The Witches


Roald Dahl ・ Penguin


1983
2016
Book
Years 8~12
English
United Kingdom
Pages : 240 pages
October 16, 2019
Matthew Koala
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“‘The Witches’ is a heroic tale. A schoolboy is transformed into a tiny mouse (with, however, the mind and language of a very bright child), and through his extraordinary bravery, he manages to save all the children of England from the same fate. Under the surface of this deceptively simple tale, which whizzes along and is great fun to read, lurks an interesting metaphor. This is the equation of childhood with mousedom. A child may be smaller than all the witchy, horrifying adults, but he can certainly outwit them. He is tiny and crushable, but he is also fast and well-nigh invisible. With the assistance of his benevolent Grandmamma (who hoists him up to things he can’t reach, secretes him in her handbag, feeds and cuddles him), he is able to outsmart nearly the whole adult world . . . The boy doesn’t mind being a mouse, he says, because ‘It doesn’t matter who you are or what you look like so long as somebody loves you.’ And, indeed, the hero of this tale is loved. Whether as a boy or a mouse, he experiences the most extraordinary and unqualified approval from his grandmother―the sort of unconditional love adults and children alike crave.” ―Erica Jong, The New York Times Book Review