Roald Dahl : the Author Roald Dahl is a British writer, who is famous for his clever short stories and macabre children’s books. Some of his famous works are: James and the Giant Peach (1961), The Witches – 1973, The Gremlins – 1943, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, and others. His style of writing and different approach to children’s’ stories makes him loved by young readers. But Dahl’s taste for meanness and rudeness to adults, and the comic bizarre captivated young readers. Adult critics were disappointed with his kind of writing.
Some of his writings or books are made into a movie such as Matilda and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and became a big hit in the cinema. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory : The story dealt with one small boy’s search for the ultimate prize in fierce competition with other, highly unpleasant children, many of whom come to sticky ends as a result of their greediness. It presented the central theme in Dahl’s fiction for young readers: virtue is rewarded, vice is punished. In the end the fabulous chocolate factory is given to Charlie, the kind, impoverished boy. (Dowling,C, 1983)
In this story, Dahl made use of what makes it appealing to children, which are chocolates! We know that children love chocolates, and with the story he made it more fascinating and appealing to young children by incorporating a vivid imagination which is the chocolate factory. Here, the author presented what the children would have wished and wanted to experience, which is a chocolate factory. Aside from the setting and plot which are attractive to young audience, the author wanted to point out the importance of moral values, where good children are being rewarded while the bad ones are punished.
He wanted to point out that good children are obedient and polite, whereas bad children are the opposite. The way his parents brought him up and his environment would influence a child’s’ behavior. However, bad children must be changed through whatever means are needed Even the necessary means take the form of wild and sometimes violent punishments. A moral necessary within this story is that punishments are needed in order to create good out of bad. But the author would like to convey in his story, that the proper punishment is the only thing that can change a bad child into a good one.
Dahl regularly utilizes strange language and ideas. Some of these absurd ideas in his story are hair-growing candy for children, square candies that look ’round, and edible pillows. However his use of absurdities entertains young readers and pushes their intellectual capacities. Matilda Matilda is an exceptionally bright young girl with an insatiable appetite for books and reading. Her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Wormwood, think she’s just a nuisance. Matilda thinks, rightly, that all they are interested in is watching TV and making money by cheating people. She decides to punish them.
She soon discovers that she has supernatural powers which are not only going to prove useful at home but also at Crunchem Hall School where Matilda and her classmates must contend with the scariest headmistress of them all – Miss Trunchbull. [www. roalddahl. com] In “Matilda” it contains a complete child’s world. The plot and setting of the story involves around Matilda’s family and school, where the principal is being portrayed as the vicious one who hates children. Here, somehow children can relate to this story especially that in school some children are being bullied, or punished by those who have the authority.
Aside from school, Matilda’s family are different, and money is more important than anything in the world, even education. The author would like to imply the importance of education, and the relationship of children to his family, friends and teachers. Here, the author again made it clear those children who have done something bad should be punished and good children are rewarded for their well behaved manner. What’s important is that badness leads to a fall and that the good, with effort and some staying power, wins through.
Positive Impact on Adolescent Readers Dahl’s view of society appeals to adolescents and younger children because it closely reflects their own perspective. Many people believe that his sociology may have a positive effect on readers. He appeals to their “gut-punching and slapstick sense of humor” as well as their “crude sense of fun and delight in jokey phrases” (Elkin). Second, young adults often experience feelings of rebellion against the adults trying to socialize them, which is reflected by Dahl’s overwhelmingly negative portrayal of adults (Telgen).
The tendency of adolescents to increasingly turn away from parents and reject the authority of adults while they seek to establish unique identities is cited by Erik Erikson as characteristic of the social development of adolescents (Slavin). Another component of Dahl’s philosophy that appeals to early adolescents is the belief that good triumphs and evil is punished or destroyed. Belief in the destruction or punishment of evil leads the presence of physical violence as a means of vengeance and this has an appeal to young people.
These are some elements in Dahl’s books reflect many adolescents’ perspectives and provide an incentive for young people to read. The author always use positive feature that he encourage young people through positive presentations of their peers at a time when many are struggling with low self-esteem and looking to peers for their identity. This is being portrayed with his various characters both in the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Matilda where those characters are witty, independent, firm, intelligent and resourceful.
The results of these positive elements in Dahl’s works are books that appeal to and offer encouragement to young adults. Conclusion The 2 books provided us a view of children’s world, the fantasy and reality world. Most often, children find their lives to be living in a fantasy, and this what Charlie and the Chocolate Factory made it fascinating to the children, that somehow their fantasies could make their imaginations run wild, and their emotions are over flowing.
Sometimes, children needed to escape from the real world, and the reality was presented with the story of Matilda. Real world takes place in school and at home, harsh at it may seem, children have to deal with their parents, teachers, and classmates that sometimes they find it hard to deal with. Escape, relationship, punishment, rewards makes the life of children, and what the author would like to express in his books, that children are being taught of values and at the same time could make fun of serious situations. That’s why Dahl’s books make it likable by younger readers.