remember, James' problem was arrogance which is common at that age while Snape's was much darker.


message 18: by hannah renee. (last edited Jan 31, 2015 08:22AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

hannah renee. Ria wrote: "J wrote: "Ria wrote: "Lauren wrote: "I'm probably gonna get attacked over bringing up this point, but I honestly think Snape is an awful person. Even after his whole story is explained in the Death..."

How was she not? James was really no better than Snape, it doesn't matter what vibe they gave. The truth is James didn't have a troubled childhood and Snape did. I understand why Lily walked away from Snape... I've had to sort of do the same thing (though not entirely the same)... But, she could have turned his life around if she had tried. I had a guy in my life that left me for someone else, but even when he was super depressed, I changed his life because I knew I could, even if he'd never know. Even though he was a jerk I understood that he was an incredibly broken person and needed love as much as any other person. I believe if you have the chance to change someone's life, you should do it. Saying that Snape's was much darker makes his case all the more sad.


ᏒIᎪ Hannah wrote: "Ria wrote: "J wrote: "Ria wrote: "Lauren wrote: "I'm probably gonna get attacked over bringing up this point, but I honestly think Snape is an awful person. Even after his whole story is explained ..."

But did Lily have to help Snape? She tried but he continually insulted her so she realized that she should just move on from her. James' arrogance wasn't as bad as Snape dealing with the Dark Arts. He grew out of it and proved to Lily that he was worthy of her. Would you rather be with a guy who grew out of his "arrogant stage" and wanted to prove himself to you or a guy who had been your lifelong friend but was now hanging with the wrong people and making fun of you? If your best friend suddenly started drinking and smoking in high school, wouldn't it be best to leave her when she ignored your help, especially if she didn't get along with your other good friends?


message 20: by hannah renee. (last edited Jan 31, 2015 01:25PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

hannah renee. Ria wrote: "Hannah wrote: "Ria wrote: "J wrote: "Ria wrote: "Lauren wrote: "I'm probably gonna get attacked over bringing up this point, but I honestly think Snape is an awful person. Even after his whole stor..."

No, Lily didn't have to help Snape. But it would have been a noble and brave thing to do if she had.

Snape didn't continually insult her! Mudblood slipped out once because he was practically emasculated by James's teasing. In a way, James was sexually assaulting Snape and making him out to be undesirable and revolting and then a girl comes and defends him... I truly do not think that Snape cared that she was a muggle-born. I really do not.

As an answer to your question about if I had a friend who did those things, I probably wouldn't hang around her much, but I WOULD try to help her in some way. I don't believe we should just let people keep living in destructive behavior.


ᏒIᎪ Hannah wrote: "Ria wrote: "Hannah wrote: "Ria wrote: "J wrote: "Ria wrote: "Lauren wrote: "I'm probably gonna get attacked over bringing up this point, but I honestly think Snape is an awful person. Even after hi..."

Lily tried to help but Snape didn't want her to help him. Meanwhile, James actually wanted to change.


hannah renee. Ria wrote: "Hannah wrote: "Ria wrote: "Hannah wrote: "Ria wrote: "J wrote: "Ria wrote: "Lauren wrote: "I'm probably gonna get attacked over bringing up this point, but I honestly think Snape is an awful person..."

I don't see Lily really trying to help him... And I don't mean she had to directly...helping a person doesn't mean you have to confront them.

Also, I think it was more easy for James to change since he had the advantage of a healthy, loving home. Snape knew no such thing and continued to live in the lifestyle he seemed to think he deserved... due to severe mental problems.


ᏒIᎪ Hannah wrote: "Ria wrote: "Hannah wrote: "Ria wrote: "Hannah wrote: "Ria wrote: "J wrote: "Ria wrote: "Lauren wrote: "I'm probably gonna get attacked over bringing up this point, but I honestly think Snape is an ..."

