Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
by J.K. Rowling
The Single Tissue from the Dursleys
Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory
By Goblet of Fire, we don't really know why the Dursleys insist on giving Harry Christmas presents – they might as well save themselves the effort. In Book 4, they hit "an all-time low" by giving Harry "a single tissue" (23.49). The simple fact that the Dursleys bother to send Harry a single tissue, rather than just ignoring him entirely over Christmas, suggests that their gift-giving is meaningful. We just don't know what it symbolizes yet. We'll just have to keep reading the series to find out!