Why do the Dursleys hate magic so much?
If there is one thing that the Dursley family prided themselves on, it was being perfectly normal – thank you very much. They lived in their ‘normal’ house, in their ‘normal’ street, with their ‘normal’ car and Mr Dursley had a ‘normal’ job as the director of Grunnings, a firm that made drills. They didn’t tolerate nonsense or anything remotely strange or mysterious – and magic was exactly that.
As extremely closed-minded people, their worst nightmare would be for anyone to discover that they had any links to magic at all. Not only would it be very embarrassing, but people might think that they were different – which wouldn’t do. To the Dursleys, anything that they saw as out of the ordinary, or didn’t understand, was to be treated with suspicion and fear. As is often the way, that fear turned into hatred and anger.
This is the reason why they thought it was best to pretend that magic didn’t exist and tried to squash it out of Harry. It was why Uncle Vernon reacted so angrily to Harry telling him about his dream of a flying motorbike. It was why they tried so hard to stop Harry from getting his Hogwarts letter. It was also one of the reasons why they treated him so badly in general – Harry represented their biggest secret.
There was one other reason why Aunt Petunia hated magic so much though. It was jealousy. Growing up, Petunia had been very envious of her sister Lily’s magical ability. She had often felt overshadowed by her and felt her parents had valued her more. As an adult, she was determined to distance herself from Lily and her family. It also helped to explain her wish to marry Vernon in the first place, unlike Lily, he was completely ordinary.
Overall, the Dursleys hatred for magic was quite simple. They were afraid of it, they didn’t understand it, they were judgemental and there was some jealousy. What a pleasant bunch indeed.