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Themes

We learn right away that witches hate children – and this is hate in its truest form. It's not like "ugh, I hate doing homework" or "don't you hate it when Shmoop takes too long to get to the point?" These witches hate children so much that they have devoted their lives to wiping them out. What's interesting is that we never really get to the bottom of <em>why</em> the witches hate children so much. We know that, to them, kids smell like dog poop, but hey, Shmoop sometimes has bad breath in the morning, and we sure hope no one tries to kill us for it. What distinguishes <em>The Witches</em>, then, in its theme of Hate, is that it seems to be hate without cause.

Questions About Hate

  1. How is the hatred that witches have toward children different than the hatred that our narrator and his grandma have toward witches?
  2. Hate is often considered the opposite of love. In what ways do we see this contrast in The Witches?
  3. Imagine a back-story for the witches. As Mr Jenkins might say, why the blazes do they hate kids so much?

Chew on This

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

It's easier to hate a group of people (like the witches do) than one particular person.

The Grand High Witch is more hateful than the rest of the witches.

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