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A BULLY STUDY: A Study on Bullying in Roald Dahls Childrens Novels

A thesis presented to the Department of Literature College of Nursing University of Santo Tomas

In partial fulfillment of the requirements in Literature 101A World Literatures

Regine Angela Veluz Bambao March 2012







Chapter I. The Problem and Its Background A. Introduction B. Statement of the Problem C. Objectives D. Significance of the Study

1 1 5 5 6

II. Review of Related Literature

III. Summary of Stories


IV. Analysis and Discussion


V. Summary, Findings, Conclusion, Recommendation A. Summary B. Findings C. Conclusion D. Recommendations E. Bibliography

59 59 59 94 95 96

Biography of the Author



For Shura, who stayed up until dawn with me as I made my thesis, who makes a wonderful laptop table and plate of fries, and who is my audience and inspiration.



Anne Nicole Andaya, Fortuna Grace Asuncion, Melle Kristal Baltazar, and the rest of UST BSN Section 1 CL2013, who never made me feel that I was alone in my suffering, irresponsibility or procrastination. It is an honor to panic with you people.

Ma. Luisa Jane Concepcion, on whose template I relied on quite heavily and whose advice, cooking and pushing were invaluable throughout the course of this study. Im glad I listened to you as much as I did. The only way to make a lit thesis is to write it in the company of awesome people, by light of Inglorious Basterds on the TV screen, between mouthfuls of Oreo cooked in pancake batter and gulps of butterbeer.

Professor Elmer Hibek, for everything. I came away with more than just lessons in Literature from your classes, even if half the time I wasnt there for them. Getting a stomachache or an epiphany (though oftentimes, its both) from your lectures is requisite in the earning of a Thomasian nursing degree. Truly, I can say, We are the nurses tortured tutored by the UST.

The Momster, who is to be blamed for my existence and my insatiable hunger for books (she has done such a good job of this that, truthfully, I cannot tell one from the other anymore). Thank you for never condoning the abomination that is the e-book translation, thank you for giving this poor college kid extra money to buy the missing Roald Dahl books needed for this project. Also, I am on to you, Mummy. I think you withheld the worst of the Dahl stories from me when I was younger because you were afraid I would kill the entire family with liquid paraffin and hair remover and whateverelse-I-can-find-lying-around-the-house if youd given me Georges Marvelous Medicine when I was eight. If this is true, youre not wholly off the mark, so congratulations on yet another wise parenting decision.

Roald Dahl himself, who is hyped as The Worlds Number One Storyteller and in whose dark, twisted, sadistic mind I find a kindred spirit. The movie version of Matilda has inspired me for quite a chunk of my childhood, especially that line that goes, Books gave Matilda a hopeful and comforting message: you are not alone. Despite the drops of blood that formed on my forehead in the analyzing of your work, I remain a fan, and anyone foolish enough to put your stories on a Banned Book List in front of me will be dealt with a death so hilariously violent it will make you proud.

And the greatest praise of all goes to the Father Above, for His gifts of life, love, family, friends, education, luck and talent. There is not a day that goes by that I do not thank Him for my flair for words. The instinctual knowledge of what preposition to use, the allergy to redundancy and clichs, and the primal need for reading material are blessings not bestowed on everybody, and I am both humbled and proud to be one of the chosen, nerdy few. As many books as I may read in my lifetime, as many papers and stories as I may write, as many speeches as I may give, it will never be enough to express my gratitude to Him. I can only hope that the more I sharpen my skill, the more I can also glorify His name.

Chapter I The Problem and Its Background

A. Introduction You, with your words like knives and swords And weapons that you use against me; You have knocked me off my feet again, Got me feeling like I'm nothing; You, with your voice like nails on a chalkboard Calling me out when I'm wounded; You, picking on the weaker man So begins country singer-songwriter Taylor Swifts song Mean, which she reveals has been written for a person who has essentially bullied her. Since then it has been a successful single, and proof that one can rise above ones oppressors in healthy ways.

The song lyrics reflect the issue of bullying. In one review, Matt Bjorke of Roughstock says, 'Mean' is an interesting song in that it finds Taylor chewing out many people, particularly bullies. It's a song that really could become part of the anti-bullying campaigns for schools everywhere." Bill Lamb of also wrote that "the song can also easily serve as a general purpose response to bullies in the world."

Bullies are those who obsessively and compulsively display unwelcome behavior that is destructive to those around them, mostly using unwarranted or invalid criticism, nit-picking, fault-finding, exclusion, isolation, singling out, and humiliation.

Bullies are dichotomous. One minute, they may seem to be friendly; the next they have crossed the line from sincere to patronizing and condescending. They may tell their victim that they love the victims work and then proceed to cut and push him down. They may be covert, giving backhanded compliments or criticism hidden behind

saccharine smiles. Or they may be overt, lashing out with insults and using straightforward forms of humiliation.

Some bullies are insensitive. They do not realize that people are not bulletproof, that humans are fragile beings physically and psychologically. Others may realize this, and worse, may exploit these vulnerabilities and use them for their own advantage. Bullies are in essence, inadequate, and they feed off other peoples energy to boost their own self-esteem. They make those around them feel small to make them feel whole inside.

Bullies often select their targets according to weakness. No bully would challenge anyone who had a prayer of defeating them. But do not be fooled by the misconception that only anonymous, meek underdogs are bullied. There are many people who thrive in their lives and careers who are bullied or have had histories of bullying.

As previously mentioned, one such example is Taylor Swift. Who would have thought that anyone would have the gall to make Americas sweetheart, this country princess, this international superstar fold into herself, walking with her head down and her self-confidence in tatters? Indeed, nobody is safe from being torn down by other mean, destructive people. The only up-side is that this woman knew how to turn her situation around, turning her adversity into art.

Yet another example of a famous bullied person who used his talent to eviscerate those who dared to hurt him is the great storyteller, Roald Dahl.

Back in the days when Roald Dahl was a boy, the law still had not banned corporal punishment, which in this case meant being beaten by the headmaster of the school with a cane. And as little boys are prone to mischief, young Roald Dahl had his fair share of canings when he was a student.

Dahl talks about his experiences in his autobiography, Boy: Tales of Childhood. His first mention of caning was when he was seven. At the time he was studying in Llandaff Cathedral School in Norway. One of young Dahls favorite things to do then was to spend money on sweets. There was a particular sweet-shop which he describes was to him like a bar to a drunk, a church to a Bishop. Without it, there would have been little to live for. The one drawback of this heavenly sweet-shop was its owner, a horrible woman called Mrs. Pratchett, who never smiled, was rude to her young patrons, and was always filthy. The worst thing about her were her grimy bare hands, with which she served sweets with. Despite her dirty presence, the boys could not stop coming back to the sweet-shop, and so they endured her.

One day, Dahl and his friends found a dead rat in their secret candy hiding place. They then made up their minds to serve batty Mrs. Pratchett her comeuppance. They strolled triumphantly into the shop. One of Dahls friends ordered an assortment of sweets, and while Mrs. Pratchett wasnt looking, Dahl himself slipped the dead rat into a jar of Gobstoppers. They left, swaggering like victors.

But not for long. Soon enough, they were caught and sent to the headmasters study to pay for their prank. Mrs. Pratchett watched as each one of them in turn was caned within an inch of their lives. Dahls mother was furious when she found out her little boy had been punished so severely, and she arranged for Dahl to be transferred to another school the following year. Dahl was transferred to St. Peters, a boarding school in South Wales, where a different sort of bullying occurred aside from the occasional caning. At first, he spoke about the censorship that existed in school: There was no way, therefore, that we could ever complain to our parents about anything during term-time. If we thought the food was lousy or if we hated a certain master or if we had been thrashed for something we did not do, we

never dared to say so in our letters. In fact, we often went the other way. In order to please that dangerous Headmaster who was leaning over our shoulders and reading what we had written, we would say splendid things about the school and go on about how lovely the masters were. Aside from the Headmaster, another dotty character figured in Dahls younger days at boarding school. This woman was the Matron, a twenty-eight-year-old woman who ruled the dormitories with an iron hand. It was said that: the source of this power was the unseen but frightening figure of the Headmaster lurking down in the depths of his study below. At any time she liked, the Matron could send you down in your pyjamas and dressing-gown to report to this merciless giant, and whenever this happened you got caned on the spot. The Matron knew this and she relished the whole business.

The Matron would patrol the corridors, sniffing out even the slightest mistakes and sending poor unsuspecting boys to the Headmaster for barely any reason. She would then follow after him and listen to the whips made by the cane with a funny look on her face. It was clear that the Matron hated small boys, and she was never anything but horrid to them. She never smiled at them or said anything nice, and whipped lint off young boys kneecaps so that it hurt them on purpose.

Another time, one boy was snoring loudly in an open-mouthed sleep. The Matron, irritated by the noise, poured little soap-flakes into his mouth. The flakes turned to suds in the boys saliva, and he awake sputtering and gurgling white bubbles. As if it was his fault that he snored in his sleep.

Another fearful figure was Captain Hardcastle, the master who took an instant dislike to Dahl for no reason. For a reason that I could never properly understand, Captain Hardcastle had it in for me from my very first day at St Peters. Perhaps it was because he taught Latin and I was no good at it. Perhaps it was because already, at the age of nine, I was very nearly as tall as he was. Or even more likely, it was because I took an instant dislike to his giant orange moustache and he often caught me staring at it with what was probably a little sneer under the nose. I had only to pass within ten feet of him in the corridor and he would glare at me and shout, Hold yourself straight, boy! Pull your shoulders back! or Take those hands out of your pockets! or Whats so funny, may I ask? What are you smirking at? or, most insulting of all, You, whats-your-name, get on with your work! I knew, therefore, that it was only a matter of time before the gallant Captain nailed me good and proper. One time in his class, Dahls pen ran out of ink, and when he tried to borrow a pen from a fellow student, Hardcastle accused him of cheating. Naturally, the Headmaster took Hardcastles word against Dahls in the case, and it earned poor Dahl six strokes of the cane. Two other mentions of injustice, which were committed against Dahls classmates, were mentioned in this part of Boy: Tales of Childhood. The first dialogue went like this:

Master. What is it? Boy. Please, sir, may I be excused to go to the lavatory?

