Matilda Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 39 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Matilda.
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Adult-Child Relationships

Every child has relationships with the adults in their lives. In these relationships, it is always the adult who is in control. Adults can use the innate power they have over children in positive ways, or they can abuse it, and both cases are seen in this novel. While Matilda is the clear protagonist in this story, nearly all of the other main characters are adults. Since Matilda is a brilliant and insightful person, she is able to understand the grown-ups in her life better than most other children would.

The most significant adults in her early life are, of course, her parents. Even though she is clearly more sensitive and intelligent than either of them, the very fact that she is young makes her opinions and perspectives less valuable than theirs. This is apparent when Dahl writes, "The fact remained that any five-year-old girl in any...

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This section contains 1,304 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Matilda Study Guide
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