“Arithmetic” & “The Platinum-Blond Man”

Next two chapters, here we go!

The last time we talked about Matilda, we left off on the ghost shenanigans. The next chapters involve some more mischief, of course. In “Arithmetic,” we get another taste of how awful Mr. Wormwood is and how much he loves cheating people on used cars. He tells Michael to get a piece of paper and write down two sums for each of the five used cars he sold that day – how much Mr. Wormwood paid for the car and how much some unlucky person bought the car for. After writing all of the numbers, he tells Michael to add all of the numbers together to determine how much money Mr. Wormwood made that day (let’s note that it took Mr. Wormwood 10 minutes to do a little bit of math… 10 minutes). Matilda listened to this conversation and decided to tell her father how much money he made that day. She (obviously) calculated the correct answer in her head, and because of it, her father decided that she must have cheated and looked at the paper he wrote the final number on; which lead to an angry Mr. Wormwood and a slightly upset Matilda.

After being belittled once again by her father, Matilda decided that his outburst from the previous chapter needed another severe punishment. Just based off of the title of this chapter alone, I’m sure you can imagine what she came up with. By this point in the book, we know that Matilda’s mother dyes her hair a platinum blonde and maintains it at home and at the salon. Her father is also proud of his hair and applied a hair tonic every morning after shaving. Matilda snuck into her parents’ room, emptied most of her father’s hair tonic into the sink, and replaced the missing hair tonic with her mother’s platinum blonde hair dye. The resulting reveal was hilariously pleasing and satisfying, and it has to be read in order to fully appreciate it. I will say that I personally did like one thing Mrs. Wormwood said this chapter in response to one of Matilda’s statements, and I feel it ended the chapter nicely – “… men are not always quite as clever as they think they are,” (“Matilda,” p. 65). I think we all can agree to that!

What we know about Matilda so far:

  • She’s starting to get more and more creative with her “punishments,” and they are becoming more frequent in number because her parents are awful.

Characters we’ve met so far (other than those we’ve already met):

  • No new characters were introduced in these chapters

Until next post,


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