Master. Certainly not. You should have gone before. Boy. But, sir ...please, sir ...I didnt want to before. I didnt know... Master. Whose fault was that? Get on with your work! Boy. But, sir ...Oh, sir.. Please, sir, let me go! Master. One more word out of you and youll be in trouble.

Naturally, the poor boy soiled his pants, and aside from an embarrassing conversation with the master, he also earned a storm from the Matron when he went upstairs. The second dialogue Dahl was witness to went like this:

Master. Yes, what is it? Braithwaite. Please, sir, a wasp came in through the window and its stung me on my lip and its swelling up. Master. A what? Braithwaite. A wasp, sir. Master. Speak up, boy, I cant hear you! A what came in through the window? Braithwaite. Its hard to speak up, sir, with my lip all swelling up. Master. With your what all swelling up? Are you trying to be funny? Braithwaite. No, sir. I promise Im not, sir. Master. Talk properly, boy! Whats the matter with you? Braithwaite. Ive told you, sir. Ive been stung, sir. My lip is swelling. Its hurting terribly. Master. Hurting terribly? Whats hurting terribly?

Braithwaite. My lip, sir. Its getting bigger and bigger. Master. What Prep are you doing tonight? Braithwaite. French verbs, sir. We have to write them out. Master. Do you write with you lip? Braithwaite. No, sir. I dont sir, but you see ... Master. All see is that you are making an infernal noise and disturbing everybody in the room. Now get on with your work!

Indeed, Roald Dahl was no stranger to injustice and humiliation, his own childhood having been scarred by both, which is why it comes as no surprise at all that bullying is one of the main themes of his childrens novels. Many of his stories are directly influenced by his experiences, and some of his characters have even been based on the villains he had encountered in real life. This study will explore five of Roald Dahls beloved childrens novels which include the theme of bullying.

B. Statement of the Problem This study would like to answer the following problems found in Roald Dahls childrens novels? 1. What are the examples of bullying that can be found in Roald Dahls childrens novels? 2. How do the bullying characters in Roald Dahls childrens novels identify with bullies in real life? 3. How do the bullied characters in Roald Dahls childrens novels identify with targets of bullying in real life?

C. Significance of the Study

The main purpose of this study is to examine the examples of bullying and the characterization in Roald Dahls works, and to compare them to the situation of bullying in real life. Aside from that, it has been noted that there are few studies on Roald Dahls works, and although his books are constantly on Banned Books Lists, there are few papers that can attest to whether or not his work deserves such treatment. This study can be used as a reference if ever future studies would like to evaluate Dahls themes of bullying .

D. Scope and Limitation of the Study

This study will analyze only the following works by Roald Dahl: James and the Giant Peach, The Twits, Georges Marvelous Medicine, The Witches, and Matilda. Other books by Roald Dahl, whether or not they fit into the theme of bullying, will not be part of the analyses. Boy: Tales of Childhood, though it has been used as a reference for Roald Dahls experiences as it is the authors autobiography, will still not be part of the analyses.

James and the Giant Peach, The Witches and Matilda have all been made into films, but the study will not mention anything related to the movie adaptations, as some parts of the plot have already been altered for the big screen.

Only what might happen when one is bullied, the profile of a bully, and the profile of a target of bullying will be included in the analysis. The cycle of bullying will not be included in the study.

The victims of bullying in Roald Dahls books often retaliate against their attackers in ways that are violent or perverse. The study will not be covering any themes of violence or revenge. Simply put, it will only discuss how the bullying characters attack the bullied characters. The responses to the attacks will not be analyzed.

Lastly, the study will only focus on naming EXAMPLES of bullying. It will not discuss any moral implications on either bullying or retaliation.


Chapter II Review of Related Literature

BULLYING "Bullying involves an initial desire to hurt, this desire is expressed in action, someone is hurt, the action is directed by a more powerful person or group, it is without justification, it is typically repeated, and it is done so with evident enjoyment." Ken Rigby (1998). Bullying is legally defined as an intentional act that causes harm to others, and may involve verbal harassment, verbal or non-verbal threats, physical assault, stalking, or other methods of coercion such as manipulation, blackmail, or extortion. It is repeated aggressive behavior that intends to hurt, threaten or frighten another person. Bullying is manifested by the use of force or coercion to affect others, particularly when the behavior is habitual and involves an imbalance of power. It can include verbal harassment, physical assault or coercion and may be directed repeatedly towards particular victims, perhaps on grounds of race, religion, gender, sexuality, or ability. The imbalance of power may be social power and/or physical power.

Norwegian researcher Dan Olweus defines bullying as when a person is "exposed, repeatedly and over time, to negative actions on the part of one or more other persons." He defines negative action as "when a person intentionally inflicts injury or discomfort upon another person, through physical contact, through words or in other ways".

Bullying is persistent unwelcome behavior, mostly using unwarranted or invalid criticism, nit-picking, fault-finding, also exclusion, isolation, being singled out and treated


differently, being shouted at, humiliated, excessive monitoring, having verbal and written warnings imposed, and much more.

Bullying occurs in a variety of contexts, such as schools, workplaces, political or military settings, church, family, home, and neighborhoods, and others. Basically, it can occur anywhere human beings interact with each other. Bullying can exist between social groups, social classes, and even between countries.

In the school environment, for example, bullying can be perpetrated by students, teachers and the school system itself: There is an inherent power differential in the system that can easily predispose to subtle or covert abuse (relational aggression or passive aggression), humiliation, or exclusioneven while maintaining overt

commitments to anti-bullying policies. On a side note, bullying is not limited to studenton-student attacks. School teachers are commonly the subject of bullying but they are also sometimes the originators of bullying within a school environment.

Bullying is an inefficient way of working, resulting in disenchantment, demoralisation, demotivation, disaffection, and alienation. It is a form of abuse, and bullies often go to great lengths to subdue their targets, using threats of disciplinary action, dismissal, and gagging clauses. What bullies fear most is exposure of their inadequacy and being called publicly to account for their behavior and its consequences.

This makes sense when one remembers that the purpose of bullying is to hide inadequacy, and people who bully to hide their inadequacy are often incompetent. Anyone who chooses to bully is admitting their inadequacy, and the extent to which a person bullies is a measure of their inadequacy. Bullies project their inadequacy on to others.


Bullying consists of three basic types of abuse emotional, verbal, and physical. It typically involves subtle methods of coercion such as intimidation. One study names two types of bullying: direct bullying and indirect bullying.

Direct bullying involves a great deal of physical aggression, such as shoving and poking, throwing things, slapping, choking, punching and kicking, beating, stabbing, pulling hair, scratching, biting, scraping, and pinching.

Indirect bullying or social aggression is characterized by attempting to socially isolate the victim. This isolation is achieved through a wide variety of techniques, including spreading gossip, refusing to socialize with the victim, bullying other people who wish to socialize with the victim, and criticizing the victim's manner of dress and other socially-significant markers (including the victim's race, religion, disability, sex, or sexual preference, etc.). Other forms of indirect bullying are more subtle and more likely to be verbal, such as name calling, the silent treatment, arguing others into submission, manipulation, gossip or false gossip, lies, rumors or false rumors, staring, giggling, laughing at the victim, saying certain words that trigger a reaction from a past event, and mocking.

Bullying incidents tend to involve three different groups of students: Bullies, Victims, and Bystanders. While the people within each of these groups share many similarities, each group can be further divided into subgroups with different personalities, motivations, and behaviors. It is essential to understand the nature and range of the people who fall into each of these three groups in order to effectively plan and deliver bullying prevention activities.

In a study in 1978, Dan Olweus described different types of bullies. Of these, the aggressive bully, is the most common. People who fall into this category tend to be physically strong, impulsive, hot-tempered, belligerent, fearless, coercive, confident, and lacking in empathy for their victims. They have an aggressive personality and are motivated by power and the desire to dominate others. They are also likely to make


negative attributions, often seeing slights or hostility in those around them where neither actually exists.

Another type is the bully-victim, which represents a small percentage of bullies who have been seriously bullied themselves. Bully-victims are often physically weaker than those who bully them but are almost always physically stronger than their own victims. They possess some of the same characteristics as provocative victims; they are easily aroused and sometimes provoke others who are clearly weaker than they are. Bully-victims are generally unpopular with their peers, and they are more likely than other types of bullies to be both anxious and depressed.

Another classification system names a type of bullying called serial bullying, which is where the source of all dysfunction can be traced to one individual, who picks on one person after another and destroys them. This is the most common type of bullying, characterized by:

Constant nit-picking, fault-finding and criticism of a trivial nature Simultaneous with the criticism, a constant refusal to acknowledge the targets contributions and achievements or to recognize the targets existence and value Constant attempts to undermine the targets status, worth and potential Belittling, demeaning and patronizing the target, especially in front of others Humiliating and threatening the target, often in front of others Denying the target of basic needs or of what is rightfully theirs

As the verb to bully is defined as simply "forcing one's way aggressively or by intimidation," the term may generally apply to any life experience where one is motivated primarily by intimidation instead of by more positive goals such as mutually shared interests and benefits. As such, any figure of authority or power which may use intimidation as a primary means of motivating others, such as a neighborhood "protection racket don", a national dictator, a childhood ring-leader, a terrorist, a terrorist


organization, or even a ruthless business CEO, could rightfully be referred to as a bully. Although the common misconception is that bullying is an issue only among schoolchildren, the truth is that people face the possibility of being bullied in any phase of their lives.


A bully is simply one who engages in bullying behavior.

The word "bully" was first used in the 1530s meaning "sweetheart," applied to either sex, from the Dutch boel "lover, brother," probably diminutive of Middle High German buole "brother," of uncertain origin (compare with the German buhle "lover"). The meaning deteriorated through the 17th century through "fine fellow," "blusterer," to "harasser of the weak". This may have been as a connecting sense between "lover" and "ruffian" as in "protector of a prostitute," which was one sense of "bully" (though not specifically attested until 1706). The verb "to bully" is first attested in 1710.