What are we arguing about again? ;-)

I think he's a complex character and is more interesting than James. James however, is a better person and was better for Lily.


hannah renee. Ria wrote: "Hannah wrote: "Ria wrote: "Hannah wrote: "Ria wrote: "Hannah wrote: "Ria wrote: "J wrote: "Ria wrote: "Lauren wrote: "I'm probably gonna get attacked over bringing up this point, but I honestly thi..."

True. He was. But he doesn't break my heart. ;)


Veronika I will avoid another battle of defending Snape (which I did in above mentioned threat), but I really have question for those saying, the good doesnt cancel out the evil he did? It really bothers me, because I feel like you are saying only the bad stuff, and the good stuff is just waved away like its nothing.
I see him 50% grey. The good (white) is there, and that is something you cannot take away, just because you dislike him, you know?

What you basically saying is, if you are not 100% good you are not good. And no matter what you do, you always be bad. And we all know that is not true...


message 26: by Mitali (last edited Feb 01, 2015 09:36PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Mitali Veronika wrote: "I see him 50% grey. The good (white) is there, and that is something you cannot take away, just because you dislike him, you know?

What you basically saying is, if you are not 100% good you are not good. And no matter what you do, you always be bad. And we all know that is not true... "


I can't speak for anyone else, but all I've been saying is the other way around: the bad is there and you can't just ignore it because you like him. A person doesn't have to be 100% good in order to be considered good, but if he acts actively evil* at times, that does cancel out a lot of the good he does.

*(That is, he deliberately tries to hurt people.)

Also, I wouldn't consider someone who was good only 50% of the time as a good person. (But then again, in real life or in fiction, it's not that easy to draw a clear-cut line between good and bad.)


Veronika But if personal sacrifice & death doesnt cancel it out, then I dont know what does, you know? I am only saying he does deserve the forgivness after his death. And no, it doesnt matter why he did it.

That is the way it was written anyway. Harry hated him to the last minute, but then forgave him, I just dont understand why you cant.


Mitali Veronika wrote: "But if personal sacrifice & death doesnt cancel it out, then I dont know what does, you know? I am only saying he does deserve the forgivness after his death. And no, it doesnt matter why he did it..."

Forgive him? Forgiveness is for real people. Snape isn’t real; he’s done nothing to me. There’s no question of my forgiving him. We're talking about whether he's a good person or not.

Also, because he’s a character in fiction, it’s a lot harder to take his last action as the last word on his character. When I read PoA, for example, it’s difficult not to be outraged by Snape’s behaviour when he’s terrorizing Neville or trying to feed Sirius to the dementors, even though I know that 4 books down the line, he dies in a noble sacrifice. In fiction, because of the possibility of rereading previous books, past and future lose some of their meaning.

Harry may forgive him (though I personally find the epilogue of DH utterly ridiculous and badly written), but that’s because his last memory of Snape was of seeing him dying, and seeing his memories in the pensieve. Those are not my last memories of Snape.


Veronika Mitali wrote: "Veronika wrote: "But if personal sacrifice & death doesnt cancel it out, then I dont know what does, you know? I am only saying he does deserve the forgivness after his death. And no, it doesnt mat..."

Yes, so forgivness is for real people and hate or what he did to students you take as real? I dont get it. You either accept it as a fiction as a whole, or you dont.

If you admit you take it as fiction, you also need to take into consideration his bad sides as a fiction. I have been trying to explain this to you. Bad side, wrong side, forgivness...all this has different rules in fictional world.

Yet you take his bad actions, treat them as in our real world, but you do not forgive him, because that is for real world only? Its a bit contradiction, is it not?

I am not arguing about this all over again... You either take it as real, including his bad behaviour, but then you have to forgive him, or you take it as fiction, and you dont forgive him, but you need to judge his actions by different measure!


hannah renee. I am convinced there are only two kinds of people. *Laughs hysterically and madly*


message 31: by hannah renee. (last edited Feb 02, 2015 09:43AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

hannah renee. Some people like me have a soft-spot for characters who do heroic good things in the end and ones who have tormented inner lives... e.g. Darth Vader (or Anakin I should say), Luke Castellan, Murtagh Morzansson, Severus Snape... and then there are the people who look back at what they did; i.e. actions... actions that happen due to mental problems lol.


message 32: by [deleted user] (last edited Feb 10, 2015 03:04PM) (new)

I think the instinct for me personally is to root for the antagonist, which is why Artemis Fowl was the first fictional book I really enjoyed- setting up the bad guy as the main character. I've seen people defend Snape simply with the idea that he is beyond defending or criticizing- he's simply too grey to be judged as a darker or lighter shade.

