by Roald Dahl
Matilda Violence Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Chapter.Paragraph)
"But the lying didn't help me in spite of the great performance I put on. The Trunchbull simply grabbed me by one ear and rushed me to The Chokey at the double and threw me inside and locked the door. That was my second all-day stretch. It was absolute torture. I was sliced and cut all over when I came out. (10.34)
Hearing her story is one of the first times we start getting a sense of what the Trunchbull is capable of. And what she's capable of, it sounds like, is Medieval Era-like torture. Being trapped in The Chokey is certainly not your typical time-out. This is something much more sinister, much more painful, and much more violent. Yikes.
"Only yesterday the Trunchbull caught a boy called Julius Rottwinkle eating Liquorice Allsorts during the scripture lesson and she simply picked him up by one arm and flung him clear out of the open classroom window. Our classroom is one floor up and we saw Julius Rottwinkle go sailing out over the garden like a Frisbee and landing with a thump in the middle of the lettuces. […]" (10.42)
It's almost like the Trunchbull is a legend, rather than a person. Hortensia's stories about what the Trunchbull has done to other kids make a terrifying background for the character, and they set up what will happen when the Trunchbull actually enters. Until then, it's almost like she's a mythic monster that the kids tell ghost stories about. Surely her violence can't be that bad.
Rupert got up and went back to his desk massaging his scalp with both hands. The Trunchbull returned to the front of the class. The children sat there hypnotized. None of them had seen anything quite like this before. It was splendid entertainment. It was better than a pantomime but with one big difference. In this room there was an enormous human bomb in front of them which was liable to explode and blow someone to bits any moment. (13.68)
Depending on how you choose to interpret the Trunchbull's behavior, it's either unbelievably hilarious, or utterly terrifying. In fact, the more hilarious she seems, the more terrifying she is. Imagine what she might do if she caught you laughing at her. That would be no laughing matter.