“Bruce Bogtrotter and the Cake,” “Lavender,” & “The Weekly Test”

We have lots to cover in this post, so let’s get started!

The first page of the first chapter we’re covering has me amazed at how intelligent Matilda is. I really shouldn’t be as surprised as I am, but what she said was such an accurate analysis of what’s going on at her school with Trunchbull that I was stumped. Matilda and Lavender were discussing Amanda being thrown across the playground by her pigtails. Matilda told Lavender that Trunchbull would get away with it because, even if Amanda or any other child told their parent(s), no one would believe them since it’s outrageous. It hurts my heart to think that these poor children are forced to put up with this awful woman, and they can’t even talk to the adults in their lives about it. Even if they tried, they would be labeled as being imaginative, or they would be accused of lying. Moving on, Trunchbull continues her tyrannical rule of the school, and focuses her attention on Bruce Bogtrotter – who made the mistake of eating a piece of cake Trunchbull was going to have as a morning snack. In true Trunchbull fashion, she forced Bruce to eat an entire chocolate cake with chocolate icing. Keep in mind, this cake is eighteen inches in diameter. . . eighteen inches! There is no way that an eleven year old child could eat a whole cake that big in one sitting – no way. You would have to get up at one point, and even then, I don’t see how it could physically be possible for this to happen. Not only is Trunchbull torturing Bruce, she’s forcing the entire school – all 250 children – to sit and watch this happen. Does the torture ever end? These poor kids have to go through at least one of these events a day, at least. In the end: Bruce 1 Trunchbull 0.

In the next chapter, Miss Honey warns her class that Trunchbull will be taking over for one lesson – testing the children more than teaching them anything. You know what that means: antics will ensue! Lavender volunteers to get Trunchbull’s, required, pitcher of water with a clean empty glass. Lavender decides to try to be the heroine for the class while Trunchbull is there, like Hortensia and Matilda. She figures getting the water for Trunchbull is the perfect opportunity to get Trunchbull. Lavender finally settled on putting a newt she caught in her backyard into Trunchbull’s water. Dun dun dun!

This chapter starts with Trunchbull walking into Miss Honey’s classroom, and she immediately insults every child in the room. Such a wonderful person. I’m so glad she’s the headmistress of an elementary school. She picks on Nigel Hicks for having dirty hands and a bean on his shirt from lunch (because he was eating baked beans with a fork… is that something people do? Maybe? All well, moving on), and his punishment was to stand in a corner on one leg, with his body facing the wall. Trunchbull continues to pick on this poor child until he challenges her and she moves on to Prudence, who spells her word correctly (much to Trunchbull’s disdain). Miss Honey taught her class how to spell longer words quickly by putting them into a sort of song for them, which is a great teaching method, but, of course, Trunchbull hates it. Trunchbull’s tyranny continues for quite awhile, even with Miss Honey trying to get her to stop, and then Matilda catches her attention. Matilda mentions that she has read “Nicholas Nickleby” by Charles Dickens after Trunchbull rants about one of the characters and states that none of the children have read the book. After telling Trunchbull her last name, Matilda drew even more attention to herself because Mr. Wormwood sold a faulty car to Trunchbull under the guise that is was almost new. That car’s engine fell out while she was driving, revealing that she had been had by Mr. Wormwood – which of course, has her almost frothing at the mouth. We’ll have to wait until the next post to see what happens when Lavender’s plan goes forward.

What we know about Matilda so far:

  • She and Lavender are really close friends
  • Has read “Nicholas Nickleby” by Charles Dickens

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

  • Bruce Bogtrotter: eleven years old, a little on the larger side, scared of Trunchbull (as are most children), was forced to eat an entire cake in front of the entire school, persistent
  • Cook: a tall woman, skinny, works at the school, makes a good cake (apparently), caught Bruce eating Trunchbull’s slice of cake, looks at people disapprovingly
  • Rupert Entwistle: Lavender’s neighbor, brief appearance while Lavender is catching the newt, told Lavender that when a newt’s tail comes off, it grows into a newt much larger than the original (she rightly questions his “knowledge”)
  • Nigel Hicks: stood up to Trunchbull using a little sass, picked on by Trunchbull for having dirty hands when she went into Miss Honey’s class to “inspect” the children, made the mistake of asking which version, write or right, Trunchbull wanted him to spell, smart (this kid is great)
  • Prudence: picked on by Trunchbull, spells “difficulty” correctly with no hesitation
  • Rupert: in Miss Honey’s class, answered a times-table question wrong and was punished by Trunchbull, has long blond hair that was used against him
  • Eric Ink: stands up to Trunchbull, tells her she used to be a small child (which she vehemently denies), brave, pulled out of his chair by his ears for incorrectly spelling “what”

Until next post,

C

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