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Ye Olde Dursley Debate Thread

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by MrBucket, Jan 2, 2019.

  1. MrBucket

    MrBucket Fourth Year

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    Line up, line up, one and all! For a limited time only yours to enjoy is this deluxe-quality old rehashed debate: exactly how miserable should our old boy be? Please feast your eyes on the opinions below.

    Caution: this thread will self-destruct in three days.

    -Palindrome

    ---------------------------------------------------------------



    Does Harry ever show this kind of behavior in canon? Pretty sure the first hug he ever gets goes fine and doesn't involve him freezing up at the touch
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 3, 2019
  2. vlad

    vlad Professor Prestige

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    Correct. Harry is despite book five a very plucky go-and-get-em type. It is probably his best quality and makes him a big joy to read/write.

    In fact, he is explicitly pleased with contact from Mrs. Weasley, Hermione, etc.

    And even with the Dursleys, Harry enjoys giving backtalk. He's not meek or afraid of them.
     
  3. eeleht

    eeleht Squib

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    My biggest pet peeve is Harry becoming emotionally attached to the first person to provide him with any degree of comfort or assistance- this is usually explained as Harry being desperate for affection (which makes me severely uncomfortable in itself), but how hasn't Harry developed defense mechanisms to shield him from false hope and developing unhealthy attachments to people? It's (I believe) not canon but in 10 years of being emotionally and verbally abused by the Dursleys (if not physically), surely Harry had tried to talk to someone? Or even if not, it would have been quite obvious to other muggles that Harry was not living the same quality of life as Dudley?
     
  4. Zombie

    Zombie John Waynes Teeth Prestige DLP Supporter

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    He was never abused Physically. Verbally is debatable. That's just something taken too far by fanfic. And more than anything I feel like people that write fanfic don't under stand the whole brit stiff upper lip mindset. Its notably absent in a lot of fics.
     
  5. eeleht

    eeleht Squib

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    I thought Petunia hit him with a frying pan in canon? They called him "freak", is that not considered verbal abuse to you?
     
  6. Zombie

    Zombie John Waynes Teeth Prestige DLP Supporter

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    Lol. Easy tiger. Pretty sure she threw one at him and being called freak is about like being called nerd. Not knowing his real name is fanon not Canon iirc.
     
  7. Agayek

    Agayek Heir

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    I don't recall Harry ever getting hit by anyone other than Dudley, and, other than the time he was half out of his mind with panic because of a Dementor, that was entirely implied, rather than shown. He was made to do most of the chores and otherwise largely ignored, not beaten or anything. The closest the Dursley came to actual physical abuse was his food, where they'd give him small(er) portions, especially compared to the rest of the family. From the text, he clearly wasn't being starved, but there were probably times he was pretty hungry and wasn't given enough to satisfy. I wouldn't call that abuse, but someone could probably argue the point.

    As for verbal abuse, I'd certainly say the Dursley's behavior qualifies. There was no gaslighting and the like, but it was definitely made clear he was neither wanted nor welcome, when they weren't outright ignoring his existence. And as far as I know, that's a pretty solid part of most definitions of verbal abuse, especially against children.

    That said, Harry Potter pretty much never exhibited signs of trauma or developmental issues. He was a fairly well adjusted and normal teenager, with zero emotional, social, or physical issues associated with his upbringing. You could chalk that up to several things, from Harry Potter simply being unusually well-adjusted to Rowling not really getting child psychology to that aspect being entirely irrelevant to the story Rowling was trying to tell, but at the end of the day, the Dursleys didn't manage to do any actual harm to Harry Potter either way.
     
  8. eeleht

    eeleht Squib

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    What qualifies "actual harm"? Harry's upbringing made him desperate for affection, and the first "friend" he made led him to danger and underachievement (though that is debatable). If Harry hadn't been influenced like that, he might have been in Slytherin, an different enough environment that Harry might not have been pressured to be "couragous" by running into danger like a Gryffindor.
     
  9. Plotless

    Plotless Professor

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    Oh fuck it's 2007 again.
     
  10. vlad

    vlad Professor Prestige

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    She swings a pan at him, but - and can't believe I'm saying this - in her defense...

    There is no indication that Vernon or Petunia ever hit Harry. Dudley obviously did. But by the time we get to Petunia swinging frying pans, she has had to witness Hagrid cursing her son with a pig tail that they then had to get surgically removed.

    So to be fair, when Harry starts telling Dudley that's he's going to set the garden on fire and starts spouting nonsense, one can see why Petunia acted the way she did. It's not like she just attacked him for the thrill of it or because he burnt toast or some such.

    The Dursley's are shitty people who then actually experience magic in a way that justifies their hatred and fear of it and its practitioners: pig tail, tongue toffee, etc. etc.

    Also Plotless, might I remind you that I am DLP's perpetually stuck in 2007 living archive of kewlz.
     
