Study Guide

Matilda Chapter 6

By Roald Dahl

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Chapter 6

The Platinum-Blond Man

  • This chapter picks up right where the last one left off. Matilda is really upset at the way her dad acted. All she did was come up with the right math answer. 
  • She doesn't let her feelings show during dinner, but she plots and schemes in her clever little mind.
  • The following day, Matilda puts her new plan into action. She goes to the family's bathroom and gets out her mother's blonde hair dye. It's very strong and full of peroxide. 
  • Her target in this prank is her father's black hair. He puts a special tonic in it every day to keep it dark and shiny.
  • Mischievous Matilda replaces most of her father's tonic with her mother's hair dye.
  • At breakfast, she and her brother eat, while her mother makes their dad's food. 
  • Mr. Wormwood arrives, full of self-importance, but Matilda doesn't want to look at her dad, in case she can't hold it together.
  • Then, when Mrs. Wormwood enters, she sees what's happened to her hubby's hair and starts shrieking bloody murder.
  • He gets mad, wondering what all the fuss is about. But Mrs. Wormwood is too busy flipping out, because his hair has turned kind of silvery. It looks, in a word, gross. 
  • In fact, Mrs. Wormwood and Mike are so upset that Mr. Wormwood freaks out too. He looks in a mirror, sees himself, and starts shrieking. 
  • What a scene. At that point, Matilda oh-so-innocently offers up the theory that he used Mrs. Wormwood's hair dye accidentally. 
  • Mrs. Wormwood tells Mr. Wormwood he has to wash his hair ASAP and even then it may be too late. 
  • At the very least, he'll have to dye his hair back, and at the very worst it might fall out. Ick.
  • He races up to the bathroom to wash his hair, and tells Mrs. Wormwood to call the hair salon.
  • After that, Mrs. Wormwood, in a shocking shift from her normal behavior, actually talks to Matilda, saying that men act ignorantly sometimes. 
  • Chuckle.

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