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.

Warmth

  1. 2017-02-08-18-23-57-842.jpgYou may have a dark sky

Fractured by city lights

But I have an orange veil

That reminds me of summer nights.

And a promise that the sky holds

Our dreams and our ambition

Trying to make a sense

Out of one broken world.

So today, I pick up the pieces

And arrange them skyward

And I know that these colors

Will be enough

To form another sunset

Tinged with the warmth

Of a last hug.

– Saadia

Aura | Part 2 of Dusk and Darkness

Read the first part of this story here :Dusk and Darkness

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Xavier had shot his first arrow at 5 years of age and today, after 13 years his iron tipped arrow didn’t fail him. In a clean swish, it buried itself into Digon’s chest and he disappeared in a swirl of black fragments , a sign of wreckage.

Xavier looked paler than usual, his coal black eyes rimmed with scarlet , the red of sleepless nights, strain and sometimes, of nightmares.

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“He wasn’t the last one. They won’t stop till their dimension finally spreads into ours. The Dark is coming and that too, faster than I expected it to” said Xavier rubbing his eyes.  I swatted his hand away, one of the many times I had to remind him not to rub them raw.

A bell rang somewhere in my mind and I thought of Frank, the head of the Department of  Investigation and Assistance.

“Has Frank found any clue of the movement of the Ethereal?”

The Ethereal were a tribe of half-Assassins born from supernova , who appeared to only those in need of heavenly assistance . While Assassins controlled the spread of the dimension of Dusk, the Ethereal helped them here and there. By here and there I mean once in maybe a decade.

“The Ethereal aren’t showing themselves at the moment. They tend not to mix with Dusk slaves, it pollutes them, just like it sucks out the human parts of our being, slowly but surely. Frank needs to think of a different line of attack,” claimed  Xavier.

The Ethereal were meant to help us and they were hiding their faces like we were not a bunch of Assassins in need of life saving but a handful of kale needing a massage. That too quite literally.

“ Over 35 Assassins need his help as of now and he can’t help himself or in this  case, any of us.”

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This was the thing about Xavier; he tackled problems like one might deal with mathematics, analytically and unemotionally, like any of it didn’t have a power to affect him. But I wasn’t him, this scenario daunted me in the least but I silenced my fears. Xavier hardly associated with people who suffered from scareius infectius and I didn’t want to be one of them.

…………………………………………

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Xavier sat, polishing his arrows while I searched the Dursen manor. It was a neatly kept house with no hint of suspicions but then again, reality is almost always wrong. I looked through the drawers, the kitchen cabinets, under the chimney , behind the fireplace but found nothing that would suggest alignment with the Dusk Queen. Perhaps , the deal was made shortly before we’d arrived. The only thing I did manage to do was to get a considerable amount of soot on my clothes and some on my face. Good going.

I stepped outside and a muscle in Xavier’s face quirked .

‘What’s so funny?’

“You can’t seem to undertake a task without severe repercussions.”

“Haha. Very amusing.”

I began to rub at my face, trying to preserve a bit of dignity in front of Xavier. He never looked disheveled and scars only gave him substance.

“Let me do it,” he said, standing up and plunging something into the fountain water. It was a crimson bandanna . He began to dab the grime on my forehead , my jaw and my chin. I tensed . Xavier never did these kind of things , he liked to be free from care but who knew how many days we were going to have . It could be a month or maybe a few weeks.

 

He leaned in suddenly and a breath hitched in my throat . But he pulled away just as suddenly, seemingly regaining poise. I shrugged off the hesitation, remembering that  Xavier had always been the withdrawing kind, distancing himself from all things ‘attachment.’

“Let’s run down to Poppy’s,” he was saying now .

I said something like “Uh-huh”.

God.

to be continued…

~ Saadia

P.s. My blog has been unresponsive for weeks now- some technical problem, but I think that I’m finally figuring it out . Please don’t lose faith in me just as yet. Hope you enjoyed this 🙂 ❤

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Let us go Somewhere

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We could drive fast, so fast that wind would stuff our ears. We could turn the music up, so loud that we forget the uncertainty of living but not loving how we do it. We could gaze up at the stars and let our hair fly free. We could breathe in the salt of the sea and ride on the waves with bare feet. We could start living while we’re still young , before life flings itself on our shoulders.

We could go somewhere, live young and live free.

~Saadia

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The picture form 😉

 

Say goodbye to safe and sound

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Let us try a few things together :

  1. Living on the wire
  2. Eating good food, the kind that nourishes us
  3. Moving around more, being less stuck up
  4. Connecting with nature
  5. Pampering ourselves more
  6. Praying more
  7. Panicking less
  8. Reading more books
  9. Smiling more (fake it till you make it)
  10. Being more fun, more enthusiastic
  11. Learning to let go
  12. Being tipsy ( non alcoholic type) once in a while and jam out
  13. Travel more
  14. Sing out loud
  15. Live very , very LOUD

~ Saadia

P.s. Do you people want me to do Journal Entries here on my blog. Let me know in the comments 🙂

A Midsummer Soul

BeFunky CollageWelcome to loud music and wavy hair, to dances and dresses, to live a little louder, to laugh a little more, to the nodding of the trees and the splashes of rain. Say hello to breezes and cozy sleep, to hard work that is fun, to cringe – worthy movies that make you chortle, to long phone calls and passing notes in class. Welcome to  a midsummer mind, where we live and love while summer holds our souls.

~Saadia

Summer

 

 

 

 

She looks like a ray of light, like the sunset, like the sky after rain, like the sea looks when it kisses the sky at the horizon and she radiates warmth like Christmas lights but like fire, she looks fierce.

She smells of lavender brushed with bonfires, like chestnuts and tall maple, like the violets and lilacs , up in the mountains.

She walks with the stance of a ballerina and she sings throwback songs that remind me of childhood. She plays hard and loves hard. Being with her feels like summer and that says a lot.

~Saadia

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