Tuesday, 3 January 2012

I am not dead!

But I am totally rubbish at blogging at the moment.

One of my absolute favourite books is Matilda by Roald Dahl. For those of you who don't know the story (or only know it from the servicable Danny DeVito adaptation), Matilda tells the story of a six-year old girl whose incredible intelligence is stifled by her television-addicted parents. Rather than getting frustrated, Matilda buries herself in books, cultivating a rich inner life until the time comes for her to start school.

The rest of the post contains spoilers, though you should really have read Matilda already because it's one of the best books ever.


Despite having the wonderful Miss Honey as a teacher, Matilda still isn't allowed to flourish because her terrifying headmistress, Miss Trunchbull, hates children, is convinced she never was one, and refuses to acknowledge their humanity, let alone their brilliance. As a result, Matilda's phenominal abilities, frustrated intellectually, begin to manifest themselves in a different, wholly more magical way. 


At the end of the book Matilda (I'm serious about those spoilers) finds herself rescued from her ghastly parents by Miss Honey and moved into a class of eleven-year olds, where she is both challenged and satisfied. At the end of the book, Matilda confides in Miss Honey that her magical powers have completely vanished.

*    *    *
Other than a love of books, I don't have much in common with the brilliant Matilda, a heroine who I like to think girls and boys can identify with and root for. However, I hope her story is illuminating in this context.

Happy new years everyone!