From 11:00PM PDT on Friday, July 1 until 5:00AM PDT on Saturday, July 2, the Shmoop engineering elves will be making tweaks and improvements to the site. That means Shmoop will be unavailable for use during that time. Thanks for your patience!
We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
The Witches

The Witches


by Roald Dahl

Bruno Jenkins

Character Analysis

Bruno Jenkins is the dictionary definition of an oaf. He's big, he's greedy, he's slow-witted, he's just... oafy. (We made that word up, but we're allowed to after all the made-up words in The Witches.) He's always eating, he brags about his dad's wealth, and he even kills ants with a magnifying glass.

Bruno might not be our favorite character, but he's definitely an important one. He's the only character in the book, other than our narrator, to experience the human-to-mouse transformation and live to tell the tale. Because he has such a particular personality – oafy, in case you've forgotten – he's the perfect figure to show that the witches' magic formula doesn't change a person on the inside, just the outside. After the Grand High Witch turns Bruno into a mouse, he's still the same old Bruno – so busy eating that he doesn't even notice he's a mouse (13.25), so busy eating that he can't convince his parents that he's a mouse (17.2), so busy eating that he doesn't even take part in the anti-witch planning (18.2). Do you notice a pattern?

Bruno also serves as a foil to our narrator (see the section on "Character Roles" for more on that), showing us how a typical boy his age might act. Because of Bruno, we're able to see more clearly how awesome, humble, and mature our narrator really is.