Bullies are bred in homes where inconsistent parenting patterns and inconsistent consequences and abusive, bullying behaviors become the role model. Some are bullies are spoilt children who never experience behavior boundaries. Others come from homes where there are so many problems that they are neglected emotionally or where the relationship between their parents is poor, stressful and even abusive.

It is often suggested that bullying behavior has its origin in childhood. As a child who is inclined to act as a bully ages, his or her related behavior patterns will often also become more sophisticated. Schoolyard pranks and 'rough-housing' may develop into more subtle, yet equally effective adult-level activities such as administrative end-runs, well-planned and orchestrated attempts at character assassination, or other less obvious, yet equally forceful forms of coercion.


Research indicates that adults who bully have personalities that are authoritarian, combined with a strong need to control or dominate. It has also been suggested that a prejudicial view of subordinates can be a particularly strong risk factor. Some doctors have argued that a bully reflects the environment of his home, repeating the model he learned from his parents.

Further studies have shown that envy and resentment may be motives for bullying. Research on the self-esteem of bullies has produced equivocal results. While some bullies are arrogant and narcissistic, others can use bullying as a tool to conceal shame or anxiety or to boost self esteem: by demeaning others, the abuser him/herself feels empowered.

Researchers have identified other risk factors such as depression and personality disorders, as well as quickness to anger and use of force, addiction to aggressive behaviors, mistaking others' actions as hostile, concern with preserving self image, and engaging in obsessive or rigid actions. A combination of these factors may also be causes of this behavior.

There are two main types of bullies, the malicious who have been born with psychopathic or sociopathic tendencies (their brains are wired differently than those of ordinary people) and those who are basically non-malicious but use bullying behaviors.

Sociopaths will be discussed more thoroughly in a later section of this chapter. On the other hand those who are non-malicious but use bullying behaviors may not realize at a conscious level that their behaviors are mean or abusive. At an unconscious level they know that they're taking the target's power away because otherwise they couldn't do it. Also, most bullies don't know that their bullying behaviors can boomerang back later on and hurt them. They may think that it is a game; that they can get away with it; that it can make them superior to others; that it does not hurt the target; or that everyone else does it.


Despite the intimidating facade that such people put up, bullies have low selfconfidence and low self-esteem, and thus feel insecure. Low self-esteem is a factor highlighted by all studies on bullying. Because such people are inadequate and unable to fulfill the duties and obligations of their status (but have no hesitation in accepting recognition or credit), they fear being revealed. This fear of exposure often borders on paranoia.

Bullies are seething with resentment, bitterness, hatred and anger, and often have wide-ranging prejudices that serve as an excuse for dumping their anger onto others. Embittered, seething with resentment, and fuelled by anger, the bully displays an obsessive, compulsive and self-gratifying urge to displace their uncontrolled aggression onto others whilst exhibiting an apparent lack of insight into their behavior and its effect on people around them.

The following are ten signs that someone is a bully: Is duplicitous; bullies have a Jekyll-and-Hyde nature: vile, vicious and vindictive in private, but innocent and charming in front of witnesses. Only the victim of the bullying can see both sides at the same time. A bully is a convincing, practiced liar and excels at deception. Is emotionally retarded with an arrested level of emotional development; whilst language and intellect may appear to be that of an adult, a bully displays the emotional age of a five-year-old. Holds deep prejudices (ex. against the opposite gender, people of a different sexual orientation, other cultures and religious beliefs, foreigners, etc.); prejudiced people are unvaryingly unimaginative. Is self-opinionated arrogant, high-handed, haughty and superior; bullies are convinced of their superiority and have an overbearing belief in their qualities of leadership but cannot distinguish between leadership (maturity, decisiveness, assertiveness, co-operation, trust, integrity) and bullying (immaturity,

impulsiveness, aggression, manipulation, distrust, deceitfulness). They may be


know-it-alls or narcissists and often fraudulently claims qualifications, experience, titles, entitlements or affiliations which are ambiguous, misleading, or bogus. Gains gratification from denying people what they are entitled to. Extrovert bullies tend to be shouters and screamers, are highly visible, and bully from the front. Is quick to anger and often has an unpredictable temper. Sees people as objects instead of humans. Lacks a conscience and shows no remorse.

This ten-item list will be used later on as a profile against which the bullying characters in Roald Dahls stories will be compared.


Socialized psychopaths or sociopaths are people who display antisocial behavior which is mainly characterized by a lack of empathy and strong malicious intents towards others.

They are motivated by the prospect of power, gratification and personal gain, or survival. They are manipulative, deceptive, and evil from the get-go. Malice is ingrained in their mindset and nature so highly that it is off the scale.

The following is a list of ten signs that someone is a sociopath: Revels in the gratification gained from seeing or causing other people's distress. Excels at deception and evasion of accountability. When faced with accountability or unwelcome attention which might lead to others discerning the sociopath's true nature, the sociopath responds with repeated and escalating attempts to control, manipulate and punish. Has no limits on his or her vindictiveness. The need to control, manipulate and punish (often with over-the-top violence) develops into an obsession with many of the hallmarks of an addiction.


Exhibits minimal professional skill level and competency. Exploits anyone who has a vulnerability. Has no emotions, no emotional processing capability and no ability to understand other's emotions. Is likely to have committed or be committing criminal or near-criminal offences, (ex. fraud, embezzlement, deception). Cannot comprehend the deeper semantic meaning of language and is thus unable to understand or appreciate metaphor, hyperbole, irony, satire, etc (these elicit either zero response or a hostile response).

Regards people as objects and playthings to be discarded when surplus to requirements. Displays zero empathy, is completely without conscience, remorse or guilt, and is malicious and evil by nature.

This list will later be used to find out if any of the bullying characters in Roald Dahls stories is a sociopath.


Someone who is a victim of bullying is commonly called a target.

People who are bullied often find that they are:

Constantly criticized and subjected to destructive criticism Undermined, especially in front of others; Overruled, ignored, sidelined, marginalized, ostracized Belittled, degraded, demeaned, ridiculed, patronized, subject to disparaging remarks Regularly the target of offensive language, personal remarks, or inappropriate bad language Threatened, shouted at and humiliated, especially in front of others


Taunted and teased where the intention is to embarrass and humiliate Facing unjustified disciplinary action on trivial or specious or false charges Facing dismissal on fabricated charges or flimsy excuses, often using a trivial incident from months or years previously

The crucial feature of being bullied is that the target feels powerless. The critical issue the target faces is the extent of physical, psychological damage. The impact on the target is made worse by fear of future attacks and fear that others cannot or will not help.

Just like bullies, victims are a heterogeneous group. Olweus describes different types of victims. One of them is the passive victim, who does not directly provoke bullies and represents the largest group of victimized children. They are socially withdrawn, often seem anxious, depressed, and fearful, and have very poor selfconcepts. When compared with their non-victimized peers, passive victims have fewer if any friends, are lonely and sad, and are more nervous about new situations. This cluster of symptoms makes them attractive targets for bullies who are unusually competent in detecting vulnerability.

While there is evidence that some of the characteristics of passive victims precede and contribute to their victimization experiences, it is also clear that many of their personal attributes also result from being bullied. The victims' behaviors and emotional states may make them vulnerable to bullying. The bullying behavior towards them may perpetuate their issues with low-self-esteem, depression, anxiety, and loneliness, which may make them increasingly vulnerable to bullying.

Another type is the perpetual victim, who are those victims who are bullied all of their lives. While "perpetual" refers to the duration of bullying rather than a subgroup of victim, it is interesting to consider the possibility that some children may develop a victim mentality whereby the victim role becomes a permanent part of their psyches (Elliott, 1993).


Bullies commonly do not randomly attack their peers; instead, they target a specific subgroup of students who are often victimized over the course of several years. There are many reasons how and why bullies target others, and the reasons are consistent between cases.

Multiple factors contribute to a bully's selection of victim, including the complicated interplay of a bully's motivation, a victim's characteristics, and the specific circumstances of the bullying situation. For example, availability may be a key factor in victim selection if a bully simply wants to elevate his or her status with peers. However, if a bully is looking for some sort of tangible payoff, then he or she might choose a target who is known to have money and likely to be submissive. If a bully wants to display power, then he or she might target a provocative victim who is noted for fighting back ineffectively.

The bully selects their target using the following criteria:

Bullies are predatory and opportunistictargets just happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time; this is always the main reasoninvestigation will reveal a string of predecessors and a string of successors.

Being good at your job, often excelling. Being popular with people (colleagues, customers, clients, pupils, parents, patients, etc). Having at least one vulnerability that can be exploited. More than anything else, the bully fears exposure of his/her inadequacy and incompetence; the targets presence, popularity and competence unknowingly and unwittingly fuel that fear.

Under some circumstances, targets may be chosen in what may be a completely random or arbitrary process, especially in groups in which the 'bully mentality' may have


already succeeded in achieving domination within the group. In such groups, the defense mechanisms of the entire group may have already been 'broken down', and therefore the targeting of individuals no longer requires the seeking out of 'certain personality types' to become the 'next target'. The reversal of such chronic and well entrenched bullying behavior in such groups sometimes requires a much more carefully planned, coordinated, determined, and multi-individual response from a would-be target than in a group in which either the 'bully mentality' may not (yet) prevail, or ideally in a group that may have already taken a pro-active preventative approach towards bullying.

Targets of bullying usually have these qualities:

Competent; intelligence and intellect stimulate envy in the less-than-competent bully Honest; bullies despise a well-developed integrity which the target is unwilling to compromise Successful, tenacious, determined, courageous, imaginative, creative, innovative Having a sense of humor, including displays of quick-wittedness Able to master new skills Sensitive, counting the constellation of values including empathy, concern for others, respect, tolerance etc. Slow to anger Helpful and always willing to share knowledge and experience Tolerant, have difficulty saying no, with low propensity to violence Incorruptible, having high moral standards and a strong sense of fair play

This ten-item list will be used later on as a profile against which the bullied characters in Roald Dahls stories will be compared.


