Uma on Extended Families in Literature :
What do these extended families do in fiction? Many things. They are signs of the complex accidents of circumstance that have produced our families, and our selves; they teach the things that parents do not, and often the very opposite of what parents, and life, have taught; but most of all, they are reminders of lives and spaces that might have been ours, of the accidents of nature and nurture that made us what we are, of family resemblance as well as difference. The Dursleys’ Muggleness offsets Harry’s wizardry; Ila’s life on the surface is a foil for Tridib’s life of the imagination. Extended family relationships remind us of who we are not, and who we might have been – but most of all of who we are.