Quibble of the Week: “In Defense of the Dursleys”

Our next Quibble of the Week comes from Abbii, and like many other essays we’ve featured on the main page recently, this one also deals with character redemption.

Now, it’s a fact that the Dursleys mistreated Harry in his early years, as well as the summers he was away from Hogwarts. But have we, as fans of the boy wizard, judged these misinformed Muggles too harshly? Wasn’t the Dursleys agreeing to house Harry during Voldemort’s rise to power just as brave and dangerous an act as Snape’s switching sides to deceive the Dark Lord?

Abbii thinks so. In her quibble she reminds us, “While [the Dursleys] could not have been harmed as [Harry] was growing up, there is certainly no way they could have guaranteed their safety after he turned seventeen.”

It seems clear that it would have meant death for the Dursleys if Voldemort had suddenly come upon 4 Private Drive, so why do we judge the family with this lingering, angry contempt when they really chanced so much?

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