Chapter III Summary of Stories

James and the Giant Peach (1961)

James Henry Trotter, four years old, lived with his loving parents in a pretty and bright cottage by the sea in the south of England. Sadly, James's idyllic world was turned upside down when, while on a shopping trip in London, his mother and father are devoured by an escaped rhinoceros. James was then forced to go and live with his two horrible aunts, Aunt Spiker and Aunt Sponge, who lived on a high, desolate hill near the white cliffs of Dover. For the next three years Aunt Spiker and Aunt Sponge physically and verbally abused James, never allowing him to venture beyond the hill or play with other children. Around the house they treated James as a slave, beat him for hardly any reason, kept him hungry, and made him sleep on bare floorboards in the attic.

One summer afternoon while the lonely James was crying in the bushes, he stumbled across a strange little man, who, mysteriously, knew all about his plight and gave him a sack of tiny glowing-green crocodile tongues. The man promised that if James mixed the contents of the sack with a jug of water and ten hairs from his own head, the result will be a magic potion which, when drunk, will bring him happiness and great adventures. On the way back to the house, James tripped and spilled the sack onto the peach tree outside his home, which had previously never given fruit. The tree became enchanted through the tongues, and begins to blossom; indeed one of the peaches grows to the size of a large house.

Aunt Sponge and Aunt Spiker discovered this and made money by showing off the giant peach for a fee while keeping James locked away. At night the aunts shoved James outside to clean up the rubbish from the crowd, but instead he curiously ventured inside a juicy, fleshy tunnel which led to the hollow stone in the middle of the cavernous


fruit. Entering the stone, James discovered a band of rag-tag anthropomorphic insects, also transformed by the magic of the green tongues.

James quickly befriended the insect inhabitants of the peach, and they became James's companions in his adventure. The insects loathed the aunts and their hilltop home as much as James, and they were waiting for him to join them so they could escape together. The Centipede bit through the stem of the peach with his powerful jaws, releasing it from the tree, and it rolled down the hill, squashing Aunt Spiker and Aunt Sponge flat in its wake. Inside the stone the inhabitants cheered as they felt the peach rolling over the aunts. The peach rolled past villages, houses, and a famous chocolate factory before falling off the cliffs and into the sea. The peach floated in the English Channel, but quickly drifted away from civilization and into the expanses of the Atlantic Ocean.

Hours later, not far from the Azores, the peach was attacked by a swarm of hundreds of sharks. Using the blind Earthworm as bait, the ever-resourceful James and the other inhabitants of the peach lured over five hundred seagulls to the peach from the nearby islands. The seagulls were then tied to the broken stem of the fruit using spider webs woven by the Spider and strings of white silk from the Silkworm. The mass of seagulls lifted the giant peach into the air and away from the sharks, with no damage to the fruit.

As the seagulls strained to get away from the giant peach, they merely carried it higher and higher, and the seagulls took the giant peach great distances. The Centipede entertained everybody with ribald odes to Aunt Sponge and Aunt Spiker, but in his excitement he fell off the peach into the ocean and had to be rescued by James.

That night, thousands of feet in the air, the giant peach floated through mountainlike, moonlit clouds. There the inhabitants of the peach saw a group of magical ghostlike figures living within the clouds called "Cloud-Men", who controlled the weather.


As the Cloud-Men gathered up the clouds in their hands to form hailstones and snowballs to throw down to the world below, the loud-mouthed Centipede berated the Cloud-Men for making snowy weather in the summertime. Angered, an army of CloudMen appeared from the cloud and pelted the giant peach with hail so fiercely and powerfully that the peach was severely damaged, with entire chunks taken out of it, and the giant fruit began to leak its peach juice. All of this shrinks the peach somewhat, although because it is now lighter the seagulls are able to pull it quicker through the air. As the seagulls strain to get away from the Cloud-Men, the giant peach smashed through an unfinished rainbow the Cloud-Men were preparing for dawn, infuriating them even further. One Cloud-Man almost got on the peach by climbing down the silken strings tied to the stem, but James asked the Centipede to bite through some of the strings. When he did, the single freed seagull the Cloud-Man is hanging from was enough the carry him away from the peach.

As the sun rose, the inhabitants of the giant peach saw the glimmering skyscrapers of New York City peeking above the clouds. The people below saw the giant peach suspended in the air by a swarm of hundreds of seagulls, and panicked, believing it to be a floating, orange-coloured, spherical nuclear bomb. The military, police, fire, and rescue services came out, and people ran to air raid shelters and subway stations, believing the city was about to be destroyed. A huge passenger jet flew past the giant peach, almost hitting it, and severing the silken strings between the seagulls and the peach. The seagulls were free, and the peach began to crash to the ground, but it was saved when it was impaled upon the spire of the Empire State Building.

The people on the 86th floor observation deck at first believed the inhabitants of the giant peach to be monsters or Martians, but when James appeared from within the skewered peach and explained his story, the people hailed James and his insect friends as heroes. They were given a welcoming parade, and James finally got what he wanted for three long years - playmates in the form of millions of potential new childhood friends. The skewered, battered remains of the giant peach were brought down to the


streets by steeplejacks, where its delicious flesh was eaten up by ten thousand children, all now James's friends. Meanwhile, the peach's other former residents, the anthropomorphic insects, all go on to find very interesting futures in the world of humans.

In the last chapter of the book, it was revealed that the giant hollowed-out stone which had once been at the center of the peach was now a mansion located in Central Park. James lived out the rest of his life in the giant peach stone, which he opened as a tourist attraction and one-lonely James was never in want of friends again.

The Twits (1980)

Mr. Twit was a twit. He was born a twit, and now at sixty years old, he was even more of a twit than ever. For one, Mr. Twit was a very hairy-faced man, and the whole of his face excepting his forehead, eyes and nose was covered with thick spiky hair like "the bristles of a nailbrush." The problem with Mr. Twit's hairy face was that food clung to the bristles around his mouth and stayed there for months and months, because he never washed his face. For another, Mr. Twit was an "extremely horrid old man," a fact which will be illustrated later on.

Unlike Mr. Twit, Mrs. Twit was not born a twit. Neither did she have a face covered with hair--which was a shame, because then it would have covered her ugliness. Mrs. Twit's ugliness had grown on her gradually, because she had nothing but ugly thoughts. And when "a person has ugly thoughts every day, every week, every year, the face gets uglier and uglier until it gets so ugly that you can hardly bear to look at it." To make matters worse, one of Mrs. Twit's eyes was made of glass and was always looking in the wrong direction. She also carried a walking stick. She would tell people that warts that grew on the side of her foot made walking painful, hence the walking stick, but the real reason for the stick was that she used it to hit children and animals with.


Being twits, Mr. and Mrs. Twit had nothing to do but to be horrible to each other and the creatures around them.

Mrs. Twit, in particular, loved to play tricks on her husband using her glass eye. One morning she took it out and plunked it into Mr. Twit's breakfast tankard of beer. In a show of displacement, Mrs. Twit accused her husband of plotting a prank on her, and told her she was watching him like a wombat. She wasn't off the mark, as Mr. Twit was in fact planning his next prank on her. After his heated denial, Mr. Twit downed the last of the beer in the tankard, only to find Mrs. Twit's creepy glass eye staring up at him from the bottom of the tankard. He startled, and Mrs. Twit laughed evilly at the success of her trick.

Mr. Twit soon had his revenge on his wife by catching a frog and placing it between Mrs. Twit's sheets (apparently when twits marry, they do not sleep in the same bed). When Mrs. Twit lay down, she felt something cold and slimy at the foot of her bed. Mr. Twit exacerbated the situation by suggesting that it was probably a Giant Skillywiggler with teeth like screwdrivers, and it was out to bite her toes off. Mrs. Twit fainted with fright, and her husband took a jug of cold water and emptied it over her head, drawing the frog out of the covers and onto Mrs. Twit's wet face. Mrs. Twit awoke to the frog jumping on her, and Mr. Twit drove the nail into the coffin by saying the Giant Skillywiggler was going to bite off her nose. Mrs. Twit bolted.

Payback for the frog incident came in the form of spaghetti. Mrs. Twit dug up several big long worms in the garden then mixed them in with the spaghetti she cooked for lunch, making sure that the tomato sauce and cheese concealed the wriggling worms. Mr. Twit noticed that his pasta was alive, but Mrs. Twit assured him that it was a new kind of spaghetti called Squiggly Spaghetti. Mr. Twit bought the excuse, although he complained that the noodles were too squishy and tasted "distinctly bitter." When Mr. Twit was done eating, Mrs. Twit clapped her hands and laughed and admitted to him that she had just fed him a tin of worms.


The cycle of revenge continued. The devious Mr. Twit devised a new and elaborate trick to play on his walking stick-carrying wife. Every night when she was asleep, he would stick thin pieces of wood onto the end of her walking stick and the legs of her chair. And when something is growing very gradually, it is almost impossible to notice the difference until it is too late. The time came when Mrs. Twit's walking stick was now so long it reached halfway up to her shoulder. Mr. Twit pointed it out to her with feigned surprise, and rebutted Mrs. Twit's idea that the walking stick must have suddenly grown longer by telling her that dead wood could not grow. He then told her she must have gotten a terrible disease called the shrinks, where "your head SHRINKS into your neck...and your neck SHRINKS into your body...and your body SHRINKS into your legs...and your legs SHRINK into your feet. And at the end there's nothing left except a pair of shoes and a bundle of old clothes." Mrs. Twit was scared out of her life, and she sat down on her chair, only to find that it too was too tall for her. Afraid for her life, Mrs. Twit begged her husband to help her.

