by Roald Dahl
The Witches Theme of Fear
Sometimes children are afraid of things because they can't see them, or because they make funny noises or are really big. Sometimes children are afraid of things because they will come and find you, turn you into a mouse, and try to kill you. That's the kind of afraid we get in The Witches. This is fear of a very real danger. It starts with Grandmamma's stories (fear of the unknown) and becomes a real-life experience (fear of the very, very known). The best part about it, though, is that we get to watch our narrator conquer those fears and face them head on. Spoiler alert: he wins. Narrator – 1, Fear – 0.
Questions About Fear
- Is our narrator more scared before he's seen a witch and has only heard stories, or once he's seen the witches in person?
- How does our narrator's sense of fear change (if it does at all) once he's been turned into a mouse?
- Are the witches are afraid of anything? If so, what?
Chew on This
The narrator is afraid of witches, but not afraid of dying. Weird.
Fear is all relative. If the chambermaid had known there were witches in the hotel, she wouldn't have been scared of a measly mouse.