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Matilda

Matilda

by Roald Dahl

Fear Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

"Then go and catch them, Harry!" hissed the mother. "Go out and collar them red-handed!"

The father didn't move. He seemed in no hurry to dash off and be a hero. His face had turned grey. (4.40-1)

In this scene, Mrs. Wormwood turns to Mr. Wormwood to protect the family. She expects that he, as the husband and provider, will step up to defend everybody. Ha. That's just laughable to us because we know better. If anything, Mr. Wormwood is more scared than everybody else is.

Quote #2

"What the blazes are you all talking about?" the father yelled, putting both hands to his hair. "I most certainly have not dyed it! What d'you mean I've dyed it? What's happened to it? Or is this some sort of a stupid joke?" His face was turning pale green, the colour of sour apples. (6.27)

Seems like Mr. Wormwood is always turning funny colors, right? In the previous quotation he turned grey (4.41) and here he turns pale green. Both times, we see his fear written on his face through this change in color. We know he's scared because he looks so, well, ridiculous. This is not a guy who can keep his emotions in check.

Quote #3

She was a gigantic holy terror, a fierce tyrannical monster who frightened the life out of the pupils and teachers alike. There was an aura of menace about her even at a distance, and when she came up close you could almost feel the dangerous heat radiating from her as from a red-hot rod of metal. (7.5)

Holy terror? Tyrannical monster? This is not a woman to be messed with. If she were our headmistress, Shmoop would be quaking in our boots. It's a good thing there are brave kids like Hortensia, Lavender, and Matilda around to fight back against the scary lady.

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