Roald Dahl is the master of creating characters that we love to hate! He creates the most ghastly, horrible villains on the one hand and the most unlikely heroes who often start out as mistreated or weak on the other hand. Think of Matilda for example!
What about the BFG? Or even Charlie from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
Today we are going to look at some of the books of Roald Dahl to examine the language that Roald Dahl uses to make these characters come
to life for us. It's not only the descriptive language Dahl uses but also the situations that Dahl puts his characters in that make them so incredible.
- Read chapters 1-4 of The Twits to the students. These very short chapters introduce the character of Mr Twit to the reader.
- Who is the voice of this text? Who is telling us about Mr Twit?
- When you read the text, you feel as though the narrator is speaking to you personally. Almost warning you about Mr Twit. How does the author do this? What words does he use to appear as though he is speaking to us directly? Share some examples from the text.
- Sometimes the narrator asks us questions like: 'So what I want to know is this. How often do all these hairy-faced men wash their faces? Is it only once a week, like us, on Sunday nights? And do they shampoo it? Do they use a hairdryer?' The use of questions aimed at the reader makes us feel as though we really know the character and makes us feel as though our opinion is really being asked.
- What effect does it have on you when Dahl describes the types of food that you might find in Mr Twit's beard? How does it make you feel about Mr Twit?
- On page 5, Dahl doesn't just tell us that Mr twit has bits of old food in his moustache. He describes some of them in minute detail - "a piece of maggoty green cheese or a mouldy old cornflake or even the slimy tail of a tinned sardine."
- On the easel, write all the words or phrases that Dahl uses in the text to describe Mr Twit. Eg: Foul, smelly, hairy, bristly nailbrush face. etc etc
- Not only did Mr Twit look and smell terrible, Dahl also created situations for Mr Twit that further emphasised his terribly, disgusting character. Can you name some? (Eg; He never washed his hair and hadn't for years.)
- Was there really a hairy jungle around his mouth? What effect does it have to say that the hair around his mouth IS a hairy jungle? How does it help you to get an idea of what sort of character this Mr Twit is?
- So finally, is Mr Twit created as a villain or a hero? Can you tell conclusively from reading the first 4 chapters?