ENGB35H3 Lecture Notes - Itching Powder, Fairy Tale, School Story
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ENGB35 March 20, 2013
Peter’s Shield – has lion on it
Richard the Lionheart: crusades
Moral and immoral
o Girls’ gifts – Lucy gets healing things (nurse) and Susan a horn (to call for
o Boys’ gifts – weapons
o The Witch is outcast for being warlike – a woman
Is Matilda fantasy fiction?
Not strictly fantasy or realist or school story.
“Things happen in Matilda that don’t have scientific explanations or can’t be easily
explained […]. Maybe the most fantastic of all is the idea that an administrator as
outrageously terrible and abusive as the Trunchbull would be able to hold on to her job
without any problems. That’s definitely the stuff of fantasy.”
This argument is not using fantasy right. There are fantastical aspects to the
book but this is not an argument for it. This is just an overblown thing, not a
What model of childhood does Matilda construct?
Matilda is very clever but humble. She does use her cleverness to get her vengeance.
This book demonstrates the fight between child and adult – except Matilda is shown as
better than the adults, more intelligent.
Unlike Anne of Green Gables, Matilda does not make the adults better. She just
defeats them. This is sort of like Tom Brown’s Schooldays in a way.
o However, Matilda is very much set up as a righteous punisher.
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