Hello again. I'm here with my second Christmas pressie review! Although I have to guiltily admit that I have no idea where to begin with, to be honest.
To best describe what I felt while I was reading this little experiment of yours, as you call it, I would have to go back in time, a few years back when I first tried to read Russian literature. Anna Karenina, Crime and Punishment, War and Peace, The Queen of Spades. When you're absolutely drawn in and fascinated by the world the author created but you can feel it deep down, that something's escaping you. That you're too young to grasp the whole profoundness of the characters, of the story. That you need to read the piece several times to at least begin to understand what is going on and have a notion of who the characters really are (and I mean who they are emotionally, not literally). That would be the best way for me to describe to you how I've felt while reading this one shot. And I am in love!
At the very least I have made sense that it's Eileen Snape that drives the 12 acts and that it's a story that basically starts when she's still in school and continues throughout her life until the moment of her death. She is in love with someone that doesn't respond to her feelings (thus her need to give him Love Potion). She lives happily for a time but then something went wrong, he discovered that she was a witch and went mad. She has baby Severus. She dies (or kills herself? That's what I thought when I read the last act of her death, that she killed herself).
That was the basic of story. The template if you'd like to call it. But that's putting it too blunt. Too shallow. She strikes me as a fierce woman, who is willing to do anything and everything to get what she wants. She is not without consciousness ("She felt guilty for being so happy") but she does not stop. She goes on with her plan, her marriage. She didn't have a close relationship with her mother ("Her mother's voice rang in her ears...as she went on and on about not having a future, never finding a half-decent husband") which in turn may have affected and transformed her into the self-centered person we get to see now. Am I close enough in her analysis?
This is a jewel. A single review as well as a single lecture of the one shot is not enough to fully comprehend the complexity of Eileen. There's layer upon layer to her character and it's fascinating that you were able to portray such a character without having much to go with from canon. Splendid!
Author's Response: Hi again! Glad to see you return!
Wow, I'm fairly certain I don't deserve that much praise. I'm learning along the way like anyone else, and while there are certainly aspects of writing that I've worked hard at, there are others where I know I have plenty of work left to do! But thank you so much! :)
I basically wanted to model Eileen onto the fairytale of Snow White, loosely speaking, and the tale of Merope Gaunt. I wanted her to transition from a princess (a play on the name, obviously, and her pureblood status), full of hope, to an evil queen filled with regret. Her journey throughout the twelve acts is one of desperation, clinging to what she wants to be and what she once felt that she had. By the end, she's become little more than a shell. Instead of the common depiction, where her husband ruined her, she sort of ruined herself. Some people have interpreted the final act as a suicidal gesture; I don't necessarily see it that way, but I like seeing what others think.
I think your characterization of Eileen is pretty spot-on! Like you said, there are still faint glimmers of a young girl in there--for example, in terms of her guilty feelings. But a variety of factors, not the least of which was her own desire for power and perfection, eventually led to her downfall and loss of self.
Thanks so much for this fantastic review. I hope to see more reviews from you in the future!