Mr. Twit's solution to Mrs. Twit's problem involved sixty helium balloons on long strings. He tied the strings to the top half of Mrs. Twit's body and tied her ankles to a fixed iron ring on the ground. Of course, Mrs. Twit didn't really have the shrinks, so all the balloons did to her was make her incredibly uncomfortable. Mr. Twit originally intended to leave her like that for a couple of days and nights to teach her a lesson, but Mrs. Twit told him to make sure her feet were tied securely to the iron ring so that there was no danger of her flying away. This seemed like a better idea to Mr. Twit, and so he cut the strings holding Mrs. Twit to the iron ring and up she went.

If Mr. Twit thought he was finally free of his old hag of a wife, he was mistaken. Mrs. Twit gnawed through the strings of the balloons that held her up, and bit by bit gravity began to take over and she floated straight down, her petticoat slowing her fall like a parachute. Balloons and skirts and all, she landed right on top of her moron of a husband in the garden and gave him a sound beating with her long walking stick.


While the Twits delighted in making each other's lives miserable, they also had other outlets on which they unleashed their horrendousness. For instance, there is the Big Dead Tree in the garden. Every Tuesday, Mr. Twit would paint the branches of the Big Dead Tree with Hugtight Sticky Glue and wait for the poor hapless birds who roosted in the tree. Of course, the birds' feet stuck to the tree and they could not fly away. The next morning, Mr. Twit would collect all the unfortunate birds and give them to Mrs. Twit to cook in a pie.

One evening, four little boys unknowingly climbed up the tree and got stuck on the Hugtight. The next day, Mr. Twit was enraged because there were no birds for his Bird Pie, but he climbed up the ladder anyway, declaring that Boy Pie must be better than Bird Pie. The four boys realized that they were only stuck by the seat of their pants, so they unfastened their trousers and escaped.

The Twits had a family of pet monkeys, for they used to be circus monkey trainers. It was Mr. Twit's dream to have own the first Great Upside-Down Monkey Circus in the world. Every day he would train the monkeys to perform and do tricks while standing on their hands. The monkeys did not like this, but they had to obey or else Mrs. Twit would come after them with her walking stick.

The head of the monkey family was named Muggle-Wump. He and his wife and two children hated the Twits, hated the circus, and hated Bird Pie as well. They would often try to shoo the birds away from the Big Dead Tree, but the birds spoke English and did not understand the African language the monkeys used. That was until the Roly-Poly Bird arrived, who could speak both African and English. The monkeys asked him to tell the birds that anyone who roosted in the Big Dead Tree would be made into pie.

The plan worked, and the next day, Mr. Twit had no birds for his pie. Instead, the birds had perched on the monkeys' cage. The whole lot of them screeched with laughter


at Mr. Twit. He was furious, and that night he spread glue on both the tree and the monkeys' cage. The monkeys then told the Roly-Poly Bird to warn the birds again, and that night the birds roosted on the roof of the Twits' house. The next day there were again no birds for Mr. Twit's pie. He and Mrs. Twit made up their minds to go to town and buy guns to shoot the birds down.

When they left, Muggle-Wump asked the Roly Poly Bird to steal the keys to their cage from Mr. Twit's workshed. Once free, the animals began to carry out their revenge. They smeared Hugtight all over the ceiling, then stuck the carpets and furniture on it upside-down, so the whole house looked like it was standing upside-down. When Mr. Twit and Mrs. Twit got back, two ravens swooped upon them and swiped the tops of their heads lightly with Hugtight. They hurriedly entered the house, and were astounded to see that everything was upside-down. The Twits panicked and thought /they/ were upside-down, so they stood on their heads so they would be the right way up...and promptly got stuck to the floor because of the sticky glue the ravens had smeared on them. Outside, the birds rejoiced at the thought of no more danger of being made into Bird Pie, and the Roly-Poly Bird offered Muggle-Wump and his family rides back home to Africa.

After some time, the weight of the Twits' bodies began to compress them into their heads. And then...their heads SHRUNK into their necks...and their necks SHRUNK into their bodies...and their body SHRUNK into their legs...and their legs SHRUNK into their feet. And at the end there was nothing left of them except two pairs of shoes, a bundle of old clothes and a walking stick. Georges Marvelous Medicine (1981)

One morning, George Henry Kranky was alone in the house with his grumpy, grouchy, grizzly grandma. His father was working the farm and his mother was shopping in the village, and George was left to look after his grandmother and tasked to give her her medicine.


Unlike normal grandmothers, George's grandma was a horrible, batty old lady who did nothing but complain all day and bother George. On this particular day, her chosen form of torture was telling George she had frightening magic powers.

After fleeing from the living room, George was struck by a brilliant idea. Instead of giving Grandma her regular medicine (which didn't do her a mite of good anyway), he would brew her a new medicine that was "so strong and so fierce and so fantastic it would either cure her completely or blow off the top of her head." And so George pulled out an enormous stewing pot and spent an hour traipsing around the house, collecting all sorts of substances and chemicals to put in his marvelous medicine.

In the bathroom, George emptied bottles of Golden Gloss Hair Shampoo, toothpaste, shaving soap, vitamin-enriched face cream, nail polish, hair remover, Brillident, Dishworth's Famous Dandruff Cure, Nevermore Ponking Deodorant Spray and liquid paraffin into the stewpot. In the bedroom, he added Helga's Hairset, some perfume called "Flowers of Turnips", Pink Plaster Face Powder, and a powderpuff and two tubes of lipstick.

Next came the laundry room, where George poured in some SuperWhite Detergent, WaxWell Floor Polish, flea powder, canary seeds and Dark Tan Shoe Polish. In the kitchen cupboard he found curry powder, mustard powder, a bottle of extra hot chilli super spicy sauce, a tin of black peppercorns and a bottle of horse radish sauce. The shed contributed chicken medicine, horse strength throat lozenges, cow ointment, sheep dip and pig pills, and a search of the garage yielded engine oil, antifreeze and a handful of grease.

For extra kick, George tipped in a bottle of gin, and to make sure the medicine retained the same color as Grandma's real medicine, he added one quart of dark brown gloss paint.


The clock struck eleven, and George gave Grandma one spoonful of his brew in place of her regular medicine. The effect was instantaneous--Grandma shot straight out of her chair, spurted water and smoke, swelled, puffed, turned purple and green, landed neatly on her feet...and began to grow. She shot up inch by inch until her head went clean through the roof and she was taller than the house.

George tried out the medicine on a brown hen in the yard, and it causes her to grow several times bigger. Moments later, George's parents return home, and they were both astounded by George's handiwork. Mr. Kranky and George then gave the marvelous medicine to the other animals in the farm, and they all grow to gigantic sizes. However, Mrs. Kranky is worried about her mother, and eventually is excited by the sight of the giant hen, and exclaims that he had been wanting to make giant animals for giant food. Together, George and his father enjoy sampling the medicine to most of the farm animals (pigs, cows, sheep, George's pony Jack Frost and Alma the nanny-goat), which makes them giant animals. However, Mrs. Kranky starts worrying about Grandma, and eventually, they called the Crane Company to hoist her down.

Once back on the ground, Grandma was "frisky as a ferret", for once not having of her usual aches and pains. She even rode George's pony (who was also given a dose of the medicine). But, she was forced to sleep in the barn because she was too big to go back inside the house.

The next day, Mr. Kranky told George to make another batch of the medicine. They would manufacture it and sell it to other farms to make their animals gigantic too, thus ending world hunger. Unfortunately, George could not remember the exact ingredients and amounts he had mixed together the day before.

Several failed attempts later, Grandma awoke and demanded her morning cup of tea. Thinking that the wrong medicine in George's hand was her tea, she made a grab for it. Mrs. Kranky and George tried to stop her, but Mr. Kranky egged on his mother-inlaw into downing the entire cup. The resulting overdose caused her to shrink, and shrink


fast. Within moments she had shrunk into nothingness. Mrs. Kranky was distressed at the loss of her mother at first, but soon enough she agreed that Grandma had been quite a nuisance and they were better off rid of her.

The Witches (1983)

The narrator was seven years old when his parents died in a car accident one December evening on their way to visit his beloved grandmother in Norway. Unsurprisingly, he wound up with his grandmother, and together they grieved the loss of his parents.

The next day, to cheer him up, the grandmother told him stories, but none of them interested him half so much as when she began to tell him about witches. It was clear that the grandmother is a witchophile or expert on witches, and that all her stories about them were to be taken as gospel truth. The boy suspected that her knowledge on witches came from experience, and that it had something to do with the grandmothers missing thumb (which she would never talk about).

The grandmother goes on to tell the boy about five children she knew whose lives were changed drastically by witches.

The first was Ranghild Hansen, who was eight when she disappeared with a tall lady in white gloves.

The second was Solveg Christiansen, who vanished one day and was only seen again as part of the oil painting in their living room. Everyday she changed position in the painting--by the ducks, by the pond, in the farmhouse, and as the years passed she grew older and older until she disappeared from the picture altogether.

The third was Birgit Svenson, who started growing feathers until she changed into a large white chicken that laid brown eggs.


The fourth was a boy named Harald, whose skin went all hard, crackly and greyish-yellow until by nightfall he was made of granite. He became a statue in his family's house and people leant their umbrellas up against him when they visited.

The fifth was another boy named Leif, who was nine. He went swimming at the fjord with his family. Leif stayed underwater for an unusually long time, and when he finally surfaced he was no longer a boy but a porpoise. He gave his brothers and sisters rides on his back, and talked to them and laughed and joked with them, and at the end of the day he swam away never to be seen again

The next night, the grandmother taught the boy how to recognize a witch. While she cautioned him that there was no surefire way to tell if a woman was a witch, she did name some signs that if taken together would reveal a witchs identity. Witches were bald, and so they wore first-class wigs, which were so cleverly crafted that you could never tell the difference. However, they wore these wigs directly on their naked scalps, resulting in a condition called "wig-rash." They had clawed fingers that they hid inside gloves all the time, even in the summer. Their feet had square ends and no toes, which made the disguise of fashionable shoes with pointy ends very uncomfortable to wear, and so they walked with a slight limp. Witches' spit was bright blue, which left a bluish tinge on their teeth. The pupils of their eyes had fire and ice dancing in the center. And their noses! Their noses had rims like seashells which they used to smell out children with. To witches, children were as malodorous as dog's droppings, and the cleaner a child was, the worse he smelled.

