The Witches Summary & Study Guide

This Study Guide consists of approximately 33 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Witches.
This section contains 575 words
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The Witches Summary & Study Guide Description

The Witches Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

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“The Witches” is a children’s horror novel by Roald Dahl in which an unnamed seven-year-old boy and his grandmother seek to bring down all the witches of the world before the witches kill all the children around the globe. When the novel begins, the boy – who serves as narrator – explains that witches are real, and are not the silly characters seen on Halloween and in movies. Instead, real witches are evil demons in human form that seek to kill all children. The narrator explains that witches are so dangerous because they are difficult to distinguish from regular women, but may be given away by a few telltale signs. Some of these include blue spit, baldness, wigs, a strong sense of smell, and a lack of toes. All of these things, the narrator explains, have been taught to him by his grandmother.

Following the death of his parents, the narrator goes to live with his grandmother, Grandmamma, in Norway. Upon their decision to relocate to England, the narrator narrowly avoids dealing with a witch thanks to the signs pointed out by his grandmother. As the school year ends, the narrator and Grandmamma decide to vacation in Norway, but Grandmamma contracts pneumonia. Instead of going abroad, the narrator and Grandmamma decide to go to the beach in southern England. They take a room at the Hotel Magnificent in the coastal town of Bournemouth, where the narrator looks forward to spending days on the beach, spending time with his grandmother, and spending time to teach his two pet mice to do tricks.

The narrator seeks out a quiet, unused room in the hotel to train his mice, but selects a room where an organization calling itself the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children is due to meet. When the women enter, the narrator decides to hide rather than disrupt the meeting. As it turns out, the 85 members of the RSPCC are actually England’s witches in disguise, attending their annual meeting with the Grand High Witch. The Grand High Witch unveils a secret plan to buy candy shops, and to lace candy with Formula 86 Delayed Action Mouse-Maker, which will turn anyone who eats the candy into mice. The candy will be given away free to children. A test is performed on another boy staying at the hotel named Bruno Jenkins. The witches are thrilled to see Bruno turn into a mouse. It is then that the Grand High Witch and the other witches discover the narrator. They force him to drink Formula 86, which turns him into a mouse.

The narrator and Bruno go to see Grandmamma, who is saddened to see what has become of the narrator and Bruno. The narrator, however, has a plan to stop the witches. He sneaks into the Grand High Witch’s room, where he steals a vial of Formula 86. From there, the narrator pours it into a basin of soup intended for all the witches at dinner. The witches eat the soup, and within minutes, transform into mice. The mice are then chased down and killed by the hotel staff and the men staying at the hotel. Bruno is reunited with his family, while the narrator and his grandmother decide to move to Norway. In Norway, the narrator and his grandmother decide they cannot rest for long, as they have many more children around the world to save, and many more witches to kill.

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This section contains 575 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Witches Study Guide
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