Girls from the wonderful world of Roald Dahl

The 13thSeptember is Roald Dahl Day, celebrating this legendary author.

Roald Dahl is one of the giants of storytelling – you don’t get a day named for you for no reason! The colourful characters he created are larger than life and full of mischief. 

I looked forward to introducing my oldest daughter to these very special stories and was so glad that she enjoyed them as much as I did when I was a kid. Like her Mum had been, she was delighted by George and the marvelous medicine he cooked up for his nasty old Granny and captured by the magic of the BFG.

I got to thinking about my favourite girl characters from Road Dahl’s books. 

So, here are my top 5:

1.Matilda

Who else – It just had to be!

Matilda Wormwood is an extremely intelligent little 5 year old. With mean neglectful parents, she has an unhappy homelife. She surrounds herself with books where she escapes to a happier place.

At school, the wonderful Miss Honey recognizes Matilda’s extraordinary intelligence. Miss Honey tries, unsuccessfully, to get the headmistress, the awful Miss Trunchbull (who turns out to be Miss Honey’s aunt), to move the unchallenged Matilda to a higher class.

Matilda discovers that she has the power of telekinesis (she can move things with her mind) and uses this power to help Miss Honey get back her stolen inheritance from the horrible Miss Trunchbull.

With a new headmaster in charge, Matilda progresses in her schooling, getting the challenging education that she needs.

Matilda is not the outgoing, confident girl in school. She is a quiet, polite, smart, sweet, imaginative, intelligent girl. She takes on the unpleasant adults in her life (her mean neglectful parents and the bully that is Miss Trunchbull) and triumphs over them.

My Favourite Moment: 

Matilda gets her happy ending.

Matilda’s parents are skipping town, on the run from the police. Miss Honey begs Matilda’s parents to let Matilda live with her and the indifferent parents agree. 

Matilda goes to live with her beloved Miss Honey, finally getting the family that she deserves.

2. Sophie from the BFG (Big Friendly Giant)

Sophie – The little girl who dreamed big.

After the BFG sees Sophie watching him dream catching late one night, he “kidsnatches” her from her bedroom at the orphanage in London and brings her back to his home in Giant Country.

After her initial fear she discovers that the BFG is not like the other giants in Giant Country who like to catch and eat humans. Instead, the BFG catches and collects dreams and gives the good dreams to children around the world.

She comes up with a clever plan to stop the other giants from eating humans and convinces the Queen of England to help them.

Sophie is a brave, smart little 8 year old, hungry for adventure. Although small, she shows great bravery and resilience.

My Favourite Moment:

Sophie and the BFG discuss the ethics of war.

The BFG (in his special way with words) and Sophie are having a conversation about the human eating giants. It’s actually a very interesting view on the ethics of war.

“Human beans is killing each other much quicker than giants is doing it.”

“But they don’t eat each other,” Sophie said.

“Giants isn’t eating each other either,” the BFG said. “Nor is giants killing each other. Giants is not very lovely, but they is not killing each other. Nor is crockadowndillies killing other crockadowndillies. Nor is pussy-cats killing pussy-cats.”

“They kill mice,” Sophie said.

“Ah, but they is not killing their own kind,” the BFG said. “Human beans is the only animals that is killing their own kind.” 

3. Mrs. Bucket from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

She’s a minor character in the book but, to me, she represents a mother’s love.

Mrs. Bucket looks after the family of 7 which is made up of her husband, Charlie and his four Grandparents.

Kind-hearted, caring, affectionate and protective, she loves her little boy Charlie with all her heart.

Even though, the family is poor and hungry, even more so when her husband loses his job, she stays positive for her family

My Favourite Moment:

After Mr Bucket loses his job and the family begin to starve, Mrs Bucket tries to make Charlie have her piece of bread, although Charlie won’t take it. 

 4.   The Girl from the Magic Finger

We are never told the girl’s name – she is just the girl with the magic finger.”

When this girl gets angry, her special power comes out – she can curse people and turn them into animals.

She lives next door to the Greggs family who love hunting and shooting ducks, for fun. The little girl can’t bear cruelty to animals but when she tries to talk to the Greggs about it, they just laugh at her.

Angered by the Greggs, she turns them into flying bird people while giant man-size ducks live in their house and hunt and try to shoot them. The hunter becomes the hunted.

The Greggs quickly learn it’s not nice to shoot animals and show remorse for the ducks they had killed. They return to normal.

My Favourite Moment:

A simple direct quote from the girl:

“I can’t stand hunting. I just can’t stand it. It doesn’t seem right to me that men and boys should kill animals just for the fun they get out of it”.

And finally…….

5. Veruca Salt from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Roald Dahl wrote great Baddie characters and I had to include at least one of them in my Top 5.

Verruca Salt shows us what a spoilt, selfish little girl looks like.

The name Verruca Salt sometimes comes up in our home. If my 8 year old is acting a bit spoilt or selfish “I want I want…” than we just have to say to her “That’s a bit Verruca Salt, don’t you think?” and she immediately goes quiet. She’s read the book and watched the movie and was horrified by Verruca Salt’s behaviour.

My Favourite Moment:

Veruca’s Demise.

I actually took this one from the movie adaptation of the book. My girls loved this clip – I showed it to them yesterday and they watched it over and over.

After a song and dance number showing us everything that Verruca is, she reaches the end of her time in Willie Wonka’s magical Chocolate Factory.

****************************************************************

So many great characters, so many great stories – thank you Roald Dahl, from me who as a kid enjoyed the stories, and from my daughter who is now getting to discover all these faboulous stories and colourful characters.

Give your daughter a gift and introduce her to one of these wonderful stories this 13th September -Roald Dahl Day.

How about you – Who was your favourite Roald Dahl character? 

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