The grandmother also told him about the Grand High Witch, the ruler of witches all around the world. Every year, she would visit all the countries of the world once, and the witches in that country would hold an annual meeting in which they discussed child extermination. Also, the Grand High Witch had a money-making machine in her castle, which she used to print an endless supply of money for her minions to use in their mission to destroy children.


The boy and his grandmother would have very much preferred to stay in Norway; however, in the boy's parents' will, it was stated that they wished for him to continue studying in England. On their return to England, the grandmother told the boy that she hoped he would not meet any of the English witches, "because those English witches are probably the most vicious in the whole world." This is, of course, too much to hope for, and the boy encounters his first witch not long after.

One afternoon as the boy was hard at work on a treehouse in their garden, a strange woman appeared, offering him a gift of a small green snake. She had a creepy smile and wore black gloves, and he immediately recognized her as a witch. He scurried up into the tree as high as he could go, and stayed there until his grandmother found him and took him inside. The boy told her about the strange woman, and both of them were convinced that he had just seen a witch. The two became "very witchconscious" after that.

Shortly before the holidays, the grandmother came down with pneumonia. Although she was precariously ill, she recovered, and she and the boy cancel their trip to Norway in favor of a vacation on the English coast.

As consolation for their missed holiday, the grandmother gave the boy two white mice to train. However, the hotel staff protested against the mice. The grandmother and the manager then came to an agreement that the mice would be allowed to stay provided that they remained inside their cage at all times. The boy, of course, could not train his mice that way, and so he went off in search of an empty room in the hotel in which he could hide.

The boy stumbled upon the ballroom, in which the chairs were laid out in preparation for the annual meeting of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. He concealed himself behind a screen and proceeded to train his mice while the ballroom was still empty.


Soon enough, the members of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children came pouring in. It did not take long for the boy to realize that the annual meeting was really the yearly convention of the English witches, and that he had been locked in in a roomful of witches out for juvenile blood.

A beautiful young woman took the stage. She hooked her fingers under her face and lifted it off, revealing her hideous, rotting visage underneath. The boy recognizes her as the Grand High Witch. On her cue, the English witches took off their wigs and shoes, revealing their true selves.

The Grand High Witch was angry at her English minions' failure to exterminate all of England's children. She then revealed her newest plan, which involved the witches buying sweetshops and on opening day, giving away free candy laced with Formula 86 Delayed-Action Mouse Maker--a potion who changed anyone who ate it into a mouse at a specific time. The witches were instructed to set the formula to activate the day after the children have eaten the chocolate. The children would already be in school at that hour, and the teachers were expected to panic and kill the mice, thereby killing the children.

The Grand High Witch made an example of one of the hotel guests, a greedy child by the name of Bruno Jenkins. She had given him a chocolate bar with Formula 86 the previous afternoon and had set the formula to the time of their meeting, and lured him to the ballroom with the promise of free chocolate. True enough, Bruno arrived, and in front of the witches he did indeed turn into a mouse.

Not long after Bruno was turned, one of the witches smelled the boy's presence. The two hundred witches in attendance rooted him out and forced him to drink an entire bottle of Formula 86. The effect was instantaneous.


Luckily, the Formula had no effect on its drinker's sentience, personality nor his voice. The boy-mouse returned to his grandmother's room and tells her what has happened. They decide to turn the tables on the witches by slipping Formula 86 into /their/ food.

The boy-mouse snuck into the Grand High Witch's room and stole a bottle of the potion from her stock. The grandmother then slipped him into the kitchen, where he poured the Formula into the soup intended for the witches' dinner. The witches all turned into mice almost instantly because of the overdose. The hotel staff set to work killing all the mice and unknowingly rid England of all its witches.

In a stroke of genius, the boy-mouse and the grandmother came up with a plan to use Formula 86 to destroy all the witches in the world. They planned to travel to the Grand High Witch's Norwegian castle, use the potion to change her successor and other minions into mice, then release cats into the castle to kill them. They would use the money-making machine and information on the whereabouts of foreign witches, and repeat the process in every country until all the world was rid of witches.

Matilda (1988)

Matilda Wormwood was a genius born into an unappreciative, ignorant family. She was speaking as well as any adults at one and a half years of age, and had already taught herself to read at three years old. However, her parents and brother were too wrapped up in their boring, silly lives to notice that she was gifted.

Once, Matilda asked her father if he could buy her a book. Not seeing the importance of education, he turned her down. Despite this, Matilda was determined to read, so she looked up the address of the local library, where the kindly librarian, Mrs. Phelps, was astounded to see someone so small arrive at the library alone and looking for things to read. Matilda finished all the children's books quickly, and Mrs. Phelps gave her suggested some adult classics, which suited the little prodigy very well. Soon,


Matilda got her own library card, and she began taking the books home every week instead of having to make her way to the library every day.

Matilda's father, Mr. Wormwod, is a used car dealer. One day he took Matilda and her older brother, Michael, to his shop and showed them how he made a handsome profit by cheating customers out of their money in ingenious ways. He poured sawdust into the engines of rattling old cars so they would run quietly for a the first few miles, and he turned back the speedometers so the mileage of the cars would show a lower number than its real mileage. Matilda accused her father of dishonesty, but he retorted that if she didn't like his job then she shouldn't be eating the food on their table. Matilda then resolved to punish her father.

She put Superglue on his hat, which made the hat stick to his scalp when he went to work the next day. Chaos ensued when Mr. Wormwood returned home and could not remove his hat and had to have it sheared off, with little bits of leather still stuck to his skin. Matilda was delighted at her inventing a new way to blow off steam whenever her parents were beastly to her. Later on, her father earned her ire again by ripping apart a library book she was reading. Matilda got her revenge by borrowing a neighbors parrot and hiding him up their chimney. At dinnertime the next day, the parrot spooked and fussed, scaring the whole family into thinking their house was haunted. Another day, Mr. Wormwood accused Matilda of being a liar and a cheat after she worked out a difficult sum in her head correctly. Sick of being called stupid and incompetent when she knew quite well that she wasnt, Matilda retaliated by pouring her mothers hydrogen peroxide-based, extra-strong hair dye into her fathers bottle of Oil of Violets Hair Tonic. This made her fathers fine crop of black hair turn a dirty silver instantly, causing a splendid noisy scene at the breakfast table the next day.

Matilda's father sold a car to Miss Agatha Trunchbull, headmistress of Crunchem Hall Primary School. He arranged with her to have Matilda attend the school, where she quickly impressed her teacher Miss Jennifer Honey by being able to read long sentences and calculate high-school level math problems. Miss Honey appealed to Miss


Trunchbull to have Matilda moved up into an advanced class, but the child-hating headmistress refused. Miss Honey also tried, in vain, to reason with Mr and Mrs. Wormwood that their genius daughter might be ready for university in just a few short years, but she is not welcomed and both parents make it clear that they are not interested either in Matilda or the value of education.

Meanwhile, Matilda and her classmates quickly learned about the Trunchbull's capacity for punishing children, as she carries out cruelties for minor reasons. She throws a girl over the school fence by her pigtails, makes a child gorge on an entire chocolate cake with the entire assembly watching, and nearly rips one boy's ears off. To retaliate, Matilda's friend Lavender placed a newt in the Trunchbull's glass of water. However, Matilda is blamed and the tyrannical headmistress refused to believe she is innocent. Incensed by the injustice, Matilda soon discovered she has psychokinetic powers, as she focuses on the glass with her eyes, and surprises everyone by tipping it over right onto Miss Trunchbull.

Matilda later confided in Miss Honey that she made the glass move with her newfound magic powers. Miss Honey invited Matilda to her humble cottage. There she confessed to Matilda that Miss Trunchbull is actually her aunt, who took over her father's home, called the Red House, and abused her after her father, Magnus, supposedly killed himself. Miss Honey was able to escape, though she is still as dominated by the Trunchbull's tyranny as the children at school are.

Matilda was inspired to use her powers to help Miss Honey get her own back. Matilda "haunted" Miss Trunchbull's classroom as Magnus' ghost, focusing her eyes on the chalk, and writes a threatening message for the Trunchbull on the blackboard that tells her to give Miss Honey back her home and money and leave for good. A terrified Miss Trunchbull did so and was never seen again. Things changed around Crunchem Hall, and Matilda was moved into the top form where her brilliant brain was finally given adequate stimulation and mental work, and her powers gradually disappeared.


Back at the Red House, Matilda is a regular visitor, and her friendship with Miss Honey blossomed. One afternoon she returned to her parents' hometo find them packing everything they have into the car, as the police had apparently discovered some of Mr. Wormwood's illegal activity in the car dealing business and now the whole family is moving to Spain to escape the punishment. Matilda runs back to Miss Honey's house and begs her to tell her parents to let her stay with her. They leave her behind without a second thought.


Chapter IV Analysis and Discussion

AUNTS SPONGE AND SPIKER (James and the Giant Peach)

These aunts just might give evil stepmothers a run for their money. As previously discussed, Aunt Sponge and Aunt Spiker are cruel guardians who like to lord over their nephew young James Trotter. They are also quite full of themselves, though their self-image may not necessarily be truthful. For example, both Aunt Sponge and Aunt Spiker see themselves as paragons of beauty:

I look and smell, Aunt Sponge declared, as lovely as a rose! Just feast your eyes upon my face, observe my shapely nose! Behold my heavenly silky locks! And if I take off both my socks, You'll see my dainty toes." ...Aunt Spiker said, "My sweet, you cannot win, Behold MY gorgeous curvy shape, my teeth, my charming grin! Oh, beauteous me! How I adore my radiant looks!"

when in reality their faces are hideous:

Aunt Sponge was enormously fat and very short. She had small piggy eyes, a sunken mouth, and one of those white flabby faces that looked exactly as though it had been boiled. She was like a great white soggy overboiled cabbage. Aunt Spiker, on the other hand, was lean and tall and bony...she had a screeching voice and long wet narrow lips, and whenever she


got angry or excited, little flecks of spit would come shooting at her mouth as she talked.

