Matilda by Roald Dahl – Book Review, Themes, Rating and Summary

20190504_230532.jpgPlot Summary: Matilda, written by Roald Dahl and illustrated by Quentin Blake tells the story of a very young girl who is an extraordinarily bright kid for her age, quick to learn new things but never appreciated, rather disregarded by her parents. She teaches herself to read by the age of 3 through newspapers and magazines. On finishing the only book in her house, she asks her father to buy her one, to which he sternly refuses. Her father believed in spending his leisure time watching the television and her mother played bingo every afternoon. Matilda sets out by herself to the library and over the course of a few weeks, reads all the children’s books in the library. In the following 6 months, she reads the works of authors like Dickens, Bronte, Austen, Hemingway and George Orwells. All of this happens without her parents’ knowledge who still think that she’s unworthy . She turns to to acts like gluing her father’s hat to his head, hiding a friend’s parrot in the chimney to give the impression of a burglar or a ghost and secretly bleaching her father’s hair, to get revenge on her parents for regarding her with contempt.

On joining kindergarten, Matilda befriends her teacher, Ms Honey, who is astonished by Matilda’s ability to recite tables and read long and complex sentences. She tries to move her into a higher class to guide her within a competition that was up to her cognitive abilities but is refused by the brutish headmistress, Miss Agatha Trunchbull. Miss Honey also tries to talk to Matilda’s parents about her intellectual abilities, but they pay her no heed. Matilda develops a strong bond with Miss Honey and watches as Miss Trunchbull terrorizes her students with over-the-top punishments to prevent parents from believing their children complaining. When Matilda’s friend, Lavender, plays a practical joke on Miss Trunchbull, Matilda uses an sudden, bizarre power of telekinesis to tip the glass of water containing a newt onto Miss Trunchbull.

After Matilda reveals her powers to Miss Honey, Miss Honey reveals that she was raised by an cruel, brutish aunt after the dubious death of her father. Her aunt is revealed to be Miss Trunchbull, who withholds her niece’s inheritance so that Miss Honey has to live in destitution in a shabby, insecure farm cottage. Preparing to extract retribution for Miss Honey, Matilda develops her telekinetic ability by practicing at home. Later, during a lesson that Miss Trunchbull is teaching, Matilda telekinetically raises a piece of chalk to the blackboard and writes on it, acting as the spirit of Miss Honey’s late father and demanding that Miss Trunchbull hand over Miss Honey’s house and wages and leave the area for good.

Miss Trunchbull’s house is later found empty with no sign of where she went. Matilda continues to visit Miss Honey’s now returned house regularly. One day  she finds her parents and her older brother in a hurry, packing to escape from the police, who are after her father for selling stolen cars. Matilda tells them that she wants to live with Miss Honey, to which her parents uninterruptedly agree. Hence, both Matilda and Miss Honey find their happy ending, and the school’s atmosphere improves immensely under Mr. Trilby, the new head of school.

Rating: 4/5 stars

Review:  The book is fast paced which makes it a really fun read. The intricate way of weaving important lessons into a story for children leaves a lasting impression on the reader. The writing style is simple, perfect for new readers. The expressions used by Roald Dahl are hilarious and perfectly fitting at the same time. The character building is masterfully done, the side characters add to the dynamic nature of the book. Every character’s values shine clearly through the writing.

Themes:

  • The child-parent relationship portrayed is much needed and true for many households. Such topics often get sidelined in mainstream literature.
  • Matilda has a small number of people in her life who truly stick by her side, so she is incredibly loyal to the ones that do.
  • The main character of this book is a young girl who is much smarter and kinder than almost all of the characters who are adults. This is an opposite of the usual portrayal of children vs adults.
  • Dahl perfectly shows how family can be found beyond blood as Matilda finds a home with Ms Honey instead of her parents.
  • The focus on value knowledge and learning.
  • Greed leads to a sour end.

Final Thoughts (source: Wikipedia)

“Why does a part of us not want to know what Matilda has become? Somewhere in our heart of hearts we never want Matilda to grow up – we want her to be like Peter Pan, eternally young.” ~ Cressida Cowell

Get this book for Rs 200 https://www.amazon.in/gp/product/0141365463/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=3638&creative=24630&creativeASIN=0141365463&linkCode=as2&tag=saadia-21&linkId=01d326d0755b70e1a93cf7bd3ac6bb40

Every Roald Dahl book for Rs 180 each https://www.amazon.in/gp/product/0141371331/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=3638&creative=24630&creativeASIN=0141371331&linkCode=as2&tag=saadia-21&linkId=ad8480719f1bde1dbbe918d77a28ae49

Quote pic Sources: Pinterest.

~ Crafted with love, always, Saadia.

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This Story

tumblr_oovcdyaCVb1v2b1lto1_400.jpgFlipping through the leaves

Of all the times I’d still been here,

And thinking of what went wrong,

but my mind is as blank

As the sky after snow,

Intersected by the dead, cold branches.

And the book snapped shut

I blinked at all it truly was,

And saw that after all,

The story ends with us.

– Saadia

Inspired by All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven. ❤

Live For Today

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I don’t know where I want to go, what I want to be or for how long do I want to do what I am doing. I don’t know where I am headed or which direction to take , I am just as confused as any of us humans. But I have learnt and still am learning that life is like Lego, all it takes is building; yourself, your dreams and your talents. I haven’t figured out anything just yet but I have to take each day as it comes. I don’t know where, when or how will I find my destiny but in the end life never came with an instruction manual. Don’t tell me that I need to stop being confused because most people don’t have the slightest idea 😉 ~ Saadia

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Failure

A Bit of Motivation 🙂

Reflections

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Success isn’t always what we see.

Success isn’t always meant to be.

Failure always crosses our way,

Failure is diversity to a day.

Even if someday, hard work doesn’t pay,

Failure is the river to the bay.

Work you do never goes in vain,

But it comprises sweat and pain,

Success doesn’t come on it’s own,

For it we’ve to go through each suffering and moan,

Failure is success if we learn from it,

Failure is the energy to the wit,

Fall seven times and rise again,

Succeed as you work from wax till the wane.

Only if you put your soul in there,

Success will come fair and square,

The early bird gets the grain,

Success stays until failure comes again,

Failure is a kind of light to those in dark,

Failure accompanies success like a song accompanies a lark.

~Saadia

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I do it anyway

It is never between you and them anyway, it is between you and the Almighty 🙂

Reflections

They say I can’t do it

and then they watch me do it

they say I can’t run a race

and then they watch me win it

they say I don’t have a life

and then they watch me live it

they say I don’t care about a soul

and then they watch me give it away.

They say I can’t survive a blow

and then they watch me survive a gale

whatever they say hurts everyday

but I do it anyway.

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Token to the bullys

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A taunt here a push there,

I think that’s all you dare.

Gentleness never comes your path,

I define you as a sociopath.

Bullying is an act of cowardice,

but you won’t understand that it’s a vice.

Your followers think you are too wise,

they don’t know that you can be pulled to the ground in a trice.

Poking those who you think are the best.

You are jealous, so you are putting them to test.

But god is there watching us,

someday he will turn the bullys to dust.

~ Saadia

p.s. Dedicated to all those who have a tough time at middle school or high school due to interference of brainless bullys and those who don’t tend to their own fire and spend time by irritating others.

I do it anyway

They say I can’t do it

and then they watch me do it

they say I can’t run a race

and then they watch me win it

they say I don’t have a life

and then they watch me live it

they say I don’t care about a soul

and then they watch me give it away.

They say I can’t survive a blow

and then they watch me survive a gale

whatever they say hurts everyday

but I do it anyway.