  11. Palindrome

    Palindrome A bigger, darker mark Moderator DLP Supporter

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    This thread has three days to live. Purge style.
     
  12. vlad

    vlad Professor Prestige

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    Thingz Palindrome likes doing:
    1. Oppressing and Censoring and purging vlad's posts
    2. ???
    3. Being much moar awesumz than Vlad
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 3, 2019
  13. Palindrome

    Palindrome A bigger, darker mark Moderator DLP Supporter

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    You're too kind.

    Dictatorships and the movie The Purge are the two tried-and-true methods to running a tight ship. But they must be in balance. Remember mugglenet? Too much purge, not enough dictator
     
  14. Silirt

    Silirt Seventh Year DLP Supporter

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  15. Seratin

    Seratin Proudmander Prestige DLP Supporter

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    My I shamelessly whore and drop this as an exmple of how I regard the Durselys and their general attitude towards Harry.
     
  16. Demonbuttersage

    Demonbuttersage Squib

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    Its perfectly realistic to write him as having some level of resentment for being treated as a burden to the family, and for being kept in the dark about his parents. But the tendency to write the Dursleys as pure sadists who get their jollies by tormenting and torturing Harry is appalling, since its almost always used for cheap angst and drama. And I wouldn't expect 99% of fanfic writers to know how to accurately represent what that kind of abuse does to a developing child.
     
  17. CareOtters

    CareOtters Supreme Mugwump DLP Supporter

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    Look it's very clear to me that Harry was not abused by the Dursleys. Was he penetrated by Vernon and Dudley as a family tag team? Undoubtedly. It crops up in too many fanfics to dismiss the suggestion. But Harry is a dirty little slut and obviously enjoyed it. You can't even try to swing it as a statutory rape piece, because as we all know the wizarding age of consent is eleven.
     
  18. masterpeng

    masterpeng First Year DLP Supporter

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    It's kind of cheating though, isn't it? After all, Harry's parents signed a marriage contract with Daphne Greengrass.
     
  19. Sorrows

    Sorrows Unspeakable Prestige DLP Gold Supporter

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    Harry is not neglected in the traditional sense of the word. Neglect it the failure to provide the essentials a child needs (food, shelter, attention etc.) It is a passive state usually brought about by circumstance, competing priorities (poverty, drugs, other children etc, ) or poor education. This definition explicitly excludes abuse, which is always a purposeful act.

    I'd argue that what the Dursleys do is more akin to what gets called deprivational abuse. This is the deliberate and malicious withholding of nessesities.

    They withhold food enough for Harry to be notably short, skinny and hungry. Vernon threatens a 10 year old with multiple missed meals, escalating to full on imprisonment and starvation in second year, something they ment to keep up for at least a month. They refuse a proper sleeping space despite having them availible. They refuse clothes, toys, gifts, trips etc while displaying extreme favouritism. They isolate him from friends and his wider support network. They certainly withhold love and affection.

    In terms of physical abuse JK does not give us an explicit answer. They are certainly complicit in Dudley physically assulting his cousin. Vernon attempts to throttle Harry once, manhandles him pretty frequently and Harry mentions bitter experience makes him weary of coming within arms reach of his uncle. Marge hits Harry with a stick on Dudleys 5th birthday, so it seems this is not a recent development. It is highly doubtful these incidences happened in isolation however the extent can only be speculated at.

    In terms of emotional abuse, absolutely. Harry is told and shown he is worthless in comparison to his cousin from the earliest he can remember. He is belittled, silenced, unsupported, ignored and threatened with violence. He is shown no affection, love or attention and made the scapegoat of every conflict. I can't imagine he received a kind touch after his parents died.

    To be honest, this is the most extreme form of abuse he suffers from and should probably should have had the most devastating consequences of all the shit he had to deal with. Emotional abuse/neglect has neurological consequences on a developing brain, they can codify neurobiological pathways that permently affect a emotional development for the rest of a person's life.

    None of this particularly matters though because psychologically Harry is not an abused child. JK did not write him that way. He carries no emotional scars from his upbringing and by all accounts is a perfectly well adjusted kid from the moment he sits down with Ron.

    Kids with Harry's sort of upbringing, particularly one where he was shown no love or affection from ages one upwards (slight specualtion but all signs point to it) tend to have emotional problems. To name a few: low self-esteem, conflict avoidence or emotional disregulation, anxiety, defensiveness, guilt, self-loathing, attachment issues... The list goes on.

    Harry does not, his childhood has no bearing on his personality nor does it inform his reactions, choices or viewpoint. He acts and thinks as if he were brought up in a stable, loving home.

    So TLDR: Dumbledore was totally right to leave Harry with the Dursleys since plot armour extends to emotional abuse.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2019
  20. Dasha

    Dasha Second Year DLP Supporter

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    Must be another effect of the the mother's sacrifice buff he has. His parental validation is set permanently at 100%.
     
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