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Analysis

Matilda Allusions & Cultural References

When authors refer to other great works, people, and events, it’s usually not accidental. Put on your super-sleuth hat and figure out why.

Literary and Philosophical References

Easy Cooking (1.9)
The Secret Garden (1.24)
Charles Dickens (1.43; 2.38; 7.121; 9.39)
Joseph Conrad (1.54)
John Steinbeck, The Red Pony (4.7)
Shakespeare (6.4, 6)
The Madonna (7.3)
Anonymous, "An Epicure, Dining at Crewe" (7.82)
C.S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (7.113)
J.R.R. Tolkien (7.115)
Charles Dickens, The Pickwick Papers (7.121)
John Keats, Ode on a Grecian Urn (8.4)
The Autocar (9.34)
The Motor (9.34)
Ernest Hemingway (9.39)
Rudyard Kipling, Just So Stories (10.17)
The Lord's Prayer (10.29)
Satan, as described in Milton's Paradise Lost (10.35)
Day of Judgment (10.55)
Jesus (15.31)
Creation (15.45)
Dylan Thomas (16.40)
Dylan Thomas, "In Country Sleep" (16.42)
The Brothers Grimm (16.44)
Hans Christian Andersen (16.44)
Red Riding Hood (16.44)
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (16.44)
The Three Bears (16.44)

Mrs. Phelps's Reading List for Matilda

Charles Dickens, Great Expectations (1.31, 33, 43)
Charles Dickens, Nicholas Nickleby (1.46; 13.105, 110)
Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist (1.46)
Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre (1.46)
Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice (1.46)
Thomas Hardy, Tess of the D'Urbervilles (1.46)
Mary Webb, Gone to Earth (1.46)
Rudyard Kipling, Kim (1.46, 54; 2.38)
H.G. Wells, The Invisible Man (1.46)
Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea (1.46, 54)
William Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury (1.46)
John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath (1.46)
J.B. Priestley, The Good Companions (1.46)
Graham Greene, Brighton Rock (1.46)
George Orwell, Animal Farm (1.46)

Historical References

The Archbishop of Canterbury (2.31)
Napoleon (4.14; 12.16)
Mozart (7.58)
The Duke of Wellington (12.16)
The Battle of Waterloo (12.16)

Pop Culture References

The Trunchbull is a former Olympic athlete
The Mafia (11.23)

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