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19 March 2021

World Book Day - a tale of revenge

World Book Day - a tale of revenge

For our World Book Day Assembly on Friday 12 March, the children at The Hampshire School Chelsea were visited by the loathsome duo Mr & Mrs Twit. We were granted the honour of a culinary demonstration that ended in the most gruesome of ways, with Mr Twit unwittingly being fed squiggly worms by his bitter co-conspirator. Roald Dahl's repugnant classic is ripe for analysis; revenge is a key theme of this novel as, later on, it tells the tale of endangered birds and monkeys who have been mistreated by the Twits and subsequently seek revenge against them. However, we also see revenge take place within their marriage, with the Twits often playing dastardly tricks on one another, as we saw in our assembly! The Twits, one of Roald Dahl's shortest and most popular books, contains two of his most vile characters who often tread a line between wickedness and exhilaration. There are themes that thread through Dahl's writing such as bullying and comically repellent personality types that allow children to engage with his literature with ease and fascination.

Roald Dahl was an inspirational author in many ways, seeing childhood as complicated; far removed from the idyll portrayed by many classic writers for children in the first half of the 20th Century. He created characters that allow his young readers to respond viscerally and to imagine the unimaginable. Roald Dahl was a complex character himself; an author who will continue to encourage debate and whose writing will feature prominently in the imaginations of children and adults for many more years to come.

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