Both Aunt Sponge and Aunt Spiker are extrovert bullies, easily angered, unpredictable, and tend to shout and scream often. They are also violent and so are fond of beating James for no good reason.

"I wonder what became of that horrid little boy of ours last night," Aunt Sponge said. "He never did come back in, did he? "He probably fell down in the dark and broke his leg," Aunt Spiker said. "Or his neck, maybe," Aunt Sponge said hopefully. "Just wait till I get my hands on him," Aunt Spiker said, waving her cane. "He'll never stay out all night again by the time I've finished with him."

It is therefore evident in this lack of concern for their young charge and relish of violence that Aunt Sponge and Aunt Spiker are remorseless women.


The Twits are merciless, and delight in seeing others suffer, be it their pets, the birds in their Bird Pie or each other. Further proof that Mr. Twit and Mrs. Twit see people as objects was when four little boys got stuck on the Hugtight in the Big Dead Tree.


As there are no birds for my pie tonight, he shouted, then itll have to be boys instead! He started to climb the ladder. Boy Pie might be better than Bird Pie, he went on, grinning horribly. More meat and not so many tiny little bones!

It is plain to see that Mr. Twit and Mrs. Twit are emotionally backwards. After all, even if Mr. Twit thinks his beard makes him look terrifically wise and grand, they are still twits. To be more specific, they are already in their sixties and should be aging gracefully, yet there they are playing pranks on each other and waging war on animals like they were children in a schoolyard.

Although they are petty, both Mr. Twit and Mrs. Twit are skilled at deception, as a convincing poker face and a liars tongue are something they both have to employ during these prank wars. GRANDMA KRANKY (Georges Marvelous Medicine) From the very beginning, Grandma Kranky is painted as a grunion. She is said to be a selfish, grumpy old woman who sat in her chair by the window all day, doing nothing but complain, grouse, grouch, grumble and gripe about one thing or another. She did not seem to care about anyone other than herself.

Grandma Kranky is the ideal Jekyll-and-Hide example among the bullies on this list. Her duplicity is shown in the first chapter of the book: When Georges mother or father was home, Grandma never ordered George about like this. It was only when she had him alone that she began treating him badly.


It is unclear in the story whether Georges parents are aware that she is vile to him, although Georges father was more than happy to be rid of her and Georges mother called her a nuisance in the end.

Grandma Kranky is also very full of herself. She brags about giving up nasty childhood habits like sloth, disobedience, greed, untidiness and stupidity at a young age. She also claimed to have magic powers: Some of us, the old woman went on, have fire on our tongues and sparks in our bellies and wizardry in the tips of our fingers

Nothing in the world seems to give Grandma Kranky more pleasure than making Georges life miserable. While other grandmothers let their grandchildren play or told them fairytales, Georges grandmother made him wait on her hand and foot and scared him out of his wits with her unblinking, malicious stare. Grandma Kranky is also impatient, and quite the screamer when she doesnt get her way. She is unpredictable one never knows how to please herand seems to never realize how badly she is scarring her young grandsons psyche.

THE WITCHES (The Witches)

It is in the nature of witches to be mean-spirited and devilish. They are, after all, creatures of darkness. However, while the reasons why people bully do not apply to witches, the bullying behavior they exhibit is still up for inspection.

Witches are adept liars. It is requisite to their survival that they lie, act, and pretend to be harmless, innocent ladies:


REAL WITCHES dress in ordinary clothes and look very much like ordinary women. They live in ordinary houses and they work in ORDINARY JOBS. That is why they are so hard to catch.

Their reputations must be spotless for them to keep their true identities secret. On this list of Dahl bullies, witches are the mistresses of deception. While the book enumerates several ways on how to spot a witch, it is also stated that one can never be quite sure that it is a witch one is looking at or simply a nice lady, because witches do not look dangerous. In fact, they all look like nice ladies.

It goes without saying that witches hold deep prejudices against children. It is in the very nature of a Dahl witch to be the most dangerous of all the living creatures on earth as far as children are concerned: A REAL WITCH hates children with a red-hot sizzling hatred that is more sizzling and red-hot than any hatred you could possibly imagine.

But again, to continue living in the human world, witches must employ generous amounts of deception to keep their identities and thus, their loathing for children, a secret. Witches are vindictive creatures. It a witchs highest purpose to do away with children, or at least reduce their existence to something barely livable. A REAL WITCH gets the same pleasure from squelching a child as you get from eating a plateful of strawberries and thick cream.


Anything less than one squelched child a week for a witch makes her very grumpy. And if witches delight in seeing children suffer, they find even more joy in tricking childrens parents into harming their own offspring: "Yes," my grandmother said, "it gives the English witches great pleasure to stand back and watch the grown-ups doing away with their own children." And speaking of grown-ups, if by chance a grown-up gets in the way of a witchs work, then thats just too bad for the grown-up. It is therefore safe to claim that witches see people as mere objectswhether they are children or adults.

MR. WORMWOOD (Matilda)

Mr. Wormwood, the great car dealer, is another shining example of deception among the Dahl bullies. He is in sales, and has the glib, sweet tongue of a salesman who wishes to make a consumer believe anything he says to be the truth and nothing but. After all, he did come home one night with a profit of 4303.50. Yet despite this talent at sales, Mr. Wormwood hates his customers, claiming that customers are there to be diddled.

Mr. Wormwood is a man who loves to boast and talk big. He claims to have a brilliant mind that he uses to outsmart his customers, and he brags about everything from his fine crop of black hair to his dishonesty in the workplace. Even his clothes shout for attentiona flat-topped pork-pie hat with a feather in it, jackets with large, bright checks, and ties in yellow or green.

Although he is married with children and excels at his job, Mr. Wormwood is still immature and childish. He engages in petty fights with his children that any sensible parent would not get into. He throws tantrums more appropriately seen on a toddler: he


often shouts and causes a scene whenever he is displeased, and once he ripped a library book Matilda was reading into shreds. Perhaps the most obvious of Mr. Wormwoods bullying traits is his arrogance. Not even his family is spared from this obnoxious behavior: At this point Mr. Wormwood came noisily into the room. He was incapable of entering any room quietly, especially at breakfast time. He always had to make his appearance felt immediately by creating a lot of noise and clatter. One could almost hear him saying, Its me! Here I come, the great man himself, the master of the house, the wage-earner, the one who makes it possible for all the rest of you to live so well! Notice me and pay your respects!

In fact, his unfortunate family may be the ones experiencing the brunt of it.

AGATHA TRUNCHBULL (Matilda) the Trunchbull is the Prince of Darkness, the Foul Serpent, the Fiery Dragon with all the weapons at her command.

Agatha Trunchbull may be the bully to top all bullies Roald Dahl has ever written. In fact, she is the only character on this list who merits a second title, which is social psychopath. But she will first be compared against the ten-item profile of a regular bully.

Most teachers are teachers because they possess a number of fine qualities, including being understanding, being sympathetic, being fair, being an advocate for children and having a sincere interest in education. Miss Trunchbull has none of these qualities. She harbors a strong hatred against children, especially very small children, therefore she loathes the bottom class and everyone in it.


I dont like small people, she was saying. Small people should never be seen by anybody. They should be kept out of sight in boxes like hairpins and buttons. I cannot for the life of me see why children have to take so long to grow up. I think they do it on purpose. On the first weekly inspection of Matildas class, she glared at every child in the room as though they were dogs droppings and called them a bunch of nauseating little warts. It really is quite suspicious how she became a headmistress of a school in the first place. It makes me vomit, she went on, to think that I am going to have to put up with a load of garbage like you in my school for the next six years. I can see that Im going to have to expel as many of you as possible as soon as possible to save myself from going round the bend.

Like Mr. Wormwood, Miss Trunchbull is an extrovert bully, and expresses herself by shouting and screaming in front of a large crowd. She is quick to anger, has an unpredictable temper, and is suspicious to the point of paranoia of the people around her, as Hortensia has witnessed when she was randomly accused of putting itching powder in the Headmistresss knickers.

The Trunchbull is high-handed and superior, exploiting her position as the headmistress of Crunchem Hall to the full. However, she cannot distinguish between what makes a good leadersuch as the aforementioned qualities of maturity, integrity, and cooperationfrom what makes a terrible bullysuch as immaturity, aggression, and distrust.


the Trunchbull was shouting. You are not fit to be in this school! You ought to be behind bars, thats where you ought to be! I shall have you drummed out of this establishment in utter disgrace! I shall have the prefects chase you down the corridor and out of the front door with hockey sticks! I shall have the staff escort you home under armed guard! And then I shall make absolutely sure you are sent to a reformatory for delinquent girls for the minimum of forty years!

Miss Trunchbull cannot imagine that there are methods to get her way with people that did not involve manipulation or threats.

The Trunch is also a sociopath, which as previously defined, is someone who is naturally malicious and apathetic.

She revels in the gratification gained from seeing or causing other people's distress, a bullying characteristic which at this point should no longer need an explanation.

The Trunchbull exhibits minimal professional skill level and competencyfor who would label her a good teacher?and exploits anyone who has a vulnerability. She thrives on preying on the fear of the students, zooming in on their weaknesses and becoming upset whenever their strength of character gets the better of her, as evidenced by her frustration when the crowd cheered for Bruce Bogtrotter after he foiled her attempt to punish him with a chocolate cake overload.

As a sociopath, Miss Trunchbull cannot comprehend the deeper semantic meaning of language and is thus unable to understand or appreciate metaphor, hyperbole, irony, satire or wit. Before the first inspection, Miss Honey is quick to warn her students to never try to be funny in front of Miss Trunchbull, as any attempt at humor will only serve to bring the wrath of the Headmistress down on them.


She regards children as objectshardly worth anything and can be discarded when surplus to requirements, or, in the case of Amanda Thripp, a substitute hammer for throwing practice. She spoke of expelling or squashing children, and stated that the sooner they were out of her sight, the better.

