Friday, September 24, 2010

Why I Hate Aunt Petunia Dursley

Why I Hate Aunt Petunia Dursley
by Emily from Red House Books

First off – a big THANK YOU to Jennifer to letting me fill up space with some Harry Potter ramblings :)

There are lots of things I love about Harry Potter but through out both the books and the movies, there has always been one character that I really just hated – Petunia Dursley.

Petunia is many things – aunt, sister, wife and mother. Now, while I think we can all agree that in her role as aunt to Harry, she pretty much treats him like dirt. I could never forgive her for this. Harry is just a baby when he is left in her care. Nothing says she had to love him, but he surely didn’t deserve her harsh treatment.

What I find even more appalling is how she feels about her own sister. Although we never really get Lily’s whole story, we do get a sense of what she was like. Nothing I have read leads me to believe that she did anything to warrant Petunia’s hatred. Her death, is treated more like a burden then a tragedy by Petunia, and by association, Harry is treated more like a horrible responsibility then a family member in need.

It makes me think, what where Petunia and Lily like when they were younger? Did something happen between them before Lily died? Why couldn’t Petunia love Harry?

I’m curious about these facts, but I almost don’t care. I would like to say I would hate Aunt Petunia anyway. She’s one of my favorite literary characters I love to hate!

What do you guys think? Do you think she’s misunderstood? Would you stick up for her in a fight? I know I surely wouldn’t :)


  1. Petunia is *mean*. She really is :(

    I guess she can't love Harry because he's a wizard, and he's the spitting image of James, whom Petunia despised. Anyway, she still gave Harry a home.. well, or at the very least, a cupboard under the stairs :/

  2. I totally agree with you; she's a horrible person! Even though we never meet Lily, we do get a sense of who she was because of what people say about her. Lily seemed like a wonderful woman. Petunia is the exact opposite of wonderful and I think the reason Petunia hates Lily, Harry, and anything to do with wizardry is simply because of jealousy. Petunia wanted so bad to be a witch but she never got to and I'm sure that's the reason why she detests Lily so much. So, her reasoning makes sense to me but it's still very immature of her. She should be able to get over her jealousy for her sister. Great post :D

  3. Petunia is a character that is easy to hate, isn't she? I was glad that we got more of the backstory on Lily and Petunia in the Deathly Hallows book and I think it showed what I had suspected all along - Petunia was green with envy, which then turned into severe bitterness. She took all of it out on Harry.

    I was very pleased to see that despite all the nasty things the Dursley family had done to Harry in his life, Dudley was not completely a toad in the end. He and Harry came to a small understanding and actually shook hands, with feeling.

    Wasn't the actress that played Petunia brilliant? Her nose could not be sharper or more pointed! LOL

  4. I think you are being a little harsh on her. She loved her sister and wanted to be like her more than anything else. She wanted to be special. I have a feeling like her parents did not treat her like she was special to them after Lily got into Hogwarts. I mean, she was so desperate that she wrote Dumbledore the letter begging to go. She really cared about her sister and to her magic, and Harry, is why she is dead.

    That isn't to say that how she treated him was fair, it was awful, but it does make some sense. Vernon on the other hand is just a prejudice, cruel man.

  5. Great post! I felt sorry for Petunia when she's not a witch like Lily. I really think she also want to be a witch and that's why she hates Lily and harry. poor woman..