One major trait with antagonistic characters is that they tend to be the hero in their own eyes- they justify their actions with justifiable motivations. This is not what I found interesting about Snape, however. What impressed me about him was that he managed to be bad without not being good. Snape fitted his role as an antagonistic character, but since he was loyal to Dumbledore I never found myself disliking him. He trusted him, so I trusted him also, and the only reason I ever reconsidered was because Snape murdered the headmaster in the sixth book. The last addition to the series proves Snape to have maintained his sense of duty when it turns out that killing Dumbledore was part of the plan.

Basically, if it were up to the fans to decide whether or not he was bad or good, Snape would probably stay just as grey as he's ever been. I believe that in his own way, Snape was changed for the better by the time he died, which may be the best case scenario for one such as he. This lighter shade of grey might just be an opinion, though.


message 33: by Ruby (last edited Jul 31, 2015 11:31AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ruby I'm seeing a trend here:

A lot of points being brought up mention how Snape was bullied and had a terrible childhood and those things made him more susceptible to wanting revenge and hanging out with Slytherin purebloods, which eventually led to becoming a death eater.

I'd like to point out that the fact that he was bullied by the Marauders was a reason to mistreat Harry but not an excuse. Of course there's a reason he is cruel to kids and Gryffindors and Harry and Neville, but why does having a reason mean having an excuse? They are not the same thing! A reason is an explanation. An excuse is a justification of sorts.

Snape has a reason for turning to the dark side and a reason for hating Harry and a reason for being cruel to Gryffindors, but he has no justification. What gives him the right to be mean to kids? What gives him the right to dock point from only the houses he hates? He is a grown man and should not treat people so unfairly, so the answer is quite simply nothing.
He was a crucial link in the chain that led to Lily and James's death. He had a reason. Not an excuse.

Does being bullied in your past make it justified that you treat the SON of the bully cruelly? No. It is a reason, and not an excuse.

That said, I also add that he did both good and bad deeds. Looking at all the deeds someone has done and trying to add them up to determine whether they are a "good person" or a bad person" really isn't the most efficient way to do it. That method really only works when the deeds they do lean very much one way or the other. Snape is murky. However, I wouldn't want to put my faith in someone that cruel to kids, often petty, and proven to be susceptible to allure of the wrong side: even if I knew the reason he was like that and the fact that he helped bring Voldy down. Therefore I wouldn't give him my pity because I don't think his actions were justified. I believe that Snape does not deserve my pity.


message 34: by Tana Lovegood of Dumbledore's Army✞~ (last edited Jul 01, 2015 08:01PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Tana Lovegood of Dumbledore's Army✞~ Rogers/America Nicely put Ruby. And to me, it did make him seem like a hypocrite with him being bullied when he was younger he should know how it feels and yet he was awful to Neville.
Maybe if Harry looked like Lily he would completely ignore the fact he was James's son.
I acknowledge Snape's bravery and I feel sorry for him but regardless I still think he's a jerk and unlikable


Tricia Lauren wrote: "I'm probably gonna get attacked over bringing up this point, but I honestly think Snape is an awful person. Even after his whole story is explained in the Deathly Hallows.

I'm bringing this up bec..."


Thank you! Snape may of become a "hero" and all the bullshit but he was still a total ass!


message 36: by Frog (new) - rated it 5 stars

Frog I disagree that the series stressed there was no good and evil.
In fact, those are Voldemort's words.
The series is about fighting evil, not denying its existence,

There were indeed characters who fell into middle ground, but saying evil doesn't exist is a foolish thing, and definitely not a theme I saw in the books.


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