The Trunchbull has an unlimited supply of vindictiveness and no knowledge at all of empathy. Her need to control, manipulate and punish develops into an obsession with many of the hallmarks of an addiction to power and oppression. She insists upon strict discipline and doles out violent punishments according to a moments whim as though she was a god. Although we see the Hyde side of Miss Trunchbull more often in the book, it was mentioned that she knew to behave herself around Magnus Honey. Thus, Miss Honeys father never knew how cruel her aunt was to her. This lends Miss Trunchbull the sociopathic quality of duplicity.

She is also suspected to have committed criminal offences, such as the forgery of papers transferring ownership of Miss Honeys childhood home to her. It may also be implied that she is responsible for the disappearance of the will of

Magnus Honey, and even the mysterious death of Magnus Honey itself.

JAMES HENRY TROTTER (James and the Giant Peach)

James Henry Trotter is at a disadvantage when it comes to his aunts. They are his legal guardians, and this places him in a position of bullying by default. As the youngest in the house, he is easily overpowered. His aunts take every opportunity to make him unhappy. Great tears began oozing out of James's eyes and rolling down his cheeks. He stopped working and leaned against the chopping-block, overwhelmed by his own unhappiness. "What's the matter with you?" Aunt Spiker screeched...


James began to cry "Oh, Auntie Sponge!" James cried out. "And Auntie Spiker! Couldn't we all--please--just for once--go down to the seaside on the bus? It isn't very far--and I feel so hot and awful and lonely..." "Why, you lazy good-for-nothing-brute!" Aunt Spiker shouted. "Beat him!" cried Aunt Sponge. "I certainly will!" Aunt Spiker snapped.

Despite this treatment, James remains an innocent boy. He is obedient instead of defiant--he always does what he is told. Unlike other bullied characters by Roald Dahl, retaliation has never even occured to him. This shows that he is tolerant, has a low propensity to violence and slow to anger.

It may also be claimed that James is helpful and quick-witted, although this is better illustrated during his stay inside the peach with the insects.


Muggle-Wump and his family are, like James, at a disadvantage. They are pets of the Twits, and are caged to boot. Their vulnerability is something that the Twits exploit. However, it is also plain to see that the Twits are aware that their monkeys are intelligent and competent, and to some extent they may even be afraid that the monkeys would pull one over on them one day, which is why they are careful to keep the monkeys under their thumbs.

As shown by the monkeys' compassion towards the birds, they are also sensitive, empathetic, and helpful. Also, proof of the monkey's quick-thinking is the plan to turn the Twits upside-down, which came from Muggle-Wump himself.


GEORGE KRANKY (Georges Marvelous Medicine)

George Kranky is an obedient boy, slow to anger, helpful and tolerant. Elsewise, he would not have put up with his grandmother for as long as he did. In fact, his brewing of the magic medicine was even rooted in goodness--in some small measure he wanted to cure his grandmother of being a horrid old lady.

Targets of bullying also have something that their bullies do not have, and in this case, because Grandma is old and George is young yet, it may be youth. "You know what's the matter with you? ... You're growing too fast. Boys who grow too fast become stupid and lazy...Look at me. Am I growing? Certainly not."

It may be said that Grandma was envious of George's youth, which is why she picked on him so much for something he could not help.

THE BOY (The Witches)

The boy in The Witches is a special case.

He did not provoke the witches in the ballroom of Hotel Magnificent. He was merely in the wrong place at the wrong time. Though different from the others, this is one aspect of bullying that needs to be taken into consideration. Bullies may be predatory and opportunistic. Just like the witches, they may take on anyone they meet whom they perceive as weak. Investigation of bullying cases may reveal a string of predecessors and a string of successors. In the case of witches, an investigation into any self-respecting witch's career will reveal a long list of children they have squelched or turned into animals.



Matilda Wormwood may yet be the best example of a bullied child. Being only five years old, she has no choice but to live in her house and go to Crunchem Hall, where her father and Miss Trunchbull are in positions of power over her.

No doubt, Matilda is competent, intelligent, tenacious, quick-witted and innovative. Her genius throws the inadequacies of the two main bullies in her life into high relief. This then fuels the envy of her father and the Headmistress.

Matilda is shown to be honest. She despises her father's crookedness at his job. Her integrity earned her the ire of her father that day he told them about the secrets of car dealing. Another thing that drew her father's wrath upon her was her constant reading. Mr. Wormwood was jealous that Matilda could find joy in something that was far beyond his reach, which made him so angry that he ripped her book to shreds.

The Trunchbull also recognized Matilda's edge over her, and so she took every reason to bully the poor girl whilst she was within her school's walls. Despite this, she was not able to break Matilda's spirit.


Chapter V Summary, Findings, Conclusion and Recommendation

A. Summary This study was made to explore the themes of bullying in five of Roald Dahls childrens novels, namely: James and the Giant Peach, The Twits, Georges Marvelous Medicine, The Witches and Matilda.

Chapter I introduces the issue of bullying. It explains how Roald Dahl himself was bullied during his childhood and how his experiences formed the bases of his childrens novels later on in life. This chapter also contains the research questions which this study strived to answer.

Chapter II defines bullying itself, along with the types of bullies and types of victims of bullying. It includes a list of things that may happen if one is being bullied; ten signs on how to spot a bullywhich was used in the analysis of the bullying characters in Chapter IV; and the ten signs on how to tell if one is a target of bullyingwhich was used in the analysis of the bullied characters in Chapter IV.

Chapter III contains the summaries of the five books analyzed in the study.

Chapter IV answers the three research questions stated in Chapter I in detail. To answer the first question, it enumerates the examples of bullying found per story. To answer the second question, it compares the bullying characters against the profile of a bully in Chapter II and provides concrete examples on how the characters fit the profile. To answer the third question, this chapter places the bullied characters against the profile of a target of bullying in Chapter II and provides examples on how the characters fit the profile.


Chapter V summarizes the entire study. It answers the research questions briefly, makes a conclusion based on the results and gives recommendations on Roald Dahls childrens novels and future studies that may be made about them.

B. Findings 1. What are the examples of bullying that can be found in Roald Dahls childrens novels? In James and the Giant Peach, it has been shown that Aunt Sponge and Spiker treat James in a very inhumane way, denying him even the most basic of a childs needs such as food and love. In The Twits, the Twits force their monkeys to practice upsidedown for six hours a day under threat of torture. In Georges Marvelous Medicine, Grandma scares George and picks on him for things he cannot help. In The Witches, a witches all over the world turn children into animals or squelch them out of existence. In Matilda, young Matilda Wormwood is bullied by her father at home and the Headmistress at school. 2. How do the bullying characters in Roald Dahls childrens novels identify with bullies in real life? Aunts Sponge and Spiker are examples of bullies who need to put people down to make themselves feel good. The Twits are apathetic creatures with the emotional age of a five-year-old. Grandma Kranky is envious of her grandsons youth and so she scares him in ways a young child can be scared. The witches are mistresses of duplicity, dealing out candy with one hand and poison in the other. Mr. Wormwood is

incompetent, loud and obnoxious, always in want of attention. Agatha Trunchbull is a sociopath. 3. How do the bullied characters in Roald Dahls childrens novels identify with targets of bullying in real life? James Trotter is obedient and tolerant of his aunts cruelty to him. Muggle-Wump is forced to obey his masters or be caned. George is slow to anger and tolerant of his


Grandmas mistreatment of him. The boy-mouse happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Matilda Wormwood is a genius who earned the jealousy of her father and Headmistress.

C. Recommendations

While book banning is a condemnable act of censorship, it cannot be denied that Roald Dahls books do include themes of violence, revenge, and defiance to authority. Some of the books, despite them being childrens novels, may not set good examples for children who may decide to emulate them. Parental guidance (and maybe a Kids, dont try this at home! disclaimer) is advised.

It is saddening that not enough theses are written about the works of the brilliant Roald Dahl. Further studies can be made regarding the theme of revenge and retaliation of the targets against their bullies, the macabre humor that the books tones set, the formulaic David-and-Goliath storyline, and the magical, fantastical threads that run in many of Dahls stories.

And while it is not advisable for bullied children to follow in the footsteps of George (who feeds his grandma liquid paraffin and animal pills) or Matilda (who punishes her parents), it is certainly uplifting for them to know that they are not alone. Roald Dahls books provide a funny, positive take on a negative issue. His characters inspire the underdogs to take hope and retain strength of spirit, because eventually, there will always be a way out of a negative situation.

And if all else fails, one can always just write about their oppressors and make truckloads of money out of it.


And I can see you years from now in a bar, talking over a football game With that same big loud opinion but nobody's listening Washed up and ranting about the same old bitter things Drunk and grumbling on about how I can't sing But all you are is mean And a liar and pathetic and alone in life and mean But someday I'll be living in a big old city And all you're ever gonna be is mean Someday, I'll be big enough so you can't hit me And all you're ever gonna be is mean.


Regine Angela Bambao y Veluz

Education: Tertiary Level: University of Santo Tomas Espaa, Manila Bachelor of Science in Nursing 2009Present Secondary Level: Third Honors Integrated Montessori Center Diego Silang Ave., AFPOVAI, Taguig City 20052009 Primary Level: Valedictorian Integrated Montessori Center Bayani Road, Taguig City 19982005 PLACE NCR Delegate Third Place Council Member Second Place COMPETITION/SEMINAR/INTERNSHIP National Secondary Schools Press Conference: Copyreading and Headline Writing Regional Secondary Schools Press Conference: Copyreading and Headline Writing Summit Medias Candy Magazine Candy Council of Cool 8 Annual Divisional Reading Proficiency Competition (Taguig-Pateros Division) YEAR 2009 2008 2008 2006

POSITION Literary Writer Editor-in-Chief President Editor-in-Chief

ORGANIZATION The Nursing Journal The Intrepid Pen: The Official School Organ of Integrated Montessori Center The Book Lovers Club of Integrated Montessori Center The Horizon: Yearbook Editorial Staff

YEAR 2009-2010 2008-2009 2008-2009 2009