Matilda – by Roald Dahl

7 09 2016

I’m sure you’ll be pleased to hear that this is the last in my Roald Dahl binge, and after this I’ll be going back to books that take a little longer to read!

For this book, I’d not read it but I had seen the film – classic

Matilda is a supernaturally bright little girl, who has parents who literally couldn’t care less about her. I’m honestly surprised they fed her sometimes. When she starts school she has a teacher (Miss Honey) who appreciates and values her, but a headteacher (Mrs Trunchbull) who is scarier than most children’s book baddies.

A theme that runs through most of Roald Dahl’s books which is even more prevalent here is that it’s ok to take revenge on someone (normally an adult) if they are mean and horrible. Matilda finds ways to take revenge on her parents, and also the Trunchbull, and there’s nothing wrong with anything she does!

Some of my favourite one-liners:

  • “There are many things that make a man irritable when he arrives home from work in the evening and a sensible wife will usually notice the storm-signals and will leave him alone until he simmers down.”
  • “If it’s by an American it’s certain to be filth. That’s all they write about.”
  • “I’m afraid men are not always quite as clever as they think they are. You will learn that when you get a bit older, my girl.”
  • “I think Mr C. S. Lewis is a very good writer. But he has one failing. There are no funny bits in his books.”
  • “I cannot for the life of me see why children have to take so long to grow up. I think they do it on purpose.”
  • “My idea of a perfect school, Miss Honey, is one that has no children in it at all.”
  • “Margarine, Matilda thought. She really must be poor.”

In the film Matilda’s “powers” come to light quite early on, and she has all sorts of adventure with them. With her parents, at the Trunchbull’s house, all-sorts. But in the book that’s just one short section at the end. In a way I preferred it that way though; a simpler story but makes the chalkboard stuff way more effective and impressive.




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