Last week, I read the famous and much-loved Roald Dahl creation ‘Matilda’. I read this book because of an interactive and multimedia project I had prepared for my tuition children of the 5th grade. They were totally besotted with the book and there is no need to wonder why. In his own simplistic style, full of made up words and surprises, Roald Dahl enchants the reader, making him or her love the character Matilda. I always find Roald Dahl’s children’s works very unique and quite direct in nature. He tries to keep the language as simple as possible and does not give the reader an overdose of fantasy. I’ve also noticed that Roald Dahl never lets the bullies get an upper hand in his books. Ms. Trunchbull, the headmistress of Matilda’s school, who is mean and very violent, gets her just deserts like all bullies in Dahl’s books.
Fascinating though the character of Matilda’s indifferent parents seem, I too have seen such parents in my short lifetime, and at times it is really frustrating. What I admire most about the character of Matilda is the way she taught herself how to read and how she managed to stand apart from the crowd, yet, did not try to be arrogant or proud. I cannot digest arrogance, but that’s a personal opinion. In any case, simplicity is the virtue of true genius and Matilda was such a genius. Another lovable character in the book is Miss Honey, Matilda’s teacher. I found her to be a teacher who for once cares for her pupils and not just what she gets as pay packet which most of the teachers today are bothered about. Integrity is lacking in the teachers profession and Miss Honey brings to the reader’s mind an image of an ideal teacher not yet born, or if born, quite unknown. What exists today is the commercial tutor who looks at the pupil’s face, but never at the pupil’s soul. Hopefully a Miss Honey will emerge from the darkness of instability into the light.
Lastly, ‘Matilda’ is about believing in yourself, no matter what. Wonderful read. Wonderful Dahl!