We are learning to compare how characters are portrayed in the Matilda book, movie and stage play.

Our ongoing question: Is Matilda a good role model? Leave a comment here to explain your thinking.

28 thoughts on “Matilda

  1. From the age of 4 Matilda Wormwood is a heroine who succeeds against all odds because of her intelligence, resilience and perserverence. The best parts of her character development came from her love of reading. It certaimly did mot come from her Mum or Dad. I would want her for a friend because she also has a wicked sense of right and wrong and knows fun ways to kevel up. … I reckon by the time she is 70 she will be Champion of the World.

  2. I used to think that Matilda was both good and bad because some of the things she did I disagreed with and some of the things she did I agreed with like when she was kind and humble to her class mates but some of the things she did I disagreed with like confronting her mum when she was picking her nose (EW!) when Mrs. Wormwood did nothing wrong. Matilda struck me as a kind looking girl who would start fights. But as the book goes on we see that she would only fight if she was fought against. We saw that Matilda was neglected by her family and that explains some of the things she did.

    • This is a helpful explanation for me, Katie. Maybe Matilda is good when it really counts? Maybe she starts fights because she is choosing to fight against badness? I would really like your ideas on this.

  3. Now I think…. That Matilda is a good role model because watching the movie helped me see what the parents did to Matilda , asking Matilda a question then telling her to shut up. The camera perspective helped me realise who was in the right. Matilda. I wonder what another character might think about whether or not Matilda is a good role model? I think Matilda’s environment influenced her choices. How can Matilda use her powers for good. I have noticed that whenever a well known line is spoken, one does not say it in a normal voice but in the voice of the character.

    • Katie, can you tell me more about the camera perspective? I really liked your thought about considering what the other characters think about Matilda. i might just re-read the book in the holidays to spot this!

  4. I used to think that Matilda was a good role model because she was honest and kind: she also coped very well with her parents being mean to her. This shows she is resilient and persistent. I thought that Matilda had good values like when she said, “It’s dirty money. I hate it!” or when she said, “You’re cheating people who trust you.” Now I think that Matilda is not a good role model because she played pranks and jokes on her parents and teachers. Therefore she is revengeful and malicious. She also can be very sarcastic and rude. An example of her being sarcastic is, “Oh hello daddy. Did you have a good day?” This is sarcastic because she knew her dad had been standing there the whole time and she was pretending to be absorbed in her book.
    How do you think her parents influenced her choices?
    do you think she would be a good role model if she had loving parents?

    • Your detailed comment really got me thinking, Jamie. I thought more deeply about sarcasm. I very rarely hear it coming from children. I wonder if she would still be sarcastic if she had loving parents. Maybe they would give her guidance on not using sarcasm!

    • Jamie love the way you back up your arguments with quotes that support your argument. I wish I had thought to do that . 🙂

  5. I used to think that Matilda was a bad role model because of the evidence ” She could feel the anger boiling up inside her, she new it was wrong to hate her parents like this, but she was finding it very hard not to do so.” This evidence shows us that Matilda can’t control her own actions and chooses to do the wrong thing and can’t control.

    Now I think that Matilda is a good role model with bad influences. Judging by her background you would expect Matilda to be a bad person, but Matilda uses her powers for good and is very humble towards others. My evidence is ” You’re cheating people who trust you.” This evidence shows us that Matilda is not afraid to say the truth even if she’s it to her parents or head mistress.

    Does anyone else feel that Matilda wouldn’t have her powers if she was in the top group and people were nice to her and she had loving parents?

    • Thanks for providing evidence with your quotes, Tunmise. That really helped me to understand your point of view. I wonder if she only had powers because she actually needed them?

  6. I think that Matilda was good and bad role model because she did have some good values such as she was not boastful, she was trustworthy and she was humble. She also had some bad behaviours such as lying to get out of trouble and being sneaky.
    Do you think Matilda would still have her powers if she had nice parents and lived in a friendly environment?

