Racist Dursleys!

Thursday, March 31st, 2011 | Author: Kim
Back to the Burrow is my absolute favorite chapter in Goblet of Fire, perhaps in all of Harry Potter.  For me, imagining the Weasleys and the Dursleys in the same room is too comical.  They are total opposites, not just because of their magical differences.  The Weasleys are a people of meager living.  They do not have the grandest posessions or the shiniest new toys.  The Dursleys are a people that pride themselves on having the best.  Their status in society is based on what they have, not who they are.  I often wonder where the Dursleys would stand if they were involved in the fight against Voldemort.  I don’t necessarily believe that they would be on the side of the Death Eaters.  I do, however, think they would be indifferent.  They would stand aside and let people like the Weasleys fight the good fight for them.
Another interesting thing I thought of today while listening to the newest podcast is racism, not just in Harry Potter but in all of literature.  Sometimes, it is blatant and obvious and smacks you in the face.  Other times, it is so deeply buried, you have to stretch your imagination pretty far to catch it.  In Lewis Carroll’s Alice novels, racism is a prevalent theme that doesn’t hit you over the head.  It is disguised in such a way that it doesn’t stand out as one of the major themes throughout the novels.

Racism runs through the roots of Harry Potter.  From the Death Eaters and Voldemort to house elves, it is prevalent in so many places.  One place that I often overlook is with the Dursleys.  For me, because they are not central characters that are involved much past the start of each book, I often tend to forget them.  But listening and re-reading over this chapter only sparked a reminder for me.  They are elitists.  They believe that they have the best, are the best, will always be the best.  Harry is different.  Even though he is family, he will never measure up to the Dursleys and what they have.  So while the Dursleys may not exhibit the most blatant of racism in the Harry Potter novels, they sure do have the same views.  If they were a part of the Wizarding World, you can bet that they would treat house-elves with disdain and loathing.

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  1. First off, you picked a GREAT picture! You can just see it in their faces haha. No but really, great post. In the back of my head I looked at the Dursleys that way I think, but I never really took a direct look at them like this. If they were in the wizarding world, they’d probably be identical to the Malfoy family. Kicking around house elves, sticking up their noses at everyone.

    Very true, racism does run deep in Harry Potter. There are so many themes that I keep spotting out every time I read through the series. That’s how you know you’ve got an amazing author on your hands :)

  2. Katherine says:

    I totally agree, I have always thought that they were the muggle-form of a family like the Malfoys. It fits – right down to hating anyone who’s different to themselves. And the picture’s great, you can just see how stuck up they are!

  3. Kim says:

    Adam is 100% responsible for the perfect picture! He grabbed it and posted it for me and I have to say, it couldn’t fit more perfectly! They do look completely full of themselves. Snooty and stuck up.

    It’s amazing how many different facets of this story there area. But racism is one I’ve always noticed in different ways. Kind of sad, but interesting!!!

  4. Hollie says:

    Great post, Kim. Some very thought-provoking comments about the Dursleys, and an apt analysis of their collective character! Love it.

  5. Kim says:

    Thanks Hollie! It totally struck me while listening to your analysis of GoF the other day!

  6. Hollie says:

    I listened to that recording, and I felt as though I was being completely redundant. I need to talk faster…Lol!