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Matilda

Matilda

by Roald Dahl

The Supernatural Theme

If your definition of the supernatural is limited to ghosts, goblins, and ghouls, you could argue that there's little supernatural stuff happening in this book. Sure, there's a ghost, but there's also a logical explanation for that ghost: it's really a parrot. If your definition of the supernatural extends to extraordinary mental abilities, like telekinesis, then Matilda has got the supernatural in spades. To those who don't know better, Matilda's a regular little girl. But as Miss Honey discovers, Matilda's way more than a genius. She's practically a member of the X-Men.

Questions About The Supernatural

  1. According to Matilda, do you need supernatural powers to pull off a really satisfactory prank? Or can we regular folks do it, too?
  2. What are the similarities and differences between the two "ghosts" Matilda conjures up? Is one more supernatural than the other?
  3. Does the explanation Matilda and Miss Honey come up with to explain her powers make them seem any less supernatural? Why or why not?
  4. What's the most remarkable thing that happens in this book? Is it supernatural? Do you think the supernatural and the remarkable are the same thing?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

Matilda is so smart that even if she hadn't developed supernatural powers, she would still have been able to save both herself and Miss Honey. She's just that awesome.

The only reason Matilda develops supernatural abilities is so she can help Miss Honey, and once she's helped Miss Honey, she doesn't need those powers any more.

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