by Roald Dahl
The Witches Violence Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Chapter.Paragraph)
"My orders are that every single child in this country shall be rrrubbed out, sqvashed, sqvirted, sqvittered and frrrittered before I come here again in vun year's time! Do I make myself clear?" (7.41)
Lesson in demographics: there are over ten million children in England under the age of eighteen. You think these 84 witches could have succeeded in their plan if the narrator hadn't gotten in their way?
"A stupid vitch who answers back
Must burn until her bones are black!" (7.47)
The violence in this book isn't reserved only for children. The Grand High Witch is perfectly content burning one of her fellow witches. That's just to say that violence isn't always associated with hatred. In the case of the Grand High Witch, it's performed on a whim, too, just because she's annoyed.
I saw the sparks striking against her and burrowing into her and she screamed a horrible howling scream and a puff of smoke rose up around her. A smell of burning meat filled the room. (7.48)
Roald Dahl appeals to many of our senses when describing violence – the sight of sparks, the sound of a scream, and the resulting smell. It's not enough to see someone burned into a puff of smoke, we also have to imagine what it smelled like after. Ew. And when you remember that the "burning meat" is actually flesh, it's even more gross.