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Themes

Little Words, Big Ideas

Transformation

Transformation in The Witches is a very literal theme. That means that it's not about transforming something inside of you, changing yourself for the better, or any of that. It's about actual physi...

Awe and Amazement

Go count all the exclamation points in The Witches. We dare you. Give up? So did we. There is so much awe and amazement in this book that, in certain chapters, nearly every sentence ends in an excl...

Lies and Deceit

Usually when we think of lying, we think of words that are untruthful. Of course, there's some of that in The Witches, but the witches themselves are constantly deceiving through another means: dis...

Appearances

Don't judge a book by its cover, right? The Witches sends us mixed messages in this regard. On the one hand, our main character turns into a mouse, but he's still the same great guy he always was a...

Violence

When you really think about it, The Witches is a pretty stinkin' violent book. Our narrator is violently grabbed and held down while poisoned with Mouse-Maker. We see a witch get blown into smoke r...

Family

In The Witches, we see two examples of a family: our narrator and his grandma, and Bruno Jenkins and his parents. What we learn from this book is that having a mom and a dad, the typical nuclear fa...

Hate

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 poi...

Cunning and Cleverness

There's a lot of cunning and cleverness going on in The Witches. Our narrator, Grandmamma, and The Grand High Witch all do their share of clever scheming. Important to remember is that, in this boo...

Youth

The Witches is written for young people, and it's told from the point-of-view of a young person, so it's not surprising that there's a lot of talk of youth within the story. What's neat about this...

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...
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