“The Parents” & “Throwing the Hammer”

It’s been a little while since my last post, so let’s jump right back in.

On the last post, Matilda finally made it into school and met quite a few people. Her teacher, Miss Honey, took it upon herself in this chapter to grab as many advanced books from the school as she could to help Matilda advance her studies while the rest of the class goes over normal five year old classwork. Miss Honey also decides to pay a visit to Matilda’s parents to try and convince the Wormwoods to give Matilda some extra private schooling, and (as you can imagine) she fails to convince them. During this whole chapter, Miss Honey and the Wormwoods go back and forth over Matilda’s intelligence, or “supposed” intelligence as far as the Wormwoods are concerned. One thing I will point out in this chapter is a line where Mr. Wormwood asks Miss Honey what the point is in being able to rapidly multiply complicated figures in your mind when you can buy a calculator. Seriously? How about not having to buy the calculator in the first place? Do you have any idea how much easier it would have been to do math homework without having to need a calculator? On that note, even doing your taxes would be a breeze. Not only would you be saving money (good calculators are not cheap), you would also be saving yourself time. That seems like a pretty good reason to me, but what do I know? Moving on, the chapter ends with Miss Honey leaving after realizing she and the Wormwoods would never agree.

In the next chapter, we’re back on school grounds where Matilda and Lavender have become good friends. They are approached by an older girl, Hortensia, who regals them with stories about Trunchbull and the infamous Chokey – an improvised torture closet where Trunchbull sticks children who were “bad” or rude to her. The Chokey sounds horrifying and terribly illegal. The children stuck in there, for however long Trunchbull deems fit, have to stand straight at all times unless they want to get scratched or stabbed by ragged glass or nails that were hammered into the door. The girls were enraptured by the stories Hortensia was telling them, and they got a taste of the stories when Trunchbull raged toward Amanda Thripp and threw her (literally spun and threw the poor girl) across the playground for having her hair a certain way. Apparently, Trunchbull considers throwing children practice for hammer throwing – an Olympic sport she used to participate in. Personally, I don’t think she should be allowed near children ever, period. Hopefully she doesn’t throw anymore children for the rest of this book; reading about two was more than enough.

What we know about Matilda so far:

  • Quietly intelligent – she doesn’t rub it in and only displays her intelligence if you happen to be discussing math or literature
  • Makes friend easily
  • Gutsy and adventurous (according to Lavender)

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

  • Hortensia: ten years old, attends the same school as Matilda (and all the children in this book), has a boil on her nose, tall, talks while eating (a nasty habit if you ask me), seems kind of rude, definitely likes playing pranks, has been in The Chokey six times,
  • Ollie Bogwhistle: tattled on Hortensia after one of her pranks on Trunchbull (got himself punched for that)
  • Julius Rottwinkle: broke a few bones after being thrown out of a window for eating in the middle of class by, you guessed it, Trunchbull
  • Amanda Thripp: thrown across the playground by Trunchbull for wearing braided pigtails (the poor girl)

Until next post,

C

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