  7. I think Matilda is a good and bad role model. I think this because she was the smartest in the class but she didn’t show off or boast like other kids would. This means she is very humble and doesn’t show outward signs of her brilliance. On the other she put her Mum’s hair dye in her Dad’s hair bottle. So when he put his hair gel on he looked stupid. She only did this because her Dad was vile. This is still bad though and it demonstrates being cunning, troublesome and revengeful

    • Some good examples in here, Declan. I am not sure about smartness as a characteristic of a role model. Is it only the smartest kids in a class who are the good role models? Can you please do me a favor and tell everybody in your Matilda group to comment on one another’s comment? Thanks!

  8. I used to think Matilda was a quite average role model, she’s very kind, mature and she knows what to say to brighten up some ones day, shown in her actions at Miss Honeys, she knew how delicate the situation was so she knew not to say the wrong thing to disturb Miss Honey. On the other hand she does do a few sly things such as playing pranks on her father when she glued his hat to his head.

    After looking back at what Matilda has done I have seen what Matilda did wasn’t so bad, the reason for this is her environment the things around her like her parents and how they acted against her.

    I have one question, why is Matilda so varied to her parents, such as her brilliance and her emotions.

    • Nice thinking Ruan. Your last question made me think about the ways in which I am similar and different to my parents. I am musical like my Dad, but I am not shy like my Mum. I think I love reading novels like Matilda more than they ever did! Can you please do me a favor and tell everybody in your Matilda group to comment on one another’s comment? Thanks!

  9. I think that Matilda is both a good and bad role model. She is a good model by being humble when she was the smartest in the class, honest when his dad puts sawdust into the cars. However, she was a bad model by being revengeful and being mean to her parents. She was a troublemaker and try to act innocent when she poured peroxide into her father’s oil violets. What do you think would have happened to Matilda if she had nice parents?

    • Nice thinking, Benjamin. After reading your comment, I believe her worst characteristic was being vengeful. Maybe this bad characteristic would not have appeared if she had nice parents. Can you please do me a favour and tell everybody in your Matilda group to comment on one another’s comment? Thanks!

  10. I used to think that Matilda is a good role model because she never shows of so she doesn’t compare herself to others, especially her powers and intelligence, which is an amazing habit. She is very independent and honest, and that is very rare for a six year old child who has rude, dishonest and uncaring parents and brother. She also is keen to learn, and that makes her an excellent role model. Now, I think that Matilda can be a good and bad role model. She sometimes is a good role model while she helps Miss Honey and tells the truth, but she also can be very naughty like when she puts the parrot in the chimney and scares her family. She also sarcastically says, ” Dad, has your head swollen or something?” and she knows that she made her dad not take his hat off. Do you think that Matilda’s behavior is influenced by her parents?

    • Nice reasoning here, Kerry. I am now thinking that Matilda’s behavior is affected – rather than influenced – by her parents’ behaviour. Can you please do me a favour and tell everybony in your Matilda group to comment on one another’s comment? Thanks!

  11. I used to have no idea whether Matilda was a good role model because I thought that the two sides were equal and everything had a counter. Like when she said “Oh hello daddy, did you have a good day,” said Matilda politely though on the other side it says “Oh well done you.” The second one shows how she is kind and polite but the first shows sarcasm. These two reasons can oppose each other. Another is when she puts glue in her fathers hat the opposing thing is returning library books, because one shows a liking for the rules and the other shows a dislike for the rules.
    Now I think Matilda is a good role model because she only fights when fought to and she really appreciates what’s good. Like her relation with Miss Honey. It is understandable that she is a bit rude because she doesn’t understand what’s right behavior and wrong behavior to a high level. Though it is surprising because she is so smart that she doesn’t know about good behavior. Do you think Matilda understands what’s right and wrong behavior wise?

    • Wow, David I never noticed the ‘counter’ before. I am also wondering if she keeps ‘public’ rules – the library book return, and breaks ‘non-public rules! I really liked your thinking about Matilda not knowing about good behavior. Keep thinking!

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